Spam Spam Spam Humbug: Episode 49 – Crafting Menus vs. Interactive World Features

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The Spam Spam Spam Humbug crew discuss crafting systems, a mainstay of modern CRPGs and MMORPGs, and whether or not these are the same thing as the interactive world features of e.g. Ultima 6 or Ultima 7 (hint: they aren’t, and a big part of the reason why is that crafting systems are designed to be easily-repeatable components of the in-game economy, whereas interactivity features are meant to add depth to the game world, and don’t necessarily need to be repeat-use-capable).

Content mentioned in the discussion:

  • Corv (project lead for Ultima IX: Redemption) discussing the results of some polls about RPG features that he ran.
  • Mark’s comment on the Codex article about said poll results.
  • The Codex’s interview with Bill Randolph, and in particular the section of that discussion which focused on the complexities of implementing interactivity features in a 3D game environment.

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2 Responses

  1. avataracid avataracid says:

    I enjoyed this one! I was thinking about asking if I could jump into it myself but decided not to put you all in that position. I’ve got a lot of crafting experience in a lot of different crafting type games, so I obviously enjoy it haha.

    Agree with pretty much everything discussed in Ultima VII. Even collecting items to hand to others in that game to get a final result item(NPC crafted stuff for you) was fun enough; see Caddellite Helmet.

    In the end, I think enough light features on the full range of the crafting subject would be the best way to go. Like said on the podcast, who wants to cut down a tree and find a way to saw/plane or otherwise process it in the field. I don’t think real world simulator is required or wanted at all. But, being able to cut the tree down, collect it, take it to a crafting station of some kind with world interactivity to get the planks, and then use a gump based menu to combine planks with other items either via pattern or another method for the final product would be great. Maybe you can even have different types of crafting stations, with different types of saw blades you can build/craft. Possibilities are many.

    So, gathering, processing, and then crafting the final object. Post processing is cool too, lets use those same steps to produce another item like a cloth with poison on it which I can then wipe down a sword with, that sort of thing.

    I can’t speak to SotA crafting yet, I’ve only ever tested out Skills/Combat. Decided not to get into crafting after watching Nemo’s video on it, the time required to put into SotA crafting(at the time) is not something I can afford.