In TUG, the design philosophy is to keep game logic as close to real life logic as possible. This is critical in keeping with player immersion, but even more importantly, this design approach gives us the ability to offer true consequences for the player to make decisions around. When approaching the idea of the player’s inventory, or work surfaces where they assemble their tools, we are going with a 1 to 1 scale ratio. What this means for the player is that when you have a large sword or shield in your inventory, that item literally does take up a large portion of your inventory! In addition to the size, we also have weight for all items, adding another level of consequence for players, who must choose not only what they want to carry, but how much they can actually carry.
This design is not a new way of thinking; many games have used this approach. But in these other designs, there is always some method of getting around this hinderance, or its use in the game doesn’t really offer any purpose outside of merely restricting the player and forcing him or her to make several trips to loot a cave, or play a game of Tetris with their inventory to make everything fit. Our approach in using these restrictions is to bring the player into the idea of loadouts based on tasks they want to perform.
By having such restrictions in place, players will find themselves making decisions on how they want to play based on their inventory loadout. The gatherer wants to pack light, leaving themselves only enough room to carry just enough to survive without restricting what they can carry back from any of their explorations. Hunters will perhaps pack specialized weapons, or medical supplies for the hunt; carrying these larger, heavier items will restrict their range of exploration to a closer proximity from their base of operations.
This 1 to 1 scale also plays a part in crafting. Pattern design in crafting is a common approach, and makes sense for players discovering new items. For example, if you wanted to craft a spear head, you would probably try to place materials in the shape of a diamond or a pyramid. The problem is that once you add this pattern design on top of the other pieces for the spear (the shaft, the binding, etc.), you run into a huge space issue for your assembly area when dealing with a 1 to 1 scale ratio. To address this issue as well as continuing with the approach of keeping our design truer to real life, things like a spear head or a sword blade must be forged separate of the rest of the tool or weapon, and then assembled with other components at a final assembly station. This design allows us to capture the experience of working metal at a forge or anvil -- molding materials into a shape, and creating components of tools -- rather than just plopping down the generic shape of an axe or a hammer on a work table and having the item pop into existence in the player’s inventory.
Inventory dimensions and flexibility become very critical to the player when dealing with weight, 1 to 1 item scaling, and load-outs. As such, when designing the player’s early inventory, we tried to keep this in mind and offer up a system that reflects the core elements of the early game: survival! Players won’t be able to carry a lot of items, and their inventory reflects this by being small in size. This is a solvable issue; players will be able to raise the technology level of their own inventory equipment through crafting. By using advanced tools and methods to find higher quality resources, and using these resources to create a larger inventory, players may ultimately expand their options for load outs.
TUG is a game filled with these types of design choices that we hope will offer meaningful and realistic consequences and trade-offs for players. By building these choices into the core gameplay design, we hope to create a truly rewarding player experience as you explore, discover, experiment, and advance in the world of TUG!
NOT inventory load out screen, used for planning and communication of spacial importance, factors of weight, stack and scale apply.