Crafting in Co-op Campaign

Greg

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#1
Hi everyone, hope you're enjoying your holidays.

Something that we've been discussing amongst the team recently is adding crafting into Co-op Campaign.
This is a highly requested feature that we would eventually like to add, but would be a vast technical undertaking if we were to copy it completely in its current form.

We have identified several ways we could approach a multiplayer implementation of crafting but we want to make sure this is aligned with your expectations.

So, it would really help us to know -
What are the things that you like about crafting in single-player Campaign?

Please reply to this thread with your thoughts and we'll pick up the conversation in the new year. Please note that we're not promising anything just yet, but this will help us get that little bit closer.
 

strikyer

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#2
i do like the progression during crafting, needing certain component fabricators etc
i think what'd help increase performance would be instead of the crafters only taking that one ressource they ordered, that they take any valid ressource before them, as waiting for a ressource to do a full cycle or more when there's already valid resosurces before it
like if when we want to fabricate a booster and need oileite jelly, the crafter, instead of taking the jelly it ordered, takes the first jelly it sees while still ordering one from the silos to prevent others from never having it
 

Rafs

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#5
What I like about crafting:

1) Logistics: making the most efficient crafting base is difficult but rewarding for those who like this aspect in games. It makes you think on unclogging, resource management, priorities, and how to overcome the bugs.​
2) Variety: crafting involves not only fabrication, but also scrapping, refining, selling, sorting, resource block making, and even energy generation.​
I like how you can think of ways of integrating these activities or having them in separated bases, or following certain routes according to your playstyle. It would be boring to have just a part of them, as you kill potential sinergies between these components and potential playstyles as well.​
3) Components: I just love their art, they're so shiny and so well made, and add some more lore and identity to blocks; recipes usually make sense and that's good for immersion.​
On coop, being able to build a crafting base with friends would be, for some people, a very fun activity. For many others, that's the minimum they expect after having played single player.
I don't expect a good reaction from the playerbase if the crafting system was implemented "cut". Payload will have to implement it as a whole, according to the majority of the players expectations.

If you guys think there's any issue with crafting as it is now making it harder to go to coop, then crafting in single player needs to have its issues looked at before anything.
I'd suggest a thourough conversation with ZeroGravitas, who has been crafting for the most time. Sit down and discuss how to improve crafting as a whole and how could these improvements reflect in a better coop implementation too. He has vast experience in games such as Factorio, and is now playing Mindustry.

Some ideas for a more interesting crafting:

- Conveyors of different base speed for more power over logistics and clogging control.​
- Possibility of burning certain components for very high amounts of energy - rewarding those who take on the logistical challenge of supplying components for a furnace.​
- Smarter furnace management; it's too punishing to have resources go to waste when there's too much surplus.​
- The GC Resource Cannon weapon is one of the funniest ideas I ever heard and should reward logistics applied to weapon ammo supply. While ammo is not a thing in TerraTech, for just this weapon it could be, with different effects for different resources and thus a lot of depth added to crafting and combat. This idea is gold, I don't know why are you guys postponing it (slap it into some of these new missions, find an excuse).​

As I said in other moments, my biggest gripe with crafting is not the AI or even clogging; managing clogging is part of the fun to me and it's an expected and wanted issue in any logistic game; the real issue I have is the impossibility of storing resources as data in some sort of structure.
Too many resources on silos cause massive lag on my game, and make my largest base almost impossible to have, even though I'm happy and proud with all the time and thought I put into it.

Lastly, observe what other crafting games are doing. There's so much being done by other indie studios, there's always something to learn; and these features can spark inspiration for new unique ideas for our crafting, to make it even funnier to use; to make the learning curve less steep for beginners but with lots of room for mastering!
 
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Jamie

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#6
If you guys think there's any issue with crafting as it is now making it harder to go to coop
It's more that adding the conveyor and calling systems (Fabricators pulling resources out of Silos to craft what they have been told to) to Multiplayer is potentially an enormous chunk of work. Possibly something we will won't look to tackle, as it would take us away from implementing other more important features.

So i've asked to start this thread to get a feel for other ways we could implement Crafting into Multiplayer. If conveyors and complex bases are the main reason players want 'Crafting' in Multiplayer, then it may be something we will have to suck up and say we won't deliver.

Using resources to Craft components and Blocks...plus Scrapping on the other hand, is something we could add to the game without taking much of a hit on development elsewhere. But I wanted to see if there was much interest in that first.

TLDR; The crafting system was never designed with Multiplayer in mind, so it's a big undertaking to try and implement at this stage - but we would like to figure out how to give you guys a good compromise, once we understand what it is exactly that you feel is missing from Multiplayer Crafting.
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#7
What are the things that you like about crafting in single-player Campaign?
It's a unique, complex system that takes a significant amount and effort to figure out. This is, in itself, rewarding for many - to have it click into place (mentally). And it's somewhat powerful, so ultimately worth investigating or searching up YouTube videos to research it (giving content creators another thing to show, too).

If conveyors and complex bases are the main reason players want 'Crafting' in Multiplayer, then it may be something we will have to suck up and say we won't deliver.
So it sounds like you guys can't commit the resources to satisfy what I enjoy about it. (Or actually fix crafting in single player either, of course.)

You're more looking to justify a cut-down or 'paint by numbers' version of it, in multi-player. Seems like many will say that the simple stuff is all they want. But of course, if you do just that, you'll get an outcry for fabricating things and such from those not satisfied. In fact, it might well make it more agonisingly close-but-out-of-reach for them...
 

NeonGreenShades

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#8
I created this post back when multiplayer is out: https://forum.terratechgame.com/ind...ing-rework-resource-container-and-rmfi.19799/

I still stand with my idea of simply removing the need for conveyor in multiplayer crafting. That way we can completely ignore the problem you have mentioned regarding the conveyor and calling systems.

But please don't just pull this out of context and actually check out the post.
 
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TRYNNUN

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#10
Mobile Fortresses - small - min-maxed - mobile tech's of DOOM!!! The all in one motor home.

We like to challenge each other to see who can make the most efficient one, hence the min-maxing aspect of it.

Though optimization is always at the top of the list for ever request. How will something like this effect frames between players with low ping to one another?
 

garr890354839

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#11
Mobile Fortresses - small - min-maxed - mobile techs of DOOM!!! The all in one motor home.

We like to challenge each other to see who can make the most efficient one, hence the min-maxing aspect of it.

Though optimization is always at the top of the list for every request. How will something like this effect frames between players with low ping to one another?
I have discovered how to make block JSONs for mobility.
 

A Shield Bubble

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#12
What I like about the current crafting situation:
- Simple and fairly intuitive to understand (slap down some silos, conveyor around the outside... etc
- can make blocks 1-2? grades above your current for that corporation.
Aaaand what I don't like:
- I feel like the system should have more micro-management; fully automatic, resource in, endgame blocks out crafting setups should be really expensive, whereas less expensive/rare early game crafting equipment should require lots of player interaction.
- The fact that crafting hasn't been implemented in Co-op can be a major deterrent for multiplayer-only players; My friend isn't going to buy the game until crafting gets implemented, because it is what really rounds out the truly singular TerraTech experience.
 

CuteCyndaquil

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#13
I think that the biggest thing I'd want to see is refineries and mobile refineries. Other than that, most of the people I play co-op games with tend to not really have the attention span to be building complex bases sadly XD You could also work on the whole selling block system in co-op. The items I'm trying to sell often end up rolling out of the selling circle, which can be a teensy bit annoying.

It could be fun to be building huge complex crafting complexes with friends... but I think at the end of the day, if you aren't confident, then that is fine. But at the moment, refineries need to be added ASAP. Making money just takes too long in co-op
 

Jamie

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#14
Hey guys!
Just jumping on quickly (it's the holidays over here, so I should be eating my weight in Turkey right now).
Thanks for the feedback so far, it's giving us a good idea of which direction to head.

It's clear that building complex machines and working out the intricacies of the system is a big part of what Crafting means to you. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, it's not likely that we will be able to commit the time and resource into fully implementing this in MP, but i'll look into exactly how unrealistic that is in the New Year - just to make sure.

We have a potential solution for being able to actually Craft blocks in MP (i.e...simply turning resources into blocks) that will be simple to implement. But yeah, more info in the New Year once we've had some time to look into it.
 
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Ry5

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#16
The big thing that is missing from the Co-op experience that keep me from base building is the lack of basics, not the overly complicated bases I have done in single player.

Trying to keep in mind ideas or alternatives to make things easier, and steering clear of the need for conveyors.

Geothermal Generator
That way I can set up a base that will keep the batteries filled up at night around the advantageous places I find a vent.

Furnace Generator
I could use these in bases, and mobile furnaces for various techs... Not having mobile furnaces is a bigger hindrance to the Co-op game than the Geothermal Generators.


With the way Co-op is and you buy from the terminals I don't see the need to add the block building components (unless that is going to change) The big issue is there are no good ways to make money in Co-op.

GSO Auto Miners
These would be a huge help with making money, and ideally there would be other corp auto miners that would last longer or be more efficient.
Refineries would help a lot too, but if it would take less effort maybe on Co-op if refineries are an issue I would be happy with resource seams having a lot more resources that could be mined and then setting it up with a delivery cannon to be sold that way.

https://forum.terratechgame.com/index.php?threads/co-op-campaign-issues.20218/#post-142009
Something I touched on there, selling blocks from enemy tech is very tedious in Co-op... I really wish that the process could be faster and without as much mess on Co-op games.
I'd make the "consumption rate" or whatever you'd call it at least twice as fast, and I'd make the blocks lose physics/collision when dropped inside the pick up area.

I can't really think of a way to make clearing out trees into a good source of money (without refineries) for Co-op, but I would be happy if there were collectors that would ONLY pick up the resources from trees and basically everything that a furnace can use, then I would make a harvester for that purpose when my stockpiles get low.
 

Falchoin

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#17
To be honest I’m more interested in scrapping, refining, and mobile power generation. The majority of my larger techs cannot be used in multiplayer because they have mobile power furnaces and refineries... along with a couple other blocks that aren’t available because reasons (linear motion engine, fuel gauge).

I don’t really see large bases as feasible in MP due to framerate concerns. A huge base with full silos, plus turrets, plus 4 players? Sounds like a recipe for a slideshow. Now I won’t complain if we do somehow get full crafting added. I would rather systems in place for mobile power generation and refining at the least. Scrapping to sell would be right behind.
 

RC-3197

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#18
Crafting has been something that has been largely ignored in this game even though it is one it's best features. There are bugs in the conveyor/manufacturing system that have been around since early access (stuff glitching out and leaving silos for no reason, factories failing when they have multiple refineries attached, chunks skipping refineries, etc.) But seriously, the crafting system is worth the effort, and if you have to destroy ancient bugs that have plagued Terra Tech since the beginning of the game in the process of making crafting/manufacturing blocks Multiplayer ready people will applaud you for fixing them!

I will now quote something I said on a live stream feedback post where on stream the following was said by a developer about adding Manufacturing Blocks to COOP:

It would require a lot of work to add those into any sort of gamemode, coop gamemode not even on console, so we've had to put that on the backburner now.
My response was this:

I get it, programming online play is notorious for being an extremely painful experience. At the same time, some things are worth the effort. In my personal opinion, crafting is just as essential to terratech as exploring or battling.

I've been doing COOP campaign with my brother (who introduced me to the game) for a few days now. We both are very experienced terratech players, we enjoy this game a ton, especially single player campaign. But we are definitely not enjoying COOP campaign nearly as much as single player campaign. I constantly find myself wanting to refine, craft, automine, and scrap. But alas we cannot. We must instead scrape up the scraps that the game gives us and hope we get what we want. There are some techs that I have accepted that I will never get in COOP campaign simply because of how expensive / rare the parts are, even though in the regular campaign I could craft everything I needed and pull it out. Crafting gives us the versatility to use whatever resources we have at any point in the game to make whatever we want. Currently me an my brother are in an area of the map surrounded by ludicrous amounts of literally every single resource in the game, we are going to stay in this area until manufacturing blocks are in COOP campaign. Here we are both constantly reminded of what we could be doing. We could be crafting, scrapping, automining, and refining our way to victory. But instead of plowing forward we're progressing at a snails pace picking up whatever scraps we can as we go.

This needs to change, I know eventually, it will change. How fast that happens depends on how important crafting blocks are to the development team, which at this moment it seems like it is an important issue to deal with at a later date.

I really don't like saying anything bad about the game, but I have to say it because I care about it:

COOP campaign feels hollow without manufacturing blocks, there's honestly no other way to put it. COOP campaign will never feel like campaign to me until they are available. I think this should be considered a high priority issue.

Now I really don't like showing a problem without giving a solution. If I were trying to prioritize several things at once and I didn't see a way to fix every block at once I would start small.

I would make a couple manufacturing blocks multiplayer-ready every update. I would add them in the order of how much it would benefit players in the current state of COOP.

For example, we currently have delivery cannons and receivers.

The two parts I would add in the next update are:
- GSO Pacemaker
- GSO Refinery

Now these two parts I chose for a specific reason. The pacemaker would allow us to speed up the selling of raw materials which we can currently acquire and sell in COOP campaign. The refinery would boost the income we make from the previously mentioned materials. A current bottleneck in COOP campaign is the speed at which we can sell chunks and the price at which we can sell them.

These two parts alone would make the wait for the other manufacturing blocks a lot more bearable.

If you finish those blocks, what next?

Choose another few crafting blocks and make them multi-player ready.

Maybe conveyors or scrappers.

Keep doing this over and over again. Over time you'll notice common issues with manufacturing blocks and you'll be able to fix them quicker, and you'll be able increase the number of blocks you fix every update.

Before you know it, you'll have fixed every manufacturing block in COOP campaign. Even the smallest of progress makes a huge difference over time.

I hope it's understood just how important the manufacturing blocks are to the game, and players like me, it just isn't the same without them.
I still stand by my previous statement, the game is just not the same without manufacturing blocks, and fixing crafting/manufacturing is absolutely worth any amount of work it would take to get it working.
 
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Saelem Black

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#19
Crafting is a huge deal to me personally. The biggest thing I like about it is that it allows access to top-tier blocks much earlier if you're willing to do the work to build a sophisticated crafting setup. In campaign, I almost always am piloting a hauler to collect resources from distant veins and bring them back to my mountaintop base. Then I'll sit and craft up some monstrous tech for hours, block-by-block.

I may be mistaken, but I'd guess the heart of the problem with crafting in multiplayer comes from managing countless rendered objects across multiple players. But this is a problem for single-player, too. The individual render of every resource chunk is very heavy on the processor and can lead to some gameplay frustrations in factories. These could easily be solved by leaving resources "shrouded", i.e. stored virtually instead of as a rendered object.

For example, have Collector plates vacuum up resource chunks, which then disappear (become shrouded) as you transport them. Upon returning to base, the resources are ejected onto silos or the like. You could even add a meter block to show how full your total cargo capacity is. Autominers could work the same, by storing up resource chunks virtually, then ejecting them to your tech when you come near. Almost every factory system *could* be converted to a "shrouded" way of working; even conveyors if you were clever.

I know Payload has talked about making shrouded silos before, and the best crafting bases trick the game into shrouding resource chunks by abusing scrappers. You guys haven't been too willing to make paradigm shifts in the past, but I'm hoping this is something you'll try.
 
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Zonko

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#20
I like setting up crafting, but none of the shortcutsd work, and it's reall hard to set up a base that can manufacture a handful of high end parts without you sitting there baby-sitting it.

I love building big complex bases, but there's really no point. You build one to unlock, and then buy 10 of them in 2 seconds.
Hell, feed a stack of high end blocks you don't need like missiles/megatons or whatever, and then you can craft for a tiny base with one big silo, a scrapper and a manufacturer.