Seasons now 91 days long? (OP updated with links and Kevin's answers)


For example the new base system could allow for a second gameplay phase where after adventuring through the cataclysm you settle down and try to build some kind of society.

Also the fact that there already are some people playing with 91 day on suggest that it can already be fun


Something like Dwarf Fortress -> Adventure mode, but in reverse ? I am not sure how realistic it is, but it does sound interesting.


With longer seasons, being able to “timeskip” might actually make a degree of sense from a player standpoint. After all if I have two months worth of hardtack stockpiled maybe I could just chill out in my walled off base reading about economics and sipping mojitos without having to do all the key presses and spend RL hours watching the timer tick by and tucking my @ in every night.


Longer seasons that match RL season lengths are a good idea.

But “day planning” needs to be streamlined. If you have your supplies and you can plan out what to cook / drink and what to practice / read and fast forward days at a time.

This would open up more realistic recovery times from injury and muscle soreness from fighting for 8 hours the day before.


Here’s the core issue: very little/none of the mechanics are tied to a metaphorical unit of time. There’s been arguments on the github/discussion boards before, we can’t even start midway through a season and have things work properly. If 91 days becomes the norm, there’s going to be an even bigger ire out of people who would rather start in the middle of the season. Then there will be people complaining the game isn’t fun spending hours just to end up barely making progress. Sure, the experts will be “it’s not that long, it only takes me an hour”, Okay, you know exactly the best things to do, and want the game to be more tedious because… well let’s not be rude to them. Instead of changing their settings and understanding not everyone wants a boring game that requires literally more than a day of playtime per year.

I notice a lot of people in here are like “well I can shut myself in and read”. Actually reading in the game can be done within the first winter and/or next spring. Even with stacks of books. “well make it take longer if it’s too fast”, great, now my game is stupidly slow, and I have to spend a year of time reading those books. What was accomplished? I just spent 10-20x longer real-world time to achieve the same goal. If the game does have enough resource for me to be self-sufficient for a year, then it’s tedium to jack up the time it takes. If it doesn’t, then at best, I’m slowed in progress. Okay, that’s a balance change. Wait, you want to make almost the ENTIRE game be more tedious? Not just 1-2x, but six times?!?!

The heart of it is two fold: bad tying of rates to a consistent time scale, and Cataclysm getting boring for some players. 1) That’s a programming problem, not a game play problem. If values are rebalanced later, that’s more palatable than changing things for everyone while still not fixing the problem that the timescales are inconsistent. That will ALWAYS be a problem unless they’re run-time selectable and exposed to the player, which has always been fought against. 2) Cataclysm can’t be everything. Even if more and more content is added (which of course I’d like to see). Cataclysm can’t be perfect. Right now the focus is on adding more gameplay mechanics on broken styles that keep making bigger and bigger problems, instead of refactoring or fixing something basic like font rendering in the experimentals. Font rendering is inaccurate by default and broken on other settings is broken in an ASCII game, but changing game mechanics (and Kevin has even said he’s not against making 91 days mandatory) is important right now.


Exactly, also they can’t sixfold everything, city looting will be the same, so the loot will be too few for a long season (like food), except if they make the cities realistic with thousands of houses. But who want to wandering for hours or for days?

The longer season greatest problem it doesn’t match to the small world. If they scale everything up, it would be booooring, doing the same thing for RL hours is bad.


I don’t think individual tasks are getting longer. The only thing this should really effect is construction scaling (very easily editable) and the length of crop maturation. The main problem is gonna be the weather. Food freezing in the early game is actually fairly helpful since you no longer need to set up food preservation at the start. Everything will be frozen most of the time anyways. Now that you can properly heat your food the main issue becomes one of clean water in that carrying a water skin will just get frozen unless you also want to carry a hot plate or frequently light fires.

I’ll have to see how crop yields tie in with the proper season length which may be difficult because the size scale is nonsensical. But I feel if I use man hours as a unit of measurement I can see how well farming ties to RL amounts at the very least.

Overall it’s going to be hard for any of us to draw conclusive opinions that are supported by in game evidence until we’ve actually managed to play through a year. Anything more is going to be largely knee jerk reactions. I’m down to try but it’s going to take me the better part of a month given how much free time I have. (That may not be a point in favor of 91 day seasons initially)

EDIT: Also of note. The butchering and smoking rack changes actually help a lot for this since overall every animal yields a ton more even without full butchery.


Here’s a not-opinion: many of the gameplay mechanics are hard-coded. Going forward they are planning to continue this, except to the longer time-scale. Instead of having one system designed around metaphorical units which is adjustable, it’s bolting “long” content onto “short” content. One system and tweaking some multipliers is pooh-pooh’d instead of making the problem worse and then spending even more time rebalancing everything for ludicrous IRL timescales.


The discussion is runing in circle between “it’s not that bad, it’s just an option” and “it’s not really an option though and it’s going to make the game slow and boring”.

I don’t understand that point : since crafting and learning time won’t change bcause they’re supposed to already be like real life why would it take longer to make progress ?
From what I understand you should make progress at the same rate the only difference is that you might die/get bored before seing a new season.


Yet again, been playing 90-91 day seasons for years IRL. The only real chances are farming, construction if you have that enabled, and time it takes to forage a bush after you foraged it before. This is not the end of the world, you can set it back with a single config option.

The problem I’ve seen is that it the farming may be disconnected from season length, for some crazy reason, or the option to change it may be removed completely.

Reading does not change, crafting does not change, evolution does not change, loot does not change, and development has been based around long-lasting seasons for a considerable length of time already, so there is no difference there either.


I guess my main concern is yield then. Since you’ve played with the longer seasons Shard maybe you can fill me in. Since even on 30 day seasons I felt that farms didn’t yield nearly enough for how long they took to grow, but default 14 day season crops basically printed food every week.


Not sure on farming yields, as I have never needed to farm to have more than enough food. And with the new butchery change, food is even more plentiful, just kill one animal and you have food for weeks. I think I’ve farmed a total of twice in 5+ years of playing.

I have however played multiple year characters in both default and 90+ day seasons many times. There is very little difference besides the name of the season changing and the weather getting cold at different times for different amounts of time. This is more of an issue now with the freezing, but you also have much more time to prepare (Aside from the issue of the first few days, but can you scavenge food and water pretty easily anyway)


Fris0uman -
You’ll have to eat massive amounts more food/water if most crafting times are the same but further mechanics aren’t. If they don’t decrease learning rate, I can go from being someone who’s terrible at everything to a near-god in a year. Don’t believe them for a second if they would even pretend they won’t want to draw out EVERY mechanic. Oh you got a scratch? Now you have to use soap multiple times a day, band-aids, and antibiotic ointment multiple days or you might die from infection. Bleeding out? Unstoppable unless you craft super-deluxe medkit 2000. Broken rib? 60 days (average time). It’s annoying enough managing days the first winter without your character rotating around the clock because there’s nothing you can really do except chop some trees. I consider pining away time in winter an acceptable mechanic when the seasons are shorter, versus the massive amounts of useless time there will be constantly.

As for “being an option” Kevin has explicitly stated he’s not opposed to making it mandatory. Part of his reasoning is a lot of time related things aren’t scaled to anything.

Shard -
As far as I can tell, there’s only two gameplay reasons for longer seasons: 1) farming “realism” and 2) harsher winters. That’s it. Note, neither of these are tied to a single mechanic. Basically they’re forcing everyone to longer seasons and have to retrofit a lot of mechanics, for a small subset of the expert community to enjoy something they’re not anymore. Will I be listened to if I complain if harvesting a single bear doesn’t give me 500 pounds of meat and all the material except the string and needle to make a fur suit out of it?

Trigon/Shard - For a fourteen day season, “7 days” is a month and a half if we’re trying to speculate. Beans take two months, so if the time was eked out a little, it would be proportional. I think importantly is people underestimate how intensive and efficient food cultivation has gotten, and how land-consuming and tedious it was before industrialization fertilizers, high-intensity selective breeding, etc. For one person it’s not nearly as bad, but all of this comes down to one thing: how long do I really want to spend playing the game? I do not find it fun to imagine myself spending hours playing just to harvest food. If it took you only a minute to water the crops every day AND do everything else, it would still take a fully-intense hour of doing the same thing for a single harvest of beans in 60 days. If they program an irrigation system, okay, now you just need to do daily activities for that long. I saw someone ask if there could be a “pass the time” ability, so you can get through days faster. WHAT’S THE POINT OF MAKING DAYS LONGER AND LESS PRODUCTIVE IF A PLAN IS TO SKIP THEM ARGH. I just want to play the damn game.


I wasn’t really suggesting a skip time function. I could just debug if I wanted to do that. I’m talking something more along the lines of setting up large scale construction projects and executing them automatically using the resources you already gathered. No matter the season length building forty stone walls is really tedious right now. But with longer ones spending my winter building makes sense now, especially if yields are scaled properly and I have hundreds of pounds of barley.


And how do you see it happening?

Change crafting and reading times (obviously increasing them) first, and then change the season lengths? Then there will be complains like “It’s too long to fully read a book in several days!” Because it’ll be roughly one-fourth of the 14-days season ( = reading an average book in more than 20 days for 90-days season).

Change season length first, and then balance crafting and reading times based on new length? And yet again you (not specifically you) are dissatisfied.

It seems like the main reason is exiting from comfort zone, the fact that the way you used and liked to play is changed, and this causes all sorts of discontent.

One thing I don’t understand is why do you think that after this change (new default season length) there will be no more changes to other aspects of the game to balance it?


That’s already the case since learning rate is not tied to season length, with longer season it would take you the same time to get to god level it’s just that you won’t get through the same number of season while doing it.

Well that’s something for the futur, and if we start to think that the dev are basically only working on the game to make it “unfun” we might as well just stop bothering with it.


It means that whatever the season length is everything takes the same time, so really you can achieve the same thing by playing the same amount of time, but you will have to spend more IRL time to go through more season.

I think that those were always meant to be “real life time” and so were not scale on 14 days and won’t change with 91 days


Learning not being tied to season length almost makes sense, except they’re “fun scaled”, faster, together. If I’m doing well at the game, I can learn more and experience more, in a certain amount of time.

They’re not independently scaling days/year - that would be changing one number. Instead new mechanics will be tied to n days because of the way time’s programmed. Note, if the time mechanic was built properly, it would requiring change around two values for a number-multiplier description: days/season and days/harvest unit (or harvest units/season, some such thing). Both of those should be available to the user interface. Instead it requires mucking around a LOT more in the source code, and changing the default for everybody. Possibly irreversibly. With no method to alleviate the existing problem of no scaling multipliers, which would have solved it in the first place.

More IRL time to play the game IS A PROBLEM. More content is added sometimes, but other direction is often more tedium. A LOT of time was spent on skill rust, only for it to still be default off. Vitamins added more incentive to use other foods, but at the same time, there was no reward for doing so except “you can play the game as you used to”. This is why it’s a mod. The current changes are explicit two changes (seasons and farming). Seasons can be reduced. Farming can’t be modified. Farming can’t be modified. If they literally had one value which could be used to scale farming, the existing game could be lined up to their new goal. Instead it’s workarounds on workarounds on a bad programming style.

Quoting Kevin:

This was a horribly vague statement. “real-world timespans”? Does he mean he wants me to play for hours or does he mean real-life proportioned units in fun space? Why not say DAYS or MONTHS or YEARS. “season setting”? Why not SEASONS?


I don’t care how it is happening. I care about it is a bad change.

Yeah, you can just ignore what we say, but the world size, the character acting times and the season length correlated believably to each others. Now the season length is too long for the small cities, traveling times, loots etc. Also i don’t want to read a book for a week or lost in a city for days because it will be boring, it is too slow pace.

Because there is no announcement about them. They made this change without warning and Kevin said it will break things if we don’t play by the default season length.


And what makes you think that Kevin (or any other dev) must do any announcement or warning on feature they are planning to add?
None of the devs owns nothing to the community, so it’s entirely personal will of every dev to make announcements or discuss their planned features. And of course every dev makes the decision of whether to take community members’ opinions into account or not.


The quote you included is very plainly stating that breeding times are scaled to RL numbers. Which is the central reason for the change. Most things were being scaled using RL numbers that were then confusingly mashed down to fit into a 14 day timescale.

With every new update 14 days makes less and less sense. Because then the implication suddenly becomes that a slab of beef at room temperature would last a week or two without going bad if you’re assuming the smaller time scale is actually meant to impart any sort of scale rather than just being a holdover from the early days of CDDA.

Basically the change is so that the scaling will actually make sense. A lot of people seem to be assuming that now everything has to be rescaled to fit with the new default season length when in reality the problem is the opposite. Nothing has really been scaled with the idea of a 56 day long year.