Shack Notes Update - Sept 22

Hey all!

With yesterday’s patch and new DLC content added, we’ve already been working hard to take feedback into account and continue to focus on the DLC Road Map that was presented recently. We have a ton of stuff on our plates in terms of more content for you guys, more fixes to issues that remain stubbornly present, and of course we want to take more and more of your feedback and start to effect quality of life improvements into the game. 

Again; this post is not about gameplay balance and bugs as those are handled in a separate matter. This is all about things that could help with user experiences and potentially some new gameplay tweaks.

Quality of Life Improvements are tweaks and changes to the game that mainly come from player feedback as we continue to play the game. These are different than bugs and content/gameplay updates in that the best way we can work to implement them is from direct commentary and gameplay metrics that we receive directly from the community. 

We’re going to take some time here with this post as a catchall for the biggest QoL ideas out there and go over feasibility, time-to-implement and others to give you guys an idea of what we’re working on around here to improve user experiences when playing the game. 

  • Overall Host/Hosting/Players Leaving

This is perhaps the biggest thing we as a team see when it comes to direct feedback on player experience. Of course; ‘Host Left the Session’ is probably the most annoying things players on Xbox One and PS4 see when playing a game…especially after they finally get to be Jason. The upcoming Dedicated Servers we discussed will definitely resolve a lot of these issues for players, but that doesn’t fix everything. 

A lot of feedback is coming from players on people leaving immediately as a game starts; that is to say someone either drops out or intentionally quits due to not being the specific character they wanted (more often than not, that is Jason). We also recognize that players leave during a kill animation when they play as Jason, thereby forgoing any sort of XP gain due to how the system currently works. 

Many suggestions have been offered; penalize the quitters, don’t allow them to be Jason for a set time, give them a cool-down to host, destroy them and their families….etc.  We think there’s a bit to be done in terms of balancing out intentional quitting vs those that lag out due to quitting. We don’t have a set answer for you right now, but we are currently investigating XP balances for quitters, cool-down potentials or time-outs and we are investigating either awarding XP at the start of a kill or keeping counselors around for a set time (sub-one minute) after a disconnect to ensure Jason gets the XP during a kill, or is able to get a kill from someone that has left potentially. 

Nothing is solid, nothing is set in stone and work has to be done to test that exploits and mistaken connection issues aren’t causing more problems than they are solving, but we want you guys to know that we are very aware of the player leaving dissatisfaction currently present. 

  • Key Binding

We unfortunately had to do a lot of work in fixes and bugs that this fell by the wayside. It is a priority right now and will be implemented just as soon as we’re able. 

  • Make Tommy Jarvis More Heroic 

Without getting into specifics, this is very much being done. That update will come later, but Tommy is going to be more Tommy-like. 

  • Stat Tracking/Community Events

This one is a more involved process; a lot of the reasons the servers went ‘kersplodey’ at launch was due to the massive amounts of traffic going over our servers at the time. We like tracking things and are looking into adding some ability for you to check out what you’ve done in-game, who you’ve played as and all that. A new screen has to be made, stats have to be reliably tracked and then we have to get it into the menu in some fashion, but we are considering this for more of you that enjoy seeing their stats and gameplay. We do track a lot on the backend right now, but turning that public facing will take some time.

We believe we can get some of this into the upcoming Community Events, as those require backend stat tracking. We’re currently investigating.

  • Sandbox Mode for Exploration

We’ve heard this one from the start and agree that there’s something that can potentially be done here. The trick would be to allow players to explore each map without a timer, without objectives and so forth. We believe we can get a P2P private match that allows for players to just hang out without having to worry about a timer ending. How complicated we get with this in terms of allowing people to do what is very much in the air at this time, but we are looking into something that we believe would benefit the Role-Playing and Machinima communities. 

  • Additional XP for Different Actions Accomplished

We have had a lot of feedback pertaining to making things more viable for team play and awarding XP for various actions. A major one is affording more XP for more people in an escaping car (ex; +25XP per person in escaping car awarded to each occupant). These kinds of tweaks and XP awards need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis, however we are exploring more ways to promote teamwork through savior actions, team work and offer more reasons to be nice to your fellow counselors. 

  • Utilization of Campsites

Right now, the various campsites have very little reason to visit other than using the tents. Some of these camps are in the middle of the map (Evergreen, Blair’s, etc…) while others are out in the distance. We’re looking into making the ones further out more appealing to players to check out. 

  • Selecting a ‘No Jason’ Preference

We have heard this a bit more and believe it’s something that would work well to allow those that never want to be Jason to always spawn as a counselor. This would let those wanting to be Jason get a higher percent chance at it each time, and would likely be utilized by a smaller portion of our player base than those seeking to only select Jason as spawn preference. One of our biggest pushes from the get-go was to not allow players to choose Jason due to the popularity and inherent impracticality of being the man behind the mask. Those players that feel that only being a counselor is their kind of game have a high likelihood of that occurring, but to remove the entire possibility at least gives those wanting to be Jason more opportunities, potentially. 

  • Jason Being Able to Break Furniture/Tables/Desks

We have explored this, however there’s a ton of work that needs to go into this and there simply isn’t the manpower available right now. We’d have to create additional assets of ‘broken’ furniture to allow for this, and depending on how much is destroyed in a given space lends the possibility of crashes, frame-rate drops and so forth. We likely won’t be able to do this, but the idea has been explored.