Share this project


Share this project



TUG is a multiplayer open-world sandbox-RPG using new technology and social sciences to directly involve players in the game’s design.
7,231 backers pledged $293,184 to help bring this project to life.

The Art of Crafting

Posted by Nerd Kingdom (Creator)

Let’s discuss crafting in TUG and what that means in terms of working on and off a grid. Most pattern-designed crafting systems work on some form of grid, allowing players to shape resources in a recognizable pattern for the object they are attempting to craft. With TUG, we wanted to take this process a step further and start to move off of the grid.

Say you wanted to craft a stone spear. In the normal grid crafting approach, we would probably lay a series of stones on the grid in the shape of an arrow, or a diamond, and then complete the pattern with appropriate pieces of wood in the shape of the shaft. In TUG, we break this system down into components. For the spear head, we would take a stone resource and shape it on a stone anvil through a process of knapping. The spear shaft would also be shaped and formed from a singular piece of wood worked at a woodworking table.

With these separate components, the final assembly would take place in an assembly workspace, where the player will complete the final spear weapon. Even in this example, items placed on a work surface still align to a sort of grid, but what we are trying to achieve is making the idea of crafting closer to actual processes found in real life where components are worked on separately before being assembled into the final product. All of this leads up to two design principles that we have previously talked about: modularity in weapons, and optional complexity for systems.

By turning crafting into more of a modular process, we allow for several variations amongs our recipes. With the example above, either the spear head or the spear shaft can easily be assembled with different components on the final assembly table to form variations of spears.

The other ability to this component-based creation is the amount of complexity that can be added to the crafting of these individual components. Experimenting with additional resources added to the crafting of the spear head can produce variations of that modular piece. Finding the perfect blend of resources used in the creation of a modular piece is part of the reward of optional complexity; those who experiment and refine their process will be rewarded with a final product that may have unique effects or increased durability.

Another feature of the multiple workstation design is the ability to customize actions that a player performs at a workstation. In the anvil example from above, the player would be able to use a hammer to work materials, while at the wood working table, the player uses a chisel to shape and carve wood. These tools and actions become part of the workbench. Approaching the in-game model of these tables, the player notices what tools are present and recognizes what actions are available at that workstation.

More advanced tables offer not only more room to create larger crafts, but also increase the functions available at those stations. A more advanced anvil used to work metals might now offer a pair of tongs for holding the blade being worked on as well as a barrel full of water used to cool the metal in between hammering sessions. As the players crafting abilities and options increase, so do the complexity of the tables where the player works.



Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Lorenzo Gaetani on

      OMG .... you have the aether guy? you have no excuse for flying-whales, just no excuse

    2. Missing avatar

      Brian Stottlemyre on

      Loving this update. Im tempted to become a crafter now lol.

    3. Missing avatar

      babyvomit on

      lets play this..

    4. Missing avatar

      Scott on

      From the animation video with the whistling, it seems like you'll be able to craft really rudimentary things(like the stone-stick-vine-hammer shown in this update) without a crafting table. Is that so? Will components that require little or no manipulation just be sort of stuck together to form a simple tool or weapon using a grid system like in Minecraft?

    5. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Chaonic, you will totally be able to take apart things and attempt to reverse engineer them. That's half the fun!!!

    6. Missing avatar

      Christian Römer on

      I would be so excited to see this game being developed. What will you do, if the funding goal would not be reached?

    7. Chaonic on

      Great update! =)
      Now I want to ask you something.
      How big are skills involved in it and how much precision of the player?
      Will there be a way to... "invent" new things instead of knowing, how to craft everything?
      When I find a very rare weapon, can I disessemble it to learn more about the crafting recipe and maybe use a technique of it to build new stuff?
      And again about durability! As a gardener, I use a lot different tools and as one of the only ones there, I am able to repair them by disessembling them and exchange parts or repair parts and reessebling. Will it be possible ingame?
      When I try out something at the anvil, can it fail? And can I reuse the material?
      How big will be the possibilities of recicling non-renewable recources?

      Thanks =)

    8. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      er, sorry, @Matthew, rather

    9. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Mac, you hit the nail on the head! We completely've described exactly the system we are envisioning, as well as the precise one we're aiming to avoid. There will be no objective "best" sword... instead, it's about creating a sword that is perfectly optimized for your Seed.

    10. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @Matthew, in short, precisely. And we anticipate people sharing and discovering all these optionally intricate systems, that aspect of social discovery is incredibly compelling! There may be more than one way to refine ore, or more than one way to treat a sapling that can create something vastly different. Or you may just chose to hit crafting hard and become good enough with those items that the quality you create is vastly superior. Lots of a,aging way to handle those trade offs of time vs complexity. And the greatest thing about it, is we get to work with you guys to refine how these systems work and who they work for.

      -Ino (sorry been away a while, dealing with some minor health stuff).

    11. Missing avatar

      Matthew Kuzma on

      When you talk about optional complexity and say that the reward is 'finding that perfect blend' that makes a product with unique abilities or increased durability, I hope your use of perfect is shorthand for 'ideal for you'. What I mean is, I hope when you think of the effort/reward trade-off of optional complexity you recognize that you can't just have some secret ideal spear and the right method for making that spear and that just doing the basic crafting process will get you some inferior spear. Because that's not optional complexity. As so many games have realized over these decades, if you make a system that provides a benefit in exchange for time and effort, players will come to view that system as mandatory, no matter how optional you think it is. If there's a 'best spear', any added work you put in front of making it will be wikified and walkthroughed until it becomes the secret mandatory way to be the best at TUG.

      So what I hope you mean when you say 'best' is 'more suited to your playstyle or seed or circumstances'. Taking spears and specifically throwing them as an example, for most people, lighter things are easier to throw farther and faster, up to a certain maximum speed (the fastest they can get their arm moving) after which weight doesn't really matter. Maybe for most adult seeds, the typical spear is just right for them, optimizing throwing speed (thus distance) and impact at the end. But if my seed is abnormally strong, maybe I want to craft a heavier spear to make use of my strength. For the average seed, that added weight comes at a cost of range. In the extreme case, the reduced throwing speed more than compensates for the added impact weight and actually reduces damage. But for an exceptionally strong seed, a heavier spear is just better. Going the other way, maybe an exceptionally fast seed has a higher maximum throwing speed. A lighter spear will reduce impact strength, but will fly a lot farther, allowing him to out-range even the strongest of opponents. But he has to make a spear that is light enough to give him that edge.

      Or maybe I want a longer-than average spear because I don't like throwing and I prefer to have long melee reach.

      These are the kinds of trade-offs that work with other aspects of the game to create synergies and cause strategies to emerge. Within the context of that, there might be ten different "best" spears, combining materials, dimensions, and craftsmanship to create something ideally suited to a given physique, strategy, and purpose. Adding in other concerns and other sources of synergy, that number could certainly grow.

      So that's what I hope you mean when you talk about crafting better tools.

    12. Michael Lavallies on

      Each update make me giddy. Im liking the approch to everything... So guys i've always wanted to be a Mac :D (that was my nickname)

      Most games today add "modular" crafting but they get it wrong every-time lol Max is right. this will add more depth into towns and guilds hopefully giving way to diverse occupations between players with no set classes.

    13. Nerd Kingdom Creator on

      @palenoue, you'll be able to craft pretty much anything and everything you encounter in the game... can't promise it'll be easy, though! :P

    14. Thomas Johansen on

      This idea is magnificent, thinking of Being a hardcore Blacksmith and Crafter ^^

      Just not a fan of becoming as Mac in the last update xD

    15. palenoue on

      Will we be able to craft golems with the same techniques?

    16. Max Pierce on

      i think this idea too, because it also means a group of people might settle down to set up a town around a smith or a farm. which is how small towns would very organically grow.

    17. Missing avatar

      Spirit_Guardian on

      This also seems to make it harder for griefers to quickly get the tools they need to cause chaos and stuff.

    18. YouLiekThait on

      I like this. The idea of having multiple workspaces in the game world seems like it might make it more difficult for players to have mobile bases, meaning players with an interest in crafting will probably need to establish some sort of base or workshop, instead of the whole, "Drop a workbench, craft, hit the workbench until you can pick it up again" method from minecraft.