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About MikeyPdog

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  1. Hi, I'm one of the modders also. I love TLD and have clocked 270 hours on it. I was in the games industry for 7 years as lead designer and shipped a number of AAA games, and truly appreciate how horrible it is to have people flame and criticise your work when you dedicate years of your life to it. I also totally agree that its frustrating when you've got a vision for a game and people ruin it by changing mechanics that you have explicitly placed for a reason. However, one thing I learnt when making a game is that it's near impossible to get good endgame balance right for expert players that have clocked 200+ hours and know every trick. Simply having a QA department play something like interloper to 100 days multiple times is not feasible financially and playing your own game so many times it becomes hard to see the game with a fresh pair of eyes - it's too easy to fall into the trap of playing it 'how it was intended to be played' rather than 'how players actually play it'. Also, I understand that when making a game which sells on the back of an initial purchase price, the most important thing is the first few hours of gameplay and so financially it makes no difference if players play for 10 hours or 500. This is where I think modding can come in - I frequently talk to expert players who understand what little tweaks could be inserted to keep the game interesting and fresh past the first 100-200 hours. I know this is probably a small, niche core of players compared to the wider more casual audience. However, these players can be the most dedicated and vocal in terms of supporting the game online and by word of mouth. Most of my mods are to improve endgame balance and to make more items useful, rather than destroying any vision you might have of how the game is expected to be played. Here's a minor example which maybe only expert players would notice: On interloper, collecting cat tails between cinder hills coal mine and Barn on pleasant valley collects you ~30 cat tails, giving you 4500 calories, using starvation thats 6 days worth of food, or equivalent to 2/3rds of an entire deer. I know this isn't a deal breaker for the majority of more casual players, but a lot of us think hunting deer with a bow should be a lot more rewarding than collecting a few cat tails between locations. Similarly, if i'm playing interloper, I want deer to run away when i get anywhere near them. I want to be firing from far away. I want my bow to swing around wildly until i've levelled up. I want to track a deer across the map and take note of the wind direction and get caught in a blizzard because i've gone too far for too long. Expert players WANT to play the game with the interesting bits, and they want the game balanced so that the most fun and interesting way to play is also the most efficient and rewarding. Another example which might seem minor, chopping limbs gives you less wood burn time than the equivalent time collecting sticks and leaves you vulnerable to wolf attack and uses a hatchet etc. Wood management by expert players typically involves collecting sticks, coal and reclaiming wood when starving (calories burned doing exercise doesnt matter if you dont have any calories!) I would love to see a fir limb and get excited and then ensure i'm warm enough and prepare to chop it up. Similarly, branches don't give enough sticks to be worth breaking them either - these items being useless is a real shame because expert players want to utilise all the items and mechanics in the game and these things have 5 minute fixes. All that said - there are other ways to fix the endgame issues without mods. For example I worked on a game previously where we had an active group of mature expert players recommending and discussing endgame balance tweaks, working closely with the lead designer to understand the vision so solutions to problems could be invented in the context of the overall direction. I know its a completely different genre (and revenue model), but another example is Blizzard regularly beta tested endgame content with the top guilds in the world for World of Warcraft. I'm sure I could collect a handful of 200+ hour expert players and modders to provide some more structured feedback to the state of the endgame / interloper / balance, if that would be helpful. One last thing I make mods for is the challenge side. All challenges default to the same difficulty which makes them samey / easy for expert players, but challenges are very interesting for players that want a specific structured goal in the game whilst still keeping the openness of a sandbox. Recently I released a customisable whiteout challenge with a handful of preset challenges which is fantastic for expert players who want to really challenge themselves, and its not much code to simply open up the shopping list to customise. I previously released a custom nomad challenge which I had brilliant fun playing - playing nomad on interloper is great fun as it takes you across the whole map. Simply allowing players to select a different difficulty for challenges would provide a slew of new replayability options for a very small amount of code. Anyway, it's great to hear you starting to embrace the modding community at last. We all truly love your game and we just want to help make it even better.