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A possible alternative to the crafting grid


Erik
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The roadmap currently states:

  • Replace the 3x3 grid crafting system with something more immersive

So I came up with something. I'll quickly describe it:

  1. Each crafting operation in this system isn't instant and takes a very short period of time (0.7 seconds).
  2. Each consecutive crafting operation takes a shorter period of time, crafting with a full stack should take about 4 seconds.
  3. Canceling a crafting operation is possible and will also reset the delay to 0.7 seconds.
  4. A crafting operation can require quantities of items (itemstack size).
  5. A crafting operation can have multiple products.
  6. Products of a crafting operation are output into the inventory, there usually are no output slots.
  7. A crafting operation is only possible if there is inventory space for the products AFTER the crafting operation.
  8. The cursor slot also counts as an inventory slot.
  9. A crafting operation is usually started by hovering over a valid crafting interaction and holding right click.
  10. There are three main types of crafting operations: processing, combining and bench-specific crafting operations.

The crafting tooltip:

  1. A tooltip that appears when hovering over an inventory element, that allows for crafting when holding right click.
  2. Lists required inputs and outputs of the recipe.
  3. Lists/highlights why the player may not be able to craft this recipe.

Processing:

  1. A processing recipe only requires one type of ingredient, but can require multiple of them.
  2. Each item/block can only have one processing recipe.
  3. A progressing crafting operation can be started in any inventory window.
  4. To start the processing operation, the player needs to hold right click while hovering over the ingredient in an inventory with an empty cursor slot.
  5. Example: 4 Clay -> 1 Unfired Brick

Combining:

  1. A combining recipe requires exactly two types of ingredients, but can require multiple of them.
  2. Each combination of ingredients can only have one combining recipe.
  3. A combining crafting operation can be started in any inventory window.
  4. To start the processing operation, the player needs to hold right click while hovering over one ingredient in an inventory while the other ingredient is in the cursor slot.
  5. UI: When holding an ingredient with the cursor, other ingredients that are possible to combine are highlighted.
  6. UI: Green highlights indicate that combining is currently possible.
  7. UI: Red highlights indicate that the combining is currently not possible, because of inventory space or ingredient quantities.
  8. Example: 1 Log + 1 Saw -> 4 Planks (+ Saw with one less durability)

Bench-specific:

  1. A bench-specific crafting operation can only be started in the inventory window of a specific crafting bench.
  2. Crafting benches are blocks or multiblock structures that are placed in the world.
  3. There are multiple different crafting benches, each with their own set of recipes.
  4. A crafting bench has an inventory where ingredients and products are placed.
  5. A bench-specific crafting operation can require any number of ingredients and multiple of them.
  6. The main output of every bench-specific recipe for the bench is shown on buttons above the inventory.
  7. To start a bench-specific crafting operation, the player needs to hold click on the button of the desired recipe.
  8. Example: Carpenters bench[6 Planks + 1 Saw -> 1 Wooden Door]

This system is obviously inspired by Terraria in some way.

Pros:

  • No wiki required, recipes are "unlocked" in an organic way.
  • Less fiddly and faster than grid based crafting.
  • Multiple outputs, possibly even chance based.
  • Better progression because of crafting benches.
  • Feels more natural and intuitive.
  • Sound effects and animations for recipes possible because of the progress bar.
  • No bloated "craftable items list".

Cons:

  • Crafting tooltip could get quite big/bloated and therefore needs to be placed next to the inventory screen and wouldn't therefore work as a "real" tooltip.
  • Crafting precise amounts of items still needs annoying inventory management and extra space (need to split stacks).

This is just an idea and I would love to hear your feedback or even other possible ideas for crafting systems.

 

 

Edited by Erik
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image.png.afd844f6d8366c83ee2050ffab00564c.png 

You seem to be suggesting something like this for inventory crafting. One issue I have with it is things like slabs and stairs which use the same ingredients to produce different items. Now terraira gets away with this by having a scrollable selection of recipes on the bottom left for you to choose from. This is great when there isn't that many combinations but when there is many possible recipes. Even when you limit it to all possible recipes using a specific item it can be quite a lot. I'm thinking of the number of recipes that require wire in MC tech mods for example. Another drawback of the proposed method is you still need a wiki to look up what it takes to make an item and what crafting bench to use if you don't know already.

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8 hours ago, Stroam said:

You seem to be suggesting something like this for inventory crafting. 

Something like this, but a bit different: The tooltip appears at the side of the inventory, so it won't obstruct your view. It would also only appear when hovering over a slot marked green or red, while holding an item with you cursor. There wouldn't be "craft" or "cancel" buttons, since you would just hold right click over the green marked slot.

8 hours ago, Stroam said:

One issue I have with it is things like slabs and stairs which use the same ingredients to produce different items. Now terraira gets away with this by having a scrollable selection of recipes on the bottom left for you to choose from. This is great when there isn't that many combinations but when there is many possible recipes.

You're right, combination crafting would only be used for simple/primitive recipes. Bench-specific crafting, which is basically exactly like crafting in terraria (except that you would need to open the bench, put items inside and all recipes a bench offers being displayed at any time) is used for more complex recipes. And as you can imagine there would be quite a lot of different crafting benches, to keep them from being bloated.

8 hours ago, Stroam said:

Another drawback of the proposed method is you still need a wiki to look up what it takes to make an item and what crafting bench to use if you don't know already.

I would say a wiki would be needed any more, but it would still be very helpful.

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I agree with GUI-less. i love the immersive knapping aspect and the pouring of molds and the anvil mechanic is great.  Instead of putting things on the ground we could leverage the new anvil mechanic. You add components to a workbench.  add leather.  trim it down. add another leather to the next layer.  Then add a bronze plate to the next layer.  hammer that pattern down and it poops out a bronze platemail.  

Most items could be crafted this way.   arrowhead + stick + feather = arrows

Very special items might need more than 9 components and this mechanic could handle it (although some people, like me, who dont like tedium may not like it)

I'm not a fan of delayed crafting though.  unless it makes sense like melting wax to make a bowstring.  But just watching a timer just irritates me.  IMHO its a lazy thing someone came up with when they wanted to prevent people from crafting 1000 arrows in an instant.  In games like that i start the crafting then go for a snack while it finishes.  or make an autohotkey script if it needs me to click away.

I think I'm going to write a AHK script to make arrowheads on the anvil.  Damn thats a lot of clicks.

Edited by Elwood
speling
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1 hour ago, Elwood said:

I agree with GUI-less. i love the immersive knapping aspect and the pouring of molds and the anvil mechanic is great.  Instead of putting things on the ground we could leverage the new anvil mechanic. You add components to a workbench.  add leather.  trim it down. add another leather to the next layer.  Then add a bronze plate to the next layer.  hammer that pattern down and it poops out a bronze platemail.  

Most items could be crafted this way.   arrowhead + stick + feather = arrows

Very special items might need more than 9 components and this mechanic could handle it (although some people, like me, who dont like tedium may not like it)

I'm not a fan of delayed crafting though.  unless it makes sense like melting wax to make a bowstring.  But just watching a timer just irritates me.  IMHO its a lazy thing someone came up with when they wanted to prevent people from crafting 1000 arrows in an instant.  In games like that i start the crafting then go for a snack while it finishes.  or make an autohotkey script if it needs me to click away.

I think I'm going to write a AHK script to make arrowheads on the anvil.  Damn thats a lot of clicks.

12

I like that, it would feel a lot more immersive than just using the crafting grid. But again I press the same key. If I am going to have all that extra work to make one arrow it better be a very good arrow. If I shoot the wolf in the head, it better kill it in one shot. To make the making of an arrow realistic we should also make the effectiveness of an arrow realistic.

I just feel weird to have to shoot a pig 20 times to kill it.

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I guess to me,  I'd say have a good in-world process, or just let it happen on a crafting bench instantly.  I'm with Elwood on progress bars.  I already waited 30 minutes to cook all that quicklime, do I really need to wait around for a progress bar to go on for another 20 minutes?  That's not adding anything to the game.  If you want me to toss it all in a barrel with water that I can walk away from and forget, fine.   But don't make me sit through a bar.  Similarly I hunted the chickens and crafted the arrowheads.  A progress bar is not going to be enjoyable.    I'd say that if the time is not tied up in a fuel-using mechanic, or in the actual process itself, don't make the player sit through a progress bar.  Just make it instant, or something they can walk away from and come back when the timer is up.

 

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Agree with Redram, just want to add, for anyone that is already playing the game it will only be cool if adding a more time-consuming process, also adds a reward. For example, with we change the crafting of an item from instant inside the crafting grid to be assembled on top of a bench, the resulting item needs to be of a better quality than previously. I.e. making arrows. 

I just love the knapping mechanic in VS, but for arrows to be that ineffective they should be fast to make. Always a question of balance.

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Ok, a processing bar would probably just be annoying. I thought it was needed to make crafting by holding right click possible, just to prevent players from accidentally crafting things. Looking at Terraria, the crafting delay should be shorter the longer the player holds right click.

About in-world crafting: I think it's way too tedious to place everything in the world, crafting multiple things would take way too much time and o top of that, the wiki would still be mandatory. In world crafting only works, when using a single material or a very simplified process.

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Honestly I imagine that each processes is going to take on it's own gui-less method. For instance making linen might be taking flax fibers to a spinning wheel to turn it into twine and then take twine over to a loom to make linen. Leather is probably going to take soaking it in various ingame liquids and a placing it in a rack. Stairs, slabs, and other shapes is probably going to be some form of chiseling. Planks might drop when using a saw on a log placed in game on top of a sawhorse. Cobble block might be placing alternate layers of rock and clay. Rammed earth might be using a tamp to compress two dirt blocks into one. Something like a tool rack could be done using something similar to clay forming. Stews might be tossing a bunch of items in a pot of water and adding fuel. Flour might be made from grinding grain in an quern. Even the fireplace might be operated by tossing fuel on it as the fire dies low and placing items on it by rick clicking. Lantern might be made on an assembly table that you keep adding items to with right click, then when you right click with an empty hand, if there's a valid recipe, removes all the inputs and replaces them with the outputs that can be removed from the assembly table with shift right click. True all these methods will take a wiki, youtube tutorial video, or someone showing you the ropes, but it'd be immersive, fun, and social. True, mass crafting would take a lot of time (back before automation it did take a long time IRL) until there are ways to automate some or all of the production. The crafting grid right now is a crutch. It's a simple way to deliver content fast because it's easy to code, people are already familiar with it, it doesn't take any thinking on how an item might be made, and it significantly cuts downs on the amount of models and artwork. 

Rant on mass production

Spoiler

Large grande structures with lots of expensive things are impressive because it takes a lot of time, energy, effort, and expertise to construct and assemble large grande structures with lots of expensive things. It's usually the grande sum of many individual working to produce such. Any time you automate production you are bring the price of that product down. Making it cost less, so you can sell it cheaper than your competitors to a wider audience to bring in more capital. If you don't want to put in the time and effort there's always creative mode which is perfect for building really nice grande expensive things without the time cost. 

 

Edited by Stroam
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I think you just have to take it on an item-by-item basis.  I think some items will lend themselves well to GUI-less methods, others won't.  Things that you don't need tons of are the best candidates - the tools and smithing we already have, armor, process blocks you'll only need to make once in awhile.  But building materials like planks, cobble, maybe arrows, really aren't great candidates.  Nor heavy use items like ladders. 

At the same time, early time-consuming processes make automation later an attractive goal to work toward.  Clay forming I think would fit this bill pretty well.  Pretty time consuming now, but automated later.  Linen would also fit this category I think.

I'm trying to remain agnostic about the Terraria-like in-inventory crafting.  I'm not familiar with it so I don't feel like I can comment well on it.  It sounds overly complicated to me, but that probably has mostly to do with the fact I'm not familiar with it, but am familiar with the grid, as Stroam says.  A lot of people thought the smithing mechanic sounded too complicated when I suggested it, but it's worked out so far, albeit in simplified form.

Edited by redram
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2 hours ago, Erik said:

About in-world crafting: I think it's way too tedious to place everything in the world, crafting multiple things would take way too much time and o top of that, the wiki would still be mandatory. In world crafting only works, when using a single material or a very simplified process.

For more complicated things I was thinking if we want to avoid needing to reference a wiki to look for the items and shape in a crafting grid you simply take the base material. Shift right click on a workbench pops up a list of templates.   just like the anvil.    Then the tooltip tells you the steps recipe like an eHow.  These would be shapeless but instead require a sequence of steps.  would be easy to program and to define recipes in a config file because you script it in steps rather than 3x3 grid, shapeless, 2,1 grid etc.

Ars Magica mod uses this type of mechnic for crafting spells.  Other games use this style for brewing potions.

Example: Shift-Right-click arrowhead on workbench
Select intended recipe (1 flint arrow feather fletching, 2 flint arrow with bone shaft, 3 flint arrow with iron shaft feather fletching)
select recipe 2. tooltip shows the following and the next step.
Now add bone shaft. now add feathers, now add twine, click with shears
out pops a batch of quality 2 shot arrows
if you forget something you get your stuff back somehow.

15 minutes ago, Stroam said:

The crafting grid right now is a crutch.

I agree.  Its way over-used in almost every survival game but probably cant do away with it altogether.  I think more blocks like drying racks, a quern, a sawhorse etc would allow for more diverse or maybe alternative recipes.  But like @redram and @tony Liberatto if i am going through this crafting effort it better be worth it.  like sawhorse should double the output of using a plain saw to get planks.

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@redramThings you don't need a ton of would work great in the gui-less assembly table I described. Ladders you only make a lot of because you can't pull them up... yet. 

4 minutes ago, Elwood said:

if i am going through this crafting effort it better be worth it.  like sawhorse should double the output of using a plain saw to get planks.

If it didn't double the output but was the only way to get planks it'd be worth it without doubling the recipe. Worth it is all a manner of alternatives. Sure mass crafting planks would take awhile using that method but that's just inspiration to build a saw mill later. 

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Yes I like progress but you still need some early game process to get planks to build a sawhorse.

Place a log and break with a basic saw gives 2 planks

Build a sawhorse which gives 4 planks. Tool required: large saw which requires 2 or 3 saw blades.

Sawmill makes 4 planks but automated into an attached inventory. Requires many saw blades to craft the mechanism. Needs to wear out so maybe saw blades in an inventory slot.

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1 hour ago, Stroam said:

Honestly I imagine that each processes is going to take on it's own gui-less method. For instance making linen might be taking flax fibers to a spinning wheel to turn it into twine and then take twine over to a loom to make linen. Leather is probably going to take soaking it in various ingame liquids and a placing it in a rack. Stairs, slabs, and other shapes is probably going to be some form of chiseling. Planks might drop when using a saw on a log placed in game on top of a sawhorse. Cobble block might be placing alternate layers of rock and clay. Rammed earth might be using a tamp to compress two dirt blocks into one. Something like a tool rack could be done using something similar to clay forming. Stews might be tossing a bunch of items in a pot of water and adding fuel. Flour might be made from grinding grain in an quern. Even the fireplace might be operated by tossing fuel on it as the fire dies low and placing items on it by rick clicking. Lantern might be made on an assembly table that you keep adding items to with right click, then when you right click with an empty hand, if there's a valid recipe, removes all the inputs and replaces them with the outputs that can be removed from the assembly table with shift right click.

I would like to see this custom processing chains for all kind of things as well, but I think, aside from the fact that this would take a massive amount of work on Tyrons side, that not every item/block fits a specific process, like Redram stated. There will need to be some generalization and possible generalizations might be grouping materials into workbenches and the ability to combine two items in the inventory, but there are possibly better general crafting systems.

 

1 hour ago, redram said:

I'm trying to remain agnostic about the Terraria-like in-inventory crafting.  I'm not familiar with it so I don't feel like I can comment well on it.  It sounds overly complicated to me, but that probably has mostly to do with the fact I'm not familiar with it, but am familiar with the grid, as Stroam says.  A lot of people thought the smithing mechanic sounded too complicated when I suggested it, but it's worked out so far, albeit in simplified form.

Descriptions, especially very in-depth ones, always sound more complicated, cause the author often fails to deliver the bigger picture, especially if I'm the author. Terraria's crafting system is a very simple system: Next to your inventory, there is a list of things you can craft with the things you currently have in you inventory. If you click on one thing in the list, it gets automatically and instantly crafted. The system also has some convenience features, like the ability to hold click to "continue" crafting that item, so you can craft multiple arrows very fast.

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1 hour ago, Elwood said:

Example: Shift-Right-click arrowhead on workbench

Select intended recipe (1 flint arrow feather fletching, 2 flint arrow with bone shaft, 3 flint arrow with iron shaft feather fletching)
select recipe 2. tooltip shows the following and the next step.
Now add bone shaft. now add feathers, now add twine, click with shears
out pops a batch of quality 2 shot arrows
if you forget something you get your stuff back somehow.

I have a few problems with this example.   shears are metal age whereas arrows should be stone age.  So I'd say knife rather than shears.   Also adding a twine cost to arrows is going to make them even less desirable, unless they get bumped in power.  I think you'd also have to reduce the feather output of chickens, and arrowhead output of crafting arrowheads, and make the output of the process of the actual arrow crafting very large.  Like 16 arrows per crafting.  That would be more in line with twine supply I think.  That or increase twine output.  And overall, I guess it doesn't exactly wow me with the process.  It's still kind of just like placing things in a grid, as opposed to the other processes where you're building up/removing by increments.   Seems simpler to me to just leave it an instant workbench grid thing.  And I know it was just an illustrative example, but at the same time I think the example is illustrative of how complicated it can be to try to strike a good balance with the GUI-less thing, when it comes to items that you need lots of.

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Agree and agree, I would love to have gui-less ways to manufacturer a whole bunch of items.  Sometimes is not just about having a bigger output, but a more meaningful item. 

For the arrow, for example, 

  1. set a feather on top of a bench, cut it in half with a knife. get 2 halves.
  2. Set a stick on top of a bench, right click with the feathers.
  3. Right, click with glue to fix the feathers to the stick.  (You see, now you have to make glue)
  4. Right-click the other end of the stick with an arrowhead
  5. Right, click with twine to fix the head to the arrow.

Love to have that, as long as I don't have to make hundreds of arrows. I would gladly work for some time to make those, but be knowing that they are very useful, and if I can actually hit the animal in the right spot it would be a one-hit kill. Just as it is in real life. Balanced.

Since I abhor PVP, I know I will not be shooting arrows at other players in armour. To hunt I do like the concept of making metal arrowheads to have more damage, Instead, we could have metal arrowheads to be recoverable and have durability. Stone arrowheads would break.

Now for wood planks. I hear people talking about automation and my only thinking is: I would love for a more intuitive and gui-less way of working with wood. The concern here is another. 

If we are going to introduce any method, feature or mechanic that takes longer to produce an item or block, that process needs to be introduced concomitant with the automation process.

So if we are going to introduce the need to spin string and loom fabric manually. We need to also be introducing mechanical power and automated fabrics in the same release. 

Yes, I know that in the middle ages they did not have manufacturing plants. But people lived in huge communities and one person was not expected to do everything by himself and also build a castle. Instead, I settle for a careful consideration of what recipes take which ingredients and how long does it take to acquire each one of them.

The most important coin in a game is Time. How long does it take to acquire all the ingredients and actually have the final product available to be used?

The more expensive to create something, the more output it needs to yield or more rewarding.

Sometimes it also all about the expectation, Is ok to have a low output for something on the start of the game, as long as I know that once I get that better tool I will be able to have a bigger output.

 

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Would using 2 systems work? Theory being the more options are available the broader the player base could be. I like immersive construction for making items if there are ways to automate it later on. For "hard core" players disabaling the grid system to where only the non gui ways are available. For items some type of construction bench, place the items on it and use a certain tool to craft it, could do it in steps, ie a lantern, place the items on the bench, right click with a tool, and say it shows 2 sides, then 4 sides together on next click, then the torch inside, then the final with glass on 4th click. 

 

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On 3/24/2018 at 12:09 PM, heptagonrus said:

What is at least simple crafts could be somehow done in any grid, e.g. in chests. E.g. if I have chest full of flax fibers, I can somehow select 2x2 pattern and get twine from it.

I absolutely love that suggestion! Here's reason to push the ability to select multiple slots at once, either for simultaneously transferring, or in this case crafting! I vote for getting rid of the confusing shift-clicking that only does what you want some of the time and use it for multi-select. Also, click-and-drag for selecting multiple slots!

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I once suggested a sort of combination crafting inside a GUI to @Saraty, but now I can no longer get it out of her head and go gui less instead D:
We'll probably need the combined effort of the community to convince saraty that gui less crafting is superior to gui crafting ^_^

Admittedly, gui less crafting is a challenge, because, to have it somewhat believable, it probably requires you to replace one generic crafting mechanic with several specific ones. 

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On 3-4-2018 at 7:51 PM, Tyron said:

I once suggested a sort of combination crafting inside a GUI to @Saraty, but now I can no longer get it out of her head and go gui less instead D:
We'll probably need the combined effort of the community to convince saraty that gui less crafting is superior to gui crafting ^_^

Admittedly, gui less crafting is a challenge, because, to have it somewhat believable, it probably requires you to replace one generic crafting mechanic with several specific ones. 

Alright, I'll try this during our recording sessions. You just keep feeding her coffee! 

I absolutely love gridless crafting. Make it work like it does in real life. Not some abstract interpretation of real life!

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not the craftingtime, but at least the crafting process. 

And crafting a steam engine in VS would be a true labor of love. Gimme gimme! 

Carefully schaping metal plates, carefulle grinding out gears (or making machines to do that work). *nods

yep, sign me up!

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