lukeman3000

More scary stuff! (sanity meter?)

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I realize that this game isn't survival horror, but there is certainly a kind of tension felt when you're making your way through the desolate environment, especially when you're playing for the first few times (and don't really know what all is out there).

Pretty soon though, it becomes apparent that there are only a couple things to actually be afraid of to any real degree. And you're apparently safe when indoors from any real threats, which takes the edge off of looting indoors. I remember being in the hydro dam for the first time and always wondering if there was something else in there with me or not. And alas, there never was. Completely empty.

I think it would be incredibly awesome if there was just a bit more to be afraid of (indoors and outdoors). A way to do this that wouldn't necessarily destroy the overall realistic theme of the game could be a sanity meter (perhaps just the sleep meter). For example, when your sleep meter passes a certain threshold (and thus your sanity), you begin to have auditory hallucinations. And then at a certain point, visual.

There are so many possibilities with this kind of system. Furthermore, what about putting some kind of legendary creature in the game (like sasquatch) which might have a very small chance of appearing? Just knowing it's possible would keep you on your toes.

Just a couple ideas.

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16 minutes ago, lukeman3000 said:

I remember being in the hydro dam for the first time and always wondering if there was something else in there with me or not. And alas, there never was. Completely empty.

I'm guessing you're somewhat new to the game huh?

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I'll echo what I mentioned in the previous iterations of the topic(s):

On ‎6‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 4:09 AM, ManicManiac said:

I mentioned this in another thread, but it I think it bears repeating: I'm not sure how well I would like something like that in this game.

I mean for a Lovecraftian / horror type game, a sanity/mental health meter works fine as a core gameplay mechanic...  I know for a while there was an idea about having something like a photograph or some kind of personal belonging that was meant to give kind of a "will to live" buff or something to that effect.  That the more you used it the quicker it would get worn out... but I think that idea went to the wayside a few years ago.

We do have the cabin fever affliction, but that is an arbitrary condition dependent solely on time spent inside vs. outside (the specifics are not important so I'm skipping them here).  Even with that, there are no mitigating factors at all... it's a firm metric. 

My bottom line here is: Something like a "mental health" or "morale" mechanic would take a lot of nuance to keep it from feeling like a negative consequence instead of just part of the human condition that it truly is... (I'm not wild about the idea of having to deal with a depression simulator)


:coffee::fire:
Needless to say the idea has come up a lot... I'm definitely not in favor of the "sanity meter" concept. :) 

Edited by ManicManiac
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While The Long Dark has its eerie moments, the devs are outspoken about the game not being about fear and horror.

Also a Sanity concept was partly implemented, but never brought into any release. Considering how fleshed out some of the code relating to this was this tells me the devs not only played with the idea, but actually tested it, at least to some degree, and apparently found that it didn't work well for the game.

I know I keep bringing up "Green Hell" a lot lately as a comparision to The Long Dark, but it implements two specific things that are often asked for: Sanity and Hygene. And while "Green Hell" is a great game in itself, those exact two factors are the ones I personally don't feel are well executed, but I don't really have any idea to offer how to execute them better. So I guess I am with the Hinterland devs when it comes to implementing neither of those in TLD.

Especially Sanity is something exceedingly hard to grasp as a gameplay concept because it forces a state of mind on the avatar, when really the state of mind belongs to the player. It's easy to convey to a player that the avatar is hungry, cold or hurt. Those are measurable metrics. But it would be hard to convey that and why the avatar is slowly losing their will to live or their ability to make rational dicisions because they didn't eat the right food, or did walk around in an abandoned industry site for too long. Maybe I'm an easily scared person, then I can't understand why my avatar isn't freaked out yet. Or I am actually doing survival in real life, and then I don't understand what's so wrong about eating cute little cuddle bunnies.

Edited by jeffpeng
Grammar, Typos

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On 2/6/2020 at 1:22 PM, lukeman3000 said:

I remember being in the hydro dam for the first time and always wondering if there was something else in there with me or not. And alas, there never was. Completely empty.

It is pitch black, you are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Edited by MarrowStone

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On 2/6/2020 at 8:22 PM, lukeman3000 said:

I realize that this game isn't survival horror, but there is certainly a kind of tension felt when you're making your way through the desolate environment, especially when you're playing for the first few times (and don't really know what all is out there).

Pretty soon though, it becomes apparent that there are only a couple things to actually be afraid of to any real degree. And you're apparently safe when indoors from any real threats, which takes the edge off of looting indoors. I remember being in the hydro dam for the first time and always wondering if there was something else in there with me or not. And alas, there never was. Completely empty.

I think it would be incredibly awesome if there was just a bit more to be afraid of (indoors and outdoors). A way to do this that wouldn't necessarily destroy the overall realistic theme of the game could be a sanity meter (perhaps just the sleep meter). For example, when your sleep meter passes a certain threshold (and thus your sanity), you begin to have auditory hallucinations. And then at a certain point, visual.

There are so many possibilities with this kind of system. Furthermore, what about putting some kind of legendary creature in the game (like sasquatch) which might have a very small chance of appearing? Just knowing it's possible would keep you on your toes.

Just a couple ideas.

Yeah, as @jeffpeng has already said, Hinterland had originally planned a sanity-like meter. Or call Will-to-live-meter, if you will. In story mode, Will was supposed to have a photograph - I would imagine showing him and Astrid in better times - which he would be able to use to boost his 'will to live' by taking it out and looking at it. However, it would fade a little bit every time he would do that, so it would have limited use. Quite a cool idea.

The pros and cons of a sanity meter have been amply discussed on these forums a long time ago, maybe if you search a little you will find the old threads. The biggest con was: What should happen when the sanity meter runs low, or even runs out? Suicide? Slow movement, as if moving through honey? There is not really any good solution.

HOWEVER: your other point is very accurate. The Sasquatch and other unspoken horrors which could lurk out there in the cold have been mentioned many times. I, the old Hotzn himself, have suggested such things in the grey morning of times, when the game was still young (and I was, too, aye). Imagine how cool it would be if the Sasquatch was actually in the game, but its appearance would be ultra-rare. And it would be invisible on screenshots! Harrharr. People would fall victim to it, and they would come to the forums to relate of it. But nobody would believe them, and they could prove nothing. Oh well, they could stream it, of course, and then everyone would know. Shame. But still...

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I dunno about a "meter" for sanity, but some more mental afflictions would be great. We have cabin fever (which could use some work) so why not something else? Maybe a trauma affliction that causes your character to instinctually stop and/or run away from whatever their trauma is from. (Live wires in Carter Dam, wolf barking, etc.)

Edited by Lankyone
Grammatical details

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About those hallucinations proposed. We already had one in game. Do you remember when you dropped a bear, sometimes a ghost bear could be heard on the spot for quite a time. But they decided it is bug so it is gone now. Sad 😀

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I think the supernatural has no place in the long dark. Everybody got drawn to the game because it lacks the usual supernatural aspects of a mediocare survival game. I was personally pissed when the original story of Jeremiah (fixing the gun while avoiding the old bear who was far more present before) got switched to that "legendary spear" bullcrap.

What could be added to the game as a definite scare factor is:

A,  Polar bears: They can appear in North Canada and now that the weather turned much colder due to the quiet apocalypse they can roam south further than ever before. A polar bear would give no mercy, would be harder to notice and attack on sight. They would kill you in just one attack, but in return they would be extremely rare and scare every single creature in the wildlife. Even a moose or a black bear would flee from them.

B, cougars: They would be silent and about as dangerous as a wolf. They would probably stalk you silently for quite a while before pouncing on you. They would mostly sit high on top of trees and rocks, giving you a reason to look up, not just in front of yourself.

C, Sea Lions and Greenland Sharks: Beach combing with a jumpscare

D, Other survivors/ convicts from the prison colony: We know from the story that there is a prison colony up north and even in the last days of the old world it had regular new members. Help is not coming for the regular people so the prison colony is even more unlikely to be evacuated. We also know the regular folks screwed over each other for supplies every turn. As things get even harder, an outsider is more likely to get jumped and robbed.

Edited by Hipercsiga
typo

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6 hours ago, Hipercsiga said:

I was personally pissed when the original story of Jeremiah (fixing the gun while avoiding the old bear who was far more present before) got switched to that "legendary spear" bullcrap

I agree, original Wintermute was better in some ways

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What if instead of adding something directly into the main game. They do a challenge where you have to deal with something like a Wendigo. It's something that could fit into the setting of the game, but making it a challenge allows the main survival mode to remain true to the current style.

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I'm not against adding a hygiene meter, but I'm not down with adding a sanity meter. So it would have to be a no from me, sorry. 

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Yea, I would love a hygiene meter that runs out slowly, but once it runs out you caan encounter more wild animals, get skin infections etc.

Maybe not encouraging you to clean yourself every day, but atleast every 3 days or once a week. Being too warm (wearing full heat gear indoors or being next to a forge), running, bleeding, fighting animals could drain it faster. Cleaning yourself would not require potable water, nearly melted water.

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