This is the update you have been waiting for, a thorough breakdown of the changes made to Hide Or Die over the past 5 months (some important notices at the bottom for Kickstarter backers too). These changes are a direct result of your feedback from our Beta Phase 1 and 1.5 testing. Some of the most received feedback we got was the following: "I only got a chance to play as a hunter once/never got to play at all/feels like random chance to become hunter." "Last man standing game mode made it difficult to play with friends if they died right away."
"Survivors are 100% helpless against the hunter."
"Not enough time to explore environments and collect items/supplies."
"If I die right away I have to go back to the menu, re-matchmake, and wait for a lobby to fill up. If I'm bad at the game I spend more time out of the game than actually playing it. "
"Please let me jump."
The changes laid out in this announcement address the feedback above, as well as the majority of other feedback we've received in discord and via email. Before we dive into all of the changes to the game lets first start with the release date and beta testing schedule.
We had originally planned to release the game at the end of June, but recently realized that we would probably have to compete with the Steam summer sale. Valve specifically advises not to release during the summer sale because all discoverability algorithms are switched from new games to games on sale. We thought about releasing sooner to avoid it, but we know there are many who hold off on purchasing new games in anticipation for the sale, it'd reduce our time for marketing, and would slightly rush release. Then the first couple weeks post release we'd be drowned out by the sale. They also advise not to release new games until about two weeks, at a minimum, after a summer sale ends, so this puts us towards the end of July/very early August.
We opted to follow the advice of Valve, so this will give us more time to spend on marketing the game, polishing it, testing, and preparing for launch. We don't have an exact date yet, but you can expect around that time frame. Which brings us to how you can help us out with that. Note: We aim to continue testing, with periodical beta phases between now and release regardless of the release date.
With the information above we decided to change the way we're going to go about the testing. We were going to do a large sort of 'marketing beta' with streaming and the full experience available to play. With the release date adjustment it would be too soon to do that. So we're opting for a few short tests over the next few weeks to test different parts of the game. This will help us to collect valuable data on gameplay changes, bugs, server stress, and different hunter vs survivor interactions.
Over the last few weeks, community member, and super helpful programmer friend "GHXX" has been helping us upgrade our community bot to help with the management of the upcoming beta phases. The bot has several commands that can be used that will help with communicating valuable information throughout the beta phases. So take note! > sub : Subscribes you to get notifications from the #build-updates channel. Letting you know when tests are, changelogs, and other information on testing. You can run the command again to un-subscribe from the updates >bug [information here] : Adds a bug report to our catalog >suggestion [information here] : Adds a suggestion to our catalog These tests are critical for us to ensure a smooth launch and we would appreciate your help in testing with us. These tests will be short one or two day affairs so we can iterate quickly on feedback. With that we will not be reopening pre-orders as these tests are for our backers and previous pre-orders only. We understand that a lot of you have been asking to pre-order the game and get access to our beta tests, and we're thrilled to see the excitement and interest. But we want to honor the people who backed us early on for the exclusive privilege to be a part of the development process.
The first test is scheduled for Friday May 31st at 8:00pm until 12:30am CST. Our focus for this first one will be to test survivor vs AI interaction, performance of that, and numbers of players our servers can handle.
Future tests (specifically for our backers in Europe, Asia, and other timezones) will also be announced later this week through the #build-updates channel.
The second one will have a focus on survivor vs hunter interaction. The one after that will be a section of Bale County that will include objectives, collecting darkness, and escaping (don't worry we'll get into what all this means in a moment). This will be a vertical slice of the full experience. Following that we will be testing different areas of Bale County to make sure each and every spot is polished and fun. The exact dates of these are to be determined (and will be announced on our discord). With those two important sections of this update out of the way we'll now go into depth about all of the different changes and features of Hide Or Die.
As we laid out in the previous update, the map size has expanded greatly. Previously players would complete one 190 m² section at a time, but now the game takes place in a map which has approximately 1.2 km² of playable space. Below we have a work in progress image of the map you can access in game. You can do this by opening the map app on your phone. We think you'll enjoy the adventure of exploring the secrets that Bale County, West Virginia holds.
The location of the image above can be found below in the top right corner of the map. Hopefully this can give you a sense of scale of the size of Bale County.
We have collected some shots from around Bale County so you can get a peek into the area you will be exploring soon.
One of the issues with the asymmetrical horror genre and with our previous beta tests is/was queuing for a match to start. We have solved this issue by making Bale County a drop in/drop out persistent world, made possible by our backers funding the development of our dedicated servers. This will allow you to play solo or with your friends how you want and when you want.
Survivors venture out from the safety of their bunker, via hatches throughout Bale County, with the mission to collect and extract darkness spores before they can be used for malicious purposes.
Many stories have been told about those who gathered too much and were tempted to use them nefariously. Those who resist that urge will escape back to one of the bunker entrances to destroy and rid the world of that darkness.
Players are given the option to return to the world immediately to continue their mission or rest after a long night's work by returning to the menu and cashing in their darkness for unlocks, upgrades, and cosmetics. This ensures that you can play as much or as little as you'd like without having to worry about queue/matchmaking times.
Darkness is the reason you have to head out from the safety of your bunkers. It has essentially taken over Bale County and you're tasked with finding and destroying it. Collected darkness has an important role in your progression as a survivor and your play time/play style as a hunter. This darkness gets converted to Darkness Points that you will use for character progression (upgrading & unlocking perks). There are a few ways to collect darkness from the world one of which is usually the easiest; activating extractors.
These have been built and installed across various areas where survivors live and work during the day. They help to extract and stave off darkness from overtaking these areas. When you find one of these you will interact with the keyboard to begin to activate it, then complete a puzzle to power it on.
Once it has been activated it will begin extracting darkness for a short period of time. Depending on the rarity of that particular extractor, it will extract more and give at a faster rate. Once it has completed extracting it will evenly disburse to any nearby players the darkness it has extracted. Hunters are alerted to this concentration of darkness and will try to steal it from you and your fellow survivors.
A slightly more difficult way to collect darkness is by dealing damage. When a hunter, AI or a survivor takes damage, they will drop some of their darkness and will drop all of it if they die. This dropped darkness can be picked up by other nearby players. The dropping of darkness works as a more readable hit marker so you know when you've dealt damage.
The final way to collect darkness is by venturing into the darkness site areas and killing AI. At these darkness sites you will find the densest area of darkness.. These darkness sites are essentially the old way you became the hunter in our earlier beta testing phases. AI is found here and by killing them they will drop darkness for you to collect. This is probably the hardest way to collect darkness as you have to make sure you are well equipped to fight them or you may meet an untimely death.
Maybe don't go to one of these sites with only a shovel.... This did not turn out well.
Here is a little snippet of AI spawning in around a darkness site, killing them, and picking up their dropped darkness. Some vegetation was hidden for this clip so you can see things a bit clearer. Still some work in progress stuff in this clip.
Once you have collected enough darkness you may have the urge to use it for evil instead of returning to a bunker and destroying it. If that is the case, you should head towards the nearest darkness site and find the center. Once there you can choose to be corrupted into a hunter. Being a hunter definitely has some advantages for darkness collection. When you damage a survivor they drop some of their darkness and if you kill them they will drop all of it. Catch a few in a group and you'll be spoiled with darkness. While you are hunter your darkness will slowly drain so it is important that you find the nearest survivor and get their darkness. It can be hard to find survivors in such a large environment, but fortunately hunters have something we're calling Dark Sight for now. When you enter this mode it deducts some of your darkness, you move a lot faster, you can not see survivor models, you can not attack, and you can see the general area a survivor is and the amount of darkness they have. It only works at a distance so once it gets you close enough you'll want to use the various items and tools each individual hunter has for finding and then killing nearby survivors.
In this video below you will see what it is like for the hunter using Dark Sight. Essentially when you enter the vision the world becomes desaturated and survivors appear as portals that cut through the desaturation. You will see that the vision tells me there are two survivors, one much closer than the other because it is larger. That survivor also has a ring of red on the outside edge and is noisier in its animation. This tells you how much darkness they are carrying. The survivor in the distance doesn't have any sort of red tint on its edges and has a softer animation so that informs me that she doesn't have any darkness. As you can see as I approach the survivor in the distance, eventually she no longer shows up if I get too close. Then I exit the vision and the world returns to normal and I am allowed to attack again.
In this next video you will see what the survivor sees when a hunter enters Dark Sight, moves around in it, and exits it. They poof out of existence and then leave a streaky trail behind them while they move. Once they start to exit Dark Sight they slowly gather back into form until they poof back into existence.
Dark Sight allows killers to take full control of any interaction. They can decide whether or not to surprise geared up survivors, yet have the ability to flee if the situation becomes too harsh. This puts survivors into a defend-only position, giving the killer the full grip of any interaction. If things ever get too difficult for the hunter they may want to partner up with another to take on large well equipped groups.
There are three ways you return to a survivor after you have become a hunter:
1. Either time or damage taken forces your darkness down to zero. 2. You get yourself killed. 3. You manually return to survivor with a key press. When you return to survivor you get forced into Dark Sight where you poof out for everyone and then you return to your survivor body at the same spot you became hunter. Any inventory you had previously is returned to you and any darkness you collected while hunter you keep. This creates a play style where anyone can become hunter and who is controlling that role changes often, unless you are very good as hunter where you could, in theory, indefinitely play as hunter as long as you want. An issue in this genre is deciding who plays killer and survivor. Either you need a very large player base and separate queues for survivors and killers or a completely random assignment of roles. These both have their pros and cons and we believe we have a system here that self regulates the number at any given time. If there aren't enough hunters in the match there is an incentive for easy pickings. If there are too many they will self regulate and switch back to survivor since it is too difficult to find and kill survivors. Of course there will be balance and tweaks that will need to be made to the system over time.
Now before you get ahead of yourself and just run to the nearest darkness site and start killing AI, you'll need some weapons and items to do so. All throughout Bale County you will come across various weapons, items, and ammo to help you on your mission to collect darkness and defend yourself against multiple hunters roaming the environment. Previously there was a single darkness item in the world so only one person could be a hunter at any given time. Now the darkness has spread and there are multiple sites that have been overtaken and can be used so you'll need to be well equipped. Loot will have either a common, uncommon, rare, very rare, or legendary status. As you can imagine, the more rare the loot the more powerful and useful it is.
In the video above you will see that we still have supplies that you can collect. These grant you credits (CR) which can be used in the menu to purchase cosmetic items like different phone cases, clothing, nametag banners, survivor heads, skins, etc. If you see them laying around be sure to pick them up.
In our effort to make the game more playable with friends, reduce queue times, and encourage exploration you will no longer be forced out of the game after death. When you die you are given the option to respawn at a random hatch location (reset inventory and darkness) or exit to the menu. The elimination of the last man standing game mode was a big reason for this as well. With that you can no longer spectate as a crow (difficult to control server population).
Playable crows are still in the game but we're keeping it a secret on how you can access that feature. Good luck :) #crowgang4life
A very important feature we will have at launch is a progression system. It has 3 core pieces to it. There is leveling, perks, and cosmetics.
Leveling happens on a per character basis. Your survivor has a level and so do each of your hunters. You unlock hunter characters by leveling up your survivor. There are 7 hunters in total. And at launch we expect to have a minimum of 3. Scientist (default hunter), Fisherman, and Stitches. Each character will have 9 perks at launch. When you level up a character by playing them, you get access to a character specific perk. Once you have gotten that access you will use Darkness Points to unlock it and make it equipable. Once you have the perk unlocked you can use Darkness Points to upgrade it to a level 2 and level 3 perk. In the image below you'll see a snippet from the perk menu where I have an unlocked perk called Pocket Ping. I have unlocked, equipped, and upgraded Consumed to a level 2 perk. Finally you will see that I have reached a high enough level to unlock the Advanced Chip perk, but I haven't used Darkness Points to unlock it yet for my Scientist hunter.
Here is a work in progress shot of the survivor menu where it displays your current number of darkness points, character level, and menus to access customization, perks, and appearance (gender and hair color). We have enough shirts, pants, shoes, heads, and hair meshes for millions of unique survivor combinations and that doesn't include hair color. Better collect all of the supplies you can find!
We have been making progress on getting all of the backer faces into the game. It is a tedious and time consuming undertaking, but we're really starting to see some great results. In the screenshot below you can see our backer "SeoulTea" in game. We also automatically match body skin tone based on each head mesh.
IMPORTANT NOTES - Backer Items
Thanks to all of our backers who have submitted content, we have an extensive library for launch + our in house created stuff.
But with that we will be sending out a legal release form through kickstarter for your content/likeness to be used in game. This encompasses any user generated content you have sent us to implement into the game such as t-shirt designs, your face, graffiti, images, etc. We list it out in depth in the form we'll send through in the coming days. If you want your content in game it is required that you reply to this. If you do not your content will unfortunately have to be removed.
With that we want to say thank you for your patience and support in development over these past 5 months. Our community is incredible, second to none. You're right there with us through development and are the reason we are able to build this game. We're excited to get this game into your hands to really start helping us bring Hide Or Die to a beautiful and polished state so we're all prepared for launch. See you in game soon!
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