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Skills


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#1 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4240

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 04:52 PM

Players can have WORKSHOPS (blacksmith, mill, carpenter workshop, tailor workshop, etc), there are PRODUCTS (iron ingots - made from iron ore, tools - made from iron ingots, etc), there are SKILLS (list below) that affect the crafting efficiency.

 

Now, I have a problem with naming these skills. As you see (below) some are simply names of the workshop type, some are names of products... Not consistent at all and overall messy :) How to name these?

 

The theme of the game is medieval (in case it matters).

 

 

Baking bread
Cheese making
Apiarist
Oil making
Milling (flour making)
Carpentry
Smelting
Blacksmith
Jeweller
Tannery
Weaving
Dyeing
Tailor
Shoemaking
Bricks making
Pottery making
Paper making
Brewing beer
Brewing wine
Candle making
Saddle making
Weapon crafting
Armour crafting


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#2 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 22752

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 06:47 PM

You switch between [title] and [task] in your naming scheme (example: 'Jeweller'/'Blacksmith' vs 'Smelting'/'Milling'). Also, you have some less-common names ("Apiarist") and some more-common names ("Blacksmith") - I'd focus on one or the other. And I'd lean to the less-common (which makes it sound archaic), but make sure you have plain-english descriptions very visible on your interface.

 

Here's some ideas:

6tkr.png

 

[Edit:] Bah, formatting issues. Made the chart an image instead.

 

Another thing to note is the difference between specialized roles and generic roles. For example, you have "Blacksmith" and "Weapon crafting" and "Armor crafting". Are they subclass specializations or entirely separate skills? For example, I'd think Saddlemaking would be a subset of Leatherworking (tanning). Likewise, Tailor and Weaver, while not identical, seems like one would be a superset of the other. I'm not positive about that, though.

 

When towns get bigger, more skilled individuals can go into specialization. If a town is smaller, you'd need people to be jack-of-all-trades - in a small town, the blacksmith better know how to make a sword, sharpen a plow, and forge horseshoes. In a huge city, he can specialize not just in one type of product, but even one type of material - goldsmiths and silversmiths can co-exist in specialization if they live in an area large enough to still get plenty of work each.

 

In the modern day, I know a contractor who decided to stop doing general contracting as he got older, and now only does garage doors. He can go in, knock the job out, and charge $5000 for it. On the other hand, in the old days, even farmers needed to know the basics of iron working to make their own basic tools. I know a farmer, in his 90s now, who still has some of his old iron-working tools in his workshop from way back when.


Edited by Servant of the Lord, 28 April 2014 - 06:50 PM.

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#3 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4240

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 02:22 AM

Hmmm, I think I would go for TASK.

 

Note there are also other (non crafting skills), I named these:

- Education

- Theology

- Music

- Law

I guess these are/sound sort of "task" too.

 

Specific questions:

- Tannery - shouldn't it be Tanning? (I'm not a native English speaker)

- Blacksmith - is it really a name of a task? Not just a profession? Isn't it "blacksmithing" or something?

- Milling (flour making) - should I use just "Milling" maybe? Is it sufficiently clear that it is to produce flour?

- Apiarist/Beekeeping - I have a problem here, you actually go to a forest and gather honey combs, then you extract the honey combs and make honey (both these actions use "Apiarist" skill). The thing is, you techically do not keep any bees, so "Beekeeping" is not correct/is misleading.

- Should I use more "___ making" or "___ crafting"?

 

 

Subclasses - no, there are no subclasses here. Each skill is completely independent/separate.

 

Smelting, Jewelry, Blacksmith - These are special case, generally you use blacksmith skill to do everything related to iron, EXCEPT smelting iron ore into iron ingots shoich use smelting. Similarly the same smelting skill is used to smelt precous ores by the jeweller to make jewelry. I found out it's quite confusing to players... I wonder, should I remove smelting and just use blacksmith/jewelry for ingots as well?


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#4 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5290

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 01:29 PM

This is a quite big list of skills, and on many I don't really see how one could conceptually "level" or how once could conceptually produce better output since it depends on the inputs.

 

Can't you batch together a few of these (without losing "game value")? Maybe with specilalisations or "craft plans", so you can for example buy leatherworking if you have tailoring, so you can tailor cloth and leather?

 

Dyeing - Amount depends on the amount of ingredients, how do you produce more dye? Need to gather more flowers or acorns, or ... stuff.

Apiarist - Does not tend bees (you explicitly said so) but just collects honey combs in forest. Which is basically "gathering". You can't make more honey out of the same amount of honey combs.

Milling - Same. Amount depends on the amount of wheat (or some other cereal), which is generated by farming, or well... some form of gathering. Also a level 50 miller can't make more flour than a level 1 miller, obviously.

Tannery - Depends on the amount of hides (... animal tending) and involves the actual tanning, but otherwise pretty much identical to tailoring.

Saddle making - Subclass of tannery.

Cheese making - Depends on the amount of milk. So... animal tending, or gathering. Or, like brewing beer and baking bread, cooking or foraging in a wider sense.


Edited by samoth, 29 April 2014 - 01:30 PM.


#5 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4240

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 04:19 PM

This is a quite big list of skills, and on many I don't really see how one could conceptually "level" or how once could conceptually produce better output since it depends on the inputs.
Skills reduce stamina required for crafting (it's for an existing game http://europe1300.eu it all works), it does not affect input nor output (it would make no sense in most cases as you said), it only affects time (stamina used). I'm just in need of naming these properly :)

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#6 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 22752

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 04:36 PM

'Law' - do you mean the giving and executing of laws (i.e. governments creating laws), or the study and debating of of law (i.e. lawyers)?

'Theology' is distinct from 'Religion'. Theology being specifically the study of scripture and the study of the nature of God. For example, a pastor might not be a theologian, but a teacher usually would be. (Theologian = biblical scholar, not necessarily a priest). It's the christian version of a philosopher.
 

Specific questions:
- Tannery - shouldn't it be Tanning? (I'm not a native English speaker)

Yes, sorry. [Tannery] is the location, [Tanning] the task, [Tanner] the occupation.

I made a few other mistakes. For example, Wikipedia seems intent on arguing that 'Cobblers' only repair shoes, they don't make them (a Cordwainer makes shoes, apparently). 'Cordwainer' as a term isn't at all common in the United States, but 'Cobbler', while no longer used in practice, is more well-known from fairy tales and history. However, Cordwainer fits very well into the archaic-sounding titles and might be a better fit for your game.
 

Blacksmith - is it really a name of a task? Not just a profession? Isn't it "blacksmithing" or something?

Another mistake. Yes, 'smithing', 'forging', 'crafting', 'smelting' would be more likely the task name. 'blacksmithing' wouldn't sound correct.
 

- Milling (flour making) - should I use just "Milling" maybe? Is it sufficiently clear that it is to produce flour?

Yes you can - but bear in mind that there are more kinds of mills than just wheat-mills.
 

- Apiarist/Beekeeping - I have a problem here, you actually go to a forest and gather honey combs, then you extract the honey combs and make honey (both these actions use "Apiarist" skill). The thing is, you techically do not keep any bees, so "Beekeeping" is not correct/is misleading.

'Honey forager', maybe? I'm not aware of a specific English title for that. If someone finds a honey-bee hive in the woods, they (in real life) used to just relocate it to a more convenient spot on their own property.

 

I'd use 'Apiarist' anyway, just because it sounds cool. happy.png 
 

Should I use more "___ making" or "___ crafting"?

It's a matter of aesthetics - both are acceptable.

Personally, I dislike seeing a long list of "______ [word]" regardless of what [word] is. I, as a non-professional hobbyist game designer, would prefer single-words to double-word tasks, unless the single-words aren't descriptive enough. Tossing in a few "______ [word]" into the list is fine to me, but then I'd vary up what the [word] is, depending on context.

Instead of:
Bread making
Sword making
Armor making
Beer making


While those are acceptable, for artistic reasons I'd replace it with:
Baker
Sword-crafter
Armor-forger
Brewer


...avoiding using the same word more than once if I can help it.
 

Smelting, Jewelry, Blacksmith - These are special case, generally you use blacksmith skill to do everything related to iron, EXCEPT smelting iron ore into iron ingots shoich use smelting. Similarly the same smelting skill is used to smelt precous ores by the jeweller to make jewelry. I found out it's quite confusing to players... I wonder, should I remove smelting and just use blacksmith/jewelry for ingots as well?


There are game design reasons why you might want multiple different players to have to participate together to produce a final product. You'd have to figure out why it's confusing. Is it actually "confusing", or do they just not like it? What don't they like about it - is it too time-consuming, do they feel the 'smelting' skill is too limited in use that they are wasting skill points on it?

A general rule of thumb in game-design is that if a player tells you something is wrong, consider it carefully and think through it. But if a player tells you how to fix it, cover your ears and don't listen. Players make bad designers, but they do know when they aren't enjoying something.

You have to consider as a designer what purpose the skill has, and whether you should expand its purpose (i.e. add more features and abilities to the 'smelting' skill), eliminate its purpose (e.g. remove iron ore and smelting entirely), or consolidate its purpose (i.e. merge it into blacksmithing).
What you do would be dependent on how your game works, and what you think as a designer would be 'best' for the game and the players as a whole. 'Best' doesn't always mean most enjoyable immediately - sometimes undesirable (from a player-perspective) design decisions make the game overall more enjoyable.


Edited by Servant of the Lord, 29 April 2014 - 04:38 PM.

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#7 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4240

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:22 AM

No, no, by Law/Theology/Music I meant these were the actual names of "skills" they tought in universities in that era, so I can't change these. And these are "tasks" not "professions" (Theology, not Theologist). Therefore, I think I make all remaing skills "task" too I suppose?

 

 

Anyway, here is an improved list of skills (switched to "task"):

Digging
Mining
Wood cutting
Hunting
Fishing
Baking bread
Cheese making
! Apiarist !!!
Oil making
Milling
Carpentry
Smelting
Forging
Jewelry
Tanning
Weaving
Dyeing
! Tailor !!!
Shoe making
Bricks making
Pottery making
Paper making
Brewing beer
Brewing wine
Candle making
Saddle making
Weapon crafting
Armour crafting

 

 

Personally, I dislike seeing a long list of "______ [word]" regardless of what [word] is. I, as a non-professional hobbyist game designer, would prefer single-words to double-word tasks, unless the single-words aren't descriptive enough. Tossing in a few "______ [word]" into the list is fine to me, but then I'd vary up what the [word] is, depending on context.
Well, I have a small problem here, a lot (most) of target players are not necessarily proficient in English (and translation will be provided to some languages only and can be available much later), so "___ [word]" is much easier to understand by that players...

 

 

You'd have to figure out why it's confusing. Is it actually "confusing", or do they just not like it? What don't they like about it - is it too time-consuming, do they feel the 'smelting' skill is too limited in use that they are wasting skill points on it?
It's confusing because all other crafdting skills cower the whole workshop, while Jeweller/Balcksmith have a subskill of sort that affects only smelting. Plus, when I'm using "Blacksmith" the natural expectation is it to contain *all* the skills a blacksmith needs... Above I changed Blacksmith to Forging so Forging+Smelting would sound better I suppose (but what about Jewelly, it still needs a Smelting skill.

Of course I could just discard Smelting and include it into Forging/Jewelry.


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#8 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 22752

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 12:12 PM

Anyway, here is an improved list of skills (switched to "task"):
Digging
Mining
Wood cutting
Hunting
Fishing
Baking bread
Cheese making
! Apiarist !!!    'Honey gathering'  might be a clearer.
Oil making
Milling
Carpentry
Smelting
Forging
Jewelry Jewelry making ("Jewelry" is the product, not the task)
Tanning
Weaving
Dyeing
! Tailor !!!
Shoe making
Bricks making Brick making (no 's' after 'brick')
Pottery making
Paper making
Brewing beer
Brewing wine
Candle making
Saddle making
Weapon crafting
Armour crafting

 
That list looks good and makes sense in English.
 

It's confusing because all other crafdting skills cower the whole workshop, while Jeweller/Balcksmith have a subskill of sort that affects only smelting. Plus, when I'm using "Blacksmith" the natural expectation is it to contain *all* the skills a blacksmith needs... Above I changed Blacksmith to Forging so Forging+Smelting would sound better I suppose (but what about Jewelly, it still needs a Smelting skill.
Of course I could just discard Smelting and include it into Forging/Jewelry.

In that case, it probably would be better to just give Blacksmithing the ability to smelt iron ores, and to give Jewelry Making the ability to smelt gold ores. Or, to just remove iron ingots and gold ingots and have Blacksmiths forge equipment directly from the ores to remove an unnecessary step.


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#9 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4240

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:22 PM

OK, I got almost all done (BTW, thanks, it was helpful). Now I still wonder about honey. The thing is, the skill is used for two things, gathering and extracting. I'm more interested in the extracting part. The process is like that: you get a honey comb and "process" it to get honey and wax. How to call such skill?


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#10 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 22752

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:32 PM

'Honey forager' is one option. 'forager' implies gathering, but can include processing.

 

'Honey harvesting' or 'Honey extraction' also would work.

'Beehive processing' or similar variations would de-emphasize honey specifically.


It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.
All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.
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[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

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