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Insider Program

Crafting 101 with Michael Califf

An image of the city builder screen in Ara: History Untold.

Get your anvil ready because this week’s Dev Diary is all about the crafting system in Ara: History Untold!

Lead Designer Michael Califf makes a return appearance to guide us through Ara’s crafting system, which brings a new level of complexity to the 4X genre. Michael breaks down the two major categories, Goods and Equipment, and how players will incorporate them into their overall strategy.



The basics of crafting are fairly simple. Harvest a resource, build a suitable crafting improvement, and start crafting items for your nation. Goods are items created at Improvements like Weavers, Apothecaries, and Artisan Studios. Players can use these items to boost city stats over a set number of turns. But here’s the twist – some goods will boost one stat while giving another a little nudge in the opposite direction. It’s all about finding the right balance! Beyond providing city buffs, certain goods also play a part in crafting new Improvements. Who’s making that gorgeous Stained Glass for the cathedral? Your citizens, that’s who!

Equipment is the other side of the Crafting coin in Ara. Players can create these items at Improvements like the Forge and Village Hall to train new troops or specialized citizens such as merchants and missionaries. These units will help to spread your nation’s influence far beyond your city walls, allowing you to conduct war, diplomacy, or grow your religious following as you carve out a path to victory.

The team has spent countless hours balancing Ara’s crafting system to allow players free reign in creating items that suit their playstyle. There’s so much more to explore in Ara’s crafting system, and this video barely scratches the surface! If you’re ready to learn more, you can catch the full episode on our YouTube channel, and be sure to subscribe for future Dev Diary content.