Viktor Kvasnica

Realistic passage of time

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Hi, everyone,

let me first thank you all for creating an/or contributing to this awesome game. I really enjoy it and its atmosphere - it reminds me of a science fiction novel series “The Ice Company”, which I have quite enjoyed reading (although I have read only one part of it, not all 98 :)). Keep up the good work everyone!

I am missing one thing tough (as in other similar games, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series for instance) - that is a realistic passage of time (1 minute of game time equals to one minute of our time) with the option to speed up or decrease the time when needed.

I am creating this post to show us how many people are really interested in or want such a (optional) feature. Maybe then it will be implemented in the final version or created as a mod (I will be glad to participate). I wanted to create a poll, but apparently I do not have the rights to do so (I do not see any “Create poll” tab). Thus, feel free to post your opinion.

Take care, folks!

Edited by Guest
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I have already started a post to the same effect about two weeks ago, I definitely second this.

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When I first played I felt the same due to the fact that when your going through your pack or checking your stats that time still moves.

However now that I've been playing about two weeks game time (four days real life time) I've come to the conclusion that the passage of time at the current scale helps with the illusion of "vastness of the wilderness."

For example, if you're at Mystery Lake and the scale was 1:1 that means I'd be crossing that entire lake in maybe 5 minutes.

If I'm walking 5 minutes real time that's at least a half kilometer I've traveled. That means that the lake is small...and I've just lost the feeling of being immersed at being lost in the Canadian Wilderness.

But, if it takes me half the day to cross the lake, or at least 2~3 hours real life time, much more realistic and reasonable.

I'm all for simulated reality so, that being said, if the time scale is decreased to 1:1 I only agree if the maps are widened/enlarged to match the appropriate "real life" distance.

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Both the amount of daylight and the time compression have been tweaked and tuned throughout development in order to ensure that you have enough hours of usable daylight to conduct activities, without either making the survival aspects trivial or too punishing.

I like the idea of extended time, closer to a 1:1, but it would make the game much easier as a result because you would be able to pack much more into the usable part of the day.

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If the lake LOOKS like it's about half a mile wide, than it should be half a mile wide. I am happy with bigger, emptier maps, but my priorities would be the other way round:

I would like realistic passage of time, even if everything else stays the same.

I have about 66 hours played now, about 50 days survived...

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At first the in game time was very close to real time and everybody complained it took too long to do things. Then time was sped up to a point where it was much faster than it is now. And of course everybody complained it was too fast. Over time and numerous tweaks to the time speed we arrived at the current time.

To many new players it feels like time is moving way too fast. For most, this feeling goes away after a while. Personally I find it's a good balance between taking forever to walk a distance and flying all over the place like you're superman.

Movement speed in game is correct for the time speed. If the in game time speed was closer to real time movement speed would also be slower. Time compression is about 3x IIRC. If that was changed to say 1x (real time) that would mean walking any distance (say from Trappers to the Camp Office) will take 3 times as long as it does now. Going anywhere would take so long that it would not be much fun.

So I say, leave it as it is.

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I wholeheartedly disagree. Time compression is actually 12x (5sec is 1min in-game) and movement speed is not accelerated at all. A distance that looks like 10m is walked within the amount of (real) time it would realistically take to talk 10m. Walk from the front door of the Camp office to the back door and then imagine walking the same distance in real life. I would take about the same time.

The issue is scale. They maps are simply very, very small. Thus, in order to make the player feel as if the map was bigger, in-game time is accelerated. So there is two ways of achieving the same sense of vastness in-game: Accelerate time or make bigger maps. I actually don't care for artificial vastness. If they don't want to make bigger maps that is fine by me, but no need to "trick" me by accelerating time.

As things are currently, it is simply ridiculous how much inconsistency there is between timed activities (stuff that has a progress bar) and untimed activities (walking, sorting items, using containers. It is nothing but silly how long it takes to walk from the Camp Office to the closest fishing hut.

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Evening, folks.

I'm all for simulated reality so, that being said, if the time scale is decreased to 1:1 I only agree if the maps are widened/enlarged to match the appropriate "real life" distance.

Agreed - I would also like bigger maps to compensate the real-time scale. Not much bigger, so the game will be playable also on low-end computers (thus more people can enjoy the game). Bigger a bit.

I like the idea of extended time, closer to a 1:1, but it would make the game much easier as a result because you would be able to pack much more into the usable part of the day.

Yes, it will make the game easier. I have observed this in the MYSERY 2.1 mod for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R - Call Of Pripyat. I have changed the time factor to 1 and then have much more time to do stuff in one game day (hunt, search for stashes, etc.) and also the stamina mechanics was altered. I opted to "mod the mod" and compensate the mechanics... What if we then make some of the game mechanics harder to compensate for 1:1 time factor? We can make the resources more scarce (including the count of fishes, or decreasing the probability to catch one within one hour, less deers on maps, ...), snow-storms can happen more often, there can be more wolves and alike. In this way, we can have the real-time scale in the game and the game itself will not be easy. The main parameters (snow-storm frequency for instance) can be made changeable to the user/player via difficulty options or something like that, so anybody can tune the game/difficulty to their liking and everybody can be happy to some degree.

I would like realistic passage of time, even if everything else stays the same.

I second that. I just like simulations, so real-time and the atmosphere/story are the priorities for me too.

If that was changed to say 1x (real time) that would mean walking any distance (say from Trappers to the Camp Office) will take 3 times as long as it does now. Going anywhere would take so long that it would not be much fun.

Strictly technically speaking, you are right - slowing down the whole "global" time would make the walking just like crawling. The walking speed can stay as it is in relation to our time. Which I want is to make the game day time, or length, the same as is ours (1:1 - 24 h = 24 h).

At first the in game time was very close to real time and everybody complained it took too long to do things.

What about a possibility to accelerate the time as needed? Then the boring stuff can be accelerated if the player wants to. Other, more hard-core, players can then just make their own lunch in the time the game lunch is cooking :)...

If they don't want to make bigger maps that is fine by me, but no need to "trick" me by accelerating time.

Same here.

As things are currently, it is simply ridiculous how much inconsistency there is between timed activities (stuff that has a progress bar) and untimed activities (walking, sorting items, using containers. It is nothing but silly how long it takes to walk from the Camp Office to the closest fishing hut.

I feel the same. Braking some small wooden chair for about 30 minutes with a hatchet? Come on, really :)?

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Or a shelf in 2 hours... give me 15min.

As regards the passage of time: a) Some of the progress bar simulated activities need to be reworked for more appropriate durations. Some of them are simply too long, others might be too short. b) Progress bar simulated activities are not at all affected by a more realistic passage of time, as they always happen outside of the usual time anyway.

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Evening, folks.

Just some quick info...

I contacted the folks at Hinterland about the possibility to create polls in this forum, so everyone can have better perspective of how much wanted some feature is. If such a thing is possible, they will certainly consider it. So, if it will be possible, I will then add a poll into this topic.

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Shelf in 15 minutes ? More like 5.

Pry it open, break lose, hit a few times with a hatchet and youre done.

Btw, why we cant break stuff with crowbar ? This is one of those things that i dont really understand.

Among other things i worked in home improvement - crowbar is really useful tool, and when it comes down to breaking stuff, wooden or otherwise, its often even better choice than axe.

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Yup. That is what a crowbar is actually made for. I said 15, because the boards look pretty solid and might be plywood, which is a bitch to split with a hatched.

So yes, detaching all the boards making up the shelf from one another, no problem. But chopping the boards down to a size that will fit the pot belly stove... 15 min.

As regards polls: I would be very, very, VERY surprised if we were given polls. I have never seen a poll functionality of a developer's forum, because the last thing developers want is pressure to develop into a certain direction coming from an overwhelmingly one-sided poll outcome. They prefer to have the freedom to listen to the users and choose to ignore what they don't like. With the way it currently is, even if many people want the same stuff, there is no way of making that into a strong case. A poll would do just that.

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I have never seen a poll functionality of a developer's forum, because the last thing developers want is pressure to develop into a certain direction coming from an overwhelmingly one-sided poll outcome.

I understand, such pressure is not a good thing. It all depends on the approach of the community and the developers. Polls could be productive, if done right. Just take a look at the "Take On Mars Feedback Tracker". For developers, it is really clear what features are the most wanted and to what they should focus on. If or when they will, then depends on them.

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I like very much that the philosophy of this game departs from standard RPG games. This vision must come top down from the designers of the game. Polls make a simple way of consolidating user feedback. I would not like to see the users drive the game in a pattern to fit preconceived ideas of how games should be based upon other game experiences but polls do not FORCE them to do anything. Elaborating a clear vision and philosophy for the game might help.

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On December 9, 2015 at 8:10 AM, Hesha said:

I wholeheartedly disagree. Time compression is actually 12x (5sec is 1min in-game) and movement speed is not accelerated at all. A distance that looks like 10m is walked within the amount of (real) time it would realistically take to talk 10m. Walk from the front door of the Camp office to the back door and then imagine walking the same distance in real life. I would take about the same time.

The issue is scale. They maps are simply very, very small. Thus, in order to make the player feel as if the map was bigger, in-game time is accelerated. So there is two ways of achieving the same sense of vastness in-game: Accelerate time or make bigger maps. I actually don't care for artificial vastness. If they don't want to make bigger maps that is fine by me, but no need to "trick" me by accelerating time.

As things are currently, it is simply ridiculous how much inconsistency there is between timed activities (stuff that has a progress bar) and untimed activities (walking, sorting items, using containers. It is nothing but silly how long it takes to walk from the Camp Office to the closest fishing hut.

A good analysis but your assumptions about our reasons are incorrect. We didn't tune passage of time simply to make our world feel bigger. We just found a balance of travel time, movement speed, and scale that felt good to us, for the kind of experience we're building.

Feel free to question/criticize our decisions, but please don't assume we're simply going for "cheap solutions". It's pretty insulting considering everything we've poured into this game.

Realistic passage of time -- or creating a realistic simulation -- has never been a primary goal of ours, as we've said many times.

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One small note that may be of interest -- the length of our in-game day is more than 2x the length of a day in any of the Bethesda and Rockstar games (they all run on a 48 minute day/night cycle, and we are on a 120 minute day/night cycle). The surface area of the current Sandbox in The Long Dark is about 40 square kms (actual kms, not based on movement speed -- for example, Mystery Lake is 2000mx3000m, though some amount of the perimeter is inaccessible), which has our world almost as big as Skyrim. We tuned movement speed to feel good, although the walk speed in the game is actually quite a bit faster than a "realistic" walking speed would be.

Again, not aiming at delivering realism, but I thought some of these data points might be interesting nonetheless.

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I actually find the current time acceleration rates quite enjoyable and believe they feel appropriate in relation to our movement speed. 

As I usually don't have more than maybe two hours of spare time a day on average (most likely the fate of pretty much all working folks), I would definitely find a 1:1 time ratio pretty unnerving as it would take me almost two real life weeks to complete a single ingame day if there was no time acceleration at all.

I for one certainly wouldn't find that very appealing and I assume many other players tend to share this point of view.:big_smile:

Edited by Scyzara
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42 minutes ago, Scyzara said:

I actually find the current time acceleration rates quite enjoyable and believe they feel appropriate in relation to our movement speed. 

I with this, making it 1:1 would make it a boring walking simulator, the only time I'd really want real-time is as mentioned in another post when I fire up the game to enjoy a virtual campfire whilst chilling out with a book and a tipple.

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50 minutes ago, Scyzara said:

I actually find the current time acceleration rates quite enjoyable and believe they feel appropriate in relation to our movement speed. 

As I usually don't have more than maybe two hours of spare time a day on average (most likely the fate of pretty much all working folks), I would definitely find a 1:1 time ratio pretty unnerving as it would take me almost two real life weeks to complete a single ingame day if there was no time acceleration at all.

I for one certainly wouldn't find that very appealing and I assume many other players tend to share this point of view.:big_smile:

Ditto. I usually only have time to play 30-45 min chunks on the weekend.

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For me the current time acceleration is perfect, too. But just out of curiosity: would that mean, that sleeping would be 1:1, too? So: when your character sleeps 8 hours, that is 8 hours in real life, too? Or cooking and crafting?

Edited by aurora

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4 hours ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

One small note that may be of interest -- the length of our in-game day is more than 2x the length of a day in any of the Bethesda and Rockstar games (they all run on a 48 minute day/night cycle, and we are on a 120 minute day/night cycle). The surface area of the current Sandbox in The Long Dark is about 40 square kms (actual kms, not based on movement speed -- for example, Mystery Lake is 2000mx3000m, though some amount of the perimeter is inaccessible), which has our world almost as big as Skyrim. We tuned movement speed to feel good, although the walk speed in the game is actually quite a bit faster than a "realistic" walking speed would be.

Again, not aiming at delivering realism, but I thought some of these data points might be interesting nonetheless.

I really like the length of the days in TLD. I strongly disliked the shortness of the day/night cycles in Oblivion and Skyrim. In fact, though I started OB on Xbox, I moved to PC (installing Win7 on my Mac desktop via BootCamp - gasp!) just so I could use the console commands to slow down the time!! So I absolutely love that a single day in TLD takes so long in real time. No need for console cheating here! And yes, the walking speed sometimes feels a little fast, but hey, the best thing is that it does vary with slope, wind direction and speed, and encumbrance/fatigue. Much more realistic than the Bethsoft games. 

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I'm ok with the time acceleration/walking speed as it is currently implemented.  No interest in 1:1 scaling.  That would make the blizzards on PV excruciatingly rage inducing.  I don't want to wait 8 real hours for the blizzard to clear so I can chop wood! 

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On 9. 4. 2016 at 10:51 PM, Scyzara said:

As I usually don't have more than maybe two hours of spare time a day on average (most likely the fate of pretty much all working folks), I would definitely find a 1:1 time ratio pretty unnerving as it would take me almost two real life weeks to complete a single ingame day if there was no time acceleration at all.

 

On 9. 4. 2016 at 0:12 AM, aurora said:

For me the current time acceleration is perfect, too. But just out of curiosity: would that mean, that sleeping would be 1:1, too? So: when your character sleeps 8 hours, that is 8 hours in real life, too? Or cooking and crafting?

 

On 10. 4. 2016 at 4:11 AM, Vhalkyrie said:

I'm ok with the time acceleration/walking speed as it is currently implemented.  No interest in 1:1 scaling.  That would make the blizzards on PV excruciatingly rage inducing.  I don't want to wait 8 real hours for the blizzard to clear so I can chop wood! 

These are all good points.

So what about implementing a user selectable time scale? I imagine it as follows...

  • Need a realistic time scale (for realistic wandering around)? Just press the "-" key.
  • Need a original time scale (for accelerated blizzard or sleeping)? Press the "+" key.

We can see such game mechanics in "Operation Flashpoint" or modded "S.T.A.L.K.E.R." series for instance. The setting could be implemented via a mod only, so the original game will be as intended by Hinterland (an I really enjoy it as it is right now).

Edited by Viktor Kvasnica
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I think maybe the in game time should be slowed a little bit. Because it shouldn't take me 2 hours to walk down coastal highway from the gas station to commuter's lament. With no poor weather conditions or any factors affecting the walk at all.

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