Open houses.


JonayofSweden

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After watching the game play stream from Joystiq, one of the things that really surprised me was that the houses (most of them) seam to be separate cells outside the world, they are basically props that teleports the player to a cell outside of the world.

I think if houses were open objects inside the world it would completely change the feeling of getting inside. Just being able to sit by a fire, eating, looking at the blazing snowstorm outside the window would really add to the immersion.

I don't know what people think about that, I was really surprised, I thought for sure they would be open. Let me know what you think? does it bother you?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I actually expected the houses to be separate "levels". That's pretty common in games, like Rob said. What surprised me is the time it takes to load every time you go inside/ outside. Especially going back outside, it looks like the entire level needs to be reloaded. Sure hope that will be improved before the release.

It seems to me it should be possible to keep the outside running in the background or something. I get that it's tricky since the outside world changes/ progresses even while the player is inside, but still... If you're scavenging some cabins and it takes that long every time you go inside and come back out, that kills immersion as well.

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We intentionally instance the interiors separately for a variety of reasons, mostly having to do with how the gear randomization works, but this also allows us to have things like multiple interior variations per exterior "shell" type. This approach is also better for large locations like the Dam.

Loading times will improve as we continue to optimize; that said, for an Alpha the load times are very reasonable, even on a mid-range PC.

JonayofSweden: once you have a chance to play the game, let us know if you still feel a loss of immersion from going into the interior. You still hear the blizzard howling outside, you hear the window rattling, the time of day lighting is recognized in the interior, etc. ...

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the time of day lighting is recognized in the interior

This is one of my favorite features! I think it does a great deal to break some of the instanced "in a box" feel you can get sometimes when you enter a building. It reminds me that the world doesn't stop outside just because I went threw a door.

As much as I would love zero load screens non instanced game play with lasers encoding the experience onto my retinas, there are realities when it comes to hardware capabilities :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think the issue with instanced indoors is that cabins will have windows, but they don't show what's outside aside from the lighting allowance of the time of day. I'm not too sure about the technical hurdle/challenge of it, but if something like a half-sphere background matte painting could be placed on the window exterior that changes with the weather outside (snow and wind), that would do something to connect the interior with the exterior main map as far as visual immersion goes.

I guess you could think of it as snow globes for the windows.

A step further would be an option to crack open the door leading outside, to check the general feeling of the temperature. It wouldn't have to be a number reading, maybe just a McKenzie sound bite of "Huh, not bad" or "Holy crap it's a nightmare out there". Again using the snow globe idea for a very small slice of the outside of the door, so when cracking the door open you see a visual approximation of what you'd see if you actually went outside.

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I'm not too sure about the technical hurdle/challenge of it, but if something like a half-sphere background matte painting could be placed on the window exterior that changes with the weather outside (snow and wind), that would do something to connect the interior with the exterior main map as far as visual immersion goes.

I see what your saying. Sort of like those sci-fi fake windows that are really just a video monitors to make people forget they are 10 stories below ground in a bunker or something. Except in this case it would be behind the window frame and coordinate with the weather effects outside.

Speaking of interior graphics, is it just me or is the dust slowly floating around in the sunbeams not the coolest thing ever. It really makes those cabins feel abandoned!

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  • 1 month later...

Speaking of interior graphics, is it just me or is the dust slowly floating around in the sunbeams not the coolest thing ever. It really makes those cabins feel abandoned!

Yes, but why are they chaped like shiny squared boxes, like something you toss in the air on 4'th of july ? Make them at least round and fluffy...almost snowlike...mush better...

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If making all the Houses Open is not possible, maybe you could leave the temperature in inhabitable Open Houses (f.e. Forest Lookout) as high as in Closed Houses? It would allow players who prefer Open locations to use them as Safehouses. I'd even resign from saving possibility for that.

+1 for "looking out" possibility + looking trough windows

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