So What Do You Think So Far?


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Little further ahead than I had expected (although I haven't explored very far yet)...

Was surprised to see so much wildlife so early on (they're more of a rarity in other games I've tried), so that really added to a lot of suspenseful traveling -- trying to sneak around to avoid detection, constantly looking over should to check if being followed, etc.

Oh yeah -- learned don't pet the cute doggies in the wild... Okay, so they weren't doggies (they wouldn't play fetch with me).

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I think it is awesome and meets if not exceeds my expectations. I like playing while I am alone in the dark as it helps with the feel of the game. When discussing the game I understood that there would be a lot of survival aspects to consider, I just didn't appreciate how that would affect the game play, after five or six playthroughs under my belt it is very apparent that this will not be a game that you can just breeze through, which is great. I also love that the game doesn't tell you everything up front, you need to figure some stuff out on your own.

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got a couple of plays in last night, freaking awesome!!! got chills up my spine when the opening screen started. first run ran off a steep hill sprang my ankle and couldn't have been happier. second run made it to the lookout, froze, and was elated. last run ran into a bug I think but need to retest tonight. when i get home from work tonight probably won't leave until Monday morning... maybe I'll call in sick :]

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Some other notes about the game play experience in general that make me so glad I participated.

1. I love that every game starts out with random drops in cabins and corpses and such. Makes it difficult to systematically organize your survival attempts and run into a rut or method of surviving.

2. I love the organic situations that arrive that really put stress on the player to make hard decisions. for example: Got to the dam and was nice and cozy figured I'd stay awhile, ran out of food and had to make a choice when it became night... brave the cold and dark to find more food or try to sit tight through the night. Died either way :]

3. Love the look and feel of the game, the trees, the sky, the sound of walking over a frozen lake all add to the fantasy.

4. The difficulty, when I'm not playing the game and sitting in traffic I'm constantly scheming and devising plans of attack for my next session.

When I showed it off to my sister who is not a into video games at all; the first thing she said was "A thinking mans game" which I thought was pretty apt. These are some of the things that really make this game unique and keep me coming back for more!

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I have had a few magic moments.

First play: Reached the forestry lookout. Stunning view (yellow evening sun?), music starts. It gave me chills.

Next few times I died because of a wolf attack.

Short summary:

- The sound (wind, Will, fire...) is so nice.

- Had my first sprained ankel because of impatience. :)

- The complexity is a bit challenging, but I love it.

Can hang on the fact that the game ist for thinking men. As a non-native english speaker most words are not that familiar. (Touque is, btw. Thanks Raphael :) ) Of course in most cases I can figure the meaning. But in extreme situations it’ll be a death sentence. (I have died because of not pulling out a flare fast enough / starting a fire.) I see it as another challenge and good practice.

Last but not least:

Haven’t figured out yet how to collect snow to boil it. Dehydrating is my biggest fear. Any tipps? Maybe we could open another thread for tipps.

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Haven’t figured out yet how to collect snow to boil it. Dehydrating is my biggest fear. Any tipps? Maybe we could open another thread for tips.

Once you have a fire going, click on it -- right side menu has 2 categories -- Boil Water [for purifying I imagine], and Boil Snow... set how much you want to boil, and the snow is automatically gathered.

SIDE NOTE: That automatic availability for snow was awesome -- it's so abundant in the game that I was glad you didn't set physically having to gather and collect it (especially since it's all around where the fire is being built)-- wood and material need to be foraged, snow is everywhere. So glad you kept the tasks to needed challenges rather than adding in the usual time wasters most games add in to seem like they're doing more.

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Once you have a fire going, click on it -- right side menu has 2 categories -- Boil Water [for purifying I imagine], and Boil Snow... set how much you want to boil, and the snow is automatically gathered.

So what is the snow being boiled in? ;-)

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My top three fave aspects so far (aside from the gorgeous scenery)


#3 - Random Objects

Love the randomizing of objects to find in the various locations. Requires a lot of constant rethinking of what to do next when you reach the stash locations and may not find what you've been wanting every time.

It really adds a lot to the hopeful praying {"please be there, please be there"} every time you reach a destination because you know you need specific supplies desperately.

My heart sinks every time I hit an empty stash area...

Despair when I find useful items (but not what I really need) -- then the desperation instinct really grows faster

Absolute joy and relief when the item(s) I want/need are found

And pure excitement when I find something I had never expected [like ammo, even if I can't use it yet]

Oh yeah... fun suddenly finding dead bodies in places that weren't there during previous playthroughs :)

#2 - That Eerie Wind

I really have to praise Dave so much for capturing that blistering wind sound... I dread every time I hear it as I know I'll have to hunker down, no matter how desperately I need to move on -- or knowing what I'll have to brace when I have no choice but to move and fight my way through the approaching storm.

It really creates such a huge sense of isolation and depression (I try to sleep in short spurts if possible, just hoping the storm and winds will subside enough).

#1 - Bad Doggies

Those freakin' wolves keep scaring the crap out of me!!!

I find myself constantly looking over my shoulder, searching for alternate paths around them, and (all too often) simply closing my eyes and going for broke trying to run through an area [dropping the last of my flares as I run] hoping to get away.

I've never jumped [physical startled] so many times since playing the original Fatal Frame. That sudden "out-of-nowhere" sound of barking and snarling when one sneaks up and gets me from behind is so unnerving!!!! :o

I'll risk a sprained ankle, I'll risk starvation and dehydration, and I'll risk being caught in a blizzard -- but those damn wolves keep freaking me out.

Perfect atmosphere because it constantly keeps you on your toes, and you quickly learn you can never become complacent or over confident in the game. It can end so quickly, no matter how well you're prepared.

So many challenges, and constantly having to rethinking choices, options, and decisions... there is no straightforward "Walkthrough" possible because so many variables change your every decision no matter how many times you try playing.


Excellent achievement from the Hinterland Team!

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Yup, we opted to make snow gathering automagic because what's the fun in collecting snow when it's everywhere and doesn't take any time?

Boiling water, which is different from melting, will have a use when you find a potentially non-potable source of water. You may know that it's contaminated, or you may just not want to take a chance to end up with an intestinal parasite or whatever. For the time being, boiling has no real use because there are no "questionable" water sources in Lake Region (but we'll be adding some soon).

The snow is being boiled in an invisible pot, obviously. :)

Regarding that -- we're going to be adding a pot to the stove object itself to hopefully help communicate that "use" to players. It's not as obvious or intuitive as we would have liked so we're going to be reviewing this along with various other improvements to UI that are being considered.

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we're going to be adding a pot to the stove object itself to hopefully help communicate that "use" to players. It's not as obvious or intuitive as we would have liked so we're going to be reviewing this along with various other improvements to UI that are being considered.

In keeping with the "No Hand Holding" gameplay, my personal vote would be not to add the pot [unless it will also have other important uses within the game].

While it may not be "obvious" at first (or even throughout the first few playthroughs), once you "discover" the boil snow option [actually requires looking at the panel at least once so you can see all the detail available], then it becomes second nature.

Adding a pot would simply give a one time discovery use, unless you plan on making melting snow not possible without finding a pot first -- which would then seem counterproductive unless you had pots scattered everywhere (including very start inventory) in case the original pot is dropped or lost.

Adding a pot might open up a can of worms if it's just for the sake of people learning it's to melt snow... although I think it might be a good idea for the beans -- perhaps heating canned food [when appropriate] would increase energy/hunger recovery, as well as reducing coldness.

You might require the melting snow to use up a lot more of the fire burning time than currently set -- since it will take a lot of snow melting to gain even small quantities of drinking water. That will increase the consequence decision of whether to use current water supply, or risk losing your heat source quickly simply because melting snow is an easy way to stock up on much needed water.

*btw* Haven't seen any yet, but given all the wolves and other animals, I expect to eventually come across some yellow snow. If I do, I take it that's not spilled lemonade, correct?

[yes, bringing back in the "drinking your own pee for survival scenario] *lol*

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we're going to be adding a pot to the stove object itself to hopefully help communicate that "use" to players. It's not as obvious or intuitive as we would have liked so we're going to be reviewing this along with various other improvements to UI that are being considered.

I admit there has to be some sort of Visual guidance here. It was only me lighting the fire and lucky I was by the stove that I found that I could boil saw. That and playing with the controls in the Fire Starting area. Having a pot there, (which in reality there would be one sitting on a Pot Belly anyhows) would invite the player to explore and try and boil water. This is a good thing, if we are trying to be like IRL

Adding a pot might open up a can of worms if it's just for the sake of people learning it's to melt snow... although I think it might be a good idea for the beans -- perhaps heating canned food [when appropriate] would increase energy/hunger recovery, as well as reducing coldness.

This is one thing I really thought I would be getting. Was disappointed that I couldn't heat up my beans and pork to 1 increase the warmth in my body, and 2 increase the calories. This should apply to Boiling water too. You should get a warm increase if you drink water within a certain timeframe of boiling water with the thirst going down.

Then when its cold water your thirst goes down only. What got me also, was 1 drink took away my thirst completely, while having to eat a great deal filled up my calories. There needs to be a balance. ?? No ??

While I'm here, I had a MRE and I kept it until I had a fire going and boiled water because I real MRE id freeze dried and only re-constitutes when you have put hot water in it. Something to think about ??

Now as to the game, I really do love it. I sat there for a good 10 minutes listening to the Opening Score, because it took my breath away. I loved it.

I love the gameplay, but I find that the days come along to dark very quickly, and sometimes struggle to get somewhere to shelter. I think you are still trying to get the balance right, as it doesn't quite feel right to me as yet. As I said above with the drinking and eating, IRL I can survive with not eating for a while, but I can't if I'm dehydrated, but its seems I can die from starvation quicker than I can from thirst.

The graphics are great, the way the Lanterns light works, compared to the Flare, (on the flare, I should be able to start a fire with a flare if need to). The sounds of the Wolves like Bill scare the beegeesus out of me while with my headphone on. Love how Bambi will gallop up to me, then turn at the last instant, thinking I have a meal to turn around and see him run away.

There are a lot of things that are really good in this game so far, BUT, I still think there is a need with the formulae for calories, warmth, dehydration and fatigue . . . IRL even though I run out of Calories, I'm not going to die overnight because I didn't eat. This is going to be the hardest thing to get right, and I might be nitpicking, but I think it needs refining more to get that balance right, and to give you a little more of a edge to survive just a little longer, albeit weaker and slower . . .

Anyways their my thoughts, but over all, this is going to be a great game, and am looking forward to getting into it again today . .

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I agree with tattoo here on needing more water than food, I can go to work without breakfast but, i'm drinking water and Mountain "Soda" until lunch. I know there is an element of fiction and game play here but it does seem a little lop-sided.

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Mac, I guess it would depend on the type of MRE as to whether or not it would need to be re-hydrated. In the U.S. Army, normal MREs are not dehydrated and can be eaten straight out of the container with no preparation; with that being said the U.S. Army also has a cold weather version of MREs that come in a nifty white package and are indeed freeze dried (While I was in Iraq some logistics person messed up and delivered a pallet of cold weather MREs to us, it was a nice change up to our normal meals). If the MRE in game is like the normal MREs, there would be no need to add water.

If the team is going to add a warmth aspect to drinking freshly boiled water, it would seem that they would also need to add a damage aspect, if you drink it immediately after boiling.

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Mac, I guess it would depend on the type of MRE as to whether or not it would need to be re-hydrated. In the U.S. Army, normal MREs are not dehydrated and can be eaten straight out of the container with no preparation; with that being said the U.S. Army also has a cold weather version of MREs that come in a nifty white package and are indeed freeze dried (While I was in Iraq some logistics person messed up and delivered a pallet of cold weather MREs to us, it was a nice change up to our normal meals). If the MRE in game is like the normal MREs, there would be no need to add water.

If the team is going to add a warmth aspect to drinking freshly boiled water, it would seem that they would also need to add a damage aspect, if you drink it immediately after boiling.

Ahh well there you go. I had a feeling they would of changed, but back in late 80's early 90's, when we did our K Execises with the Yanks, ALL there MRE's where dehydrated meals, and you had to add hot water (cold water too, but had to leave it for nearly 5times as long) to them to be able to eat them. They use to be 2 Packages that were Dehydrated and then others nibbles and chocolate and the sorts, but the main meals were Dry. Mind you, Garlic King Prawns, Duck Le Orange and Curried Beef w/ papadam's we never complained when we swapped 1 10manner for 20-30 1 man MRE's I loved the US meals and they loved ours. . .

Thanks for clearing it up for me :)

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Geez, you guys are monsters in your expectation of the simulation. Someone has to tune all this stuff, you know? ;)

A few quick responses:

- MREs: my experience with them has all been with the "boil in a bag" variety. You can eat them out of the bag in a jiffy. As you can with canned goods like beans. There's no real caloric improvement with warming beans up vs. eating them cold so I don't see much value in forcing them to be warmed up.

- Yes we could add a warmth component to eating warmed up food and drinking warm liquids. You might notice we do this with the lantern and flare (you get a bit of warmth from them when they are lit). Since drinking warm liquids is key to winter survival I could see us adding this in the future.

- We're probably never going to be able to balance your food & water requirements exactly like "real life", since it would mean you don't really need to worry about water until several days have passed, and this makes that component of the game largely irrelevant. So, things like how quickly you cool down, how often you need calories, etc. are tuned for gameplay, not accuracy to "real life". That said, relatively speaking, they are "fair" -- you take different amounts of Condition "damage" per day for each of the different sub-conditions when they are in the red.

In order of impact to Condition: Cold, Water, Fatigue, Food

In order of how quickly you accumulate them per day: Thirst, Fatigue, Hunger/Cold (environment and activity dependent)

The other factor that has a great impact on how "realistically" these various sub-conditions accumulate and impact you, along with calorie burn, is the length of the day. Currently the day is 70 minutes of real time -- 40 minutes of day, 30 minutes of night. This means that every minute of play time equates to 20 minutes of "time passage" in the world. I'm sure you've noticed this on your survival clock. I'm currently playing with this day length to see how modifying it changes the game. Since your movement speed is a constant, and other various simulations are also constant, changing the length of a day can have a really big impact on how the game is balanced and paced.

For what it's worth, this length of day is very standard with open-world games, and is shared by: Oblivion, Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption, GTA, etc.

- Things like calorie burn are based on activity level, and modified by how much gear you are carrying, as well as other factors. You burn least while sleeping. You burn most running up a hill with a full pack.

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Kinda funny when I think about it, I play games to escape yet I want them to be as close to my real life as possible... There is definitely something to that, not sure what it is, but there is something there.

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And thats why you get the big $, ;) so we can throw at you our concerns, ideas, and wishes, and you then barge through them all and work out whats the best for us as a community for the best gameplay experience we can have.

All in all im so very happy with the game itself even though its Sandboxed, but I know its going to be the fine tuning and getting the balance between game a IRL experiences the hardest part of this game. The bugs ie: floating fence posts is all cosmetic, but its the mechanics and game engine that is the real test for us.

But I also like how you are explaining yourself, when we come up with whatever, but ale taking the ideas, conversations on board and letting us really be a part of the making of what is too come.

Ive been in other game Alpha/Beta's and the Devs ONLY wanted to know about the bugs, because their idea/dream was set in stone, and no matter how much people disliked a scenario/option/or whatever, they didn't even respond to the concerns and kept it in the game, which upset some people, because they just thought it down right arrogance . . .

Your doing a great job Raph and Alan :D

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Got to play for an hour or so today and I really like the changes that have been implemented since v x.01. One thing that I found, was a deer 'frolicking' in place near the unnamed pond. He was just jumping up and down in the air, not making any forward progress, kinda like one would expect a deer to be doing when jump-roping, without the rope. I was being chased by wolves at the time and when I stopped to get a screen shot of the jumping deer, I died of blood loss and shock, thanks to Mr. snuggles. Anyway, I am really enjoying the random starting location, the sorted inventory, longer day/nights and everything else that you guys have done. I might get more than one day off this week so hopefully I can get a few more hours in.

Keep up the great work.

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Brent -- thanks for the feedback. We're all extremely grateful to have all the feedback because it's making the game better and it's also letting us validate our decisions or test theories and rethink assumptions we've made.

I won't lie and say there aren't times where I feel like "well, fuck it...this is just the way I want the game to be!", and there are many, many times where you guys point out flaws about things I know aren't perfect or even right, and the solutions are things we've talked about doing or already have planned so there's this feeling of "if only we'd been able to get that in before putting the game out there...", but I think every developer's worst nightmare is that everyone will hate what they make so...this is all good medicine (for me personally...I think the rest of the team is much better at taking feedback than I am. I'm just stubborn. :) And of course there is ego involved -- you don't create something like this and pour so much of yourself into it, then feel ambivalent about feedback or criticism...)

But I promise I listen to all the feedback and consider it carefully, and the whole team is paying attention and discussing this stuff. And at the same time, at the risk of sounding "egocentric", in the end this is meant to be an experience delivering on a clear vision and so some pillars will just be immovable. I suspect you'll appreciate this especially when we have 10,000+ playtesters and a very vocal minority that want the game to be easier... ;)

Logan -- can you point out where you saw this happening and bug it? Sounds like a pathfinding/navmesh issue that needs to be fixed.

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