Crafting can be miserable, and I can't say I'm all that excited about a crafting title because of the bad memories. But, seeing as this is an arcen title, I'm sure there will be some intelligent twist and bringing out the fun from what has been a fairly traumatic history for crafting games.
I couldn't agree with you more on how horrible they can be. Keith noted to me: "Though I thought you said you were done with crafting systems
And my response to him (and now you) was:
Yeah, this is true -- but that was before I found some games that actually did it in a way I like, heh. In Minecraft there was a crafting system I found passable, and then there were various other games that I outright disliked the crafting in, and so my previous statement was based on that. I absolutely love the crafting systems in 7 Days To Die and Don't Starve Together, so now I've seen a way of doing crafting that I can get behind (and that are both Steam top sellers, incidentally). Seeing it done in a way that was able to engage me for 70 hours and 5 hours respectively is a big deal for me. Don't Starve Together ultimately lost us because of reasons unrelated to its crafting, but rather its respawn system and in general the feeling of sluggishness and sameyness in exploration.
It's not not really a SHMUP at all anymore, heh.Is the SHMUP base from TLF still there, or has that been left behind once more, waiting for the next game to grow up and leave it?
No enormous promises as yet, but that general set of mechanics is something that I do intend to still have for the game. For me, a survival game needs to have a few things to be fun:
a. Big risk of death, and thus tension.
b. Some sort of combat system that isn't boring (the SHMUP style, somewhat toned down in terms of level of frenetic-ness, would be really unusual for that and thus I think good).
c. A feeling of fluidity and quickness of play, so that I'm not feeling like I'm in molasses all the time or just having my time wasted in repetitive easy tasks. I'll note that in 7D2D I have all the crafting timers turned off, and the damage against blocks modded up so that we can mine and chop super fast.
d. A feeling of scarcity, which is still possible even with the fluidity there. A SHMUP where you are venturing out with limited fuel and ammo and health would be very different indeed. Then it's not about just aiming and dodging, which means that the enemies don't have to be so elaborate in their patterns and so on in order to be of any interest at all. Instead it becomes a matter of precision, which feeds back into (a).
e. A sense of exploration and interesting things to find. This is always really hard to do, and just having it be purely in outer space would make this all but impossible.
f. Some sort of base-building aspect is nice, when possible, but in a 2D game in particular I don't want to be trying to build houses out of whole cloth or whatever. I want to put my mark on things, for sure, and maybe make a "mothership" that is my home base into something that was once a boring shell of a thing and is instead this big old powerful hunk of junk by the end.
Anyhoo, I can't really talk about crafting much since I actually dislike crafting in all games even though I do like some crafting games, like Terraria for example <_< I just feel it makes things blander since things you craft are probably better than items you find and it just feels bizarre to me that your character is master of combat and smithy. Survival crafting games are little better in that aspect, but scavenging for scraps to make better stuff out of can get frustrating easily.
That's one of the things I like about 7D2D. You can't just build guns, for instance. You have to find those, so those are exciting. But they degrade over time, and so you can either repair them or if you want backups you can break down spare guns you have for parts and then learn how to make new ones out of molds. That's pretty awesome.
But at the same time, bullets are not ANYWHERE, and so instead I'm collecting all this brass, lead, and a few other things, and crafting bullets out of that. In a forge where I can just leave it sitting and it does its thing over time without me, like glass in Minecraft. Not being a wizard that crafts everything is really good, I think.
But there again, being able to take wood and craft a variety of upgrades for my fort, and taking scrap metal and doing the same, is great. Why would there be a bunch of spikes lying around the world, for instance? Me taking wood and making those makes good sense. And when I go get wood from whatever source, it's actually useful because I can craft so many things out of that, and I'm not limited to just "oh I found spikes, hope I find some more someday." So that flexibility is something I value there.
I think it all comes down to execution with stuff like that. That's a huge part of why I never liked crafting games in the past, is because I'd never seen them executed in a way that was pleasing to me personally.