Raphael van Lierop

Milton Mailbag -- Dispatch #22

12 posts in this topic

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Hello everyone! I'm going to dive right into the mailbag as I missed it last week. Thanks for your patience and for your questions.

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Question from @Sipriano:

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Did you plan to make the hole island or onli the south coast?

Great Bear is a pretty big island, so we'll continue making regions as needed to support WINTERMUTE and Survival Mode but I'm not sure if we'll complete the entire island. That said, you never know!

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Question from @Its_the_Gman:

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Are there any plans or talk about adding more weapons or firearms to the game, on top of the bear spear? I understand that you wouldn't want the game to turn into a first person shooter, because that would definitely take away from the survival aspect of the game. It's just that I feel it seems a little empty with only the bow, rifle and extremely rare flare gun. 

Yup, we are adding more tools to the game, and one or more of these tools might be a new firearm. :) 

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Question from @Smellyfries:

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What's your reason for increasing the rate at which fires start? Originally it could take almost 15 seconds when using something like a magnifying glass or cardboard matches. This same thing also spans into survival mode, which in my opinion, makes starting a fire a little less tense (maybe that was your point.) But either way, thank you for the effort you put into this very large update for the story, and survival. Good luck in the future!

It's boring to watch a progress bar for too long. That said, I don't think our current solution (shortening them) is the best one. I've wanted to add a more "active" firestarting method for a while, and this ultimately would be better than watching a progress bar.

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Question from @codfish107:

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Would it be possible to make the button/key you are suppose to press in a wolf struggle it's own binding? It would help if i could have it has something other than the left mouse button without having to change my interact button.

Yup! You can currently do this. Just go into the settings and rebind the Interaction button to something other than LMB. Some people use Space Bar.

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Question from @Azdrawee:

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I've always considered playing TLD in my native language (Czech) with a community translation, but I don't like the one that's currently on Steam, so I've wanted to create my own one. When I was browsing through that Google Document, I discovered that it's pretty old and it wasn't updated for a very long time. Do you plan to update it or is there any way to translate the stuff that's not in there? :-)

Yeah, we have some fixes to make to our localization pipeline and then we'll be updating the Community Loc doc once that's done. At that point, the doc will have all the current strings so it'll be ready for community language mods. 

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Question from @Jendo:

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What are your thoughts on the "loot tables" people like (the excellent) Atheenon have curated over the years? Would you ever randomise some of these elements to provide more of a challenge and/or mystery (and dare I say a bit of a "screw you, smartasses!") to the more seasoned players that know exactly where X is going to be because they found item Y in location Z? I guess the same goes for things like guaranteed match spawns etc, for example the ones that are ALWAYS on a shelf in the basement of the Farmstead - would you ever remove those?

We use loot tables in the game so I think they are great. :) I don't think people sharing them is great, but that's up to the community. All items that appear in containers are determined using loot tables, and all items that spawn in the world (ex. placed on shelves, laying on the floor, etc.) use individually tuned spawn values. There are very few 100% spawns, so if there are guaranteed matches they are either there for a specific reason or their spawn % is bugged. 

I think refreshing the loot tables could be a fun idea, although I suspect some players would find it irritating. 

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Question from @NardoLoopa:

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Could you describe the motivations for changing the HUD recently?  While the old HUD was more intuitive (your hunger is represented by an emptying stomach; thermometer drops as you get colder) the new HUD is more explicit (here is a status bar near a stomach icon; its length indicates how hungry you are).  The former was more approximate (is the stomach 1/4 full? or 1/3 full, I can't tell), and the latter is more specific (stomach circle is at 9 o'clock, so 1/4 full).  The former was also idiosyncratically TLD, while the latter hues to common video game UI tropes (e.g. RDR2).

UI changes are always the hardest to get used to. The previous HUD elements gave us less of a "range" to work with and made it difficult to feel a sense of things changing by looking at the bars. By adding the always-on HUD as default, and adding the radial progress bars to the status indicators, we make those aspects of the game more present for players, and we also ensure they see them and understand these mechanics are always in play. We also made some aesthetic changes to improve the overall look of the HUD elements themselves, embedding the warnings and the delta arrows a bit better, in our opinion. We didn't want to go back to horizontal bars and the radial bar is more compact, but this amount of "bar" is useful in that you can see changes more visibly (vs. a much shorter bar that has fewer "pips" to transition through from 100 to 0).

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Question from @TheDrocker:

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Hello all! I play this game on PS4 and it has become basically the only game I play anymore. The crashing every hour or so is a bummer but I’ve become ok with it “for the most part” and just had to figure work arounds such as making sure I do actions to save the game regularly. For whatever reason now the crashing is out of control and I am stuck in the cave from PV to winding river and unable to leave either side as the game will freeze... my question is what are the odds that you will be able to fix the crashing issue on the PS4 or do I just have to shelf the game and move on?

It's a little hard to offer suggestions without knowing more about the specific crash. We fixed a memory leak and a few other PS4 crashes in the Redux update (and subsequent hotfixes), but it sounds like some issues are persisting for you? It'd be great if you could report some info to hinterlandgames.com/support. We continue working on overall game stability and performance and it's our goal to remove all crashes in the game -- sorry to hear you've run into this issue.

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Question from @Michi:

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In another Milton Mailbag thread you mentioned that players were originally supposed to be able to give Jeremiah morphine to get more information out of him, at the cost of making him addicted, but then the idea was scrapped to avoid age restrictions. How much more of your original plans for episode one and two did you have to abandon? The story mode teaser from 2015 shows Will (seemingly) attacking two people with a hatchet to defend someone they were beating up (judging by the place where this is happening, and the situation, it looks like this may have been the original plan for the "Lake Gunshots" mission). I guess this might have been scrapped for the same reason as the morphine. Overall I'm getting the impression that the original vision for story mode was darker, but perhaps more interesting.

I guess the answer depends on if you think a darker game is more interesting. I don't feel that we've abandoned anything too significant and I certainly don't feel that the game or story has suffered for our rating. As you can see from Redux, we don't have any issues with portraying violence when needed, provided it's in service to the experience and it's not gratuitous. There are very strict rules about portraying drug use in games, in particular if it has a gameplay impact (which it would have in our case), so this isn't so much a question of "removing the darker stuff" as whether a decision like that prevents us from actually selling the game or not. 

In short, I think you're reading too much into the morphine thing. :) 

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Question from @CalNieDaGtarGuy:

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Wait a minute... Is the naming of Milton a tongue-in-cheek reference? Since the book ‘Paradise Lost’ is written by John Milton?

What, games can't use literary references? ;)

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Question from @Faithful Cartographer:

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Hello Raph! I would like to know in Wintermute will affect all the locations that are currently in the game? I would very much like to see the Timberwolf Moutain and the Desolation Point.

We're only including locations that are relevant to the WINTERMUTE story. You'll have to see what all those are by the time we finish Episode Five. :)

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Question from @melcantspell:

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When TLD is finished ... is there a chance that new regions might still be added via paid addons and/or mods?

Edited to add: I strongly dislike mods for TLD. Though I have no problem with modding games in general, I feel that TLD is best in its original version. The only thing that might change my mind would be ... new regions ;) But I would even prefer to pay, since I know that it is so worth it.

 

If we felt there was enough community thirst for new regions as paid DLC, we'd consider making them, yes.

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Question from @musrass:

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This might very well be a kind of question you don't want to answer, but here goes: In "The Hunted Challenge pt.1" – does the bear spawn and respawn, or does it actually follow you around (except from area transitions)?

Will knowing the answer make you enjoy the game more, or less? My guess is less, so for your sake I'll keep it secret.

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Question from @Doc Feral:

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Any chance to see Old Bear's Lair as an accessible area in survival mode? It looks great.

Probably not that exact cave, but maybe another like it.

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Question from @UTC-10:

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This may be rather far out, but has there been any thought to a tutorial using a similar model as challenges?

Not really. Do you think it would be useful? In Story, the game introduces most of the concepts you need to know. In Survival, part of the fun is discovering how the game works. 

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Question from @Foxo:

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Hi Raph! Who is your favourite bear? Don’t pretend like they’re all your children now and you can’t *pick* a favourite? ;)

The Demon Bear from Jeremiah's fireside story-time.

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Question from @Oystershell:

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I have a feeling that you would like the band Fleet Foxes. All of their albums mesh very well with TLD's poetic indie folk aesthetic. Do you like Fleet Foxes? If not, what are some other indie folk acts you enjoy?

I've never heard of them -- I'll definitely check them out! Thanks for the recommendation. I've been enjoying the Lumineers a lot lately though I'm not sure if they qualify as "indie folk"?

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Question from @Smellyfries:

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I understand from a developer's prospective why there aren't any seasons but in TLD universe, is it permanently winter? or are there normal seasons and it would simply be a pain to make the world in other seasons?

It's not permanently winter, but I wouldn't call the seasons "normal" either.

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Thanks for your questions! If I skipped yours, it's probably because the answer would be too long, or maybe it's something I've answered before (check the Index). Maybe you asked multiple questions in a thread and I wanted to give a chance to someone else so I picked one of yours and skipped the others. It's also possible that I felt your question was intended to kick off an argument or wasn't really in the spirit of the Mailbag, so I'm ignoring it vs. taking the bait. In general I try to respond to every question (although I may genuinely just miss some) and I try to use the Mailbag to try to enrich the community discussion around the game. Hopefully it's doing that for you.

Til next time!

- Raph

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17 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

Yup, we are adding more tools to the game, and one or more of these tools might be a new firearm. :) 

Ohoho! Yes! Guns!

Any chance some of these tools are.... forgeable? I know, I know, not the thread for this but, are they? :D

Edited by Dan_

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I also have Issues with ps4 crashes. One recent crash happened during a game save and corrupted the file. So I lost all my feats & badges. Sad day. 

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8 hours ago, Jcx70t said:

I also have Issues with ps4 crashes. One recent crash happened during a game save and corrupted the file. So I lost all my feats & badges. Sad day. 

Sorry to hear that. As @Raphael van Lierop suggested please contact hinterlandgames.com/support and our team can take a look.

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Hello :)

I just want to ask, when you add the bear spear to the survival Mode? And maybe new region to explore? 

Best wishes

 

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Hi

What about a craftable "loot sled"? I miss this item, my first option in real life to help carry woods etc...

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Hi,

I was wondering if there are any planned updates/optimisations to the PS4 Pro version of the game?

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Hi Ralph! I absolutely love this game and bought it for my 2 sons. 

I would love to see seasons in the game, which would change the game up because each season requires different survival skills/stratagies. Any chance on this happening? 

I used to go hunting and leave the meat outside in yhe snow and it lasted a long time. Now with the update that doesnt work so good, it spiils too fast, even though it should last long since it it frozen in the snow.  Maybe an ice cave to store food could be added or something you can created to lodge near/in a stream to keep things fresh could be added? 

I would also like to make a leather shirt or rabit fur lined shirt. ?

What about being able to make snow shoes or skies to increase travel speed? Oh and a sled or lean-to to haul large quantities of gear or harvested meat from a hunt?  

Thank you in advance for your answers! Cant wait for episodes 3-to be released!!! 

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Food spoiling too fast is a relative term. At least in Pilgrim (I hear it can/is faster in harder modes) raw and cooked meat outside decays about 1% a day while inside it is more like 6% and 3% respectively. As far as I know it has always been that way once the devs made it  happen. There are plenty of suggestions to add food preservation techniques to the game, but given the probably duration of story mode, that may be quite unlikely. 

I would also like having the option of a deerskin shirt and deerskin jacket (shirt improved with rabbitskin lining), maybe deerskin legging or something, but I hear that we've gotten as many animal-hide clothing items as they want to do for now. 

Snow-shoes, skies, sleds, etc., all involved a lot of consideration of the implications of each item beyond the primary concept. Anything that provides an expected material advantage to the player will probably have to be balanced by a cost that could make it problematic. People wanted to be able to move carcasses (deer, bears, wolves, and now moose) and what we got was not sledding or dragging the carcass but quartering. Quartering, dividing the carcass into manageable bags,  fit within the existing game mechanics but the effort to use it can be said to sometimes defeat the purpose especially since the stated reason for dragging was for players to be able to move the carcass to a safer or warmer location. 

By the way, your question should have been posted in the questions thread not as a part of the Dispatch thread.  

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