OFFICIAL STORY MODE DETAILS + TEASER


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4 hours ago, KD7BCH said:

Guys while the sandbox can go out in bits and pieces the story mode obviously can't be a bit and pieces release and still maintain the same reviews on quality if they dump it early. As much as I'd love another update of the sandbox in short order I am willing to wait for a few more weeks until they have the story mode in a release candidacy. Hinterland has over the last year delivered more than a dozen solid updates which have consistently improved the game. Patience is a virtue. A few more weeks is only a few more weeks. 

Why would you make the assumption that story mode cannot have multiple staged fully functional releases? Provided there is a release mechanism, there is no software that cannot be made in the spiral development model. What they cannot do is cut a CD release that is intended to be stand alone. Since this program runs on steam, the mechanism for updates and releases are there. At some point, the development team will move on to other products or the next iteration of The Long Dark sold as a separate product (Spring, Summer and Fall perhaps or simply additional regions and new stories)

It is true that most testing can be done in Sandbox mode however I would assume that there should be a certain period of shakedown before calling Story Mode done. That way if anything comes up, there is still time to make another alpha release. 30 days for example.

Is there going to be a beta release? That was the old term we used to use; beta testing. Alpha testing being unit testing and in-house integration testing.

6 hours ago, Spottdrossel said:

I just grew tired of waiting and reading about how well things are going while also seeing the release date got pushed back again frustrate me.

That's also why I'm not complaining about "value for money" but "delays".

[snip]

If the deadlines you announce really don't matter that much to you, it might be better to refrain from making them public until you can be sure to meet them.

 

An anticipated release date is not a deadline. No one had to wait; we have all been playing the game since alpha release. The reason that we have as much additional functionality is because the game sold very well in pre-release; this permitted Hinterland to add much more functionality and consequently the anticipated release date for Story Mode was pushed back. The original concept was that sandbox would simply go away and the game would only be Story Mode. As things progressed and it became obvious Hinterland has a hit game, they wisely decided to add more content and retain Sandbox (free form mode). This is the type of game called Open World if I understand the term; there is no linear progression through the game as there is in FireWatch or other games. I have two rhetorical questions:

A) what do you hope to achieve with your comments? Are you merely venting your emotions or attempting to disparage the product as a troll? That is libelous.

B) why do you think anyone else wants to hear your complaints? Take it to email or support and please stop annoying all of us. I have already reported your posts as inappropriate; I can only conclude that they serve no legitimate purpose and are insulting and immature.

I apologize to the community; I'm in a cranky mood today.

As we used to say on Usenet: "welcome to my kill file"

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Thanks for all the questions and interest in what we're doing (and trying to do), Steve. We've attempted to explain -- at various times -- our plans, but it's time to refresh this information. We

Since there are so many folks complaining here, I feel like dropping in and giving my view on things: The development of TLD has been one incredible ride. Never in my life did I get so much enjoyment

Couldn't have said it better Hotzn!! As I've said in the past, I've purchased numerous games for $40 or $50 that I ended up playing an hour and putting back in the box never to be played again!!

I just wanted to chime in with the following, Hinterland don't change a thing. The Long Dark is an amazing game.  Each update is wonderful and each new area spectacular. I love learning about each new mechanic, each new item and each new feature. 

Of course I'm looking forward to story mode I don't want to see it even a second before your studio feels like its ready for release. 

Please keep up the great work.

 

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19 hours ago, SteveP said:

Why would you make the assumption that story mode cannot have multiple staged fully functional releases? Provided there is a release mechanism, there is no software that cannot be made in the spiral development model. What they cannot do is cut a CD release that is intended to be stand alone. Since this program runs on steam, the mechanism for updates and releases are there. At some point, the development team will move on to other products or the next iteration of The Long Dark sold as a separate product (Spring, Summer and Fall perhaps or simply additional regions and new stories)

While the game can release in chapters for sure and I believe they intend to do that. All of the components of the first chapter of story have to come out or the quality will be substantially impacted. So you need all of the systems from the sandbox as they are, you need voice overs or the CC, you need the settings built, you need the characters animated and cut scenes and goals or needs setup, and conditions for success and failure. So it is a lot of stuff and if any part of it isn't finished or doesn't work well together it simply isn't ready. While the game can be in alpha and the various systems in the game continue to be added in the sandbox the sandbox is a playground without the structure of scripted events and so it is a lot different and the quality of that experience is much more about your own story and your imagination creating your own story with the tools that exist. There is no map or points system or scoring tally any of that in a typical game there is just how long can you survive? The story mode will obviously have some conditions and choices and etc. In any event the story mode is much more being handed a pencil and a notebook and a write your story on the theme of survival and you can make a high quality experience there without any words already on the page. The storymode is all about being handed a book with the story already written and while the first chapter may already be written yet, if the story crashes on page 7 or words on page 11 are all missing or upside down, or the audio constantly clips, etc. It would suck. 

I do like the idea of spring summer fall editions of TLD but they have to finish the story component and tie up the sandbox more. 

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2 hours ago, KD7BCH said:

While the game can release in chapters for sure and I believe they intend to do that. All of the components of the first chapter of story have to come out or the quality will be substantially impacted. So you need all of the systems from the sandbox as they are, you need voice overs or the CC, you need the settings built, you need the characters animated and cut scenes and goals or needs setup, and conditions for success and failure. So it is a lot of stuff and if any part of it isn't finished or doesn't work well together it simply isn't ready. While the game can be in alpha and the various systems in the game continue to be added in the sandbox the sandbox is a playground without the structure of scripted events and so it is a lot different and the quality of that experience is much more about your own story and your imagination creating your own story with the tools that exist. There is no map or points system or scoring tally any of that in a typical game there is just how long can you survive? The story mode will obviously have some conditions and choices and etc. In any event the story mode is much more being handed a pencil and a notebook and a write your story on the theme of survival and you can make a high quality experience there without any words already on the page. The storymode is all about being handed a book with the story already written and while the first chapter may already be written yet, if the story crashes on page 7 or words on page 11 are all missing or upside down, or the audio constantly clips, etc. It would suck. 

I do like the idea of spring summer fall editions of TLD but they have to finish the story component and tie up the sandbox more. 

This is exactly it. We only get one chance to launch the game we want The Long Dark to be. What we launch will determine what we do, and what we get to do, in the future.

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32 minutes ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

This is exactly it. We only get one chance to launch the game we want The Long Dark to be. What we launch will determine what we do, and what we get to do, in the future.

Thanks for the clarification. I know you made some hints about the future of TLD in interviews and the release notes. Any chance you can clarify future plans? I'd like to continue posting a possible design for an advanced flint knapping mechanic but I don't foresee you guys having time to implement before Story Mode release. I also don't want to give system specs that could be used by the competition.

Once you make the Release are there to be any enhancements and or fixes? Can we continue in the Wishlist with ideas for the next release? I have a $20 burning a hole in my pocket for the next early access.

Are you planning to move outside TLD to other game genres? Are you happy with staffing at this time?

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1 hour ago, SteveP said:

Thanks for the clarification. I know you made some hints about the future of TLD in interviews and the release notes. Any chance you can clarify future plans? I'd like to continue posting a possible design for an advanced flint knapping mechanic but I don't foresee you guys having time to implement before Story Mode release. I also don't want to give system specs that could be used by the competition.

Once you make the Release are there to be any enhancements and or fixes? Can we continue in the Wishlist with ideas for the next release? I have a $20 burning a hole in my pocket for the next early access.

Are you planning to move outside TLD to other game genres? Are you happy with staffing at this time?

Thanks for all the questions and interest in what we're doing (and trying to do), Steve.

We've attempted to explain -- at various times -- our plans, but it's time to refresh this information. We're working on a visualization of our content plans to help communicate how we plan to continue extending the game over time. It will certainly be some form of leapfrogging updates between Sandbox (which will remain our "core") and Story, which will be rolled out episodically until the Season One story arc between Will Mackenzie and Dr. Astrid Greenwood has been carried through to its conclusion. 

Beyond that, we'll begin another Season (Spring), which has relevance to both mechanics, world, and narrative. This new Season will be analogous to a new game (i.e. "The Long Dark 2").

Please continue sharing your ideas. When we launch Story Mode we will be out of Early Access, but it won't change much about how we collaborate with our community.

We'd also like to work on other game(s) and may grow the studio somewhat to support prototyping and R&D, but for the time being our focus as a studio is 100% on delivering an excellent Story Mode launch, so that we have a solid foundation to build on in the future. I would like to continue building The Long Dark for the next 2-3 years, ultimately concluding in Year One of The Long Dark -- what was it like to experience the first year of the Quiet Apocalypse?

But, we very much feel that our success as a studio will depend on how strong our launch is. There have recently been a series of highly anticipated games that have fell short of the mark with their respective communities once they launched, and we are very much doing everything we can to avoid that, while also balancing the hunger our community has for new content and for our launch! This project has been all about finding the balance between a lot of challenging things. :)

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3 minutes ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

Thanks for all the questions and interest in what we're doing (and trying to do), Steve.

We've attempted to explain -- at various times -- our plans, but it's time to refresh this information. We're working on a visualization of our content plans to help communicate how we plan to continue extending the game over time. It will certainly be some form of leapfrogging updates between Sandbox (which will remain our "core") and Story, which will be rolled out episodically until the Season One story arc between Will Mackenzie and Dr. Astrid Greenwood has been carried through to its conclusion. 

Beyond that, we'll begin another Season (Spring), which has relevance to both mechanics, world, and narrative.

Wow. Just Wow. :x

So all this up to the end of Season One is included in the price of early access? ($20) I'm assuming then with the release of the first episode of season 1, the price goes up. And then we pay for Season Two?

The addition of NPCs can explain how our player acquires the knowledge to forge high quality blades and how to knap. I was thinking you'd find something in a book that just magically gifted you with the knowledge and unlocked certain skills but NPCs is another way to help rationalize & even superficially teach these skills. Actually imparting useful knowledge applicable outside the game has value to people.

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51 minutes ago, SteveP said:

So all this up to the end of Season One is included in the price of early access? ($20) I'm assuming then with the release of the first episode of season 1, the price goes up. And then we pay for Season Two?

That's the plan, correct.

We can assume that as our survivors exist in this world for longer and longer, they and other people they meet have knowledge (or need knowledge) of additional survival skills. So I see plenty of room for these types of skills to be learned. Mainly the limits come down to mechanics and UI -- how they are learned, and then manipulated. 

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18 minutes ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

We can assume that as our survivors exist in this world for longer and longer, they and other people they meet have knowledge (or need knowledge) of additional survival skills. So I see plenty of room for these types of skills to be learned. Mainly the limits come down to mechanics and UI -- how they are learned, and then manipulated. 

Wunderbar! Some of these skill reference books could actually teach useful skills that add tremendous value to the product. I'm wondering if XBOX has support for EPUB? Sales of XBox-one are much lower these days now that PCs are able to run good games with higher cross-platform portability. I'm looking at Xbox marketshare and it looks like Sony is taking over the game console market. I expect this is already part of your market plan so I'll stop here.

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On 12/18/2015 at 3:15 PM, Raven 2010 said:

Story mode finally .... Hmm hope that updates to sand box and story mode won't get priority over the other at least till sand box is "finished" . ik that story mode will probably get updates till this game heaven forbid falls out of relevance I just hope that sandbox will still get TLC when and after story mode hits

It will have to be updated along side with the game, sandbox mode is the same world that the story will be in, just, well... no story ! 

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I can understand the concerns raised by other early access players. I bough in December 2014 hearing 2-3 months of early access at the time. But the longer it has been in the oven, the better it has gotten, so no complaints here. I'm also ready to sign up for another year or two of checking back with the game every month to play with new features, and stay active in the community in the meantime.

I'm really excited about some of the possible new dangers that could be introduced, such as disease/ailments with more natural remedies, perhaps some environmental dangers like avalanches, mudslides, trees dropping limbs or coming down entirely during storms. 

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In my opinion Hinterland is doing a great job regarding communication with the community. It takes some time, yes, but the community is already large and Hinterland is a small team. Even specific issues like the Mac performance issues i had got addressed and there was always feedback when necessary. In my opinion it's better to take the time for a product. Better release it late than early, if it adds to the quality. if Hinterland decided to release more early, the same people now complaining would complain in that case, too, if the game would contain bugs or a weak story. 

I want story mode, too ... heck, i want it so much. I am visiting community and facebook page every week now to see if there's some announcement of when "spring" is. But there's already so much content available and you can already spend so much time in the sandbox: for me it was already very challenging and addicting to try to get the steam achievements. It's already so much fun spending time in "The Long Dark" ... so i am perfectly fine with any release-date Hinterland is going to choose ... :)

 

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I'm just impatient I suppose. Getting tire of roaming the wilderness with no real direction.. Still love the game just tired of waiting to play the story for the most part and It is why I have been a bit noisy about not getting at least regular updates on whats being worked on or story updates. I get what you are saying though Raphael, So don't get me wrong because I have griped a bit, I really do appreciate the work you all are doing. Thanks for the few titbits you put out here as well as that helps with the wait and that you all are going to put something together that better explains the path is great. I can't wait to give it a look.

Oh, almost forgot, Spring is here.. ^_^

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Since there are so many folks complaining here, I feel like dropping in and giving my view on things: The development of TLD has been one incredible ride. Never in my life did I get so much enjoyment for so little money. Not only a sandbox game that has already made me spend over 300 hours playing it (I don't regret a minute of it), but also being able to look deeply into the development process. Immensely interesting. Over the course of roughly a year, I have learned about wolves, survival (watched a lot of instructional videos), the unity engine, early access and how it works... and a lot of other things. TLD has somehow become a part of my life for the time being, as rare as it sounds when I think about it. I do not have the shadow of a doubt that story mode will come out one day, and I would rather have it well done than rushed out. Exactly as one mightily bearded forum member said - there have been a number of recent releases that fell short of expectations, and there are few things more disappointing than that. And mind you - expectations are high for TLD, as it could not be otherwise for a game that has sold over 500,000 copies in EA and has a >95% positive rating on Steam. Take your time, Hinterland, and it will be great. And kudos for your plans to expand the sandbox even after release. I feel there is still room for improvements (especially introducing higher difficulty levels, hehe), and I would feel slightly sad if I knew that it would now remain as it is.

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21 hours ago, Hotzn said:

Since there are so many folks complaining here, I feel like dropping in and giving my view on things: The development of TLD has been one incredible ride. Never in my life did I get so much enjoyment for so little money. Not only a sandbox game that has already made me spend over 300 hours playing it (I don't regret a minute of it), but also being able to look deeply into the development process. Immensely interesting. Over the course of roughly a year, I have learned about wolves, survival (watched a lot of instructional videos), the unity engine, early access and how it works... and a lot of other things. TLD has somehow become a part of my life for the time being, as rare as it sounds when I think about it. I do not have the shadow of a doubt that story mode will come out one day, and I would rather have it well done than rushed out. Exactly as one mightily bearded forum member said - there have been a number of recent releases that fell short of expectations, and there are few things more disappointing than that. And mind you - expectations are high for TLD, as it could not be otherwise for a game that has sold over 500,000 copies in EA and has a >95% positive rating on Steam. Take your time, Hinterland, and it will be great. And kudos for your plans to expand the sandbox even after release. I feel there is still room for improvements (especially introducing higher difficulty levels, hehe), and I would feel slightly sad if I knew that it would now remain as it is.

Couldn't have said it better Hotzn!!

As I've said in the past, I've purchased numerous games for $40 or $50 that I ended up playing an hour and putting back in the box never to be played again!!

This game (and community) are exceptional and Hinterlands is hands down the most "responsive" game studio I've ever known .....It's not even close!!

Respectfully, some of you "complainers" quite truthfully, really need to get over yourselves and relax a little. ;)

Edited by cowboymrh
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I'm so stinkin excited. 

I spend 13 hours a day on the phones at work, during small talk you learn who are gamers, I have literally, after telling them about this game, walked more customers than I can count through ordering on stream and Xbox, not to mention family. I love hearing back from them, it is splendid to hear how much they enjoy playing. ❤

 this is the ONLY game I play. Worth every penny.  

Thank you Hinterland Team!  :-D

 

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10 hours ago, Tigerskitten said:

I'm so stinkin excited. 

I spend 13 hours a day on the phones at work, during small talk you learn who are gamers, I have literally, after telling them about this game, walked more customers than I can count through ordering on stream and Xbox, not to mention family. I love hearing back from them, it is splendid to hear how much they enjoy playing. ❤

 this is the ONLY game I play. Worth every penny.  

Thank you Hinterland Team!  :-D

 

That's amazing to hear! Your dedication is greatly appreciated. 

A big thank you to everyone else as well for your kind words, support and feedback. We're really looking forward to continuing this journey with you all. 

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  • 7 months later...

This I defiantly great news. The Long Dark is ready to take the next step in the survival genre. I am impressed by the progress this game has made and continues captivate me with its beautiful surroundings. 

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5 hours ago, Dave said:

This I defiantly great news. The Long Dark is ready to take the next step in the survival genre. I am impressed by the progress this game has made and continues captivate me with its beautiful surroundings. 

 

FYI this post is originally almost a year old and the Spring Release it refers to was supposed to be this past spring.  And it was actually bad news because when it was dropped it was to announce that they would not be keeping to their by December 2015 release statements.

Just to catch you up, they then failed to meet that Spring release and are supposedly still working on finishing the exact same things even now.  Good news?  Next step?  We wait...

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  • 5 months later...
On 1/28/2016 at 6:25 PM, bethany said:

We are in the process of gathering information on these backers, and will be contacting them in the near future. We'll have more to share soon.

I still haven't heard anything about my information being gathered regarding the 'Immortalise yourself in the game' perk.

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5 minutes ago, pkbitchgirl said:

I still haven't heard anything about my information being gathered regarding the 'Immortalise yourself in the game' perk.

Please send us an email at info@hinterlandgames.com so we can make sure we have your relevant info and follow up with you. Thank you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Hinterlanders. I just saw the official trailer and I had a few thoughts.

- I, first, love the new, more detailed Story Mode environments. I really hope to see a lot of the story told in and with them. Yay!

- I, at first, felt like the new trailer was a little disjointed; just showing off new environments, as the Sandbox updates did. However, the theme of time passing, consuming, and the movement between seasons really became clearer after the 45 second mark. I still think it starts a bit . . . I don't know. Disjointed, as I said. Clip-ish? Slideshow-y? Yeah, that last one. Very nice slides, very good show. But, still . . . slide showy.

- The animation has worried me since I first bought the game, but I really should have trusted you folks. It looks great. I like the full-blooded animations; they are lovely, very smooth. However, the "paper cut-out", storyboard-in-motion animation I saw in a few places really steals my heart. It matches the water-color and "chunky" look of things. I don't know if you intend to use it, ever, but I just wanted to sound off about how beautiful that animation style looked against your existing ascetic. Wonderful. I liked that so, so much.

- I have never understood the "game length" discussion; I usually get double or half of what is advertised, with no correlation to how much I like the game! So, I was a little confused on the time length of the two episodes. 6-10 hours, I believe was what the blog said, but for two episodes. So, 6 - 10 per episode or for both, together? Is that (I don't know if I'm even asking this question right) just the "main" content or is that all of it?

- The song was lovely. I didn't recognize it and I couldn't understand the words, but it sounded quite nice.

- PLEASE PLEASE TELL ME I GET TO WEAR A BEAR SKIN LIKE THE DUDE IN TRUE GRIT. (female characters, too, please)

- I love, love, love, the *quiet* apocalypse. Do you know how long it's been since I thought of TLD as a post-apocalypse game? Prolly since I bought it. I love a quiet apocalypse. Beautiful.

- Just in general, and to sum up, I liked the trailer and it still managed to impress me despite my 340+ hrs playing The Long Dark. And although I am a skeptical, cynical bitch at heart, I will hold my breath for you, Hinterlands. I believe in you.

Also: Bear Skin. Make that happen, please. Please?

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