Starting Gear

Just a small update for you guys today. We’ve been designing a lot. My hands are tired.

We’re starting to nail down the specifics of the inventory for starting up a settlement.  A starting load-out is going to be required because, to be honest, you won’t want to start from absolutely nothing.  I mean, maybe you could actually just start with one guy named Steve, with no tools, in the middle of the wilderness. But chances are he would be eaten by a carnivorous tortoise or starve before he’d manage to collect enough useful stuff from the environment to trade for an axe and actually make a half-decent go of things.  Frontiers are dangerous!

Let's get this colony started -- with a bottle of wine, apparently.

Let’s get this colony started! (Beginning with a bottle of wine, apparently.)

We could just create a system where you have to punch trees to get lumber or go in the complete opposite direction and mandate that everyone start with all necessary tools and call it a solved problem, but both of these approaches have issues which leave them unsatisfying.  The first sets a tone that makes it clear that you’re not in the real world; We want players to expect some more “real” consequences than being able to bootstrap New Cogstown from nothing.  Starting with necessary gear is an issue because if your pickaxes break or are otherwise rendered unusable, you no longer have the ability to rebuild from scratch.  Still, it should always be possible (albeit very difficult) to build up your colony from nothing.

If you do decide that you’d like to try foraging for rare specimens and trading them for settlement materials, traders will show up to almost every colony site with some degree of regularity to cart back your findings to the empire in exchange for some basic survival gear.  Having only intermittent access to these services should hopefully motivate some hard and therefore interesting choices.

Beyond this, the default starting inventory will include a number of basic tools, materials, and machine parts to make your life easier, and these will be fashioned into some sort of starting fabrication area.  Once more permanent and specialized structures are finished, it can be broken down and the parts can be taken to more permanent structures.

We also had a long discussion about how beds work and Mr. Whitman ate some really spicy tacos and couldn’t stop touching his eyes.

* * *

… Annnnd today, the day of posting, Nicholas and Daniel have called in sick so now DAVID is writer of blog post! I drew a carpet texture, see:


Every upper class manor will require decoration with carpets most excellent depicting patterns of cogs, wheels, adorable little flowers, and possibly Elder Signs.

I’m sorry to say that the Upper Class Carpet was not put on the short list of default starting items for new colonies. We could probably argue it in — WHO IS WITH ME?

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19 Responses to “Starting Gear”

  1. icepick37 says:

    Nice. Love the carpet. 🙂

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  2. Wootah says:

    The abrupt transition to David who I just learned today on the forums is a ‘sexy’ Vampire is pretty funny. The detail on that carpet makes me believe that this game could potentially be astronomically intensive. I still can’t entirely believe that isn’t a photograph. What will it look like on lower graphic settings?

    Back to daniel’s post!@
    I love the idea of having a rough start at a new settlement. A breaking pickaxe is a very applicable and makes for CE fun(tm)! I can also imagine players creating challenges where they have maps where people try their hand with especially limited starting setups and see how they solve the problems as they present themselves.

    This game sounds like it going to be sooo awesome (and already looks amazing to boot!)

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    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      The carpet, btw, is a deceptively simple bit of art due to being reflected on two axes. And then I just overlaid a bit of woven texture to give the apparance of great detail and off we go.

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  3. Lorrelian says:

    Fight the good fight David! Get that carpet in our loadout gear!

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  4. BTAxis says:

    I hope the starting equipment will include a user interface! I tried Timber and Stone, and the biggest obstacle to starting a colony is the UI. The clicks, they do nothing!

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  5. Bropocalypse says:

    Describing how beds work? You may as well describe how birds fly. What are birds? We just don’t know.

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  6. Lomgren says:

    I am saddened that the phrase “carpet diem” was not used in the tags for this post, at least as of this comment.

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  7. Godwin says:

    Great carpet, and the screenshot is nice as well 🙂

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  8. Thomas says:

    Perhaps there could be some sort of screen near the beginning of the game that lets you choose your own gear from a small pile of resources?

    That way you could feel satisfied with giving the players everything they need, but with none of the guilt if one of them happens to choose to go off into the wilderness with nothing but an extra pair of bootlaces.

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    • Yeah, it’s very likely that we’ll have a default or two, with the ability to select other starting equipment if you want to increase or decrease the challenge.

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  9. Joey Headset says:

    That rug really tied the game together!

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    • Karock says:

      It ‘wove’ it together. =P

      What if the starting tools could ‘break’ but, as starting tools, that only reduced their build speed (or whatever they happen to do) by a factor of X and made them not possible to sell?

      That way you can’t fail at starting a colony by your tools breaking (though still if you get all of your people killed), but you can be greatly inconvenienced if you don’t do a good job. And inevitably they become not worth keeping around.

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  10. Bluerps says:

    I think that a new colony without any starting equipment at all wouldn’t be very believable anyway. I’d have no trouble accepting that the Empire equips its settlers only with very basic tools, some food and lots of Adventuring Spirit – but nothing at all? I mean, it’s not that the Empire does not want their colonies to succeed, is it?

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    • Joey Headset says:

      If you look at all the failed English attempts to colonize in America, there’s some historical precedent for settlers showing with all the WRONG equipment. And, for that matter, the wrong kinds of settlers (a lack of farmers, for example). Then, as the colonists starved, supply ships would arrive with insufficient provisions and MORE SETTLERS.

      Perhaps CE could nod to this fine tradition of cluelessness by constantly supplying their settlers with everything they *don’t* need.

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      • Bluerps says:

        Heh. Good point.
        Starting equipment could be completely random. Start a new colony with five crates full of cutlery, a stack of wooden pipes and a bottle of laudanum!

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  11. Vahilior says:

    Will we be able to start with entirely useless animals as pets/poorly thought out beasts of burden as in Dward Fortress

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  12. Kiya says:

    That carpet MUST be included in the default list of starting items for my new colony. Do you really believe that the Upper Classes will accept having to walk upon BARE FLOOR?

    The very thought of such an indignity gives me the vapours.

    *fans self*

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