The Long Dark Spoiler Warning Christmas

By Shamus Posted Friday Dec 25, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 115 comments

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the holiday. The Spoiler Warning cast got together on Christmas Eve-Eve, because we wanted to help you celebrate.

Traditionally, Christmas is a time we associate with:

  1. Being with family and friends
  2. Good food.
  3. Bright cheerful decorations.
  4. Gathering around a fire.
  5. Exchanging gifts.

So we figure the best way to celebrate this time with friends and and family is to ignore them and instead watch this video about a game where…

  1. You are totally alone, without the hint or hope of meeting another human soul. Your only company is a vast wilderness full of wild beasts, who are trying to eat you.
  2. You are hungry. You can’t even imagine how hungry. Like, if you’re really lucky your Christmas dinner might be a jug of ice cold toilet water.
  3. It is dark. So dark you can’t even see how utterly alone you are.
  4. You are cold. So cold you can’t even feel your exhausted dead limbs as you tumble into a sleeping bag on the hard floor and hope you can get just an hour or two of sleep without freezing to death.
  5. You are plunged into the most desperate poverty, and your only “Christmas gifts” will be the meager trinkets you can scavenge from the silent corpses you encounter in your wanderings.

So from all of us, to all of you, enjoy The Long Dark, you doomed, isolated wastrel:

Link (YouTube)

It’s interesting how highly immersive games drag the player into simulationist thinking. “If I’m freezing, why can’t I burn this furniture to keep warm?” Ha ha, those dumb game developers don’t realize furniture is made of wood. What goofs!

Of course, the real reason you can’t just burn every object made of wood is that it creates a never-ending chain of escalating feature creep:

Player: Hey, how come I can’t break down this dresser for wood?

Dev: Okay, I’ve added a new button to the interface when you open a container. As long as the container is empty, you can break it down into wood.

Player: How come this tiny footlocker and this huge wardrobe both give me the same tiny amount of wood? How come I can tear this metal safe apart for wood?

Dev: okay, I’ve added a bunch of data to the game to keep track of what containers are made of and how much wood (if any) they contain.

Player: Frustrating that the game doesn’t tell me how much wood I’ll get before I hit the “turn into firewood” option. And am I really tearing this dresser apart instantly? With my bare hands?

Dev: The “firewood” button has now been replaced with a “disassemble” dialog. It will tell you what the yield will be, and how long it will take. If you have a tool, it will take half the time.

Player: What about this bed? This couch? This end-table? Why can’t I burn them?

Dev: I’ve added an interface to every possible burnable furniture item in the game.

Player: Why does burning a bed remove the whole thing? Why would I burn the mattress?!?! I just want to burn the frame, but I don’t want to give up my ability to sleep in this house.

Dev: Fine. I added alternate mattress model to the game. When you burn a bed, the game will swap out the bed model for the bare mattress.

Player: (Slightly disappointed.) Kind of odd how all beds magically drop the same ratty single-sized mattress, regardless of the size and quality of the original bed. But I guess this will do. It still seems sort of dumb that I can’t burn floorboards.

Dev: You want to burn the FLOOR?!?

Player: It’s clear this floor is sitting on top of stone. My character is just minutes from freezing to death. Of course they would pull up a few floorboards to survive.

Dev: Okay, fine. I’ve added a DIALOG BOX to the FLOOR that will allow you to burn it. I’ve had to turn furniture from static models into physics meshes so they won’t float in the air when the floor vanishes out from under them. I re-built all the structures so that the floor is now a different model from everything else. I re-worked the lighting model because the new movable floorboards were causing all sorts of shadow glitches. I’ve divided the floor of every building into sections because some parts of the floor (like the part under immovable counters, stoves, and fireplaces) can’t be removed. I’ve added new collision meshes for the sub-floor. Re-worked all the footstep sound logic to account for the fact that walking surfaces can now vanish or change properties.

Player: These wood cabinets in the kitchen…

Dev: I’ve discontinued work on The Long Dark. Please buy my next game, “House and Furniture Deconstructing Simulator 2016”.


From The Archives:

115 thoughts on “The Long Dark Spoiler Warning Christmas

  1. JakeyKakey says:

    I’m a student spending Christmas by myself in Middle of Nowhere, Wales. You’ve pretty much described the better part of last month.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      You’re not at Atlantic College, are you? (If it is Atlantic College, JakeyKakey is not exaggerating!)

    2. Grudgeal says:

      …Isn’t “Middle of Nowhere, Wales” a tautology, anyway?

      /Shots fired

    3. Chris says:

      Wahey same here. Although im not sure the valleys is quite “Nowhere” in as much as i live next to a train station that leads to somewhere.

      1. Nidokoenig says:

        It’s an important enough nowhere to have an escape route, at least.

  2. guy says:

    Player: You know, it’s really pretty stupid how being on fire makes characters thirsty so they go to the booze stockpile to have a drink.

    1. Felblood says:

      Also why does all booze explode when a flaming creature picks it up.

      Should we be keeping track of which bottles are high enough proof to burn?

    2. Scourge says:

      At least they fixed the issue where all the fat would melt away and your Dworfs became immune to lava, cause there was no more fat to burn.

  3. MichaelGC says:

    I’d watch this but I’m too busy playing Race The Sun.

  4. baseless_research says:

    I’m going to take the fun out of the latter shenanigans and point you to the WTF that is Paradoxical Undressing. To quote wikipedia:

    Twenty to fifty percent of hypothermia deaths are associated with paradoxical undressing. This typically occurs during moderate to severe hypothermia, as the person becomes disoriented, confused, and combative. They may begin discarding their clothing, which, in turn, increases the rate of heat loss.

    and livescience:

    To shut down the loss of heat from the extremities, the body induces vasoconstriction, the reflexive contraction of blood vessels.

    Over time, however, the muscles necessary for inducing vasoconstriction become exhausted and fail, causing warm blood to rush from the core to the extremities. This results in a kind of “hot flash” that makes victims of severe hypothermia “” who are already confused and disoriented “” feel as though they’re burning up, so they remove their clothes, researchers have concluded.

    Paradoxical undressing often occurs immediately before terminal burrowing. The researchers in Germany investigating hypothermia victims noted in their article that “the final position in which the bodies were found could only be reached by crawling on all fours or flat on the body, resulting in abrasions to the knees, elbows, etc. This crawling … happened after undressing, as there were abrasions to the skin but no damage to the corresponding parts of the removed clothing

    So yeah. that’s a real thing,… Hypothermia is hilarious.

    shamus I have no idea how to do quote tags so formatting is 0. Sorry

    1. scampi says:

      Especially considering the data comes from Germany…I’d like to know the correlation between hypotermia and alcohol consumption. I’m pretty sure, there’s something to be found there.

      1. Scourge says:

        I am pretty sure for alcohol consumption you should look at Russia.

        As for the Data, I fear… that was, most probably, done in WW2.

        1. General Karthos says:

          All that data was destroyed, unread, for humanitarian reasons. Better to destroy data gathered that way than to use it, lest we condone the way it was gathered.

          1. Alex says:

            That data was not destroyed for humanitarian reasons – the Dachau freezing experiments have apparently been referenced by other research at least 45 times.

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I disagree with that notion,because that makes all those sacrificed be dead in vain,and all those that could be saved by the data die pointlessly.I think its perfectly possible to use unethical data without ever even thinking of repeating such unethical experiments,or condoning them in any way.

            1. SKD says:

              Agreed, even if the governments involved said they destroyed the data you can be sure copies were kept “just in case we need it at a later date”. While I understand and agree with discouraging those kind of unethical experiments, the destruction of valid data just because we disagree with how it was obtained is foolish. Data on subjects like hypothermia or the progression of virulent diseases can be used to save lives. You can use data without condoning the methods used to obtain it.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      shamus I have no idea how to do quote tags so formatting is 0. Sorry

      Use the blockquote tags.Also urge Shamus to include blockquote tags in his list of tags above comments so that others can know that blockquote exists.

      1. djw says:

        Are there any other useful commands that we can use to format comments? I would very much like to know how to make a numbered list or bullet point list, if it is possible.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          del does strikethroughs. Not sure about lists, though, unfortunately – not all of the standard ones work around these here parts (e.g. I was trying to get some superscript action going yesterday, but without success).

    3. Tom says:

      Could that undressing/burrowing thing be some weird leftover DNA from a hibernation instinct some distant mammalian ancestor of ours had?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Looking at the proposed explanation,its just a glitch in the system.Body gets cold,tries to warm up,parts break down do to prolonged stress,body parts that should be the coldest become the warmest,body thinks its burning up,tries to remove extra clothing because higher though has shut down long ago,body gets cold again,seeks shelter underground,dies.

  5. SyrusRayne says:

    2:10 given that Jennifer Hale is a Canadian, yes, you need to play her in your Canadian Simulator playthrough.

    20:00 “Garry’s Mod shitty photorealism” – I don’t necessarily disagree, but, uh.. Garry’s Mod does primarily use Half-Life 2’s models…


    Final thoughts: As a Canadian I can confirm that this is a fairly accurate simulation. Couple issues that stick out to me: not enough moose, and Josh didn’t seem to find any alcohol at all.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      and Josh didn't seem to find any alcohol at all.

      Well there are corpses around,meaning that people used to be here.So they drank all the alcohol.Because when you are near death,youd rather drink yourself to death than eat and prolong your suffering.

    2. AileTheAlien says:

      No foxes or beavers either. :C

    3. Steve C says:

      There is a big problem with this simulation… it appears you cannot wear multiples of the same articles of clothing. That’s a huge oversight. It’s called “dressing in layers”. It is =the= way you dress to stay warm.

      I routinely go out in cold Canadian winters* wearing jeans, cotton socks, thin sweaters etc. It’s called not being a shut-in. It is no problem. If it is really cold I just wear multiple socks, multiple thin sweaters, etc (and complain more like every Canadian does when it gets bitter.)

      If I was wearing what Josh had in inventory @46m30s (3 pairs of socks, 2 pants, 3 sweaters, 2 coats, 2 toques, shoes and a scarf) I would be very comfortable at -38C. It’s really close to a perfect wardrobe too. It is very reasonable that I’d be wearing all that at the same time. Well unless I was overheating. Overheating would be a far bigger issue than hypothermia even at those temperatures. That’s why layers are so important! So you can take off stuff as you exert yourself and get too hot. Throw in a bedroll and you wouldn’t need a fire except to stay dry. (Staying dry being life or death important. Sweat being a big deal.)

      Another problem with the game is that you can eat and drink the food you find and wear the clothes as soon as you find them. Everything discovered is going to be completely frozen solid. Put the grape soda into your freezer for a week then try drinking it. Or eating some energy bars straight out of the freezer. Possible but a problem. It won’t be fast or easy and it will make you colder. Putting on frozen clothes you found is exactly the sort of thing that could kill you. It will be stealing your body heat and it will be wet after it unfreezes. Realistically all that stuff needs to be warmed up before it is used.

      (* Well not this winter though since it I’ve been only wearing my light leather jacket so far this year. Ironically it just started snowing for the first time this year as I watched this video. I blame Josh.)

      1. Wool (I’m told) can absorb something like 30% of its weight in water and still be warm (hence fisherman’s sweaters being a thing). But I live in a climate where it’s unusual to have a day that doesn’t go above freezing and thus have much more experience with wet cotton. Plus I have Renault’s in a mild form, so hard winter is a bad idea.

    4. BenD says:


      As a graphic designer, this is a rare case where I’ll condone three fonts used in close succession because the user is using them to denote ‘voices.’ (I can’t quite resist comparing this to Pratchett’s unconventionally eye-bleeding use of all-caps for Death, which has the same purpose””to convey a sense of voice or tone for the speaker.) In this case, Josh (I assume) is not (I think) trying to identify each typeface as a different speaker, exactly, but to give each well-wishing a separate tone without giving each one separate emphasis (which is what having used bold, italic, and roman of the same single type family would have achieved).

      So, in short, it’s not done for visual aesthetic, but as a literary tool, and as such, I’ll excuse it. Especially because none of the three faces chosen has a terribly troubled pop-culture history.

  6. MichaelGC says:

    I feel as though Campster’s DOOM3 gag got less recognition than it perhaps deserved and so wanted hereby to partially redress the balance.

  7. MichaelGC says:

    We’re probably about 5 years out from Dances With Wolves nostalgia. See also Ghost, Pretty Woman, Home Alone, etc. (Although Total Recall has already jumped the starting gun … I guess there are no hard and fast rules, here.)

    1. Felblood says:

      Total Recall had tripple boobed hookers, and many parents actually succeeded at keeping younger kids away fro it, so the gap is a couple of years narrower.

  8. MichaelGC says:

    Are we sure Josh equipped mittens at the end there, or were they like a couple of Ballistic Fists?

  9. Ilseroth says:

    I kinda agree with regard to the long dark’s extremely specific bar system. Knowing calorie counts of items doesn’t seem unreasonable, assuming it is a packaged item designed for human consumption (and not a can of dog food.) But accurately estimating how many calories you will burn from sleeping X hours, knowing exactly how much cold resistance you have, knowing your exact hunger, sleep, thirst, and health all seems to be a bit… odd. The game seems to be as though it is simultaneously focusing on being simulationist and focused on immersion at the same time with an awkward middle ground.

    I kinda recognize why it takes time to pick up items, as it is the main thing preventing you as the player from running through a potentially dangerous area with a flare out and just snagging everything while going through at full speed… But the long search bars do feel awkward… that being said I much prefer it to “Sir” where the houses are just containers to be looted.

    Honestly, I considered picking up Long Dark because the concept seemed fun; but when I watched a video of it a ways back the game just doesn’t seem to really have many mechanics to make it interesting in the long term. Essentially it comes down to memorizing maps so you know the high quality areas, drain them of resources and hope for a gun, if you can get a gun, you can live as long as you have ammo.

    I guess it just doesn’t have the mechanics needed to really draw me in.

    1. keldoclock says:

      That’s not true. After you run out of ammo you can make a bow out of tree saplings, wolf guts. Then you melt down your can openers and make arrow heads.

      Then once you run out of metal for arrows you run at wolves and kill them with a knife until you run out of medical supplies.

      Then you just wait for wolves to kill deer and scare the wolves away from the deer corpses with burning torches.

      Then you starve.

      Longest survivor on the leaderboards lasted 7 years!

      1. Disc says:

        Additionally I suppose you could fish at a fishing hut like the one they first discovered by the Climber’s cabin?

        It would seem like a decent place to get food at least as long as you could keep the heat up and make a hole in the ice.

        1. keldoclock says:

          No, fishing sucks. It costs lots of firewood and basically you take a big gamble (you can lose your fishing tackle under the ice) where the best result is you feed yourself for the day you are fishing and maybe have 1kg of fish the next day. It’s an OK way to spend a blizzard day if you live in Camp Office next to Mystery Lake I guess. It’s only really OK if you

          1. have fishing gear (which you probably will loot at some point, but its never worth crafting)
          2. have lots of sticks (sticks burn hot)
          3. have some fir or reclaimed wood
          4. DON’T have warm enough clothing or a weapon to hunt with

          1. DVL says:

            I concur, fishing also uses up metal for the hooks and there are much better uses for that. And then you have to use tools/time to break up ice holes, which is even MORE metal that you’re using to repair tools.

            And by the same token there are much better uses for that fuel — mainly torches. You can use torches to cheese wolf AI’s because they won’t approach anywhere you’ve dropped one and use that leeway to get close and shoot them with a bow. (Kills a threat and nets you calories.) Torches are also a great and cheap substitute for warm clothing since carrying one raises your temperature. And matches are so abundant anyway that it’s literally a problem of use ’em or lose ’em before they decay.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Wow,talk about a long winter.So when do white walkers come to eat your face?

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I kinda recognize why it takes time to pick up items, as it is the main thing preventing you as the player from running through a potentially dangerous area with a flare out and just snagging everything while going through at full speed… But the long search bars do feel awkward… that being said I much prefer it to “Sir” where the houses are just containers to be looted.

      Honestly,Id prefer thiafs animation of reaching in to grab a thing to just a bar that keeps filling up.Bars are just too weird,and a poor replacement.

      1. AileTheAlien says:

        Would be nice, but the game doesn’t even have your hands visible. If they did that, then they’d need different models for all the different types of clothing you could be wearing. :)

  10. Hermocrates says:

    Actually, depending on how old the snow is, it might be a very good idea to boil it before drinking. It’s not really the “people walking and littering” on the snow that’s the problem, but the wildlife faeces. If it’s fresh snow then you should be cool, but anything old enough to be compacted has probably had packs of wolves and deer running over it and who knows how many rodents scurrying through it, pooping as they do. Poop leads to faecal coliforms, and faecal coliforms lead to dysentery. And that, the path to the Dark Side it is.

    1. Hermocrates says:

      About the toilet water:

      In one of my college courses we ran coliform colony counts on various sources of water, and water bottles and Brita filters actually contained more colonies than toilet water. You’d be surprised where bacteria can and cannot rapidly grow.

      1. scampi says:

        Do you have a source for that or just 1st hand experience? My girlfriend and me use Brita filters and I’d really be interested in data about it before deciding whether to discontinue their use.

        1. Hermocrates says:

          Just a mix of my and my professor’s first hand experiences, so probably nothing to get too worried about. That said, it might also largely depend on how frequently you change out the filter; the one that registered with coliforms hadn’t been changed in at least half a year if not longer.

          Also, for clarification: the toilet water actually didn’t register any coliform bacteria. So I’m not saying the Brita filter had a LOT of it, either.

    2. Ledel says:

      Not to mention that taking snow straight (even fresh snow) is bad for you in this situation where you’re at high risk of freezing to death. If you try drinking snow, your internal temperature drops quickly, and you catch hypothermia much faster.

      1. Disc says:

        There was a video I watched a while back where some dude had discovered that you can in fact “drink” snow if you mold some into a small lump, put it in your mouth and suck on it slowly.

        1. Ledel says:

          I’m not disputing the fact that you can drink snow. The problems with it are that you use up a lot of your internal body heat to melt the snow, and that you get such a small yield of water comparatively to the amount of snow you consume.

          1. Disc says:

            Actually, the point was that it’s supposedly a safer way to do it and won’t waste nearly as much body heat as just straight eating snow.

            I don’t know how scientifically accurate it was, but I remember googling about this very issue some time back and these comments just reminded me about the video I saw. The guy demonstrated it and seemed pretty certain that it’s worked for him.

            Edit: Now that I recall, it wasn’t advertised as substitute for proper water either, but something to keep you going or somesuch until you can find something better for hydration. If I can find the video again, I’ll post it later.

            1. Disc says:

              Found it, for whatever it’s worth.


              Edit: And a related blog post.

              1. Disc says:



                I can’t verify it one way or another, but like I said, he seems like he knows what he’s talking about.

                1. AileTheAlien says:

                  Doesn’t matter what technique you use; Ice takes the same amount of energy to turn liquid no matter what you do. So, if you’re using up precious body heat, it’s going to get you hypothermic. If you’re fairly warm/insulated, and dying of thirst, then go ahead; You need to do whatever you can, to solve the problem that is currently your most life-threatening.

                  1. SKD says:

                    There is also the matter of time over which the calories are burned. I imagine that sucking on a snowball burns just as many calories but over a longer time which allows your body to regulate its core temp better than ingesting a similar amount of snow and having a good portion of the heating taking place in your core. Of course, if you are smart or lucky enough to have a sealable container the wise thing to do is to fill it with snow/ice and place it in one of your inner clothing layers. Mountaineers use that method to make and keep water liquid and relatively warm for consumption.

                  2. keldoclock says:

                    Yes, if you are hypothermic or about to be you should not drink snow. However in normal cold conditions, such as perhaps a skiing trip, just scoop the snow into a ziplock bag and put it into your jacket pocket. Warms up slowly to give you a drink, and you don’t get cold.

  11. Spammy says:

    I get weirdly disappointed when I expect there to be ghosts or something supernatural and a game and there isn’t. Like how Gone Home drops all that stuff at the start about the house being haunted just to make you jump when the thunder hits and there is no ghost at all anywhere in the game.

    So I keep expecting there to be like shadowy figures looking at you from between the trees or maybe something moving in the houses. Although I say that and I’m not even sure what I’d want ghosts to do. Do you fight them? Bust them? Are they a sign of low sanity? Are they just there for atmosphere?

    I guess it just bothers me that the game is so atmospherically spooky that I expect something overtly spooky.

    1. DVL says:

      The developers actually say that’s intentional and its fan community largely seems to be on board with it. They have a point. They’re both fatigued by the huge influx of “survival horror” games and it’s aimed more at the outdoorsy types who like nature and the practical nerd problems of wildlife survival.

      I’ve come around to their viewpoint because while I like the concept of a horror game in theory, horror games are just usually disappointing to me. They’re always about zombies, Slenderman ripoffs or are the neutered Penumbra model that can’t have real sanity effects, because Nintendo has a patent on sanity effects. (Which is why you never see any creative non-scripted hallucinations in the industry ever. The only game to have that was the Gamecube’s Eternal Darkness from Silicon Knights. It’s total bullshit.) I sure as hell am not going to expect the average triple A brogamer dev to do horror right anyway.

      So for me, The Long Dark has proven to be a refreshing palette cleanser.

  12. Ysen says:

    I’ve never liked survival games too much. They seem to go one of two ways:

    – You rapidly progress to the point where the survival elements largely become trivial makework. After the first hour you’re basically playing a standard RPG / zombie shooter / whatever except you have to stop every 30 seconds to open your inventory and eat one of your 800 cans of soup.

    – There’s no or minimal progression. You pretty much just repeat the same gameplay loop over and over for hours. Unfortunately, in a lot of survival games, the core gameplay loop isn’t too interesting (walk in one direction for ten minutes, click on berry bush).

    I feel like there need to be games where the survival elements are more discrete, e.g. if you want to travel a long distance or go on an expedition to some ruin out in the wilderness you need to worry about provisioning, navigation, etc. but not when you’re walking around a civilised area.

    1. Felblood says:

      Okay, I know this was a running gag here a few years ago, but I’m being completely serious.

      Have you tried Dwarf Fortress?

      It avoids the usual trap you described by having aspects of your city that you can afford to neglect in favor of short-term survival, but only so long. It has LOTS of mechanics to manage, with different lengths of fuses on them, and almost all of them represent the potential to see the words “Your fortress has crumbled to it’s end.”

      There are two critical downsides though.

      Most cripplingly, it is very hands off about warning you when you are neglecting something too much, until it’s already become a major disaster. It’s the opposite of what Ilseroth is complaining about above, where a player often finds that they have been worrying about something that is a non-issue, or failed to deal with a problem that their character should have been aware of.

      Also the GUI is a bit rough around the edges, but the dev assures us that after another couple of decades of polish, he’ll be able to get it to the point where even the sane may gaze upon it without fear.

      1. Ysen says:

        I have played a decent amount of Dwarf Fortress, but wouldn’t consider it a survival game. I was thinking more about stuff like the Long Dark, Don’t Starve, DayZ, Salt, etc.

    2. Spammy says:

      That’s always the rub with these survival games. If there’s a plot, odds are I’ll ignore the plot or think the plot challenges are ridiculous and I’m going to get my fill of the game before I get to the plot. But if there’s no plot or no big challenges like that then what can make me leave my home base where all my food and stuff is getting made.

      I quit Don’t Starve when about the only thing left that I could do was start the challenge world stuff, and that didn’t seem interesting to me. I never got into Terraria because it seems like Terraria is actually about fighting bosses and that didn’t interest me.

      I guess that Minecraft is the only successful survival type game for me because even though I never do any of the Ender Dragon or Wither stuff, exploring and building is enough for me.

  13. Artur CalDazar says:

    Shamus got dark this episode.

    And I don’t think I would enjoy this game, but I really enjoy watching people play it.

    1. AileTheAlien says:

      No, he’s very brightly lit, from all the things on fire. :P

  14. Grimwear says:

    Merry Christmas from Canada where it is currently…-26 Celsius with windchill! Certainly not the coldest we’ve experienced but dang if I wouldn’t want to be stranded out in the wilderness in this temperature. I hope everyone is nice and cozy and was able to spend the day with those they love. And in the words of a sickly kid with a crutch, “God bless us, everyone!”

    1. Hermocrates says:

      Merry Christmas from the other part of Canada were it only just finally dipped down to 0°C!

      To be honest, I wish it were more in the -10s right now. These middling temperature suck and I can’t even wear my new boots.

      1. Grimwear says:

        I remember my dad talking to one of his brothers over the phone on Christmas and he’s in Ontario I believe and I heard that it was like 14 degrees there? What the heck!

    2. AileTheAlien says:

      Pshh! I’m at -21°C, -30°C after wind! Although it looks like today has a high of -15°C, so it’ll actually feel pretty warm. :)

  15. Exetera says:

    I’m pretty sure you did make your own version of this game, Shamus. It was called Project Frontier.

    I’m still kinda sad you never finished that…

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Why are books listed as fuel there?Books are pretty shoddy fuel.They burn up quickly and they offer little heat.The best use for a book is as a source of lots of tinder.

    Or,you can use them to wipe your ass,or as a makeshift tampon(there you go Mumbles,problem solved).

    1. Akhetseh says:

      I wouldn’t use paper as a tampon, frankly (I’m freaking just imagining the possibility of a papercut). Not when clothes are pretty abundant, even if they appear to degrade at an unbelievable rate? I guess it’s part of the mechanics to force the player to scavenge/repair them, but a part that I find irksome. Or would have if I had played the game longer than the moment I discovered it didn’t allow me to light a fire indoors if there wasn’t a stove/fireplace/structure for that purpose.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yes,cloth is much better.I wrote that post before I knew clothes were so abundant.In the absence of clothing thoigh,lining your underwear with paper can do the job however.

    2. Grimwear says:

      If The Magic School Bus taught me anything, it’s that you steal Dorothy Anne’s book and shove pieces of it into your jacket like a champ.

    3. DVL says:

      As somebody who played the game: They are mechanically crappy fuel in the game as well but you have a better chance of getting it started. It doesn’t last long after you’ve done that so you need to throw some twigs and logs on top of it once you’ve got it lit.

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Drinking melted snow,even seemingly clean one in the middle of the forest,can still introduce various diseases in your body.Boiling it to be safe is not that bad of an idea.

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wolves may attack you alone in conditions like this,if they are reeeeaally desperate.It wont end well for them,because 1 on 1,an average human will kill an average wolf,but it could happen.Though it wouldnt be perfect for a human either,because they will end up scratched and bruised,but hey,a fresh carcass.

    1. Tom says:

      Just for future reference, how does one go about killing a wolf with one’s bare hands?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Strangulation or snapping of the neck work just as well as with any other mammal.I mean,any method that would kill a human would kill a wolf.Broken spine,crushed ribs,smashed skull,suffocation,…As long as you manage to keep it away from your face and neck,you can kill a wolf by brute strength alone.

        Thats why wolves hunt in packs,because they lack the strength most of their prey has over them.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          I gather blindly punching at them whilst wearing woolly mittens is also an effective method. (Although this is technically not with one’s bare hands, o’ course.)

        2. el_b says:

          you seem to be forgetting that the average wolf prey is 3 times the size of a human and a single wolf can still win, its just safer in packs. a wolf can bite down harder than a tiger, they weigh the same as two Alsatians, and one of them can floor a human easily when running. a wolf wouldn’t even be bothered about a punch, and if you were in a position to snap its neck, it would have probably already taken you to the point you wouldn’t survive. some people have survived wolf attacks, but in a ‘the long dark’ style situation i doubt it would be possible.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            A wolf does not bite harder than a tiger.A wolf bites with a force of about 300 newtons,while a tiger bites with a force of about 650 newtons,which is more than twice as strong.Wolves have a stronger jaw than a human,but not than large cats.

            And yes,from an ambush a wolf can subdue a human pretty easily by chomping on their neck.And a healthy young wolf backed into a corner would most likely lead to a situation where the wolf comes on top,or ends up being as wounded as the human.

            However,the situation presented in this game is a situation where a lone hungry wolf decides to attack a human from the front.That implies a wolf who is extremely hungry and therefore most definitely not at their peak strength.Against a human who seems to be athletic and often pretty healthy and fed in the last day or so.

    2. Wide And Nerdy says:

      Also to note. I don’t know what Josh’s complaint was when he mentioned the wolf chasing you all over creation. Humans used to hunt prey in part by chasing them into exhaustion as our upright stance and lack of fur aid our stamina. We started domesticating wolves in part because they also hunt by chasing and are capable of keeping up with humans on long hunts.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Packs of wolves do that.A lone wolf that hunts means that it is desperate and thus pretty hungry and not in the mood to hunt something for days.

    3. DVL says:

      Hinterlands has a great community and I’ve posed this question to them about wolves.
      For the most part, most wolves today have been conditioned, either by behavioral modification or natural selection, to not attack humans. Because for the most part, humans will shoot or hunt them. We have a big history purging undesirable wildlife like boars and wolves. They’re also just not conditioned to think of humans as viable food.

      Secondly, wolves are pragmatic about survival. There’s a reason they go after the weakest deer in the herd as a team. That’s because an injury can potentially mean death. So the idea of attacking this unknown animal who can give him a good fight isn’t something he wants. It’s just a really terrible return on investment. He can attack the lone mountaineer, who will then just promptly beat it or poke him with a pointy stick. Nobody will have a fun time of it. It’s a Phyrrhic victory to kill your adversary only to break a leg, lose a lot of blood or die of infection.

      So the world ends tomorrow because of a geomagnetic disturbance or whatever. Fine, but the wolves are doing okay and their population isn’t really that high near settled areas anyway. They’re not that desperate and have deer to eat. For the most part, the kind of video gamey situation where lone wolves attack you with no provocation is pretty unlikely to happen.

  19. ? says:

    There used to be an option to spend some time (and calories and warmth and so on) on foraging for wood (similar to fire starting mechanic), outside it would give you bits of nearby trees, and indoors it would result with pieces of broken furniture (and had diminishing results over time, as you strip anything usable from the building). Apparently they removed it.

    1. Peter H. Coffin says:

      It seems to have moved to various furnishings. Crates I definitely saw have a popup time to break down to firewood, number of calories to be expended in the process, once all the things inside them have been looted.

  20. Does Mumbles know about the Hunterborn? I don’t think Mumbles knows about the Hunterborn?

    To be fair, it doesn’t really fix the broken economy that makes selling pelts a pointless endeavor, but it goes a long way in making hunting feel like a legit class in Skyrim, especially when combined with Realistic Animals & Predators.

  21. You know, if you replace “Player:” with “Shamus:” in the blog post that whole player vs dev dialog makes much more sense.

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      By now, this type of debate probably does occur in his head all the time. Instead of society, his superego is formed mostly from internalized angry fanboy rants.

  22. Couscous says:

    House and Furniture Deconstructing Simulator 2016 sounds like it would be a great zen game like Euro Truck Simulator 2. Just slowly pulling everything apart. Scrapping valuable pieces. Making sure to collect the stuff that needs to be carefully disposed of because it was made before they realized asbestos was a bad idea to use in houses.

  23. Nataline says:

    So, uh…

    Is it just me or has anyone else experienced blackouts and time skips with this video? I mean, every time I try watching it, I get to 14:50 or so, books being in the game is mentioned and moments after that everything just sort of.. goes dark.

    Then I wake up somewhere in the house, curled up under furniture, tightly clutching some of my books, face damp and eyes red, with a metallic taste in my mouth and my clocks, various NTP servers and the cellular network all confirm a time skip of 2-4 hours.

    I don’t know if the glitch is in the video though, might just be something broken in my system. :/

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Yep, I was having these (although by the sound of it mine weren’t … quite as severe). This was whilst using the YouTube app on an iPhone – they seemed to go away after I switched to the Chrome app.

      1. Nataline says:

        Mhm. :I

        I think we might be on different frequencies here. I was just making an overly convoluted joke regarding things like e.g. the unspeakably evil suggestion made by that heartless monster man at 15:33, I can see the whole video just fine. Sorry about this mess. :/

        Or… am I not understanding a counterjoke about… apps? I don’t know what’s going on anymore. -_-

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          YouTube is expected to rollback that change soon. Its an encoding issue. Until then, switch back to .flv and you should only experience brief fainting spells and an uncanny sense of being watched.

          Any blood in your mouth should now taste like corn syrup. This is by design.

          1. MichaelGC says:

            Hmm – it’s more of a milky taste at the moment. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll figure it out.

        2. MichaelGC says:

          Anyway – all good! I thought you were having video problems and were also joking, whereas it seems it were just the latter. I, meanwhile, had the video go black a couple of times – right around the 14 minute mark, spookily enough! :D

  24. Vi says:

    That was a fun way to wrap up my Christmas night! Thank you for fighting wolves to the death in already-lethal environmental conditions for our amusement.

    Also thank you for the house and furniture deconstructing simulator rant. The next thing on my itinerary after my I-swear-to-God-I-can-finish-something game is an adventure game about a duo of pyrokinetic Cthugha hybrids, so I will need a good understanding of the work required by flammable environments. A lot of your rants about why developers don’t include more X turn out thusly.

  25. Christopher says:

    Can I say that I’ve never been fond of these shaggy dog video games?

    And I know the argument that “it’s the journey!” but in this sort of game I just find myself going “Oh OK so everything is stupid and ruined forever”. Things that don’t require electricity: Tractors, plows, oxen, harnesses, TRAINS. Guess who got taught the basics of steam power in middle school.

    Also talking about wolves, never forget the ballad of Ben Chochrane:,5490432&dq=ben+cochrane&hl=en

    1. SyrusRayne says:

      Yeah there’s a ton of steam trains still on the tracks, dude.

    2. Nidokoenig says:

      A wizard did a spell and all technology fell apart. Are you a bad enough dude to kick the wizard in the nuts?

    3. Will says:

      Most tractors require electricity. All gasoline internal combustion engines do, really””the spark that actually ignites the fuel is electrical. (Of course, it can be done with a degree of electrical sophistication that could be fabricated with an aluminum can and a hammer, but the premise here seems to be “all electricity (except that which makes your brain and muscles work, apparently) magically stops working” rather than “EMP destroys all complicated electrical devices”.) Diesel engines don’t require electricity to operate as they ignite their fuel through extreme compression in the combustion chamber, but they’re extremely difficult to start both by hand and in the cold, so are really not a good solution for someone stranded in the Canadian wilderness in winter.

  26. Nick Pitino says:

    It’s a nitpick, but nits are things I enjoy to pick sometimes so…

    Geomagnetic super-storm knocks out electricity and makes your plane crash?

    Okay, cool.

    Geomagnetic super-storm destroys ALL ELECTRICITY 4 EVAH!?!

    Nope, bullshit, don’t buy it, and even if the ‘storm’ does last ‘forever’ you’d be able to shield against it and design electrical devices to be resistant.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Electromagnetic phenomena have been a ton of bullshit for a long time now.They can do all sorts of magical stuff,like disabling military equipment and nuclear reactors.You know,stuff that already should be pretty shielded.And then,no one thinks to reactivate the downed stuff once the phenomenon has disappeared because….um,their memory is short?

      1. AileTheAlien says:

        EMPs and similar phenomenon permanently damage electronics to the point of paper-weight.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Thats true for unshielded electronics.Meaning stuff that at most can have a lightning hit a lightning rod near them,and have the fuse blowing out be the most dangerous thing that results from it.Military jets that are at risk of direct lightning strikes and electrical equipment for nuclear facilities on the other hand are designed to withstand intense bursts and still continue functioning.If those things are permanently destroyed by an emp,chances are the same emp has fried nearby humans as well.

          1. Nidokoenig says:

            Particularly because your nervous system is electric current running through meat wires. I mean, if electricity is fucked to the point where torches, bulbs and electric heaters don’t work, you and any other animal literally cannot brain.

            1. AileTheAlien says:

              Our bodies/neurons don’t get current induced in them, like a piece of wire does. (Our neurons mostly operate with chemicals.) The circuit-killing power of an EMP comes from the current that is induced, which is higher than that circuit can handle. No induced current means no overload.

              1. DVL says:

                I agree with Aile there. The electricity that runs your body isn't really the same thing as electricity in wires. Your body uses potassium-sodium ion pumps and cell membranes to create a charge gradient across a barrier. The charges are contained until some signal like neurotransmitters sees fit to discharge them. It’s all proteins, physical lipid barriers and what amounts to ions in an aqueous solution.

                The electrons in a metallic wire, are in a sense, “loose” and are susceptible to being pushed around by a magnetic field because they’re all free electrons inside an electron cloud shared by atoms across an entire metal crystal. (Big fancy description for “metallic bonds.”)

                The thing that makes metals good conductors is exactly the thing that makes them susceptible to magnetic fields. Our neurons are really more like a complex kinetic machines mediated by proteins and electrolytes in aqueous solutions.

                I seriously doubt a magnetic field of any strength is going to do jack of shit to you, otherwise we'd have serious problems just being in an MRI machine or standing under some powerlines.

  27. Wide And Nerdy says:

    “How did they deal with X?”

    Sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes people just died. Not exactly an attractive way of living.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      One does not die from a chronic pain however.They just got used to it and were in constant pain forever.That was pretty shitty as well.

      Also,yes tall people are often cursed with spinal problems.I know two tall guys that have developed two separate back problems in their teens.

  28. Zaxares says:

    And that’s why video games will never, ever be able to replace tabletop RPGs. :) At least, not until we develop hyper-intelligent quantum computers that are spontaneously generate code for such things on the fly and insert it into the game in nanoseconds.

  29. Ringwraith says:

    Speaking of the item degradation and can openers destroying themselves (I have actually cheap can openers dismantle themselves on me irritatingly), the fact everything breaks is kinda what makes the game tick, you will run out of… everything.
    Can’t take credit for making the point, this video does.

    1. Nidokoenig says:

      You can open a can with your hands, squeeze it in the middle, then bend the two halves back and forth until metal fatigue splits it open. Comes with a calorie cost, but you’ll need upper arm strength to wrestle bears with, anyway, so it’s an investment.

      Mechanical can opener fatigue is a thing if it’s one of those with the cog and cutting wheel, after a few months of use the wheel is blunt. If it’s the old fashioned spike and lever kind, you have long enough to work out how to make another.

      1. Ringwraith says:

        I’ve not had them die to bluntness, I’ve had them fall to pieces.
        It was only a cheap one I didn’t expect to last to be fair, but that was not the point of failure I was expecting.

  30. Sunshine says:

    Regarding the wolves being too hostile, the devs are pretty open to admitting it just makes the game more interesting. There are loading screen messages that say things in the vein of “Wolves are not really like this and we oppose hunting them for no good reason. They hate you because…the geomagnetic catastrophe has affected their brains? Good enough.”

  31. Galad says:

    That was a seriously impressive death sequence at the end.

    Also, without the wolves and bears hunting the player, the game would probably be a little too easy, even on higher difficulties. At least that’s how it feels on the lowest difficulty where wildlife is not hostile, unless provoked.

  32. Ahiya says:

    Instead of adding things to each individual thing made of wood, just have a wood template material that includes the ability to burn a la Dwarf Fortress. Larger constructs are just made of ‘pieces of wood’, after all. Players can toss the chairs, floor pieces, etc into the fire.

    It seems like the only sanity-preserving way to create a real open world/sim game.

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