I’ve been thinking a lot about Landmark, the features I want for the game, and ultimately the game I think or want Landmark to become. For the last 3 days I have done nothing but build. I haven’t gathered any materials or crafted any items. I’ve strictly been experimenting with various textures, arrangements, and tools to see what I am personally capable of constructing. I can easily spent 3-4 hours building without realizing time has passed, and knowing my ability to do the same thing in Minecraft for weeks at a time makes me confident that I can keep enjoying the even more complex building of Landmark.
My mind has been drifting toward the future and what features they can add to really make progress and achievement present.
Resource Gathering – Harvesters
Star Wars Galaxies comes to mind. We needed a lot of resources to craft items, often rare ones, to craft and make certain items. To gather resources in the beginning you had to go our and survey the land by actually walking out to the spot, kneeling down, and using your ability. Later as you progressed there were options to create machines which harvested for you. These machines had upkeep costs and burned fuel.
I think harvesters of some sort could work in Landmark. Imagine progressing to the point where you can create a harvesting machine like something you see in the image here to the right. It extracts minerals from the ground and stores them in a hopper with limited space. You would have to craft the fuel, pay the upkeep, and check back often to empty the hopper.
Harvesters would take up physical space, and like SWG would require you to use one of your ‘claims’ slots. Finding a resource to place your harvester on could be like SWG as well, and completely independent from the physical mining gameplay.
Maybe harvesters are used to find different resources entirely. Perhaps there are some so deep and dangerous to mine that individuals can’t find them with a pickaxe. I could also see the idea of mining removes entirely, and machines (again like the one above) used as refineries to process combinations of materials over long periods of real world time. Combine copper and tin to make bronze, but it only makes 1 every hour. My mind is spinning on this one.
What if there were different variations of a resource. For example, I find an Iron deposit in one area and you find one in another. My Iron has an overall quality score of 86 (with some form of sub-stats like durability, conductivity, etc), and yours has a score of 76. Maybe mine is better to make physical weapons with, and yours can be used to make arrow heads. I’m just spitballing here but hopefully you get the idea. That way we have to really explore and work hard to find better resources. Heck, what if it combines with the idea of the refineries I mentioned above? Combine certain copper with certain tin (finding a great combination of sub-stats) to make the ideal hybrid Bronze to craft something special. This will make crafting a much more intricate and involved experience as well.
Item Durability & Resource Permanence
In its current state, Landmark suffers from infinite resource syndrome. There’s nothing in the game to remove resources — yet. Maybe claim upkeep will require 5,000 stone and 2,000 copper per day. Otherwise, I’ll quickly be throwing it away. I’m trying to think of ways to remove resources from the market. When combat is added and we can use weapons, maybe those weapons should break. Maybe mining tools should break. If harvesters are added, maybe those should need repairs. I want opportunity costs.
I’ll stop with those for now. If you have any ideas, I’d love to know what direction you think Landmark should go. So much potential for an already adventurous and amazing game.