Design Assignment 2, Week 3

So first I thought it would be funny for an assignment called Contradiction Creation to make my title a contradiction of what we are supposed to do. Instead of a flashy fun title, I went with a literal boring descriptive one. Funny right… no… ok well here was the second design assignment.

As stated above I chose to do a contradiction creation. These are fun because they always make me chuckle no matter how lame or amazing they turn out. I decided to do 2 just because they aren’t really challenging, and I wanted to see what i could come up with.

First one I decided to do was with a picture of the lovable quokka and add a word that literally nobody would associate with it, VIOLENCE.

An entire internet trend was started because these little guys are considered the happiest animals on earth, and they do not look like they are capable of violence. There are about a dozen or so incidents every year where they are involved in injuring someone but look at that face! I do not believe it!

For my second one I just had the phrase I wanted to use in my head, run fast, eat trash. It is referencing a raccoon and I tried to think of the thing most opposite of our little trash gremlins, so I thought of an elegant dinner. The result:

Again, these are not too difficult, but I had a good time thinking of what to do. If you put things on a spectrum in this way, you can come up with some fun stuff. I enjoyed doing this one and I recommend taking a few minutes to think of some good ones.

Autonomous Millennial Pokémon Ranch

For my design assignment I decided to do Back to Basics! The goal of this assignment is to get on an open world game that allows for building and design a cottage. The game I went with is a new one called Palworld. It has been described as a combination of ARK and Pokémon. I chose this one because it has some interesting design elements that make it unique involving AI functions. In this game you have the classic survival elements of needing food and gear to survive, but you also get to capture Pals to do work for you at your ranch. They can farm and mine and help craft items if they have the right skills. So how is this a design thing? Well, am not just designing my house/base for looks, I am also designing it to be an efficient well-oiled, automated, machine. Let me show you how.

First thing is, you must meet certain requirements to upgrade your base to allow more Pals to help you. Once you meet these requirements, you get to upgrade your base opening the next upgrade requirements. Here is what that looks like:

Above you see that you need the right crafting tables placed to show you are ready to upgrade. The pets also need food and beds, or they will not perform their tasks effectively. Here is their food bin:

Each one needs its own bed so it can rest when it needs to, and they all have their own hunger meter you need to manage. Here is their beds:

You also need to provide it with entertainment to relax. This is to keep their sanity meter in check. If this gets too low, they will misbehave or not work. I have povided them a pool to relax in.

Not having a bed or food or entertainment will greatly reduce their effectiveness. A funny instance, before I built the hot spring, my boar went on an overeating rampage because he had no place to relax and ate half my supply of berries. I was using these berries for the animal food, so he was effectively making the other animals have a higher chance of a breakdown.

So, once you have the basics covered for beds and entertainment and food, you can set up your supply operation. Here are the animals and stations I have installed at my ranch.

Here is the monkey. He is my wood chopper. You can see by his little log indicator that he can chop wood. I set up a workable tree station on my ranch and he is my lumberjack. When he is working, he chops wood for me all day. I must go collect it so it can be used in crafting. The good thing about this game is I can just place it in a nearby box or chest and anything on my property can automatically pull from that box to craft. Saves me some time.

Here is the fox. She is my chef/smelter. The ability indicated here shows that she can do anything with fire. She will help me cook food for my character and I can task her with smelting metal ingots at the furnace. All of these will be the same, I must collect the items when they are done.

Here is my boar. With his little pick symbol, I can tell that he is a miner. I set up a workable stone quarry for him to constantly mine stone for me.

Here is my sheep. As you can see the sheep has a few functions. He can graze in the pasture which generates wool, he can also haul items. This one is helpful because if there are loose items on the ground, he will pick them up and take them to the nearest box. And as I said before, if it’s in a box, it can be pulled to any craft station, so that is nice.

Here is my… uhhh… plant guy. He is my planter indicated by his little seed symbol. He seeds the land so it can be watered and farmed for food for the animals.

Here is my watering service the penguin. He waters the farm, so it grows. Simple.

Here are my others – the chicken and Vixie. They generate other items in the pasture, but they also harvest the plants on my farms.

All these working together allow my operation to run semi-autonomously. I still must collect most things from the workstations by hand, but it saves me the time and effort of gathering the items myself. This allows me to always have the basic supplies on hand to build the next set of upgrades as well as making sure all the Pals are taken care of while I am off exploring or catching better Pals or building my house!

Let me give you a tour of the place I have built. It is a work in progress and not how I had imagined it. The building system is very simple and basic roof building seems almost impossible. Some of the pieces do not logically snap correctly and this results in flat ceilings when I would have enjoyed a more open floor plan.

So, we have the basement. As you can see this is my workshop/barn. I made sure all the tables and beds are easily reachable by the Pals so they can work and sleep without issue. I love the open floor plan down here.

Then we move upstairs. To get everything to look the way I wanted I had to make all these extra walls then delete them. Don’t ask me how that works but it does. For some reason the game doesn’t allow you to make open spaces without doing this. Like the roof pieces do not snap to other roof pieces, just walls… why… Anyway, here is what I have so far.

Here is the bedroom.

Here is the dining area and bar. (want to imagine my ranch is a restaurant). It needs more chairs, work faster monkey!

Overview, looks pretty good, even though I’m not happy with the building at this time, I hope the game developer makes some changes so we can get more creative in the future.

Are there problems… absolutely! The AI for the animals is strange sometimes. Like if their task is completed before the next one comes up, they tend to wander the property and get stuck in places. Then they miss doing their task, then they miss eating and sleeping etc. So, they will get grumpy or start misbehaving. Also, sometimes their pathing is strange. If I set a box down and it happens to be the closest to them as the crow flies, they will try to take items to that one instead of the box that has the path of least resistance. So, the AI needs some work.

Overall, this game is very fun. It scratches the creative itch of building a house, but it also stretches those efficiency muscles and it’s almost like you start running a factory supply chain. This takes an incredible amount of design skill since you have so many moving parts and have a lot of things to manage. It’s a different kind of design, but it’s a design none the less. I highly recommend you give it a try if you are into survival games, but also, as you can probably see, the Pokémon aesthetic is spot on. Fellow millennials, this is the adult Pokémon game you have been waiting for!