Stone

'Warm' buildings

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Early game, especially on higher levels, being able to dive into a building with a temp of just a few degrees below zero is life saving. I'd just like to discuss an alternative approach to temps in these buildings:

What if they reacted to the environment more? What if a fire really warmed them up and then they held their heat for some time? What if the weather affected how quickly that heat dwindled?

The cosy fire is part of the games chemistry. I think this sort of dynamic could add to that. After all, if you've had the pot belly blasting out 60 degrees for 10 hours, it's not going to be cold 1 hour later... But this of course has other implications for this game which is of course an emulator, not a simulator. But what do you think?

Edit: typo. 

Edited by Stone
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Right now, the fire mechanic is not realistic.  As long as the first is going, it and the air temperature within range stays at its highest level.  The air temperature will stay high even as the fire dies to embers.  Once the fire goes out, the air temperature instantly falls.

I once stayed through a blizzard in the open cave at Marsh Ridge (Forlorn Muskeg).  It is a cave that is not deep and has no indoor area at the back but it is shelter from the wind.  I loaded up my fire for just over 6 hours of burn time by adding in the mix the single lump of coal I had and went to sleep for 6 hours.  While my character was sleeping, a friend came into the room and was curious about the game, so I went to show him how cold the game was just after I awoke.  The air temperature inside the cave was a jaring 65C.  We had a good laugh about it since I really should have died of heat prostration in my sleep.  As soon as the fire died though, the air temperature feel to -23C.

I agree with what you're saying.  Fires and air temperature should react in a more realistic way.  It should consider things like whether or not the fire is in a building, a small enclosed cave or a large open one or even out in the open.  It should also take into consideration the weather "outside".  However, I think though that it requires a major change to the mechanics of the game.

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I would be happy to have the indoors get as cold as the outside, but also be able to heat up with a fire and retain the heat. Smaller houses could take less to keep warm giving you a choice to make, and you could maybe have a house improvement mechanic added. Maybe use some of those animal pelts to slow how quickly the house gets cold again.

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It's an interesting thought.

But honestly, the systems seems to work fine... sure perhaps there could be improvements made, but I trust the team to do what they think is right.  I'm not sure we should be clutching at the idea of  "realism" though...

On ‎8‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 4:36 AM, Raphael van Lierop said:

Wait wait -- please don't use "realism" as an argument for or against a game mechanic (or any tuning around it). You've played this game long enough, or been in this community long enough, to know not to do that. We don't design for realism, and we don't use it as a metric to determine how something should or should not work in the game. Our only "north star" is -- does something create the possibility for interesting choices to be made, choices that will deepen the player's experience in some way.


:) 

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Z@ManicManiac it's great Raphael talks about this. While this idea is a step towards realism, as @UpUpAway95 illustrates, I suggest it for gameplay reasons. Specifically regarding fire. I never light a fire inside. I am playing Loper with a mind towards optimisation. Now that's not needed in every game mode but optimising is the stuff of survival and of decision making.

So this indoor heat mechanic does a few things:

  • makes indoor fires necessary as buildings off start colder.
  • the heat from indoor fires goes further as it last beyond the fire.

I think that adds to the decision making but not necessarily in a good way for the early game's pacing.

Edited by Stone
Typo

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19 hours ago, ManicManiac said:

It's an interesting thought.

But honestly, the systems seems to work fine... sure perhaps there could be improvements made, but I trust the team to do what they think is right.  I'm not sure we should be clutching at the idea of  "realism" though...


:) 

Realism aside, the fire mechanic is not even reliable.  It doesn't give an accurate time for the fire to last.  I can cook something that is supposed to take an hour and use up only 10 minutes on my fire by merely using the "pass time till ready" function in the cooking menu.  I can put 2L of water on a fire that tells me it will last for 2 hours (just enough time to boil the water) and go to sleep for the night... and I wake up to burned pots because the fire lasted longer than it said it would.

As for how fires affect the ambient air temperature... I personally found it a little embarrassing... telling my friend about this great challenging game that was set in the frigid Canadian wilderness only to have the temperature show up as 65C because I had a fire going in a large open cave during a raging blizzard.

I know you think the game is perfect.  I know it had come a long long ways from the way it once was.  I give every possible credit and respect to Hinterland.  They are doing a great job... and I can also play the game just how it is just fine... but it does have some things about it that can be improved upon... only IMHO, of course.

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51 minutes ago, UpUpAway95 said:

Realism aside, the fire mechanic is not even reliable.  It doesn't give an accurate time for the fire to last. 

Doesn't that happen with outdoor fires only? Unlike indoor fires they get a bonus, but unfortunately that isn't shown in the length of the fire. If it happens to indoor fires too, it may be because of the length bonus from the fire starting skill, though with carcass harvesting and cooking those are included in the times shown.

And yeah, having a scorching sauna in your cave is always a bit weird

Edited by Serenity

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2 minutes ago, Serenity said:

Doesn't that happen with outdoor fires only? Unlike indoor fires they get a bonus, but unfortunately that isn't shown in the length of the fire. If it happens to indoor fires too, it may be because of the length bonus from the fire starting skill, though with carcass harvesting and cooking those are included in the times shown.

And yeah, having a scorching sauna in your cave is always a bit weird

I've noticed times variances both indoors and outdoors... and in the indoor portion at the back of caves as well.  I've also noticed the variances with the "pass time until ready" function while doing it from either "cooking slot" both when at a stove or around a campfire.  I've yet to make any sense of it really.  It seems totally random to me.

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I know that when a blizzard starts, like when I am at Three Strikes, at the fire barrel, or the front maintenance office in Broken Railroad, at a campfire, time for cooking food or making water accelerates relative to the decline in fire duration. Typically it seems to double the speed  of cooking or slow fire burn down by about 50%. One relative to the other. When the blizzard ends, times revert to more "normal" rates. I know I have run into similar experiences when in a cave (outside zone) and a blizzard came up while I had a fire up cooking with it.  These were all "outside" experiences.

I do think that the timers for related activities - fire duration, cooking, and making water - do not seem to completely sync up. Two things like fire duration and making water can initially start with the same time remaining, but by the time the water was boiled, there was more than a couple minutes left to the fire and it was not embers either. 

As for warming buildings, I would expect that buildings keeping a generally consistent temperature was a game-simplifying decision. Same thing with radiant heat effects. 

Passage of time can seem quite irregular. 

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@Stone
Again, I don't think your ideas are bad ones... you do make some good observations.  Perhaps the team with see them and think it over.  I know Raph has been talking about more dynamic temperatures for indoor locations (so we know it's on their mind).  Sticking to your original post for a moment, you mention how fast the temperature drops.  It does drop really rabidly when the fire goes out, but honestly I don't see that as much of a problem.  Wood is not difficult to stock pile, and needing to plan and take careful & deliberate action should be of prime importance (that includes managing fire and heat output - plan accordingly and it's not a problem). 

Granted in the real world heat does not dissipate as quickly as we see in the game... but honestly that comparison doesn't really matter.  As long as the dissipation of heat is consistent (which as far as I can tell it is...), it's on the player to figure out how to live in the world that's been provided for them.

Granted also that I have not played much on interloper, so I acknowledge that you are speaking from a different perspective.  Please bear in mind that when playing on interloper, one is playing the game with in an arctic level climate (seriously some temps the game gets to are colder than the north pole in the January!) - which strictly speaking isn't realistic either (but again that's not important here).  I just don't see a need to change the game's mechanics based on the more extreme difficulty setting.  Isn't it kind of the point interloper... to play the game when the odds are super stacked against you? 

I'm not saying the game's perfect... there is always room for the team to decide on improvements or to identify mechanics that are not working as they intended (not what people assume is intended or think it should be).

Tweaking systems to provide a benefit to the player seems counter to the idea of wanting to play on the most brutal and unforgiving difficulty level.  I'm not saying that's the case for you...  It's just how I see it in general.  By accepting the game for what it is, it gives the player a chance to find creative solutions for how better to live in the world that the Hinterland team has provided us. 

Edited by ManicManiac

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@UpUpAway95

If you have noticed issues with burn time consistency (taking into account for the outdoor bonuses), perhaps then that is a bug of some kind.  Hopefully you've reported that on the support portal.

I'm not saying the game's perfect... there is always room for the team to decide on improvements or to identify mechanics that are not working as they intended (not what people assume is intended or think it should be).  It's always a good to be able to come to the forums and post our ideas, but when we do... we shouldn't get upset if others don't agree or have differing points of view.

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48 minutes ago, ManicManiac said:

@UpUpAway95

If you have noticed issues with burn time consistency (taking into account for the outdoor bonuses), perhaps then that is a bug of some kind.  Hopefully you've reported that on the support portal.

I'm not saying the game's perfect... there is always room for the team to decide on improvements or to identify mechanics that are not working as they intended (not what people assume is intended or think it should be).  It's always a good to be able to come to the forums and post our ideas, but when we do... we shouldn't get upset if others don't agree or have differing points of view.

Perhaps "we" shouldn't "preach" at other players quite so much as you do either or assume they are upset (which I am not)... but I am getting a little tired of the condescending tone to some of your posts.

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1 hour ago, ManicManiac said:

If you have noticed issues with burn time consistency (taking into account for the outdoor bonuses), perhaps then that is a bug of some kind.

I don't think it's a bug.

Fires last longer when it's very cold outside, and this seems to be an intended mechanic, but the increased burn duration is not shown to the player (which makes sense - it's based on the current temperature, so it changes all the time).

I think that's all I can say about this mechanic here without getting ban-hammered 😅

Edited by StrangerFromTheInternet
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@UpUpAway95 

I'm not preaching to anyone... I'm giving my point of view, just like you do.  Granted, it's difficult to discern tone from text sometimes.  If you feel I'm being condescending, it seems like that says more about you than it does about me.  Again, I'm just giving my options... just like everyone else here.  :) 

As far as I'm concerned you and I are done with this particular conversation.  I sincerely wish you a pleasant day.

Edited by ManicManiac

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43 minutes ago, StrangerFromTheInternet said:

I don't think it's a bug.

Fires last longer when it's very cold outside, and this seems to be an intended mechanic, but the increased burn duration is not shown to the player.

I think that's all I can say about this mechanic here without getting ban-hammered 😅

I don't think it's a bug either.  I don't think it's a good thing though that the estimated adjustments aren't very consistent and are not shown to the player since it disrupts the principle of making a sound and informed decision.  I don't mind dying or burning things when I mess up, but when I'm shown a time that says X and it turns out to be X*2, I do feel somewhat "tricked" into making such a mistake.  I do think the "pass time until ready" problem is some sort of bug, possibly tied to other timing issues I've spotted.  It may also be that the game likes to throw some RNG into the mix here as well.  For now, since it saves me a lot of wood, I'll happily exploit it.

Edited by UpUpAway95

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The fire dynamics a well discussed elsewhere. I believe fire duration depends on the environment temps, not where the fire is, but wherever the player is. This can be exploited and is one reason I prefer fires outside.

The outdoor-fire mechanics aside, do you think this building heat dynamic would affect your play?

Edited by Stone
Typo

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16 minutes ago, Stone said:

The fire dynamics a well discussed elsewhere. I believe fire duration depends on the environment temps, not where the fire is, but wherever the player is. This can be exploited and is one reason I prefer fires outside.

The outdoor-fire mechanics aside, do you think this building heat dynamic would affect your play?

Yes, I do.  I think it would have a large affect on how forging is done... that is, how long people spend forging in a single sitting since the forge would have to be brought back up to temperature periodically.  This would not make it easier.  It would require more strategic planning... and probably more coal to maintain the temperature.  Currently, once you get the forge to temperature, it will maintain that temperature even if the player just continues to add sticks.

Also, I don't think a decline in temperature vs. the sudden "fire is now completely out" drop would make the game harder or easier.  It would just be different.  Currently, combined with the additional fire duration we get for colder ambient air temperatures, fires are often still burning or at embers (which is still at full temperature) longer than the estimate shown in the interface.  I often wake up nice and toasty with an hour left on the fire when I went to bed expecting to be out of fire before I actually woke up.  This sometimes enables me to rush out and gather some more sticks to cook breakfast and grab some torches without using another match.   There are postives and negatives to everything.

For fire duration vs. ambient air temperature... is there an actual formula where the player can calculate how much additional time would be added to a fire over and above the time shown in the interface?

 

Edited by UpUpAway95
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5 minutes ago, Stone said:

do you think this building heat dynamic would affect your play?

Generally speaking anything added, adjusted, or removed is going to affect gameplay.  Positively or negatively is of course subjective... but yes, I think your idea of building heat dynamic would certainly affect play.  If sheltered locations retained heat generated by fire and it perhaps dispersed at a much slower rate, I think it would make the game easier over all.

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6 minutes ago, ManicManiac said:

If sheltered locations retained heat generated by fire and it perhaps dispersed at a much slower rate, I think it would make the game easier over all.

I agree, but this could be balanced by reducing the "default" temperature in these locations. For example, it could be -10 °C inside the camp office. To not freeze there, one would have to light a fire in the stove every once in a while to keep the house warm. Just like in real life 😄

To prevent this from making the game more difficult in the early-game, one could have all houses start warm-ish and only cool down after some time.

Edited by StrangerFromTheInternet

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@UpUpAway95 ah, no formula but one would be of limited use as the weather/temps affect it so even if you stay out the fire duration will vary, especially on long fires. I generally assume an outdoor fire will last 60% longer and so far experience says that's a good guide for a 1-2 be period. Longer periods = bigger swings in temp and so duration.

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5 minutes ago, Stone said:

@UpUpAway95 ah, no formula but one would be of limited use as the weather/temps affect it so even if you stay out the fire duration will vary, especially on long fires. I generally assume an outdoor fire will last 60% longer and so far experience says that's a good guide for a 1-2 be period. Longer periods = bigger swings in temp and so duration.

I'll try your estimate and see if that saves me some pots of water.

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6 minutes ago, StrangerFromTheInternet said:

I agree, but this could be balanced by reducing the "default" temperature in these locations.

Fair enough.  :) 
I suppose ultimately it would come down to the team deciding on whether or not the change would add enough gameplay value weighed against the cost (in resources and time) to implement.

Ultimately, if the Hinterland team wants to make changes then great... and if not, I'm good with it the way it is as well. 

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@StrangerFromTheInternet I think that makes slot of sense! 

@ManicManiac I appreciate what your frequently saying about whether HL would see a feature as worthwhile or not - I do cost/benefit stuff with Devs for a living. I'm just keen to see what players, such as you, feel an idea would mean for game play rather than the dev backlog 🙂 

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11 hours ago, Stone said:

I'm just keen to see what players, such as you, feel an idea would mean for game play rather than the dev backlog 🙂 

 

@Stone,

Fair enough, I was just trying to evade the eventual argument that some folks in this forum seem to want to start when I don't agree with ideas put forth. :)  I'd be happy to give you my entire perspective on this particular idea.  I've already given the short version, so I will expand on it more for this one:

Assuming I've interpreted the proposed idea correctly... It would seem to me that if sheltered locations retained heat generated by fire and it perhaps dispersed at a much slower rate, I think it would make the game easier over all.  I'm generally not in favor of things that make life easier for the player.  From my perspective, the Sandbox Survival mode is all about trying to survive as long as you can in a world that doesn't care if we live or die and struggling against all odds is where a lot of fun and gameplay value is for me. 

The fact that heat drops off really quickly after a fire goes out, makes that fire valuable.  It also then makes it critical to make sure we forage enough fuel to keep that valuable fire for however long we need it.  If we don't, we lose those benefits brutally quickly (as soon as we either stop investing the resource or we foolishly mismanaged our time/resources).  This is why I like the system the way it is right now.

Part of what makes this game wonderful is that it's going punish us for making bad decisions or not paying attention to what we are doing.  To me, it's a lot like all those folks who want the game to wake them up if they did something foolish that would cause them to die in their sleep.  I think the last thing this game needs are safety nets that serve only to save players from themselves.  Like wise, making it so it's not so important to worry about if your fire goes out because, "eh, I'll be warm enough..." feels cheap and easy.  That's not what I think we need in this game.  If I need fire, and I don't plan well enough ahead... then when I freeze to death, it's my own fault and it's a fair death. 

Edited by ManicManiac

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