Transition maps


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Cut down from ten thousand words long.

Where you survive makes no difference. Regardless what map you choose you don’t have to visit a different one to survive until you run out of something, with no reason for maps except surviving longer than you could otherwise. They exist to lengthen, a variation of the same survival melody, one that varies nothing in core gameplay. Simply put, longer survival, survival in a different place having the same preoccupations you did in that other place, one of the cheap, disagreeable and backward facets of the game. Instead of the entire world available to you working as a whole it's a garbled experience. Each map, a miniature of the entire sandbox feel. You find everything and encounter every game mechanic on each individual map. Except sitting in a car and other similar "core" gameplay mechanics. And whatever map you're in you can go to any of the other two via transition areas, unfortunately, there's no reason for transition zones either. Extended loading screens that give you supplies when you reach the other side until they run out of supplies. Every map feels like a DLC you paid five cheap dollars for.

Circling the transition maps should be possible; one way only, similar to the door leading to Carter River if there was no way back into the dam. This would have no effect on how Mystery Lake, Coastal Highway and Pleasant Valley connect to each other through the transition maps. Going from any one map to any of other two using the usual routes would still be possible, just that apart from those routes we know a secondary route in each transition that links it to its transition partners exists. After .244 there’s no point in adding more maps either. As I said, they wouldn’t add anything to the game at least now they wouldn’t for sure. Transitions should match the other maps in size and complexity. The idea of a "transition" map is alien to me. It's just a map like any other but I'll still refer to them as transitions so there's no confusion.

Simply adding this or that item or mechanic, the mother of all items and mechanics wouldn't change anything, there’s no point anymore in adding anything if that doesn't help, or even force you to experience what's already in the game. Like the maps. Hunkering down forever in one map is just time and money put into developing the other maps you don't get to see. If it’s what it takes, forcing you to see it. No one map is worth crap unless compared against the others. Spending half a year in one, half a year in another and so on, all that work means nothing, how they look and feel doesn't matter and doesn't make a difference because you can't tell because you can't remember. Even if you know them inside out, you still can't remember. Not just you, nobody. Nobody can because the developers can't remember. If they did it would show. Each map is different, how exactly is so Goddamn buried you must excavate it like some antediluvian fossil, even then it's just the sand iota that’s not guaranteed to become a pearl.

Transitions exist as mirror images of maps, neither work without the other. They have no aggressive wildlife, at least I’ve never met any in the five hundred hours that I’ve played. Wolves and bears aren’t a challenge, it’s just different, and except the wolf in Carter River all transitions are free of this opposition. The abandoned mine, the only place that contrasts the bright outdoors, outdoors which should at times be blindingly bright, bright contrasted with everlasting darkness, the side passage that connects it to the ravine and river, a maze, maze that's not simply connected. Following one wall wouldn't lead you to the exit. Of course the fantasy there is getting hopelessly lost in the dark. The Dam, a sprawling interior, dead surplus of technology. That's why it should be big, big to fit Mystery Lake in big. The cave has potential to be a potpourri of light and dark, vertical and horizontal, winding and straight, claustrophobic and cavernous. The ravine has incredible potential for narrow, winding, abrupt and vertical, vertical as much as the central void of Pleasant Valley is flat, both in contrast to Coastal Highway, which is a slope. If there was a winding and time-consuming way to go down into the ravine, ravine which I see no reason not to connect with Carter River. Carter River-

Different not just for the sake of different, why go to these places apart from passing through on your way another transition?

Suppose the bottom of the ravine. A smokehouse, something players wish for. For whatever magical reason there's one there, with a disastrous catch, only place for smoking meat and, dramatically, curing hides guts and saplings; each transition map would have something unique to that place. Heartbreaking, I know, know that I'm literally torn right now. Whatever map you are on, if you want to smoke or cure, you access one of the transition maps available to you, circle to the ravine if need be and cure there. Or you go from Pleasant Valley to Mystery Lake or Coastal Highway through the routes already available to you in .244, enter the ravine from there, and then descend. It would be like this because now you're a snail, you don’t have to move a great distance to do anything, anything you want is possible nearby, and you can even indulge in house-to-house survival if you want. Even Pleasant Valley got the lone fishing hut otherwise somebody’s head would have exploded in a trillion tiny pieces.

Because, say curing and smoking, is something you do intermittently, and uniquely there, after you smoke and cure you'll have multiple routes you can reach wherever you have to or want to. Staying any longer would not be an alternative because the location couldn't carry you. No wildlife. Or infernal weather, anything, as long as it's not hostile wildlife, else part of what makes these maps different would go away.

Suppose you came from Mystery Lake and took the way from the top of the ravine to the bottom, which could be one way. You couldn't enter the mine either, mine to ravine is a one way trip, because of something simple, like a ledge. So you'd have to go to Carter River. If you don't have a warehouse in Mystery Lake, you could say, since I'm here, I'm going to Pleasant Valley, either through the cave or I could go further, enter the mine and go through there. Game geometry like this is enjoyable.

Incidentally, transition areas are key to switching seasons in a cheap way that works, if it ever comes to that, instead of selecting summer from the menu.

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Not trying to be offensive, but I tried reading your post and at about half of it I still don't know what you're on about...

You don't like transition maps? They're useless? They're ugly? They're more of the same?

What's the issue?

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Look, I don't disagree with the idea to have more things to do outside the house, but you kind of put it like transition maps are a bad thing.

The idea of a smokehouse is nice, you really need to work on your synthesys abilities though :)

It's a nice concept of risk/reward, it would also be a nice thing to discover playing.

How do you explain that's the one place where you can do something you cannot do anywhere else in the game, though? You light a fire in there and suddenly you get the "cure" option in the menu?

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How do you explain that's the one place where you can do something you cannot do anywhere else in the game, though?

Good game design.

You light a fire in there and suddenly you get the "cure" option in the menu?

Not something you can figure out any other way than in a room full of developers throwing ideas back and forth because first ideas are always crap.

Horizontal frame above your head inside the smokehouse, rings on it that on click prompt you for a piece of gut; pick one from your inventory, it shows up hanging from the ring.

On click, the now hanging gut gives you the option to take it back or tie something to the loose end. This way you need a gut, cured or not, to cure meat hide or saplings. If not cured, the gut cures along with what you tied to it, obviously. Could also tie a gut to a gut, but nothing to the second one as it would reach the floor/fire.

Fire pit inside the smokehouse makes fire go straight to embers, with a piece of wood giving you hours of ember-time. No embers, no curing.

This is a delicate approach I spontaneously love. New game, kill a wolf killing a deer, now you have fourteen pieces of meat, two hides and four guts. You have three saplings too and you can only cure four guts along with four other things, and it takes a week to do it. Four pieces of deer jerky may not be worth it.

Could go the smokehouse, hang the guts there, leave, come back when you have more guts. When guts are no longer a problem you can just leave them on the rings after you cure so you don't have to worry about it anymore. With well thought-out crafting, new or existing recipes or activities would require a lot of guts. Sometimes you'd just have to break into your stash of guts hanging in the smokehouse, so you would constantly play a game of what you value most given your current situation.

All this while traveling through the world on different routes in different ways on different days. For this, a one way looping design for the transition maps is a must.

That's the entire point, the smokehouse is just an appendage, the map design I've talked about is the spine. Walking before running, but a spine before walking, can't do it without one.

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