Hi. It's been a while. Let's talk.
Our last post was from some time at the end of 2017. Since then we've:
And now it's time to come back and update the blog on a semi-regular basis.
We'll be at Play NYC this weekend. Tickets are still on sale at bit.ly/Play18Tickets, and you can use my sweet discount code NYCFAM to get 20% off. We'll have the latest build of From Rust and hope to see you there!
I'm Jon New, and I had the wonderful opportunity to intern with Razbury Games this fall working on From Rust. I worked on two important aspects of the game in my time here and I wanted to share a little bit about them.
The first thing I worked on was what we call the EP Tracker. This UI element sits in the upper left hand corner of the screen and is responsible for displaying a significant amount of information to players. This includes: the current day, how many exploration points a character or party has remaining, combat order, and the current phase.
To implement it, I first took the art that Marina created and broke it down into a spritesheet. After reassembling it in Unity, I created animators and animations for all the parts of the tracker that move (there are several). I then scripted the connections to the event system that runs the actual game logic.
My second project was a vote manager. Before this, if any player clicked on “Start Day”, it would start the day for everyone. Crafting was a complete free-for-all. The challenge here was to make it abstract and generalized enough to be used at any point in the game when a team decision had to be made.
The other part of this was how and when to display the information about the vote. We settled on a small panel on the right side of the screen that simply displays what you’re voting on, who’s voting and their vote, and the timer. This is fine for the “Start Day” vote, but a crafting vote has a lot more information that players would need to see. For this, there is a second toggleable panel in the center that can handle any extra information that is needed for any vote. I am proud to say that in our latest playtest, we were able to successfully vote to start the day (or not)!
Sadly, my internship at Razbury Games has concluded. I had an amazing time working on From Rust, and I hope you all enjoy playing it!
Today I wanted to chat a bit about some changes being made to monsters in From Rust - where we came from, where we're going, and why.
Originally, when the game was a physical card game, we very early on reached the problem of how to handle loot dropped from monsters. You kill a monster, you get a reward. But how do we represent that? Have you draw from a separate deck of "loot"? Keep a bank of specific cards? Not have loot at all? Ultimately, we settled on monster cards pulling double-duty - each would have all of the information necessary for combat, and at the bottom, would say what loot they dropped. When you beat the monster, it went into your hand and acted as the loot.
As design went forward, we started to look at doing some cool things with the fact that you had monster cards in your hand, just waiting to be spent. We created cards like "Trophy Bag," which gave Lucky Jack CP for every monster card in his inventory; "Know Your Enemy," which gave Buster extra damage against monsters of the same type as in his hand; and other things that played on the monster-as-loot mechanic. It was something we looked forward to exploring more and more as we went forward.
And then, we went digital. Suddenly, we didn't have to worry about the mechanics of packaging up a game with loot cards. We could just create loot dynamically, and so we did - any time you killed a monster, another card was generated as loot and added to your hand. We still had Trophy Bag and Know Your Enemy waiting in the wings, though, so the monster card also went into your hand. Now instead of one card added to your inventory, we had two; a monster card, and loot (typically a rare resource).
When we went to the playtest at Playcrafting on Halloween, players we super confused by this. Where was the loot coming from? What can I do with this monster? The answer to the second question in particular was troubling, because the answer was almost always "nothing." As people tried to get the monster to fight for them during combat, we knew we had a problem.
The solution is multi-facted. First, we've combined our old and new approach to loot to keep the mechanics we liked from the physical version, but take advantage of the digital format. Monsters now no longer automatically drop loot. Instead, they must be salvaged while at camp (ie. discarded). When discarded at camp, monsters will drop a random card from the loot table. This means you'll only have one or the other - a monster card, or its loot. And we still keep the random draw in place.
But that seems to simply add an extra step. Why would you ever not discard a monster? Well we've added a new way for monsters in your hand to help. While all card game invariably resort to keywords like First Strike and Trample to create abilities during combat, we'll be using them to create abilities after the monster is defeated. The first is already in the game now - Mount. Monsters with mount grant an EP bonus to the character whose inventory the monster is in. Big, fast monsters that you can ride on can essentially be jerry-rigged to carry you across the Wastes. And you have a decision to make whether to scrap that mount for parts, or continue to ride on until the boss battle.
We'll be playtesting this change a lot and let you know how it goes!
Hey guys. I'm Dan, the co-designer on From Rust, and the guy who junks up your screens with words. I wanted to share a bit about the game's history!
Before it was the glorious pinnacle of cooperative card-collecting adventures it is today, From Rust was actually a tabletop setting. Just after roll20.net was released, my little brother and a couple of our mutual friends asked if I could run a tabletop session through it to test the site out. The first question I ask any group who asks me to DM is: What system?
They didn't know. They weren't veteran tabletop players; they'd played D&D once or twice and that was it. The only restriction was that one of my friends wanted to play, quote, a "mechromancer." The hell is a mechromancer?
So I started thinking about settings, and I guess I must've watched Terminator a little too recently, because rogue machines and a war-torn Earth were in my head. I wrote a quick and dirty setting and some basic character classes and we ran the session -- my brother and friends were scavengers in the wasteland, fighting machines and just trying to survive. In the tabletop game, you had a limited time out in the wastes before you were hopelessly overrun by enemies, so you had to get out there, grab whatever you could find, and high-tail it back to something called a Skylight, which was basically a fancy magnetic hook that could take you back up to the floating cities you came from.
The session was a hell of a lot of fun, and they enjoyed the enemies I'd made, the character classes, yadda yadda. So I kept expanding it and eventually made a much more fleshed-out system. Before I got to run a real campaign in it, though, another friend suggested that, hey, maybe this would work as a card game.
Huh. Maybe it would.
In furtherance of our pre-alpha prototype build, we've added an in-game help menu that logs tutorials for you as they trigger in-game. We've managed to break up the basic rules of the game into only 8, count 'em 8, separate texts. It's a handy little reference guide mid-game as you're learning the ropes.
That first one there is a tutorial on "exploring" and it's about the main mechanic of From Rust. As mercenaries, explorers, scavengers etc. you'll be heading to areas of the planet long abandoned by civilization. Now they're the territory of possessed machines, and only the most dangerous scavenger parties still dare to enter.
Each of these zones is represented by a deck. That deck contains all kinds of cards, including gear, resources, items, and of course monsters. You'll need to accumulate enough of all of those things to get strong and take on the boss. Which means exploring as much as you can (ie. drawing as many cards as possible) before the boss fight is critical.
So how many cards can you draw? Each character has "exploration points" (EP), and that represents the number of cards they can flip over in a single day. You can always stop short (in case your scout tells you there's a tough monster ahead), but after your EP is over it's time to head back to camp and start another day.
Each zone has different triggers for when the boss starts, but the prototype zone is simply "after 5 days." That means you'll need to gather resources and craft as fast as possible, because come hell or high water, you're gonna have something nasty to deal with sooner than you'd like.
There are plenty of cards that modify EP, along with other mechanics that impact EP, but we'll talk about those...another time!
This week in the From Rust world was all about the tutorial experience. Why? Isn't that something you do at the end? Yes! But on October 28 it'll be your first chance to play the game at Playcrafting's Halloween Expo and so, uh, we'd better have some way to teach the rules to you.
For this at-the-con build, we're currently working on a short session involving 2 of the game's core characters. This session will be scripted - meaning we're not shuffling the deck or randomizing loot drops - so that we can walk you through using the zone deck, combat, consumables, crafting, and all of that as you play. Way better than having me hover over you and teach you the rules.
The nice thing about this tutorial is that we've actually made a tutorial manager that plays the events in sequence - displaying text, having characters chat, manipulating the screen, etc. If you're thinking "hey, that sounds not only like a tutorial, but also a cutscene," please apply for a job working on the team (we pay in encouragement). But also, you're right! This system we're building right now can be used to do cutscenes in-session as we explore From Rust's questing and narrative sides.
This system also integrates with our "barks," small one-off lines or conversations that your characters have in response to things happening in the game. So far, we've already got 20 of them hooked up to events as frequent as ending the day, and as uncommon as crafting one specific piece of gear. This is a "whenever I can't focus on real development" kind of project, so expect hundreds more of these ;)
If you happen to be in New York at the end of October, don't miss your chance to play our insanely early build and let us know what you think of the tutorials!
Welcome to the first post for the From Rust dev blog! We're gonna be talking about all kinds of cool and fun things happening with the game here, and keeping track of progress as it goes. Lots of announcements, where to find us, all that jazz. And, I hope to do some tutorials here too for some cool things we stumble on in Unity.
For now, a little about the game. From Rust is a co-op digital collectible card game coming to PC & mobile! The game takes place in a world destroyed by possessed machines; to survive, humanity has fled to airships hovering over the surface. In From Rust you play the role of mercenaries, scavengers, investigators, mechanics, and others hired to head to the surface to gather components and resources and rid the planet of the possessed machines. You'll be securing outposts, running missions for mysterious new government figures, and exploring the secrets of the possessed machines...all with your friends!
A single session of From Rust is played with four characters. Whether you control all four or you split them up among four friends is up to you. As you explore a zone - represented by a deck - you'll find loot, monsters, events and more. As you progress, you'll need to craft gear and unlock powerful abilities to help you on your mission. The team needs to pool its resources to succeed - unlike other hero-driven games, From Rust is at its core heavily focused on team strategy and cooperation. You won't make it out of the first level without everyone working in tandem and communicating.
Right now, we've got a core prototype of a single session working, which is super exciting! We've been playing it over the internet, and are really pumped to keep adding more features, all of the account-level stuff, and of course lots of art, music, and juice.
Over the next few weeks we'll be posting more information about where we already are with the game. But if your curiosity can't wait, I stream development of the game on twitch every Tuesday! Stop by, and if you're lucky, you might be even able to play the current version live on stream.
That's all for this week! It'll likely be me writing the few posts, but we'll have Dan, Marina, and other guests doing dev blog posts as we go forward!