Drop it like its... too many resources...

inoino REGISTERED Posts: 131
One of the biggest bummers for me in most sandbox games, is eventually hitting that point where, even manual, production leads to way more resources than I could ever use. This is something we are thinking about in design to keep things "interesting"... some of the most obvious aspects of this are in conflict... utilizing of resources to make a variety of "things" that allow players to engage with one another. Others, may revolve around exploration, or some costs associated with the amount of time or resources required to accomplish goals...

What happens when you just have too many chickens? What to do with them? Trade with other players? Feed them to cute pets in an endless cycle of vomitous cute burps and smiles?

What are some things you guys think would be an interesting way to utilize finite resources, that seem to be in an abundance?
I am a Dev on TUG, and I does teh science

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  • Hoppa_JoelHoppa_Joel REGISTERED Posts: 191 Seed
    this last month Stardew Valley came out, a nice little game with a lot of mini-game tasks inside.
    I've been playing a bit lately of it, and find it addictively refreshing form my normal MMO or regular sandboxy games. Although at times it feels a bit of a grind. Grinds should be avoided.
    There is a lot of cooking, and a lot of crafting.
    It doesn't stop with, roast this or fry that, but there is brewing and rare seeds and plants that make this or that. The concept isn't new, Ultima Online did it with a lot of recipes, magicks, and crafts, but I always imagined TUG going in that direction.
    Games within games, extend the life expectancy.
    Consider, your run of the mill shooter game like Duke Nukem (or Doom. ) After you killed the boss, and done the business Duke always said he was plannin on doin to that boss, then you got nothing left to do, I think I had 15 hours in the game. It was fun, but over quickly.
    Diablo ( beta ) brought us an interaction in games, with people. I remember playing a lot of it with friends in those early days of what was it, 1994? 1995? But even online interaction didnt keep our interest. Ultima Online thats where we went to! it had classless leveling you leveled individual skills and crafts, you could start our as say an animal tamer, or a wizard and end up becoming a warrior or a thief simply by redirecting your skills. It was fun, it was with people, but it was a new to a whole society. No developer knew about grief play, player killing, camping, gold-farming for real world money, etc etc selling accounts. Soon a near perfect game became no fun as the devs tried to control things that they did not foresee could happen.
    Some players moved on, I was one.
    Everquest, and then Asheron's call, 3d worlds! bad graphics to our standards now but back then amazing. Still, new to it all, accounts were sold stolen hacked gold was farmed and ebayed and eventually became "not fun"
    I still loved my time in every one of those games, with a few exceptions, I have stories of great adventure, tales of amazing highway robbery..
    But each game lacked something the other one had, together they'd have been amazing, but individually they became boring over time.

    Chess, Asheron's call had "monster chess" a magic giant board you could summon monsters and play real chess on. UO has a normal tiny chess board. While I love chess, that mini game didn't hold my interest long enough.
    Fast forward many years, and we started getting more sandbox type games.
    I guess you could claim Ultima Online had it all, because it had a well balanced skill system, thousands of recipes and spells, and what you built in the world more or less stayed and effected it from then on. but that was also a problem, sometimes grief players would buy houses, to funnel people into a 'death trap' to murder and rob them.
    Not fun.
    Lord of the Rings Online has a music system, ( I highly recommend doing something like this using the ABC music system which is freeware code an open source way of sharing music. ) This has brought me and my friends 9 years of enjoyment and still going.
    While I am sorta rambling, I am kinda coming to a point, a lot of the best features aren't the main line of the game.
    Look at Minecraft. Without the mods it is bloody boring. with Windows 10 ya gets the basic pocket Minecraft account and wow does it suck.

    TUG has more interesting aspects, but does not yet have the "catch" to make a person say, "well I really dont need to play that other game since I can do that here anyways!"

    So some thoughts for TUG to get rid of resources, and also create a mini game or two:
    Now, basic gauntlet magic requires some research some metal and some gems, and not much else.
    While having the gloves for non magicians would be fine, the more adept in magic should need to study and really work at it.

    So what if for magic, you need many components, that need to be smelted down boiled down or extracted into elemental components which then need to be pieced together like a puzzle?
    Sorta a mini game.

    So, imagine for TUG, a mini-game you enter ( your seedling would sit down and go into a trance to others but to them they'd sit and see a semi transparent overlay where things could be placed, moved, designed, and created. say you have 12 slots that connect each slot would allow any component in them, these components would be things you distilled, or gained by various means. Say for example for one you could only get the essence you need by combat with an attuned item, you'd physically never see the essences of anything, but they'd tally up if you did the correct things. perhaps another were by smelting down to nothing in a crucible common things like limestone, cobblestone, wood cocoa-nuts etc... each component physically gone from the world but for you they are a number count or filled meter in your trance overlay.
    So you have been for a time, smelting down junk as someone wanting to try the magic. You have lets say 100 different essences, and 12 slots to put them in in any order. Some may end up something cool some may end up as something bad or a complete mistake or transform you or another that was targeted or what have you. trance type magic could be done any time and anywhere but would be time consuming and not be something you could do on the fly in a combat. However once you discover a formula you could for instance put a stick into the mix in the center of your 12 essences and create a wand with charges, or a glove, or this or that.
    Now, more spell combos and effects could be scripted in at any time, via mod or by the devs, so the system could continually grow. This would be a mini game in itself.

    Another aspect of this could be a trance duel.
    Imagine, you have discovered effects to do a bunch of things, so you challenge an opponent.
    To the "outside world" as observers, we'd see a duel more or less, once a challenge would be accepted the duelers would hover/float above ground and could not be effected by damage from other players or animals, but rather only by their dueling opponent. Your duel would be sorta like a Heartstone type mini game where you play your discovered spells/abilities on the other person.
    to the observer we'd see the damage or the turning into toads or whatever.
    the duelist would need their essence components otherwise without them even if they knew the spells, they could not perform them.
    So in this; Magic you'd have a way to consume resources, you'd have the mini game of discovering spells. and the mini game of dueling. Early days of AC had a spell making system, you set components, tried the spell and it would either succeed or fizzle. one thing Asheron's call did early on was pretty cool, to prevent wikis and websites from telling the recipes for spells, is make them uniquely different to create. there was a numeric algorithm to it, but it got cracked so they ended up removing a very cool feature to the game.
    So I'd say magic could be utilized to both create a draw to the game and keep people there with a mini game that could ever expand and also get rid of too much junk.
    Also, things like the music system I mentioned could also be something to entertain, which creates a community and communities become long term in MMOs ( speaking from 9 years personal experience in lotro due to the music system )

    So music and magic.

    of course crafting too.

    How about NPC tasks? Bring me x times for y?

    there is a problem with those they become grindy. I really would like to see mini game solutions to most of that though.

    Imagine if you were only a simple miner or lumberjack, not a wizard wannabe.
    You might find wizard folks wanting foraged goods or ores or stacks of cobble to smelt down into essence for their trade. This also would mean a consignment board or auction house might be a good thing to consider too.

    If we are not actually building towns perhaps there could be ways of owning them or owning areas like 50000 cobble and 10000 wood and 3000 god ore could make you ruler of a town as long as you could maintain the rent of those items hehe. I dunno, shooting for goals and such helps. but then you do get the grind of it all with those.

    Sorry for the ramble.. its just how I think through things :)

    I am sure I'll remember something else to add to this later
  • RawrRawr REGISTERED, Tester Posts: 511 Seed
    Ha! Sounds like S curves.
    What ever shall we do with abundance? because I think we can all agree that the build up to having abundance is interesting in itself. It's just that once we're there we quickly get to boredom.

    Well as far as constraints before abundance are concerned, space is a pretty good one. By that I mean that the in-Game dimensions of objects is proportionate such that there's balance between the amount of objects a player can carry and the volume of objects that would equate to if it were placed on the ground.

    But I digress, once a player reaches abundance - even if that's only in the short term - they'll probably need/want an idea of what to do next... Hmm actually there's something, how many different ways can we challenge the assumption that the player needs to have an idea of what to do next...

    Ino, you and the team have some pretty hard tasks ahead of you. Keep up the good work.
    Programmer, designer, artist.
  • WingidonWingidon REGISTERED Posts: 1,128 Seed
    Abundance, one hell of a subject. You either have too little of something or you have too much of it, it's bound to happen, mostly.

    Now, on the subject, I can give mention to Warframe and the path upon abundance itself. While most of the resources in that game are bound to become abundant to a level of disregard of cost (nano spores, wee), there are some specific things that are worthy of mention: Nitain Extract, Tellurium and Argon Crystals.

    On Nitain Extract, it is obtained by... random-ish missions that... sometimes show up. Basically, stuff that is obtained at that one chance you can find.

    Tellurium? Well, let's just say that it can be obtained in that gamemode that people don't go into a lot. In short, stuff that is obtained out of places that are not oftenly visited.

    Argon Crystals, boy. These things, while they can be stocked upon big time on occasion, what makes them special is that they happen to decay overtime. In TUG, a decay system for whatever items it fits in sounds like a good idea to me (that meat stock won't last forever!); gives a reason to keep searching for fresh samples of that item (and to plan well on how to use it).
  • CharlockCharlock REGISTERED, Tester Posts: 293 Seed
    Seasonal transitions would play a major role in the availability of certain resources, i.e. fruit trees don't produce in winter. Geographical/environmental location of the Seedling doing the stockpiling would also come into play, i.e. unpreserved and/or raw meat are going to last longer in the frozen tundra, rather than in the humid jungle.

    Trade is always an interesting aspect and so is thievery and scavenging. If your camp is "secure" or the level of technology one Seed has reached is further along than one who is wandering the world like a nomad, it's going to be a lot harder for the nomad to raid your stores. Same goes for scavenging animals/herds or AI humanoids, like "goblins" or kinokojins.

    Like @Rawr says, and I agree entirely, there's a fine line between being well stocked in the game and getting bored because you have "nothing else to do."

    I think it's VERY important that the above aspects are considered, along with the level of difficulty involved in reaching certain resources, etc.
    "I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library."
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