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Hello everyone,

Looking for some thoughts on windblown campfires. Now, I get why they're in the game (to prevent players from sleeping in the middle of a big open space during a blizzard) but, I think the idea of wind blowing out a campfire to be a bit... contrary to what actually happens. Sure, it can be hard to strike a match in high wind conditions, but once a fire has been properly started, wind is more a help than a hindrance, with the extra oxygen helping to speed things up (blast furnace, anyone?). And, if you threw lumps of coal on a campfire, you'd probably need a lot of wind to build up enough heat to get them to burn properly.

As someone who has managed to start and sustain a wood fire outside in wind gusts reaching nearly 60 km/h (fires have burned in near hurricane-force winds), the biggest hazard of high winds isn't the fire going out. It's the winds blowing embers all over the place and starting fires where you don't want them. Since the land of Great Bear is covered in snow, it's highly unlikely that even an out-of-control campfire would manage to start a forest fire. I wonder whether a "wind makes fuel burn faster" mechanic would make more sense, such that during a blizzard, the wind will make your firewood burn twice or three times as fast as normal.

Alternatively, you could change the air temperature mechanics around windblown campfires, such that in high wind conditions, the campfire is no longer able to warm you as effectively. (In cold, windy weather, a fire tends to bake you on the side facing the fire, while the side facing away gets freezing cold)

Thoughts?

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The devs came up with (to them) a simple and workable game mechanic.  They would not want to make things overly complicated just for the sake of being realistic. 

I watch a video let's play where the player will heap more wood and/or coal on a fire because the wolf he killed was just beyond the warmth radius of the fire he was using to carve up a deer or bear.  It didn't work.  He's done it before to no avail, but maybe this time...

On one level, his actions would be pretty reasonable - more heat, the farther it extends - on another level, it would be futile - the heat goes only so far and no farther.  The former is more complicated, especially if other environmental effects can have an effect, while in the latter, the mechanic is rather straight-forward and simple.  The player would probably like the former while the devs would like the latter.  Depends on who has to do the work to make it so. 

Otherwise, as a player, I have no objections to a more complex fire/heat bubble.

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They've already implemented what you're talking about. If the wind picks up a bit the fire burns so fast that all of the fuel is consumed in maybe one or a few clock cycles of your CPU. What I don't understand is where all that energy went. I think they should implement a campfire explosion which sends shrapnel, killing anything within a certain radius. The radius should depend on the number of joules left for the fire to burn.

Seriously though, I think there are a number of things that could use some work. New players are always going to be doing things which make sense but don't work in the game world. Like pain killers...you can eat a whole bottle of pain meds(super dangerous) but they won't work unless you target a specific spot on your body. That's not how they work and it makes no sense. Of course it's confusing.

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19 hours ago, odizzido said:

They've already implemented what you're talking about. If the wind picks up a bit the fire burns so fast that all of the fuel is consumed in maybe one or a few clock cycles of your CPU. What I don't understand is where all that energy went. I think they should implement a campfire explosion which sends shrapnel, killing anything within a certain radius. The radius should depend on the number of joules left for the fire to burn.

Seriously though, I think there are a number of things that could use some work. New players are always going to be doing things which make sense but don't work in the game world. Like pain killers...you can eat a whole bottle of pain meds(super dangerous) but they won't work unless you target a specific spot on your body. That's not how they work and it makes no sense. Of course it's confusing.

A windblown campfire will go out in nine minutes (exactly), and can't be fed anymore. To me, what would make more sense is the fire's burn initially accelerating greatly (but not necessarily capped at nine minutes) and then, if the winds get even stronger (to near hurricane force), becoming scattered, where the wind picks up all the burning material and scatters it around.

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On 11/13/2020 at 9:49 AM, odizzido said:

I think they should implement a campfire explosion which sends shrapnel, killing anything within a certain radius.

Hahaha! I would be happy if I could just get some of my wood back after it's blown out. That seems perfectly sensible, IMO.  But, that would mean more code for each burn, keeping track of fuel type and count.

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If the fire burned out and the unburned fuel were still there to use then we wouldn't need the explosion. I just want conservation of energy to be followed. The devs can pick either one, I am not bothered which one, but they should do one or the other.

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  Personally, I like the "Windblown Campfire" mechanic... mainly because it requires the player to pay attention to what they are doing and the world around them:

On 2/20/2020 at 1:08 AM, ManicManiac said:

I personally like the fact that as a player we need to pay attention to where and when we put down our campfire.  I like that if we are careless (or unlucky) our campfire can get blown out.  Fire is a big part of life in this game.  I think as it is, Hinterland has found a good balance.

Fire is very predictable.  I will try to explain:

  • I think the best lessons we can learn from the way it works at present, is that if you are going have to set down a campfire outside... pick the most protected spot you can find.
  • Also of note, don't dump all the fuel on the fire... I think it's much wiser to only put on an hour's worth or so.  I say that because we can control how long we sleep for, manage what we are doing while the fire is going, and if the wind does happen to change direction and we don't catch it before it blows out... then we don't loose much.
  • Lastly, the fire doesn't blow out right away... when the wind starts to "blow out" your fire, it gets dropped to something like 8-9 minutes.  This gives us time to "nurse" the fire.  If we have a good bundle of sticks with us... we can keep that fire going all through the high winds/blizzard by just adding one stick at a time and keeping the fire alive.  It's a proven technique and I can confirm it works from my own gameplay experiences.

All one has to do is pay attention and we find all kinds of helpful little techniques that help mitigate the difficulties we face in the game.

On 9/16/2020 at 11:34 PM, ManicManiac said:

True, protected areas to set down campfires are limited... but I think that's kind of the point. 
As I've mentioned in the past, I think this is a game that's all about careful and deliberate action.

On 9/12/2019 at 12:08 AM, ManicManiac said:

Part of what makes this game wonderful is that it's going punish us for making bad decisions or not paying attention to what we are doing.


:coffee::fire:

2 hours ago, Glflegolas said:

The only way that's realistic is if the wind was powerful enough to completely scatter the fuel.

As far as this goes:

On 3/21/2020 at 1:24 AM, ManicManiac said:

Raph also clarified this kind of thing when it's come up in the past:
"Wait wait -- please don't use "realism" as an argument for or against a game mechanic (or any tuning around it)...[text removed for brevity]...We don't design for realism, and we don't use it as a metric to determine how something should or should not work in the game..."

 

Edited by ManicManiac
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