March 2021 Developer Diary


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Dear community, It’s time for an update on Episode Four progress, which I’m sure is the topic at the top of all your minds right now.   Episode Four Progress The aurora illuminate

Let’s stop arguing over font colours.    Also let’s try to be sensible when using colours and font sizes. Some emphasis is useful but don’t use them just to troll or be annoying.    Than

I'm now at pennies per hour played but there was no "I've received so much value I feel almost embarrassed for buying it on sale" option. 🤣

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14 minutes ago, BlueMaxW said:

Nah. The only way is forward. Once you exit a zone it is in the past. Earthquakes and Auroras and stuff broke it. Tough world, but that's the game we play. Keep in mind, any new zone might well have better loot than what you have on you.... but what are you willing to drop if the next transition requires you to climb?

I hasten to point out that Raph DID NOT announce this as any official gametype. He casually mentioned the idea in a Milton Mailbox a few months back and my imagination has run with it..  I do not work at Hinterland and I am not authorized, qualified or capable of speaking for them. This is pure speculation on my part. 

I would love this gametype, though. :)

The Long Dark but as a rogue-like/lite? I already love the idea.

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7 minutes ago, Stinky socks said:

Hmm, perhaps there would be less incentive to come back when you are not in a closed loop of great bear..

The game (survival mode) isn't about making a home. It's about survival. A random path of implied escape that leads to my death is better than sleeping to my death. Let me die fighting!

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I would like to explain a few of my choices on the survey.

-I ranked the board game option high because that sounds like a great way to cover awkward silences on backpacking/ camping trips with my bros. Please make sure a magnetized/miniaturized/travel version is available.  

-I also ranked CO-OP STANDALONE very high. I was defensive to nerds who were trying to make TLD into RUST in the past because I wanted the hinterfolk to focus on refining the single-player experience. But Survival Mode with a pal would be really nice. They could make that an entirely different development branch. I would be willing to buy that as a different game if it was implemented.

-I ranked "first person presence" higher than "customization". Because I want to have a clue what I am wearing before my stats start dropping. Getting frostbite after a wolf fight because I didn't notice my mittens got ate is a bummer. A skyrim-like display that shows your outfit choices in first-person would really help with immersion.

-I ranked Survival Mode higher of importance than Story Mode. *dodges tomatoes* NOT because I don't love the story mode story,  I do! I just make an ass of myself in all of those quicktime moments because they freak me out. I would rather watch a better player on youtube (like Accurize2) play the story parts and let me watch it like a movie. I prefer to play Survival Mode because the story is mine. Even if I screw up or get something wrong it just becomes part of the story... or the end of the story. If I get it wrong in Story Mode, it becomes frustrating. I have to redo it. I don't wanna argue for a good story. I just want to press "PLAY".

-I ranked "Big Package" DLC higher than the other options because I don't want to have to come back and keep checking for little updates. I want to give Hinterland my money, but I'm not going to be a sucker. This player does not play that "microtransaction" game... Not that they were threatening me with that... I'm just saying a whole pack with new maps, new items, new gameplay mechanics, and possibly more story sounds like a better deal.

-I also ranked the possibility of TLD audioplays very highly. I hope others did as well. So much of what would be needed for that is already in place. I believe what we get for this would be of very high quality.

 

I have had too many beers and I have taken too much of your time.  Thank you for listening to me ramble. 

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8 hours ago, BlueMaxW said:

The game (survival mode) isn't about making a home. It's about survival. A random path of implied escape that leads to my death is better than sleeping to my death. Let me die fighting!

Yes that's very poetic, but I'm planning to live a long and happy life all the way into my retirement, gnawing on the last wolf steak when all resources run out.

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13 hours ago, BlueMaxW said:

I would love this gametype, though.

There is an indie game like sort of like this... it's called (coincidentally): The Long Drive.  :D
It's on steam...


:coffee::fire::coffee:

Edited by ManicManiac
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52 minutes ago, Stinky socks said:

Very interesting!

Indeed... it feels like it was also at least partially inspired by the movie "Duel."


:coffee::fire::coffee:

[Addendum]
I will also mention as a word of caution... that particular game is still very much a work in progress.

Edited by ManicManiac
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Good to see this, thx @Hinterland for the continued effort. Also a shoutout to the folks of olden times and TLD science, e.g. @stratvox and @jeffpeng! Did the survey, but I doubt its results will accurately reflect what the general TLD audience thinks. However, the results might still be interesting.

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On 3/18/2021 at 5:38 PM, Admin said:

In the specific case of Episode Four, this includes adding a new section of gameplay and a new mechanic we’re experimenting with.

New gameplay and mechanic.... anyone have a clue as to what this may be?

I hope it's being able to "jump" 😀

EDIT: Ok, I just read Raph's reply about a jump mechanic in Milton Mailbag Dispatch 10. So, I guess "jump" is not plausible 😒

Edited by ProsPex
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2 hours ago, ProsPex said:

a jump mechanic in Milton Mailbag Dispatch 10. So, I guess "jump" is not plausible 😒

"Ha ha ha ha ha ... That's right... You belong on the ground. You should crawl on the ground like the snake you are!  Come, let's fight!!"

latest?cb=20130211020140

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So much cool content to look out for! And, the survey - what a wonderful idea! It was very well tailored. Some of the questions there even made me stop and ponder over what I would want, given those options! It was an honor to participate and provide my feedback on the game I fell in love with so long ago.

Even knowing that the survey was just theoretical, and that we may not see most of the options there, it was still really nice insight into what the Hinterland is considering for the future of the game. And, quite frankly, most of the options there has made me excited. 

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On 3/21/2021 at 11:32 AM, DrZ said:

[...] I want to spend many more hours surviving the Quiet Apocalypse. But my revelation how old it is also made me realize that it also will fade into the long dark some day (pun intended). All games do. So while the thought saddens me a bit it is clear Hinterland has to think about the future.

But I also would love to explore more regions and see the game mature a bit more. I would happily spend a few bucks here and there for new content and further improvements for the sandbox. (Tbh, I am not so sure about Wintermute.)

And since I am sure, no matter how good the new content will be, there will come a time when the game will feel old and stale for me. That's why I strongly support the idea of diversifying for Hinterland. When Episode Five comes out TLD will be ten years old or close to it. If Hinterland can come up with a worthy successor that would be ten more years of enjoyment 🙂

So to summarize a path forward that would be viable for Hinterland and great for me as a player could be:
1) Finish Episode Five and push for a bit more maturity within the game mechanics (Sandbox)
2) From then onward release content (DLC) that keeps players engaged and the lights on with some spare change and resources for the next title
3) Find a workable balance between the two streams and within the streams

I know this sounds easier than it is and these are just my two cents. But I could not fully express those in the survey 😉

 

You nailed it for me. I also wanted a place in the survey where we could write little (or tbh not so little) text. At many of the questions i was like "my answer is between A and B, i would like to have the possibility to specify my answer" :(

But i liked the survey, especially when it came to other projects after TLD. I'm very high on atmosphere and TLD has the best atmosphere. It develops in the long run, but there's where the value is. And yes, i also feel that the game is slowly facing its limits. What could help are new mechanics and more options for the gameplay: deeper crafting (i'm thinking about options to improve gear like in The Last of Us 1), more food items (e.g. a bag of nuts, after you ate them you can use the shells as tinder), birdnests that can be found, more lore pieces that tell you about the worldwide catastrophe and Great Bear as well as the region you are currently in. But most improving imo would be long term ingame-goals. Mapping everything out as an ingame task or the stuff from the Story with the white deer etc.

And things like in the Legend of Zelda Games: You know the goal is the next dungeon, but nobody forces you to go straight to it nor punish you for not doing it. You can just keep exploring the rest of the map. Maybe some parts of the Zelda formula would work in TLD? What comes to my mind is one unique item per region. Just like the better backpack and the climbing shoes in Ash Canyon, the elk satch in HRV, the bow in DP....oh well maybe they have already done it :D But maybe extending that? I believe it would also be nice when some regions have unique wildlife, e.g. region B has wolves and a bear, but when you want a moose you have to travel to region C etc.

On 3/21/2021 at 10:12 PM, StillNomad said:

1. Paid DLCs. I have rarely bought DLC for a game. Once bought, its mostly be all and end all for me. Content in terms of skins, features, irrelevant superficial extras don't interest me. Exception to this, however, is genuine game content. I've bought Euro Truck expansion packs which offer new regions. I think TLD DLC is something I will pay to use. Having new regions such as Ash Canyon is such a good expansion to the survivor mode and will keep me coming back for more. Medium size content packs for me.

2. Customising the player character: I speak only for myself here. I dont feel the need to have representation in this game. I dont care. I am not insecure in life. I dont mind playing Will/Astrid as the character. I don't think having an Indian looking main character will somehow make me feel more immersed in the game than it already does now. Please spend the studio's precious resources in improving other areas. I dont know why this is even a thing these days. Add more survivor dialog, add funny things the character can say, weird stuff, thoughts spoken out loud, etc. 

3. More wildlife: Boy, this one would certainly improve the gameplay. Carnivorous as well as herbivorous animals would be nice. Hunting and using their pelts for more useful items would be genuinely interesting. Wouldn't mind seeing newer types of vegetation even some specific to certain areas. Also wouldn't mind the harvestable vegetation regrowing their 'harvestables' (blasphemous, I know).

4. Extending / Entirely new story (as paid DLC) This could help extend the TLD shelf life as well as possibly bring in newer players. 

5. Late game: Somehow this is where things start becoming tricky. There definitely needs something that makes late game persistently challenging. The forums already has a lot of topics on this.

6. Don't care for multiplayer. 

7. A novel based on the TLD theme/characters would definitely be interesting. It could be a complete novel, yet with certain questions unanswered (yes, I know. Good luck there), only to act as fodder for a sequel.

This also hits exactly my opinion. Your post as a whole and especialy the underlined parts. More versatile gameplay, deeper mechanics, etc. Would also be nice to access buildings without a loading screen. And the ability to look outside to check if wolves are nearby. But i guess the two latter were never intended when development started.

On 3/27/2021 at 6:22 AM, BlueMaxW said:

Nah. The only way is forward. Once you exit a zone it is in the past. Earthquakes and Auroras and stuff broke it. Tough world, but that's the game we play. Keep in mind, any new zone might well have better loot than what you have on you.... but what are you willing to drop if the next transition requires you to climb?

I hasten to point out that Raph DID NOT announce this as any official gametype. He casually mentioned the idea in a Milton Mailbox a few months back and my imagination has run with it..  I do not work at Hinterland and I am not authorized, qualified or capable of speaking for them. This is pure speculation on my part. 

I would love this gametype, though. :)

Arcade mode, hell yeah! Ok, it must be an arcade mode based on the generel speed of TLD, but still....

Edited by Karl Grylls
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