First run - feedback blast


rich_wilson

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First time giving feedback for this project, so I don't know if this is a welcome format. I'm used to emailing feedback and peppering with screenshots and stuff, but you guys might prefer if it I broke the list into individual posts or something.

Anyway, feedback my feedback. :)

  • Stood next to fire with no appreciable effect. After several minutes temp went up slowly by a few degrees. Even got close enough to burn myself on the fire. Does wind affect where you need to stand relative to a fire? I was under a rocky outcropping.
  • The UI could use a Sims style rate of change indicator on the bars to let me know what’s stabilized, what’s decreasing and what’s increasing (along with info about the rate).
  • The framerate was notably different when I went to interiors for some reason. I was able to get by in the exterior with “High” but had to drop it to “medium” to get an acceptable rate indoors. (Nvidia GT240, 8GB RAM, i3 550 @ 3.2GHz)
  • The load times were pretty egregious for traveling back and forth between interior and exterior. Given the project status it's not something I'm concerned with personally. Tangentially, I wonder if you could do what Fallout 3 does and load one interior at a time while keeping the exterior resident so you can just pop out when you’re finished exploring an area.
  • It’s a little weird that I have footprints but no feet. I can appreciate the difficulties of full body awareness while wanting to keep the simulation element of footprints in the snow, though.
  • I with there was a little better visual management of equipped clothing items.
  • Keeping the images of the other inventory items would also be cool. It’s easier to see what you’ve got at a glance with icons instead of reading a list. Might just be an alpha thing though.
  • I always seem to wake up cripplingly thirsty. Even if I was close to fine when I went to sleep.
  • Seems like it could be useful to allow the camera free movement while progress bars are moving (looting, building fires, etc). This allows the player to keep a lookout while the time consuming task is taking place. I’m assuming this time sink is because there needs to be tension while performing tasks (i.e. is a wolf approaching).
  • The looting interface seems inconsistent. Normally I get the series of items that pop up as the bar fills while searching. Occasionally I get a container interface where I pick from items in the container’s inventory to move over to mine. Not sure why there are two mechanisms here.
  • The first aid section that lists my current afflictions should also tell me what effects they’re having on me. I have no idea what first degree burns are doing to impede me right now. Don’t know if it’s even worth bothering to fix it.
  • Boiling water and melting snow seems a little over punitive. It doesn’t make a lot of sense that boiling the water would extinguish the fire any more quickly. If it’s going to kill the fire more quickly, it seems like I should at least get to keep the amount boiled. Maybe it’s a risk thing where more water takes longer to boil, and it tells you the time required, and if that doesn’t reach boiling for X minutes to purify, then the whole “batch” is bad.
  • Died from a wolf mauling on the third nighty. Turns out they aren’t afraid of lanterns. :) It definitely felt like I was being pretty foolhardy and not unfair.

Will send more feedback as I dig more into it. It looks really great so far, and I'm glad I got in on the Kickstarter.

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If you try to sleep all night at one go, you're sure to get dehydrated. You can see the effect of afflictions in the health percentage. The more/severe afflictions, the lower the percentage and faster the decline. As for melting/boiling water, I don't think it actually extinguishes the fire more quickly, time just goes faster.

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Thanks for this detailed feedback. Some responses below.

  • Stood next to fire with no appreciable effect. After several minutes temp went up slowly by a few degrees. Even got close enough to burn myself on the fire. Does wind affect where you need to stand relative to a fire? I was under a rocky outcropping.
The rate of warming is affected by both the air temperature and wind chill -- the colder it gets, the slower the rate of warming. It does help to be shielded from the wind (and it reduces the wind chill effect). I think this needs to be revisited to some extent, since it can be frustrating to right beside a fire and have the warming increase very slowly or not at all.
The UI could use a Sims style rate of change indicator on the bars to let me know what’s stabilized, what’s decreasing and what’s increasing (along with info about the rate).
Interesting idea. The UI is getting a major overhaul, so this is something we can consider.
The framerate was notably different when I went to interiors for some reason. I was able to get by in the exterior with “High” but had to drop it to “medium” to get an acceptable rate indoors. (Nvidia GT240, 8GB RAM, i3 550 @ 3.2GHz)
This is very strange, as the framerate indoors should always be higher than outdoors. Is this for all interiors, or specific ones?
The load times were pretty egregious for traveling back and forth between interior and exterior. Given the project status it's not something I'm concerned with personally. Tangentially, I wonder if you could do what Fallout 3 does and load one interior at a time while keeping the exterior resident so you can just pop out when you’re finished exploring an area.
Our goal is to bring the interior->exterior load times way down. It's a high priority for me to address this, and my goal is to have that time in the 1 second range.
It’s a little weird that I have footprints but no feet. I can appreciate the difficulties of full body awareness while wanting to keep the simulation element of footprints in the snow, though.
Yeah, we have to pick our battles in terms of features, and full body awareness is notoriously difficult and can detract from the experience unless done very well.
I with there was a little better visual management of equipped clothing items.
Agree -- and this is something that will be addressed in the UI overhaul. It feels like it needs its own separate paper-doll style interface.
Keeping the images of the other inventory items would also be cool. It’s easier to see what you’ve got at a glance with icons instead of reading a list. Might just be an alpha thing though.
Expect some big changes/improvements in the inventory interface.
I always seem to wake up cripplingly thirsty. Even if I was close to fine when I went to sleep.
It is a bit punishing, and something open for tuning.
Seems like it could be useful to allow the camera free movement while progress bars are moving (looting, building fires, etc). This allows the player to keep a lookout while the time consuming task is taking place. I’m assuming this time sink is because there needs to be tension while performing tasks (i.e. is a wolf approaching).
Tension is part of it, but one of the pillars of the simulation is that actions take time, and time takes resources. So players need to be cognizant of the tradeoffs of everything they do to maximize their chances for survival. Looking around while engaged in these tasks is a pretty cool idea, although it should be limited to reasonable angles.
The looting interface seems inconsistent. Normally I get the series of items that pop up as the bar fills while searching. Occasionally I get a container interface where I pick from items in the container’s inventory to move over to mine. Not sure why there are two mechanisms here.
For items that don't have proper meshes yet (most clothing items) we skip the inspection mode.
The first aid section that lists my current afflictions should also tell me what effects they’re having on me. I have no idea what first degree burns are doing to impede me right now. Don’t know if it’s even worth bothering to fix it.
First aid in general is not well developed yet, so expect significant improvements here.
Boiling water and melting snow seems a little over punitive. It doesn’t make a lot of sense that boiling the water would extinguish the fire any more quickly. If it’s going to kill the fire more quickly, it seems like I should at least get to keep the amount boiled. Maybe it’s a risk thing where more water takes longer to boil, and it tells you the time required, and if that doesn’t reach boiling for X minutes to purify, then the whole “batch” is bad.
You could argue that you can't partially boil water... it's an all-or-nothing thing. But it's also reasonable to assume the boiling could take place in batches like you suggest. Note that the fire doesn't really get extinguished more quickly, it's just that time is accelerated during the action. The fire still lasts the same amount of in-game hours.
Died from a wolf mauling on the third nighty. Turns out they aren’t afraid of lanterns. :) It definitely felt like I was being pretty foolhardy and not unfair.

Yes, our goal is to make things hard but fair. Still a fair bit of work to be done to allow players to properly "read" wolves though.

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Just chipping in my 2p on these thoughts:

Stood next to fire with no appreciable effect. After several minutes temp went up slowly by a few degrees. Even got close enough to burn myself on the fire. Does wind affect where you need to stand relative to a fire? I was under a rocky outcropping.

I've been thinking about the effects of being sat next to a fire in bad conditions and my suspicion is that a fire in an area that isn't enclosed (so most outdoor spaces) there's nowhere to collect the heat from the fire so it all gets lost in convection. The radiated heat from the fire is a factor, but the small size campfires we build aren't going to radiate a huge quantity of heat in comparison to the force of a blizzard. I'm thinking that without some sort of containing shelter, a campfire isn't going to be much use, even in the lee of a rocky overhang or train tunnel entrance.

The UI could use a Sims style rate of change indicator on the bars to let me know what’s stabilized, what’s decreasing and what’s increasing (along with info about the rate).

This would be hugely useful, even if just for testing. It answers the question "is this fire going to do anything to warm me up", which would be somewhat obvious quickly if you were there to experience it but in game time a lot of time has to pass before that can be assessed if the rate of change is small.

I always seem to wake up cripplingly thirsty. Even if I was close to fine when I went to sleep.

I wondered if this was linked to food I'd recently eaten. e.g. eat a lot of sugar and nothing more stable, wake up dreadfully thirsty. I guess that's not a thing, then?

By that same token, there's a distinct lack of coffee in the game so far (at least so far as three days of survival has revealed to me). I'm thinking small fatigue reduction, thirst reduction, but with side-effects for slamming caffeine all the time. e.g. the onset of psychosis from lack of sleep, similar to the creepy effects you get in Don't Starve when your sanity gets too low, with phantom wolves in the trees or whatever.

Seems like it could be useful to allow the camera free movement while progress bars are moving (looting, building fires, etc). This allows the player to keep a lookout while the time consuming task is taking place.

I'd extend that thought to allow some actions that don't require my constant attention to either act as accelerators or allow me to walk away but with consequences if I don't keep track of what I'm doing. For example, do I really need to watch ice melt, then boil to cleanliness, without doing other things at the same time? I could be searching, or crafting, or I could watch the pot boil. The risk of walking away can be that the fire goes out due to lack of fuel, or the pot boils over dousing the fire, or the water boils off leaving me with less than I needed.

Boiling water and melting snow seems a little over punitive. [...] it seems like I should at least get to keep the amount boiled. Maybe it’s a risk thing where more water takes longer to boil, and it tells you the time required, and if that doesn’t reach boiling for X minutes to purify, then the whole “batch” is bad.

I'm not sure there's a good game in "partially bad water" from not boiling enough; I can see a good case for it being bad until it's good. But being able to choose to melt and boil in a single action would be useful, though, as the action is a continuous one.

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Just chipping in my 2p on these thoughts:

I'd extend that thought to allow some actions that don't require my constant attention to either act as accelerators or allow me to walk away but with consequences if I don't keep track of what I'm doing. For example, do I really need to watch ice melt, then boil to cleanliness, without doing other things at the same time? I could be searching, or crafting, or I could watch the pot boil. The risk of walking away can be that the fire goes out due to lack of fuel, or the pot boils over dousing the fire, or the water boils off leaving me with less than I needed.

I'm not sure there's a good game in "partially bad water" from not boiling enough; I can see a good case for it being bad until it's good. But being able to choose to melt and boil in a single action would be useful, though, as the action is a continuous one.

I agree about being able to do other things as well, but I think it might also be a dev choice of which way to either timeshift activities, or have the player actually do all the steps manually in normal game time mode.

e.g.: melting snow means gathering a pot full, melting it (a pot full produces very little water), setting it aside, going outside to gather another handful, repeat. The boiling is also done in batches (such as a small pot or tin at a time) and would include the storage or changing of each batch. Foraging would also include wandering around finding the bits and pieces, breaking them down, gathering and lugging them around.

The devs can probably answer best, but I think it was more a choice of "do we have the players do every single little step, or do we balance time/risk/rewards so they can progress with the game but still have control over balancing choices and options".

The "melting" part also includes a lot of time gathering enough snow back and forth to gather enough snow for the quantity of water. Yes snow is plentiful, but it takes a huge amount, and only a bit at a time is being melted. The devs may fine tune it (although I have a feeling they've based the time on real life time approximates).

To do melting and boiling in one continuous action would mean you would melt each batch of snow, resulting in very little water to be boiled - -and would then lose most of that quantity as boiling out.

Also, there are purification tablets in the game, so not all of the melted snow requires boiling. Plus, if you have the needed First Aid stuff on hand, there are times when it's worth the risk of drinking the unboiled water in exchange to using the additional fire burning time for other uses.

Another technique is to melt any amount of snow if the fire is about to die out [you get credit for that water]. That way you can boil it during the next fire without having to melt more first.

It's actually a well played balancing act in time management and priority options -- check some of Accurize's videos... he makes brilliant uses in gaining the most value since both melting and boiling are separate time consumptions.

Personally from having played through some of the pre-alpha versions, the devs do continue to tweak the balances -- some mundane individual tasks were consolidated, while others were actually broken down into further steps and choices when they helped towards player time management and rewards.

The good thing is they're always open to the feedback, so that will likely help them as they tweak everything further.

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This is very strange, as the framerate indoors should always be higher than outdoors. Is this for all interiors, or specific ones?

It seemed pretty universal in all of the interiors I visited, from small trailers to the camper welcome center. It did strike me as odd since like you say, exteriors are usually much more intensive than interiors. The only think that comes to mind is the god ray effect coming through the windows, but surely that wouldn't bring down the FPS like that. Is there a debug console command to get a specific FPS count?

You could argue that you can't partially boil water... it's an all-or-nothing thing. But it's also reasonable to assume the boiling could take place in batches like you suggest. Note that the fire doesn't really get extinguished more quickly, it's just that time is accelerated during the action. The fire still lasts the same amount of in-game hours.

Ok, that makes more sense. Does that time lapse happen during other activities as well and I just didn't notice, or is it only for melting/boiling because it takes so long?

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Ok, that makes more sense. Does that time lapse happen during other activities as well and I just didn't notice, or is it only for melting/boiling because it takes so long?

  • Time lapse happens with every activity you do. You see it as a Time when on the fire 2:56 remaining and you will see the decrease rapidly when boiling.
  • When searching a container, you get the progress bar, but thats in real time.
  • When you harvest a carcass, you will see in the HUD how much time it will take to harvest, Meat/Gut/Hide and you can then make a educated decision. But that will act like the fire, as in Fast Forward.
  • When you Forage for wood, you get the option to how many hours and they are also in fast forward.

So in the end, when you get to the Fast Forward options, you need to think, about Wolves, what afflictions you have and your condition as a whole. In the early pre-alpha days I have died from exposure when foraging for wood, because my cloths were rags and I was in pretty bad condition. BUT I needed wood . . . .

I dont agree with being able to look around when your searching a drawer, container or backpack, because really your going through that as quick as you can so you can keep moving. I would be looking into said Bag/Drawer/Container to see what I'm trying to find . . .

@Alan Maybe we can have a Hotkey when we are outdoors, for when we hear a Wolf's growl, we can hit the Hotkey, and then stop the search altogether, so we can then look around. Nothing there, go back and finish the search off from where we left it . . . Im putting this in the wishlist.

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It seemed pretty universal in all of the interiors I visited, from small trailers to the camper welcome center. It did strike me as odd since like you say, exteriors are usually much more intensive than interiors. The only think that comes to mind is the god ray effect coming through the windows, but surely that wouldn't bring down the FPS like that. Is there a debug console command to get a specific FPS count?

Yeah, it's likely the god ray effect -- there is pretty massive overdraw with that, which is going to slow down video cards that don't have strong fill rate. It's on my radar for something to optimize, and perhaps turn off for the lowest detail level.

Ok, that makes more sense. Does that time lapse happen during other activities as well and I just didn't notice, or is it only for melting/boiling because it takes so long?

If you see the clock HUD gauge at the top of the screen, that means you're in time lapse.

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[*]Boiling water and melting snow seems a little over punitive. It doesn’t make a lot of sense that boiling the water would extinguish the fire any more quickly. If it’s going to kill the fire more quickly, it seems like I should at least get to keep the amount boiled. Maybe it’s a risk thing where more water takes longer to boil, and it tells you the time required, and if that doesn’t reach boiling for X minutes to purify, then the whole “batch” is bad.

You could argue that you can't partially boil water... it's an all-or-nothing thing. But it's also reasonable to assume the boiling could take place in batches like you suggest. Note that the fire doesn't really get extinguished more quickly, it's just that time is accelerated during the action. The fire still lasts the same amount of in-game hours.

Played the game first time yesterday and boiling the water was the first thing I thought to be quite odd. I mean, I don't know about you but I don't usually stand beside the kettle and just wait for the water to boil. I'll do other stuff while that's happening. ;)

Melting snow being a time sink I can understand as you don't get that much water from small amount of snow and it takes time to go back and forth to collect it. I would also like an option to fill a bucket with snow and just leave the bucket inside a warm cottage. That way after a day or so you would have a bucket full of water.

Also while on the subject of boiling/cooking, I found it odd that if you have a stove with two kettle "slots" you can still only do one thing at a time.

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