So What Do You Think So Far?

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I am enjoying the game so darn much! The graphics are so beautiful - I love it. Great sound, really interesting gameplay, too. I know there's going to be so much more when the storyline gets going, but the sandbox mode is really fun! I hope it'll still be available as part of the final game.

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  • 1 month later...
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I didn't know where else to stick this, so I'm throwing it here...

I've been insanely busy with school and trying to get a portfolio together, so I've missed the last two changelogs/updates. Popped in to play for a bit a couple of nights ago and landed right by the dam. Sweet, right? Supplies and a gun. Walked in thinking I was set for life, was digging through the first room with lockers, and heard a noise behind me. As soon as I turned around, two wolves were eating my face.

There are wolves in the dam now?! Thanks for the heart attack!!

Other than that, I'm sure it's fairly obvious that I've enjoyed my experience so far...Though the more I play of the sandbox, the more curious I am to see what the story will be like. The changes that have been made so far have been great; basically everything that I wished would happen has happened, and it's refreshing to see developers respond so positively and promptly to suggestions from their community. I'm really quite fond of the lighting and sound. The interiors are especially nice in terms of lighting, and the sound is the biggest part of what makes the game so immersive for me. That's what I think so far! Can't wait to see that Steam page pop up!

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I am taking a break after a crusade of the dam(n) wolf :)

Positive things:

- I love the art direction, it's really working for this game.

- No zombies

- Plain survival.

- learning curve is pretty steep.

- pace of the game.. it's total zen :)

Could be improved things:

- footsteps seems too small

- I don't get the breathing clouds and the gun. do I have the gun always that "high" in the air.

- consistency of the interaction of items

- inventory management

- even though there are animals, i feel something is lacking.. dunno what exactly..

it's perhaps too 'clean', it does not feel living

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For me, what I am most interested in is the story, I love a good story, and here we have a mystery of what has happened to the world. But obviously this will be quite some time before we get to play.

Meanwhile I am very happy with the sandbox alpha. It's stable enough and since there is now save/load it's not as frustrating and I can experiment more with stuff without rushing from place to place. For pure experimentation/bug hunting though, I wish it was more forgiving. You seem to run out of food really fast, and in the end you will have no more materials (especially tinder and accelerant) to start a fire, and survival will be impossible.

The longest I've survived is four days, but I am getting better. And maybe I just suck at survival being a city person and all ... but at least a bit of backing up save files lets me try over so that's good ;)

OK fair enough, it's about how long you survive but surely the point of an alpha is to also hunt for bugs. If we have to constantly cater to the bare necessities of food and shelter then we can't really do this. I want to get on top of the mountains, to explore the edges of the area, but I am constantly having to "play the game". I want to climb a hill to see what's up there, and not have to worry about having to start over.

So while I absolutely *love* the game - the little of it there is - I wish there was some way to just turn off stuff like freezing, hunger etc and just explore the environment. A God Mode for those of us who don't care about bragging how many days we survived would be nice :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I only had the chance to play for maybe an hour or hour and a half max last night. It was my first exposure to the game in any playable form. But, I love the sandbox alpha. I can't wait to see what the story mode brings.

I am so happy I backed this project on Kickstarter. And, I've never been so happy to find corpses in the woods. They are like little frozen oases of hope. :D

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I think TLD is a brilliant take on the survival genre and definitely exceeds my expectations of where it would be right now. Really enjoyed my first day of running from one disaster to the next with the odd moment of joy in-between. I can't wait to see where this goes as new updates are deployed. Call me a fan boy but 10/10 so far!

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So far so good. Very good considering it is in Alpha.

Would love to see the game become more complex. Especially in what can be done to survive.

- Tool building would be nice. Hunting knife + Long Wooden Stick = Spear. Stout Wooden Stick + Twine + Rock = Club. That sort of thing.

- Reduced decay on tools. My rifle will last thousands of rounds without appreciable wear. My can opener at home is going on 25 years and still going strong. I bought my hatchet back in 1981, and it still chops just fine.

- A greatly increased variety of items. More canned food types. More clothing types. More tool types. More weapon types. Etc.

- Time could be tinkered with. It's fine to spin the clock fast during exploration, but when the player is doing specific tasks, like boiling water, that seems out of whack. Perhaps it is the exclusivity of the task at hand. Boiling water for require the user and sit there and watch. If I were to light a fire, I would expect I should be able to fry some meat in one pan, have a second pan boiling water, while I darn my socks with a sewing kit. No sense in punishing the player with calorie deficit while watching water boil.

Just some thoughts

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I have been playing for few evenings now and this is my impression for now:

- Landscapes the game draws are just beautiful and the game really builds up a nice atmosphere with its dark shadows, silhouettes and colors.

- Weather effects really increase atmosphere along with the visuals and also have great impact on gameplay, gave me real sense of danger when i got lost on a storm.

- Voices are believable but even more i like the fact that it can be used to give player a valuable information on your condition without having to stare at numbers given to you.

- The whole setting of fighting to survive in the wilderness and nature being your worst enemy is something a lot of people must have been waiting for.

Then there is the stuff i do not prefer like how the map feels open instead sandbox, small and distances short (noted that this is alpha). It bothers me how fast time seems to pass by when i am looking my inventory trying to decide what to drop, harvest or repair. Also it bothers how long it takes to harvest something, it is easier to accept that repairing item might take time. Also the % change of succeed is something i do not like. HOWEVER, i do realize how gameplay benefits from these design decisions. Game pushes you all the time forward to make a decisions, which is most important thing to do right now at this point of the survival.

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So far, I like the game enough to bother tracking down the board again and leave feedback, and to say I'm already satisfied with my investment.

The atmospheric immersion, the way the graphics and the sound work. Fantastic.

The game sucks you (me) right in, right away just by the feel of it, and that's huge. I liked the game two minutes in, and I still like it, a million little things line up right. It feels like winter... mostly.

The one atmospheric thing that doesn't feel quite right is the wind. It sounds like I'm inside a tent or small hut, or wearing hard shell ear protection, all the time the wind is blowing, but, I can't really see a way around that. That's what wind sounds like to a microphone. I suppose I might as well complain that I can't feel it as that I cant' hear it as clearly, that I can't glean near as much information from how it sounds as I do when I'm out in the woods. Still, for me, that's the one thing about the feel of the game that isn't quite there.


I'm already harassing my friends who didn't want to back TLD on kickstarter with how great the game is, in Alpha, don't get me wrong, but, there are a few things that, well, totally screw up that awesome atmospheric immersion for me.

Starting with item wear.

Every time something degrades I feel like I'm playing fallout 3. This is not a good thing in my book. Worse than that I look at it, and go, really? What is this can opener/hatchet/parka/whatever made out of?

I mean, an axe head, even in the extreme cold, will last for decades, and can be used to make a new handle from a branch. Maybe not a good handle, but one that serves. For that matter, a decent haft will last quite a while, and I've had parka's I wore every day of the winter, working a physical job, for years. The insulation collapsed before the coat gave out.

From a game play perspective, I get item wear. It forces you to keep hunting for new stuff, and keeps the tension up. Resources dwindle. I get that, but, at the same time, it drives me a bit crazy because the resources that are dwindling aren't really making a lot of sense. I mean, maybe the blade gets dull that fast, but, that's really not the same thing as the axe breaking.

Dull blade means you work more (more time, more calories) to get the same result. It means you're more like to do real damage to the haft as well, but I suppose that's not the point. Even if a wear/damage : maintenance/repair dual system would be sort of interesting, I have no idea how much work it would be to implement, or if anyone else would like it.

My point is, this is a survival game, but the way it's set up, survival is impossible. The tools you need will break, absurdly quickly, and you will die. You can't fashion more or repair them, even though both are quite possible with even small amounts of initial skill and almost nothing in the way of tools.

Every time something breaks so quickly, it breaks the realism that the game does so well otherwise. If tools really broke that fast in this world, everyone would keep twenty of everything around for when the first fifteen break.

Surviving the winter should be hard, very hard given the circumstances, but, not impossible. When you need an axe to survive, and every axe in the world is broken, well...

Apart from that, I would personally like a slower time scale. Surviving the sort of situation postulated in TLD is, well, a lot of work, and there just isn't time to do it all. I sort of like that, actually, but, it feels screwy in game. The reason there isn't enough time feels all wrong.

I'm not terribly sorry that my character seems to fly over the slow, in boots, at a pace that would be damned good for skiis, but, it makes every second that I stand around cost. There's no time to plan, to think, its just move, fast, because you're going to starve faster if you don't. I mean the calories per day seem reasonable, given the temperatures and activity level, they seem about right, but its hard to remember that when the day flies by so quickly.

It's also a bit frustrating when I can't boil water and do something else at the same time. Melting snow I can understand. That's mind numbingly tedious without a large pot. Add snow. Add snow. Add snow. Bash head into hot stove because it's just not worth living anymore. OK, slight exaggeration, but, that's melting.

Boiling everything... well, I can decide the protagonist has a really bad immune system, or biocontamination is a much bigger problem in TLD than I'm used to since world war three and weaponized anthrax got loose. Fine, but, that's still not exactly a task that requires my full attention. I should be able to fris tinder, sharpen my knife, patch my coat, smash up the furniture, or whatever, at the same time, instead of just standing there, watching water warm up.

All that said. I do love the game already. Keep up the good work.

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So What Do You Think So Far?

One of the best games ever created, from my nearly 30 years gaming experience. The enjoyment for me is on the same level as playing games like Pirates around 1990 that finally let me play in a truly open world with new, inspiring mechanics. I love how this is finally a game that is created by adults, for adults. I did not have one single WTF moment, there is no deus ex machina, no cheesy stuff, you can go wherever you want, do whatever you want, yet it works and all feels spot on.

The balance and how the challenge remains over a very long time is also on a level as some of the greatest games ever. Several mechanics need to be worked out (food poisoning! some of the item wear, ..), but they can easily be worked out with the fantastic foundation we already have. Game cries out for more content / maps, and is about to become a gaming milestone. I have already begun spreading the word in some other communities, and will continue to do so.

Fantastic job so far. For me this is the best thing that has come out of kickstarter yet, and I will buy everything Hinterland put out as DLCs etc in the future.

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I thoroughly enjoy this game. And we're only in alpha. I do hope that there will be plenty of maps to explore. I also do like the idea of add-ons. But to me, being able to create additional stuff myself would also be quite interesting. So I do hope they open the platform for users to create more content or add mods. :)

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I love the game at its current state. But then again I remember it is not finished, this sandbox is just a mode of play with core game mechanics on display. If I put my visionary hat on I can see where it could end up - and the thought of that is exciting.

Here are a few of my reflections

0) Supplies are sparse, nature is ready to claim you at any moment, it is cold and dark, framed by a civilization in collapse. The setting is similar but your approach is very different ... enticing.

1) I keep wanting to go back in and try to extend my current sandbox session or start a new one.

2) I have a deep backlog of games to play on Steam with many of them never being played more than a few hours. This game in its unfinished state has already claimed 20 hours of my life.

3) The solitude and awareness of self is in total contrast to the current generation of games. That is refreshing.

4) The stylized art direction and environments allow the mind to fill in the blanks. It is such a smart and efficient way to design.

5) In what other game do I get to wear a toque?

6) The sound design sells the experience.

7) Survival requires thought ... it is a thinking man/woman game.

8) The community stories, reflections and experiences add depth to the game.

9) Time is precious. The game demands you seriously weigh the benefits and disadvantages of how you spend your time.

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