Currently holding the record for the longest standing Game Preview title, The Long Dark
has received a large update to its Sandbox Mode.
Dubbed "Tireless Menace" by developer Hinterland Studio, this update includes new modes for hardcore survivalists and general gameplay changes alike.
New! Radial Menu & Streamlined Status
To support our goals of deep immersion and informed decision-making, we have completely overhauled our user interface. The new Radial Menu replaces the previous Actions Panel and puts all the player’s major gameplay actions within one or two clicks or button-presses. The Radial has also made it possible to add a subset of basic craftables made directly from the menu, rather than requiring the use of a Workbench to make simple items like Torches, Bandages, Tinder Plugs, etc. The new Streamlined Status screen lets you quickly check on your Condition, Calories, and other important survival information without needing to refer to a separate screen that pulls you out of the game world. Overall we think this improves the player experience by keeping the gameplay flow uninterrupted.
New! Challenge Modes
We’ve added Challenge Modes to the Sandbox. These challenges add objective-based gameplay to the core Sandbox experience. To start with, we’re launching “Hunted, Part One”, where you have to escape a murderous bear stalking you from Pleasant Valley to Mystery Lake, with only the Distress Pistol for protection. And “Hopeless Rescue”, where you have to get from the Trapper’s Cabin, to the top of Timberwolf Mountain, and then over to fire a signal flare from the Lighthouse in Desolation Point, within seven days! We’re excited to see how you find these experiences.
Rest System Overhaul
We’ve turned Rest into a true resource. You can now only Rest when you are tired, or have an affliction that requires it. We’ve added a “Pass Time” mechanic to the Rest interface, which allows you to advance the clock, without gaining the calorie-reducing and healing benefits of Rest. And finally, we’ve added a Cabin Fever affliction, to keep things interesting for our Hibernators. We feel that these changes will go a long way towards keeping the game more interesting for long-term players, add another layer of strategic decision-making and resource management around where and when you Rest, and increase the challenge for those who’ve embraced long-term hibernation techniques.
Decay System Overhaul
Previously, items in the world would only start to decay once the player entered the region they existed in. This made tuning unnecessarily complicated and led to some undesirable player behaviours. As of this update, all items in the world now begin to decay as soon as a Sandbox is started. To balance this, all item decay rates have been re-balanced on a much longer time-scale -- 1000+ days, as compared to the previous tuning which was on more of a 100+ day timescale. We’ve also added some decay modifiers to account for interior/exterior storage, and more realistic decay for fish and meat items (both raw and cooked). We feel that this overhaul keeps item decay at reasonable levels while supporting both nomadic (explorers) and sedentary (hunkering down) play styles.
First-Person Presence for Wolf Struggle
We’ve added first-person hands and held weapons to Wolf struggle, to hopefully clarify for players that they are actually using the best tool in their inventory during the struggle (which has always been the case, but never been well visualized before). We hope that this will help players understand what is happening during the Wolf struggle, and also serves as a proof of concept for further work we’d like to do to improve the sense of first-person presence in the game.
For the full change list you can head on over to the official forums
.The Long Dark
is available via the Game Preview Program on Xbox One. No release date has been set for the full launch.