Survivalcraft and the small matter of stamina…

Over on the Survivalcraft blog Kaalus had been getting into the nitty gritty of making his game more about surviving and it seems he’s pinning his hopes on, amongst other things, a stamina mechanic that will see you tire as you run, jump & climb and frankly I’m torn on this.

On the plus side it will introduce the need to better manage your surroundings to ensure you don’t run out of breath and get munched by a bear. Things like horses and crafted steps are going to be important and that’s OK. Sort of…

On the negative side this seems like it’s going to be the type of grindy mechanic I’ve come to hate over the past few years. It has the real potential to be nothing more than a brake on my gameplay where I have to stop and start for no other reason than I happen to be out exploring.

Take this example: I want to set up a new emergency shelter and right now all I’d need to do is set off in the morning and head in one direction until nightfall and then build. After the next update I’ll have to stop every few hundred steps and rest for a few seconds and that, above anything else, is going to piss me off. I mean, its not as if I can choose to walk instead of run as this game only has one speed! So simply getting from A to B will now mean I either have to get a horse or accept a stop-start experience.

Then get a horse you may say, but that’s a mechanic I’ve never really liked. I’m happy to have a corral and ride a few horses but I don’t want to be dependant on them and I feel the use of stamina is going to force me to be just that.

And this is the crux of my unhappiness with the game, which, by the way, I have hardly played since 1.21 came out. I feel that there are more mechanics coming into the game that I’m being forced into using rather than being given the option. Horses are pretty & fun to toy with but I don’t want the hassle of riding them full time. Being tired after running a lot is interesting, but not when all I can do is run. Drowning is cool, but I’d rather see it happen when diving rather than just swimming across a lake.

To me, these changes are not really about survival but rather more about padding the game out, which is a damn shame. I’d rather see true survival mechanics such as the need to farm & manage resources, the need to explore to gather certain materials and make certain accouterments, and, ultimately, escape the sodding island. What we are getting are ways of grinding out more time in the game.

For me right now, SC has dropped off my play list. MCPE might well take its place when it next updates but until then I’m heading back to the PC I think.

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12 comments

  1. I agree. There are other things Kaalus could be doing to improve the survival aspect rather than bog us down. There should be a little of rest allowed while swimming, perhaps treading water, instead of just an immediate decline to death if one is out in the water too long.
    Something cool happened last week. Nook opened up their apps market to Google Play apps for their HD devices, and now my daughter can play Survival Craft. I was just about to order an sdcard for the Nook that allows one to boot off of it and use the Nook as a pure android tablet. Now that’s not necessary. Only the HD versions, though.
    As expected my 10 year-old has no interest in survival mode, but rather making a zoo in creative mode. Too punative of a survival mode is going to make players quit and go to creative mode. Who wants the intentional lag of getting winded added to the game?

    1. Excellent news! The more places this great game can be bought the better 🙂

      I agree with you though, I’m not as creative player, I like survival and now it seems that’s not going to get harder, just… longer 😦

  2. For laziness’ sake I’m going to copy my post from the TouchArcade forums:

    “I really don’t think stamina is going to be the big time sink that some believe it to be. We stop more than we realize. Like when in the player inventory menu or when waiting for the animal you just killed to drop meat. Also, don’t forget that we have horses, camels, and boats. The only thing I’d change is remove the beeping sound.

    I also think that people are viewing this as a change that he’s making on a lark, without much thought, just to be different. In reality this has been the direction that Survivalcraft has always been headed, it’s just taken him a while to get all the basics down first. Check out this blog post of his from a year and half ago, for example: http://kaalus.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/thoughts-on-survival-mode-mechanics/

    Hopefully after he gets stamina and hunger and sleep implemented he’ll be able to work on player temperature. Everywhere in the game already has a set temperature and humidity, it’d be cool if it’d actually affect the player, necessitating clothing as protection from the elements.”

    Expanding on that I’d like to try and put the length in perspective. He initially said that it’ll be 400 blocks before you get winded and has said that he’s increasing this to appease the very vocal opponents. You know how big the world is in MCPE? 256×256. So basically you can walk from one end of the world in MCPE and BACK before getting winded. At that point you don’t stop, you’re just move at 50% speed. It only takes 3 SECONDS to get back to full speed. 1… 2… 3… That’s it. If you need to go another 400+ steps then 10 seconds of rest will get you up to completly full stamina. That’s not very long. Especially considering how often we do pause. For the reasons I’ve quoted above and sometimes just to look around.

    Again, I really think that people are putting on their outrage pants much too soon. This has been in the plans for a while and I think we should have a little bit of trust in Kaalus that he doesn’t just add or change things willy nilly. I’m looking forward to it and will be very disappointed if he scraps or nerfs it.

    1. All good points mate, especially that Kaalus doesn’t just add things on a whim. I’m certainly prepared to give the new mechanic a chance, but I will be upset if it does turn my wanderings into a stop-start experience.

    2. One thing, I’m not sure I want to be overly worried about my temp but then again I can see how that would make exploring more of a ‘stop and plan properly’ affair, something I like the thought of.

    1. Hi Kaalus,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I doubt you will be, but I hope you are not too disheartened by my post – if you read even a small number of my other SC posts you’ll know I like the game a lot. Lately though I’ve become unsure the direction you are moving in is one that will suit my play style and needs, but I’m notoriously impatient and hot-headed so I have taken DaddyMcD’s comment/TouchArcade article (posted above https://headburroantfarm.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/survivalcraft-and-the-small-matter-of-stamina/#comment-9482) to heart and am chilling the flip out.

      I’m going to wait for the next update before I say another thing about stamina. By now you know my feelings and I know that I’m not alone in my concerns – it’s not that I want the game to be easy, I just don’t want it to be grindy – as long as the stamina mechanic avoids that I can live with it. Hell, I might even come to like it, and if I do I can promise you one thing – I’ll be blogging about that love right here 🙂

  3. Worthy pun aside, that is not the real Kaalus. If it was then he’d be commenting with his WordPress account.

    @fakeKaalus: Knock it off. Be yourself.

    1. Lol, it feels nice to be away from the world again. I’m replaying Max Payne 3 releasing my inner murderous noir self 😉

      I’ll be back to MCPE & SC but not for a bit – work’s too busy and The Boy is busy doing outdoor things now that spring has spring (albeit in typical British fashion – 2 nice days follows by pissing rain for 6 months). All in all, I don’t seem to have the time nor the drive to play SC or MCPE right now.

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