Friday, April 18, 2014

Crashlands: There's No Place Like Home

In today's CRASHLANDS DEV BLOG POST we're going to talk about something TOTALLY CRAZY. That's right... houses.

When you're dumped in the middle of a hostile world with no tools, no friends, no clothes, and no shame, there's one thing you'll want to do before all else. And it has nothing to do with drinking certain fluids. You'll need to get yourself some dang SHELTER. Because whether you're being chased by an enraged Glidopus, fired upon by a legion of Glutterflies, or gently flopped to death by a pack of ravenous Zugs, sometimes your best course of action is to just slam the front door and hide like a man.

What's it all about?
Crashlands housing went through several design phases, where we weren't quite sure what to do with it. Should your house be more of a fort, with destructible walls and traps and things? Should the game become a tower defense game at night where you have to build up your defenses and protect yourself? Should you even be able to build structures at all?

Well, instead of answering any of those questions, we took our normal course of action: just start implementing things and see what happens. What we ended up with turned out to be pretty fun on its own merits, so we went ahead and pushed forward!

In Crashlands, housing serves one simple, overarching purpose: it lets the Survivor turn the chaos and dangers of the wilderness into a comfortable, safe space where they can express themselves and show off their awesomeness. But enough of this ABSTRACT NONSENSE! Let's take a look at some of the actual ways you might engage with the housing system in Crashlands.

Survival
As we discussed in our Compendium post, the Survivor (you) must learn to craft all manner of things by deconstructing them. At first, your knowledge is pretty limited, and the best you'll be able to come up with is basically a pile of sawgrass with some sticks attached.
IT AIN'T MUCH, BUT... WELL, YEAH, IT AIN'T MUCH.
This house will get the job done. What is that job? PROTECTING YOUR FACE FROM DEATH. At night, there are all manner of horrible things that emerge from the wilderness to eat your face off. Fortunately, any walls you build are completely impervious to damage, and by covering the ground with constructed floors, you can prevent any creatures from spawning there in the future.

We also have a flexible respawning system. Namely, you can choose any teleporter to set as your home. At the outset, your home is your crashed ship, so it'd be wise to build your base there. But as you progress, you'll find Warp Stones and be able to build your own teleporters, so you'll be able to build forts and outposts just about anywhere.

Reaching (And Naming) New Places
Floors don't just keep creatures from spawning, though... By placing floor tiles in water, you can turn previously unwalkable spaces into... BRIDGES! For example, I saw an island in the middle of a body of water on my map, so I built a wooden bridge to it. I discovered that the island housed an abundance of Gassak plants, which are somewhat rare (and regenerate their Gas Sacks over time), so I put down a teleporter and slapped down a sign so I could name the island, creatively, "GASSAK ISLAND"!
Excuse the weird green dots... it's just a gif artifact!
Stuff Management
Crashlands is a game about STUFF. Breaking stuff, building stuff, wearing stuff, killing stuff, hitting stuff with other stuff, and organizing stuff. The housing system provides a great way to keep track of all that STUFF! You can have a room just for your creatures!
Good job on producing Glutterdust, Demetrius. KEEP IT UP!
Keep a hat rack by the door to store your favorite helm!
Excuse the blood stains underneath the table. There was an incident.
You can even build a Volleyball court and use trees as a net! BECAUSE SHUT UP.
Okay, Wompit. Remember: use your arms.
And since you can place floor tiles on water, you can also do some crafty stuff relating to the various WATERY activities of Crashlands. For example, I started building a lakeside house, and I saw a glimpse of a fishing hole out in the middle of the lake (YES WE HAVE FISHING).

The Fatheaded Slurper... the most elusive and beautiful of the Slurpers.
So I went out there and built myself a nice fishing dock! And while I was at it, I slapped together a Pump House where I can pump Water Balloons out of the lake. Water Balloons are incredibly useful for building certain materials and components, and they're also great for watering your plants. Oh, did I say WATERING YOUR PLANTS?

Gardening
Lots of resources in Crashlands have seeds, which you can replant in a more convenient location after they've been harvested. If you really want to take your GREEN THUMB to the next level, you can hoard your seeds and throw together a nice, convenient garden for yourself.

I'M GONNA GROW ME SOME CRYSTALS!
But then again, some of us just don't have the patience to deal with crap like planting seeds one at a time. But DON'T WORRY. If you fall in that camp, we've got just the thing for you: SEED BOMBS. Yep, after hoarding 20 or so seeds, you can pack them together in an explosive package and just "fling and forget". It's a little less precise, but it sure does save time. Like so!

TIME TO EXPLOSIVELY SPREAD MY SEED!
Now, you may be saying, "That's great, Seth and Sam, but I also don't want to have to CHOP my plants down one at a time to harvest them, either! Do you have something for me?" YES. YES WE DO. Introducing: THE HARVEST BOMB.

I'VE GOT SO MUCH WOOD RIGHT NOW.
THE WHOLE 27 FEET
When it comes to housing, we ultimately realized that we shouldn't force it. You could technically get by without gardening, or building docks, or making separate rooms for all your stuff... In fact, you could just build a few walls and call it a day.

There are some players who find a lot of joy in creating things, building things, and expressing themselves in crazy ways, and we wanted to make sure we allowed for that with our housing system. But if you're the type of player who doesn't care for frivolous things like "safety" or "expressing yourself", don't worry -- you can play Crashlands however you like! We hope that by the time we hit launch, Crashlands will have a little something for just about everyone.

COMING UP!
We're nearing the end of our DEV BLOG journey and are entering into a pretty hardcore content push. If you've missed any previous dev blog posts, you can find them all here:


Coming up next week we'll have a big post about how we're going to monetize Crashlands. BE SURE to get your panties in a bunch, because this baby is free-to-play. We've been bouncing around between six or seven different ideas, and we've finally landed on a payment model that we feel really comfortable with. In fact, WE'RE DANG PROUD OF IT. Anyways, here's the rest of the schedule.

  • April 25th: Monetization
  • May 9: Closed Beta announcement & details
  • June - Android Launch (HOPEFULLY)
  • July - iOS Launch


4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. We began implementing it, but it seems that with as big as this game is, we'll be pretty squeezed for time just finishing the single player component. Still, the groundwork is there, so THERE'S A CHANCE that we'll patch it in after launch. But no promises!

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  2. It's looking amazing - love all the little details, your focus on playability and fun (something a lot of devs seem to forget to make a priority), and just the fact that you're going out there to make a really deep, rich game on mobile. Can't wait!

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