Eat to Craft, Craft to Kill
Like many actions in Bite The Bullet, crafting is performed through eating. Sounds simple enough, right? If only. Everyone’s crafted in games before, whether it be Minecraft or The Last of Us, but they all pretty much feel the same. That’s where Bite The Bullet is different.
The crafting system essentially works like this: after eating an infected, rotten, or boss enemy, the player is allowed to craft. The player ingests a special yeast that is dropped upon defeating one of the aforementioned enemies, and this starts the “catalytic fermentation” process in the player’s stomach, which lets you upgrade weapons. You’re a human fusion chamber (see, Mom, I told you I can be whatever I wanna be!). To further feed this process, the player utilizes resources from the body: calories, fat, and protein. Different upgrades affect which resources get used when crafting.
Early versions of the crafting screens
Crafting, although straightforward to use, interfaces with several of the game's other systems and requires careful consideration and balancing. For example, the player is supposed to throw up after crafting, but this makes the player vulnerable. Vomiting happens in-level, and during this animation, the player can be hit by enemies. Not only that, but vomiting also consumes resources, and a “complete purge” would consume 300 calories, 100 fat, and 30 protein.
This can create a potentially dangerous situation for the player. Protein, Calories and Fat all affect a player’s abilities and movement, so losing them can make the player weaker, at the cost of a more powerful weapon. However, certain skills can be upgraded that will prevent this in-level throw-up, meaning a third system is affected by crafting.
A decision then had to be made whether to keep this in the game and add an element of risk/reward or modify it to make it safer for the player. Ultimately, we decided to embrace the risk/reward element and have it implemented as planned. This now means the player has to make a careful decision when they’re crafting, and they will incur additional penalties when crafting using an infected or rotten enemy. Doing so in the middle of combat, though it may make your weapon better, could come back to bite you.
Rather than having a bunch of disparate mechanics, we strive to make the game’s systems integrated and cohesive. Having the system's impact each other gives the game more breadth and depth, which we hope will create a deeper and more meaningful experience for the player.
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