Raphael van Lierop

Milton Mailbag -- Dispatch #35

Recommended Posts

440929279_35-header.thumb.png.5c5052bd1139d988a2fc2efea156f59a.png

Hey community!

Hope you've had a good week. The Community team wanted me to remind you that I'll be producing a Dev Diary before the end of the month, with a general update on what's going on at Hinterland and some info on Episode Three progress (as spoiler-free as possible). Also, I'll be out at E3 next week (not showing) so I probably won't have the time to write a Dispatch next Friday.

On to the Mailbag!

*****

Question from @Its_the_Gman:

Quote

Will we ever get to see more challenges added? Is a hunted part 3 planned? Or was the hunted challenge just sort of a testing ground for the bear hunts in story mode? I'm asking because I've completed all challenges and loved them (except for nomad and the computer aurora one) and would like to see more of them in the game! 

Yes, we definitely want to add more Challenges to the game. We have some ideas. We were holding off on Hunted, Part III until Redux was finished, b/c of the Bear Spear and other things, so if we can, we'll wrap up this trilogy this year, and maybe add one or two more.

*****

Question from @DaveMcD:

Quote

I love so much of the sound design in the game. Is the spooky creaking metal noise in places like Hybernia inspired by the sound design from the sniper scene in the film Full Metal Jacket? Either way it instantly makes me think of the film every time.

It wasn't inspired by that scene, but it's cool that it makes you think of it every time!

Curious to know what other sounds from the game evoke movie scenes in people's minds, and which scenes? (I've been playing this game for so long that I hear our game sounds in movies now, not the other way around.) :)  

*****

Question from @TheKaneB:

Quote

Hi, thank you for your amazing work, I've been following TLD since the very first public build and I'm really happy to see how much it grew, both in scope and in quality!
I have a question about the crafting UI: when you craft pretty much anything at the workbench there are instances where you can choose the tool for crafting, for example the Knife vs the Hatchet, or the Sewing Kit vs the Fishing Tackle. When you select the amount of time to work and then use a "lesser" tool (such as the hatchet, the fishing tackle, or the improvised knife), it looks like the time needed to finish the job is always more than what was displayed before. That means that you basically never reach completion since it follows an asymptotic curve of some sort.
Is it a bug o an intended behaviour? Maybe it would work better if we could select the tool before and only then select the amount of time to work, which at that point should be calculated based on the actual tool selected.
Thanks!

Yeah -- there are some known issues with this screen. Currently it doesn't update the crafting time based on what Tool you pick, due to a logic order issue with how the screen was set up. We'll fix it when we can. Sorry about that! It's not great, I know. We'd like to clean up this interface in general.

*****

Question from @IceOnecy:

Quote

Привет, Глубинка! Вы сделали замечательную игру про выживание в Канаде, но больше всего мне нравится в этой игре звуки. Вы сделали добротный бренд для всех вещей. Но возникает вопрос: кто озвучил персонажа Маккензи? А есть видео с его озвучкой? Я просто не мог найти его в Интернете. Спасибо за внимание!

Google Translation:

Quote

Hi, Depth! You made a great game about survival in Canada, but what I like most about this game is sounds. You made a solid brand for all things. But the question arises: who voiced the character Mackenzie? Is there a video with his voice acting? I just could not find it on the Internet. Thanks for attention!

Response:

Mackenzie is voiced by Mark Meer (most renowned for voicing Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series). We also have Jennifer Hale (who also voiced, amongst many other roles, Commander Shepard in Mass Effect), and David Hayter (Solid Snake), and a variety of other actors we're really lucky to have working with us on the game. I'm super excited about our Episode Three characters and actors! 

Google Translation:

Маккензи озвучивает Марк Меер (самый известный за высказывание командира Шепарда в серии Mass Effect). У нас также есть Дженнифер Хейл (которая также озвучивала, среди многих других ролей, коммандера Шепарда в Mass Effect), и Дэвида Хейтера (Solid Snake), и целый ряд других актеров, нам действительно повезло работать с нами над игрой. Я очень взволнован нашими персонажами и актерами Эпизода Три!

*****

Question from @FrozenCorpse:

Quote

 

I would assume - with my extremely limited understanding of 3D rendering - that objects were 3D textured meshes which are placed on a wrinkled 2D plane with various textures "painted" on it.  Based on what I'm seeing depicted in the game-world "environment", it seems as though the snow is sometimes a textured ground plane, and sometimes it's another layer above that plane...?

My questions are twofold:  The first part being related to the technical aspects of 3D rendering of the game-world environment, and the second part relating to intentionality of design where snow-covered terrain is concerned.  Does terrain work in multiple layers?  How is it affected by snow-events?   Do things "sink" down through multiple layers of terrain to simulate snow-cover? Or, following a storm or blizzard, is the region simply wiped of all objects and repopulated with loose objects (Like limbs, branches, sticks and stones)?  What kinds of intentional game mechanics does the game employ that affect objects left out in the environment?".  Do inventory items dropped or placed on the ground suffer a greater condition hit of X% following each storm and are effectively deleted after Y conditions met?  How many different levels of snow events are there (Eg. light snow, snow, snow storm, blizzard etc.)?  If there's multiple layers of terrain, does an object shift one level for a lesser event and to deeper levels for more severe events? Or is it simply present / not present?

I realize there might well be good reasons for not wanting to divulge every underlying game mechanic to the Nth degree.  Maybe we're not supposed to know exactly what's safe to do under particular sets of circumstances.  On the other hand, it would be nice to know if I set a bunch of stuff on a rock so I can carry more meat back to my base, then set some other things down on the snow so I can pick up something else, if there's an intentional mechanic involved that might result in some of those objects being deleted or suffering a major condition loss hit, especially if it snows.

Any light you feel inclined to shed is much appreciated.  Great game.  Really enjoy playing it.

edit:  Changed wording from "resting" to "are placed".

 

I'm not going to get into the weeds in responding to this because it would just take too long, but I'll cherrypick a few items to respond to.

* Things you place on the snow surface should not "sink down" into the snow, although this has happened in the past (due to bugs).

* After Blizzards, you will find that Sticks have been replenished.

* Some things lose Condition faster when left in the snow, others lose Condition less quickly.

* Blizzards damage your exterior Clothing layer.

* All snow (light, heavy, blizzards, etc.) make your outside layer Wet. Once that layer is Wet, it loses a lot of its warmth properties (it also weighs more). One an exterior layer is 100% wet, the layer under it will begin to get wet. When that layer is also wet, it will also weigh more and will lose most of its warming properties. When your skin is unprotected by clothing, you become vulnerable to Frostbite.

* Carcasses or Meat Bags you leave outside are subject to predation by wildlife, and may be ravaged (eaten) when you are not around.

Hope that helps!

*****

Questions from @kosatka:

Quote

1: Will you rework the looting system? I thought if in game you actually would open the crates, cabinet, cupboards and you can and take all what inside, I mean, there's would be a space where all loot is placed, so this is would give some more immersion

2: I feel that the all locations are quite empty, do you planning to add more details in all locations do you planning to add some details that telling our some little stories like its doing Bethesda in their fallout and skyrim games?

1 - iSome aspects of it, yes, but probably not the way you are thinking. 

2 - For the most part, the level of detail and object density you see in the world is what we intended, although there are still some locations that are getting updated to bring them to the same level as, for example, Milton (Mountain Town) which was built specifically for Story Mode.

*****

Question from @SneakySquid:

Quote

 

1-What do you guys at Hinterland use to create regions ?

2-And could this software ever be sold as a DLC / new IP ?

 

1 - Mostly the Unity editor and a variety of things built for the game.

2 - We'll most likely provide tools to create your own regions when we provide official Mod Support in the future. It's likely that people will need to learn how to use the Unity editor in order to make region mods, but we'll do our best to support this with tools and documentation, when we are ready to do so.

*****

Question from @Mr. TwoPump:

Quote

Would you ever consider a dynamic level of snow, like when a blizzard dies down there will be a big blanket of snow which could slow you down and possibly make animal tracking easier due to the more noticeable footprints,  and it’ll make trip planning more difficult

Yes, I'd like to do something like this, but it's a deceptively challenging problem to solve. We'll see where we end up with it.

*****

Question from @frickoffanddie:

Quote

 

Is the main menu cinematic homage to the main menu cinematics in Half-Life 2 and its episodes?

Never really saw the similarity until I booted up Half-Life 2: Episode 2, saw the headcrab skitter across the floor in the main menu and went "Hey, that's like the wolf in the main menu screen of the Long Dark.. oh wait."

If so, you should consider having the main menu cinematic change to suit the setting of the quest you're on in a particular episode.

 

The Main Menu is a little scene, not a cinematic -- meaning it's a small piece of world that, if you could get into it, you could walk around. (We've had bugs in the past that spawned the players inside the Main Menu scene).

Yes, it's inspired by Half-Life 2, which is my favourite game of all time.

*****

Question from @noahvanbaal:

Quote

 

my first question is  are ever going to add birds to hunt like pheasants that scare Easier  than rabbits and fly away  giving you one chance  but for good rewards or any other  game animals  other than rabbits and deer to the game

my second question is do you have any plans for light base building mechanics like being able to make a fire barrel  or 8 a bed in Carter hydro dam or even building some more containers for better storage options 

 

More birds -- yes, hopefully.

Base building -- I'm pretty sure I've responded to this before, so please check the Index thread.

*****

Question from @bongoplayingmonkey:

Quote

I've heard from a few people that have done a lot of camping at freezing conditions that a high fat meal before sleeping helps to keep you warm at night - your body generates more heat as it digests fatty foods. Is this a mechanism that could be added? Maybe give you a bit of a boost when sleeping out of doors?

Does activity raise body temperature in the game? If not could this be added? For example, a bit of a jog around before bedtime?

I like the idea of providing a warmth boost due to digestion at night, but it becomes tricky to communicate all these various states to the player. But I'll keep it in mind and see if we can come up with something.

You do currently get a bit of a Warmth bonus from sprinting, but we don't expose this in any UI -- it's handled by the underlying system.

*****

Question from @TheRealPestilence:

Quote

Prior to Steadfast Ranger, rosehip tea could not be assigned to a particular affliction like painkillers could.  Now that it can be, drinking hot rosehip tea with an assigned affliction does not convey a warming up buff.  Is that intentional?

That sounds like a bug. Drinking hot Rosehip tea should provided the Warmth buff regardless of where you drink it from (inventory, radial, or first aid). Please log: www.hinterlandgames.com/support

*****

(Skipping a question about Sprains because after 3+ weeks of discussing it I'm a bit burned out on this particular system.)

*****

Question from @MikeV:

Quote

Hi RAF. don't know if you read my question, so I ask again and add another:) I have a question: could you make the ultimate survival of not only death, but also due to the fact that the character waited for the rescue or something? Survival is interesting, and even very much, but survival for the sake of survival without the opportunity to escape, not cool( And another question: why, if done, that visor in machine can be open, then there never nothing there is no?

Survival for the sake of survival alone has been core to The Long Dark's Survival Mode from Day 1. We could add the idea of an objective, but most players seem to embrace the current game. So, to you I say -- it IS cool. :) 

*****

Question from @Gazbeard:

Quote

It's just occurred to me ... you already have kerosene lanterns in game, would you ever consider adding kerosene (camping style) stoves in game for cooking with a single pot or can?  Maybe even the garden greenhouse style kerosene heaters for indoor locations like the holiday cabins and the glazed porch at PV farmhouse?

Could happen some day!

*****

Question from @ThePancakeLady:

Quote

 

The Unity engine backend change from Mono to IL2CPP frustrated some people, for a bit. But after reading up on Google Stadia, and watching their live-stream press conference yesterday, I saw that IL2CPP is required for a game to run on Stadia. So... was the change made with the possibility/consideration of porting the game to the Stadia platform in the future, if Stadia does not fizzle out before becoming more widely available and popular? And what are your feelings on Stadia and other possible game streaming platforms for a decidedly Singleplayer-only game like TLD, while the majority of games showcased in the Stadia press conference seemed to be Multiplayer FPS type games? Do you see these game-streaming platforms being viable for a game like yours, or any other slower-paced Singleplayer-only game?

You can feel free to not answer, some secrets need to be kept at times. But ...Pancakes?

 

We didn't make our change for Stadia. It's fully about performance improvements (for us) and the code-wrapping preventing decompiling is, to me, a nice bonus. People should not be able to hack our game apart. But that topic has been discussed elsewhere!

Re: feelings on Stadia -- I'm cautiously optimistic but we'll see what the biz model does for developers. As a creator, I like the idea of not having to limit myself to only thinking about what a "gamer" might look for an inexperience, so if I assume Stadia has the potential to really broaden the player community beyond the current core group who own high-end PCs and consoles, that's kind of interesting just on a philosophical level. (Even when designing The Long Dark, I try never to approach anything from the standpoint of "well this is how other games do it so this is how we should do it too", because I don't want to assume our players are familiar with any other games, genre tropes, etc.)

I don't think we'll make anything specifically with Stadia in mind, but I do think the future is streaming -- to some degree -- so I'm trying to be open to what that means and trying to ensure our next projects capitalize on the strengths so that Hinterland doesn't become a dinosaur. Adapt or die, right?

In my mind, all these new streaming/subscription game platforms means there will be a huge appetite for content (much as we've seen in TV/film over the past 5+ years) so companies that can create good original IP will be in a strong position. My goal is to ensure Hinterland can capitalize on our strengths in this area.

*****

Looks like those are all the questions (that aren't also Wishlist items) we have for this week! Enjoy the weekend and I'll resume the Mailbag the Friday after next.

- Raph

PS Did you see the short video of The Long Dark running on Switch? We still have a lot of work to do, but we're one step closer.

 

  • Upvote 4
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

Mackenzie is voiced by Mark Meer (most renowned for voicing Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series). We also have Jennifer Hale (who also voiced, amongst many other roles, Commander Shepard in Mass Effect)

Erm...?

14 minutes ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

why, if done, that visor in machine can be open, then there never nothing there is no?

Double-erm...?

 

Looking forward to the Devblog! And interesting to know that sprinting gives a small warmth bonus.
Thanks, as ever, for keeping up with these Mailbags. Always a pleasure to read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thank you Raph. Always enjoy the Milton Mailbag.

One thing I wondered about... Player reputation. It seems that some players have a reputation equal to the number of posts. Are they really so popular? Or do they have a  alternate account that they use to upvote themselves? Are you able to tell? Seems that most players have about 20% upvote to posting so a 110% upvote to number of posts seems fake

Edited by Sito
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For whatever the reason, things laid on snow can still eventually find themselves deeper in the snow. Not quickly but it happens. This has happened to meat and campfires. That may have been a previous bug, but I still feel it is happening still.

My understanding about wet/frozen clothing was that frozen clothes was like not having anything on (i.e. no protection) while wet clothes still was some protection. Once clothing gets 100% wet it starts to freeze.

I don't leave meat bags around or carcasses unharvested so finding out (or confirmation) that wolves (and bears?) can come across and eat them is somewhat new to me. I won't say totally new because I thought I ran into an instance of that a long time ago on Mystery Lake and but never since. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the answers about Stadia, Raph.  Player perspective on it, and dev perspective on things are often different. And Twitter is not always the best place to get a true feel for how it is seen. The "upvote" culture (what @Sito seems to be asking about) is not a great one to put much faith in, IMHO. The notion that our worth is set only by how many "likes" we have feels rather broken to me. 

Interesting to hear that meat and fish left outside is subject to predation. I, and I think many others, have been under the impression that as long as we dropped the meat and fish where a predator did not see us do so, meant that it was safe from being detected by them, may not be as true as we believed. A bit eye opening, and it makes me a bit more glad I do not kill everything that moves, and leave huge piles of flesh all over the place.

Looking forward to the new Dev Dairy, when it comes. Thanks, as always, for taking the time to answer our questions. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Pillock said:

Erm...?

Double-erm...?

 

(the nested quotes from Raph didn't show; this erm/double erm is about both Jennifer Hale and Mark Meer voicing Commander Shepard in Mass Effect)

In Mass Effect, you could choose to play the main character as either male or female, so they had two voice actors for the same character.

Edited by Blankshield

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, thanks. I did wonder as much after I posted that, actually. But not knowing anything about Mass Effect, it looked like a typing error when I first read it!

I've also since figured out what the second quote meant! I'm guessing it was a word-for-word translation from Spanish or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ThePancakeLady said:

Interesting to hear that meat and fish left outside is subject to predation. I, and I think many others, have been under the impression that as long as we dropped the meat and fish where a predator did not see us do so, meant that it was safe from being detected by them, may not be as true as we believed. A bit eye opening, and it makes me a bit more glad I do not kill everything that moves, and leave huge piles of flesh all over the place.

I think it's just unharvested meatbags (from quartering) and unharvested carcasses that you have previously interacted with that are subject to "predation" (gradual loss of meat content).

In previous versions, there was a part of the bear behaviour that had them walk up to unharvested carcasses and appear to "eat" from them. But it didn't seem to directly affect the state of the carcass when I checked. I haven't seen this for ages, so I don't know if it's still a thing they do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, UTC-10 said:

This has happened to meat and campfires. That may have been a previous bug, but I still feel it is happening still.

I just sent in a bug report a couple of days ago because I put down a camp fire in a cave on Timber Wolf Mountain... I lit the fire, stepped outside to check on the weather, when I stepped back in -bam! the campfire had sunk into the stone ground and my two cooking slots are under the cave floor.  Luckily I had a can on one slot so I can still use that as long as I never pick it up again.

However meat/food items that you drop from the inventory, the game will make it look like you had just dropped them in the snow (which I thought was a very nice touch by the way) but I've never lost a food item like to that yet.

I did just last night drop a knife that clipped right though a bed next to the wall and is now lost and gone forever (because it's back far enough that I can't reach it)  - I submitted a bug report about that one too...

So, objects sinking under the map is still definitely a thing.  Objects still spawn "under the snow" in the bed of pickup trucks... (maybe that was an in tended thing??? I don't know - I seem to remember that came along during or around the time of Redux, but I don't remember if that was a bug / symptom of what was causing other objects like animal carcasses to sink under the ground)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/7/2019 at 6:15 PM, Raphael van Lierop said:

440929279_35-header.thumb.png.5c5052bd1139d988a2fc2efea156f59a.png

Hey community!

 

Question from @DaveMcD:

It wasn't inspired by that scene, but it's cool that it makes you think of it every time!

Curious to know what other sounds from the game evoke movie scenes in people's minds, and which scenes? (I've been playing this game for so long that I hear our game sounds in movies now, not the other way around.) :)  

 

 

I swear, if you add a Wilhelm Scream somewhere in a future Wintermute episode... ;)

 

I agree, the sounds of TLD are amazing, and add immense depth and immersion to the experience. Howling wind is a particular favourite. Excepting the sensation of wind blowing against my face, the sound of blowing wind reminds me very much of the chilling winds I experience every winter.

Presently I'm trying once again to collect ALL the buffer memories in game, including the new ones added with the Archivist challenge (tangent: the in-game Collectibles sub-menu incorrectly lists 31 possible collectible buffer memories, when it's much more than that, now). I'm starting off in Desolation Point. I've collected all the memories from Hibernia and am now working on the lighthouse. I absolutely adore the owls hooting at night, but even moreso I love the loons singing. I'm going to miss it when I leave to go to Timberwolf Mountain for the next batch.

Creaking wood is nerve-wracking, but in a good way. Especially on the Ravine trestle bridge.

Edited by GothSkunk
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First question, Would you consider sending the game to YouTubers (like gtlive) so you can increase revenue and get the word out?

 

Second, why don’t you need a container to collect water(via melting snow/toilets)? Should you plan to add a feature like this?

 

Third, I think you should add a walking stick. It can be crafted from 2 cured maple saplings and a cured gut. Its passive ability is to decrease the risk of sprains. But it could be upgraded to have a spike on the end for defense against wolfs OR it could have a torch on the top that can be lit with a match ect. to create light. An improvised version can be crafted from 6 sticks an 6 cloth using a sewing kit or fishing tackle. Of course it would weigh more and have less durability. 

 

You guys are doing a great job! 

 

-SpanishMoss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, SpanishMoss said:

First question, Would you consider sending the game to YouTubers (like gtlive) so you can increase revenue and get the word out?

 

Second, why don’t you need a container to collect water(via melting snow/toilets)? Should you plan to add a feature like this?

 

Third, I think you should add a walking stick. It can be crafted from 2 cured maple saplings and a cured gut. Its passive ability is to decrease the risk of sprains. But it could be upgraded to have a spike on the end for defense against wolfs OR it could have a torch on the top that can be lit with a match ect. to create light. An improvised version can be crafted from 6 sticks an 6 cloth using a sewing kit or fishing tackle. Of course it would weigh more and have less durability. 

 

You guys are doing a great job! 

 

-SpanishMoss

 

 

On 6/8/2019 at 12:38 AM, Admin said:

Please use this thread to discuss @Raphael van Lierop's answers in this week's Milton Mailbag. If you want to ask a question, even one that follows on from one of his answers, please use the Milton Mailbag Question thread.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, to answer a bit, @SpanishMoss

Hinterland has given out keys to Streamers and other media/review sources, I am sure, over the last (almost) 5 years. And streamers can request a key, via keymailer, as outlined on the Hinterland "Contact Us" page: https://hinterlandgames.com/contact-us

Your second and third "questions", are more feature requests, that belong on the Wish List subforum (where both have already been asked for by others before),:  https://hinterlandforums.com/forums/forum/33-wish-list/
Requests for new features or changes are best made there, where the devs can see and consider them more easily, rather than having to pick through a threads like this one, where we jump between multiple topics. (And I would upvote the walking stick... I have asked for it a few times on the Steam forums Wish List, over the years.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a request for clarification - perhaps someone may help me understand. There is one sentence in Raphael's answers that I don't comprehend (underlined part is confusing):

Quote

As a creator, I like the idea of not having to limit myself to only thinking about what a "gamer" might look for an inexperience

One way I see that it might have been intended is "... what a gamer might look for IN AN EXPERIENCE".

Is that correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Приятно иногда увидеть русскую речь переведённую через Гугл.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now