Raphael van Lierop

Milton Mailbag -- Dispatch #17

64 posts in this topic

9 hours ago, Wulf Marius said:

This almost sounds like these complaints have not been investigated at all and instead discounted as complaining about intended behaviour or "bad/incomplete" bug reports.
This makes me wonder if other long standing issues have not been fixed because of the same attitude.

You mentioned a badly worded description for one of the custom mode settings further up. Seems like you know about that one, and it sounds like it would take only a minute or two to address, but somehow the decision was to keep it as it is.

My impression is that bug fixing has still a very low priority and I don't think that's helping with the perceived quality of the product.

Incorrect. We investigate all the bugs we get and fix as many as we can. Often issues with systems emerge from a variety of causes so fixing them in one place doesn't necessarily fix them everywhere.

For the custom settings -- nothing only takes a "minute or two" to address. First step is verifying the settings are doing what is intended, which is very time consuming. Next step is ensuring the descriptions are accurate, and when they aren't, addressing them. 

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On 2018-11-23 at 11:47 PM, Raphael van Lierop said:

We'll think about DLC and how it could fit into our plans. It's tricky because we don't want to create stuff that feels out of reach for some players b/c of their financial situation, for example. We're thinking about how to do this in a fair way.

I really like this. Of course Hinterland should be payed for their efforts but it's nice that Raphael expresses it should have a balance. That's fair!  Personally I could pay for some DLC if it speeds up the pace, new maps and stuff. But that's just because I'm so eager to explore new stuff. Thanks for the greatest game in a very long time.

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1 hour ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

Incorrect. We investigate all the bugs we get and fix as many as we can. Often issues with systems emerge from a variety of causes so fixing them in one place doesn't necessarily fix them everywhere.

For the custom settings -- nothing only takes a "minute or two" to address. First step is verifying the settings are doing what is intended, which is very time consuming. Next step is ensuring the descriptions are accurate, and when they aren't, addressing them. 

 

On 23.11.2018 at 11:47 PM, Raphael van Lierop said:

The setting is actually working as intended, it's just the description that was poorly/confusingly written (my bad).

Sounds like the very time consuming part has already been done and we can look forward to the updated description then. :)

Edited by Wulf Marius
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On 23/11/2018 at 4:47 PM, Raphael van Lierop said:

But I don't want to get too crazy with it, as I'm not sure hardcore nutrition simulation is really right for this game. I do think we can do more than we currently are, for sure.

It'd be great if could go a little deeper, I think. One thing is that it just feels a little unnatural to be able survive solely on meat in the later game, but another is that is a bit one-dimensional, gameplay-wise.

It wouldn't need to be a full-on hard core nutrition simulation, but a bit more variety, perhaps in the way of some more harvestable plant types, would be nice. And having players balance their intake of different foods to some extent would and some depth to the gameplay without making it too tiresome to manage, I think.

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On 11/23/2018 at 5:47 PM, Raphael van Lierop said:

I'd prefer that other people in the community suggest books they think are similar to the game!

For me, there are a few that were inspirations when I was coming up with the idea for the game and world, but they are not necessarily *like* the game: THE ROAD (Cormac McCarthy), EARTH ABIDES (George R. Stewart), DOG STARS (Peter Heller). I read one recently called STATION 11 (Emily St. John Mandel) which I think comes pretty close to how I see THE LONG DARK, tone-wise and whatnot. There are lots of other books as well. Interestingly, I've been more influenced by post-ap novels than by wilderness survival novels. Not sure what that means. :) 

I read Station Eleven recently, and it definitely resonated with The Long Dark for me. Lovely book with a much quieter, more tense interpretation of what a post-apocalyptic world would feel like, versus something like Mad Max.

Another book that felt similar to TLD was The Stranger In The Woods by Michael Finkel. It's the nonfiction account of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, surviving outdoors the whole time and living only off of what he could scrounge and steal from the vacation cabins nearby. Incredible story with some deep meditation on the nature of solitude. It's got some quotes that would feel right at home in the loading screen of a new TLD Survival game.

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In the wake of some of the critisisms, I basically only want to say "thank you, @Raphael van Lierop and Hinterland" for my favourite game.

I didn't join the kickstarter, I heard about it and thought the premise sounded incredibly boring, then for whatever reason I did sign up for Early Acess on Steam. That you support Linux was a contributing factor, the amazing art another.  I'm glad I did.

I'm prepared for the risk that a project on Kickstarer or in EA may change over time, that visions may morph, difficulties and opportunities arise unexpecedly, and sometimes that the project is scrapped for whatever reason. It's always a risk. You've negotiated through some of this with, what I percieve as honesty and integrity, trying to do right by both customers and your team, while holding as true to your vision as possible. 

The game has changed a lot over the years, some changes I didn't like at first, some won me over at once, but imo we now have an atmospheric, well-designed game (aurorae included) that has provided me hours of fun, indeed no other game has me coming back as often as TLD ,and I can't think of one which has already given me as much value for my money. As one of the players who is more interested in the sandbox mode than the story (though I'll play both), I'm perhaps less disappointed in the delays and can, obviously, only speak for myself. 

So, thank you.

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On 11/23/2018 at 4:47 PM, Raphael van Lierop said:

1 -- Who said you play Mackenzie in Survival Mode. :)

Lol plot twist: The survivor is actually Mark Meer, whose plane crashed while on his way to record dialogue for The Long Dark 2.

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On 11/23/2018 at 5:47 PM, Raphael van Lierop said:

There's feedback when you have a sprained ankle -- you stumble/lope awkwardly. It's possible to turn this off in settings as it makes some people sick so make sure you have this turned on.

As for more feedback for the event that "triggers" the sprain -- this is almost always the result of something like a Fall (for which there is both audio and visual feedback -- the screen goes red and you hear a voice line reacting to the impact), or a Struggle (so, wolf in your face, etc.) There are very few instances I can think of where you would sprain your wrist or ankle where those events are not tied to a really obvious cause.

I have no complaints about the after effects, well, sorta. the fact that I can't cradle a rifle or the flare pistol but I can chop wood, use the workbench, gut a corpse, etc. is kinda out there. Anything that causes a shock/strain to the sprain should be "nope can't do that". But I digress.

The majority of my sprains occur while I'm walking long distances. along the side of a hill, that sort of thing. I very rarely jump down from any distance as it is sort of unrealistic in something that I can gauge to be almost a foot from looking on my screen is considered a 'fall' so I avoid those situations entirely. Are you telling there are miniature falls littered all over every terrain you've created? Because as BareSkin mentioned later in this post, I get ankle and wrist sprains without a struggle, what is called a fall by the game itself, or any obvious cause. Now that I know I can hit F8 and get an instant screen shot of the scene that also includes coordinates and vital game data, and you want all the feedback you can get on this, I will be happy to submit every situation that it occurs that isn't tied to something specific. 

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I'm not sure if this is the right spot, but here's my biggest gripe with TLD (that could be fixed and isn't a creative decision by Hinterland):

If I have a burning torch in my hand, that's what I want to use to start a fire!  Why should I have to click through to find my torch amongst my other fire starting options?

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26 minutes ago, fauxjargon said:

I'm not sure if this is the right spot, but here's my biggest gripe with TLD (that could be fixed and isn't a creative decision by Hinterland):

If I have a burning torch in my hand, that's what I want to use to start a fire!  Why should I have to click through to find my torch amongst my other fire starting options?

That's more something for the Wish List section of the forums.

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On 11/23/2018 at 6:05 PM, Smellyfries said:

I thought it was 2500 calories?

maybe Hinterland update the calorie store limit for the redux but Raph forgot we don't have it yet?

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@Raphael van Lierop many many thanks for the Milton Mailbag interaction with the community and for producing TLD, which I love dearly.  Because of TLD I have made many very good friends around the world and we all share the game as our common interest, both as players and in many cases as streamers and video creators.

Regarding the sprains "triggers", in my live streams and videos there have been instances such as the following ...

  • Standing on the front porch at ML camp office looking at the lake for wolves, turn round to enter the front door and get double sprain.
  • Walking from Trappers Cabin to Camp office via the rail tunnel to FM (mostly flatish the whole way) and get SIX double sprains in that one journey
  • Standing still on a slope for several minutes watching a wolf patrol, draw the bow to shoot and get a double sprain

One thing that I have noticed after over 700 hours in game streamed or recorded for videos - wearing work boots has the lowest chance of an ankle or double sprain, wearing hiking boots has the highest, with all the other shoe and boot types fairly close together in the middle. 

For example - wearing work boots almost exclusively during 90 days on ML I had only a very few single sprains with no double sprains, but switching to hiking boots for the traversal back to Milton led to five double sprains in the ten days that I wore them until I remembered to change into my spare work boots that I kept in Milton, after which I had no ankle or double sprains in the next 45 days before crossing into HRV.

I've also noticed that the longer your run, the less regularly you get sprains (seems logical as you get more experienced travelling in the weather conditions), but with the hiccup that if you change maps then you'll get a burst of sprains during the first few weeks on the new map (even if you've spent time there before in the same run).  I mainly play long run Voyageur games - my current Twitch run is approaching 350 days and has only had one sprain in the last 60-ish days spent in PV ... but that was when carrying 50kg (mainly bear meat) crossing the river bank.

TLDR - it seems that hiking boots have a sprain chance multiplier both for ankle sprains and for accompanying wrist sprains.

Edited by Gazbeard

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