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Don't Starve: your questions answered

by Ozzie Mejia, Jul 09, 2013 1:00pm PDT

The abandoned wilderness of Don't Starve is a lonesome place, where few manage to survive. A great number of players have engaged in Klei Entertainment's survival adventure, including a large portion of the Shacknews community.

I reached out to several Shackers who are currently active in the world of Don't Starve and sent their questions off to the folks at Klei. Community Manager Corey Rollins (along with Klei founder, Jamie Cheng) returned with answers.

Clasifyd: Have you put any thought into adding anything in terms of multiplayer, such as something in the vein of the Hunger Games?

Sailor of Fortune: What's your current position on co-op? Have you heard calls/please/demands for the addition of co-op and, if so, what's your response?

Rollins: We talked about this lots internally and among the community. In the end, it wasn't something that was a fit for our vision and purpose of the game. Our official position:

"Don't Starve was designed and implemented as a single-player game. At the code level, you have to do things a lot differently if you want to play over a network. If we were to implement multiplayer now, we would have to re-architect all of this code, which would have unavoidable spill-over effects for the single player experience. This would make it harder for us to fulfil the promises that we've made, and compromise the overall quality of the game.

This is an amazing community, and we really value your feedback, as you can see from our constant updates and hotfixes. We have discussed and debated multiplayer A LOT within the studio. In the end, we have concluded that we can make a better game, and better support the community, if it remains single player. This is why we are not planning on adding multiplayer or co-op to Don't Starve."

Markemp, Caboose: You've previously had achievements/challenges in the game, but took them out for the final version. What's the specific reason for that?

Rollins: We've actually never had achievements in Don't Starve. We thought about adding them, but much like multiplayer / co-op we feel it strays away from the design of the game. We don't want to tell people what is right or wrong and how to play the game. You can read about our thoughts on this in a great article we wrote for the Penny Arcade Report where we discusses intrinsic vs. extrinsic rewards.

ejectorpod, Caboose, virus: What is the likelihood of new DLC? Will it include new characters or items?

Rollins: Since the game's launch on April 23rd, we've been doing free updates every three weeks. We promised a minimum of six months of this which would take us to late October. Once that time comes, we'll look at how the game is doing, demand and decide what to do from there. If it's economically feasible to, we'd like to continue! We're thinking about new things we could do all the time.

Mecha Tofu Pirate: Are there plans to port Don't Starve to other platforms beyond PS4?

Rollins: For now we're only focusing on development for PS4, but we're investigating other platforms like mobile and tablets. It really comes down to making sure it's a good fit for the game. PS4 will require us to map out proper controller support, so that kind of helps make porting to touch screens or other platforms easier. We're not sure yet, once we have anything confirmed we'll let everyone know.

Caboose, multisync: What are the chances of including other alternate game modes, aside from Adventure?

Cheng: The line gets a bit blurry--for example, are the Caves a new game mode? In some ways, it's certainly a whole new world with many new systems, but it also cohesively ties back into survival. So in that way, yes, we create new systems that play on the core mechanics of the game and bring different experiences for players.

multisync: Are there plans regarding an origin story answering how you arrived in the woods?

Rollins: There's a video for that! We released it on Feb 26, 2013. It shows how Wilson ended up in the mess he's in.

Clasifyd: What's the process for determining what items are included for crafting?

Rollins: For the most part, we have a vision and road map of what we'd like to do and make slight tweaks as we go along. That road map is made based on observing people play the game online and talking to our community. We have an incredibly active forum where we talk about our development roadmap quite candidly. Players are welcome to jump in and talk about their experiences and give us feedback. We're still having these discussions today as we keep rolling out new content, so please feel free to come join us.

virus: Are there plans for any sort of "end game" scenario?

Rollins: The current adventure mode does have a conclusion. That's all I can really say without spoiling the ending for those who haven't found it, but it is indeed possible to confront Maxwell. Our recent caves expansion was designed to add even more "long game" adventure for players who manage to make it that far.

Masem: Are you planning to include any mod support or support for the Steam Workshop?

Rollins: Yup, we already have a huge mod community, you can check it out here. We'll also be adding Steam Workshop support in an upcoming patch.

askedrelic: What are your thoughts on being able to queue up actions, similar to an RTS? For example, would you considering queuing up trees to chop down, rather than having to wait out the animation before moving to the next tree?

Rollins: It has indeed come up in our suggestion forum in early development, and we did chat about it. In the end, it's not likely something we'll add on our end. In a game where death is permanent (for the most part) we felt your actions need to be very concise and thought out and the RTS chaining didn't seem to fit in when we looked it. Perhaps someone will make a mod for it?

To wrap up this line of questioning, I asked about how Klei's collaboration with Sony came about for the PS4 version of Don't Starve.

"We've been in discussion with Sony for a long time about partnering, and with Don't Starve being self-published, it was just a great immediate fit," Cheng answered. "Personally I love working on console, and seeing Don't Starve on the big screen is just excellent."

Don't Starve is set to hit on PS4 shortly after launch and is among the titles slated to hit the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection.





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