My name is Kanwar and in this biweekly blog post, I’ll talk a bit about how I fleshed out the mechanisms behind our crafting systems for our upcoming game SideTracked!.

A few key concepts had to be kept in mind throughout designing the items to stay true to what the game is, a casual action-adventure RPG with a touch of mysticism. Within any given playthrough, players will need a variety of basic resources, weapons, and tools to help them along their journey. Because the game allows the players to be “free” from gameplay constraints, the team had wanted to allow the player to gather resources through a variety of means. This includes scavenging, trading with NPC’s or other players, and the topic of this post - crafting.

Ignoring how players can scavenge or trade for weapons, armour, potions, etc., players will need basic resources to get started and progress within the game. For the initial iteration, I’ve chosen iron, aluminum, copper, wood (and its variety), alongside a multitude of other minor ores for alloying. These basic resources are intended to be leveraged by players to create or upgrade weapons and items or to customize the player’s home.

Ores are unique out of the resources that I’ve designed as they also have a more direct impact on the combat and trading aspects of the game. For example, silver, gold, and platinum ore can be used as currency. Galena Ore and Mercury Ore can be used to craft poisonous items or as a catalyst in spells. Furthermore, different ores can be alloyed together to upgrade and craft items or armour, with the amount that any alloy contributes towards particular stats varying by alloy composition. For example, most platinum and gold-based alloys are awesome for enchanted items but don’t make very protective armour. It’s important to note that ores cannot be used in their raw form; they must first be converted into ingots (via furnace), from which they can be cast or shaped into whatever form the player intends to use them.

Following ores, herbs and other underbrush plants designed around real-life medicinal herbs are also important items that directly impact the “organic” aspects of a character. Some examples of these aspects might include health, magical properties, and strength. Certain herbs provide minor to major regenerative opportunities, while others provide the opposite effect. To enhance the system, we’re planning to add active compounds that can be extracted and recombined into custom player-made tinctures. Eventually, we hope that various compounds would interact with each other in a complex yet intuitive way, allowing for an observant player to chain various herb-derived-products into something that makes them unstoppable.

The items designed and outlined in this blog-post all revolve around the mystical, demigod, and action-paced aspects of the game but insofar are mostly neutral in behaviour. Going forward, I’ll be exploring how we can use these items to allow the player to transform themself into supernatural creatures or gain new powers that help them combat anything that they cross. If you have any ideas or suggestions as to what you’d like to see added for crafting, please leave a comment below!