Tinker is a Virtual Reality environment designed specifically for the creation and testing of various items. As all VR environments, it is only capable of rendering things that the computer knows how to process. Alien artifacts with unresearched properties, Nyars-box items, and many of the Doctor's subjects fall into the category of things that Tinker will be unable to adequately represent. For everything else, however, it is a perfect workshop and testing site.
Tinker itself looks like a very bland world, just an infinite expanse of concrete in all directions with a work table a few feet away. Hanging in the air, just above the work table, is a screen and keyboard. You can select the weapons or items you want to mess with, along with parts and tools, through this screen. Tinkering with items can be done both "physically", with your virtual hands and tools, as well as "metaphysically", via the computer terminal; one of the most useful such commands is "Explode", disassembling the chosen object to most basic components and revealing all of the inner workings of the design.
Whenever a player designed item is bought from the armory, the player that designed it gets payed 25% of the token price, rounded up. The exception to this is 1-token items, which only pay 1 token for every two items bought.
Useful Notes for TinkerersEdit
Many people have experimented with Tinker, but very few have ever made physical prototypes of their creations. Many of these potential inventors run into similar problems when designing their projects, and those problems are addressed here.
This is the largest obstacle to designing custom equipment, and the reason why there are many finished designs that never enter production. Simply put, things are more expensive if you buy them piece by piece. For instance, a gauss rifle costs two tokens, but buying the coils, generator, housing, and ammo separately costs four tokens! On top of that, you then have to assemble the rifle by hand, which risks damaging the materials, further increasing cost. This only gets worse the more advanced you make the item, because it requires even more components.
There is a way around this however. If you come up with a truly novel, useful design that fills some hole and isn't too expensive, then you may be able to get it prototyped for free. Steve will give you all the parts, free of charge, and if it performs well it may be added to the armory at a discounted price. Remember that this is a rare instance, and only a truly novel and unique design will be accepted.
Versatility and DurabilityEdit
Of course, if you're going to make an expensive item, you want to make sure it lasts, right? If your tank can't survive fighting another tank, then it won't be very effective, will it? So you should armor everything to make sure it won't be destroyed! Alternatively, you don't want your weapon to have a significant weakness- what if the soldier using it comes up against a enemy resistant to fire? Or lasers? Or kinetics? Or electricity? You should make it versatile and able to adapt to any situation.
...That logic seems quite sound, but it's really not. Yes, if a tank can't survive a tank round, it won't be effective against tanks. But that says nothing about if it can withstand infantry fire. Yes, a weapon might be useless against certain enemies, but it'll still be effective against everything else. Remember what role you want your item to occupy- and stick to it. People will use other items in other situations, and that's okay. You need to keep costs down, and preparing for every situation is going to drive prices up.
Check For Redundancy with Current TechEdit
Humans have been around for a long time in Einsteinian Roulette. They've had space travel for millenniums. So of course, there's already thousands upon thousands of weapon designs that have been made. Before designing a dart gun, look up how many dart guns already exist. There might be one that is simpler, cheaper, and more effective than something you can design. Even if there aren't any, there may be designs which are already proven which you can just order complete, rather than buying piece by piece. An already proven design might cost as little as half as much as a freshly made one, or might have greatly expanded functionality for the same price. Not to mention, you don't have to spend several turns working out the design yourself.
Useful Information for Future TinkerersEdit
See Materials for a (currently very unfinished) list of the available materials and their properties.
Just dumping this here, because I don't know where to put it.
Power Units=TPU. All measurements are per second. Ie, something that generates 2 TPU would generate 10 TPU in 5 seconds.
Hand laser battery: 1 TPU 50 Seconds of charge
Laser rifle battery: 4 TPU 30 Seconds of charge
Gauss rifle generator: 2 TPU
Tesla Arc Battery: 10 TPU 60 Seconds of charge
Cutting Laser battery:8 TPU 60 Seconds of charge
High Energy Projector generator:5 TPU, continious output
Heavy Gauss Cannon Generator:4 TPU (it uses 4 generators)
Plasma Projector battery: 50 TPU Fires three rounds
LESHO rifle Generator:20 TPU (uses 2 generators)
Fission Instigator Battery:100 TPU Fires one round
Monoatomic razor Generator: 1 TPU
Kinetic Amplifier battery: 2 TPU Fifty uses
ALL field Manipulator batteries: 4 TPU Twenty uses
Tesla Sabre Battery: 8 TPU 60 Seconds of charge
Kinetic Shunt: 10 TPU Thirty uses
Vehicle and Suit Design Edit
What is this thing supposed to do? What are it's up- and downsides?
What does the vehicle look like? General shape or frame of it, as well as what it's made of.
How does it move (if at all?). Legs, threads, wheels, wings, rockets, ...
Where does it get the energy to do things? Includes generators to power things, fuel for flight,...
Who or what controls this thing? Computers (wetware or silicon), remote controlled, pilot(s),...
Does it have special software programs or functions? Examples include auto-dodge programs, aim assists,...
How does it recieve information from the outside world? Cameras (in different parts of the spectrum), audio, radiation and chemical sensors,...
How does it stay in contact with the outside world, such as teammates? Simple radio, AWACS packs, Quentum Entanglement Computers,...
What does it use to influence the physical world? Includes limbs to interact with things, mounts to load thigns on, to weapons of various kinds.
Armor/Passive Defense Edit
Is it armored? What kinds, how much, what shape? Includes regular armor, reactive armor, shields, protective padding, but also stealth features or other 'passive' defenses.
Countermeasures/Active Defense Edit
Does it have any systems that actively defend itself, such as flares, chaff, or lasers to intercept projectiles?
Special Features Edit
Anything else that doesn't fit in the above?
Notable Tinkerers and CreationsEdit
Just about everyone tried their hands at Tinker at some point. Some people, however, not only succeeded in creating something fun or interesting in virtual reality, but also managed to recreate it in the physical world.
Simulacrus Ferratum-Inanis: Created several weapons, such as the Siblius hybrid rifle.
Nikitian Greiss: Created a series of sub-exoskeleton suits, as well as several variations of the standard Laser and Gauss rifles, though only several of his creations have so far seen the light of day.
Auron Kell: Created his own variant of a Gauss generator-driven Pulse Laser Rifle, as well as a hardpoint to mount it, or similar weapons, on the outside of an exosuit.
Anton "Blackeye" Chernozorov: Created the Red Hand electrolaser gauntlet, and the Gungnir electrolaser rifle.
Bishop Willis: Created the Bola Launcher, a promising weapon prototype that unfortunately had to be left behind during evacuation, and was destroyed along with the asteroid complex in Mission 3, having seen no actual field action.
Miyamoto De Bergerac: Created 'sticky goop', as well as the 'blaster' line of laser weapons. Also created the foundations of the next generation in armor designs, exoskeletons, and some other things.