Alpha 23 Appeals on Steam Unstable

Find it in the release notes on Alpha 23 Appeals on Steam Unstable – Stonehearth
Or you can find it in the release notes in the game: main screen, lower left corner.


Small question/feedback:

What is the goal of the (extremely ugly) white bubbles telling me what I clicked on?
I feel like this information is also given in the lower left corner, and any other information that is planned to be included in these bubbles could be put in the lower left corner instead. Having a large white bubble directly underneath objects, even when placing them, makes it hard to see the surrounding objects without clicking away. Furthermore, the item bubble having the size of multiple speech bubbles makes hearthlings talking to each other feel less unique and feels extremely distracting from everything that happens in the world.


Aww, I thought they were kind of cute and lent a sense of dynamism to the world. :wink:

Thanks for the feedback about sight lines around placement, though! The unit frame in the lower left corner is honestly getting a bit full and as we anticipate adding more systems and data about individual objects, we wanted a new place to be able to put them so you can see stuff without having to click. We’ll spend more time thinking about how they should interact with in-world manipulations.


i kinda liked them but maybe holding the cursor at the location where the bubble is makes it transparent and let us click the thing behind :slight_smile:
just some ideas. i really like the look of it


In my oppinion, they are cute when zoomed in/close up to the objects. When zoomed out however, they are so extremely big that they hide speach bubbles, hearthlings and other objects and due to them staying the same size, independent of the zoom level (which might be a good thing if they are going to contain important information) they, in their current state, are mainly a big, white block.

Maybe just displaying them when an object is selected and the cursor is on top of the object or displaying them only after a small delay so that quickly switching between items is not obstructed, but the information is still vailable when looking in detail could be a solution.


Fun update with some cool features!

I would say I like the addition of the appeal feature but I barely understand that bar at the bottom that is sliding back and forth. I get red=bad and yellow=good… but the two opposing sliding indicators are strange to me.

I actually like the little popup tooltips. My suggestion would be to make them more transparent and probably have a 5 second timer on them so they aren’t just sitting on the screen all the time.

Also things like the ‘Mean Bed’ tooltip could have a QoL feature where just hovering over it shows who owns it as well. Seems like a nice touch.


As of yet, do we have a way for the player to be informed of this fact (and facts like it)? If not, I’m curious what the roadmap looks like to help educate players how they can understand and solve problems in these systems?


You should be able to get information by clicking on objects directly, but more visibility stuff is in the works.


I understand you guys are still testing and tweaking numbers, but from my perspective/experience, giving a -1 penalty because it’s “purely functional” seems a little harsh.

Now, I would be totally ok with the argument that crates are actually a little bit ugly – IRL, they tend to be, they smell a bit too and they’re rough around the edges and they usually have weird writing stamped all over them… but our Stonehearth crates are designed to be cute!

In fact, in Stonehearth pretty much everything is cute, or at least not ugly. So, I’d suggest that the “default” tier of attractiveness should be a flat 0, neither ugly nor appealing. After all, a warehouse full of crates and storage shouldn’t be the equivalent to a “decoration quarantine zone” hahah!


I could be convinced to put it at a 0. That said, I think a -1 does a few things; first, it’s a pretty minor amount with how the math works out, so it shouldn’t dramatically affect the game. What the negative does do though is slightly incentivize you to tuck the crates out of the way, which I think is a fairly good thing in of itself. It should lead to more cases of people creating storehouses full of crates, so the walls block the view of them, as opposed to just putting them out in the open next to major walkways. Again, though, the actual math impact is really slight.


I do not have the unstable version, so I don’t know, but is there a way for the player to know what aggregate appeal score is typical, so that one can actually see that yes, -1 is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things?

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If you can keep the hearthlings out of the storage room most of the time, then yeah that would have the intended effect. At the same time, I feel like my hearthlings would be in and out of there constantly – I’m an unashamed hoarder of virtual resources hahaha!. I also like to place storage in my workshops, and crates just fit/look better for that aesthetic IMO. The Dwarven kingdoms (when we get them) might have the skill and resources to use top-tier vaults in all their workshops, but most towns aren’t going to spend a lot of time making fancier storage items just as drop-off points to keep items near their workshop.

That said, I agree with your other points; it does fit. And yeah, it seems like the -1 won’t be a major impact. However, it means that decorating the workshop to overcome that -1 is both trivial, and pretty much mandatory. It feels a little off that we’re investing in making a significantly pretty workshop in order to overcome the minor penalty and have that minor positive as a result… it would make more sense to invest that prettiness in commonly visited spaces (town square, dining hall, etc.) Of course this all boils down to how much time is spent around the crates; and I suspect in most towns that will be less time than my hearthlings do.

The simplest solution, IMO, is to have “rough crates” (or just basic crates) as a level 1 craft, and then the fine crates have a neutral impact but obviously they’re a fair bit harder to get.

Alternatively, something along the lines of Finetems Mod or Home Sweet Home mod, where there are specific containers designed to fit into the hearthlings’ spaces, might solve this issue. It means more work on the dev team’s end, but might also encourage players to think in terms of “this building is an apothecary, this building is a mason’s workshop” etc. – any time you can inject story into the players’ choice of decoration/building/design is, IMO, a really good thing! In that case, crates would be a short-term solution or a quick way to box up and move several items at once, while the long-term storage would be the specially designed shelves/etc.


Just throwing out some more alternatives to the “crate in workshop problem”.

If we could craft a curtain/drape it could be a fitting way to hide the crate (though it might not be the most fitting for the blacksmith). As big as a regular door and works like a sliding door so it automatically opens up when someone goes near it. If placed in the middle of the room it has two wooden “legs” as support, but if next to a wall it could be attached to the wall instead. If two curtains are next to each other they could share a leg.

Shelves, the kind on the wall and/or the kind that stands on its own, with multiple shelves. Each shelf works as a stockpile (though for the one with multiple shelves you probably want it to count as one), so items are still visible, but since they don’t litter the ground they don’t give the negative appeal. Downside is that you don’t get the improved performance of less visible items.

Getting a convenience buff from a workstation. Not sure if the buff should be on the crafter or on the crate, but the thought is that if a crate is close to a workstation it should count as convenient and have an appeal of 0. At least for the corresponding crafter. There should be a limit to how many crates can be affected by a workstation though (like maybe 2 at most) so it’s still clear that you have a crate in a workshop and not a workstation in a warehouse.


Another alternative, although it’s potentially difficult to organise (it might be easier than I expect, though…) would be to have “room expectations.” This would be a lot easier if there was a way to assign rooms/zones (think Dwarf Fortress or Towns), but should work well enough based just on the content of the room.

In short, if a room contains certain furniture then it would be considered that type of room – e.g. if a room has two of the three cooking workbenches + a table and chair then it would be considered a kitchen, if it has a forge and an anvil then it would be considered a blacksmithy, and so on. Once a room has been designated, it would gain certain bonuses/traits/conditions, which could interact with a variety of other systems. For example, a passionate blacksmith might gain happiness just for being near/in a blacksmithy.

From an appeal perspective, these traits would enable the regular rules of appeal to be bent/fudged a little, since the hearthlings expect a bit of clutter in a workshop or for a storage room to be slightly cramped. But the flip side is that other rooms (bedrooms, dining halls) might have higher requirements, since hearthlings expect those rooms to be bright and comfortable.

Again, the idea I’m throwing around here is story-driven, not just something to make optimising the town easier. As far as I understand things, these systems are meant to nudge players towards building a believable, aesthetically pleasing town rather than a squashy fortress with everything in a single room. Fulfilling and taking advantage of hearthling expectations would add a puzzle element to the process of building rooms, and while it wouldn’t be a particularly challenging puzzle it’s still something that players can experiment with.

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To overcome that crate penalty is basically just putting them inside with a couple windows. Unless I’m mistaken, one window is+6. So throw a few windows on your storage and you’re good

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Okay, I started playing a bit today, love it so far, except for a little gripe about the tooltips.

I think they take a little too long to show up when you hover, and maybe shouldn’t show up when you’ve already selected something so it’s showing up in the unit frame anyway (right now you can have two show up at the same time, which isn’t ideal IMO.)They probably should disappear when you zoom out too much, because otherwise they can cover a lot.

Also, looks like some of this very old suggestion is finally in?

I wonder if it would be possible and/or a good idea to have an option to always show the Hearthling name tooltips, as well?


yeah, this is the point I made about how overcoming that penalty is both “trivial and mandatory.” Trivial, because only a few upgrades/additions will overcome it, but who seriously isn’t going to do those upgrades (at least out of people who know the system) when they’re so simple?

It’s really not as major of a gripe as I’m making it out to be, it just feels like a minor chore; instead of being a system we can interact with.

I suppose that if the crates weren’t so darn cute and appropriate for the look of a busy workshop/marketplace/etc. then I wouldn’t even think about this so much; it’s just that I love having little piles of crates as close-at-hand storage but I can’t bear the thought of that having a happiness impact. While I get that it’s easy to “fix” that negative impact, it’s bugging me from a design standpoint. I just wish there was an obvious better alternative to present; because the -1 really makes a lot of sense hahaha.


(I hope I’ve understood your question correctly) Currently in A23 unstable, an item’s appeal is clearly displayed as a numerical value (rolling over an item in the Place an Item menu, or clicking on the item from a crafting window). Currently a chest or a stockpile is -1 each, but any wooden lantern is worth 6 each. Wooden picket fences are worth 4 each. While windows don’t appear to have a score, a mean bed is a 2 and a Comfy chair is worth 12.

Each character info screen also has an “Appeal” tab, where it shows a numerical “overall opinion”, such as a -0.1 or a 3.4. The overall opinion marker slides along a colour-coded bar - ranging from Horrid Aesthetics to Awe-Inspiring Aesthetics. I hope this helps.


Good to know, thanks :smile:.

Knowing what you’ve told me, there is no way to combat the first impression of the -1 being a big deal, directly. You would have had to take a look somewhere else to find relativing info. This means you don’t get the info and how it fits onto the big picture at the same time. info: (-1) instead of (-1, not a big deal) when it is showed to you. People who know the system will know that this is not the case, but I understand that -1 gives this sense that the uglyness is urgent enough so that something needs to be done about it leading to the idea of a chore. It is not that big of a deal that context is not provided immediately, but it doesn’t surpirse me that it has this effect.

One thing I can think of is to scale the appeal score by a tenth or fifth, that is changing -1 to -0.2 or -0.1. These numbers are immediately recognised by people as smallish numbers, while -1 (being a whole number) is not. It wouldn’t make any difference in the system overall, just the final appeal sums will be five or ten times smaller. Jugding from the fact that a wooden lantern is worth 6 points (scaling down with five, that gives +1.2, which feels substantial), and a confy chair is 12 points (+2.4 in same scaling), scaling down by five is not really that bad, and since we are talking about appeal sums, where these n confy chairs contribute n-ce their own score, that still results in manageable numbers in the total sums as well.

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I just realized a boo boo I made: I was giving -0.1 and 3.4 just as an arbitrary example. I don’t know the exact numbers that express a depth of despair from a hideous room, or the profound impact of a mesmerizing room.