Survival Guide 1 – Wood Working
One fundamental purpose of the game is to bring coherence in the way of managing survivors, materials, buildings, the village and island ecological balance.
We decided to follow this objective paying attention to those points:
- Survivors will use time as a consumable resource during the day for creating their village.
- Material essences will influence characteristics and lifetime of crafted items.
- Every action available in the game will follow realistic ways of production inspired by:
- Didactic books
- Archaeological researches
- Museums, workshops and constructions visits
- Meetings with traditional craftsmen
- Practical experiences of our team members
- Every way of transforming raw materials has impacts, which should be measured in order to maintain the delicate balance with a sensitive though welcoming land.
In order to craft and build wooden items, it is necessary to cut down trees to obtain trunks and branches. Then the villagers can transform those natural resources into generic materials.
It means a long process which would invite to :
- Take care of your survivors
- Produce many less and less rudimentary tools
- Increase various skills
- Craft increasingly refined items
- Build workshops
- Optimize time as effectively as possible
- Comprehend how every step of the process actually works
Different material essences for different uses
Several wood essences are available in the game.
For example, oak wood offers resistant materials which provide hardness to crafts and constructions. But it is harder to work and requires stronger cutting tools.
Inversely, fir wood allows faster transformation, economizing sharpening of tools, but structures will be more fragile than oak ones.
There are no perfect choices, you will have to adapt to the context : check the resources the island provides you before starting drawing plans for your village!
Our game design is here to offer a simulation of these choices and to experiment their logical consequences turn by turn.
Quickly, the villagers abilities are going to raise by observing nature’s fundamental principles and using skills in adequation with each others. Ultimately your team could come to design and build a water-powered sawmill, which is the most achieved project in terms of woodworking.
In-game, you will simply construct the building as a whole entity (though it’s not that simple), but let’s dig into how it has been graphically conceived.
We divide the comprehension of the process by observing four mechanical groups.
- Driving part
A waterwheel receives a water flow on its paddles and transmits the power to a rotating movement.
- First movement transformation
In order to increase the speed of the movement we use two pulleys and a belt. By adjusting diameters we define the speed. In this example the first pulley has a diameter of 1 meter and the second one has a diameter of 0,5 meter. So the second pulley will be driven twice as fast (diameters are inversely proportional to angular speeds).
- Second movement transformation
After increasing speed, we need to transform the circular movement in alternating movement. So we use a crankshaft and a push rod.
- Operative part
Aaand it’s done! Our saw is driven by an alternative movement. We just need a bank to push the trunk to the sawmill and produce our desired planks.
Team practical experiences
During a life experience in the Cévennes – with a carpenter and friend of mine – we decided to turn into lumberjacks, without fuel, without electricity. We only used hand tools, good steel, sharpening stones and a bit of elbow grease to knock down pines and chestnuts…
…Then we decided to craft a chestnut beam with the same restrictions.
- Knock down the tree
- Cut a section of 5 meters long
- Fix the trunk on a bank with dogs
- Make chalk-lines
- Notch deep vertical cuts along the lines with a felling axe
- Hold the broad axe to finish the surface
- Do it four times to have a section of 15 x 15 cm
- Enjoy your single beam at the end of the day!
We used those results to balance the gameplay in Stormland: 8 hours from the tree to the beam, with two people. A single skilled woodcutter was able to produce two beams a day with this process!
Drawings used with accord of Francesco Corni (http://www.francescocorni.com/) and Ink Line Edizioni (www.inkline-edizioni.com)
Cours de Mécanique par une réunion de professeurs (Librairie générale de l’enseignement libre, A. MAME, J. DE GIGORD)
A Museum of Early American Tools (Eric SLOANE)
Le Manuel de la vie Sauvage (Alain SAURY)
Sawmill of Champorcher Valley (Valle d’Aosta, Italia)