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Dev Diary – October 2020

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Hello everyone,

With the Switch launch behind us, I wanted to update you on our activities around THE LONG DARK for the remainder of this year.

NEW EVENT: ESCAPE THE DARKWALKER (October 29th - November 12th)

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This year’s Halloween event, ESCAPE THE DARKWALKER, is different from what we’ve done in the past. In broad strokes:

  • In an endless night, you are stalked by an invisible, malevolent entity bent on your destruction. Keep your distance from the entity for as long as you can. Once it closes in on you, you die. The only objective is to survive for as many real-time minutes as you can.
  • You can’t hurt the Darkwalker, but you can slow it down. Using special spray paint Glyphs, you can temporarily dispel or attract the entity.
  • You can play in any region of the world, but you can only stay in a region for 30 real-time minutes (Note: all timings are being tuned based on playtesting and may change before the event goes live) before toxic fog will appear. When the fog appears, you’ll have 5 real-time minutes to escape the region before you die. Once the fog takes hold, the region is impassible. A lot of your strategy will come down to where you travel and how far ahead you can plan your movements through the world.
  • Since you can’t see the entity, you’ll have to count on what you can HEAR to stay alive. Listen for the entity’s cries, its footsteps, and how the spooky music builds as it approaches your location.

You can run but you cannot hide! Walls won’t keep the Darkwalker out. So your success depends on the route you take through the world, and how you manage your sparse GLYPH resources.

Why did we decide to switch up the traditional FOUR DAYS OF NIGHT formula?  We took on your feedback about the last few iterations of our annual Four Days of Night Halloween event. One of the consistent things we heard was a sadness around missing the timed event for various reasons, or the fact that it was hard to get all the badges without playing every single day (I mean, we *want* people playing The Long Dark every day, but sometimes life gets in the way!).

We also wanted to freshen things up this year and do something different that would perhaps embrace a bit of a stronger “horror” vibe than we normally would in the game. Halloween is a fun holiday and this gives us the opportunity to play around with ideas that might not make as much sense in core gameplay, but can provide a lot of suspenseful enjoyment for our players!

ESCAPE THE DARKWALKER runs from October 29th to November 12th. Participating in the event earns you some special unlocks, including a new Custom Mode unlock: Endless Night.

DECEMBER SURVIVAL UPDATE

We’re working on a new update to Survival mode, for a planned December release. This update will include a variety of UI improvements, some tuning changes, and two new gear items, but the highlight will be a new region: ASH CANYON. We’ll release more details as we get closer to the update, but this piece of concept art might give you some ideas.

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EPISODE FOUR

The team’s been working hard on Episode Four, and as I outlined in my last developer diary, we have delayed the episode until 2021 due to COVID. Look for an update on episode progress some time in January.

HOLIDAY SHUTDOWN

Just an early reminder that the whole Hinterland team takes an extended holiday between Christmas and New Year. We’ll share the dates closer to the holiday. During this period, support and test resources will be limited, so we appreciate your patience as it will take a little longer to respond to any reports you send through the Support Portal.

We’re looking forward to seeing what you think about ESCAPE THE DARKWALKER. Get ready, and have fun with it.

- Raphael

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OMG, this is amazing!!! A new region to explore, new gear items and it will be available on all platforms???  I can not wait for that December update!  Happy Holidays!!!

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Eeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Christmas for Halloween! (Well, it feels like I'm getting presents, anyway. 😉

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My mind is going a million miles an hour right now thinking of that Darkwalker... 

It's like Hopeless Rescue, but, Hopeless..er

I can't wait!  Looks like we got a treat this halloween!

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If I know anything about Hinterland's sound design, we're in for some bone chilling tricks as well... 

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Must confess the Darkwalker event has me about as excited as the idea of lying in a bath of worms for 24 hours. 

Everything else in the announcement looks great (provided there's no Timberwolves in Ash Canyon ... is that going to be the same new region in Episode 4 with the prison?)

 

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I am glad you guys are all taking an extended holiday :) it's one of the things I like about your studio

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9 hours ago, Admin said:

 

  • Since you can’t see the entity, you’ll have to count on what you can HEAR to stay alive. Listen for the entity’s cries, its footsteps, and how the spooky music builds as it approaches your location.

Deaf players: Are we a joke to you? (I'm deaf btw)

Good update but maybe I wish you should have considered deaf players about this but it's fine. :P

That is unless you put the cries, footsteps, etc in Closed Captions.

Edited by thekillergreece
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Awesome! Very much looking forward to seeing the new survival update with its new region and items. The big question I suppose, will there be timberwolves...

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I'm a little sad that 4 Days of Night won't be a thing this year, as I haven't gotten the chance to experience it as I just started playing this game May of this year.

But this new event sounds freaking terrifying! Like a invisible spirit stalking you with all of the creepy, unsettling audio effects and music? The fact you only have 30 minutes in a region before a deadly fog starts to envelop the place where you then only have five minutes to get out? This sounds like it will be a truly scary experience! (Just hope that there will be pumpkin pie again)

The upcoming region, Ash Canyon, certainly looks interesting. As for Episode 4, well I haven't even completed Episode 2 yet 😂 Wintermute I like, but not as much as Survival Mode. 

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Really looking forward to this new event. Its halloween so it should be scary! I wonder if a moose can distract the dark walker 😁

Also looking forward to the new region and loot. Good reason to jump back into survival mode.

Thanks Hinterland!

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oh no, I'm already afraid of the dark...  invisible evil entities in the night?!?  Spray painting glyphs as wards to keep evil at bay? 

Where is Stan Blazkowicz when you need him?

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Very excited for this update! 

The Halloween event reminds me a little of Slenderman ;) Maybe next year a Bigfoot/Wendigo version of this haha!

Can't wait to see more of the new map and items :D

 

Keep it up Hinterland and enjoy your holidays! 

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NEW REGION BABY!!

This is awesome news. The event sounds terrifying!

(Please caption the important sound effects for hearing impaired players.)

So great to see steady new content coming out. ❤️

 

New region!!!

Edited by Sherri
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Look at the burnt trees in the background of that teaser image for Ash Canyon! Looks like it will be a forest fire ravaged area. Hope we get a least a few structures still standing!

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15 hours ago, Admin said:

image-22.thumb.png.813a667ca2313c621c85168996ada9af.png

I was doing a forensics examination of the images to see if there were hidden clues but, can we just stop for a second and appreciate how not only do we get amazing artwork that looks like this and then the final playable product looks very much like it? TLD has to be one of the most iconic pieces of game design of the past decade, hands down.  

Super excited for the event, horror and supernatural are not my cuppa but I trust this will be very well done and a ton of fun. Thank you for listening to the community and not awarding badges for separate days of playtime. I missed the last 4DON badges because I had tons of work to do and couldn't play a single day, I also appreciate the extended availability of the event. Top notch stuff fellas. 

Any Survival mode update just means a couple more hundred hours of play time to me, triple that if it includes a new region. Also, new gear items? Damn, you gals and guys are spoiling us. 

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