Raphael van Lierop

Milton Mailbag -- Dispatch #19

22 posts in this topic

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Hello community,

I'm sure you'll all too busy playing Redux to read this, but just in case you can spare some minutes, here's the final Milton Mailbag entry for 2018!!!

Enjoy, and we'll see you in the new year.

- Raph

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Question from @Seshins:

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I was wondering about an animal migration mechanic - i know this has been brought up in other areas of the forum but wasn't sure if it had been directly addressed by the dev team. I have no idea of the complexities of game design so this idea may be out of touch,

Would it be possible to have a rolling animal number mechanic, whereby the total "herd" size of a particular game animal (in this case only deer ATM) grows at a generally even rate within a region, peaking for a time (say a game month) before slowly decreasing over time, while at the same time the "herd" size in a neighboring region increases at roughly the same rate as the emptying region, thus giving the illusion of a herd "moving on" . Perhaps this mechanic could be supported by hunting pressure, leading to a further moving on of the herd. And perhaps dedicated wolf packs could pursue the herds around GBI?

 

We already have this kind of system and we already do most of this, although typically only on a region-by-region basis. We've talked about applying it using a more global system to simulate herd movement, etc. We might do that in the future.

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Question from @Tri13:

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Is there a plan to update all the textures and graphics of the game I mean you've gone a long way graphics wise from the beginning but the long dark with new gen graphics would be my dream game. And I do understand this might interfere with the artistic style you have chosen for the long dark but it would still be cool to see. Also on the road to story mode video, you guys made a while back I love the new color grading and extra detail you put into the houses. And also Ralph you remember Mirrors Edge: Catalyst from back in 2016 right. It was a gorgeous game with top-notch graphics and gameplay yet everybody hated it do you have an opinion on that. PS: If you don't want to answer the last question you don't want to.;)

We don't currently have any plans to do wholesale update to the game's art style. We've done several incremental improvements, as you noted, including in the most recent REDUX update. I imagine we'll continue doing that sort of thing, without fundamentally changing the art style.

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Question from @hozz1235:

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I know you guys are focused on current issues and future content, but have you ever considered releasing prior versions of the game?  Looking through some of your older YouTube videos gave me a great sense of nostalgia.

We've done this in the past, on an anniversary. We could consider it in a future version of the game. The problem is maintaining old versions of the game. A lot of them run on old versions of Unity that are no longer supported.

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Question from @esam115:

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Also, is there any plan to translate the game into the Arabic language, I know that the Arab community is small, but I hope there will be an Arabic translation it will be nice.

Typically, if we see growth in a certain territory or language that isn't currently supported with a localization, we'll consider investing the resources to do so. We often look to see what languages are supported by popular community language mods, to get a sense of territories or languages that might be growing in our community. I haven't seen much uptick in Arabic players, but if we saw an interest there, we'd definitely consider supporting an Arabic localization.

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Question from @Pillock:

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What's the thing you're most excited about in the Redux? The biggest improvement as you see it?

Now that it's out, and people seem happy -- the chance to take a rest. :) 

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Question from @hozz1235:

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It appears from your early dev diaries (circa 2014) and TLD prototype videos, that you originally intended to have other NPCs in the game.  Yes, there are those in Wintermute, but did you ever intend to have them in Survival Mode as well?  If so, why did you make the decision to not include them?

People seem to really cherish the absolute solitude of Survival Mode. That's really the only reason why we haven't pushed harder to get them into that part of the game.

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Question from @Sopinien:

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Will The game ever be Ported to Nintendo Switch as well ? ... Would love to play the long dark on the go !!!

If we can get it running smoothly and looking good, yes. So far, it's been very hard to achieve both on the platform as it's not as powerful as the other platforms we have the game on.

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Question from @XAlaskan_420X:

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In both survival mode and Wintermute there appears to be evidence of past earthquakes. Lest me explain. In Wintermute there is the rockslide west or north west of the bridge (up that road, near the path from the cave), the collapsed tunnel in Milton. In survival mode there appears to be rockslide blockades on Coastal Highway and the broken bridge in Broken Railroad. There are also other places where a street pole or power line is knocked down. The dam maintenance building in Mystery Lake is in rough shape. This all looks like evidence of earthquakes. Will we find out that earthquakes are apart of (or contributed to) the quite apocalypse? Will earthquakes become a part of the story in episode 3 or 4 and/or a danger or challenge in the game? 
Interestingly, that earthquake that I experienced here in Alaska on Nov 30th made me think of this because after that, I just had earthquakes on my mind with everything. It even made me remember a game that I used to play when I was 13. It was called Disaster Report. It was a fun game.

Yes, earthquakes is a big part of the backstory to Great Bear Island and what happened years before you arrived. We mention it several times in WINTERMUTE and it appears in various bits of lore throughout the world as well. 

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Question from @CalNieDaGtarGuy:

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Back in 2011, there was a game that came out for various consoles called Cabela's Survival: Shadows of Katmai. Although it's too early to tell yet, the storylines for The Long Dark and this game are oddly familiar. A female doctor hires out a bush pilot to fly them to a remote community to cure an unknown disease, and the plane crashes in the wilderness, and the pilot and the doctor get separated. I suppose the major difference between TLD and that game is that the latter didn't have a particularly fantastic story or great gameplay. But seeing as how they are extremely familiar, at least as of now, I was wondering if you were at all involved with Shadows of Katmai, or if this is purely coincidental? 

Yikes...no, I had no idea this was that game's storyline. I certainly wasn't involved with that game. But now I feel sad. :(

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Question from @DaveO:

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Any plan to add the ability to craft a sling and use it as both a hunting tool (for rabbits) and a weapon (against wolves)?

No actual plan to add it, but it's something I've considered, yes. I think it makes sense. Not sure if or when we might add it though.

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Question from @Skelegutplays:

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What current regions will never be featured in the story mode? I can guess HRV will never be in the story.

I guess we'll have to wait for Episode Five to find out!

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Question from @Avosetta:

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You have your own approach to graphics with the beautiful "watercolor painting" look mentioned several times. Since I got the game there has been several wonderful additions, such as mesmerizing aurora, new beautiful waterfalls, improved looks on inventory items, a grand Moose etc. My question is, without making promises, what are you plans and wishes for the next additions to the art and beauty of the game? 

That's a pretty big question! I think we'll keep tinkering away on the game and keep adding stuff and see what happens. I still have a lot of things I'd like to do with weather effects, lighting, vista views, object density, etc. but it'll depend on what we can run well on the crop of consoles the game exists on. Our regions are really big and full of details so we're already reaching performance limits in some areas.

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Question from @JeremiahJohnson:

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Can't wait to be wearing my warm bunny hat this upcoming week. I recently just watched the movie Alpha. (Definitely check it out if you haven't already) You may have been previously asked this, but what do you think of the ability of taming a wolf to be your companion? It would take a long time and process of gaining trust but would definitely be worth the risk. Not to mention not feeling nearly as lonely with your wild furry feral lil buddy! Thank you Hinterland Studios for working extra hard to get this update out to us before the holidays. Merry Christmas and stay warm.

Hmm...it would be a huge amount of work. I don't think taming a Wolf would make sense, but perhaps a dog companion? I'm not sure we'd be able to pull it off. I do like the idea, but creating a good AI and meaningful mechanics so that it felt like a real relationship...that'd be a whole other game's worth of work!

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Question from @Guenter:

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Is WIntermute an open story or will it have a proper ending?

WINTERMUTE will end with Episode Five.

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Question from @Mroz4k:

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I was curious if the Hinterland considers adding animals, specific to certain regions - for an example, an animal which would spawn exclusively in mountainous regions like Timberwolf Mountain or Hushed River Valley. I think it would improve upon the game tremendously - forcing players to travel to these parts in order to hunt specific animal they need, not to mention the immersion it would bring.

We've talked about it. For now, for the most part, each region has the "standard" wildlife (Rabbits, Deer, Wolves), and some also have Bears and Moose. I think as we get more wildlife over time, we can try to be more specific about where we have it live in the world.

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Question from @Sipriano:

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Did you introduce on the game the afflicton of paralysis for temperature change in some part of the time?

I don't think we've ever had anything like that, no.

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Question from @loriaw:

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Prior to Interloper being released, there were discussions about a possible mode somewhere between Pilgrim and Voyager due to a bug at that point that sometimes caused a wolf to attack on Pilgrim. In all honesty, I wish that bug had never been fixed, even though I reported it happening to me. Once my initial shock wore off, I decided it was awesome! I continued playing that same game until the next update just because once that bug appeared, it seemed to stick around. Playing on Pilgrim, but with an occasional wolf that attacked was far better than playing on other levels where they were guaranteed to attack.

My question is whether or not such a mode would be a) possible as far as game mechanics, and b) considered at some point in the future?

 

I don't see the value of an Experience Mode that falls between Pilgrim and Voyageur, but if you want to have that, you can certainly use the Custom Settings to achieve it!

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Question from @ThePancakeLady:

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In Episode 3, 4 , 5 of Wintermute, will we find lore notes, or see any type of flashbacks/cutscenes that will show us more about Will and Astrid's past, together or apart? I always wonder what their relationship was before, how good or bad was it, what happened that was referred to in the original Episode 1 opening scenes? What was life like on the Mainland, that kept them together, or drove them apart? I want to know about their past, and how it affected how and why they find themselves on Great Bear in Wintermute. Really interested if you will be introducing any new forms of lore-finding or interesting ways to learn the history of the characters, Great Bear Island, Mainland Canada, or the World the game takes place in. Mental Health System(?)... Will and/or Astrid go a little off-track and have hallucinations or lucid dreams about the past? I know the story will move forward... but the past interests me immensely.

Yes, we'll be delving more into Mackenzie and Astrid's past in future episodes.

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Question from @Smellyfries:

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Will there be alternate versions of different clothing? Like you got deer pants, so why not Wolf pants, and Bear pants? Same with the hat?

Second Question: Will there be more items that go in the misc category similar to the Moose Satchel and the Ear Wraps?

 

We've discussed the possibility of being able to craft different versions of each clothing type with different stats based on the material, but I'm not really sure it's worth it. The current system forces you to hunt and harvest a variety of wildlife if you want to have the full suite of crafted clothing, which is what we want -- we don't want you, for example, just harvesting 100 rabbits to make clothes from. We want you to have to tangle with a Bear, Wolves, and Moose to get the full roster.

And yes, we'll add more Accessory items over time.

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When do you plan on adding the Bear Spear into Survival?

In a future Survival Mode update. Probably the next one. We have to make it viable with all wildlife types which is a huge amount of work. 

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Thanks for all the questions, enjoy your holidays, and we'll see you in 2019 for more of The Long Dark and other exciting stuff!!!

- Raph

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12 minutes ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

We don't currently have any plans to do wholesale update to the game's art style. We've done several incremental improvements, as you noted, including in the most recent REDUX update. I imagine we'll continue doing that sort of thing, without fundamentally changing the art style.

Most here wouldn't want you to change the style.  That looks great. Especially the use of color. Using super high resolution textures would probably do that probably, but increasing the texture resolution a little would be an improvement without changing the overall look. Some things do a look somewhat horrible if you stand directly in front of them (and I mean literally nose against the wall).

Edited by Serenity
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Ah yes. I am playing the redux and I am getting a recap on the earthquakes so now it makes more sense. I think the redux talks more about the earthquakes than the original from what I can remember. There is also some lore on the changing economic state that I won't spoil.

Merry Christmas. Have a good holiday break, everybody.

Edited by XAlaskan_420X

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2 minutes ago, XAlaskan_420X said:

Ah yes. I am playing the redux and I am getting a recap on the earthquakes so now it makes more sense. I think the redux talks more about the earthquakes than the original from what I can remember. There is also some lore on the changing economic state that I won't spoil.

Merry Christmas. Have a good holiday break, everybody.

In Predux, the earthquake and economic backstory was deeper in the Trust tree. Now it's surfaced in primary dialogue and collectibles, so you encounter it more readily.

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I've played the first part of chapter 1 and I must say that the story is much better presented. Plus I love the new color bleed and distortion effect for when you have really low health.

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OMG I finished the re-dux in Episode 1 and 2 and it was way better! I love the way you treated Episode 2 as well! Making the Old Bear make an actual presence before the final part unlike the last time. I'm trying not to get into any spoilers for others so lets just say...GREAT JOB! YOU DESERVE A VACATION!

I did encounter some bugs but nothing game breaking. Only simple things like notes sticking out of walls. There was one thing but i'll put it in a separate discussion. 

THANK YOU GUYS FOR THE RE-DUX AND LISTENING TO YOUR FANS! ENJOY YOUR CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!

Edited by Smellyfries
Spelling error again
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22 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:
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Prior to Interloper being released, there were discussions about a possible mode somewhere between Pilgrim and Voyager due to a bug at that point that sometimes caused a wolf to attack on Pilgrim. In all honesty, I wish that bug had never been fixed, even though I reported it happening to me. Once my initial shock wore off, I decided it was awesome! I continued playing that same game until the next update just because once that bug appeared, it seemed to stick around. Playing on Pilgrim, but with an occasional wolf that attacked was far better than playing on other levels where they were guaranteed to attack.

My question is whether or not such a mode would be a) possible as far as game mechanics, and b) considered at some point in the future?

 

I don't see the value of an Experience Mode that falls between Pilgrim and Voyageur, but if you want to have that, you can certainly use the Custom Settings to achieve it!

There's a way in custom settings to only have wolves attack 'sometimes'??? As far as I understand the settings, you can either turn predators on or off (I wouldn't want to change the bear or moose, just the wolves). I'm not sure if you remember that bug or not, but it occasionally caused a wolf to go rogue and attack while playing a Pilgrim game while all the rest continued to run away. If there is a way to do this, please tell me how sometime after the holidays ~ and I hope yours are merry and bright!

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Loria, it happens to me. My custom game has the wolf's fear set on medium or high (I can't remember which) but the setting that I have it on makes it so that sometimes a wolf gets spooked and runs away when it sees me. I also noticed that a few times that it has happened, I was wearing a wolf coat. I don't know if the wolf coat increases the chance of a wolf fleeing on sight, but that is how it seems to me right now. So it my custom game, they sometimes run away and other times attack. I think that this is somewhat realistic, even if it is a bug. Oddly though, the times that they ran away were times that I wanted to try and shoot them and they always attack when I am trying to avoid it ahahaaha. That's ok to me though. Because if I am in full control, then "is it survival?"

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Even in vanilla Pilgrim, a wolf will make threatening growls if you approach its kill too closely. If you happen to be sneaking up on a feeding wolf, get real close, stand to loose an arrow at it, it will immediately attack. Similarly, if you're crouching and a wolf chases and kills a rabbit right next to you or in very close proximity, if you then stand up to move away, the wolf can/will immediately attack you. Whether this is still valid or has been patched away, I don't know, but these two cases happened to me. In the first instance, I was so shook up by the fight, the first time I had to fight a wolf in Pilgrim, that I almost let myself bleed out.

 

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8 hours ago, loriaw said:

There's a way in custom settings to only have wolves attack 'sometimes'??? As far as I understand the settings, you can either turn predators on or off (I wouldn't want to change the bear or moose, just the wolves). I'm not sure if you remember that bug or not, but it occasionally caused a wolf to go rogue and attack while playing a Pilgrim game while all the rest continued to run away. If there is a way to do this, please tell me how sometime after the holidays ~ and I hope yours are merry and bright!

Would look forward to hearing about this as well. 
(You'd think the custom setting of 'wolf fear' would do it, as per it's description, alas, it don't.)

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How about adding the ability to craft a sled to pull gear around.  And in custom setting for fear is same but detection range is adjustable as i recall

 

Edited by Inthedark

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19 hours ago, Inthedark said:

How about adding the ability to craft a sled to pull gear around.

On flat ground, that may work, but what about everywhere else?

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About the translation - question: I sometimes find some small bugs in the German translation. They are not really a mistake but they choosed the wrong of two simmilar words. Is there a chance to report that kind of mistakes anywhere? 

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Hey I'm a big fan of the game. I got it in late 2017 and have been in love with it ever since. A couple questions;

1) The Challenges have a listed "difficulty" rating of hatchets (I think?) for example 3/5 for "nomad" and 5/5 for "The hunted" and I understand the intent to show how difficult the challenge is, but why are there no challenges at 1/5 or 2/5? Or is it more to convey that the already existing challenges are just that difficult? 

2) From what I have gathered from the game alterations to Milton/ Mountain town region there used to be a path into the cave transition (that leads to the bridge) after exiting the ravine where the plane is in story mode, and now the path to enter it is inaccessible from that direction (this makes sense in story mode now and that seems fine), but the cave remains for entry from the other side (after a long journey around from the church and across the bridge) and I was wondering if that change has to be in both survival and story mode. Very similar to the door/gate in the dam basement it could be only limited in one mode and not both, like throw me a bone. Only after going the long way did I realize it was a one way path out of the cave, down with no way back up ;(  oh well it not like nature cares which way I go, I'm just not too keen having to go the long way around to get back into the cave for my bedroll!

BTW Raph I love what you and Hinterland have done with redux! I was a fan of the old story, but the new additions make me warm and fuzzy inside, and I didn't know that a game I already liked could get sooo much better! 

-Josh

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Posted (edited)

I'm really scared of dear after playing Red Dead Redemption 2. They've pushed me over ledges and on to train tracks. I just need reassurances that this will NEVER happen in The Long Dark.

On a serious note, you made a great game and I think you are really setting an example in the industry and are more generous than I would reasonably expect from any game company (just wish more companies would follow your example). Bought your game once on the black Friday sale 2017 and got a great game. Since then it's just gotten even better (with the Hush River Valley and the Redux episodes being the notable additions to the game) and looks like it's only going up from there.  Here is to 2019 (a little late but whatever)

Also some questions real quick

Why isn't possible to look 360 degrees in cars? 

Will you ever add a crossbow or a compound bow?

Edited by H1gH_4F_MuFf1n

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On 12/21/2018 at 9:55 PM, Tri13 said:

Now I regret adding the part about mirrors edge catalyst.:(

Wait did he work on that game?

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4 hours ago, codfish107 said:

Wait did he work on that game?

No but i wanted to know his opinion on the game.

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