Raphael van Lierop

Milton Mailbag -- Dispatch #30

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Hello community,

Not a huge list of community questions today. Please feel free to provide feedback regarding the Mailbag format in general. We'd like to see this grow over time and ensure the community is benefitting from it and it's a wise use of our time, so if there's anything about it that you think could be improved, we'd love to hear it. You can post suggestions right in this thread.

On to the questions!

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Question (comment) from @Tom Trottel:

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I really would love to be able to bury the frozen corpses. :D Of course they are usefull as navigation points thanks to the birds, but it would be really nice to bury them, if just for the peace of mind.

Understood. I can see why people would want to do this. I have some ideas.

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Question from @Kitsune_Wizard:

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My question is: Do you intentionally add in horror elements to your game or are they just a nice side effect?

We don't add horror elements, but we intend for some of the experience to be deeply unsettling. I think some players interpret it as horror. It's probably one of those things that changes depending on what you bring to it -- some players might find Carter super frightening, others might find it peaceful. I think being alone in an empty world makes everyone feel a bit more nervous than they would like to admit, which is definitely intentional on our part.

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Question from @thepatsbro:

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i don't know if this is only me, but I was playing tld and in the very early morning my character woke up and i went outside. I kept hearing a sound i've never heard before in the game (I have been playing for 2 years). It sounded like a plane flying overhead, but there wasn't anything above me yet the sound was very loud. (this wasn't during an aurora and I was in crumbling highway; definitely did not mistake the sound for not just being the waves from the ocean) I even have a clip of it and and you can definitely hear this weird sound.  Was this purposely put in the game or is it some type of glitch possibly on my end?

Please post the video. Maybe a plane flew over your house when you were playing the game? 🤣

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Question from @Tsayers1068:

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Is there any possibility that at some point in the future wolves, deer,  or possibly rabbits will roam more naturally through the maps using waypoints or something similar instead of walking back and forth in the same small area in which they spawned?  Bears already do this I know, I'm not sure about moose.  Will they ever get longer paths so it's harder to predict where they are?

Yes, we would like to improve wildlife behaviour in general. We're working on some stuff (it won't be in the next update however).

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Question from @pi972:

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A long long time ago, you mentioned following a "Half Life 2" line of thought where you'd prefer to place narrative moments in-gameplay rather than in cutscenes. Is that still your goal? If so, how far do you intend to take this concept in future episodes?

We took a big step towards this with Redux, by moving away from third-person cinematics and bringing everything to first-person. I don't think we'll achieve the same level of choreography as you see in Half-Life 2, but you'll see us continue to improve this in future episodes. I'd like to get us to a place where in our next game, we can hit the Half-Life 2 level of interactivity in our narrative moments (which are really just constrained first-person scenes, similar to what we do with Grey Mother in Ep1, or Jeremiah in Ep2, we just take a bit more control in some cases). Episode Three's scenes build on what we did in Redux and Episodes Four and Five should be even more ambitious.

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Question from @ThePancakeLady:

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But it makes me wonder... are the new hires all for The Long Dark, or are you building up the team and studio for a new game, possibly already being worked on?  No need for details,  just a simple 1) 2) 3) answer, please? New hires for:
1) The Long Dark
2) A new game
3) Both.

The answer is: Mostly 1, with an eye to 2 in the future, so basically 3. ;) 

But mostly 1.

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Question from @Sgt8taco:

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Is there ever going to be a way to make whetstones or tools or gun cleaning kits? to insure equipment maintenance? Or maybe just ways to "farm" metal?

You can already "farm" metal by harvesting it with a Hacksaw. You can then currently use that scrap metal to repair (some) things or craft (some) new things, like improvised Knives, Hatchets, etc. In terms of adding new ways to maintain firearms -- it's not really our goal to make The Long Dark endlessly survivable, so really the resource constraints of having to live with a limited number of Rifles, Cleaning Kits, Whetstones, etc. is kind of on purpose. You should cherish the "easy" tools while you have them, and work your way towards more self-sufficiency using tools that can be crafted. So, when the Rifles are gone, you'll have Survival Bows and Arrows (for example). This is how the game has always been -- initially it's about finding the easy supplies left behind, and gradually you have to harvest from what's available in the environment.

That said, I know the idea of making more ammo, improvising weapon attachments, etc. is a real "prepper" fantasy and while that's not really our primary focus, I could see us building up some of those ideas in the future. Not sure how much that gameplay would fit into the WINTERMUTE timeline or gameplay, however.

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Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, all! And make sure to let us know what you'd like to see us try with future Mailbags, to make them more interesting for you!

- Raph

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I think the current format is doing what it's supposed to be doing, so I have no issue with how these Mailbags are presented.

One thing I've always wanted was to get some behind the scenes looks at the making of this game.  I'm not asking that you divulge company or industry secrets, but it's always a cool thing to see people behind the scenes making what you've spent countless hours enjoying.  I have to imagine there is some footage floating around somewhere in your studio that hits this mark.  I don't know, I love to see how things come together and the people that make that dream a reality.

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1 hour ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

The answer is: Mostly 1, with an eye to 2 in the future, so basically 3. ;) 

But mostly 1

Fair enough.  I am just happy to see the studio expanding, growing, and setting a great example for other Indies to follow. 

Here's to continued success for you and the entire team.  :)

Now... mostly 1 includes Pancakes, right? I am pretty sure you said Pancakes, at some point in time. I may be mis-remembering, but, no... I am pretty sure Pancakes are part of option 1.  ;)

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1 hour ago, PlayerPawn said:

get some behind the scenes looks at the making of this game

motion is seconded

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Quote

 

Question (comment) from @Tom Trottel:

Quote

I really would love to be able to bury the frozen corpses. :D Of course they are usefull as navigation points thanks to the birds, but it would be really nice to bury them, if just for the peace of mind.

Understood. I can see why people would want to do this. I have some ideas. 

*****

 

I can see why people would want to do this as well... personally however, I tend to think them as extra storage containers.  I know that seems a bit macabre, but since we can't move other small containers to where we might like to have the extra "storage" (I mean beyond just dropping things on the ground indoors or outside)... they do come in handy as containers.  :)  

Edited by ManicManiac
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22 minutes ago, ManicManiac said:

I can see why people would want to do this as well... personally however, I tend to think them as extra storage containers.  I know that seems a bit macabre, but since we can't move other small containers to where we might like to have the extra "storage" (I mean beyond just dropping things on the ground indoors or outside)... they do come in handy as containers.  :)  

When I am lucky enough to have the corpse inside the Camp Office... I have named him Jim-Bob. He is my waterboy. He holds all of my extra bottles of water, in his body/container, and perched on his body, anywhere I can get them to stand. I don't tend to use the outdoor corpses for storage too much, unless they are inside an outdoor structure, like a guard shack, or behind a building like the Paradise Meadows Farmhouse. Unless I need feathers, or they are close to a base, i tend to not b go past corpses multiple times. Once to loot, and usually never again, way out in the wilds.

 

But, I can also see why some people would like to be able to bury or burn the corpses.  I would maybe prefer a funeral pyre, myself. Just to do it once. And again, if I get some creepy sense of macabre pleasure from it. :)

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9 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

I really would love to be able to bury the frozen corpses. :D Of course they are usefull as navigation points thanks to the birds, but it would be really nice to bury them, if just for the peace of mind.

Seconded! Maybe part of the reason I avoid the dam like the plague is all the death. I'd like to make it a little more homey by giving those poor sods a proper burial. Or at least chuck em all in a supply closet somewhere I don't have to see them. 

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Hi Raph,

In reply to your request for feedback on Milton mailbag... I think it is wonderful that you engage the tld community in this way. Please keep it up. It is definitely not a waste of time even though only a small percent of players comment in the forums. 

I am an example of 98% who read everything but rarely comment. The other 2% dominate the forums, but don't go by their big opinions.

I love the polite Canadian nature of Hinterland Studios 

 

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I don't mind the outdoor corpses, but the guy in the camp office is really annoying

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Without periodical devs blog (like weekly in Rust) people are losing interest in game, so dont be shocked that people post no question in Mailbag. Dont be suprised, Raphael and dont except any gratefullness.

 

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13 hours ago, Serenity said:

...but the guy in the camp office is really annoying

I use him to store flares, torches and stuff like that. :D

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On 4/27/2019 at 2:47 AM, LkP said:

motion is seconded

Motion is thirded :)

Definitely make a behind the scenes.

 

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On 4/27/2019 at 7:22 AM, Raphael van Lierop said:

I kept hearing a sound i've never heard before in the game (I have been playing for 2 years). It sounded like a plane flying overhead, but there wasn't anything above me yet the sound was very loud.

I heard it too some time ago, in Coastal Highway. There's a thread reporting this (not by me) with a video:

You probably have to play TLD for a few years to get a chance to hear it :)

Edited by Drifter Man

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38 minutes ago, Drifter Man said:

I heard it too some time ago, in Coastal Highway. There's a thread reporting this (not by me) with a video:

You probably have to play TLD for a few years to get a chance to hear it :)

Oh, wow. I have seen people say they heard a plane noise, never saw the video of it before. Never heard it myself either. I would be waiting for a big "BOOOOOOOOM" if I heard that, the plane going down in the Summit. 

 

Unless that is the sound the Anunnaki Mother Ship makes, as it comes in to zappy zappy silly humans off the planet's surface... just a thought. :)

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On 4/26/2019 at 9:37 PM, ThePancakeLady said:

When I am lucky enough to have the corpse inside the Camp Office... I have named him Jim-Bob. He is my waterboy.

My current playthrough has a dead guy outside the camp office, across the yard at the foot of that big hill.  I've named him Fridge, because I have the creativity of a stump.  He stores my peanut butter, candy bars, condensed milk, etc.

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1 hour ago, ajb1978 said:

My current playthrough has a dead guy outside the camp office, across the yard at the foot of that big hill.  I've named him Fridge, because I have the creativity of a stump.  He stores my peanut butter, candy bars, condensed milk, etc.

1171070544_smileyfacepancake.thumb.jpg.51cef6edf4450559dfb9c99154ea006d.jpg

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I like to read every Milton Mailbag, it's really interesting: it answers many questions that we (the players) have and keeps the community updated with info about the game.

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We did a bit of digging into the Airplane sound question because it just seemed too crazy to me, and it was hard to imagine how that video couldn't be doctored in some way. Turns out this is a rare but totally possible occurrence in the game. I asked Glenn, my audio director, to explain what's going on. His words: 

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What’s causing it to sound like jets are flying in the sky above the Coastal region is something that can happen in rare situations.  There are a few emitters making wave crashing sounds out over the ocean.  Each uses the same looping sound.  They are triggered with a random start delay, a random pitch variance, and each sound is filtered over distance, but every once in a while you’ll get two that are triggered with the same or almost the same pitch and delay settings, and in these situations the ocean is going to start phasing, which sounds just like a jet airplane flying overhead.   

Who would have thought! He's going to make some tweaks to ensure this doesn't happen anymore.

I'm almost sad to know the true cause. It was more fun to imagine all the other possible explanations. :) 

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That is really funny, and a bit freaky at once. 

 

I am going to just stick with it being the sound of the Anunnaki Mother Ship coming in to zappy zappy people up into the sky. Sounds better, to me, and explains where everyone else on the island, who did not die in the snow, may have gone. ;)

 

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Just a reminder that wishlists and suggestions should be kept to the appropriate section of the forums. The last couple of posts have been moved there.

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On 4/30/2019 at 4:13 AM, Raphael van Lierop said:

What’s causing it to sound like jets are flying in the sky above the Coastal region is something that can happen in rare situations.  There are a few emitters making wave crashing sounds out over the ocean.  Each uses the same looping sound.  They are triggered with a random start delay, a random pitch variance, and each sound is filtered over distance, but every once in a while you’ll get two that are triggered with the same or almost the same pitch and delay settings, and in these situations the ocean is going to start phasing, which sounds just like a jet airplane flying overhead. 

Fascinating.

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Was there ever a pet name for the wolves, or any of the wildlife, in game while in development or that are still in use?

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19 minutes ago, slvrsrfr said:

Was there ever a pet name for the wolves, or any of the wildlife, in game while in development or that are still in use?

Both Fluffy and Scruffy come to mind

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