Alpha 4 r114: planning ahead - development priorities?


#1

I think the game is shaping up very nicely! The gameplay is smooth; I no longer see choppiness in the animations. I’m also pleased to see the farmer using a hoe instead of a hammer :stuck_out_tongue: to till the land.

Now that we have the weaver and the trapper in the game, there’s more stuff to do! Needing to have the farmer plant milkweed, harvest it, then have the weaver use that to make thread, and turn the thread into cloth and have the carpenter use that to make a nice comfy bed… It adds loads of depth to the gameplay. With items requiring dependencies on other resources, you can pretty much be actively harvesting and building stuff non-stop now! And yet…

I found myself waiting. This is because at the start, I made all the profession tools and assigned my citizens professions. I went with 2 footmen because goblins seem to be like zerglings by travelling in packs. Which in the end, left me with 1 worker.

I set up a nice little house design and put him to work, but even though he’s got a much faster building animation (which is awesome), he was pretty much the only person working on it, even when my non-worker citizens weren’t building anything. So over the course of the hour, I hadn’t even finished my house.

An obvious solution to this is to have idle workers chip in an help out. However, once it gets to the point where all of your non-worker citizens are needing to do their jobs, the construction time slows wayyy down if you are stuck with only a couple of workers. Plus, my farmer was letting crops rot because he was taking too long to harvest and add more farmland.

Over the course of the hour, no caravans wanted to come by and join my settlement, so out of the boredom of waiting for my single worker to finish the house, I quit that session.


I’m under the personal impression right now that there needs to be some large focus on population growth. I know in prior livestreams, the devs didn’t want to really hit that topic because they were still in early development, and there have been threads on the general concept before, and the devs probably have some sort of workflow laid out, but I think this is something that should be at least partially implemented for alpha 5.

Currently, if I screw up with my professions, I get stuck waiting on construction. Or if I screw up with my defenses, I lose citizens and the gameplay slows to a crawl.

This is probably just an unreasonably long post to get to the point, but we need population growth that probably isn’t dependent on how appealing our settlement is to caravans.

Obviously the game is still in development. Alpha 4 is amazing. The animations are smooth, we can finally traverse the different tiers of the land… I love it. I’m even considering learning lua and getting qubicle for modding. But in the meantime, I’ll NOT be assigning my workers to professions right away so I can actually have a home within the first hour.

Also, we are almost at the point where professions will outnumber our workers so we’ll need larger populations to actually see how the impact of new features play out on the population.

tldr; I vote for priority on population growth.

Enough of the monologue. Does anyone share this opinion? Or perhaps there are some other game features that should take increased priority for near-future releases?


#2

Sounds like you and I had very different playthroughs of 114!

I can see your point, the growth isn’t fast.

But i’m up to 9 Villagers now. None of them are Footman as it’s not really needed with the new defend mode implemented.

5 Professions so far… 2 Famers, 1 Carpenter, 1 Weaver, 1 Trapper.

The other 4 are villagers and it’s going wonderfully fast for building houses.

Maybe I just got lucky?


#3

Perhaps you were lucky. My footmen fended off the goblins for awhile, but they came back in a group of 3 and were picking off my footmen and workers 1 at a time before backup could get there, which basically killed that instance of the game for me. Ha.

Is there a particular resource you are collecting an abundance of to get more people? Any idea what’s drawing more settlers in?


#4

Not entirely sure, i collected an abundance of berries and animal pelts and jerky. Then just built a few things before i got my first new Villager. I think my Net Worth is at about 1500 right now.


#5

I have not once seen a goblin, they are just a myth in my games…


#6

Right now I get the issue you’re having simply because there is no way for us to grow our population. But, when there is, I don’t believe the gameplay functions as they currently are need to change.

This is because we’ve been constantly told throughout discussions on population that the team really want it to be a tradeoff, in that, you are asking yourself “well I could really do with X profession but that’s going to leave me with one less worker, so do I want a footman a farmer or a worker” - that sort of thing. Preventing somebody just going “YUP 20 FARMERS LOL” and ploughing their way to victory.

I do definitely agree that we’re really on the cusp of having too much to do with too little units and so a means of gaining population would be greatly welcomed.


#7

I had that for quite a while. Now they seem to show up every time.

That’s basically what I think as well. In fact, I agree with everything @Geoffers747 said in that post.


#8

Go pick some berries. Farm some turnips so they can gripe for the 1st hour or 2. Farm a lot of corn. this will make food happiness go up fast. you need variety in food.
This attracts travelers.
build a bed for every settler and traveller that shows up this makes them feel safe and will attract more travelers.
look for items to make that increase the value of your village like cathedral chairs. just remember the higher your wealth the more goblins will show up as well as travellers: so you will need walls to help them feel safe and to limit goblin access to only 1 or 2 entrances for easier defense.
which of course will attract more travelers.
that said the biggest population i’ve had so far is 15 alive with 5 gravestones before it bugged out and i couldn’t play it any more and had to start over.
the smallest is when the goblins came back in full revenge mode and wiped me out.


#9

Don’t know if @deakon’s method there is the best way or not, but ATM it seems rather opaque in-game - ie, it’s not terribly obvious how it works.

I agree with the design goal stuff re having to manage your population wisely, but I think that a more obvious way of increasing settlement population is going to be needed once we get more professions in the game. ATM we have 7 settlers and 6 professions (including workers), which doesn’t leave much room for expansion.


#10

Honestly, they could keep it the same and just increase the number of villagers that come join you and I think that would do it. 7 is MORE than enough for the first hour of gameplay assuming you don’t botch the setup completely.

So an hour down the road (If you’ve been gathering and building stuff well enough), two brothers or a husband and wife join your village… 2 extra people is a ton of extra help at this stage in the game.

With 9 villagers (About 2 hours into the game for me), i’ve got more people than work needed….


#11

I would love to hear more about how many villagers you guys feel is appropriate for gameplay mechanics at any given time/day of the game.

To tweak the likelihood of getting more villagers, mess with the numbers in immigration_scenario.json. You still won’t get villagers every day (because sometimes the DM service picks another module to run instead), but you can lower the threshholds for getting new guys.


#12

Well, I for one am alright with the numbers we have at the moment, and the number of extras we get. However, it might help if the trapper helped with more things if not busy on trapper duty. I’ve seen them store items in stockpiles and maybe cut trees and such, but I don’t think they contribute to building houses, do they?


#13

I think the best way is to look at it is a ratio. To my mind, 1 worker per 3-4 professionals is okay (ATM it’s 2 workers for 5 professionals in-game, assuming you don’t duplicate any jobs and no immigrants arrive, so near-enough a 1:3 ratio)… 1 worker per 1-3 professionals is probably a case of too many workers though, and 1:5+ is I think too few.

The way I see it, you need a constant pool of workers to not only carry everything around and do all those time-intensive jobs like building, but also to promote to other classes as the need arises. I think this is also more of an issue the later in the game you get, when things are more spread out.


#14

One thing to point out is the fact that I think we’re a little profession upgrade happy since the release came out. I’m finding myself pushing to promote to all the professions that I’m not really thinking about it.

I tried slowing myself down a little in the last game I played and only promoted the carpenter and a farmer. I set up a farm and started building my “town center”. Half way though construction I promoted a worker to footman to fight off some goblins. Once the town center was done I built everyone beds and promoted a weaver. I hadn’t gotten any immigration during that time but by slowing down a little I notice that it flows a little better.

If I would have continued going at the rate I was the bedding and new crops would have probably begun attracting immigrants. I agree that a little fine tuning is definitely needed here and there with immigration but I’m already starting to feel that feeling of making hard decisions as a core game mechanic that Radiant has been talking about it. :smiley:


#15

I agree with @Avairian, the main reason for imbalance seems to be that people are rushing through the game too quickly, not properly planning out their town and each citizen’s role.


#16

A lot of it is trial and error… makes sense to me. You suck it up pretty hard on your first couple of towns… then you start to figure out what works. Part of the process if you ask me. :smile:


#17

Yer this is part of my reasoning against talking numbers, especially around new objects etc. as it’s almost meaningless in a way. I would personally much rather Radiant did their thing, got everything in place and tuned it to how they feel it is appropriate and then see what the feedback is.


#18

I’m a bit drained from the live stream… the ridiculously adorable plushie pushed me over the breaking point…

is it OK if I simply state that I’m in agreement with @Dwalus, @Avairian and @Geoffers747… and be done with it? :sweat_smile:


#19

It seems I probably did rush to build professions. I sat down to another game, only promoted a carpenter and farmer, and managed to do well enough. I also happened to position myself next to like 15 berry bushes and had a new settler like 10 minutes in. I think I have a good process worked out. I just have to make sure I keep saving when it bugs out so my settlement can survive, haha.

On a semi-related note, I think it would be wildly amusing if reproduction were to be introduced, the only way we could get wizards and geomancers is if the individual had remained a virgin for until old age.


#20

I understand completely. I’m feeling rather drained as well. I’m only checking occasionally, now.

Also I’m going to try being less “professions happy” my next game. It’s just so exciting to try out all the new ones is all!