On August 1st, 2019 Hide Or Die released into early access on Steam. It has been a true privilege to work alongside our backers to develop Hide or Die over the last year, however the work is just starting.
Any early access game is not without its flaws and imperfections and Hide or Die is no exception. As we move forward with development identifying these flaws, working towards solutions will become our primary focus. Our secondary focus will be continuing to expand the game with additional content, in the form of hunters, levels / locations, and features. For this reason entries on our roadmap may change.
In this update we want to discuss some of the flaws and issues players have been pointing out, review data collected from our experimental builds, and explain our short term and long term plans moving forward. Lets jump in!
Patch 1.06 Experimental Build Feedback
On August 8th we released Hide or Die 1.0.6 which included a limited time gamerules change which allowed players to get access to a low strength weapon after completing a fusebox. We felt this would be a good addition to both:
(a) give survivors another tool to potentially get out of a killer engagement if they are found. (b) create a more compelling reason for survivors to want to complete fuse boxes / objectives
With this reception to the changes we've made, we will be reintroducing these mechanics back into Hide or Die as a permanent feature change to the Last Man Standing mode.
We aim to have more of these "experimental" builds in the future as we flesh out new features within the game. With these surveys we also aim to see what issues are the most critical to Hide or Die, and where we should shift our focus. As mentioned in the introduction, identifying flaws within the existing design, balance, and technology we use is our primary focus. In the experimental build feedback survey we included a series of questions to collect information on the status of Hide or Die, and what the biggest issues facing the game were. Here is the top responses:
3. Server Lag / Ping
5. Boring Gameplay Loop / Not enough Action
With these issues in mind, we are excited to unveil the changes we will be making, and content (Sledge) we will be adding in update 1.1. We are expecting patch 1.1 to release before the end of August, today's update is a limited form version of the changes going into 1.1.
Performance, Memory, Level Size, and Action Intensity
Bale county currently is around 1.2km x 1.2km, its a large play-space we intended to be a sandbox for interesting Hunter v Survivor encounters and gameplay. Unfortunately, such as large map packed full of so many unique assets leads to several issues:
1. Performance issues: With a large multiplayer level like this, many actors need to be replicated across the server and to clients. Because of this many state / sync issues can occur if even the slightly hitch occurs on either the client or the server.
2. Memory issues: With so many level assets, building sets, and level themes all in one world, loading and streaming these assets can be a significant performance hit for older computers, with lower memory bandwidth than current generation computers. This means a good chunk of players can't even properly load into the level in time.
3. Action Intensity: With such a large world, players are spread apart too much, engagements with the killer are too infrequent and when they do occur, are often underwhelming and frustrating. SOLUTION:
For these reasons we are currently evaluating a new approach for our levels; splitting the map into smaller sections used for both the Escape and Last Man Standing game modes (although in 1.09, escape mode remains unchanged). These sections would still be quite large in comparison to other games in the genre, and would still allow 16+ players in each map with ease, although further testing is required.
We feel that with these changes we can push the gameplay experience to be more tense and also push the visual quality of Hide or Die even further. Instead of sacrificing performance managing a whole level, we can focus much more on smaller play spaces, and making those feel more polished. One of the most noticeable changes in the new spaces is the lighting, which has a much greater range of illumination. This allows us to craft a greater range of spaces which can influence gameplay. Using your flashlight is now necessary to find your way through some dark alleys or dense forests, which can make you visible to hunters.
(Just a little note here: We choose carnival intentionally, as it is the worst performing area in the game currently, better demonstrating the performance delta that can be expected)
Here is a screenshot comparison of Carnival from 1.08 and Carnival in the LMS mode in 1.09:
With 1.09 dropping today, we are introducing a part of this level to LMS for evaluation. The rest of the map will become available for 1.1
You should notice major performance improvements within LMS now, especially when compared to escape. This is the minimum bar we are shooting for and even more improvements can be made in the future.
Hunter & Survivor Engagement Balance
When we started building Hide or Die, we were always building it with the idea that Hunter's should be highly desired and powerful role. This was indented to focus engagements on hiding, and not being found. Unfortunately, this doesn't translate well to a repeatable and consistently enjoyable experience. The game can sometimes become too frustrating and unforgiving.
Going forward, we are looking into ways to create more balanced, fair and skill based encounter between survivors and hunters. Something both sides can enjoy without it becoming frustrating.
SOLUTIONS: -Slow down encounters, allow survivors and hunters time to react to the moves the other makes.
-Allow survivors more time to get away
-Prevent spammy & uncontrollable movement on both sides
-Retain hunter control in the engagement
-Prevent hunters from easily "dying" when in an engagement with multiple survivors
To do this, the first thing we are doing is slowing the encounters down. Currently most encounters last less than 3 seconds. The hunter finds the survivor, rushes them in a straight line (maybe a zig zag if they have a weapon), hits them twice, and its over.
Now, when a hunter successfully lands a hit on a survivor, they enter a brief "cooldown" where their movement speed is reduced and they are unable to attack. This gives survivors the chance to get away or use additional items to tip the encounter in their favor.
All weapons are now balanced to be much closer together, in terms of their effectiveness against hunters. The weaker weapons were brought up in relative strength, more powerful weapons were weakened relative to other weapons.
Any 1 hit kills across the game (on both survivor, and hunter side) were removed.
This being said though hunters no longer can be killed as suddenly. Average weapon kill times are now balanced between 8 to 12 seconds, depending on the weapon rarity, and difficulty of landing all shots. In the escape game mode when a hunter is put into dark sight by being damaged they will be in there for longer and will not hear survivor footsteps so be sure to take that time to run away and hide.
Prior to the release of 1.1 later this month, we want to release a limited form version of the changes so that players can get their hands on it early and we can get feedback that drives additional changes for 1.1.
Patch 1.09 is now live on Steam. Go download it, and let us know what you think! We will be putting out a survey over the weekend to gather additional feedback for changes in 1.1. Have fun!
New Bespoke LMS Carnival Map (This is the only LMS map available during this time)
Added a 1500CR Daily Login Bonus
Massive weapon balance changes (too much to list) from fire rates, damage tables, reload times, etc...
Massive perk balance changes (again too much to list), especially on the hunter side.
Added ADS Sensitivity Sliders for PC controls
Damage indicators when shooting hunters/grunts
Starting bunker brought back for LMS
Added Bear Trap survivor item
Added Health Pack survivor item
Tazer needs to be charged to fire (using mouse 1) and the charge amount determines the stun length
Can now fullscreen your game at a non native desktop resolution. For example you have a 4k monitor but you want to play in fullscreen at 2560x1440
Added framerate limit in menu (default 60fps) this will help greatly with gpu usage for streamers
Hideables will no longer do enter/exit animations until further notice
Explosive tips now beep only twice instead of three times before exploding
Motion sensor radius tripled
Removed some darkness warps that are in the environment and adjusted positions so they couldn't be cheesed too easily
Low level guns added back into power crates in lms after overwhelmingly positive reaction from our experiment last week
No longer can hear footsteps when in dark sight as a hunter
Time in forced darksight increased by 30%
Time it takes to manually leave darksight reduced from 2.25 seconds to 1.5 seconds
Players are granted an Arisaka in LMS when 1v1
Added more loot spawns in carnival
Time to fully regen health increased from 15 seconds to 25 seconds
When a hunter misses a melee attack there is a small slow down of the movement speed. If they connect a melee hit there is a longer slowdown
Max charge on harpoon for fisherman now does 40 damage
Health boost perk for survivors doesn't grant additional health, it instead decreases the time to regen your health.
Health pack item added 50 health in 1 second. This has been increased to 12 seconds.
Fixed: Harpoon kill stats not being recorded
Fixed: Scientist Holodome blue light wouldn't display properly outside the tutorial
Fixed: If you have two keys both would get removed when you opened a crate
Fixed: Explosive tips could damage survivors in a hideable
Fixed: When you get the end game screen your player will no longer keep running
Fixed: Key would not remove from inventory if you were holding a different inventory item when you opened a locked door or crate
Fixed: Scoreboard scrolling would stop before reaching the bottom
Fixed: Taking damage while exiting hideable stopped animation (animation method fix)
Fixed: Tazed while reloading harpoon would prevent you from reloading
Fixed: Syringe third person pose
Fixed: Throwables being thrown down by characters feet
Fixed: If a player dies while the chosen menu is on the screen they can get doubled up UI and can become the killer when they are actually dead
Fixed: Fixed when you try to pick up item loot when your inventory is full, use your item that was preventing you from picking it up, and then try to pick it up again you would not be able to.
Fixed: Some Stitches jump states could get whack
Fixed: Blood particles were double spawning on shooter and not rotated properly
Fixed: Shooting survivors would incorrectly show a blood particle
Fixed: Issue where the final survivor may not be granted the ammo and LMS weapon
Fixed: Icon was very small at high fovs on scientist radar when player was sprinting
Fixed: Loot spawn chance was at a double rate in LMS and a 100% rate in Escape.
Thank you to all of you who have been following these updates since we started. Thank you to all those who play the game and give us their thoughts and opinions. Thank you to all of you who create content, be it videos or hilarious memes around Hide or Die. Thank you to the backers, founders and early pledge supporters who helped fund us this last year throughout development. Thank you to those who believe in the vision we share.
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