Alpha Improvement Thread

So I’ve been plugging away at the Alpha today and I thought I’d start a thread based on my observations so far. While this I have no control over where the thread goes from here, I’d like to keep this to specific ideas on what’s currently in the Alpha, not input on future features and not a list of bugs. That said, here’s my suggestions:

  1. A ‘keep harvesting’ option for Berry Bushes (and similar renewable resources)- rather than having to click on the bush and harvest each time, have an option to ‘harvest whenever possible’ which would send a free worker over that way as soon as the berries were back.
  2. The ability to have a stockpile ‘call’ for resources- while I’m sure that this would be possible with multiple stockpiles and managing the store/don’t store settings, it would be useful to say ‘hey, I need as much of this thing as we have laying around, NOW’ and that will cause workers to 1) gather all of that resource that’s not already in a stockpile and then 2) grab that resource from existing stockpiles.
  3. I’m also wondering (though this might change the way the job AI currently works too much) if having a minimum stock (like crafters have) for stockpiles might be useful; I’ve had trouble keeping a smooth supply line of wood for large constructions projects (like fencing in the local berry patch).

Anyway, three ideas off the top of my head.


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thanks! we know radiant is very interested in hearing what the major pain points are, and what features we’re most interested in… to that end, there’s a poll over on curse…

we’ll start up a new one with more selections shortly!

I find the mouse-based UI and lack of auto-repeat a little strange, and I think it makes the gathering tasks clunky and a little bit un-fun. I think the developers should consider how other games have made the repetitive gathering tasks either more manageable or more fun:

  • Dwarf Fortress allows bulk designation of harvesting but forces you to designate every time you want to harvest. (I don’t think anyone really wants you to emulate DF’s interface.) However, the keyboard commands make this really fast, and selecting a box-shaped area to harvest makes bulk designation really fast.
  • Age of Kings (and many other RTS titles) allow their gatherer units to repeat tasks semi-intelligently. Since the gatherers are also haulers and builders, this may not be a great model, but Will’s idea above seems useful. AOE’s “go find a nearby tree and chop” AI is kind of interesting, though. Perhaps a citizen with enough woodcutting experience could plant a lumberjack ‘flag’ in a grove of trees; choppers would go radially outward from that marker looking for wood, and haulers would make trips to the marker, then to the fallen lumber, then back to the main stockpile?
  • The current UI forces a lot of cursor movement, which feels slow: click a bush, sliiiiide down to the lower left to click “pick”, sliiiiide back to the next bush, click, sliiiiide back to the lower left… consider popping the context menu closer to the click, and/or enabling keyboard commands, and/or enabling scroll wheel selection of those options.
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We argue back and forth about this in the office all the time. For now, try using the hotkeys: the first command is always “1” on the keyboard, and the second command (if there is one) is “2”. It’s prevented more than a couple of murders. Not great, we know, if it’s not being discovered, but I just wanted to mention that it’s there.

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actually, it works quite well! i admit i wasnt aware until i watched an LP, but once i looked more closely at the icon, the lovely “1” became overly obvious as to its meaning…

im a hotkey man through and through now! :smile:

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Oh man. So those “1” and “2” designations are UI hints that they have hotkeys, huh? How about that. Now I feel dumb. And I could probably map a button on my mouse to “1” to make things really fast.