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... :) 

 

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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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