enormitydave

I love this game, but after 80 hours, a random map generator would complete Survival Mode

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I remember Soldier of Fortune 2 having a random map ("seed") generator and while I know things have come along quite a ways since then and this is a totally different kind of game, I feel like this should be an essential feature for this game. I love Survival Mode, but after playing it a few times you start to learn the map. This is a problem. This game was waaaaaaaaaay more fun when I wasn't familiar with the map. If I'm on the design team this is a no-brainer.

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Does any recent game have randomly generated countryside with a similar complexity as TLD?

 

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Even if there had to be some concessions, at least it wouldn't be the same ol shit over and over. The game loses its meaning when you know it all. I mean, maybe I'm not giving the devs enough credit, but these environs don't seem all that detailed.

Edited by enormitydave
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Learning the regions is part of the process...and essential. If you've come to the point where you no longer get lost, congratulations. I'm sure there will be some more regions to follow, so sit tight for a bit. However, a lot of thought has gone into designing these maps, and a randomly generated map can never have iconic locations such as the Lonely Lighthouse, the Mountaineer's Hut....and all the others deliberately designed locations. Bear Island would totally not be anything if the maps were randomly generated.  I've heard this before and im not sure what the appeal is. I love the maps...and particularly enjoy the rehash PV recently had. But are you really at the point where ALL the regions bore you and you never get lost? Like, even HRV you don't have any problems navigating? How about challenges. A map master should be able to put up some killer speedruns. Whats your fastest times on some of the challenges? Or is the point just that you've seen all the regions and you're just bored Interloping through them?

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1 hour ago, enormitydave said:

I remember Soldier of Fortune 2 having a random map ("seed") generator and while I know things have come along quite a ways since then and this is a totally different kind of game, I feel like this should be an essential feature for this game. I love Survival Mode, but after playing it a few times you start to learn the map. This is a problem. This game was waaaaaaaaaay more fun when I wasn't familiar with the map. If I'm on the design team this is a no-brainer.

I'd say it takes quite a while to fully understand a map. Sure, you get the important locations fast but the details are very well elaborated in my opinion and understanding deep game take a long time. After years I still find a new goaty shortcut every now and then, perhaps even an unknown sapling location. After years you can find a matchbox where you haven't before because out of routine never lit that particular room with a lantern, or suddenly you understand where the hacksaw must be when it's not in the PV farmhouse basement. 

1 hour ago, enormitydave said:

Even if there had to be some concessions, at least it wouldn't be the same ol shit over and over. The game loses its meaning when you know it all. I mean, maybe I'm not giving the devs enough credit, but these environs don't seem all that detailed.

But it's not the same. Loot, animal location and weather vary depending on settings, whether you're in an early or late game etc. If you know everything to stay alive forever, I get that it doesn't feel challenging anymore. I agree that the details are sparse on some parts of maps but if you look at any video from a few years ago you see this is something that has been greatly developed. 

That said, I'm not against the idea of randomly seeded map if it's one region on great bear that is excluded from the story but can be manipulated and therefore add an element of exploration and surprise for the seasoned players. But personally, the game is well sufficient in its current state.

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My guess is that the game's architecture wouldn't make random map easy and I agree on @Lohaan

There is another point, this is a solo player experience, we wouldn't be able to share if the map were random ?

I would definatly pay for well thought maps as DLC.

1 hour ago, Lohaan said:

Or is the point just that you've seen all the regions and you're just bored Interloping through them?

This is the real question the OP has to ask himself.

Edited by JMK

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I agree with the OP.

As things stand, I know where the forges are, where wolves and bears are or aren't likely to spawn, where I'm likely to find each of the tools I need, and so forth. Playing doesn't really involve any exploration, just deciding which of the areas I already know is the best way to obtain whatever it is I'm after next. The first 10-20 days on a new loper run are challenging and fun, after that you're more or less just going through the numbers.

A well randomised map though, could really change that. Actually having to explore and draw maps instead of already knowing where all the landmarks are. The fear of not knowing where wolves will spawn. The uncertainty of not knowing how long your resources will have to last, because you don't know what the next day will bring.

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This is one of those “you can’t please everyone” topics, so I’ll keep my opinion on the original question to myself. 
 

BUT, one thing I would like to see is better loot randomization. It’s always struck me as strange that there are fixed (even if rotating) loot locations on Interloper. It wouldn’t be that hard to make the prime loot locations more random, while still having logical locations for various key items. 

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8 hours ago, enormitydave said:

Even if there had to be some concessions, at least it wouldn't be the same ol shit over and over. The game loses its meaning when you know it all. I mean, maybe I'm not giving the devs enough credit, but these environs don't seem all that detailed.

You "know it all" after only 80 hours? Dang.. 1500 hours in, I must be a very slow learner lol

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Of course I haven't memorized every minute detail, but whenever I enter a map I basically know what buildings and landmarks are around and what direction they're in. It's all quite familiar to me and the magic and danger of exploration isn't there quite as much as it once was. Unless it's foggy, then all bets are off, but just making it foggy more often isn't really a substitute. I'm surprised I'm getting so much pushback over this from some of you. I'm not suggesting they get rid of the current maps and stop adding new ones - I do appreciate the level of detail that has gone into the ones we have - I just think some kind of random seed map would be a nice addition. Once again, of course there will be some concessions because a random map isn't going to necessarily be balanced/well-thought-out (it's random!), there might be some bizarre looking scenery and such, items spawning in places you can't reach, etc., but I think all of that would make things interesting for those that want to shake things up.

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As a refresher on what Creative Director @Raphael van Lierop said when asked about procedurally generated maps/regions in an early Milton Mailbag we're dropping this here:

Quote

 

We'd have to re-build our entire pipeline from scratch to accommodate procedurally generated content, so I don't see that happening for this iteration of The Long Dark. Also, a big point of differentiation for our game, I feel, is the hand-crafted feeling of the environments and the fact that you can actually build up knowledge about the world layout over time, which helps you be a better Survivor. Learning to recognize the various landmarks, and becoming familiar with a space you've spent a lot of time in, so that you occasionally get these memories of "coming home" somewhere that's been a good shelter for you, or avoiding a location where you might have had bad experiences in a previous game, etc. I think this approach lets players create a sense of connection to the game space that you just can't inspire in a procedurally-generated world. 

So, I'm going to say that this isn't really a goal we're pursuing for The Long Dark. It doesn't really line up with our general philosophy about the game and the world we're creating. 

 

 

However we're glad to see a debate happening on the topic and can't wait to see what more people think either way.

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I would not be fan of total random map. Knowleadge of the map saved my character ass few times. You know, you are going somewhere, but suddenly a blizzard. You try to keep a direction, but it is not possible. Suddenly you see a known rock formation and you know you have to turn this way and you will get to a telegraph post after few minutes and the line leads somewhere.

But in another thread, there is suggest to make wildlife little bit more unpredictable. I can agree with this for bears. You know, I am for example in the Desolation Point -> Hibernia Processing. I know, there is bear, because I have seen it day before. Now I can just wait in the gate house and I know he will pass near. And if today is foggy, I can get him tommorow. I am not asking much but it could be nice if the Big Brown did not take the very same route like train on schedule. Little deviation could be nice. Even 3 or 5 predefined paths could make the hunting really challenging.

Wolfs are +- OK for me, same for rabbits and deer. If I understand it well, they have area where they can be. But not the bear.

Anyway I have about 400h in game. And only now I started to explore TWM and HRV. Not speaking of BI. I admit I play it cautiously after few rushed games ending in premature deaths.

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Well, let's see what a possible Mod support can deliver to us. Or we wait until they bring The Long Dark Part 2 out. What crosses my mind when thinking about TLD Part 2 is, that this could be focussing more on decisions, which were promised for the actual TLD but in my opinion misses out.

The idea of random generated maps is thrilling but i believe these maps could not compete with the hand-generated ones. The handmade maps are carefully designed, like HRV angles and heights and hidden locations are a thing. I don't know whether a "Randomizer" is able to put single parts of a map together the same way the devs did.

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As much as I get the feeling behind the want for a random map generator, I doubt it would feel as polished as the handcrafted maps. I've been playing TLD for a while now and there are still occasionally hidden corners of some maps that I've either forgotten or have found for the first time. They also give us new maps from time to time, which is always a nice treat.

There are plenty of other survival games with random spawn areas where you can go scratch that itch.

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If Great Bear Island was an element randomly placed into the Stormworks ocean, I'd definitely be crashing planes onto it all the time because it's a interesting place for the story.  In survival mode you can make up your own story, but it's still about what happens on Great Bear Island.  If it turns out you eventually rule the island, then you'd have to go on that way for years probably, since there are no fungal infections from breathing desiccated mouse droppings to finish you off... (yet 🤨).  It could drive you mad.

Exploring the unknown is one of the best parts of the experience to be sure, but fleeting, alas.       🦨 :fire:  :rabbit:🦌

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i would like to see this but given my choice i would rather have the resources needed to provide it, put into more well crafted regions and game mechanics.  as stated earlier too, i would love to see loot spawns more randomized, seeing that same flare in voyageur under damn near every living room bench in CH seems silly. also the idea behind guaranteed spawns in loper seems silly.  maybe regions have a set amount of matches for instance but theres 20-30 locations they could be, and no single spot always gets them

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I think it's better for Great Bear to be "handcrafted" ...random maps tend to be really wonky, and sometimes horribly ugly.  I would hate to see that happen to this game. 

...and besides, I just don't think a game world needs to be "random" to maintain replay value.
 

:coffee::fire:
No thank you on the random maps.
I appreciate the love and care Hinterland takes with their vision for the game.
I wouldn't trust anyone else to create content/regions for this game... let alone random seed-numbers and a bunch of algorithms.

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On 2/24/2020 at 8:04 PM, enormitydave said:

I'm surprised I'm getting so much pushback over this from some of you. I'm not suggesting they get rid of the current maps and stop adding new ones - I do appreciate the level of detail that has gone into the ones we have - I just think some kind of random seed map would be a nice addition. Once again, of course there will be some concessions because a random map isn't going to necessarily be balanced/well-thought-out (it's random!), there might be some bizarre looking scenery and such, items spawning in places you can't reach, etc., but I think all of that would make things interesting for those that want to shake things up.

I only speak for myself but I think the resistance you describe may occure since your proposal means an extensive revision of the TLD survival experience. That doesn't make your suggestion less interesting, it's always healthy with an out-of-the-box suggestion. It just tampers with the soul of the game for some, me included. Of course random maps could work very well if enough effort was put into it. It might even make more players stay and play for an extended amount of time. While some hardcore fans would give it up because of disappointment when they lose the knowledge capital that they possess by understanding every tiny bit of every map. 

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I for myself would like to have a really new map that give me a real challenge. It gets less challenging if you know a map by heart and know where all the shelters are or the possibility of good loot etc (i don't know all the maps by heart, in case you wonder ^^). The problem with random generated maps is for me that - like i described -  doubt they can be as good as the hand-created ones. Community maps on the other hand, well thats a different story. But i don't expect to see a map builder or any other feature like that in TLD 1. It would be to elaborate to build a map editor for the community i believe.

The idea is really good btw.

Edited by Karl Grylls

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exploration is cool but its really about survival. I hate the wolves But I have just made the short trek ON ML from Trappers to lake office and was biting my nails the whole way. I guess I've done that little jaunt a hundred times or maybe multiple hundreds and I still keep looking for the best path.

I do play No Man's Sky, it is procedural generated and random but there is no tension in it. It is like wandering around on Pilgrim or building and crafting like Minecraft. I've got about the saame amount of hours in that game as in TLD but It is a whole different atmosphere and TLD presents challenges and I'm still learning strategies, Those are the unknowns I explore. Well that and rock ledges and windbreaks

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19 hours ago, Muestereate said:

exploration is cool but its really about survival. I hate the wolves But I have just made the short trek ON ML from Trappers to lake office and was biting my nails the whole way. I guess I've done that little jaunt a hundred times or maybe multiple hundreds and I still keep looking for the best path.

I do play No Man's Sky, it is procedural generated and random but there is no tension in it. It is like wandering around on Pilgrim or building and crafting like Minecraft. I've got about the saame amount of hours in that game as in TLD but It is a whole different atmosphere and TLD presents challenges and I'm still learning strategies, Those are the unknowns I explore. Well that and rock ledges and windbreaks

from CO to trappers, straight up the tracks but stay far left, then turn right and follow the rocks all the way there. best way ive found. unless youre carrying meat its pretty safe

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Posted (edited)

I can't see any auto map do as well as each TLD map has been designed with its well thoughts specifics.

In the end you wish self generated map to add variety but is it really ?  

I don't think so, per se, random map after random map is repetition and in the end, you don't feel anywhere (as @Muestereate stated above)

How long would you have to travel in a random world to see something of real interest ? And once you found it, wouldn't you want to explore it more ?

Although completely different, Subnautica and it's beautiful, frightful, carefully designed world is dear to my heart, but it has less replayability than TLD because its story mode is more leading and the survival part is not as challenging as TLD. But both worlds designs are mesmerizing.

 

Edited by JMK

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This topic has stayed on my mind and I'm even more convinced I like the static maps.  I found a corner in Pleasant valley with less freequent blizzards and set up camp. I found myself enjoying looking at whiteberry's map to figure out what i wanted to do with my next day. Having small goals like finding some meat or gathering wood, I got a pretty interesting day just looking for a maple sapling. It doesn't seem to ambitions but throw in a wolf or two and some windchill and suddenly I'm a long way from base, its getting dark and its about and its about 80 below and such a small thing turned into a grateful accomplishment just as a suprise blizzard started and I rolled into base.

I find myself thanking the team for little things they hide here and there, a bullet, a well timed sharpening stone, an arrow, those are like gold to me.  I'd have less sense of appreciation for a random map, The RNG Gods are not so benevolent.

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If it could be added it would be great, we know it really can't, but random maps but make the surviving very exhilarating since you can't take naught for granted anymore. 

It shouldn't replace the current maps, it would be a nice option to have, each thing has it pros and cons.

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