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Simple Bastard

Mod/Information Request: a basic vending apparatus

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It's no secret that a few of us are trying to get mods ported over from the Civcraft genre of minecraft servers. 

Next item on our list (hopefully), is something that recreates only the basic functionality of the mod which I've posted a demonstration video of below.

The purpose of this is to enable players to trade with one-another without having to coordinate play-times, and enable trade in a multiplayer environment independent of the NPC traders. By no means will this decrease the significance or utility of the NPC traders, as there are still many items which cannot be crafted in survival as of yet. On the contrary, this will provide greater opportunity for more homebodied players, or those more adept at building and farming that caving and mining, to acquire gears and other valuable goods by supplying more adventurous types with basic commodities that they might not feel inclined to farm. The benefits of inter-player commerce are myriad. (Also, I figure this is one less feature for me to nag Tyron about, and most certainly one that can find use in other multiplayer settings (Hi, Tony) until such time as player-owned shops are a vanilla feature.)

The idea of the mod is as follows:

A player creates a shop chest (more on that below), which acts as a sort of simple vending machine. The shop outputs an item (or multiples of a single type of item) for a predetermined input cost. A customer approaches the shop with the input selected in their hotbar (right hand), and double-clicks on the chest, at which point the input items in their right hand are exchanged for the output item(s).



In order to set up a shop chest I want to deviate from the example below and add a material cost other than the chest and reinforcement: the Temporal Gear (everyone's favorite). The steps as I envision it are as follows:

1.) Shopkeeper places a chest or labeled chest (remember to lock and reinforce).
2.) Shopkeeper places desired output in the first slot of the chest.
3.) Shopkeeper places input requirement in second slot of chest.
4.) Shopkeeper shift+right-clicks on the intended shop chest with a Temporal Gear, instantly consuming the gear and permanently defining the shop's exchange condition.
5.) Shopkeeper may remove the input material, stock up on output material and reap the benefits of trade and division of labour.


Now, I don't expect anyone in the community to do this for us (though that would be nice), but I figured I'd do a bit of preliminary research while Light is temporarily unavailable to see if it's possible with the current API functionality or if we'll have to beg Tyron for some additions.


(Thank-you for your time and attention)


 

Edited by Simple Bastard

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Does it have to be a chest? There's two issues I have with the chest. The first one is the minor thing that it doesn't feel immersive. The second and more important issue is that a player has to travel to the chest. 
To fix these, instead of a chest, what if a beacon could be acquired in game. This could be bought from a trader, or a broken one can be found in ruins that can be repaired with a temporal gear. Be as creative as you want.
When this beacon is placed, a special type of traveling trader called an Auctioneer, will spawn within an ingame week replacing the beacon. When interacting with an Auctioneer you can view all the trades by everyone. You can also post a trade and the Auctioneer will hold onto the items. When a buyer wants to complete a trade they give the requested items to an Auctioneer after a certain amount of time passes based off the distance between the two traders, each person will be able to receive their items from the Auctioneer.
If that's not immersive enough, to keep the Auctioneer from despawning they will have a food reserve that can be filled up by giving them food. If their food reserve ever runs out they will despawn. In addition, they will charge a nominal fee on every trade posted and accepted to cover "Travel costs and guild fees".
Even without the additional immersion, it solves, my original two issues.

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Thematically im totally ok with a clockwork trading box :D

I think the problem you'd have code-wise is storing the trades in a database or whatever since you might have a lot of them at once (especially in terms of future proofing). Otherwise the trader code obviously has the basics for give thing to thing and get other thing in return.

Conceptually requiring a temporal gear per item you want to trade might be a bit excessive, especially as translocators become more of a thing. Perhaps make the gear part of the cost of building the vending machine and have it output a few machines per craft.

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Whereas I agree that the chest isn't terribly immersive, the travel requirement is actually desirable in a sense as it forces players to explore and interact, in addition to the travel serving as a sort of time/labour cost. Also, it opens up business opportunity for those willing to transport goods long distances, and enables settlements in geographically favorable locations to become centers of trade (figure that'll be more significant once water transport is a thing). Truth be told, we'd prefer to be able to disable NPC traders entrely once the day comes where anything and everything can be produced by players in survival mode, as the NPC traders are an artificial source and sink of goods.

More or less the desired goal is to enable individual players to run a brick-and-mortar retail location without having to man a counter or maintain business hours.


Also, the Temporal Gear would only be required for the initial creation of the shop. Once the shop is created it can be used and stocked without any additional cost.

Edited by Simple Bastard

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Oh I get that you only need the gear once, but the vending machine only sells one item right and you can't change that item ?

So if you decide you want to charge coal instead of iron you'd need a new machine

same as if you want to sell oak and pine, each needs a different machine

 

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In the original mod you could re-configure the shop for free, and set up multiple exchanges in a single chest (which would be preferable in the long-run), but for now my focus is on basic functionality.

Also, the cost of one gear per shop seems expensive now, but with the recent addition of hoppers and chutes I have a feeling that drifter farms will not be an uncommon sight going forward.

Edited by Simple Bastard

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concept variant -

player makes chest with sale contents.

makes magic lock that requires (cost of items in chest) to open

owning player can use the lock to either open the chest (destroying the lock) or recover the price if its been paid (also destroying the lock)

this is obviously for single-sale or organised trade.

  • Like 1

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The lock variant is a nifty idea. 

On civ servers those one-shot or bulk trades would usually take place via dropchest.

As in: I bury a chest, reinforce/lock it to a group, add you to the group, send you the coords, and vice-versa.

But with locks and reinforcements being a per-player thing with no ability to grant access, that is a nice solution to what is hopefully a temporary problem.

Edited by Simple Bastard

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So you don't want the time player play to get in the way of trading but you want where the players are in the game world to be a factor.
Any other conditions you want considered?

Edited by Stroam

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That's more or less it. 

Players span multiple time-zones, and it's unrealistic to expect them to adjust their IRL schedules to facilitate an in-person exchange on a video game. However, they also shouldn't be able to magically transport goods across vast distances.

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I personally would be more in favor of chests/vending machines, as it's an already familiar concept to the player-base I'll be trying to poach from MC servers. (They'll already be traumatized enough by the learning curve and tech tree. Haha.)

Edited by Simple Bastard

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