Prediction time: for the next few months, you will see people make the wildest shit in Scrap Mechanic.
Scrap Mechanic has been Steam’s best-selling game all day — pretty much since it came out — and it’s not too difficult to see why. It’s a game that lets you use a simple yet versatile toolset to build vehicles you can immediately drive/fly/embarrassingly flop onto the ground like a beached whale who’s also just a big dumb idiot. Think Besiege, except a) you’re a character in the world and have direct control over your contraption, and b) it’s the foundation for a game with a survival mode full of exploration, enemies, base-building and whatnot. Right now it’s still in Early Access, but the tools are already powerful and interesting, even if there’s not much to do other than build the craziest trashmobiles you can scoop out of your brain’s deepest, darkest dumpsters.
WITH THAT SAID, you can probably figure out where this is going. Meet my hideous junkpile brainchild, Duckenstein’s Toilet Monster:
Yeah, it has a worrisomely swastika-like design from the right/wrong angles. We’ll get to how that happened in a bit. It’s something of A Journey. Suffice it to say, I’m very sorry.
I began by trying to wrap my head around the basics. Every vehicle requires certain connections to be made between the steering column, motor, bearings and wheels. While the game offers a pretty decent guide on how to do it all, I spent my first few attempts doing it pretty heinously wrong. Observe:
A car that will not steer is perhaps a mild danger to myself, others and quite obviously trees. Back to the drawing board.
Eventually, I figured out that I needed two sets of bearings — one attached to the steering wheel, one attached to the engine — and then I finally had something functional. Next I added a rocket booster, because come on: presented with the opportunity to use a rocket booster, who wouldn’t? If I was God or evolution or whatever, you, me and everything else would be made of rocket boosters.
That’s when it hit me: this thing needed to fly. The obvious solution? More rocket boosters. I quickly slapped on some additional supports (and rubber ducks, because ducks fly sometimes), and you know, I didn’t want the rocket boosters to be all up in the rest of my machine’s business. This, children, is how accidental almost-swastikas happen. The thing that did not happen? Er, sustainable flight:
Obviously, my design was flawed. I needed something to correct the weight disparity. I needed balance. I needed a whole ton of trash, is apparently what I decided for reasons that, even now, I can’t fully comprehend. So I slapped on some more ducks, a mess of toilet paper rolls, and a couple half-busted radios.
The end result — shock of all shocks — still would not fly. Or rather, it would take an environmental-catastrophe-level spill and flop upside-down at the slightest provocation. But! I did manage to design some directional rocket boosters, which I thought were kinda neat.
So in the end, I stripped away most of the rocket boosters (“One of the greatest tragedies of our time” – my inner ten year-old) and settled on a rocket car with a decent degree of control (thanks to the directional boosters) and the possibility of brief flight if I hit an incline just right. Oh, and of course, a large percentage of it was trash:
Somehow, the almost-swastika-ness of it all only got more egregious. Learn from me, ladies and gentlemen: do literally anything other than that.
Of course, that was just my first machine. I’m sure I’ll build more. I only scratched the surface of what these tools can do. Already, people have put together blueprints for functional flying machines, while others have managed to churn out mechs, helicopters, mobile bases and batmobiles. Scrap Mechanic strikes me as a game intrepid builders won’t tire of anytime soon, and I look forward to seeing what comes of it.