Holger

episode 4 & 5 ?

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On 11/7/2019 at 7:59 PM, Dum_Gen said:

Yea but we can't say for sure that this is 60% of the story... after all there could be more Seasons / Episodes coming. We were only promised 5 free Episodes with the purchase, meaning Hinterland can and may make more and charge for them.

If my theory of episode four and five is correct then episode five be rather long.

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1 hour ago, RegentRelic said:

If my theory of episode four and five is correct then episode five be rather long.

You probably quoted someone else, I did not say that. I actually hope that the quote will not happen.

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I think this raises an interesting question that we as consumers, and the industry at large, need to answer: what is the appropriate model for episodic games? On Tuesday, I'll be picking up Shenmue 3, so I can confidently say that I do not have a problem waiting for a game. However, the episodic model of gaming presents challenges to balance such as scope, expectations, and an acceptable development period. As mentioned earlier, other episodic games like Life is Strange released a full season within a year of launch, but we would all agree that the scope of those games is smaller than TLD. TLD has much more actual gameplay than most episodic games- so this mandates a longer development cycle. But how do the devs balance this? I've only been playing for a year (like literally, I bought the game almost exactly a year ago) so the delay hasn't really bothered me, but as I've learned more about the development cycle, I think there are fair questions to be raised. From a purely project management perspective I have to wonder if an episodic release strategy was correct for this game. Considering the scope of the project, the size of the team & resources available, TLD may not have been the best choice as an episodic game. Obviously many lessons have been learned by the team over the last two years and I don't want to minimize those. But there does need to be a balance between new content and consistent releases. It is a lot to expect fans to stick around for a 4 hour episode when there's only one episode every ~10 months, especially with the serialized nature of the game. When you as a player are invested in a story, taking ~10 months off between releases definitely diminishes your immersion.

We'll see what happens with the last two episodes. From where I sit, I do think there is a way to better balance the scope of TLD and the long development periods; make each episode self-contained. I think it would benefit season 2 if each episode was a self contained story (maybe with some overlapping elements, but nothing serialized). That way if there's only one episode every 10 months at least it was a complete experience with a beginning, middle, and end. As I get older, I find myself more interested in these sort of stories, instead of the long, 22 episode seasons, for 8 seasons, I have grown to prefer tight, short, mini-series; or a fully self contained 3 hour movie. Changing the formula like this might also help keep things fresh for the dev team and the audience, each episode could have new challenges and goals without the weight of a larger narrative to advance. 

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On 11/6/2019 at 10:47 PM, Holger said:

Hello, I am now 65 years old, am I still experiencing the end of The Long Dark, or am I dying of old age?

Hallo Holger,

I hope that you will have the priviledge of dying of old age in the distant future. I also am hopeful that we'll see at least annual releases of the two upcoming episodes now that the stuff done with redux bears fruit, and as such I am confident (in both you and Hinterland) that you'll have the chance to experience the conclusion of Wintermute while still in your best years.

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On 11/7/2019 at 2:40 AM, kristaok said:

it takes a lot of time and money to do all of this. 

Correct.

On 11/8/2019 at 1:30 AM, Tohono O'odham Man said:

the game was short and not enough missions

I can't agree. No idea how long it took you to finish Episode Three, and how your gaming time budget is structured, but it took me almost two weeks to finish all the missions and the main plot. That's quite some time to put in and considering it's "just" an Episode .... I can't complain. Although I should add I played it on hard, which probably stretches it quite a bit.

On the question of more Seasons in The Long Dark: I think both yes and no. Raph previously hinted at the fact that with the conclusion of Wintermute TLD really will have done a ton of content, much of it "for free" (yes, I know, some will argue this statement), and that at some point it'll be time for a new game. But it was also recently confirmed here that there will be a TLD 2 at some point in the future. So I guess The Long Dark as we know it will be mostly "done" after Wintermute, and that we'll see future stories be told in a follow up game.

From a developers perspective I agree with that. Considering how much time they invested in TLD after its launch already, and that at this point, especially with the Studio growing substantially, costs will probably overcome sales income at some point or already have, they will have to look at a new product to put on Steam eventually. And with TLD being already an "old" game from a technical standpoint it makes sense to transport new stories in a new game that makes use of technologies that have emerged over the past 6 to 7 years.

A good example of limitations that used to apply but no longer would is how interiors work in TLD. If you enter a cave or a building another "game world" is loaded. Back then when The Long Dark was created the Unity Game Engine simply did not support streaming parts of the game world on demand. You had to load what you needed before the player could enter. This not only puts a limit on how big a region can be, but also how much can be in the region at any given time. Hence.... do houses need to be seperate scenes that do not interact with and actually do not exist in the region they are located in so that the regions are not overloaded. Also when the game was originally designed memory and CPU time was much more of a constraint as it is now, and solid state storage was a rather new thing most players wouldn't want to afford for a gaming PC (I paid a horrendous 250 Euros for a 120 Gigabyte Samsung 830 back in the day... which still works today I might add :D )

You can relatively easily understand that when you look at the Hardware the original Jaguar consoles had. 8 CPU cores, originally designed for the Low-Power mobile market, at a measly 1.6 to 1.75 GHz without SMT (aka Hyperthreading), some of them reserved to the consoles background tasks, with L2 Cache shared among 4 CPU cores each, and no L3 Cache at all. That means games that run on the original PS4 or XBoxOne have to make due with about the same processing power as a modern entry level smartphone. (Compare an Athlon 5150, which is basically half a PS4 CPU [same architecture, same clock speed, but just 4 cores] against a 200 dollar Samsung A10e) Memory was 8 GiB of Ram shared between Game and Graphics Unit, and the available storage was a for modern standards unbearably slow big old spinning hard disk.

That is the hardware TLD was originally designed with in mind. Even a very modest gaming PC in the sub 1000 dollar range outstrips this by several factors in every regard, and the current game is very much playable at 1080p on something like a 2200G (I know, I tried) which you can duct tape together with the other essential components for around 250 dollars. The new consoles we'll see at the end of next year will vastly outperform what even the PS4 Pro and XBoxOne X (and most midrange gaming PCs ...) can deliver. So as both a game developer and as a customer that owns either a modern midrange gaming PC or one of these new consoles you'll want to take advantage of that. But to do that .... it'll take a new game. There is a very real critical mass at which it becomes easier to develop a software new from scratch than to expand on the product you already have (I know, I do that for a living ...). And a game as mature as TLD is way past that point.

So long story short .... yes, there will be more after Wintermute, but no, not in the current game. Mark my words. 😉

 

Edited by jeffpeng
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Honestly i paid what I consider very little for TLD on PS4 - I wouldn't have been upset if all I'd got was 1-2 updates for the survival mode it would still have been a ton more value than some of the full price games I've bought in the last couple of years.

Wintermute has however left me a little cold and felt like just a longer vesion of one of the challenge modes - not that I hated the story, just that with knowing the mechanics and map inside out I was left with little extra to experience

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On 11/8/2019 at 11:30 AM, Tohono O'odham Man said:

I just finished episode 3 . It was a very good game except for a few things. The first thing is the timber wolves they where like a last minute add on and they where rushed to be programmed in the game. And the game was short and not enough missions. The legendary books are an awesome idea and wish their was more or some legends from the first nations people. Why are no first nationas people included in the game hinterland? Over all it was a very good short episode.

Yes, i agree, the plot was good, just a bit short, i felt ep2 was much longer, way more engaging and detailed.

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I think that hinterland should inform us for the realese date of the rest chapters because its been a long time from the last chapter realese

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@Skullhacker

What are you even talking about?  Crossroads Elegy just came out at the end of October... that is not very long ago at all.

:coffee::fire:
Be patient survivors:

On 6/2/2019 at 3:51 AM, ManicManiac said:

We already know the team is focusing their efforts on the next episode.  We also know that the team is not going to hand out any hard dates...  I urge patience.  Even though the team has been growing and expanding, it's still a relatively small independent studio.

The last I remember reading is that they would like to grow and be able to have two "departments" so they can work on Survival and Story Mode simultaneously, but I don't know if that's happened yet.  They've always had to shift focus back and forth between Survival and Story.

We just got the Steadfast Ranger [Errant Pilgrim] survival update... and they have been doing a lot of work on hotfixes.  I would again urge patience.  I'm sure the team will be eager to share news when they have something to share with us.  Lets give them room to work and show them a little faith, we know they are working on it... and we know they do great work.  That's why we are all here.

Hang in there survivors, it's going to be okay... :) 

 

Edited by ManicManiac
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On 2/16/2020 at 5:40 PM, ManicManiac said:

that is not very long ago at all.

lol

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On 2/16/2020 at 4:18 AM, Skullhacker said:

 

I think that hinterland should inform us for the realese date of the rest chapters because its been a long time from the last chapter realese

 

They used to but, kept having push releases back dealing with the problems that a small independent studio that only has one game does. Such as integrating new technology and staff. After years of frustrated fans adding to what was most likely a frustrating development cycle Hinterland decided to stop informing us of any expected reales dates or dead lines.

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On 2/16/2020 at 3:18 AM, Skullhacker said:

I think that hinterland should inform us for the realese date of the rest chapters because its been a long time from the last chapter realese

As noted we do not talk about release dates too far out from when we're ready to actually release something. Game development has a lot of challenges and we want to avoid a situation where we promise a date that we discover we can't hit and are then having either to disappoint people by not releasing what we promised when we promised, or rushing what we are working on to hit a date.

We understand people are anxious for more details and we are working on providing you with new content. 

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Posted (edited)

I love coming onto the forums after being told that I was overreacting when I said I didn't expect episode III in 2018 or IV or V in 2019. I paid for this game as a Kickstarter in 2016, and boy do I wish that I'd known then what I do now.

  

On 2/25/2020 at 10:30 AM, RegentRelic said:

They used to but, kept having push releases back dealing with the problems that a small independent studio that only has one game does. Such as integrating new technology and staff. After years of frustrated fans adding to what was most likely a frustrating development cycle Hinterland decided to stop informing us of any expected reales dates or dead lines.

 

3.3+ million copies have been sold. That's, even at a low $8/copy, $26.4 million dollars made. That's not a small indie studio anymore and we shouldn't be treating it as such. And its honestly a terrible policy.

Edited by MrJade
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14 minutes ago, MrJade said:

3.3+ million copies have been sold. That's, even at a low $8/copy, $26.4 million dollars made. That's not a small indie studio anymore and we shouldn't be treating it as such. And its honestly a terrible policy.

While true, plus the some 200,000 they started with they have made a pretty Penney but, here is a quick run down of there estimated costs if they were in the U.S because that is where I understand the best (it's mostly their insurance I don't get). For 30 well trained it is about 3,600,000 a year. Over eight years that is $28,880,000 (again this in the U.S with things like insurance, stock compensation and all that other fun stuff). As for unity they could be paying $300 or the could be paying 3 million a year. I guess I could go through and try determine exactly what assets Hinterland is using but, that would take all day. I will just say 100,000 but, I can't stress enough that unity is not an out of the box engine and I am practically guessing. I don't know how big Hinterland HQ is but, office space is about 6,000 per person per year so that is 180,000. I have never once seen an add for the long dark so I will assume that the marketing cost is undifferentiated from man hours. Now hinterland has mentioned using out of house contractors for things like localization and translations and legal things like, shipping licenses and I.P but, without digging a little to far I can only guess at 1,500,000 a year. So the total for this incredibly rough version of hinterlands spending's is 41 million U.S dollars, That's 59,640,840 CAD. Now luckily hinterland doesn't sell the long dark for 8.00 they sell it for 29.99, We will say $25 because it used to be cheaper. Hinterland has a total revenue of  $925,000,000 U.S. But, wait  Valve and Microsoft both take 30% of a sales meaning that they lose 277,500,000 so now there at 647,500,000. Then 5-12% depending on the state the product was bought. So now we are down to 582,750,000. Nope wait there is a double tax for many Canadian digital product so we actually have 518,000,000. The net tax rate for corporations in Canada is 15%  so we are down to 440,300,000. So If people have been throwing millions of dollars at hinterland to justify the $25 price tag then they have had a revenue of 440,300,000 U.S  or  637,997,700 CAD. Now I am hungry now so I want even start to think about the profit but, the point is that Hinterland Isn't backed by a large publishing company and Cost much less then $200,000,000 to make and Isn't publicly traded In the form of B or C stocks. In fact I'm not sure they sell A stocks so for all intents and purposes it is an indie game.

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1 hour ago, RegentRelic said:

Now luckily hinterland doesn't sell the long dark for 8.00 they sell it for 29.99, We will say $25 because it used to be cheaper. Hinterland has a total revenue of  $925,000,000 U.S.

$925,000,000/3.3 mln = ~$280 per game. Some other assumptions are not on point as well. You need to recalculate.

$30 per copy is for the US and Europe. In less developed countries the price is cheaper.

Nevertheless, I still agree with MrJade. They are not small company anymore, they are talking about movies, paid DLCs and sequel, while they haven't finished what people paid for. The fact that they are an indie company is more a plus here, because they do not need to return investments to the publishing company. 

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I put Into many zero's. I am really embarrassed about that, I was extremely hungry when I wrote this. Like, haven't eaten in 24 hours and am about to hungry so my numbers might be all over the place. But't I never said they were small. Just that they were independent. Unless you count Canada but, I don't think there on the media fund for this year. I might just  not know how to navigate there site though. I do think they are small not tiny but, not to be called anything else.

 

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There's plenty of other Games out there guys... if this Game is boring ya, move on.... come back when Episode 4 etc. is out.

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20 hours ago, Dum_Gen said:

If the conversation is boring ya, move on... Come back when you have something on topic.

Yea... to be quite honest your constant complaining IS boring me. I'm not trying to be mean here, but that's all you've been doing here lately is complain. I think we need to think about more than just ourselves right now... I know for me personally... with ALL that's happening in the World as of late, Episode 4, 5, whatever is the least of my worries!

I'm fine with giving Hinterland all the time they need right now, in fact I wouldn't want them too focused on this Game until after the Pandemic has passed, they need to focus on their lives right now. They don't need to be cooped up in a building working on this Game, they need to take a much needed break. This Game is going to be here, don't worry... It's not going to hurt anyone to WAAAIIIIIIIT.

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5 hours ago, kristaok said:

Yea... to be quite honest your constant complaining IS boring me.

The was an aphorism in old soviet movie: "I chased you for three days to say how indifferent I feel about you".  If you don't want this conversation - don't participate, as you said - "...move on". I don't follow everyone, who is praising the devs on this forum to say that they are boring me.

5 hours ago, kristaok said:

I'm fine with giving Hinterland all the time they need right now, in fact I wouldn't want them too focused on this Game until after the Pandemic has passed, they need to focus on their lives right now. They don't need to be cooped up in a building working on this Game, they need to take a much needed break.

That's quite debatable. As Raphael said, they have big experience of working from home. If their work was hugely dependent on pandemic - I wouldn't mind if they took a break. However, it doesn't excuse that they took so much time before COVID outbreak even happened.

5 hours ago, kristaok said:

This Game is going to be here, don't worry... It's not going to hurt anyone to WAAAIIIIIIIT.

Again, it is very frustrating for me and I have a right to express it. 

I understand, that as a fan of Survival mode you have nothing to complain - you've got finished game and now receiving free DLCs, like cooking rework, revolver, new region, quality of life updates, etc.

On the other hand, I've got poorly made episode 1 and 2, extra 1 year+ of waiting time to fix what they did poorly, 1 more year to complete episode 3, which was quite mediocre. And now they started talking about films, paid DLCs and sequel before finishing what they promised. These are not just complaints, it is valid criticism.

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41 minutes ago, Dum_Gen said:

 

Episode 1 and 2 were not "poorly" done... At least I didn't think so... yea the remakes are better, but that doesn't mean the originals were bad. 

Also I'm not just going around praising the Devs, there's some decisions made and things said that I have openly disagreed with.... my whole point is now is not the time to worry about Episode 4 and 5 that's all. 

Anyway I will leave it at that.

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15 minutes ago, kristaok said:

Episode 1 and 2 were not "poorly" done... At least I didn't think so... yea the remakes are better, but that doesn't mean the originals were bad. 

I partially agree. Reputation mechanics were objectively bad:

"Hey Grey Mother, do you want 50 bandages and 100 sticks?" - "Yes, I take it. Let me give you rabbit gloves scheme and my daughter's boots in return!"

"Hey Jeremiah, did you heard about 100 bandages could help your wounds?" "Yeah, let me explain how to make wolf skin jacket while I am almost unconscious because I was mauled by the bear".

At the same time, even after redux, some stuff from ch 3 is still questionable.

Nevertheless, I would rather take REDUX features starting from ch3, and then they could actually redo ch 1 and 2 if they so quality-conscious, as they want to show us. This way they would have been at the final stages of Ch 5 and I would have been much less frustrated. 

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5 hours ago, Dum_Gen said:

I understand, that as a fan of Survival mode you have nothing to complain

I just wonder - what do you find in Survival mode that is not satisfactory to you? .. when I started I also liked Wintermute better, but after giving Survival mode a decent try - I can't really go back to the Story mode, I am still to try ep3. Try Survival Mode, really, it's great ;)

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7 hours ago, Aurimas said:

I just wonder - what do you find in Survival mode that is not satisfactory to you? .. when I started I also liked Wintermute better, but after giving Survival mode a decent try - I can't really go back to the Story mode, I am still to try ep3. Try Survival Mode, really, it's great ;)

The Story Mode is great and all, and I'm excited to continue it... but Survival Mode is where it's truly at! I love Sandboxxy type Games.

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9 hours ago, kristaok said:

Survival Mode is where it's truly at! I love Sandboxxy type Games.

Well, I still chuckle everytime when I realize they made the best open world survival game pretty much ever ... by accident :D 

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