Blog - Devblog #31 Craftwork Update Preview, part II

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Devblog #31 Craftwork Update Preview, part II

Welcome back survivors! Ready for Craftwork preview, Part 2? Alright! Then let’s dive into the crafting system that was only mentioned in our last post. Craftwork Update is coming out on March 1, 2018.


Why crafting?


Player progression in Hellion always felt a bit off, especially since the rework of the entire system mechanics and the introduction of new parts. While searching for the right parts and modules is certainly fun, failing to find that one part you really need due to RNG can be a frustrating experience. In order to lessen the RNG impact on gameplay we resorted to scattering a large number of parts and equipment throughout the derelicts and modules to ensure that players can easily find them once they’ve reached a certain zone.


While this made it easier for new players to obtain gear and upgrades it also created an overabundance of high tier parts and items for players who knew where to go and what to look for.



Another problem with the aforementioned system was that building and upgrading your base added little to the gameplay experience as it was almost completely disconnected from the core loop. In terms of improving your parts and equipment, a fully built base provides absolutely no benefit over the starting outpost.


We aim to change that with the introduction of crafting mechanics. Giving players the ability to craft exactly what they need means that they would no longer be at the mercy of RNG when it comes to upgrading their gear. However we do not want to remove the element of surprise and excitement when you do find something you weren’t expecting.


As an example, having multiple EVA helmets and jetpacks is useless until you find the suit and finding more of them just adds to the frustration. With the introduction of crafting, finding any piece of the EVA gear becomes meaningful since you will have one less item to craft. And in case you find multiple pieces that you do not need, you can break them down in order to craft the parts required to complete the set.


Needless to say this will also remove or at least severely reduce the odds of you running out of Warp Cells.




Another issue we’ve had with the crafting system was its immersion. Simply combining some electronic parts with spare plastic by hand isn’t enough to give you a cellphone, not to mention a functional part for a futuristic spaceship. That meant that the standard and intuitive crafting system “combine item A with item B to get item C” was out of the question. We needed a system that would tie in with the rest of the game’s mechanic while also looking realistic and immersive. So... How are things made in the 24th century when you find yourself stranded almost a thousand lightyears from Earth?



Glad you asked! Introducing the Altair Corporation’s mobile manufacturing system: the AltCorp Fabricator Module™ . This scaled-down fabrication unit comes with a large storage space, integrated cargo hold and a state of the art production unit that combines latest advancements in CNC technology with industrial 3D printing solutions. To further complement the system each AltCorp Fabricator Module ™ also features a dedicated Recycling Unit that is capable of breaking down any on-site items into base components that can be used to craft whatever is necessary.


Crafting Mechanics


As we’ve mentioned earlier, our goal with crafting was to close the core gameplay loop. In order to craft any items players will first have to gain access to the Fabricator module. This can be done in two ways: by flying to one of the premade stations and using their refining and fabrication facilities, or by attaching the fabricator module to your base. Since manufacturing items and parts is rather energy intensive you might want to upgrade your power output, or at least ensure that you have enough power stored in the capacitor.



The second part involves obtaining sufficient crafting materials by salvaging them off of various derelicts. This will require you to first strip derelicts and modules of any valuables and then use the fabricators Recycling Unit to break them down into crafting components.



In addition to regular items and parts that you will still be able to find, we are introducing a new type of item: salvage. These “parts” will be exclusive to derelict modules and will yield a high amount of crafting components when recycled, as opposed to standard items that will yield only a fraction of their production cost. Location and “danger level” of the zone will affect the number of salvageable items as well as the composition of crafting materials that you get out of recycling.



New crafting resources include alloys, carbon fibers and circuits. Alloys are fairly plentiful in all zones and represent the most basic crafting resource. Carbon fibers are somewhat less common but most basic items won’t require a large amount of them. Finally circuits are pretty rare and never needed in large quantities. In addition to crafting resources, certain items (like Warp Cells) will also require a substantial amount of refined resources.


With all the changes coming in this update we had to make some improvements to the Cargo Interface to make room for the new crafting system and to make using and transferring resources faster and easier to understand.



Finally, this weekend on Steam Store: enjoy a 25% Hellion discount while celebrating Lunar New Year!


Set your mind on the Moon and fly safe,

Posted by Zero Gravity team