Sign in to follow this  
ShieldHeart

Gameplay idea for both short and long-term survival alike

Recommended Posts

A while back, I made a post at the TLD subreddit detailing an idea for some interesting gameplay that I thought would fit the game really well, a lot of people seemed to like it over at reddit, and some suggested I post it here as well, hope you like it!

Credit goes to u/ElvisPressly for sparking this thought in another post here, I quote his suggestion for an endgame to the long dark:

I thought it would be cool if the game was counting down to the long dark. You have 100 days to gather enough supplies to wait out an extended period of cold and dark, the earth's rotation is slowing or the planet becomes tidally locked to the sun or something.

I have had the pleasure to play this game from the very start, and learn about the workings of the game one great update after the other, enough to eventually get very good at the survival part and reach 500 days in a run - please hear me out on why that bolded sentence in the quote above excites me, and why I think this idea has the potential to make sandbox amazing for all levels of players, and add immensely to the atmosphere of the game.

A game where the rotation of the planet is slowing down would mean both increasingly longer days as well as nights. This effect, becoming more and more apparent the longer the player survives, could create a continuously changing environment, a slow but accumulating increase in difficulty, and more exciting long-term game play.

Several days would go by at first, without the survivor noticing much, but soon enough the player can be heard saying things like “wow, I had an unusually long day” or “what?! It’s still dark out?”. This effect would continue, with nights now lasting as long as several days, where temperatures continue to drop with each consecutive ‘day’ of darkness, large temperature distributions within the atmosphere give way to extreme and lengthy blizzards . The player, realizing what is happening, now has to take advantage of the long periods of daylight and warmer temperatures to plan, collect resources, and prepare again for the next, even longer dark. This would continue into the later game, the hard-core survivor now has to deal with what seem like weeks of total darkness, ungodly cold temperatures and blizzards that seem to last for days. During these long periods of night, the only real source of natural lighting comes from the odd full moon. Traveling outside will put the player into freezing conditions extremely fast, and moving quickly from shelter to shelter becomes the only option to hunt, scavenge, and move around during these periods, using knowledge of the land and what little natural light that exists from starry skies and the moon to navigate. Certain wildlife become rare and starts disappearing completely.

The slowing of Earth’s rotation eventually causes the Earth to become tidally locked with the sun, with the western hemisphere and the survivor faced permanently, and unfortunately, towards dark skies at the new ‘dark side of Earth’. The player now faces the challenges of THE LONG DARK. When stepping outside the survivor can now be heard saying “the stars stopped moving?! Is this what I think it means?!” or “I will never feel the sun against my face again.” Perpetual darkness now exists, with little means to survive, all that time preparing for this will now really determine how long the player survives, even the expert planners and survivors struggle to keep alive, with eventually conditions becoming harsh to the point where the player struggles to keep up with food, or keeping warm, and fades into the long dark, forever buried under the lengthy blizzards of the dark side of Earth.

I hope I was able to share well the kind of amazing experiences, atmosphere, and gameplay elements that I think this could bring into the sandbox game. Here is a point form list of ways that I feel this gameplay scenario could be beneficial:

  • Players bored with long-term gameplay and easy survival conditions get to play in a constantly changing environment which slowly increases to extreme difficulty.
  • Novice/casual players still get to enjoy short runs learning the game without the difficulty increase becoming too apparent (maybe have this scenario as an option to play in stalker mode only?)
  • Adds greatly to the already mysterious/creepy/surreal atmosphere of the game, which I think hinterlands is trying to create and enhance in this game
  • Leaderboards become more meaningful? Players can no longer survive for 1000s of days through hibernation due to the impossible conditions which the game would eventually lead to.
  • Adds further meaning to the name of the game? hah

I have a feeling there is more to that list, but this is what I can think of for now. I would love to hear your opinions about being able to play such a survival scenario.

I also know that I, many of my friends who play, and many redditors here, would love to hear from hinterland studio whether similar ideas have been considered, and whether such a sandbox option could be added at the current stage of development. I am no game developer, but sounds like the technical programming/development part of adding this would not be too difficult, relative to some other suggestions I've seen at least – feel it would mostly involve programming days/nights to get longer over time and temperature and frequency of blizzards to change according to consecutive days of daylight/darkness, but like I said, I am no game developer.

As for those who will say why the Earth would start slowing down in the first place, it could perhaps be explained (without getting into hardcore sci-fi concepts) with the geomagnetic storms/anomalies applying forces to the Earth’s iron core? Just one of many potential explanations, please feel free to suggest more.

Thank you for reading this lengthy post! I would love to hear some opinions on why you think this may or may not work. I have enjoyed this game immensely and I am happy to support the game in what ways I can! Credit again goes to u/ElvisPressly for original idea! Rock on Elvis!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there.

I agree that this is a nice idea, but first: ONLY as an optional difficulty and two: this has already been discussed in a previous thread where I supported it as well.

I didn't read it to the end since most of it was more about how many other negative effects a stopping planet would cause, but Bethany said that the team already saw the idea when it was posted on their subreddit, but nothing other is known than that they enjoyed reading it. :)

Take a look at the old thread.

viewtopic.php?f=59&t=7358

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey there.

I agree that this is a nice idea, but first: ONLY as an optional difficulty and two: this has already been discussed in a previous thread where I supported it as well.

I didn't read it to the end since most of it was more about how many other negative effects a stopping planet would cause, but Bethany said that the team already saw the idea when it was posted on their subreddit, but nothing other is known than that they enjoyed reading it. :)

Take a look at the old thread.

http://www.hinterlandforums.com/viewtop ... =59&t=7358

Wow! Thank you for bringing this to my attention, had no idea it made its way over here already. Glad to see you and a lot of others liked it! Well, I will officially add my +1 :D

Realism aside, I'm glad those here saw that it was mainly an interesting way to provide exciting long-term gameplay, and address the issue of the game getting easier over time, when I think it should become more challenging as the player survives.

I was really excited to hear those at Hinterland enjoyed reading it :D

Share this post


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