I’ve made 3d models in my spare time that have been high res and have no purpose other than to look good and make me feel like I’d accomplished something, this was the first time I’d ever actually made something that you could interact with so it was an exciting step for me.
I originally started with some videos on YouTube just to get me started, once I got the general layout and starting mod files in order I began to experiment with different nodes and buttons (screwing a few things up majorly) before I got used to effected what and why, I’m still unsure of a lot of it but I’ve got to the stage where I can make a model, texture, export, customise and then add to the game as a working object.
Now if you are a fan of Minecraft’s mods you will see a similar trend with my own mod parts, I personally really enjoyed the Industrial Craft mod that really expanded apon the core game with machines and inventions that took core resources with some extra ones and completely changed the way you played, being able to refine ores and duplicate them was just one of the features.
My idea is to bring elements from Industrial craft and add them to Ark, I’ll build all my own models and I’ll use the Ark Dev kit to put them into the game with the functionality, I’m building things on a whim at the moment, there isn’t a clear direction other than the end goal of adding more fun machines to use, for example I’d make a low tech machine and then get the idea for a high tech without adding an in between, I will go back to the mid tech bits although my main focus is what I’m motivated to do rather than to force myself, below I’ve made a list in the order in which they were made.
This was my first attempt to keep the poly count low as I have a tenancy to go over the top on detail without limits. This is a small structure with a basic job, it combines the efficiency of three ‘Pestle & Mortars’ into one unit, this not only saves space but it creates three items at a time, you don’t save on resources but you do on time.
I will have to go back to this one as since I’ve experimented with other modeling ways and texturing I’ve advanced upon Normal maps and other little tricks to make the models look better than they are, keeping the poly count low, but it works and does the part so for the moment it will stay the same, have far more interesting concepts I wish to pursue.
This was the machine I wanted to build in the first place, the milling stone was merely a test into the gaming world, I first started with the Unreal Engine for this one getting the mechanics right, slowly working around what I wanting to do and getting used to how something is made in Ark.
The idea is simple, to take ‘Metal Ore’ a resource already in Ark and grind it into dust, the dust then will be processed into refined metal bars that can be used in place of metal ingots for any recipe, the first issue I came across was to make the new metal dust resource smelt into refined metal bars I couldn’t seem to get it to work let alone have the existing production tables accept the new resource in place of metal ingots, I tried linking metal dust to metal ingots, tried creating a new bar with exact stats and nothing.
I decided the only way I could get it to work was to create another machine that would take the new dust and turn it into metal ingots so it would eliminate the refined metal bar entirely, which wasn’t something I really wanted to do but due to lack of experience I saw that as the only way, I built the Arc Furnace as you’ll see below to fit this function it was only after this that I discovered a Discord chatroom that is dedicated to modding, on here I got the answer I wanted from — who advised me that if I created a child of the item I wanted to replicate it would function the same in any work bench, it was so obvious and soon after that everything worked and could be used everywhere in place of ingots I just had to find a new use for my Arc Furnace… I built the Macerator model from a real stone crusher because I really liked the compact look, I added a screen and a conveyor belt just for the cosmetic appeal .
The Arc Furnace started as a means to an end at first as I had the issues stated above, I wanted to create something a little different from your usual smelting pot and that’s when I found the Arc Furnace, combined with the fact I wanted to run this thing on electricity it seemed the perfect fit.
My idea was simple, to take my newly created resource and make it produce the ingots I needed to work into other items the only problem was that once I completed the model and mechanics in Unreal I discovered that it was a very simple fix and it made it seem that the furnace would be obsolete when compared to the ‘Industrial Furnace’ already in game, I had to give people a reason to build it in the first place so I went about giving it the same functionality of the industrial forge but with the added bonus of being powered by electricity.
As I looked at some of the most popular mods (one that I have included on my own server) the mod ‘Structures plus’ has the ability to craft like by like structures with highly modded abilities so for example you can run a customized industrial forge with either gas or electricity, this again made my furnace irrelevant, I scoured the Unreal engine looking for a solution when I came across the section to create an item when another one is created this seemed perfect, if I couldn’t change what the core structure did to make it better than others then I would give that structure a secondary production, thus slag was born, a by-product from metal dust or ore that is created every time a metal ingot is made.
The slag would be a long term item something that couldn’t be used immediately but with enough over time can be used to form something else, this something I haven’t decided on yet but I’m either going to go to a straight forward ingot of say 50 slag items to 1 or maybe create a new resource from the slag like pig iron for example, I write all my ideas down so there will be a use for it I’m sure.
Tier one crafting table
Now the problem I had when crafting the above items was that none of the core crafting benches would have the blueprints, this was a issue that my own crafting table solved, its a simple table with some cutting tools on and a block of stone on it, how fancy, this one will currently produce all my contraptions although I have some upgrade able ideas in motion at the moment so you will see it evolve as the time goes on and I have more machines under my belt, I’m planning on having three maybe four upgrades to replace this one, keeping the shape but progressively getting more advanced tools and feel to the table.
Amazing right?, how stone can be crafted into such advanced machines but that’s the magic of ark, the starting one will be unpowered and passive but future adaptions will require oil for fueling and then electricity or something else if I produce any more by-products.
Thanks for reading