[Brainstorming session] Animations to make the Hearthlings feel more like people, then robots

During building, hearthlings will be looking at the building or gathering together to make plans. While these animations play off, the hearthlings on the task do not have to pathfind, and so the game can run building computations.

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I would like to bring in my experience with the game called “diggles”, that is very similar to stonehearth and contains the “fun and spare time”- factor.
As- is, this factor would be a huge downside since all of the villager’s actions are too ineffective to compensate for spare time.
In the “diggles” game, you’d have your citizens skipping work because of being unhappy. The need for constant improvements to spare time happiness made midgame management a mess up to a point where most of your citizens wouldn’t work at all and people started to starve to death. I knew this game very well and still had a lot of trouble with that.

So all in all: Make working twice as efficient and get a proper setup for happiness values or don’t add it.

I believe Radiant’s mostly decided against children, for a number of reasons.

First, games right now are way too short for children to grow up.
Second, if Hearthlings are growing up, will they also die of old age?
Third, with the PEGI rating system the game’s more violent if children can die, but then it’s unrealistic if they’re invincible.
Fourth, reproduction’s a messy topic.

I’m sure the official list goes on.

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I guess the interaction between the heartlings and the player is not going to happen then… maybe a player avatar like a mayor or clanleader ingame could fix that?
Well animations should add some humor to the game in my opinion, one of the funniest things at this point in the games development, is when you actually sit and think about, how the heartlings get themself into really dangerous situations, or just other stuff based on bad AI, like ending up on a cliffside with no way down?
Mechanical this is a bad feature, but i like the humor in the situation and hope when the heartlings AI gets better, the humor will be implemented in other parts of their behavior?

All the heartlings go and eat at the same time… same thing every day… same damn carrotsoup… but one day one of the heartlings jumps up on the table and starts to sing and dance! The other clanmembers laugh and laugh tumbling down from their chairs… maybe a bit much, but i think it made my point? :wink:

Climbing down a ladder, could be replaced with sometimes gliding down, like a fireman or something?

The footman could get out a sharpeningstone and use it on his sword?

The farmer could look around a bit frantic, and when reasured noone is looking, grabing a extra huge carrot from the pocket and eat it?

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I think a good game to maybe look to for making AI feel more human and less robotic might just be the Sims franchise from EA! I’ve been a long time fan and while it may be a completely different mindset between sims and stonehearth I’m sure a few things can be plucked!

For example small variations in sleeping postures/positions or eatting animations based on whatever the max stat is to determine their personality? Or even small standing animations depending on the max stat.

silly examples:
Body- do stretches when idling randomly
Spirit- maybe a small meditation/prayer/ takes out a flower from pocket to sniff
Mind- pull out a book from pocket and read it/ daydream or thinking then suddenly a little lightbulb esc animation of a new idea

these could be intermingled with the class specific animations to give them a little more flavor and variety. I’m sure you could even go deeper with the sub stats but I don’t mess around with them enough to give specific example ideas!

Or to simplify it even more have actions dedicated only to certain objects that are added in late game? Such as a practice dummy for your militia to practice on (perhaps with a very slow exp gain attached if at all)

sorry if htey’re a bit too complex, I try to keep resources and effort in mind when giving ideas! I expect animations like this to be a bit of fluff and icing on the cake to be added later but still excited for them! qwq


Papyrsatyr, I had an idea for the opposite, in one regard.

Use Goblin animations occasionally (e.x. ear pickin’) for hearthlings with 1 Mind.

Aww thats a bummer, because I mean it is reality. It would bring a realistic feeeling to the game. It It is kinda wierd when hearthlings dont die though. I always feel sorry for when a hearthling dies. Who knows mabye it would make a cool mod.

The level-up skills sometimes mention things that can be made into animations. A level 6 knight for example, has a horn to draw attention.


expanding idea.

introduce needs and personality, to drive the animations in more believable manner, instead of random, or hard-scripted fashion.

Needs, (similar to the “bars” in Sims), represent basic needs such as general happiness, hunger, thirst, sleep, social, fun, cleanliness and …eh… toilet. When they get low, the hearthlings will need to deal with them or something negative will happen (similar to Sims’s moodlets. e.g. not going to toilet in time because the player keep forcing the poor hearthling to do other work may make him soil his pants, creating a decrease in happiness, penalty to productivity for a period of time. Needs will drive the Hearthling to take actions in order to satisfy them (though Hearthling’s personality may affect the tolerance, urgency associated with different needs accordingly)

Usually, a Need can be satisfied by more than one type of action. E.g. if a Hearthling is in need of fun, what is available could be influenced by what furniture/facilities is built by the player. There may also be some which does not need facilities (e.g. sing to oneself). Which action the Hearthling choose will can be weighted (with possible random factor) on the effectiveness of the method, as well as the Hearthling’s personality (including interests/hobbies). (e.g. a hearthling who likes music may choose singing even if it is less effective than another action)

Also, some standard actions may have different variants depending on personality.

E.g. borrowing the idea of how a herbalist’s action of caring for his patients…

A cool herbalist may just go about his duties, without any redundancy. He just do what is required and move onto next patient or more work, and is efficient in terms of time.

A compassionate herbalist, however, may take more time to sooth the patient, (insert appropriate animations etc), which makes him slower than the cool version earlier, but he greatly improves the mood (happiness, etc) of the patient, which in turn may help that patient recover productivity faster.

just some ideas of the top.


This is a rather huge change which I cannot do personally (as an artist), it is something which we have discussed in length and will continue to discuss : ).[quote=“sphr, post:29, topic:23953”]
Usually, a Need can be satisfied by more than one type of action.
This is a very good point - and ties into the idea of re-usability (from a creation standpoint) as well. Definitely something we will keep in mind.

Also something we have discussed and would like to do as well, but its a lot of work - both from a programming standpoint and an art standpoint. Likely the points above will happen first, and then something like this would come much later - but nothing is planned yet in regards to any of this. When we get closer hopefully we can let you guys know some more, or ask for more thoughts : ).


It’s always awesome to hear from one of the Devs! Thanks for taking an active interest in this thread Malley. Keep up the good work and keep in touch! : D

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I agree with @King_Foxtrot. It is always cool to hear from you guys!

Hehe, Its always nice to hear from you guys ; ). Thanks for sharing your thoughts - I love reading stuff like this, even if I can’t always respond.


@Brackhar Here is the bump


@DeMaggo Thanks for the bump! I’ll read through this tomorrow.


These expressive animations look soooo good! Great Job @malley and thank you for your hard work! Can’t wait to see how the happiness system gets revamped.

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Thanks @King_Foxtrot, I appreciate it : ).

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leisure animations:
High body hearthlings: stretching, and then sprinting a while
High spirit hearthlings: grabs a rondom instrument, that it just happened to be carring around, and start playing it.
High mind hearthlings: sitting somewhere and grabbing a book, and reading it.

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