Extra Punctuation: Weapon-Crafting That Works

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I am definitely seeing where you're coming from. I was starting to see where you were going half into the first page.

Such a system would be very interesting, it seems inevitable to me too. Soon as someone bothers to make it. Biggest issue would be the styles of wielding (trying to wield the giant axe you made as a bo staff or sword), but you could just put limitations on the space you can branch out based on the weapon type. Like, you can't place material more than a foot from the shaft if you're making a staff weapon. Still, would be a cool and inventive system.

Of course, the inevitable next step......is to make your vehicle in a massive zombie killing game via this patchwork methodology. Think about it.

PS. I liked the idea of BK:N&B, certainly making the fastest, bulkiest, or most versatile machine was fun....but, i feel they could have put more effort into the game itself. More challenges than just....o look a race. Hey over there...another race. Not that racing is that bad in this kinda game, just wanted variety and challenge.

An interesting idea, but I can see one major flaw in Yahtzee's implementation. If you can tape a knife to an assault rifle to make a bayonet, why would you want to use scrappy melee weapons when you have access to assault rifles?

P.S.: Whatever happened to Mech customization games? I'd like to see more of these kinds of games that aren't Armored Core (because Armored Core's control scheme is so clunky I've literally broken PS2 controllers while playing it).

Acid test for whether your crafting system works:

Players are happier using their boot and spend their money respawning, than they are dicking around in their inventory.

Jakub324:
Fuck. Yeah. I would buy a game that featured that kind of thing in a heartbeat. Shit, I'd sell my soul for it.

Me too. I would also sell your soul for it. This is a great idea. I would love to see this in some sort of open world game. With or without zombies? Doesn't matter.

demalo:
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords allowed players to design ships and weapons placements.

This is the first thing I though of too. I spent hours and hours fine tuning my ships. I heard there were some players that just randomly threw eveything together since placement had no effect on its function, but as far as i was concerned the esthetics were just as important.

There was also an RTS from the early 2000's called Impossible Creatures that allowed you to mix and match different animal parts in order to make specialized units. If I recall, mixing and ant's strength with the blue whale's size made for a formiddable, albeit costly, shock trooper.

ChromaticWolfen:

Jakub324:
Fuck. Yeah. I would buy a game that featured that kind of thing in a heartbeat. Shit, I'd sell my soul for it.

Me too. I would also sell your soul for it. This is a great idea. I would love to see this in some sort of open world game. With or without zombies? Doesn't matter.

Sorry, I've already bargained my soul away in a preorder deal. Actually, I'm not sorry, and I'd be giggling if I still could.

JeppeH:
I always found it funny why I couldn't name my weapon and upgrade it in bits in ANY game, RPG or MMO or whatever.
Even these slotted weapons always got the slots permanently stick, so that at some point you would find a better sword or gun.

Why not make the weapon upgrade with you? Giving it a personallety.
You could invest money in your sword instead of selling and buying, Like binding deamons to it, get it gilded, get new slots for jewels and runes. New pommel, new blade, refined edge etc..

There is like always a bit of story to a weapon you buy, eg. "the one who killed What-his-Name" .. why not grant your weapon the title after you just did the deed/quest? instead of taking the dead guys sword to kill the next guy, just add to the weapondescription and stats and you will be making a journal at the same time.

007 had his Walter PPK, Frodo his Sting. Why cant I have my KilledLikeEveryBossEver?

Well, you can name all of your stuff in The Elder Scrolls series. There's even a little bit of customization in the enchantment system. Actually, from what little I've heard, Skyrim might actually include something akin to what Yahtzee was describing in its new weapon crafting system.

Fable 3 is another good example. Your hero weapons customize themselves each time you upgrade the appropriate skill set based upon your actions. If you kill a lot of innocent people with your sword it's blade will drip with blood. Each weapon had four different aspects that could be mixed and matched, the blade, the hilt, the color and the aura I think. Of course you couldn't directly decide which upgrade you got, but the basic principle is there.

You could even take another page from the Fable book and add design cards all over the world that you can use to put on your weapons, or make little side quests to procure special materials in order to make better weapons. I'm sure we'll start seeing stuff like this pretty soon.

I don't think that weapon crafting needs to go any further than the two extremes Yahtzee gives, Dead Rising 2 where everything is extremely specific, and Fallout/Dead Island (haven't played) where it comes down to pressure cooker + steam gauge assembly + fission battery + wooden crutch = gun, or in other words, pockets full of junk.

He mentions needing to get the physics right, and of course there's always the need to make sure what you're holding near your face for 90% of the game doesn't look like an ass with a "breeze block" attached to it. Yes there's room for the entire system to grow, but how much of your resources you need to divert to getting the system working X way is an experiment that I can understand major studios shying away from. It's a risk in terms of both the mechanics and aesthetics of the game and better left to the indies to pioneer rather that have some 3A studio bumble out a crappy game which allows for life-like rat flail simulation.

Pandora92:
Borderlands actually used a system very similar to this in order to come up with the obscenely large amount of slightly different weapons they had, only it was done in a way that was hidden from the player. IIRC, each weapon had 7 different pieces to it, the barrel, the stalk, etc, and each one of these had an impact on the stats of the weapon overall, how it looked, etc.

Whenever a weapon is spawned in Borderlands these 7 pieces are randomly generated with no input from the player, but there was external modifiers made by fans that let you choose different parts for the gun before putting it altogether in a sort of similar system to the one you're talking about, only external to the game unfortunately.

I don't see why a system similar to Borderlands' couldn't work except with the players finding different parts of the guns as various "scrap" items, and combining them as they go along to produce different customized guns with the personalized feel you were describing.

You know, this is peculiar, because I got done having a discussion with this same exact topic manner with my one friend.

We talked about it and I suggested that, as you said, you should find parts of guns then assemble them or swap them out. It would still work and all, but as a market for parts instead of weapons. Hell, the guns could still be sold, kind of like 'stock' weapons tat could still be customized still, y'know?

I any case, I completely agree with you that this system could definately pass for what Yahtzee was refering to. ^^

Yahtzee:
If a weapon's severely off balance it might make your character stumble after swinging it, increasing the chances of a zombie getting in at the flank (because obviously we're assuming this is a zombie game, what the hell else would it be)..

Something good? I sincerely hope that Nazis, orcs, aliens, robots and zombies aren't all we can come up with anymore.

I mean, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time had sand zombies (made of sand and they're all stretched out soitcountsshutup). Guilty Gear's idea of basically humanoid shapes(Gears) that can sprout wings/huge spikes/tails/body weapons/pets or even mech-like robotic parts... that was a brilliant idea.

Right, anyway, the topic... realism gets a little in the way of fun toys like this, but I think weight as an effective countermeasure to just slapping on hundreds of effects is going to work pretty nicely. If you don't know what Yahtzee means about James-with-the-Great-Knife, it's basically a blunt, rusted blade that is as tall as a man and twice as heavy. He has to drag it everywhere and the basic movements are him struggling to keep it up. The overhead swing, of course, is immensely deadly but immensely slow and it seems to take a lot of effort to do.

Now one could imagine there would be situations where you'd LIKE a crushing weapon like that, especially if you were simultaneously building the character that would wield it. Hey, come to think of it, is that a good idea or not? RPG elements combined with "realistic" weapon-building?

Actually I was also thinking that when a game could comfortably fit in a category that is actually just "Junk", that there is a big damn problem with the game. The only exception I can think of is Parasite Eve, where you bring items actually called Junk back to one guy so he can put together a totally unique and powerful gun (just don't choose the wrong dialogue options when he's done, save first!!).

At the same time, you're holding on to the same gun throughout the entire game, and swapping what WAS your old gun into something better when you find it, improving the base gun model as well as carrying over your chosen abilities (like a shotgun spread, rapid-fire, heat, poison, etc.). That worked pretty well, and later on you even get to name it. Oh god I love my special gun I built... haaah... way more satisfying than randomly upgrading everything from my gun to my boots to my grappling hook in any Ratchet and Clank game.

Major_Tom:
Or you could tape an M41A Pulse Rifle to an M240 Flamethrower.

Is that what Ripley did in Aliens?

Also, I really like the term wikipedia uses for "breeze blocks"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_masonry_unit

I think it would work well for purely improv melee weapons (ie. there's 30 zombies about to swarm on my position, I'm out of bullets, and all I have is these three knives and this lampshade. Hmmm...), but anything else more... functional probably wouldn't work. The weapons crafting system in Fallout 3 I felt to be a little lacklustre in terms of variety, but what you could build was much more imaginative and complex than can be implemented using a 3D grid system. Things like the Rock-it Launcher or a bottlecap mine aren't exactly things you can produce trying to tape several things together in a 3D grid. Hell, the Shishkebab is a melee weapon, and though making a sword out of a lawnmower blade in a grid would be feasible, but even then I think it would be hard to tape a functional flame thrower to it.

Blueprint-based, highly specific weapons have their place, I think.

I had an idea to add to this brilliantly conceived system: Why not introduce progression to the act of crafting as well? Specifically, not only would the player get better components for the weapons themselves throughout the game, but he would also be able to acquire new skills and equipment to improve the the quality and expand the variety of the weapons he is able to produce?

Early in the game, the player would start out with a spartan crafting space with little more than duct tape, zip ties, wire, glue, etc. at his disposal. He would also have very limited knowledge with which to forge his implements of destruction. The resulting weapons would be low quality, break easily and not be very effective against enemies. The quality of these weapons could be significantly improved through trial and error for novice players, or through prior knowledge and common sense drawn from real life for more advanced players, with a corresponding higher level of difficulty which would also allow quicker progression to counter the greater challenge and danger.

At the beginning of the game when the player is creating and loading out his character, he would be able to choose a skill that he would already have experience with, in the guise of his occupation prior to the zombie apocalypse. Over the course of the game, he would collect some form of experience points to unlock and level additional skills, such as carpentry, machining, demolition, etc. that would help him craft better weapons. I suppose there would be other skills such as medical that would help in other areas, but that would be outside the scope of the weapon crafting (or maybe not: nitroglycerin syringe gun sounds like it would make for some interesting headshots, not to mention the possibilities presented by defibrillators...).

The player would also collect some form of convertible currency to purchase tools and equipment for his ever-expanding death shop. The weapons made with bare-bones tape n' ties would not have the ability to swap out parts to upgrade or repair, but imagine if you had a milling machine and could cut screw thread or expand a breech and barrel to accept the oversized military ammo you found somewhere on the map. You could also maybe craft extra weapons to sell to NPC's or other players to make more scratch so you can afford that sweet laser cutter a little sooner. Actually now that I think about it, maybe the cash for tools is a bad idea that would suck some of the fun out of the game. Perhaps the necessary tools and equipment are already in the crafting room from the beginning and you just have to learn how to use them. Probably include a skill check so that if you tried to use a table saw without carpentry skill, there would be a 50/50 chance of mangling and ruining the piece of wood you're cutting or sending it flying across the room in hilarious fashion.

One thing is for sure, this hypothetical system would be a daunting task for even a seasoned developer. The delicate trapeze act of balancing such a complex system could easily be torpedoed by a physics implementation that is anything less than flawless. But this is not impossible, and I hope to see something this deep and organic in the future.

Fake Edit: Also, consumables such as tape and nails should be infinite, we don't need to add tedious resource collection to dull the proceedings. Oh, and don't forget to build a great game around this awesome editor, lest we end up with another goddamn Spore, Nuts n' Bolts, or *shudder* APB.

DanDeFool:
An interesting idea, but I can see one major flaw in Yahtzee's implementation. If you can tape a knife to an assault rifle to make a bayonet, why would you want to use scrappy melee weapons when you have access to assault rifles?

At least in the case of the Dead Rising games, the guns (with a couple exceptions) are not hilariously overpowered, in fact some of them are borderline useless. Just as importantly, the melee weapons, especially the combo weapons in DR2, are highly effective for the most part, and have a great visceral feel when you introduce the business end to zombie flesh. This is mostly an issue of game balance, as well as weapon feel being one of the hardest things to get right in an action game. See the Extra Credits episode on pacing.

Major_Tom:
Or you could tape an M41A Pulse Rifle to an M240 Flamethrower.

Word.

25 years on and still NOBODY done fully sorted this out... I don't even care why we can't have nice things, or who's at fault or, or
whatever...

...wake me up when L4D3 launches. *shuts down computer*

It's a damned shame that Spore ended up being as mediocre as it was. There really are a lot of spectacular ideas to be mined from it's creation tools.

My mind went right to taping a butcher's knife to the side of a baseball bat to make a badass axe. Hell, I saw a hammer earlier today and wanted to see if I could strap a battery to it and Thor that bitch up.

Someone tell me if that works.

There was an old game called: "Robot Arena 2: Design and Destroy" (essentially a BattleBots game) that had this kind of system. All the weapons were physics-based, so if you used a more powerful motor you could swing your weapon faster and hit harder. You could stack two motors on top of each other to gain extra speed, but that made the recoil so great that you could easily set yourself spinning. You could also do cool tricks like putting a swinging weapon on top of your bot, so that if you got flipped over you could use it to push yourself upright. And, since this was a BattleBots game, you could break off bits of the other guy's robot to disable it. Even if your weapons were broken off, you could still ram the other guy and lure him into hazards.

The game was tricky to get the hang of, but it was a lot of fun to design new weapons.

DanDeFool:
An interesting idea, but I can see one major flaw in Yahtzee's implementation. If you can tape a knife to an assault rifle to make a bayonet, why would you want to use scrappy melee weapons when you have access to assault rifles?

Two words: Ammo.

P.S.: Whatever happened to Mech customization games? I'd like to see more of these kinds of games that aren't Armored Core (because Armored Core's control scheme is so clunky I've literally broken PS2 controllers while playing it).

Shush you. I have fond memories of the early AC games... and losing the first 6 battles or whatever for the free upgrades and such. Clunky controls be damned, that was a fun fun game.

As for the general topic, sign me up. Just to take the Dead Rising 2 system (cuz I haven't played dead island) it seems easy enough to do exactly what you want. Make several stick-like object count as handles and several blade type object attachable, and you've got 101 ways to make a naginata. The attack animations remain the same, and the game already has all the artwork for the individual pieces.

MAKE IT SO, #1

JeppeH:
Why not make the weapon upgrade with you? Giving it a personallety.
You could invest money in your sword instead of selling and buying, Like binding deamons to it, get it gilded, get new slots for jewels and runes. New pommel, new blade, refined edge etc..

[...]

007 had his Walter PPK, Frodo his Sting. Why cant I have my KilledLikeEveryBossEver?

I really, really like this idea. Gradually build yourself an epic weapon over the course of the game. Have both positive and negative attributes attached to various ways of upgrading it so you end up with an amazingly customised item that exactly fits your play style and nobody else's.

This... this is bloody brilliant. Literally.

Pet peeve about the "vendor trash" bit, though: if it's useful in some way other than being sold, it's not vendor trash --- it's just not something your particular character, or you, are interested in at the moment.

Now, THAT is something actually tackled successfully in Fallout 3/New Vegas mods, where you can actually build a portable scrapper and render such things as, say, tin cans or forks, into scrap metal, which you can then fashion into "machined parts" if you have enough skill. Milk bottles, plates and such become "scrap ceramics" and then "ceramic plate", scrap electronics or toasters can be fashioned into "electronic parts", and so on.

These in turn are applicable to repairing a wide range of related items. And that's one mod. So even trash can become a treasure in modern gaming.

idea is great but it would probably be a major pain in the ass for the programmer to make it all interactive. i dont see the small companies making it, maybe giants like bethesda or blizzard may invest into something like that, because they dont seem to be afraid with experimenting with cool stuff.
still i dont see it breaking in any forseeable future. then what do i know, even bill games though 512kb of ram is enough for everyone.

I'm surprised he didn't mention Minecraft with its huge list of crafting and its "collect everything-ness", but i suppose he wanted to do the whole free build thing.

i see a huge pitfall with his idea though, and that is player cheese. a player will find as many ways to cheese a system as possible.

"one enemy is weak to slash and the other blunt? check out my hammer sword that is so big i can crush/slash every enemy around me." one example.

another would be part location versus part effect, like will putting the hammer part on the back of the sword still deal crushing? if so, you might as well be swinging a Swiss army knife around. if not you either have to limit part location, or vary swing controls. it could be very technical to keep it realistic, or kept so controlled that people would be turned off.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: Weapon-Crafting That Works

Yahtzee describes a weapon-crafting system that's a lot more fun than Dead Island.

Read Full Article

Referring to the bit about physics engines and weapons requiring less of it then cars in a racer - In all due respect, you'd imagine wrong.

It would be one thing to suggest it possible if you're talking purely cosmetics... But lets face it, if a game did that and had say, a couple of tissue boxes strapped to the end of a swingball stick behave in the exact same way as a breeze block strapped to the same thing, you'd be the FIRST(and most creatively insulting) person to call it the customised turd of Nurgle(assuming you're feeling particularly geeky that day).

GREAT pains go into the varied elements of weapon physics like bullet trajectories and splatter fields and such, without even mentioning the myriad statistics related to just damage, let alone durability and hypothetical 'embed' mechanics, for EVERY CONCEIVABLE ITEM IN A GAME WORLD. You're describing billions of permutations, not even just varying flavours of gun like Borderlands, but true unlimited customisation. And that's not even talking about having them interact with the world and the player character in completely different and unique ways too.

As for why I bothered to quote and write this out when he probably know this particular idea is functionally impossible? Because there are FAR too many people that take everything Mr. Croshaw says as gospel...

This would be amazing, but I don't really see it happening. I can keep on hoping at least... *crosses fingers*

Great touch at the end. Seems plausible for melee weapons, but I can see balance issues coming in to play when applied to ranged weapons or RPGs with a lot of "plus-1" and elemental stats, etc.

Yahtzee is more then a pretty face, as always.

Good idea, and I have a feeling it might be noticed in the near future.

Or hope. Yeah, it's hope not a feeling, nevermind.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: Weapon-Crafting That Works

Yahtzee describes a weapon-crafting system that's a lot more fun than Dead Island.

Read Full Article

Good idea, more power to the "playa"!

Also I think it'd be a good idea to let gamers design their own firearms using a system similar to the one in "Borderlands", only instead of finding complete guns one would be finding various gun parts with various stats and putting them together afterwards. Really "Borderlands" could do it as well, since they already have all these different parts available. The only thing you'd need to do is give control to the player instead of giving control to a random numbers generator.

CAPTCHA:

image

Yay! The end of the twelfth (!) Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878)! The funniest thing that it wasn't the last. The last one followed next, when the both empires collapsed during WWI. (Yes, I got it all from Wiki)

ReiverCorrupter:

JeppeH:
I always found it funny why I couldn't name my weapon and upgrade it in bits in ANY game, RPG or MMO or whatever.
Even these slotted weapons always got the slots permanently stick, so that at some point you would find a better sword or gun.

Why not make the weapon upgrade with you? Giving it a personallety.
You could invest money in your sword instead of selling and buying, Like binding deamons to it, get it gilded, get new slots for jewels and runes. New pommel, new blade, refined edge etc..

There is like always a bit of story to a weapon you buy, eg. "the one who killed What-his-Name" .. why not grant your weapon the title after you just did the deed/quest? instead of taking the dead guys sword to kill the next guy, just add to the weapondescription and stats and you will be making a journal at the same time.

007 had his Walter PPK, Frodo his Sting. Why cant I have my KilledLikeEveryBossEver?

Well, you can name all of your stuff in The Elder Scrolls series. There's even a little bit of customization in the enchantment system. Actually, from what little I've heard, Skyrim might actually include something akin to what Yahtzee was describing in its new weapon crafting system.

Fable 3 is another good example. Your hero weapons customize themselves each time you upgrade the appropriate skill set based upon your actions. If you kill a lot of innocent people with your sword it's blade will drip with blood. Each weapon had four different aspects that could be mixed and matched, the blade, the hilt, the color and the aura I think. Of course you couldn't directly decide which upgrade you got, but the basic principle is there.

You could even take another page from the Fable book and add design cards all over the world that you can use to put on your weapons, or make little side quests to procure special materials in order to make better weapons. I'm sure we'll start seeing stuff like this pretty soon.

I have see bits and pieces like nameing and ofcause slotting enhancements, but somehow the developer always feel the urge to drop a weapon wich is better than what you already got and never take this upgrading seriusly.
So maybe I can forge my own sword and name it, but its only for fun, because sure enough, the next boss will drop his own sword wich is better than anything I just crafted.

I havent played Fable 3, I must admit, but the system sounds nice. Although I hate it when a game judges the actions on a "good/evil" scale because it always seem so idiotic to judge what is good and what is evil and the whole thing comes down to viewpoints.

ProtoChimp:

Zac Smith:
I seriously think that is a great idea, sounds like an idea for a pc game, i wouldn't think consoles would have the precision control wise to pull it off

Gotta love that avatar, especially for someone who only just got into Slipknot.

you've made a good choice, the pic is from the video for Psychosocial. Corey does a thumb down, but just before looks like its up

Throw the periodic table in there, because if it was in System Shock 2 it is obviously born of a god's loins. That way all us chemistry geeks can cut right to the chase about what goes with what, and what would be the most damaging element, while everyone else is swinging around a tin machete.

Protip: Put fluorine on anything. Win game.

Didn't Kingdom Hearts have a mechanic like that with the spaceships?

I thought of doing something like Homestuck's binary alchemy system, but you give objects trait bits and combine them with bit operations. Conciser basic sword, spear, and axe weapons that can be combined to make axe|spear=halberd, sword|spear=glaive, and other such combinations, as well as bits for attachments, styles, colors, whatever. Seems a little easier then attaching things wherever, but less flexible in the long run I guess.

I do really like this idea, the ability to generate weapons like this would be amazing.
It kind of reminds me of a concept I've had floating around in my head which basically combines with with the loadout system of the CoD games. Players are able to customize basically every aspect of their character, given that everyone is a remote control robot.
Because that would be freaking awesome.

JeppeH:

ReiverCorrupter:

JeppeH:
I always found it funny why I couldn't name my weapon and upgrade it in bits in ANY game, RPG or MMO or whatever.
Even these slotted weapons always got the slots permanently stick, so that at some point you would find a better sword or gun.

Why not make the weapon upgrade with you? Giving it a personallety.
You could invest money in your sword instead of selling and buying, Like binding deamons to it, get it gilded, get new slots for jewels and runes. New pommel, new blade, refined edge etc..

There is like always a bit of story to a weapon you buy, eg. "the one who killed What-his-Name" .. why not grant your weapon the title after you just did the deed/quest? instead of taking the dead guys sword to kill the next guy, just add to the weapondescription and stats and you will be making a journal at the same time.

007 had his Walter PPK, Frodo his Sting. Why cant I have my KilledLikeEveryBossEver?

Well, you can name all of your stuff in The Elder Scrolls series. There's even a little bit of customization in the enchantment system. Actually, from what little I've heard, Skyrim might actually include something akin to what Yahtzee was describing in its new weapon crafting system.

Fable 3 is another good example. Your hero weapons customize themselves each time you upgrade the appropriate skill set based upon your actions. If you kill a lot of innocent people with your sword it's blade will drip with blood. Each weapon had four different aspects that could be mixed and matched, the blade, the hilt, the color and the aura I think. Of course you couldn't directly decide which upgrade you got, but the basic principle is there.

You could even take another page from the Fable book and add design cards all over the world that you can use to put on your weapons, or make little side quests to procure special materials in order to make better weapons. I'm sure we'll start seeing stuff like this pretty soon.

I have see bits and pieces like nameing and ofcause slotting enhancements, but somehow the developer always feel the urge to drop a weapon wich is better than what you already got and never take this upgrading seriusly.
So maybe I can forge my own sword and name it, but its only for fun, because sure enough, the next boss will drop his own sword wich is better than anything I just crafted.

I havent played Fable 3, I must admit, but the system sounds nice. Although I hate it when a game judges the actions on a "good/evil" scale because it always seem so idiotic to judge what is good and what is evil and the whole thing comes down to viewpoints.

Yeah, the hero sword thing was cool in Fable, but it wasn't as good as other swords so I never used it. I too see the incoherence of normative realism, but the game is called "Fable". Nuance and moral ambiguity are hardly its selling points. The selling points are that you can run around in a chicken suit and eat pie until your character is morbidly obese.

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