Crafting – it’s a lifestyle. Whether it’s cosplay, sweaters, cups, puppets, or other cool DIY projects, crafting and geekdom go together like popsicle sticks and glue. They’re two ingredients mixed together used to make something awesome.
Crafting in video games can take the form of a lot of different systems–sometimes you’re a blacksmith forging weapons from materials you gathered across the land, other times you’re an survivalist piecing together a shelter out of sticks and stones to survive for the night. Whatever your vibe, here are a few indie games for the creative crafter that won’t just let you build cool stuff, but show it off to the world as well.
Playful’s Creativerse resembles its predecessor Minecraft in many familiar ways, both that you can currently play it in an early alpha version before its proper launch, and that you explore gigantic procedurally generated worlds in order to gather materials to build your own structures and weapons. We wanted to give Creativerse a specific shout-out not just because it’s from a smaller team, but also because it makes some elements of Minecraft’s legendary construction gameplay a bit easier to manage.
First, all of the game’s recipes for special building materials, items, etc are located within the game, meaning you can discover how to build any specific thing by exploring and seeking out cool creatures and locations. Second, there’s only one tool needed to gather materials–a big streamline choice that differs from Minecraft and other games’ use of pickaxes, axes, and the like to harvest resources. Third, it’s $20 to get in on that early access right now, but once it launches, it’ll be free to play, which will definitely work well for geeks who need to spend money on crafting materials. The result is a giant landscape you can use to build gorgeous houses, towns, castles, fortresses, or humble villages with your friends.
Besiege is a physics puzzler with a simple premise and a complex execution – build siege engines and wreck things. Here’s the catch – your catapults have to work. Besiege captured Reddit and Imgur’s heart a while back not just for its medieval-themed wackiness, but because the combinations of siege weapons you could create and how they could be used to complete mission objections was absolutely mind-boggling. From the ground up, you have to strap together logs, springs, and pulleys to make catapults, battering rams, robots….
If you’re the kind of geek who enjoyed building catapults in science class, and maybe still enjoys putting together rube-goldberg machines for your friends on YouTube, maybe Besiege will let you take that ingenuity and energy and put it towards larger scale destruction. Best of all, if you make something that’s really awesome, you can upload it to the Steam community and other players can download it to their game. Or you can just drop it on r/besiege and gain loads and loads of Reddit Karma for your unique creations.
Kerbal Space Program
At the core, Kerbal Space Program might appeal to the NASA geeks who want to apply for a job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Here, you’re in charge of the Kerbal space agency, and your mission is to get these little Kerbals into outer space and then back home again safely. Or maybe it’s to get them to the moon. Or maybe it’s just to build some crazy rockets and see what happens when you launch them vaguely in the direction of space.
Kerbal Space Program ups the ante on your typical game crafting by letting you work with a system that vaguely resembles real newtonian physics, so if you’re the sort of person who enjoys building Millennium Falcon drones, you may enjoy an evening or two tooling around with space stuff to get your head around working around those problems on a bigger level.
Kerbal Space Program is a great game not just for the scientifically-minded geek to show off how much you know about space, but also for the wilder ones among you who, may, say want to build a working Optimus Prime.
Feature Image Credit: Kerbal Space Program