Alpha 10 thoughts

Now that the thought came back to mind, I’d like to add another “suggestion” for fine-tuning the engine to allow breakable buildings/visible damage. Damaged buildings should be part of the roadmap. How to display damaged buildings is another matter.

If its simple damage (bruised walls) then I think the current state is alright but if you want to show broken walls with holes, etc, you need to work on that before beta release since I suspect your engine needs to allow that to happen as well as allowing repairs to work when there’s a hole in a wall. That is if you want to go the extra mile.

I think you mentioned that physics would be added. At the very least, water physics or something. Nobody likes to drink or be around stagnant bodies of water for very long. Water in world generation is new. I’d just like to remind that there should be rivers and larger bodies of water. I know Stonehearth =/= Dwarf Fortress but adding in physics into the engine sooner could make things easier rather than adding physics in at a later point only to realize that the added physics screwed up everything.

Another suggestion would be to allow slab stairs be build around buildings. Building slabs around doors are still a no-no but slabs outside wall? That should be a yes.

I understand building design is done in the open world but I would suggest a separate building GUI when designing a building that would allow the user to add floors and furniture as necessary. And when the building design is finished, the player can place it in the world. Would be more efficient for the player since a player no longer has to wait for a floor to finish before placing the next floor. Not a big problem with the current situation but just a suggestion.

Also, the building engine should allow players to build next to cliffs. Ever seen those houses built into the side of a mountain? That’s what I’m talking about. I leave the mechanics up to the developers but it’d be a great addition if a player could do that.

Object collision. I’m not a big fan of creatures just running through each other. Yes, there will be some pathing problems to fix but it should be worth it.

Creatures climbing up ladders. First off, show me a rabbit who knows how to climb completely vertical ladders and I’ll rescind this suggestion. Animals using stairs are okay. Animals climbing up and down vertical ladders? Not okay. Not to say that it can be problematic if a pet is on a cliff and its owner just deconstructed the only ladder to that cliff. I’m not sure how you would deal with this problem but it is a problem.

Again, I’d like to restate that the developers want Stonehearth to be oriented around town-building. Combat is secondary and I have taken note of that. As such, players should be granted more freedom in building styles. I’m not talking about different styled roofs or windows. I’m talking about architectural freedom.

Bridges across buildings, built-in mountain homes, tall spiraling buildings with stairs on the outside. The stuff you normally only see in fantasy drawings. (Or Dwarf fortress ascii which is difficult to see in multistory unless you have a 3rd party engine)

(EDIT: You can build stairs around buildings but they have to be done after a building is completed)

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[quote=“athenalras, post:1, topic:12017”]
Also, the building engine should allow players to build next to cliffs. Ever seen those houses built into the side of a mountain? That’s what I’m talking about. I leave the mechanics up to the developers but it’d be a great addition if a player could do that.
[/quote] Totally want to see that, had the idea of a building right next to a cliff with a second house on the tier above. It’s cliff edge side in line with the roof of the house below. Like in this image (sorry not much of an artist). .


This can be done now to an extent, but it takes a lot of creativity with the slab tool (there of course remain issues with scaffolds and walls to contend with…). I might give it a shot in a few days when my schedule clears up.

Combat is not meant to be secondary, in fact, according to this:Stonehearth Alpha 1 is Now Available! – Stonehearth combat is meant to eventually be something you can, if you wish, devote most of your time to. (as a playstyle)


Well, thank you for the input. What I really want is for the devs to focus on priming their game engine to allow architectural freedom first before moving onto other stuff like combat, jobs and furniture. Most of those stuff can wait until we have a working building tool. Once the engine is finished, there is no going back. And it would make suggestions like mine, invalid because they have to do with tweaking the game engine which is an arduous task. (and I wouldn’t mind if the developers spent another year just perfecting it)

Right now, in my opinion, buildings are unwieldy. They are separated by floors, the buildings are communal as they can’t be selected in entirety (meaning that a house can’t be specifically owned by a character because the building is technically, not a single object) and the buildings are limited in the ways a player can design them. Yes, the slab tool can be used creatively but relying on players’ creativity with the slab tool is not a means to an end (well, it is but it’s not very effective for those who want things done quick).

As I’ve stated before, what could work would be to have a separate window pop-up in-game for the player to design a building of any number of floors and furnishes. The building could then be a single object that can be built within any space the player wishes. In the tool, the player should be able to designate living spaces for occupants. Meaning, if the player doesn’t want a space to be communal, they can designate areas to be assigned to be claimed by characters.
As some of you might have noticed, without the following solution, players would encounter the problem of letting a hearthling own an entire 3 floor mansion because without the proper tool, the 3 floor mansion would belong to potentially 3 hearthlings. Which is not what the player had in mind right?
Soto solve this, here’s an example of what I had in mind: Red is the designation color for hearthling 1. All areas highlighted red would belong to hearthling 1. Blue is designation color for hearthling 2. All blue areas highlighted blue would belong to hearthling 2. Etc. There are lots of color variants so number shouldn’t be a problem. Default would be to have no highlighted color (communal).

Physics and architecture go hand in hand as well. As far as I can see, combat won’t be physics oriented and it shouldn’t be because that would take too much processing power when the game goes over a larger scale. However, I thought it might be problematic to add in physics when its too late. Because physics is part of the core engine and modders cannot just add in “physics” unless there is already one in place. Although I don’t currently see physics playing a huge role in Stonehearth, there will, undoubtedly, be players who want to test their creative abilities with not only buildings but with water (watermills anyone?). Also, hanging blocks in midair look ugly as well as buildings that look like they are levitating.
Yeah, I’ve seen some pretty ugly buildings around here on the forum (sorry) but a flat floating castle doesn’t cut it for aesthetic look. I mean its practical but that’s about it.
And if there will be building destruction, a physics based destruction of blocks would be more aesthetic than a scripted animation. (I’m getting out of hand here but another suggestion when you get to it: when the blocks fly out, don’t have them disappear. Convert them into rubble for the citizens to clean up. have the damage be repaired by whatever material the rubble used to be)

Another engine thing would be colliding objects. Again, nice work with citizens separating themselves when they conglomerate into a single, multi-cellular organism but I shouldn’t have to see them running through each other or being congealed into a single mass at all. This is a minute criticism I have for alpha 10 because to me, the entire combat system and path-finding could use work but not as critical as physics and a better building system. I hope other members here could agree with me on this.

Did I write a mini essay or what? We should have a word count on the discourse to keep track of how many words we wrote in total.

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Did I say how much I appreciate the devs for putting their time into the game like this?

Most indie devs I saw, wimp out about this far. Not these guys though. Thanks for not letting us down.


Another pathing bug: After placing scaffolding, citizens drop their block and search for another block to use. Which can be extremely inefficient if the next closest block is a couple of blocks away. Have them finish their block first before looking for another block to use.

It’s not like they were sleepy/groggy or being attacked.

Managed it, took some time with a couple of issues around the current game build.

There is no gap between the lower house and the cliff. The cliff side wall and the upper wall are one continuous wall but not. the lower section is made using the slab tool and the upper section an auto-wall.