23 May, 2009, Skol wrote in the 1st comment:
Votes: 0
I was curious if anyone wanted to talk about their concept and approach to crafting in game? I'm about to sit down and flesh my own out and was looking for feedback/pros/cons etc.

First thing, I'm thinking more 'artisan' type, not weapons/armor (although allow for customizing weapons/armor but mostly look/feel, not just create sword).

Require raw materials.
Some can be purchased, others smelted (melt money into the corresponding ingots either at a shop or personally at a smelter, other sources would be weapons/armor melted down).
Feathers for quill pens I have creating already from birds in game (about 30 species).
Fish for different fish based foods I have from some 120 fish species catchable in game.
Other thoughts are perhaps mining, lumber will be a growing commodity based on climate and region/room flags. Separate commodity file that keeps track of amounts and growth/clear-cut etc. Same concept for textiles to create cloth (although I might just sell the raw materials for simplicity there).

Items able to be created:
figurines, statuettes, statues, icons etc, from any race (race_table), fish species, object type, god (we have 21 gods), weapon type (see objects). The materials based upon the raw material the person starts with but there are about 50-60 in game so far (most likely expanded once I get into this). So the person can create thousands of variations of items.

Use of the items: sellable, also looking at spell component creation this way, totally open to more ideas of the use of the items other than 'cool I made a vallenwood kender figurine'. I don't want a 'd00dism weapon factory', but might consider stock weapons/armor/clothing?

Art items for personal housing: paintings, chairs, furniture, tables etc. Just thoughts, but I like games where I can make stuff that stays around.

I've done delayed actions where a person is doing actions over time, so the time will depend on the size, material, complexity etc of whatever they're creating. The further along the item is, the more defined it shows as the strings change and item type changes from say 'raw material' into 'jewelry' or such with an int for completion and v-fields for quality of craftsmanship and all that. The cost will be established at various stages based off material and quality.

23 May, 2009, quixadhal wrote in the 2nd comment:
Votes: 0
I guess my first question would be how you plan to make the crafting system interact with the economy and the quest/loot system? It's a whole different ballgame if you're keeping it mostly isolated, as opposed to integrating all three into a single environment.

It also makes a difference what scale your system will be operating in. For example, if you harvest materials to generate finished products that are end items, your system is simple and probably won't have a high volume. OTOH, if you harvest wood to generate lumber, which is used to build walls, which is used to build housing. Now, you have a high volume item (lumber), and you don't want to have to hand-craft every single piece.

Although the MUD purists might cringe at this, I highly suggest you take a look at the original Star Wars: Galaxies crafting system. That is to say, the "pre-cu" version. It's too late for me to write up a good description of how it worked now, but it was easy enough to get into making simple things, but absorbing enough to make it possible to do nothing else and still play for 6 hours a day. :)
23 May, 2009, Igabod wrote in the 3rd comment:
Votes: 0
is starwars: galaxies a mud or is that a game with pictures? if it's a mud then where can I find a copy of the codebase? I'm a collector of codebases and would like to add this to my collection. If it's a game with pictures then what system is it for? I haven't heard of it till now.
23 May, 2009, quixadhal wrote in the 4th comment:
Votes: 0
It's a game with pictures. A joint venture between Lucas Arts and Sony Online Entertainment back in…. 2002? Here's a link to the wikipedia en....

Unfortunately, you may have to dig around a bit to find details on the old crafting system. In the original game, only the most basic of items were available for purchase from NPC vendors, everything else had to be discovered and then manufactured by players. The result was a player driven economy that was directly tied to the crafting system.
23 May, 2009, Skol wrote in the 5th comment:
Votes: 0
Nice Quix, I like.

Yeah, in my game only 'mundane' items are for sale in shops, any magical items must be earned by killing whoever has it or doing whatever quest etc. People can buy quality weapons and armor, but must have them enchanted to have the bonuses add up etc.

The game's economy is driven by player purchases/sales and such also. Although I'd like to more microcosm it, right now it's one 'gmp' (global mud production) that the money flows in and out of. My thoughts on that expansion would be not only area ones, but a regional pool as well. With ebb and flow between, some regions will be more rich, others poor depending on players interaction.

I think my main goal in this crafting system is to have fun things for people to create, but also everyday useful items. I think by setting it up based off of the existing item types/races/gods/fish/birds etc, it will give a plethora of things to create out of whatever materials they want and really give it a fun flavor. Perhaps supplies/tools that the players have to purchase, or maybe create their own tools and have that be a level of crafting itself…

There are player owned persistent shops, so players can have their wares on sale as well, making the player shops even more unique (vs NPC ones of course). But, at the same time… I could have NPC artisan shops and have generated items in there as well. For me, the unique items (or apparently unique) is the draw and player given power from this endeavor.
24 May, 2009, David Haley wrote in the 6th comment:
Votes: 0
An interesting thing that can be done with building things like furniture, walls, etc., is to allow people to actually build homes that they decorate with their own items. If you have empty plots of land lying around, people can build houses, or even whole villages, towns, cities… You would need some degree of NPC support/backup unless you have a large enough playerbase, but it could be pretty fun to establish villages, protect them for bandits, etc.

My main problem with most crafting systems is that the initial "oh that's cool" of making your own game-"useless" (i.e. purely decorative) items eventually wears off.
24 May, 2009, KaVir wrote in the 7th comment:
Votes: 0
David Haley said:
My main problem with most crafting systems is that the initial "oh that's cool" of making your own game-"useless" (i.e. purely decorative) items eventually wears off.

Agreed, although the speed the novelty wears off will likely depend on the type of mud you're running. In a heavy RP mud it could keep people entertained for a long time, while in a pure HnS or PK mud many palyers may never even bother trying it in the first place.

My mud is primarily focused on combat, so I've made crafting very simple to use, very fast to perform, and directly beneficial in combat (it's mostly used to create weapons and armour).
25 May, 2009, quixadhal wrote in the 8th comment:
Votes: 0
That's part of the reason I loved SWG so much, and also the reason I (and many others) are so bitter over how they've simplified it over the years. In the original game, crafters weren't just fluff, they were a required part of the game. No crafters meant no good equipment. No good equipment meant no possibility of killing bosses to get rare drops and progress through the content.

Also, all the various crafting professions were dependent on each other. Everquest II did a wonderful job of that in the beginning too, to make scrolls a scholar had to have paper and inks, the make inks, you had to get the help of an alchemist to purify pigments from plants, which anyone could gather, and to mix resins. To make paper, you had to have pulp, which a woodworker had to prepare, either from harvested wood or roots, AND you needed chloro wash, which again came from the alchemist. THEN, the scholar could combine the paper and ink into a scroll.

Of course, all the people who liked to solo MMO games cried and whined, so they eventually removed all subcombines and made each crafting profession stand alone. On that day, half the social aspect of the game went away, since you tended to get to know the people whom you stood next to at the crafting tables every day.

As you can probably tell, I like crafting, and I keep hoping someone will (again) make a game where it isn't treated as an add-on that's only there to make adventurers happy.
26 May, 2009, Skol wrote in the 9th comment:
Votes: 0
I've been doing a lot of thinking on the crafting and still want
the artisan stuff, but… I'm also looking at "why would i use
this" from a player's standpoint.

So far:
Quill pens, required to scribe scrolls. Can buy average ones,
decent ones, can craft better ones. Better ones: Reduce time to
scribe, increase success rate. Raw materials (feathers) show up
already from birds in game, size/worth etc based on species. I
think 30 species. I'm looking to make rare species more
'effective' in scribing as the race is stored on the item, I
could require specific feathers for spell types etc. Also,
coolness factor of 'I have a quill pen from a Phoenix' when it's
a tough one to find/get.

already 100+ species of all sizes/types/salt/fresh etc in game
(full fishing code), crafting them would simply be butchery into
food types. (fillets of <fish>, steaks, skin on larger ones,
bones, teeth?)

Want to change to a system of 'mood' -100 to +100, mood
influences healing/mana rates as well as success on casting/etc.
Good food can positively influence mood. Food creation will be a
form of crafting as well.

Holy symbols:
aid clerical casting, able to be crafted perhaps by only
followers of said god? Or also allow for those who have knowledge
theology (add skill). Perhaps require a blessing from cleric of
said god to 'finish' item. Perhaps players can keep a holy symbol
of their god to wear/use at times to help align etc.

Portal stones:
Required in game for portal/nexus (two-way portal). Allow
creation of them from gems. In game they are pretty scarce.

Art items:
carvings stated above, paintings etc, mostly 'oh cool I can make ___'.
Resale value as well.

Weapons & Armor:
good base stats, but not magical enchantments. So, good average
damage (dice) on the weapon, but you'd want to then find a mage
to have it buffed up. This is most likely going to require some
relooking at in-game equipment and have a 'max' hit/dam bonus put
in for non-quest items, then allow players to exceed this via
enchants. Gives mages an income/value as well.

sacks/bags easiest, backpacks, chests etc. Add cloth raw material
in game (I don't think I _really_ want to get into textile
creation from grasses etc). Same on leathers, but have option for
players to learn tanning and get leather from corpses. This would
allow for more exotic items with better properties (sharkskin is
tougher etc).

Fletcher and all that. Arrows: Make better ones than in game,
require feathers from birds (above). Arrowheads from bones,
smelted from raw materials (coins or other eq with the right main
raw material). Shafts from wood found in forests (or bamboo?).
Bowstrings perhaps simply purchased, perhaps created from sinew
from corpses?

Fishing poles:
bamboo, saplings etc. Create longer ones, better ones etc than
can be purchased.

Hooks/Sinkers etc:
From bone, metal etc, see arrowheads above. Save money, make unique ones.

Scrolls: already done, in game etc. Scribe magical scrolls etc.

Brew: Potion brewing done, make potions all that yay.

sewing/leatherwork/carpentry/metal smithing/weapon smithing/armor
smithing/quill lore/freshwater fishing/saltwater
fishing/freshwater lore/saltwater

New structure:
ch->craft[TABLE]. So skills AND craftmanship level in specific
item types etc. Perhaps in specific raw materials as well? Some
people are adapt with silver, some with gold, some in say
hardwood etc. Perhaps earned crafting points to learn a craft?

More to come, just fleshing it all out with ramifications etc before starting.
26 May, 2009, Skol wrote in the 10th comment:
Votes: 0
After much thought, I'm thinking craft points like skill points and a similar system. Perhaps able to earn craft points (or buy) via quests etc as well. How it'd work is similar to multiple skill checks, basically crafting check vs that exact craft, then material check for knowledge, and which applicable skills.

IE: craft solamnic style backpack from sharkskin:
Checks your knowledge of sharkskin (material), your knowledge of Solamnic style, your skill in leatherworking (the actual craft), quality of sharkskin and required amount, you start crafting (assuming tools, will have those too). Time to complete based on your skill in leatherworking as well as dexterity, and the complexity of the container (in this case).

Considering it was a Rom game, and still uses skills/spells… I'm looking at knowledge, and crafts, as separate 'skills/spells'. If that makes sense? Not as skills and spells, but the same kind of set-up. The main reason is to be able to sort better. Thoughts on that?
26 May, 2009, David Haley wrote in the 11th comment:
Votes: 0
Skol said:
Considering it was a Rom game, and still uses skills/spells… I'm looking at knowledge, and crafts, as separate 'skills/spells'. If that makes sense? Not as skills and spells, but the same kind of set-up. The main reason is to be able to sort better. Thoughts on that?

There's already a rather extensive mechanism set up for skills and spells; I'd think long and hard about making a whole new parallel setup if your goal is just to sort things (presumably in some kind of skill list display).
26 May, 2009, Skol wrote in the 12th comment:
Votes: 0
I hear you David, that's what I was looking at.
Should I clone the wheel, reinvent the wheel, or use the wheel (or make something different).

If I just use 'skills' for both knowledge/lores as well as crafts:
1. I need some way to sort them dynamically, perhaps extend the structure in const.c to also include TYPE_SKILL/TYPE_CRAFT/TYPE_KNOWLEDGE etc? That seems brutally simple, but might work out well. If I go this route, I simply add them as skills of the appropriate type. I could go another step further and classify existing skills so that people can find them more easily. skill_type: WEAPON/CRAFT/KNOWLEDGE/OBJECT etc (brainstorming, I'll stop that tangent heh).

If I clone the system and just have a skills version. More work, doesn't give any benefit over simply expanding the skill structure from what I can see. But I'm open to discussion on it for sure.

New system: Loads of work, trial/testing etc.
26 May, 2009, Skol wrote in the 13th comment:
Votes: 0
Addendum. Separate crafting/knowledge points still, but with the expanded stucture of skills, I can have it require the right points to 'train' them etc.
27 May, 2009, quixadhal wrote in the 14th comment:
Votes: 0
Skol said:
I've been doing a lot of thinking on the crafting and still want
the artisan stuff, but… I'm also looking at "why would i use
this" from a player's standpoint.

So far:
Quill pens, required to scribe scrolls. Can buy average ones,
decent ones, can craft better ones. Better ones: Reduce time to
scribe, increase success rate. Raw materials (feathers) show up
already from birds in game, size/worth etc based on species. I
think 30 species. I'm looking to make rare species more
'effective' in scribing as the race is stored on the item, I
could require specific feathers for spell types etc. Also,
coolness factor of 'I have a quill pen from a Phoenix' when it's
a tough one to find/get.

One of the keys here is to make certain things ONLY available via player crafting. Sure, let NPC vendors stock fluff scrolls, or minor enchantments, but the really powerful or useful stuff should be generated by players. Want a +1 tohit enchant on your dagger? Yeah, vendors have those for too much money. Want a +2? Well, only players can make those, although they aren't super-hard to make. Want a +4? Better make friends with a scholar! Of course, the quills themselves may not be unique to any but the most powerful scrolls, but you could rank them so that easy to make quills can only scribe simple scrolls, and rare ones are needed for the more powerful scrolls.

I would make some of those rare feathers required componants for the more powerful scrolls. It might also be nice if your system is complex enough so that different (but still acceptable) feathers would create slightly different results. Maybe both chicken and duck feathers would work to make quills that can craft rank 1 scrolls, but the duck feather might improve accuracy (reduce material costs), while the chicken might increase speed.

Additionally, you need ink and paper to make scrolls. There are whole sets of components you can have here for specific scrolls. Maybe the +1 enchantment takes any old paper, but requires a particular kind of ink. Maybe the +4 takes a cured hide from a particular type of creature, and ink with a whole bunch of rare gems crushed into it, crafted with a particular type of quill.

That's the kind of thinking I would consider when developing a crafting system. :)
27 May, 2009, David Haley wrote in the 15th comment:
Votes: 0
That seems brutally simple, but might work out well.

There's nothing wrong with simple if it gets the job done with acceptable efficiency. In fact, one might make a stronger statement and say that simplicity is preferable if it gets the job done.

If want you want to do is tag skills as being in a certain category, that's easy enough, right? The most intrusive change I would picture is just adding a new "category" field to skill data structures, defaulting it to something for all existing skills, and setting it to "crafting" for crafting skills.

I think it's really not a great idea to recreate the whole skill setup – that's a lot of work (binary search, save, load, …) and most importantly doesn't get you anything that you can't already do. (If there are other requirements, it might make sense, but so far I don't think it really does.)
27 May, 2009, Skol wrote in the 16th comment:
Votes: 0
Quix, awesome thoughts. I like much, I hadn't considered levels of parchment nor types as I've had scribing scrolls in for years. I like the thought a lot though, and I'd considered an ink table as well, similar thoughts with mundane ones available, but better ones only player created.

David, my thoughts exactly on the data structure. I did a similar change to race table structure and added 'family' (like aquatic mammal, canine, feline etc etc) for the same reasons of sorting (although mainly for OLC sorting).
27 May, 2009, quixadhal wrote in the 17th comment:
Votes: 0
Actually, from my excursion into the world O ROM, there are "groups" of skills, but the way they're implemented is (pardon my French) half-assed. :) Namely, groups appear to contain skills, but skills have no reference back to which group(s) they came from, and indeed, the skill check mechanism seems to try to pretend that the groups themselves should be looked up like skills.

If you wanted to use the existing mechanics, but make them a bit more flexible, I'd add a list header to the skill structure and allow it to point to multiple groups, and rework the group mechanic to be a bit cleaner. Feel free to peek at the RaM code for a few ideas, it's sat idle for a while now (due to lack of interest), but I think I had a few comments about ways to improve that system.
27 May, 2009, elanthis wrote in the 18th comment:
Votes: 0
I personally have found that crafting systems tend to work far better in barter-based economies, especially ones where crafted goods are rarely sold by NPC merchants. This kind of system has been used to great effect in a couple of LARPs I've been involved with, and I'm sure there are more than a few MUDs with such systems to experiment with.

The reason it works is that it makes crafting essential to the game, rather than being mostly useless fluff. So long as the crafting system isn't tedious, this makes the game a richer experience. In one game I've played, all weapons and armor required upkeep to keep in working order. They didn't degrade with use (this was a LARP, so that would be unmanageable) but at the end of each event, upkeep+material tags had to be turned in for every weapon/armor, otherwise they would be degraded in quality at the next event (lower quality items required more upkeep, and were easier to break). So for example, the upkeep on a steel arming sword would require one upkeep tag and one steel tag at the end of the event, or it would degrade. Characters with the various craft skills would get a fixed number of upkeep tags at the beginning of each event. The crafting character would staple the upkeep and material tags together and sign off on each of them (a marshal was around in the common trade areas to help with staples or pens if ever necessary; most crafters kept had their own, kept in a belt pouch). In general, they would perform upkeep for friends or do it in trade for materials with other people, in addition to asking for the materials necessary for upkeep. So I might have given two steel tags to a smith to perform upkeep on my sword; one to use for my upkeep and another for him to keep for his own uses. Crafters could also trade in items for materials, e.g. a low-grade steel sword could be converted into one steel tag, while an average steel sword could be turned into three.

It worked fantastically. Monsters dropped materials or low-grade weapons far more frequently than money (ogres don't care about gold coins, they care about big blunt metal bashy sticks) which would be reused. The economy boomed. The fact that we had a full account of players' possessions at the end of each event (you had to turn in all your tags) meant we could monitor the economy and know when certain materials or items were getting too plentiful or too rare.

This all can be translated into a MUD or MMO fairly easily, and is what I plan on doing. Make items degrade with use or time, replace upkeep tags with slowly regenerating Craft Points, and implement objects in the game for the various material tags. The economy can self regulate since there's no reason the MUD can't know average amounts of Raw Steel in active players' inventories, and there's no reason the game can't adjust the drop rates based on those numbers. Weapon quality can be a lot finer grained too with a computer doing all the work, so crafting a weapon using high quality wood and leather in the hilt and good steel in the blade would result in a weapon that is lighter, more resistant to damage, and/or cheaper to maintain.