Manufacturing is how raw materials are assembled into useful items. In OC, nearly all useful items are manufactured, and this secondary level of industry is one of the most important aspects of any expedition.
- Manufacturing is how new items are produced in OC.
- Manufacturing an item requires raw materials.
- Each item is made up of some collection of subcomponents. Each subcomponent has some material requirement that’s needed to manufacture it.
- Mechanically, issuing manufacturing orders is easy.
- All you have to do is specify the materials you want to use in assembly and how many items you want assembled.
- Choosing the right materials for item subcomponents requires significant skill.
- Potential materials often have widely variable properties, and choosing one material over another often involves tradeoffs. A thorough understanding of the materials involved, how the item will be used, and the particular stresses to which it will be subjected are needed in making a good decision.
- There’s almost never one “best” choice for materials. Usage specifics determine what might be best.
- Item manufacturing occurs at manufacturing stations. These are pieces of machinery that manufacture items in a certain category. For example, to manufacture a food item, a food and drink manufacturing station must be available to your expedition. These always require power and some types of manufacturing (like producing drinks) need connections to a water supply.
Before items can be manufactured, the necessary raw materials must be acquired. Logging, mining, agriculture, material refining, material synthesis, and other primary industries contribute raw materials consumed by manufacturing. To see the material requirements of an item, click the manufacturing order button, shown below:
This will load the item selection dialog. From here, you can filter items by category to narrow your search. Items are then listed alphabetically, by item name.
Once you’ve selected the item of interest, clicking the next button will load the detail specification interface. This is where you specify the materials that you want used for assembling the item’s various subcomponents. Let’s take a look at this interface for issuing an order to manufacture fruit juice:
You can see from the dialog that a fruit juice item consists of three subcomponents: water, fruit, and a bottle. The bottle can be made from any solid, so it can be fashioned from plastic, glass, metal, wood, or painstakingly hewn from workable stone. Potable water is potable water, but the fruit requirement is perhaps the most important. All that’s called for in this component requirement is fruit – any kind of fruit is usable.
Referring to the material portion of the encyclopedia, we can see that there are a bunch of fruit materials present in OC.
Choosing a different fruit to use in production of the juice will yield widely varying results. We can see from the item specification that the sweetness of the juice’s fruit component contributes the item’s overall luxury. This is to say that sweeter juices are considered more luxurious. However, the juice will take on more properties from the fruit that’s used to make it. Referring to the encyclopedia entry above, we can see the sarkun fruit has the following properties:
- Density: 0.8
- Hunger Reduction: 16.25
- Sweetness: 16.5
- Savoriness: 10.5
Let’s consider another fruit, the xen berry:
- Density: 0.875
- Hunger Reduction: 11.25
- Sweetness: 22.5
- Savoriness: 1.5
I went ahead and manufactured two sorts of fruit juices, one made with sarkun fruit, and another made with xen berries. Both were stored in copper bottles and were made in the same manufacturing station, so the only material difference in the manufacturing process was the choice of fruit. Let’s compare the differences between the two, starting with the one made using xen berries:
Note that this juice has a sweetness rating of 22.5 (a very high value) and a luxury rating of 29.625. A sweet and luxurious juice! Let’s compare this with the juice produced from sarkun fruit:
Its sweetness value is 16.5 and its luxury value is 27.1875. The juice is still very high in both stats, but note its savoriness rating of 10.5. Contrast that with the savoriness rating of 1.5 from the xen berry juice. The reason for this should be pretty clear, when we consider the different fruits used in making the juices! Sarkun fruit has a rather savory flavor, while xen berries do not. The juices produced take on many of the properties (in this case, flavor characteristics) of the juices used to make them.
The results are interesting! While xen berry juice is generally considered more luxurious and is sweeter than sarkun fruit juice, not all NPCs will prefer one over the other. Those with flavor preferences for savory things will like the sarkun fruit juice more. So, which fruit makes the better juice? Which fruit makes the better juice on earth, apples or oranges? It depends on the person you ask, and the same is true in OC. If you’ve got a cranky NPC doing important work, and she has a strong preference for savory tastes, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got a plentiful supply of sarkun fruit juice on hand for her!
Having covered material specification above, the general strategies in issuing manufacturing orders should make some sense. Good material choices can be highly situational, and it’s up to you to direct manufacturing in a positive way.
Once the issue manufacturing order button is clicked, an NPC will assume the job and get to work on it. You’ll have to make sure that you have an NPC on its work shift with the associated manufacturing activity enabled, but as long as you do, the job will be done. In the video at the top of the article, you can see the NPC carrying out the manufacturing order. She gathers up the required materials, transports them to the manufacturing station, and assembles the item. Once the shovel has been produced, it’s then transported to an appropriate stockpile and is made available to all the NPCs in your expedition.