Crafting system. Worth it?

Zsloth24

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So originally I was going to put a crafting system into my game because it is an open ended game, It's one of those games where depending on where you start, once you finish the tutorial, do as you please but the final boss is right there if you wanna go for it.
So with that said, you can fight monsters and gather materials, you can also mine or cut wood. With these materials, you can craft items and equipment. Simple enough.

But then....when going into a town or village you come across.....the equipment shop. Where you can buy what you can make. Say whaaa?!?!?

So I've been on a hunt to get feedback on the crafting system.

Why make what you can buy?

Maybe items are craft only and base weapons or armors can be either bought or made. But if you can craft it or buy the recipe to make it, why doesnt the store just have those already?

Maybe crafting spare materials and selling will give money. Maybe it's the thrill of making it yourself. It's good to have options if money is a factor like I have sticks and iron so I can make that sword that costs 300 gold if I only have 20, but then just save the money up to buy a better thing.
I would like some opinions on the system if that is ok. Thank you!
 

ScorchedGround

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Well in Dragon Quest XI for example, crafting has 3 mayor benefits:

1. The equipment is better in quality (Longsword +2 for example) that you cannot buy anywhere.
2. You gain access to powerful equipment earlier (because you can only purchase them at a later point)
3. Equipment in Dragon Quest is pretty expensive, atleast when you buy it. Grinding for crafting materials is almost always more efficient than grinding the money to buy the equipment.

Also, as you said, making equipment yourself or finding it in a treasure chest is way more satisfying than paying for it in a random shop.

Also the idea of unique equipment that can only be crafted is very intruiging.
 

Trihan

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I'm always of the opinion that crafting your own items should either offer exclusive equipment you can't buy in shops, the ability to craft more personalised version of the things you can buy in shops, be significantly cheaper to do in terms of money sink, or all three.

This even makes logical sense: when you think about it, the shops don't just have a neverending supply of equipment. They have to order it from someone who does manufacture it, so you've got the cost to make it on top of the markup the shop will apply, so it would be illogical for the raw materials to make these things to be equally or more expensive than the shop sells them for.
 

Zsloth24

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Very true. So within the game as of right now, weapons have modifications to which alter the weapons capabilities.
Example: you have a sword but can add a modification of a short blade so that you have a faster attack or a long blade to hit ranged or flying enemies at the cost of speed. Or a serrated blade to have a chance at causing a status effect.
These have to be crafted in order to use. In its base, modifications are armor pieces in the mv database. But in a sense these things sound like they can be bought.
When playing FF14, you can craft weapons via emporer or blacksmith, but the same pieces are available via stores. Ontop of that at some point, it becomes niche in sole cases.
DQ11 kinda the same way along with Skyrim.
However in my experience through these examples, playing them, I have enjoyed them both and still continue to play them.
It feels like personal preference upon the player really. Do you want to make them or buy them but certain things require crafting which is ok.
So either you get the materials just to sell them and get things your way or earn the recipe to craft it at the expense of materials. Money in my game serves as equipemnt buying, costs to do guild quests, cost of transportation from regions or towns far away. Money is hard to come by in the game.

So I have at least 6 base metals in terms of saying let's make a sword. Those 6 metals can be categorized in 3 sections based upon the gameplay of adventure. 2-2-2 so depending on the location your in, say an easier part of the region your exploring, 2 of the 6 base metals will be available to you to purchase. By that meaning weapons and armor made from those 2 base metals. Changing them or upgrading them to maximize its potential, like iron and crafting it into a hard iron or steel, will be within crafting or going on quests to find unique recipes will require those base weapons with that metal plus whatever else you need to create that.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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I agree with @Trihan. If you're going to have crafting it needs to serve a purpose besides creating the same items you can buy in a shop. One way is that crafted items may have more diverse stat bonuses while store-bought items may be a bit stronger but not as many stat increases. Also, crafting could be a way to save money or provide a way to make money.

But then if you're using a system to upgrade the weapons, what's the difference between buying and crafting?

Sometimes you have to ask if whether the crafting is needed or not. You may be able to get the same results a crafting system offers by doing something like weapon augments or weapon upgrades, which could be less tedious and less time consuming than a full-blown crafting system.

Personally, I'm in favor of upgrade systems over crafting systems. I'd rather have to find a small amount of materials that are needed to provide an upgrade, than have to hunt down a thousand things and make everything my self.

That being said, I've also seen really great crafting systems that add a lot to a game. So any way can work. The thing is, it needs to serve a purpose to the gameplay rather than be a 'feature' to the gameplay, IMO.
 

Zsloth24

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@HumanNinjaToo I agree with everything your saying. Besides this game, I am about to publish a fictional novel. During which in the book, the areas and creatures you come across will be be apparent in the game as it is an extension of the book. It's almost like a MGS scenario where the Meryl radio frequency is on the back of the case, like, the physical game case. The book will help have clues that will be accessed into the game, just read the book to find out.

With that said, the world is vast and including a crafting system gets a sort of inclusion with the world in my head is.

With basic items, weapons, and armors will be a players choice in the beggining to craft or buy but the better things require adventuring and using materials to upgrade those basic items, weapons, and armor to make the best of what is available at the time of the game. Within reason of course. Like theres an iron sword and in game theres an alloy metal called Nimbuk. To make a nimbuk sword requires an iron sword and some nimbuk ingots. But not like 7 or 30. Itll be like 3 because....its a sword not a Masamune or Buster Sword.

Plus I'm also adding a level restriction. Because that will also give equipemnt more purpose and not extra luggage in your inventory (job classes in the game people start at lv. 1. Even high level equipment might be crafted or honed to lower the level restriction so that end game items are still good even when your at a lower level.)

The more you adventure and get into the lore of the game and story will give recipes to upgrade or create unique equipemnt.

Some also requiring a hard players choice. Example: the Red Flacon is a unique sword that cannot be modified. If you dismantle it, you can get a recipe to recreate the Red Falcon but with the enabled modification to the blade or handle. But as a collector this is a pain stalking decision as I like the origin of Red Falcon. But were getting off subject lol.

Crafting will be implemented and be used as a prevalent way to the player to upgrade base equipment and modifications along with other things. Sure you can buy them but that's up to the player.
 

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Generally, if you're not sure what crafting will truly add to your game, or you're looking at something in the lens of "what is realistic", it's a feature that would best be left out of your game.

There are some crafting systems I do enjoy - mostly ones that have some element of success or failure to them and especially ones where planning or player skill can have influence on whether it's a success. But these systems are usually entire activities unto themselves, which are fun on their own merits.

Also, sometimes crafting systems are an interesting hook that are used to encourage the player to play battles that otherwise wouldn't have much benefit to them. But if your game offers anything other than enjoyable battles (like a good narrative the player can go through, for example), it's better to just let the player battle as much as they feel they need to, and not introduce these extra ways to make them feel like they need to battle even more.

TL;DR: When in doubt, leave it out!
 

TheoAllen

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Personally I find crafting systems to be something that I could express myself. It is not always something related to combat. But unrelated to it. Like when I make my own base, crafting system! Or personalized weapon/armor that suits best with my playstyle in which most of the cases work better in real-time combat rather than turn-based which often requires you to min-max the stat rather than your action playstyle.

When it something that comes for battle, I prefer something simple, something smooth. To upgrade this weapon to the next tier (or augment), you need XYZ items. Let's just get the component and be done with it. Then once it's done, I forget completely about the crafting system, which renders the entire crafting system obsolete. If an item requires me to craft with a specific ingredient, then I will forget that item since I need to pay extra attention to maintain it and I don't want to do that in the game I play.

Generally, my problem with the crafting systems is
  • The scarcity of the ingredients. I don't know where to get that specific item and the dev be like "it has x% chance to drop from this monster" or "search in this area and lol, good luck".
  • Limited inventory, because the dev doesn't want me to hoard the ingredient for whatever reason, probably "because it is realistic."
  • Non-shared stash. With limited inventory, now I have to go back and forth from my stash to crafting station. And I forgot what was the item I need to craft.
  • Unable to track the important items I want to track. This is the problem when you have a lot of ingredients to craft and it is not obvious which one is important to hoard and which one to let it go.
The only game with crafting I enjoy so far was just Fallout 4 which addressed a lot of issues I mentioned above.
 

Kupotepo

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When I think like a player, everything is needed in the development process. When I think like game dev, if you cannot explain it, I have to leave it out. How can players know why you put it in the first place if you do not know in the first place? Please do say feel cool as a justification. I did that it will not end well. That is why we watch Youtube a lot because it is cool.

@Trihan, I think your great idea of incentivizing players to use a crafting system.

However, the headache less method I find just makes the crafting equipment get additional stats to compromise with player's time or give the augment placements in the crafting equipment for the player's to self-express like this: http://www.yanfly.moe/wiki/Attachable_Augments_(YEP)

Again you have explained to the players about those crafting systems to players and I do not think ordinary players are mostly programmers or physicists, but I might be wronged.
 
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CraneSoft

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I just want to emphasize one point - crafting doesn't necessarily have to mean "Crafting weapons/armor/equipment", which is what a lot of people tend to assume whenever the term "crafting" came up. It can be something simpler such as crafting unique items, food or cosmetic goods, which is much more suited for an average-sized game than a full-fledged customization system revolving unique equipment. I find crafting in a lot of short games ultimately pointless because you often gain access to stronger equipment (or simply better alternatives) without ever having to utilize the system, and even on the cases where you have to, it just adds tedious material grinding and encouraging hoarding habits in the process.

In short, unless you are making a game where success is heavily dependant on equipment crafting (like the Atelier games), it's best to leave them out or limit it to items.
 

Kupotepo

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I just want to emphasize one point - crafting doesn't necessarily have to mean "Crafting weapons/armor", which is what a lot of people tend to assume whenever the term "crafting" came up. It can be something simpler such as crafting unique items, food or cosmetic goods, which is much more suited for an average-sized game than a full-fledged customization system revolving unique equipment.
You are right. It can be relating to items in general. It is an echo chamber around here.
There are 3 things that we are worrying [sorry considerate] in terms of crafting developers.
1. Functionals of Equipment and Items. @CraneSoft thank you for helping me understand. I agree there is a different type of game.
2. The opportunity cost and incentivize players to use the crafting system.
3. I agree with you when I think about it. That is about the developer's skills.
Thank you for talking to me.:kaothx:
 
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CraneSoft

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1. The stats and the skills of items [recovery potions and magic scrolls,etc.] that are directly impacting the combat balancing.
2. The opportunity cost and incentivize players to use the crafting system.
3. The individualization of players if it is a make your own character game like the skin system of visualization. [MMORPG popularity]
1. First off, your items doesn't necessarily have to be attack or healing related items, it can be a treasure chest key, escape rope, a repel, or a simple poison. I won't go in-depth as this is purely a balancing issue that's different for everyone and the their type of game.
2. The availability and usefulness of said crafted items is what that'll decide this.
3. I don't see a problem with this if you simply let players craft the skin they want.
 

Zsloth24

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The point of crafting in this game is to offer things other than just build weapons and armor or items. It can offer battle items if someone's a chemist to be used. It can make keys to unlock areas otherwise unacessable. The modifications for weapons you can craft are balanced regardless of how far you made it in the game. If you are fighting a gelatinous enemy, you can craft a serrated dagger blade modification and equip it to your dagger to deal extra damage (since serrated blades are effective against gelatinous enemies). Theres also a dismantle option to if you earn equipment via quests that will normally take up inventory space so that those materials can be implenemted in different ways.

Ontop of it all, there is a side quest that will enable the player to build a village (it's a weird post apocalyptic time where things are considered memories and people are losing memories.) So when building houses and people to fill those spots because depending on who you pick determines what's being sold. So you build a building with the pieces and then variables takes place so its built in game time. You can also upgrade the buildings for better materials or planting things. Send scouts to areas to discover new locations to explore and hard materials to find. But you need to build those materials to get those scouts to go.

I feel like in a game with crafting, it does serve a purpose for that time being. When starting and upgrading or making things. It is that feeling of accomplishment, but it is not the main scenario. The gameplay is. So as long as that is in mind being crafting as a side thing and not taking the show, more or less a supporting character in the main play, then you see that the adventuring and gameplay will become prevalent which is the goal for this game as it is not a crafting game. Consider crafting or building as a mini game or side quest.

Further down the road I believe that crafting might not have much a purpose as it did when you started the game and travelled. Which is fine because it served its purpose. I dont expect as the dev and you the player to continue crafting things near end game if you've done that already. So instead, other rewards will be recieved with a few materials to craft things are garnished in there. Crafting will still be something even at that point, being that you can make food, you can upgrade your village, build an airship or boat, craft a bridge to access a new area. This will all depend on the player and the player actions.

BTW everyone's feedback is amazing. This is exactly what I was looking for in this discussion!
 

slimmmeiske2

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Zsloth24, please avoid double posting, as it is against the forum rules. You can use the "Edit" function on your posts to add additional information you've forgotten or respond to multiple people. You can review our forum rules here. Thank you.


I've merged your posts together this time.
 

Zsloth24

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Thank you. I will.make sure to do so next time
 

Frostorm

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Further down the road I believe that crafting might not have much a purpose as it did when you started the game and travelled. Which is fine because it served its purpose. I dont expect as the dev and you the player to continue crafting things near end game if you've done that already. So instead, other rewards will be recieved with a few materials to craft things are garnished in there. Crafting will still be something even at that point, being that you can make food, you can upgrade your village, build an airship or boat, craft a bridge to access a new area. This will all depend on the player and the player actions.
Hmm, I always felt crafting should be just as viable if not more so during end-game. You should be able to craft powerful gear that requires obscure or otherwise hard to get ingredients. I feel a greater sense of accomplishment when I craft a legendary weapon that required me to go through several late/end game bosses/dungeons to gather the materials for. Such a weapon should exceed the power level of the drops from said dungeons.
 

Zsloth24

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@Frostorm this will be viable during gameplay as there is going to be a guild and doing their quests will yield guild points to cash in for recipes and materials so it makes a unique to them kind of items and equipment and other useful items.

Along with the guild, depending on what region in the game you are in going into the guild, there will be grand quests that seem like very high end, like need to be end game tier which still poses as a good challenge if your higher levels, within these you are teleported to a specific area and you fight mini bosses or solve a puzzle to progress. Chests through variables and switches will offer random prizes with one being a super rare recipe, the others being rarer materials.

It's when the final boss of that quest will pose the real threat and once defeated will give a legendary recipe for an item that affiliates to that boss. It's like monster hunter, beat a nargacuga to get its parts and make something from those parts. It will be worth while in doing it.

Plus depending on your play style will be an equal challenge even with the main scenario final boss. It has a weird breath of the wild mix, theres 4 fortresses, 1 for every region that you can attack and weaken the final boss as the fortresses are its power source. However, it is optional to attack them. Once you finish the beggining scenario, your free to travel the world, even the final bosses area. It's practically a suicide mission unless you are crazy prepared. But in this case, doing the grand guild quests and crafting those items (which will promote replaying, but not so much as it's a waste of time and repedative in that matter) there will be a satisfactory feeling.

It's a balancing act really but the focus is on the adventuring aspect as it should be because I am not creating a craft only or more on crafting game.
 

KakonComp

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If we're talking items/equipment, one thing I always liked in some games were that they sold equipment you couldn't craft, but allowed you to craft stuff at their store. If it's something they don't sell (in this example that's everything you can craft), then once you craft that item, said shopkeeper will sell it in their shop at a reduced price. The reduced price being because it was from a blueprint you yourself made the item from.

That way you only need the materials to make it once, but if you wanted the player to make more of the same item, you could do what the latest Dragon Quest does and give stat boosts depending on how well you made it.

I should say this works best with equipment, but can be used for items too if you take away the "reduced price" bit.
 

Zsloth24

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That is a great suggestion which at first was thinking, but then there came an issue with inventory space.

Since I am using mostly Yanfly, which does have an inventory limiter, but I has its flaws.

For starters you can set the limit but can go over the limit which seems weird. Their reasoning is that in case of a rare or a 1 time collectable, that you can still obtain it and go over your limit. I'm sure theres variables such as, if then statements for variables so that itll stop you from obtaining until theres open space. But then theres modifying obtained items from battles and that's a lot of scripting for individual things to ensure that happens.

Where I'm getting at is that without the inventory limiter, with you crafting an iron sword that may give +1 or +2 atk or no stat change, that's 3 of the same sword with a variety of stat changes.

So in a sense of a full length game and say you can get/ craft 6 base swords with differences in stats because of crafting, will potentially be 18 inventory spaces, which will drive my primitive mind to a different dimension.

Although I do like selling base weapons and crafting things from said base weapons that otherwise wont be normally sold. To a point not for not. It's a balancing act
 

ADMtn

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I'd say you shouldn't include the crafting system if you're not excited about it. If you're not excited about the feature, it probably won't be as fun as the other features in the game you implemented with more enthusiasm (then again, maybe it still turns out fun).

Maybe you can simplify it. Rather than gathering all the necessary materials and crafting, maybe the PC can bring raw supplies to the blacksmith/armorer/alchemist and barter for completed items. The raw supplies you bring don't necessarily have to be required for the item being bartered for. E.g., you find an iron ore while adventuring then exchange it for a quarterstaff or a cloak. Bartering.

You can also make it so the items you get from bartering were traded from another country/city, that way it would make sense if it happens to be unique (i.e., not something you can easily buy elsewhere in the game).
 

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