Raphael van Lierop

Milton Mailbag -- Dispatch #32

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Well community -- it's been a big week here in the official forums. We launched STEADFAST RANGER, with a lot of discussion about our fixes to Sprains, issues with aiming (we're working on those), etc. and a pretty healthy discussion about the future of modding The Long Dark. Even though it wasn't always fun, it was a good discussion and I appreciate everyone's willingness to share their point of view, and also to (mostly) be really open to other people's points of view. It's one of the best things about this community, and I hope it never changes.

Now, on to the Mailbag!

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Question from @Rexdawn:

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Why were the progress wheels changed from clockwise to counter-clockwise?  Also, why wasn't the interaction progress wheel changed?

When we overhauled the Status indicators (HUD) in Redux, we ended up with some UI that showed Status (like Hunger, Thirst, etc) updating one way while the progress bar updated the other way. Having radial progress bars updating in different directions was unpleasant so we unified them to go the same way.

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Question from @Morphe:

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As the game is *somewhat* old, and that some systems were overhauled, what do you think, as a game developer, is harder to do? To add and balance new stuff around the already made game without providing an overpowered mechanic, or to overhaul already existing mechanics, while trying to make it both viable and similar to what it was?

The reason why I'm asking this question is because there are some games, such as DST or TF2 that have the problem of overhauling.

 

This is a great question, a deep question, and it deserves a more thoughtful answer than I'm able to offer right now. In general I feel like it's easier to add new stuff and balance around existing systems than to overhaul old systems, because the older systems (in general) tend to be more embedded into other systems, and also players tend to be invested in the ways old things worked, because they are accustomed to them and learning new systems or interfaces kind of sucks when you feel really fluent with the old ways. I see both aspects of development -- evolution, but also nurturing/pruning, as being critical to the long-term health of the game. Also, for us, we never want to have areas of the game that feel really uncared for. This is why we try to clean up old systems while we also add new stuff, to keep the game fresh and also make sure none of it (hopefully) gets so creaky that we have to just cut it out vs. tweaking it.

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Question from @FrogKid:

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I would love to see an art book of sorts/ a book of concept art and original ideas for locations etc.

I realise that you've answered this before but it was in Dispatch #6 on July 27th 2018. I would just like to know if you have anymore information regarding the art book.

 

Hey! Not much more to offer with regards to progress on the art book. We've just hired an additional marketing artist at the studio to help out with new merch and a bunch of things I'd like to do, and I think with more bandwidth in this area we'll have the opportunity to make more progress on the art book. A key issue for us right now, in terms of timing, is whether to do one "now" and then follow it up when WINTERMUTE is finished, or just wait until the game is "done" and we can cover the full length of development.

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Question from @peepercreeper:

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was wondering if you might ever condider making fishing manual in some way just like cooking?

and I know you get asked about this ALOT but what about more animals?

 

We'd like to improve Fishing, for sure, and we'd also like to add new animals. I know I've been saying that for a while. :) 

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Question from @MadTropic:

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Hi Raphael, I'm posting this question for a 2nd time because it's been a few months & I'm still hoping for a reply. I might also just be fishing for hints about possible new regions. Stay warm & be cool.

Really excited for the update this week. I'm sure there will be some surprises. I'm wondering about new regions. Will there ever be a region that may be a bit more snowless? I mean, still frozen and everything but maybe there's a low valley on the leeward side of Great Bear Island that doesn't receive so much precipitation. There probably wouldn't be much advantage or special purpose to having such a place, but a slightly greater variety of terrain/landscape/atmosphere could be pretty cool and I'd love to see what your artists could do without so much snow everywhere.

 

I think you'll need to wait for a future game in The Long Dark IP to see our world without snow. That said, I'm sure we could provide more environmental variety than we do. It's something we're always thinking about.

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Question from @alone sniper:

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So, I wonder Why do we have condition for things like bullet, stick, cat tail stalk, tinder, all types of firewood, etc ?

Since all of items above don't decay, I think having condition for them is useless.

So, Do you have any plan for making Condition for those items meaningful ?

 

I'd have to spend more time than I currently have to verify the condition loss on each of those items you listed, but in general *everything* in the game world has a Condition decay. Some things, like ammunition for example, might be scaled on a 1500-day timescale, so you wouldn't see much change in a 10 or 50 or 100 day-long game. I think the idea that everything in the world is slowly degrading is part of the philosophy around the game, so to me their Condition and Condition loss *is* meaningful, but I can see you are talking more about gameplay value, and for that I don't have a good answer at the moment. I could see ways to, for example, impact the Condition of items crafted using warn out raw materials be reduced, which would make things like Stick condition meaningful. 

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Question from @TerribleSurvivor:

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How long can this question thread go before the forum engine starts complaining because of its length?

Let's find out!

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Question from @Jaffa:

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Do you have any plans for adding some kind of a "randomised event mechanic" into the current survival sandbox mode (or create a separate version for it)? I was thinking about a mechanic that would occasionally spawn an event into the world. Maybe something from the current Challenges, for example: During your usual sandbox survival, the character could notice a sudden change in weather conditions, indicating an approaching massive blizzard that would last for X days and the player would have to stock up and survive this time period (aka "Whiteout" style), or during an Aurora, the player could intercept a radio transmission, suggesting that a rescue-party is on its way, and had to get to Desolation's lighthouse in order to use a distress pistol (as in "Hopeless Rescue"), or maybe spawn the Old Bear survival/hunt challenge, similarely to "The Hunted" series etc.

I've thought about ways to integrate the Challenges more directly into Survival Mode, but the main issue I see is Permadeath. If you die while pursuing Hopeless Rescue or Nomad, for example, you'd lose all your Survival Mode progress for that session. Whereas currently each Challenge is standalone so if you fail, you can just try again and you've mostly only lost a few hours of progress at most (some of the Challenges are a little longer, of course). 

I've been thinking a lot about how to provide some in-game tools so players can create more self-directed objectives for themselves, as I know this is something a lot of Survival Mode players want. I have some ideas and I hope we can find some time to explore them in a future Update.

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Question from @Doc Feral:

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Concerning the Steadfast Ranger update. I have an ongoing 200-something days run, but being the slow and steady type I've never been to the coastal regions. Will the still unexplored regions count as "new" when I'll go there? Meaning: may I find the new items in them or loot is determined at the start of the game?

For any containers -- you have the chance to find new items in any containers you haven't already searched, provided the new items are in that container type's loot table.

For any hand-placed items (i.e. ones you find placed in the world) -- you have the chance to find the new items in any region or interior you have already explored. They just get added.

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Question from @hozz1235:

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I know this is a taboo topic and I apologize in advance if it violates any forum use policies, but here goes: 

Hinterland does not condone the use of player-created mods and, understandably, discourages their use due to support.  I read through all the great ideas coming in on the Wish List forum and it seems that if HL did support mods, that this would prompt more mid-to-end-game interest and also possibly free up some HL resources to work on more intensive game improvements/enhancements.

My question:  What is your current thoughts on mods?  Are you working on supporting them?

 

Not a taboo topic and there's a huge discussion in this thread (which I know you participated in after you asked this question) for anyone who wants to dig into this topic: 

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Question from @Alcator:

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Hi, I'm curious about the location names in the game. Names such as "Katie's Secluded Corner" or "Max's Last Stand" seem oddly specific, indicating that they are unofficial names given by someone who witnessed some event (or perhaps hypothesize both the names and events of the corpses nearby). Other places have official-sounding names ("Hibernia Processing" etc.).

For the most part, the "personal" names of locations were named for members of the development team, past and present. For more "IP names" like Hibernia, Milton, etc. -- these come more from just working on the story and worldbuilding for WINTERMUTE, or in some cases from my own development history, and names I've taken from other projects I've worked on. :) 

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Question from @Orca:

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Any plans to add a new type of bow? Like a compound bow? Or a reflex bow?

No active plans at the moment but we could in the future.

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(Skipping the question about Sprains b/c it's answered in the release notes for v.149)

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Question from @Michi:

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What made you choose to model the hunting rifle in the game after the Lee Enfield, a military rifle?

Two reasons mainly, maybe three. 1) It's still in use by the Canadian Rangers. 2) My father had one when I was growing up and it left an impression on me when I fired it. 3) I like old things that have proven their worth over time. 

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Question from @Orion:

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I have been playing this game for a long time and have been watching and supporting it throughout the whole time. I was very pleased when you added the "personalization" of the world, but I would like something more, since I prefer to explore the world Tne Long Dark, how to survive. My question is the following: Do you plan to expand the "personalization" of the world or to add an official console?

I'm not sure how much more time we'll put into the Custom Toolbox mode, since it sounds like what people really want is for us to provide Mod Support, so maybe we'll focus on that and then people can customize their gameplay experience that way. We'll see!

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Question(s) from @thekillergreece:

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1. Since you was a developer for the Company of Heroes, could you tell us what is your opinion on Company of Heroes 2, if there is any? Many fans from CoH criticized CoH 2 for being quite different, uninteresting, etc.

2. At some point you said: "game's current performance is preventing us from doing a lot of things we'd like to do, including: graphics improvements, AI improvements, more animations, environment detail, post FX, Switch port, world streaming, etc." and "The Long Dark is pushing a lot of the engine's capabilities due to the size of our game, essentially."

Does it mean that there might be a scenario where you will no longer be able to add more content on TLD due to the game reaching engine's limit?

3. The more you release content updates for Survival mode the more I am thinking about how awesome companions would be with you. Namely, dogs. Will they ever be a thing? I can imagine the huge technical difficulties but.. Hey, they would be awesome for short to medium term survivals. Maybe players will feel very emotional once after 300-days survival their one and only companion dies trying to protect the owner from the wildlife attacks or old age.

4. Finally, have you guys used any mocap for the wolves? They look so real. If not, are you considered to begin mocapping a dog into wolf for quicker animation work, etc? 

 

Short answers:

1) I didn't play it so I can't comment, nor would it be kind to comment or criticize a game made by former colleagues. In general, though, I will say that Relic has always had a tough time with adapting gameplay in sequels. Historically there has sometimes been too much of a focus on trying to innovate outside an existing formula, vs. evolving something that is already working. I think you can see that in Dawn of War (II and III) -- I worked on the original, and I think some of the sequels felt like they could be considered different games and not really sequels in the traditional sense. Not criticizing, just observing.

2) I can't say it will never happen. More likely is we'll have to accept that the best way to continue to evolve The Long Dark's gameplay and world is in a brand new game, where we aren't living with the legacy of technical decisions we made 6 years ago.

3) I'm not really sure how high an AI companion ranks in the list of priorities. I agree it could be cool, in some version anyway.

4) Nope, all our wildlife is keyframed. I don't know if we want to tackle the challegnes of mocapping a wold or dog. :) 

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Question from @DerpyLemon115:

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One thing I always found odd in survival mode is that the game saves when ever you enter a building, but not when you exit a building. Why did you make it that way?

I can answer this but it will take away some of your fun and may tempt you to cheat. So I won't. :)

 

(Ok you're an adult, you can make your own decisions. Loot gets rolled when you enter. We save it so you can't just exit, reload, and reroll to try to get a better set of loot. The game state persists in memory when you leave so we don't need to save it at that point.) We could save again but I'm not sure what the benefit would be.)

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Question from @Rhett987:

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Love the new Update, now I wonder if you are seeing a glaring need for a function of the game to be able to use both hands at once. Example: Torch in one hand revolver in the other? or does that not fit the game style that the revolver was supposed to add? Could you possibly explain if that is something that is possible for the game? 

We talked about allowing an off-handed Torch or Flare while the Revolver is in hand but it's a lot of extra work and complexity without adding a lot of gameplay benefit. In general there are lots of things I'd prefer to do with first-person hands before tackling that mess.

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Question from @Serenity:

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Is the barn in PV intended to be so dark? Especially in the evening when there is still some light outside, it's pitch black inside, which makes early exploration very difficult. I get that it doesn't have any huge windows, so maybe it's supposed to be dark. On the other hand it seems like there are some small windows. And other places with no windows seem a lot brighter

Not really. We'll be reviewing a bunch of interior lighting settings soon to fix up the areas where it isn't behaving as it should.

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Question from @ThatDearGuy

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Any chance a future Hinterland game might find its way to GOG, or has that door been closed now? I was just beginning to build a nice library there. 😊

I can't speak to where our future games will end up being sold, because I don't know yet.

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Question from @JaegerTheBaker:

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Will native mouse and keyboard support be coming to The Long Dark on Xbox? I've seen that Microsoft was allowing developers to implement it and I was wondering if you were going to implement it.

It's not on our list right now but we could consider it. First we need to get our Xbox One X/PS4 Pro enhancements done and out. They are nearly there.

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Question from @Alcator:

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. Would it be possible to add a "harvest" action to Cured Deer Hide that would turn it into two Cured Leather pieces? Long-term, we are basically swimming in Deer hides, but we can't use them to fix non-deer articles, such as Mukluks or Leather gloves.

2. Could we get a "dismantle" option on burned out campfires that would remove the campfire?

 

Hey! This isn't supposed to be the wishlist discussion. ;)  

We have some fixes for the Leather issue but they are deceptively complex to implement. You can re-use a campfire so I'm not sure why you would want to dismantle it (it doesn't take resources to place it so there's nothing to reclaim from it?). Is this about cleaning up after yourself?

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Question from @BESt:

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I really like how the crafting system was implemented and worked in the Wintermute. Have you ever thought to implement a similar crafting system in sandbox mode, in which you first needed to find/read books in order to be able to craft/forge items? I consider that the character should gain knowledge in order to know how to craft everything, instead of being an all-knowing survivor from the beginning. Or this difference between Wintermute and sandbox is intended, and if that's the case, I would be interested to find out why.

In WINTERMUTE, we need to gate the player's ability to perform certain actions or craft certain items based on story progression, so we unlock Blueprints based on progress. In Survival, we gate access to crafting items by making you find their raw materials and then the right place to make them (ex. Forge). That's not to say we couldn't bring Survival a little closer to Story in terms of how we unlock stuff like that, but it would suggest some kind of "tech tree" or skill unlock tree around crafting and skills, and I'm not sure that's the right thing for The Long Dark.

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Question from @Grignard_TN:

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I'm curious about the choice of rifle and caliber chosen for the rifle in TLD. I'm not terribly familiar with the rifle itself but I understand it has a long history in the late British empire. As far as the caliber in general, I don't think I have ever seen a rifle chambered for .303 where I'm from in the US. Is .303 a popular caliber in Canada for hunting deer or other cervids? Was the rifle chosen to emphasize the "Canadianess" of the game ( I'm not Canadian, but I feel TLD has sort of a Canadian "identity" and I think thats pretty cool. It works very well for this game)?

I responded to a similar question about the Lee-Enfield above. Yes, it does have a Canadian identity, particular in the remote North. I can't speak to whether it's a popular calibre with Canadian hunters (I kind of doubt it!), because I'm not a hunter. :) 

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Question from @Faithful Cartographer:

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1) How do you feel about cloud gaming? And did you know that The Long Dark is available to play on major cloud services like "Geforce NOW" and "Playkey?" 

2) I would Like to know if the Studio will leave this year for summer vacation or you will continue to work on the game all summer?

 

1) I think it's interesting in that it could broaden the audience for games (depending on the platform -- I'm thinking of Stadia here), but it's also scary because it will have a big impact on the business model. I did not know that the game was available on GeForce Now or Playkey. I'll look into that.

2) We don't have a studio-wide Summer shutdown planned, no, although people will take time off as planned to do things with their families and whatnot. In past years, such as in 2017 when we committed to launching WINTERMUTE in August, I ended up having to lock out vacations until the game was out and it wasn't very good for anyone, so I don't want to do that again. Since these days there's no "good" time to release a game (they are all bad, all crowded launch windows, etc.), I'd prefer to work on things at a reasonable and consistent pace until we are happy with them. This is part of why we announced this year that we will not release any dates ahead of time. It just creates too much stress for people and puts the emphasis on time vs. quality.

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Question from @ManicManiac:

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I know that you and the team always have to weigh gameplay value against difficulties inherent in adding or changing features/mechanics, but how would you feel about players being able to breakdown burned out campfires?

I mean, even if only as an option to get rid of them when we are done using them.  I ask because I find myself looking for good places to put them outside, and most often I opt not to just because I know I will eventually wreck the place with campfires just littered all over.  This is also why I don't use fire to thaw carcasses, I know it would make it easier to harvest and keep me warm... but I just can't get past the fact that it will leave a fire pit there forever (I suppose I also worry if leaving fire pits around might interfere with limb spawns as well - if left in a place a limb might usually spawn I mean).

 

Sort of riffing on the same question as @Alcator above, but just to be clear, this is about cleaning up after the fact?

For me, and I know this is personal, but I find it helpful to find landmarks that help orient me around where I've already been in the world. And since you can reuse campfires, you don't have to light more than one in a particularly great location -- just place one and re-use it. 

You don't have to worry about the limb spawn -- that system is smart enough to spawn stuff only in valid locations, so if something is blocking it, it'll spawn somewhere else in the valid radius.

Re: this:

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I know you mentioned expanding on the fishing mechanics is still on the list of possibilities for future updates...  What are your thoughts on the player being able to find/craft something like an ice fishing Tip-Up?

(Context) the idea that perhaps ice fishing in addition to the present mechanic, could maybe also be a passive activity like using the rabbit snare (the difference being the tip-up only yielding one fish where as sitting at the hole to fish already has a chance to yield more in a given time frame).  That a player might set the tip-up, freeing up the player to go do something else until the flag pops up when a fish is caught.  Similar to the snare if it's neglected for too long the fish would "get away" and need to be reset.  (I know you had a question about fishing last week, but since this one was more specific I hoped it would be worth posting)

 

I saw something like this used in the movie, ARCTIC, and I definitely thought it could be a useful part of a Fishing overhaul. It's on my list (but, making no promises!). ;) 

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Thanks for all the questions everyone, and have a great weekend. BOW AND RIFLE AIMING FIXES COMING ASAP NEXT WEEK. The team needs the weekend to rest.

- Raph

 

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Posted (edited)

@Raphael van Lierop
I admit I didn't see that bit from the previous question (it wasn't intentional to double up on it).

Yes, I suppose it is a bit about cleaning up after ourselves (one of the old things I was taught about camping/hiking - what you pack in...you pack out).  Maybe it's also a bit of an esthetic hang-up for me.  Numerous times I just wanted to put down some fire to thaw a carcass or just the necessity to keep warm, but just as often I opt not to only because I know it will be there forever.  There are plenty I would definitely want to leave in place as a landmark or a good strategic spot to have a permanent fire pit.  I guess I'm just a little too choosy about it because I don't want to clutter the landscape with seemingly random fire pits :) 

I really appreciate you weighing in on the idea regarding ice fishing... it's been a question I've wanted to ask for a long time.

Thanks again, and have a good weekend!

Edited by ManicManiac

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5 minutes ago, ManicManiac said:

@Raphael van Lierop
I admit I didn't see that bit from the previous question (it wasn't intentional to double up on it).

Yes, I suppose it is a bit about cleaning up after ourselves (one of the old things I was taught about camping/hiking - what you pack in...you pack out).  Maybe it's also a bit of an esthetic hang-up for me.  Numerous times I just wanted to put down some fire to thaw a carcass or just the necessity to keep warm, but just as often I opt not to only because I know it will be there forever.  There are plenty I would definitely want to leave in place as a landmark or a good strategic spot to have a permanent fire pit.  I guess I'm just a little too choosy about it because I don't want to clutter the landscape with seemingly random fire pits :) 

I really appreciate you weighing in on the idea regarding ice fishing... it's been a question I've wanted to ask for a long time.

Thanks again, and have a good weekend!

Adding my two cents - I would also like to be able to dismantle old fires.  Right now, I have an issue with a fire I put in front of the trailer at the Carter Hydro Dam - one of the cooking slots has sunk under the snow so that fire only has one cooking slot now.   I'd like to replace it with a fire to get two cooking slots again, but all I can do is add another whole fire pit and I don't really want to clutter the area that much.

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1 hour ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

I've thought about ways to integrate the Challenges more directly into Survival Mode, but the main issue I see is Permadeath. If you die while pursuing Hopeless Rescue or Nomad, for example, you'd lose all your Survival Mode progress for that session. Whereas currently each Challenge is standalone so if you fail, you can just try again and you've mostly only lost a few hours of progress at most (some of the Challenges are a little longer, of course). 

I've been thinking a lot about how to provide some in-game tools so players can create more self-directed objectives for themselves, as I know this is something a lot of Survival Mode players want. I have some ideas and I hope we can find some time to explore them in a future Update.

Just to pitch in on this, especially the second paragraph, about providing short(ish)-term objectives for the player:

Playing as I do with the slowest possible Condition Regain settings, I often find that just getting back up to 100% (or 105% with Well Fed bonus) is an objective that comes up a fair bit! It takes a few days of careful and much more focused activity, and makes a change from the normal run of things. Similarly, I recently gave myself parasites by mistake (in the game...), and found that the hunt for mushrooms also became like a little self-generating side-mission in my game, which was fun. The same goes for when you get stomped by a moose.

The main point is: afflictions, injuries and other mishaps would seem to me to be a great way to give players these little short-term objectives. They're good because they fit in well with the Survivor Mode idea that the main overall objective is to keep your character alive (rather than rebuild civilization), and they provide variation and different focus to different stages of your run. Compared to, say, adding new crafting options or items, which you tend only to do once per game each, they're also much more repeatable. I feel they could be expanded upon (ie. more of them), perhaps made a little more difficult to avoid (I've never EVER, in 1400 hours of playing TLD, ever contracted Cabin Fever or got dystentery, as examples), and also given more protracted and active healing processes. They give you fixed tasks to do over a set period of time and compel you to focus on gathering particular resources or crafting particular items.

I know you've only just changed the way sprains work, but I still feel they could be made more of in terms of healing.

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ah it's the longest dispatch i have read.

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1 hour ago, Pillock said:

Just to pitch in on this, especially the second paragraph, about providing short(ish)-term objectives for the player:

Playing as I do with the slowest possible Condition Regain settings, I often find that just getting back up to 100% (or 105% with Well Fed bonus) is an objective that comes up a fair bit! It takes a few days of careful and much more focused activity, and makes a change from the normal run of things. Similarly, I recently gave myself parasites by mistake (in the game...), and found that the hunt for mushrooms also became like a little self-generating side-mission in my game, which was fun. The same goes for when you get stomped by a moose.

The main point is: afflictions, injuries and other mishaps would seem to me to be a great way to give players these little short-term objectives. They're good because they fit in well with the Survivor Mode idea that the main overall objective is to keep your character alive (rather than rebuild civilization), and they provide variation and different focus to different stages of your run. Compared to, say, adding new crafting options or items, which you tend only to do once per game each, they're also much more repeatable. I feel they could be expanded upon (ie. more of them), perhaps made a little more difficult to avoid (I've never EVER, in 1400 hours of playing TLD, ever contracted Cabin Fever or got dystentery, as examples), and also given more protracted and active healing processes. They give you fixed tasks to do over a set period of time and compel you to focus on gathering particular resources or crafting particular items.

I know you've only just changed the way sprains work, but I still feel they could be made more of in terms of healing.

Yes, I've always thought of afflictions/injuries as small "quests" that needed to be resolved. Many of the current afflictions aren't working fully as I would like, and I hope to overhaul of the entire First Aid system some time and make it much deeper and more integral to your long-term survival, along a "death by a thousand cuts" (not literally, but sort of) philosophy.

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Posted (edited)

Trying to catch all buffer memories makes a nice quest.  Mapping 100 percent is just wayyy too daunting. The first 50 days are filled with clothing and bow crafting. 

Not much to do after about day 60-80 when thats all done. Except the mapping of course.

Edited by MarrowStone

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The problem with a campfire that cannot be removed is that if anything should happen to the campfire, such as the snow level changes (or the campfire settles beneath the snow) the campfire can become limited or useless. It is already established that items on the surface of the snow can sink into the snow and sometimes disappear beneath the snow surface becoming inaccessible. It might not be so bad if we could dig into the snow, even a foot or less, to get to the campfire or items that sank into the snow though if there was no hard limit to how deep something could go then it would still be a problem. 

After the 1.48.1 or 1.49 update, I went by Poacher's Camp where I had left a bunch of cooked venison, fish, and moose meat to find this... I checked. Maybe half the meat was below the snow surface and therefore inaccessible.  I know that snow levels can change while item levels don't, but I wasn't expecting this, more or less. 

 

20190509212055_1.jpg

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I know you have commented on AI and such, but how would you feel about adding companions to the game in Survival and/or Wintermute. Like a specific White Wolf that lives in a specific location in Timberwolf Mountain that say if you fed bear meat he became a companion that could deter other wolves etc. 

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I appreciate the injury/afflictions as side quest concept. The afflictions add to the unpredictability of the game and underline the go-with-the-flow philosophy that you need to succeed. In that vein, I’m a bit disappointed that some afflictions effectively never happen - hypothermia, dysentery for example. It would be ‘nice’ to get those once and a while. I would suggest making toilet water unsafe so there’s a dysentery possibility in early game. I also think hypothermia risk should kick in a lot faster. I’d like to see more cuts - when using knives in the dark/tired for example. Anyway..2 cents here.

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17 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

You can re-use a campfire so I'm not sure why you would want to dismantle it (it doesn't take resources to place it so there's nothing to reclaim from it?). Is this about cleaning up after yourself? 

I suppose it would be useful. Ie I like to place campfire near dead carcass before harvesting it - to avoid freezing and cook meat during harvesting guts / leather. Problem is after while there are multiple campfires on hunting area and that adds extra stress to engine and slows game a bit. And looks bad :)

I suppose abandoned campfires disappearing automatically after multiple blizzards would be fine - no need to add extra action to dismantle campfire manually.

 

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2 minutes ago, Arran said:

I suppose it would be useful. Ie I like to place campfire near dead carcass before harvesting it - to avoid freezing and cook meat during harvesting guts / leather. Problem is after while there are multiple campfires on hunting area and that adds extra stress to engine and slows game a bit. And looks bad :)

I suppose abandoned campfires disappearing automatically after multiple blizzards would be fine - no need to add extra action to dismantle campfire manually.

 

I think this would be a really good way of handling it. One blizzard should probably be enough to 'delete' a campfire (and perhaps a disused snow shelter?). The only exceptions would have to be campfires built inside caves, because those parts don't get snowed on.

It's only really a major issue if and when multiple campfires in a map start to cause deterioration of game performance. I know that has been an issue in the past with very long running games; not sure if it was fixed at some point? Otherwise, it's just aesthetic, and not terribly important in my opinion.

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11 hours ago, UTC-10 said:

The problem with a campfire that cannot be removed is that if anything should happen to the campfire, such as the snow level changes (or the campfire settles beneath the snow) the campfire can become limited or useless. It is already established that items on the surface of the snow can sink into the snow and sometimes disappear beneath the snow surface becoming inaccessible. It might not be so bad if we could dig into the snow, even a foot or less, to get to the campfire or items that sank into the snow though if there was no hard limit to how deep something could go then it would still be a problem. 

After the 1.48.1 or 1.49 update, I went by Poacher's Camp where I had left a bunch of cooked venison, fish, and moose meat to find this... I checked. Maybe half the meat was below the snow surface and therefore inaccessible.  I know that snow levels can change while item levels don't, but I wasn't expecting this, more or less. 

 

20190509212055_1.jpg

Right -- this is a different issue than the campfire one, but I can see how suddenly "losing" access to a campfire because the snow changed depths (strangely) would be frustrating. There's no real sense of "digging" into the snow. If anyone ever experiences this change in snow level in the game please send a note to our Support portal so we can have a look: www.hinterlandgames.com/support 

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2 hours ago, Loonsloon said:

I appreciate the injury/afflictions as side quest concept. The afflictions add to the unpredictability of the game and underline the go-with-the-flow philosophy that you need to succeed. In that vein, I’m a bit disappointed that some afflictions effectively never happen - hypothermia, dysentery for example. It would be ‘nice’ to get those once and a while. I would suggest making toilet water unsafe so there’s a dysentery possibility in early game. I also think hypothermia risk should kick in a lot faster. I’d like to see more cuts - when using knives in the dark/tired for example. Anyway..2 cents here.

Yes, it's possible we've made it a bit too easy to avoid some of the long-term afflictions that can really throw you for a loop. 

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37 minutes ago, Pillock said:

I think this would be a really good way of handling it. One blizzard should probably be enough to 'delete' a campfire (and perhaps a disused snow shelter?). The only exceptions would have to be campfires built inside caves, because those parts don't get snowed on.

It's only really a major issue if and when multiple campfires in a map start to cause deterioration of game performance. I know that has been an issue in the past with very long running games; not sure if it was fixed at some point? Otherwise, it's just aesthetic, and not terribly important in my opinion.

I think someone would have to create a LOT of campfires before it started to affect game performance!

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Posted (edited)

I don't mean to belabor the question of being able to remove campfires. But this is an example of a campfire (Carter Dam baseyard) being affected. Granted, a campfire can no longer be placed where this one is but its presence would affect where another campfire could be placed (if the intent was to be as close as possible inside that nook for wind protection). Things starting to sink into the snow (or as the case may be, float above ground-level) has been around quite a while so not just with the recent updates.  If the snow level caused it to disappear then no problem perhaps but there would be collateral things. Note part of the pile of sticks were under the snow surface but still accessible mostly. Thanks for the response. 

 

20181205213049_1.jpg

Edited by UTC-10
ETA: Thank you

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1 hour ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

I think someone would have to create a LOT of campfires before it started to affect game performance!

Well, that's the thing: it has been reported before  here on the forums as a problem.

I think it stems from the fact that lighting a campfire is the only sure-fire way of avoiding a wolf or moose struggle, and it's also virtually free in terms of spending resources. This can lead to players (like me, at least!) just defaulting to starting a campfire every time a wolf or a moose starts to take an interest in them. And this in turn tends to lead to spent campfires littering all parts of the map where wolves or meese can appear. Over a long period (3-figure game-days), this could sometimes cause a slowing down of performance. As I said, I don't know if this issue still affects the game or if it was addressed in some previous update, but I do know that was a 'thing' in the past.

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Pillock,

". . . starting a campfire every time a wolf or a moose starts to take an interest in them. "

I have well over 2,000 game days and I have never felt that I need that strategy.  Why don't you just shoot it, and get the meat and pelt?

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6 minutes ago, peteloud said:

Pillock,

". . . starting a campfire every time a wolf or a moose starts to take an interest in them. "

I have well over 2,000 game days and I have never felt that I need that strategy.  Why don't you just shoot it, and get the meat and pelt?

because I miss more often than not against charging wolves!

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

You can re-use a campfire so I'm not sure why you would want to dismantle it (it doesn't take resources to place it so there's nothing to reclaim from it?). Is this about cleaning up after yourself?

Cleaning up is nice. Maybe you need to think a bit more about Interloper than the lower difficulties. On lower difficulties you don't necessarily need a fire to harvest a carcass. On Interloper you do. So eventually you have campfires littering the landscape. It's really noticeable in CH. I've been confused by old campfires on the ice. At a long distance they can be mistaken for new carcasses. And it just looks bad

Quote

Not really. We'll be reviewing a bunch of interior lighting settings soon to fix up the areas where it isn't behaving as it should.

Nice. I know there have some long standing complaints about lighting and that you've brightened some areas. Most of the times it doesn't bother me, but the barn has always stood out for me as bein exceptionally at dawn and dusk. Whereas in most other places you can see things then

Edited by Serenity
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The main issue with not being able to dismantle campfires is that if you place a campfire in one of your favourite spots and you dont get it "just right" you wont be able to replace it with one that is placed in a much better wind resistance spot.

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I think Campfires should be able to be dismantled too. 

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