A deeper way of making stories in SH

So i stumbled across this idea when i was pondering how the story in the game feels to short and shallow at this point and i want to share it…

Imagine a system, where that dayli hearthling that wants to join your town is rigged.
Rigged to introduce a certain charecter… Let make an example for this post… Lilly Flowerpetal? yes lets say Lilly Flowerpetal was thrown into the players town, just like any regular hearthling. The player would not know that this particular hearthling carried an unfolding story with her, but would find out when certain criterias where met?

Lets say that Lilly had the trait: Passionate farmer?

It is not certain that the player would assign her as farmer, but there would be a good chance that it would happen right?

Lets say that Lilly got to be a farmer and begun leveling up. When she hit level 2 the story would begin.

Some kind of UI frame would pop up (and of course set the game on pause) and in this frame there where not the normal written storylines, but a sort of comicbook like setup?

Through this setup Lillys story could begin to be told by a anonymus storyteller, that simply described what was going on with this hearthling in the players town?

Example of the start of a story: Lilly found a strange rock while tilling the field and discovered that… something catchy that starts of a great story.

This way, the charecter in the story could actually be represented in the players town and the story would feel more personal. What stories and how long or what effect they should have is a whole other discussion, but now there is a key to a locked door :sunny:

If this UI frame got into the game, it would also give modders the ability to create more interesting content storywise and really enrich the length of the game?

Imagine designing a charecter for a story? Imagine how a hearthling with the trait cultist could open up so much lore!

I am not certain if it is clear, but i am talking about predesigned charecters and not some random hearthling with a trait :slight_smile:

Thank you for reading and i hope some of this will be seen as resourceful and usefull :heartpulse: :merry:


That would be cool. As is, end game is a bit boring. Would like to see some more goals to complete beyond the placing of the gongs.


Really love this idea. The game needs absolutely more storytelling and maybe also quests collegated with them.

I think this can already be possible for modders. But i’m not sure


I would definitely want my hearthlings to play roles in events and quests. I’m not sold on the idea of predesigned characters though. Sure, I wouldn’t say no to adding support for it, but it increases the risk of “Oh look it’s Lilly. Here to find a rock are you?”
I think the main way to get hearthlings into events and quests should be to randomly select hearthlings that fulfill the minimum requirements for the roles in that story. Then those hearthlings’ other traits/stats/jobs can affect how that story unfolds. When the player gets to make choices in the story then the available options can be affected by the hearthlings, items in stock, the weather and so on.

I like the thought of the comic book but I want to know more of what you had in mind. I would love to see more paintings by Allie in the game but it would probably require too much work for each event. It also wouldn’t work very well with the random hearthlings.
A more realistic version would be to tell the story with text and have one or two generated images per page. By generated I mean still images of 3d models, like they already have in the game. The current technology could be expanded to let you create a small scene. Just a few models. Pick frames from animations to get poses, rotate the camera, change the lighting. For background I’m thinking transparent or a watercolor splash that you can change the color/gradient of (mostly to be able to show darkness).
Sure, it would take some development time but after that, making scenes should be rather quick and easy and more importantly, letting moders create images of the same quality as the devs.


There is a profound gameplay choice that your suggestion implies. Namely: should the player make the backstories of the characters in their towns, or should the game do that for them.

I’m sure there is something to be said for both sides. You might argue that it is simply an expansion of the trait system (which is also something meant to imbue the hearthling with some kind of charactre traits), so that it helps with making stories. Yet if you are going for this, then all kinds of details really start to matter, and the fact that the story unfolds instead of being known beforehand makes it difficult to for a player project a character onto a hearthling. It’s like “This hearthling difficulty with social interaction and other people”, game proceeds to tell a story of how this character was actually a very social person.

Does that make sense? Or am I just rambling, It’s late. All of it doesn’t mean I don’t like it, it’s just, this is a very important thing designwise.


See Lilly is already alive! Well i see your point and i guess with a bit of resourcefullness, this could be balanced in a number of ways?

Maybe there where more charecters with different names that could unlock this particular story, so you never knew who would be the one? (Of course play the game enough times and you will get to know the system of any program) There would then of course need to be some kind of lock, so only one charecter from each story pool could enter any given playthrough.

Or create enough storylines with charecters, so the chance for seing lilly in every playthrough would be deminished?

If there was a limit of “storyhearthlings” in any playthrough, lets say 5 out of 20 as an example, then there would be many neutral hearthlings joining your town.

No matter what, this idea could be worked out in so many forms and i basicly just wanted to present at least one way of doing it! The most important thing, is to create some kind of setup, so the game will have a better replayability?

Thank you :slight_smile:

Doesn’t that take away the point of the predesigned characters? I thought you wanted to tie a story to a specific character to more easily make the text and images specific to that character. If you just want to pick a predesigned character that fits the story then you might as well pick one of the players current hearthlings that fits the story. Or am I missing something?

Other problems with adding the story to a hearthling as it joins your town is that if a starting condition have to be met and I don’t make Lilly a farmer I wont activate her story and if I make the same mistake with other story characters then I get a relatively empty play-through. Also, when I reach my hearthling cap I won’t get any more stories. If the game instead adds a story to one of your existing hearthlings when nothing has happened for a while then that could add gameplay long after the main story and the hearthling cap is reached.

Thanks for bringing up the subject. :slight_smile:


I really like the general idea! It also alignes nicely to the Dev’s vision that the game should be about our Hearthlings on a very personal level.

Regarding the predictability of background stories, this could easily be avoided by tying the stories to traits (e.g. farming preference) and not to individual characters (Lilly). So, everybody with a certain preference could be a “story bearer”.

for the stories themselves, I could indeed imagine many, many cool arcs. A scavenger hunt that lets you explore the map and find different things, a rescue operation that needs certain amounts of high-quality high-tier goods being delivered to a “NPC” (or even outside the map), a combination of combat and production, reaching high levels in multiple professions, …

Unique and otherwise unobtainable rewards (physical, like a special objects for the town or special character traits for this person only) could make fulfilling the quest worth the time spent.


You got a point there Agon! Well then maybe other ideas would work? I am not trying to design a thoughtout system here, just to throw some seeds into the ground and see what they grow into :wink:

Please tell more about how you think a system could look?

Thank you :sunny:

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I love these ideas! Particularly…

  1. Story-Seeded hearthlings is perfect, and I can forsee those hearthlings not even needing to be "rigged,"like you said, simply having a variety of small subplots that tie into traits would be awesome (all the more reason to really beef up the event system).

  2. Comicbook style dialogs would be wonderful and I really hope to see this as it ties in with the unfolding story of our settlements so nicely! I just plain hope they implement this, but I can see how it would be a large undertaking.


Not sure about the seeded story plots, will they still be fun the 10th time; or will it feel like a chore?

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Good point, they should probably be optional, much like the other stories inthe game (the main one being at the re-embarkation choice).


Great solution on that issue! In the example of Lilly that finds a rock… the options could be to investigate the rock or just toss it back into the ground :slight_smile:


Yeah, exactly! I think the real issue here is that there isn’t a great system for opting out of the existing storyline yet, while also gradually unlocking the tier stuff.