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Amateur Bushcrafter

The Long Dark, an educational game.

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As i hinted in my previous post, i'd like to share a serious thought for the game that i also shared with big game titles in the past which seemingly got ignored as no replies nor credits were ever shared with me in the aftermath.

The Long Dark teaches us the basics in how to survive, one of the first outmost things to do right in order to survive the harsh climate is to DRESS RIGHT. The game already offers a fair description and several choices of clothes, but is it possible for the game to be more insinuating towards the gamer like he/she knew next to nothing about dressing right according to the wise layering system when it comes to surviving the merciless elements? This way i believe the game would become credited as a 'healthy' game where you not only learn basics to survive but never shop carelessly for the outdoor life.

To be blunt (And take into consideration that i myself know next to nothing on how game development policy works) is it possible for the company to make contracts with famous clothing brands such as the Norwegian Norrønna, the finnish Herkila, the Canadian Arc-Teryx and other brands to have them allow the Hinterland team to introduce some of their article products into the game, like some of their highly respected mittens, highly trustworthy jackets, highly reliable boots or highly durable pants and so on?

If i am not mistaken then such a contract is a win win, the Hinterland team gets donated cash for them to do some clever commercialism about their products, the gamers learn what is the best choice when going out while the alternatives are the original Long Dark clothings that are found and looted which in some occasions could be programmed to be untrustworthy due to clothing malfunction and whatever else noteworthy.

I dearly hope the Hinterland team would take this into consideration or at the very least explain to me how it would not work or so, because the way i see it, it's rather brilliant but like i said, i am not educated in gaming policy and rules.

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Hmmm... that would likely end up with paid product placement everywhere and rather not educational. A game developer would need to be careful not to make the company ridiculous by placing paid advertisements in the wrong way. Being a lawyer, I may add that product placement may also bring along legal issues in some jurisdictions (as might advertising specific products in forums which are possibly not intended for such purpose, by the way). It would be a whole different business model.

Personally, I would not mind seeing product placement in a game if it is not overdone and if the game is good. However, I would become upset very quickly if the game forced me to lose time looking at placed products or if I had the feeling that data was collected about whether or not I pay attention to the product etc. If I am not informed otherwise, I expect to pay a certain for a game to play it unhindered by advertisements. And maybe other players might have similar feelings. A difficult topic overall.

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I thank you for this valuable insight, i guess my essential point was a more indepth review of the clothings we found in the game that could educate the gamer upon 'how' and 'why' the highlighted clothing are good or decent, depending on the task ahead.

For example, how is this wool sweater windproof? It's because of the second layer inside that also grants a smoother compensation with the thin wool layer beneath the sweater, making sure they don't rub each other to ruin too quickly. Are also synthetics equally good when wet just like wool? I believe simple things like these makes the player think and would reevaluate their choice of clothing whenever stepping outside the deep woods and dare through the night.

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Welcome, Amateur Bushcrafter, and thanks for your thoughts!

We've contemplated including real world brands in the game, and we've been approached about adding them, but we're more interested in creating our own world with its own brands that feel unique and true to it, vs. promoting other company's products. That said, if they were the right products and those companies had brand values that aligned with ours, we might consider it for future content.

In the mean time, we're excited to roll out our own brands (which we haven't touched much on in the game yet), and use that as part of our worldbuilding process -- akin to how GTA handles cars or clothing brands, would be one way of looking at it.

It's worth noting that product placement can be a real turn-off for people, and seem very cash-grabby and like we are selling out for money, and we'd never do that. It's more important to us to deliver a cohesive world of our own creation.

You'll notice in the game that we do observe the true nature of some fabrics and clothing -- for example, Wool socks and sweaters will preserve their warmth properties when wet, whereas synthetic materials will not. We don't "educate" the player about why this is, but someone in our community would be more than welcome to present that information outside of the game -- for example, here in our forums -- if they wished to do so.

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We don't "educate" the player about why this is, but someone in our community would be more than welcome to present that information outside of the game -- for example, here in our forums -- if they wished to do so.

Thank you for the welcome Raphael. :mrgreen:

I must ask a second question since i must confess you left me a bit puzzled about the last part of your official statement, why not educate the gamers as well as entertain them? Take The Long Dark game for what it is; A survival simulator based on situations we could experience in real life, how could we not focus on education and 'just' call it a computer game for entertainment only when the Hinterland team does indeed include real life facts in the game. The aim is to make it as realistic as possible, why not go all the way especially when the debatable ideas are easily installed into the game in contrast to new and more advanced game mechanics? :?

The way i see it, i merely asked for a deeper understanding of the pros and cons of outdoor clothing and whatever else we could improvise with for the sake of learning and isn't that an ever noble thing to achieve i ask you? Why avoid this? This is half the reason i support the game because i want people to learn and know the very basics that could keep them alive for the slim days that could result the difference between life and death if their car hit a moose and exit'ed the road down the valley or if they plane indeed crashed into the forest and so on. :shock:

I thought the fundemental idea behind The Long Dark was to educate and not only entertain as a game indeed, were i mistaken all along? :|

You must understand that i as an individual purposefully bring myself into danger by getting willingly lost locally where i live for the sake to force survivalist experience upon myself, this is for the case (if ever happening) where i would not have the chance to return to a safezone, simply because i don't know where that safezone would be. Half the reason is because i enjoy the outdoor wilderness and the lifestyle and essentially; The more you learn from this art then the less you need in life and that's a great thing to nurture manhood, so when a harmless game that simulates these things comes to the market then i am of course THRILLED to try it out, so could you blame me for wishing the game to be educational? :idea:

Edited by Guest

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We don't "educate" the player about why this is, but someone in our community would be more than welcome to present that information outside of the game -- for example, here in our forums -- if they wished to do so.

Thank you for the welcome Raphael. :mrgreen:

I must ask a second question since i must confess you left me a bit puzzled about the last part of your official statement, why not educate the gamers as well as entertain them? Take The Long Dark game for what it is; A survival simulator based on situations we could experience in real life, how could we not focus on education and 'just' call it a computer game for entertainment only when the Hinterland team does indeed include real life facts in the game. The aim is to make it as realistic as possible, why not go all the way especially when the debatable ideas are easily installed into the game in contrast to new and more advanced game mechanics? :?

The way i see it, i merely asked for a deeper understanding of the pros and cons of outdoor clothing and whatever else we could improvise with for the sake of learning and isn't that an ever noble thing to achieve i ask you? Why avoid this? This is half the reason i support the game because i want people to learn and know the very basics that could keep them alive for the slim days that could result the difference between life and death if their car hit a moose and exit'ed the road down the valley or if they plane indeed crashed into the forest and so on. :shock:

I thought the fundemental idea behind The Long Dark was to educate and not only entertain as a game indeed, were i mistaken all along? :|

Take a glimpse to the very first screen flashing up. This is not a simulation, nor meant to educate people ;)

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Take a glimpse to the very first screen flashing up. This is not a simulation, nor meant to educate people ;)

Updated my reply.

Even if that might be the case then it certainly should have been or become educational for obvious reasons as i believe they owe it to the public to be as 'politically correct' as possible incase some newbie out there ever were so unfortunate to get themselves into a survivalist situation and aaaaall they know by experience is from this game. Just a SINGLE thread in this forum alone could have them killed because it wasn't introduced in the game mechanic resulting in the poor fella to never take it into consideration nor being even aware of it being a factor, such as hygiene. :!:

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While the gameplay in The Long Dark certainly has simulation elements, it is not a wilderness survival simulator or intended as an educational tool. The reason for this is because we often make compromises to realism for the sake of gameplay. Not necessarily entertainment, but actual game mechanics that need to function a certain way to be compelling and work in a holistic fashion.

We don't want to burden ourselves, on top of trying to create a compelling, immersive experience that is challenging and requires players to think to survive, with also trying to make it true enough to life so as to be truly educational, like a training simulation. There are also huge liability issues for us if we claim we're a simulator -- we don't want people to think that their experience playing The Long Dark is actually a replacement for *actual* wilderness survival experience.

Hope that clears it up for you.

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There are also huge liability issues for us if we claim we're a simulator

Well you might wanna change the big text on the TLD website which reads:

A First-Person Post-Disaster Survival Simulation

;)

While I completely agree that the game should be enjoyable to play first and realistic second I can guess why people mistake or want TLD to be a simulator. The thing is, the more real you make it the less pleasant it will become. A survival situation is not a fun place to be, not even for guys like Les Stroud who do this as a job. In a real situation all you want is for this hell to end - producing a game that wants you to exit it as quickly as possible would not be a very solid business plan lol.

I appreciate very much your efforts to balance gameplay vs real life and I think you made a fantastic job for it is a very fine line to walk. Be it in books or TV shows about survival I recognize alot of elements from TLD but in contrast to a real life survival situation I don't won't TLD to end ever, it's just too much fun :D

It is still educational though but in a different sense, you learn how to observe, how to stay calm, how to judge a situation how to lay down a plan and move forward step by step. There are not many games that require constant focus and mind at work like TLD and this by itself makes it already as realistic as you can portray real survival in a game.

With that it mind to everyone who wishes for more realism I can only quote from OZ: be careful what you wish for ;)

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We've always said the game features simulation gameplay -- doesn't mean we intend the game to be a training simulator. We're very clear about this when talking about the game.

I know many people who play The Long Dark and then use as a starting point to then learn more about actual survival. I have friends who play it with their kids so they can talk about ideas around water scarcity, preparing for trips through the woods, wildlife, etc. and then go out into the actual wood and forage for mushrooms for the day, etc.

I don't think the game needs to train people how to survive, to be an effective bridge in opening a broader discussion about a lot of different subjects that we touch on in the game experience, including homesteading, living "off grid", self-sufficiency, etc.

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play The Long Dark and then use as a starting point to then learn more about actual survival.

And this it does very well too, until 4 months ago all I knew about survival is how to call emergency service but thanks to TLD I got interested in series like Survivor Man and Ultimate Survival Alaska, which led to me reading books about survival which again led to me booking a training course for canoeing, which begins in April.

None of this would've happend without TLD I guess and I am very looking forward to spend much time out in the nature this summer, hopefully though without getting in a serious situation (that's why I chose canoe over kajak ;)). But I will try different firemaking techniques and such, that's for sure.

But there's also a downsite to playing TLD, I was already not very comfortable with dogs but now whenever I hear a barking in the distance I almost crap my pants lol :shock:

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But there's also a downsite to playing TLD, I was already not very comfortable with dogs but now whenever I hear a barking in the distance I almost crap my pants lol :shock:

Keep calm, pull out your hunting knife and stab it. Drive the owner away with a flare, then take the meat, hide and guts, carry them home and craft a dogskin hat. The smell from this will keep other dogs away from you in the future... :D

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.....and tells dogs-- and everyone else -- you are not to be trifled with.

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But there's also a downsite to playing TLD, I was already not very comfortable with dogs but now whenever I hear a barking in the distance I almost crap my pants lol :shock:

Keep calm, pull out your hunting knife and stab it. Drive the owner away with a flare, then take the meat, hide and guts, carry them home and craft a dogskin hat. The smell from this will keep other dogs away from you in the future... :D

TIP: do not do this to an actual dog in real life thanks! :)

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From TLD I learned that a wounded dog can still kill you, so I won't try to hurt it. But I keep a candy bar in my pocket in case I need a decoy :D

I will try though to scare it away with a flare the next time a dog is after one of my kites :twisted:

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But there's also a downsite to playing TLD, I was already not very comfortable with dogs but now whenever I hear a barking in the distance I almost crap my pants lol :shock:

Keep calm, pull out your hunting knife and stab it. Drive the owner away with a flare, then take the meat, hide and guts, carry them home and craft a dogskin hat. The smell from this will keep other dogs away from you in the future... :D

LOL.. without context this sounds completely insane! :o:)

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None of this would've happend without TLD I guess and I am very looking forward to spend much time out in the nature this summer, hopefully though without getting in a serious situation (that's why I chose canoe over kajak ;)). But I will try different firemaking techniques and such, that's for sure.

If I may give you three tips:

1. Try some fire starting techniques before you go on your trip. This can be much more difficult than it looks.

2. Be sure to carry some sure-fire like wetfire or mini inferno and at least 2 ignition sources you know how to use. If you absolutely need a fire right now, you don't want to be messing with damp or even wet tinder etc.

3. Have fun! :D

And don't forget to post your "survival" story in the survival story sub forum ;)

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But there's also a downsite to playing TLD, I was already not very comfortable with dogs but now whenever I hear a barking in the distance I almost crap my pants lol :shock:

Keep calm, pull out your hunting knife and stab it. Drive the owner away with a flare, then take the meat, hide and guts, carry them home and craft a dogskin hat. The smell from this will keep other dogs away from you in the future... :D

LOL.. without context this sounds completely insane! :o:)

No need for universities, there's the internet folks :D

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1. Try some fire starting techniques before you go on your trip. This can be much more difficult than it looks.

2. Be sure to carry some sure-fire like wetfire or mini inferno and at least 2 ignition sources you know how to use. If you absolutely need a fire right now, you don't want to be messing with damp or even wet tinder etc.

3. Have fun! :D

And don't forget to post your "survival" story in the survival story sub forum ;)

I'm a smoker so having a lighter with me won't be an issue :D I'll start with firestone and the likes and then we'll see. But we are only canoeing in Europe which means no camping in the wild, only on designated camping grounds - there probably won't be that much survival stuff to tell, except for a turned canoe maybe ;)

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play The Long Dark and then use as a starting point to then learn more about actual survival.

And this it does very well too, until 4 months ago all I knew about survival is how to call emergency service but thanks to TLD I got interested in series like Survivor Man and Ultimate Survival Alaska, which led to me reading books about survival which again led to me booking a training course for canoeing, which begins in April.

None of this would've happend without TLD I guess and I am very looking forward to spend much time out in the nature this summer, hopefully though without getting in a serious situation (that's why I chose canoe over kajak ;)). But I will try different firemaking techniques and such, that's for sure.

But there's also a downsite to playing TLD, I was already not very comfortable with dogs but now whenever I hear a barking in the distance I almost crap my pants lol :shock:

Awesome, it's fun to see how big things has small beginnings. :)

Frankly, i don't even remember where my own interest began, perhaps purely out of envy of the free striding folk and how well and often they did it whilst i sat and rottet on my hairy arse every day as a fellow city dweller that had too much free time on his hand. That or inspiration taken from the TV shows you mentioned, my personal favorite was Dual Survival were the essential meaning of being two makes things so much easier in a survival situation. :)

How is the Alaska show? I've heard of it but haven't caught an episode yet.

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