All posts tagged with "where do you keep the giant decorative cogs"

Hatpack It! aka Subtractive Design

We have these little turns of phrase to represent design concepts. One such phrase going back to Dredmor is “put it in the Hat Pack”. I consider this a form of subtractive design.

So: The Hat Pack is an expansion pack for the game you’re working on which is shrouded in the mists of the future yet-to-be.¬†(And as the name suggests, the content is a bunch of useless hats.) You put a feature or idea into the Hat Pack when you need to kill it, cut it, remove it from the game; but you don’t have the heart to kill it. So you quietly put it in the Hat Pack and shove it at the back of a closet to be slowly forgot.

(Or not. I want to say that features have legitimately been revived from the Hat Pack, but the notable example that comes to mind is the facial hair equipment slot for Dredmor that involved a bunch of false beards and mustaches to enhance your powers. Never happened.)

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Interior Decoration Simulator 2015

Our next experimental build this month, Alpha 44A, marks the implementation of a system I’ve been wanting for a long time: Building Quality! What’s that? Well, let’s start at the beginning:

One of the fundamental game systems of Clockwork Empires is the ability to make customized buildings with floor plans of different shapes and work modules in different places. Up until now, however, the most material-efficient way to play has more or less been to build tiny ‘work/sleep closets’ that your colonists¬†jam themselves into every day. We want there to be consequences for making your colonists work and sleep in such unfortunate conditions.


A hastily-assembled image of what a room with decor in it might look like.

At the same time, we have a ton of decorative modules in the game but they weren’t really seeing use. Part of this, of course, is that we were hiding them under a tiny button in the modules menu. But there’s also the fact that they don’t serve a clear role; giving players a reason to use decor in all their buildings is something we’ve wanted to do for a while.

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