Container Management

The Premise

From discussions on the Discord, it seems that a lot of the inventory management of Untold Dawn will be done with pockets in clothing as well as containers. To that end, I believe we need a robust system to allow easy management of inventory items.

The Problem

Inventory management shouldn’t be a chore! Let’s lay out a simple outfit with reasonable amounts of pockets:

  • A pair of jeans - 4 pockets
  • A T-shirt - one breast pocket
  • A jacket - 2 side pockets
  • A backpack - A main compartment and two smaller compartments

What’s likely to happen is that we fill our backpack first, then, when that’s full, we’d grudgingly put items in our clothing pockets. The problem then becomes, how do we find what we need when we need it?

Arriving At A Solution

look in backpack is old hat. While I certainly think that option should exist, it shouldn’t be the only tool at our disposal. If that’s the only thing we have, folks will get lazy. Lazy players combined with hoarding tendencies isn’t good for the game over all.

So What’s The Solution?

I think the solution is multi-faceted, and should consist of smaller parts fitted together to create a system that will allow players to organize their stuff should they choose, but also, just chuck something where there’s room if they’re in a rush.

Designating Pockets / Containers Per Item Type

If this were a medieval MUD, we’d expect to put arrows in a quiver, a sword in a scabbard, and a dagger in a sheath. It would certainly be nice if some containers came pre-programmed to accept only certain types of items; however, let’s say we have a player who is creating wooden objects to sell at a festival. They’ve obtained a belt pouch, and want to only use it to store wooden toggles. I feel this should be something that can be designated and remembered for future use, but with all types of items, even subtypes. An example would be breaking ammunition into subcategories such as archery, projectile, rocket-propelled, etc.

If you know you have it

If you know your character has something in their inventory, you should be able to retrieve it without having to care where it comes from. Every item that is able to be carried and contained should behave in this manner, from rocks to weapons, and everything in between.

Stadh and Stow

I’ve seen a stash and stow system before, and it’s a good system, but I think we can flesh it out further. In the system I’ve encountered, you could set a stow container and a stash container. However, in our case, I think stash could be a command that simply finds a container in your invenotry that will accept the item, and has enough capacity do so. For containers with pockets, the command would iterate through them until it found one with enough capacity. If none, it moves to the next container and tries there.

Stow, on the other hand, should be a little more granular. The aim here is to designate a pocket or container that we want to hold something. It shouldn’t be able to override what already exists, i.e. if we buy or make a holster, it would hold a pistol. We shouldn’t have the ability to designate it to hold herbs, for example.

Here’s an example of invoking stow for the first time.

>stow apple
    You have no pocket or container set for food items. Try:
        stow apple in right pocket of jeans
        stow apple in backpack

Once done, you would simply be able to stow apple, and it would go to the correct pocket or compartment of the designated container.


I’ve attempted to outline a way to make inventory management less of a chore while still maintaining the ability to organize our inventories. It isn’t by far, the only solution, and I look forward to hearing about any refinements to this idea or even new ideas that would accomplish the same goal.

First of all, welcome to our forums, bscross!

It seems that way although it’s undefined, obviously everything here needs agreement from the community. I know @Blasphemy has some thoughts on systems that used inventory management that worked.

With our current system, there’s many ways we could solve this; perhaps the INVENTORY command would show what every item in your possession is, up to one level of pockets, and show you what pockets contain it.

I really love this idea personally and think it would be a good thing to implement. I’d be curious to hear what other people think.

Thanks so much! I’m going to wait for more thoughts but I do think you’re onto something. IF we can solve this conundrum, we would have an inventory system that is digetic. It is how big games do it.

The best way I’ve seen inventory managed is in a game I once played. You have a right hand, and a left hand and can hold one object in each.

When you have a container open, if you try to pick up a third, you auto stow the first in the container. If you don’t, it tells you you cannot pick it up. An inventory command shows what’s in open containers pretty easily.

This first screen shot shows how inventory is shown:

When the container is closed:

Then you have auto stowing when you have an open container on your person:

Then if you try to pick something up and your containers are full, or closed, or you don’t have one:

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I like that. It also avoids the necessity of dealing with a situation where the game tells you that you have no free hands, making you remedy that before you can do what you were wanting to in the first place. The only thing I would ad is that I think if a weapon is in one hand, it should check if the other one is free and avoid stowing weapons, which could be dangerous in a combat situation.

One other thing that I forgot to add in the OP and is tangentially related is that I really, really dislike MUDs that limit what you can do with objects based on what hand it’s in. An example being that a command to craft an item would not work unless the tool to do so was in the right hand and the raw material was in the left. I feel it’s simply a chore, and doesn’t add anything to the overall experience.

I can see having a preference in chargen, because handedness can be a form of self-expression, but I think if that is implemented, all it should do is default to picking items up with that hand if it’s available.

Agreed with this, we shouldn’t be doing that kind of stuff!