Can we discuss the changes in A.20 Eating twice a day?

Alpha 20 has been pushed to Experimental version of Stonehearth on steam.

In the patch notes it has been said that hearthlings now eat twice a day.

More meals! Hearthling will now eat twice a day instead of only once.
As we said, this is only the very first step in a long path towards a more harmonious interaction of Hearthlings and their world; stay tuned for updates to this feature as we revisit the other systems in the game. And tell us how you’d like to see this develop over time on our forum

Now I’ll give it a chance. But we already have existing issues with Hearthlings being optimised for carrying out tasks. I don’t see how making Hearthlings run back to pick up food twice a day makes this a “harmonious interaction”. If anything its change tries to be more realistic as humans but can impact on trying to complete tasks. As our towns expand and they walk further distances, we will find them wasting more time walking back and forth to pick up food and get barely anything done.

I’m struggling to see how this positively helps the game when we already spend time having them build block by block. I think there is better alternatives to this change is basically what im trying to say.

Hey there @LostMorph, welcome to the Discourse!

It’s funny because I had the exact same thought process as you did when I saw this. I’ve been testing A20 for a few hours now, and honestly, if I didn’t read the patch notes I wouldn’t have noticed a difference. Maybe I’ve never paid close enough attention to eating patterns, but I tend to run the game on Super Speed and not think too much about it.

Just my 2 cents…


I also play on x4 mode and build quite expansively so I often pickup on my Hearthlings stopping a task and walking back to the food storage. Unfortunately I can’t play the Alpha 20 as some comments on the blog have mentioned, AMD cards seem to be having graphical glitches on the menu. I will by all means give it ago, but it’s a little concerning why a change like this was added when it doesn’t really add much to the game besides being a mechanic to low down the pace in a non meaningful way.

I would rather they did something like basic raw foods meant the Hearthlings move at a mid-movement pace, maybe slightly slow than they do now, and as you create more tasty food with the cook, they get increased movement speed. What purpose does making them eat twice a day do besides limiting player productivity?

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Yep, the team is aware already, so hopefully we’ll have a fix for the AMD issues soon.

I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with the new morale mechanics. Hearthling morale is affected by food - raw, tasty, fine, bland, cooked - so that might be why. @Brackhar specifically asked for feedback on the new food quantity, so this is all great information!


Something that would greatly help with this issue in my opinion is having an options on crates/etc to keep a set amount of items on them. For example, a new tab like the one to choose the filter, but the option to keep it stocked with 10 Vegetable Stews or whatever. Workers then keep it stocked when needed and less walking back to get food.


I won’t argue it and will give it ago. I just wanted to express some concern as it sounds like a big change with little to be talked about it and hopefully it’ll be closely monitored by the Devs. :slight_smile: Though I’ll still say that I think there is more alternate ways to work with food that would make it more meaningful than just straight-up making them eat twice a day.

Another example would be adding value to different foods, so cooked meals could last them a day, or maybe even 1.5 days. With basic foods making Hearthlings last half a day. That way it would at least give us more of an incentive to create food with the cook other than Morale. But I’ll stay open minded :slight_smile:


Now I havn’t tried the A.20 yet. But eating twice a day seems like a good thing from gameplay perspective.

Maybe they need to extend the day cycle a little bit to compensate the extra time it takes eating?

They should definitely improve the hunger mechanics.
One would be to give them a window where they need to eat, so instead of dropping whatever they are doing the moment they get hungry, they have a time period where they can complete tasks before they will be so hungry that they drop whatever to get food.

Hearthlings thought process could be:

  1. “I’m a little bit hungry, first I’ll complete this”
  2. “Ok, done. Now should I get food or do something more before eating”
  3. (estimate time to complete next task / compare how long time it takes to get to food source)
  4. “Ok my next task takes too long but I can carry these items on my way back to the Inn”

Maybe different tasks makes them hungrier at a different speed? Time is still the biggest reason.

Personally I don’t think carrying a full meal with them sounds like a good idea, but I could see them carrying a fruit/carrot or something small to extend the time a little bit before they really need food.

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Would I be correct in my assumption that of the people who have posted in this thread, only jomaxro actually tested the new changes?


One of the positives for eating twice a day is that you’re updating the food quality happiness faster. When your hearthlings eat uncooked food they have less happiness than if it’s cooked. If they do eat lower quality food, they have a chance to improve that happiness twice a day, rather than once. A single poor quality meal after engaging in battle can have dramatic results especially on your footmen. Cooks really are a necessity, especially on hard mode, rather than just a convenience now.

As an aside, I believe I’m going to have to reevaluate how I pick my farmers. The mind stat for cooks and farmers will need to be higher so that they gain xp more quickly to keep up with the demand for happiness. Sad footmen have real trouble kiting large stone golems. Don’t even ask about how they fare against giant wolves.


I played the new version while also testing my mod, and i actually though the opdate lagged my game so Hearthlings eat at night, and i actually liked this, seeing them in a cozy and lit room sitting together was a cute little thing to watch

And as @Averest said, it does tie quite well with the current moral system, you wouldn’t expect an actual person to keep thinking about that nice (or terrible) breakfast for the rest of the day, and they don’t, they eat twice a day, which does seem logical as humans, and they gain moral from each mean that lasts about 1/3rds of the day,

and along with that, i find moral to be quite a fun minigame as well, trying to find what buggs the Hearthlings, and figuring out what they might like, and because of that, i want them to eat good food, almost like a pet, you want them to be happy, and two meals per day sounds like a healthy diet


Sounding promising then. I’m just waiting for the AMD fix so I can check it out.

Thanks for the feedback! Keep it coming as you guys play around with it. :smiley:

These are basically the reasons why we wanted to explore shifting to 2 meals a day. It’s cute, creates more interaction points with mealtime happiness, and overall increases the importance of cooks. If it’s accomplishing these goals then we’re definitely on the right track.


As with every new branch I load a played game and play it for a bit. See what happens and such.
Nothing I could really see on 22 hearthlings hopping around for a few days. First food related thing I noticed was on my new game where it’s slightly harder to gain your first hearthling when only the Trapper is there to get food and your farmer is still ploughing. Besides this I hardly notice it. I also tend to build public buildings so less traveltime overall when they are searching for a nearest object to sit. better to not have any chairs than to have them currently. They will simply eat in the spot and go back to work after. which is my only real issue coming to life right now. Damn simulation games and their traveltimes.

edit : a word

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Hearthlings eating more food? Great! I always ended up with lots of food rotting in my stash.


I like the change, it makes sense for them to eat more than once a day!

There certainly need to be behavior clean ups around food and seating, acceptable radius for walking etc. A good, possibly makeshift, tweak might be that hearthlings check for food closest to their bed first, making the assumption that their bed is in their home. Of course then we get onto the subject of storage areas and priorities, as you’d need a way to make sure they always have food there… And THEN some players would also rather have a communal dining room instead!

It’d be cool to see the cook class ringing a bell or something at meal times too!

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Cute idea! I want to do an audio cue like ths. I also agree about the cleanup.

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Sooo I have played a few hours and I am at 22 Hearthlings on normal mode with no mods.
It was the first game where I needed to change what my workers should do
hauling mining building …

But so far I like the new happiness system.
As the for the meals, twice a day … it is a bit harder to fill the storage with food, but only a little bit :slight_smile:

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Thank you for this update, the Morale system is so incredible, now we have a real good reason to have a cook, dedicated bed and so on, I’ve just played a few hours on it but it is great, really great.

I’ve did some test and achieve to reach 20+ hearthlings by accomplishing the daily update each day, I think it might be a little bit harder than before but I’m not completly sure. The only pain I saw is your algorithm having a huge step in the worth requirement at something like 23 or 24 hearthlings.

The magical trick is to have enought Berry bushes next to the camp for the first two days. I then had no problem at all to have enought food each day. But I think that the Hearthlings may be a little bit less productive, the worth target is a little bit hardest to achieve than before.

And yes, we have to change the job of hearthlings quite often, more than before, when we need more harvest on berry bushes, more worth by finishing this building, etc

You should reintroduce the happiness target on the Daily update, I think that it’s a fact that pioneers won’t come in a sad town.


I have no issues with the eating, I do have issues with them choosing raw food over cooked then the happiness meter gets dinged for it. If there’s cooked food available but they chose raw then that’s their fault not mine. Lol


Are you sure that there was enough cooked food for each of your hearthlings ? (And that it was actually food, not cooking ingredients)

When a hearthling picks up a serving from a basket (and the like), no other hearthlings try to pick up from the same basket unless the other hearthling finished eating, I think. So if there wasn’t enough cooked food, some hearthling might have gone to pick raw food instead.