Level size and scarcity of shelter


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Having played a bit in Pleasant Valley, I have been thinking about level size and scarcity of shelter in terms of gameplay. Once you know your way around, it is practically impossible to become lost in either Mystery Lake or Coastal Highway, and you can always find shelter quickly anywhere. In Pleasant Valley I am not so sure, I am a lot more careful when venturing out, as I have a feeling it might be difficult to find back to shelter if a blizzard comes up (or some other problem). It kind of makes me think and plan a little more in Pleasant Valley, I am just a bit more anxious. And this is good, as I feel TLD is a game that should make the player feel slightly anxious.

Now I am thinking about even larger levels that have still less shelter. I could imagine a level termed "The Long Road" or some such - maybe a road or a railroad track that stretches through an endless forest. The story could be such that the player knows he/she must follow that road to reach a certain destination - a town, a mine, a homestead where a missing loved one was last known to be, you name it. And the trip would be long, with very little resources/shelter to find on the way. So the player would have to spend some time where the road/track takes off, gathering resources etc. Maybe he would need the bearskin bedroll, because it is known before that nights must be spent in the open. Also, there could be a map outlining major spots of interest (a gas station/trailer park?) where resources/shelter might be found on the way (or some hidden place off the road that would be quite impossible to find by chance).

Then, with enough resources and equipment gathered, the player would have to stick to the road, as he can only just barely make it to the next place of interest and there must find food/resources again. So there could be no major excursions into the surrounding forest from the road. But some minor ones maybe.

That's just a scenario that crossed my mind. It would slightly change the survival strategy - it would become more important to gather information/maps before taking off, and some planning would have to be made based on the information gathered.

Further on, I could also see a level where the player would have to travel a great distance through a vast forest, with no roads or the like as guideline. It would be essential not to lose direction, so a compass would be needed. Or the player would have to find the correct direction by looking where the sun is shining from...

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I haven't played too much my self and haven't been to Pleasant Valley yet, but with what I experienced I think that, for being set in the "Canadian wilderness", the traces of civilisation/ population are quite dense.

I too hope for more stretched maps, as they would seem to be more realistic.

(Something like (crafted) tents, as I read elsewhere, might come in handy there then)

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OP has a cool idea.

I'd rather it not be a railroad track.. maybe something less civilized, like an old hiking trail (marked with tree blazes, or other trail markers..). Railroad has to be mostly flat, but a trail forces you to go up and over things...

I think the consensus regarding compasses is that they don't work right because of the geomagnetic storm. So another way of keeping direction-- the Sun as suggested, or stars!

I think there would have to be something in game that explained to people how to use the Sun and stars to guide their direction-- maybe in books?

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