Hesha

Time Lapse, Activity Speed-up and Scale

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After spending a couple of days playing the game and giving it some thought, I have decided to provide my personal feedback on the time lapse mechanics used in TLD.

My feedback posts will be mostly critical in nature, I believe that there is no point in sugarcoating constructive criticism. Nevertheless, I would like to point out, that I really enjoy the game, love the graphic style and feel that most concepts work really well.

My observations:

1: There is a general time lapse in place at all times, someone mentioned it was about 5 "real" seconds per in-game minute. That means that time in the game runs 12 times as fast.

2: Any in-game activity that is being abstracted by the game by using a progress bar, takes about the same amount of real time (a couple of seconds), i.e. the longer the activity lasts, the faster the additional speed-up.

3: The scale of the in-game world / map is 1:1, i.e. what looks like 1 metre in the game is considered to be 1 metre in the game.

Consequences for the game play:

- because of the general time lapse, the survivor moves across the map at an extremely slow pace (cause: scale vs. general time lapse)

- simple activities take unnaturally long, e.g. arranging gear on the floor by dropping it in some form of pattern, searching the backpack, even making decisions, observing the walking direction of wildlife, etc. - basically anything that doesn't use a progress bar (cause: general time lapse)

- status bars decay very quickly, leading to subjectively too much food, water, sleep consumption (cause: general time lapse plus activity speed up)

Conclusion/Suggestion:

Completely remove the general time lapse. What is the purpose of the general time laps anyway? Not to make the game slow/boring? Activity speed ups already make sure of that. In my opinion there is no need for a general speed up when almost all in-game activities speed up time anyway. The game would be much more enjoyable, if walking around wasn't so heavily penalised. One would have more time to make decisions and enjoy the view. Or is it the goal of the general speed-up to make the world seem bigger without having to design bigger maps?

If the removal of the general time lapse is out of the question for you or if it should turn out that I am the only one who feels like this: Would this be moddable?

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...or if it should turn out that I am the only one who feels like this...

You're not the only one...there were several Post about this 'issue'...and I do fully agree on that.

The only thing I don't get is:

Why should a map seem to be bigger with a time-lapse?

Could you pls explain that?

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Why should a map seem to be bigger with a time-lapse?

Possibly because you have to rest more often, and you can't do too long trips. If timescale was 1 you could probably easily explore the whole map in just one day. Not sure if that's what op meant.

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Why should a map seem to be bigger with a time-lapse?

Possibly because you have to rest more often, and you can't do too long trips. If timescale was 1 you could probably easily explore the whole map in just one day. Not sure if that's what op meant.

More or less if assuming walking in game is at real world pace.

The increased time scale of 12 minutes per real world minute would make walking 1/12th real world (since you could only ever walk 1/12th as far in one day as you could in real life.)

Actuality is travel speeds are sped up in game to maintain interest. Very little audience for a true walking simulator, I think. I remember outrage when sprinting became a limited resource. Still, game ends up at approximately 1.5km per game hour which is about 1/3rd average real life of 4.5 kilometers per hour.

So maps can be 1/3rd smaller and still approximate real life travel times. Again, not a walking simulator. Don't really need a properly scaled forest as long as it takes appropriately long to walk through it.

Build a 4 times bigger forest I can walk only walk through 3 times slower to get real world times?

No, thank you.

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I think someone once mentioned that the very first TLD versions (pre-alpha) didn't have a time acceleration and people constantly complained about journeys taking half an eternity (of real life time) back then. I very much doubt that many players would see it as improvement if we e.g. needed 60 RL minutes to travel from Trapper's Homestead to the Camp Office like it was back then. I for one certainly wouldn't.

The main problem is that a removal of time acelleration would unavoidably have a tremendous effect on our character's movement speed. (You can't just keep the current movement speed and take away time acceleration at the same time unless you want to make it possible to explore and loot two full maps in only one single ingame day. Which would be a horrible idea imho.)

Even with time accelaration some guys still complain about the overall movement speed feeling too slow. Imagine how much worse it would be if our character moved 12 times slower. It would probably feel like walking through jelly.^^

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So... Are you saying that pre-alpha had different map at some point? Because if no, then what you are saying makes no sense.

Disabling time acceleration wouldn't affect waking speed. Currently walking speed is incredibly slow compared to the time speed.

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Of course it makes sense. I'll give you an example:

Let's say currently (with 12x time acceleration) it takes 5 RL minutes and one ingame hour to travel from Trapper's homestead to the CO.

If you remove time acceleration (and want to keep the fact that it takes one ingame hour to travel from Trapper's to the CO) the journey would now need to take 60 real life minutes instead (like in pre-alpha). In other words: Your character would move much slower.

The only alternative would be to remove time acceleration and keep the current movement speed (in order to keep the journey 5 RL minutes long) - but this would enable you to travel from Trapper's to the CO not in one ingame hour, but in 5 ingame minutes. Just imagine how fast you would have explored and looted everything at that movement speed. Within two or three ingame hours you could probably have cleared the entire Mystery lake map. All in one ingame afternoon. I very much doubt this would be fun.

I hope this example illustrates my point.

Edited by Guest

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The only alternative would be to remove time acceleration and keep the current movement speed (in order to keep the journey 5 RL minutes long) - but this would enable you to travel from Trapper's to the CO not in one ingame hour, but in 5 ingame minutes. Just imagine how fast you would have explored and looted everything at that movement speed...

This is the only way it could work and I'm sure that that is the way it worked before. Slowing the player speed wouldn't be any better since then it wouldn't actually change anything. Currently walking speed is 100% and time speed is 1200% so changing time speed to 100% is obviously the solution op is looking at.

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Current game walking speed is 1/3rd actual when metered to game time units. But game time units are 12 times faster than real world. So what you see (you are in the real world) on your screen is still a video of someone walking over ground 4 times faster than you actually could (real world). So, making game time equal real time would leave you running around in a real time world at 4 times average walking pace.

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Sorry but I don't really understand your math. Currently the player walks way less in 1 minute (game time) than you could walk in real world in one real minute.

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Currently walking speed is 100% and time speed is 1200% so changing time speed to 100% is obviously the solution op is looking at.

I agree that the Op most likely had in mind what you said, but this doesn't change the fact that such a TLD wouldn't be fun to play. At least not for me.

I'll try to explain it one last time: You cannot simply remove time acceleration AND keep the current movement speed unless you're willing to accept that people explore and loot a whole map within one single ingame afternoon.

It would feel as if you were The Flash, running around in a time-frozen world with an eternal (e.g. 4 real life hour long) afternoon where the sun is crawling across the sky extremely slow and where the weather is hardly ever changing. I personally wouldn't find that fun.

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I agree that the Op most likely had in mind what you said, but this doesn't change the fact that such a TLD wouldn't be fun to play. At least not for me.

Yes, I understand what you are saying and even the op acknowledged this in his first post.

However slowing down walk speed is not a realistic option. Imagine if it would take you a 1 minute (real time) to walk to another side of the room lol.

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Wow, I'm delighted my post received this much attention.

Since walking speed is the only part of my OP that is being discussed at the moment, let me respond to your arguments. What you have been saying so far, is that my observation of a 12x time acceleration is correct, but that this is somewhat offset by a 4x movement speed acceleration. I don't believe that. If this is based on the screenshot coordinates, then it simply means that the units of those coordinates are not metres! Outdoor distances can be hard to judge, because trees come in different sizes, etc. but indoor distances are easy to calculate, because certain types of furniture have more or less standard dimensions. And walking from the front door of the Camp Office to the back door takes precisely as long as it would if someone built the building to scale and physically walked the same distance. There is no (significant) movement acceleration.

Even outdoors, there is some degree of accuracy in judging distances. Let's say you stand at the lake shore by the Camp Office and look across the lake on a clear day. You can see the nearest fishing hut on the lake and going by memory (I don't have access to the game right now), I'd say it is about 400m away. Walking there takes about as much "real time" as I would expect from judging the distance on the screen. Was I moving four times faster than that, wouldn't it seem like I'm riding a bike in-game? It doesn't. The landscape moves past you as fast as it does at a good "real" walking speed.

I would be fine with a slightly reduced walking speed, if the general time lapse was done away with. I want as many aspects of the game to be realistic as possible. There are more aspects that I would suggest changes for, but that doesn't belong here. Generally I am in favour of realism vs. gameyness. I appreciate that not everybody feels like this. Casual gamers, for example, would probably like to increase walking speeds even further. That is simply a question of what audience this game wants to serve. Ultimately I don't care, as long is this is easily moddable.

Even with my suggested removal of the general time lapse, it would not be possible to clear the map in an afternoon, simple because harvesting a killed wolf is still going to take two to three hours and harvesting a fir limb is still going to take 45min. All that will change is that we can cover more ground more realistically and that the inconsistency between progress-bar simulated activities and all other activities (e.g. walking).

To sum up my problem with the current system: I don't like that it takes several minutes (!!!) to cross a room or climb a flight of stairs.

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I personally never felt the walking speed or accelerated time is a big problem, in the beginning it feels like you have very little time a day but when you progress in the game you often don't know what activities to fill your day with.

But I experienced the same confusion with the time acceleration when I'm sorting stuff in the game, you collect some things and carry them somewhere, you do that a few times and suddenly hours have passed. Or you shoot a deer and see it dropping in the distance, you walk over and its already 25% frozen. Yeah hmm its weird and could definitely need some fine tuning...

My suggestion to the problem would be that time gets ~30-50% less accelerated and the day and night cycles gets normalized again - 10 hours daylight 14 hours nighttime, you would not able to explore much more in a day because in the morning and at night the low temperatures force you to stay inside and if I'm not mistaking the wolf population magically increases at night too?

And that it takes a lot of time to travel when there is a thick layer of snow is accurate.

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