Sign in to follow this  
octavian

.264

Recommended Posts

And a quick question, since the "load" button has been, finally, removed from the "ESC" UI, why is "quit" not "save and quit"? Just curious, in case someone feels a short, official answer is warranted. It has been discussed and asked for in at least two separate threads, on two separate occasions, and it seems now only half of it was implemented. Just curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Octavian, I would say because the game only saves in relation to certain actions undertaken in the world (going to sleep, ect.). At the moment the design is not intending for players to be able to save the game at any point, just by exiting. Although with the bedroll this is more or less achievable if you always have one on hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Octavian, I would say because the game only saves in relation to certain actions undertaken in the world (going to sleep, ect.). At the moment the design is not intending for players to be able to save the game at any point, just by exiting. Although with the bedroll this is more or less achievable if you always have one on hand.

I see. I'm only asking because some of us feel it's a bit awkward when life happens and you simply have to stop playing and are required to enter a building, sleep or jump off a cliff to break something, just so you don't lose progress. Sure it's not a major issue, sometimes, you are near doors, it's just one of those things that I personally don't understand and am really curious about. So, if I may ask, why is the design not intending for players to be able to save the game at any point, just by exiting, do you know? Is there a concern related to this?

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, all (most?) games that deal with issues of survival, risk, and vulnerability deal with the save game issue in different ways. Some have checkpoints that are easy to find, or rather hard (Think about Alien: Isolation if you know that game).

With The Long Dark, the (somewhat) limited save mechanic works to bring vulnerability into the game experience, and I know vulnerability is one of the >key< pillars of the game. (Of course reasonable people can debate how they want to understand "vulnerability')

Speaking for myself, I've had more than a few games where I wandered off not keeping track of my bedroll. I then had to deal with the consequences of that decision/oversight. I think the save system, as is, along with the permadeath, add a tension that heightens the experience of dealing with the environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, all (most?) games that deal with issues of survival, risk, and vulnerability deal with the save game issue in different ways. Some have checkpoints that are easy to find, or rather hard (Think about Alien: Isolation if you know that game).

With The Long Dark, the (somewhat) limited save mechanic works to bring vulnerability into the game experience, and I know vulnerability is one of the >key< pillars of the game. (Of course reasonable people can debate how they want to understand "vulnerability')

Speaking for myself, I've had more than a few games where I wandered off not keeping track of my bedroll. I then had to deal with the consequences of that decision/oversight. I think the save system, as is, along with the permadeath, add a tension that heightens the experience of dealing with the environment.

Could you explain exactly how this "vulnerability" is achieved by denying the player a "Save and Quit" button?

If something comes up in RL and there is really no time to save with one of the available ways, I always chose to lose progress. (RL > game)

Somehow this has not lead to me feeling more vulnerable, but quite the opposite. There is a safe way out of almost all situations: Just quit without saving and restart from the last save.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, sure; and Alien: Isolation was a very bad game, with a very bad save system.

I understand what you're saying, I think, and I have no desire to get into an argument, but I will say this.

Right now, if you run into a wolf, and don't want to bother, you can just quit. If it saved on quit, you'd still have to deal with the wolf.

You can go off exploring in one direction, and nine times out of then, just quit. Then load, and go off exploring in another direction.

Five times out of then, when you realize your forgot your bedroll, you can just quit.

Sure, most may deal with the consequences, but the system itself does not, I feel, work to bring vulnerability to the full extent it could.

There is no possible way for saving on quit to make the player less vulnerable. Only more. Even if it's a theoretical maximum which most players will never be confronted with because they don't exploit the system.

But, with save on quit, and no load button except in the main menu, there is no possible way to load anything but the present, unless you ALT+F4, which is beside the point since you can do that regardless of what the save system is.

In any case, this is my view on the matter.

P.S. glad to see Spottdrossel also sees that saving on quit does not make the player less vulnerable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's, very nice, but it doesn't answer my dilemma of how saving on quit makes the player be less "on the precipice", as he puts it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In terms of vulnerability in The Long Dark, here are some words from creative director Raphael van Lierop on the subject: https://www.reddit.com/r/thelongdark/co ... at/corotx1

I think the save game system, as currently implemented, is one part of being "on the precipice," as he puts it.

No offense, but I don't see how this answers my question.

I cannot make a link from "The Long Dark delivers a vulnerability fantasy. You stand on the precipice, and every time you head in you're facing your own mortality. It's a powerful thing." to "Isn't 'Quit without Saving' the pinnacle of sissy?"

But it is late here already.

Maybe I'm just missing the point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No offense taken, Spottdrossel! :)

Just doing my best to give you some insight into why things are the way they are. I don't know of any current plans to change the save system from how it is currently (as you know we just added the option to save up to 5 games at once).

And I'm not really sure where the --"Isn't 'Quit without Saving' the pinnacle of sissy?--comes from. I sure didn't characterize it that way so I'm not quite understanding why it appears in a response to me. As I mentioned, all games, but especially survival games, approach the issue of saving in different ways. We have our own way we are dealing with it right now because it fits the larger context the game is communicating about battling the environment, and nature. I'm happy to inquire about possible future changes, as we always are and relay those possibilities to you.

-Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, if you need to leave the game for a while, and you can't save for whatever reason, you can just hit escape to pause it, and alt-tab out of the game. I typically keep a game running on my desktop for several weeks at a time.

The only downside to that is Steam considers time in-game to count regardless of whether or not the game is paused, which explains why my steam profile shows 1500+ hours in game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No offense taken, Spottdrossel! :)

Just doing my best to give you some insight into why things are the way they are. I don't know of any current plans to change the save system from how it is currently (as you know we just added the option to save up to 5 games at once).

And I'm not really sure where the --"Isn't 'Quit without Saving' the pinnacle of sissy?--comes from. I sure didn't characterize it that way so I'm not quite understanding why it appears in a response to me. As I mentioned, all games, but especially survival games, approach the issue of saving in different ways. We have our own way we are dealing with it right now because it fits the larger context the game is communicating about battling the environment, and nature. I'm happy to inquire about possible future changes, as we always are and relay those possibilities to you.

-Patrick

"'Quit without Saving' is the pinnacle of sissy" was an exaggeration of my own statement.

I actually believe it is, since you're offering your players a way to discard all things since the last save. Including mistakes and wrong decisions.

But this is a very old topic and I do not intend to push it further.

I was merely trying to see if you could offer a nice explanation, as I haven't heard one yet that has clearly demonstrated the benefits of this system - besides stating that it "suits TLD", whatever that means.

My question is usually how does it improve the experience of the player and the only answer I have so far is: You can rewind time and erase mistakes.

I'm aware that Storymode is supposed to offer a different save system and how one can still save performing various in-game actions or even pause the game and simply keep it running in the background, but that wasn't really my question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep thinking about what has been posted in this thread and find that I cannot understand some of the things that appear to be happening.

I have to admit that I'm a bit anal about bugs - especially about regession issues; glaring, obvious bugs; and things that simply don't make sense.

The one that's really wrecking my nerves are the cars, that change their color every time you leave a building.

How can anyone actually testing the game not notice this? I just can't see a way this can go unnoticed.

If we assume that at least one of the testers noticed it, how can it still be in the public release?

Did they not know how to fix it? It has been fixed before, so I guess that's not the reason.

Did someone decide it should simply stay in there because there is no time to fix it? Or because there were even more bugs even more severe that took all the available time before going live?

And if someone decided to go live with this bug unfixed, why not list it as known bug?

Did anyone think players wouldn't notice it? Or just wouldn't report it?

Abstracting from this one specific bug: Where is the attention to detail?

Is this something that has to get tossed out the window when there are only so many weeks left until the already delayed date for full release?

Is this the reason we see items in the game world violating fundamental laws of physics (e.g. the chains from the screenshots in this thread)? Because this level of detail is simply irrelevant and thus can be left broken for any period of time without taking away from the experience?

Or is there some comical value to these things that's supposed to entertain the player, that I simply fail to get?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't imagine they didn't notice it, it was just deemed not important enough to waste time fixing it at this moment.

As for a list of known bugs, I've asked the same thing and I've been told the list of bugs, reported, fixed, and currently in the game is confidential.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you're a software professional (as I am) and you're in bug-fixing mode, you typically start with a list of bugs. Each bug is triaged to determine how important it is, and a priority is set for each bug (typically, the entire engineering team will meet and do this on a regular basis). You start working on the P1 bugs, and once they're all done you start on the P2 list. We typically use P1-P5 where I work, and bugs that are listed at P4 or below aren't important enough to hold a release.

There are a number of factors that can affect what priority a bug gets - the number of people complaining about it, how if affects game play, whether it can cause a crash or loss of data, etc.

Crash or loss of data bugs are almost always P1, and Hinterland puts out hotfixes very quickly after each release to deal with any that come up, and they typically throw in a bunch of other less serious issues that have been fixed at the same time. Of course, a crash has to be reproducible in-house in order to get a quick fix, unless the code path that causes the crash is clear from the crash log.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for a list of known bugs, I've asked the same thing and I've been told the list of bugs, reported, fixed, and currently in the game is confidential.

That's an approach I have witnessed quite often lately:

It is believed that not admitting mistakes somehow makes them less severe - even when everyone can see one dozen bug reports and 2 dozen threads about them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When you're a software professional (as I am) and you're in bug-fixing mode, you typically start with a list of bugs. Each bug is triaged to determine how important it is, and a priority is set for each bug (typically, the entire engineering team will meet and do this on a regular basis). You start working on the P1 bugs, and once they're all done you start on the P2 list. We typically use P1-P5 where I work, and bugs that are listed at P4 or below aren't important enough to hold a release.

There are a number of factors that can affect what priority a bug gets - the number of people complaining about it, how if affects game play, whether it can cause a crash or loss of data, etc.

Crash or loss of data bugs are almost always P1, and Hinterland puts out hotfixes very quickly after each release to deal with any that come up, and they typically throw in a bunch of other less serious issues that have been fixed at the same time. Of course, a crash has to be reproducible in-house in order to get a quick fix, unless the code path that causes the crash is clear from the crash log.

Great insight, and very accurate. We definitely prioritize bugs to ensure the game runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible before moving on to bugs that are not considered "game-breaking". We obviously work to fix every bug, regardless of how small it is, but certain things do get pushed to make way for bugs that affect actual gameplay.

As for a list of known bugs, I've asked the same thing and I've been told the list of bugs, reported, fixed, and currently in the game is confidential.

We track everything out in the open in the technical forums. Everything that's been reported was reported there, so you guys can check them out just as easily as we can. There is also a section for "Fixed" bugs, as well as a section marked "By Design" for people that reported things that ended up not actually being a bug. If I see reports for bugs we're aware of (like cars changing colour, which I've seen mentioned here), I will try to note that we're aware of the bug.

If anyone has any questions about the technical side of things, or what has or has not been reported/logged, head over to the Bug Report & Tech Issues forum and have a look/ask support =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We track everything out in the open in the technical forums. Everything that's been reported was reported there, so you guys can check them out just as easily as we can. There is also a section for "Fixed" bugs, as well as a section marked "By Design" for people that reported things that ended up not actually being a bug. If I see reports for bugs we're aware of (like cars changing colour, which I've seen mentioned here), I will try to note that we're aware of the bug.

If anyone has any questions about the technical side of things, or what has or has not been reported/logged, head over to the Bug Report & Tech Issues forum and have a look/ask support =)

Looking at the "Fixed" subforum of the bug reporting section, there is only a single posting with a date after August 18th.

If this subforum is used to track which bugs have been fixed, as you say, does that mean that only a single user reported bug was fixed in the last 5 weeks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not monitor the tech forums myself. It is possible the tech team started tracking fixed bugs differently. Regardless, if you have a question or you happen to report a bug that has been fixed, we can let you know its current status.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hinterland has, since before .140, responded to bug reports on their forums quickly and accurately and kept us, their player-base and customers in the loop, (to the best of their ability I believe). Obviously, not every single bug will get responded to once it is fixed, however I do recall updates to fixed bugs being responded to on the actual bug report post. The administrators who are responsible for moving said bug post to "Fixed" may no longer be doing so because of Bethany's comment regarding an improved bug tracker, or due to any number of reasons. However, bug fixes obviously still happen as you see when .265, and .266 (and so on) get released.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The initial statement was that asking for a list of known bugs was met with "this list is confidential".

The response to that statement was "we're tracking everything in the open in our forums, see subsections 'Fixed', 'Duplicate' and 'By Design'".

I checked those subsections and it looked like only 1 bug got moved to the 'Fixed' subforum in the last 5 weeks.

Now the position is "maybe we're not tracking them in the forum any more, you have to ask".

Which brings us back to the initial statement.

It's understandable that you want to tell me how many bugs have been fixed and that Hinterland is doing a great job in fixing and responding to them, but that was not the point.

The actual question was about tracking of bugs and why there is no list of known bugs in the release notes and why a list of known bugs would be "confidential". (I know: the exploits. But what about the other ones? Are the cars exploitable?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the entire talk about bugs I had before and frankly I just don't have the energy, or the time, to open it again. At the end of the day when Bethany says you can just use the forums and see what's reported, fixed, what's by design and whatever, or that you can ask, I don't think she spent a day looking for bugs, checking if old bugs are fixed, checking for how bugs lead to exploits, checking how new bugs are just old "fixed" bugs, and doing all this by using the forums and the extremely awkward search function. She would know it's extremely tedious, and sometimes downright impossible.

But there's no point in even getting all excited about this. The idea is, they have their testers and scout corps, and whoever wants to help in any decisive manner, simply isn't needed, because they have their testers and scout corps. What they tell you to do is, if a bug happens to you, report it, but we're not going to give you any help or provide you with any information to look deeper into it - like a simple list of all known bugs currently in the game, just a number and a one line description - because we have our own testers and scout corps.

So I say, fine, let the testers and scout corps be the only ones that look deeper into it. I mean, it's a video game, we should have the fun, they should do the work. So, let's all just relax, play the game, and not worry about. I mean, look at the game. Most stable Alpha out there, right? Isn't that what they always say? So, it must be, bugs aren't really that bad, or exploits, just cars changing colors and the like, nothing serious. So, have fun, it's a stable game. Most stable Alpha out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, the entire talk about bugs I had before and frankly I just don't have the energy, or the time, to open it again. At the end of the day when Bethany says you can just use the forums and see what's reported, fixed, what's by design and whatever, or that you can ask, I don't think she spent a day looking for bugs, checking if old bugs are fixed, checking for how bugs lead to exploits, checking how new bugs are just old "fixed" bugs, and doing all this by using the forums and the extremely awkward search function. She would know it's extremely tedious, and sometimes downright impossible.

This is why I noted that you're always welcome to ask. We've also implemented a new tech email you're welcome to send reports and questions to: support@hinterlandgames.com

Admittedly, if I spent a great deal of time in the technical section, I wouldn't have time to monitor or reply to anything else. I'm attempting to be as helpful as I can in this particular situation. Please curb the hostility, or I'll have to lock this thread. Might be worth doing anyway, as we are technically no longer in v.264.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this