Solace Crafting

Solace Crafting
Redefining the Crafting RPG

Sunday, September 25, 2016

On the shoulders of giants

Minecraft spawned a huge wave of voxel based games, some of which were very poorly received as mere "clones," but it's important to understand that big titles like that change the gaming world permanently. Once a sound idea or a better way of doing something has been proven to work it would be wrong to not take that knowledge into account when designing something new.

Along those lines I have dozens of pages of ideas for improving different systems from many games I've played over the years. I'd love to incorporate all of those system into Solace Crafting with a magic wand, but two of the biggest skills an indie designer must never forget are prioritizing and time management. Understanding how important something is to your game and at what stage it should be implemented is difficult at first. Sometimes realizing that something doesn't fit with your game at all can come after hundreds of hours of trying to force it in.

I am often asked what kind of game Solace Crafting is and I have the long winded genre title: open-world, procedural, crafting based, survival, role-playing game; but those could mean any of a whole array of different sub-genres, and I like instead to point out several of the giant titles whose systems I'm incorporating and expanding on.

1. Diablo 2
The Diablo 2 skill selection trees offered a level of freedom that could both make and break your character. Over the years people built unorthodox characters that proved to work great in different situations. From this freedom the developers gave to players, original content was allowed to grow. I hope to expand on this system heavily in Solace Crafting with a very flexible class system and the ability to master any of a large number of skills, for better or for worse.

2. Rust
My favorite aspect of Rust is their method of player buildings. Their system was the foundation for the current building system in Solace Crafting, though it has been changed in more than a few ways, and still has a lot of implementations on the drawing boards that differ from the path Rust seems to be following. The ability to construct outposts, home bases, and connect everything across distant locations is one of my highest priorities for Solace Crafting.

3. Minecraft
Some of my favorite experiences playing Minecraft are from finding strange landscapes, like jagged mountains and deep caverns. Then of course not only finding them, but building stuff on and around them. Bridges, tunnels, towers, castles, you name it, I built it. The biggest problem for me was always not being able to see far enough away. That was the inspiration for my distance engine which in the latest screenshot I uploaded is showing a 60km range, or 120kmx120km landscape letting players set their eyes on a mountain or desert from very far away rather than just wandering aimlessly to see what shows up. Currently the starter world, Khora, is a rather "normal" fantasy landscape and doesn't have at all as much strangeness as I hope to include in it over time, but rest assured there will be magma.

I reworked a lot of the crafting and code based item generation this week to be much simpler rather than plan for everything I have ever wanted to create all at once. It has been a real challenge for me to keep things simple rather than trying to account for every possible upgrade that could come about over time. This weekend and next week I'll be working on collision detection for the building system, and teleportation between dimension crystals.