Friday Dev Update: Crafting Interface

12:04 PM John Gamble 4 Comments

As part of the design for the new GUI, we are taking a look at crafting and how its interface can be improved. Here are some of our ideas.


What’s Wrong with the Current One?

To craft an item in Salt, you currently have to open your crafting interface and move components from your inventory window to the crafting window. When you have all of the items required for a particular recipe, an icon representing the recipe pops up inside a small frame in the crafting window. If multiple things can be crafted from the same components, you have to click arrows to cycle through all of the possibilities.

There are a couple of problems and annoyances with the crafting interface as it is now. First off, you have to interact with both the inventory and crafting windows, which are on opposite sides of the screen from each other. Having to look at and interact with icons that far away from each other is an unnecessary annoyance. To fix this, the new design will have everything you need for crafting much closer together within the screen space.

Another thing I don’t like about the current system is that you can’t easily see all of the potential recipes that your selected components can create. Instead of making the player click an arrow to cycle through all of them, we want to show them all at once.


Making the Current Functionality Better

So, here is the overview of our current plan with regards to the new crafting interface. There will be a button within the new inventory window that pops out the crafting interface very close by. We will also have a keyboard shortcut to quickly open the crafting window as before. When the crafting window is open, it will automatically switch your inventory view to show all crafting components.

The crafting UI will not be an item container as it is currently. Instead, it will have a place to show you a number of recipe icons. When it is open, you will be able to “highlight” as many different crafting components as you wish from your inventory, and the list of matching recipe icons will be updated inside the crafting interface. When you add all of the components for the recipe you wish to craft, you will click the appropriate recipe icon to begin crafting.


Totally New Features

In addition to the above changes, we had some small ideas to add into the crafting system. We thought it would be handy for the player to “remember” recipes that they have previously created. After you craft a particular item for the first time, its recipe icon will appear “greyed out” within the crafting interface whenever you highlight any portion of its components.

For example, say you recently started your game, and you collect a few flint and logs. You open your crafting interface, and select the logs. A club recipe icon will appear. Then you select the flint. The club recipe icon will disappear because you have selected a wrong ingredient, but the campfire recipe icon will appear. You craft the campfire, causing you to “remember” that recipe from now on. Since you now know that recipe, the next time you open your crafting window and highlight just a log, a club recipe icon will appear as normal, but also the campfire recipe will appear “greyed out.” You’ll be able to mouse over it to read about it and what is required to make it.

This feature would not make it any more difficult to discover recipes in the first place, but it would add a small quality-of-life improvement once you already had made the discovery.


We would love to hear your thoughts on both the planned changes and the new recipe memory feature that we are discussing.


- John Gamble (Lead Developer)






4 comments:

  1. I think this is a well-thought out design idea. And it still makes it so you have to find and use the recipe in the first place in order to have it in your list. I really can't think of anything that could improve on what you've listed here. Maybe I'll think of something based on other peoples comments.

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  2. I like the idea of a smoother interface, the only other option that I would LOVE to have is the ability to craft more than one item at a time. When you have say, 60 flowers and want to craft some potions, it is very tedious to do it one by one. It would be nice to have the option to craft 5 or even 10 items at a time, or at least have the crafting instant.

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    Replies
    1. Good idea on this! I agree this would be a very handy feature to add.

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  3. I really like the idea of the list of recipes based on selected ingredients. Maybe if the list of recipes were dynamic based on currently selected ingredients, narrowing down as more ingredients are selected, with the ability to hover over a recipe to see what additional items are required? Also the learned recipes sounds like a great idea.

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