Cramped Environment Everywhere

My heathings are getting the “Cramped Environment” Debuff everywhere
Steps to reproduce:

  1. get hearthing to go into open area
  2. Look at mood buffs/Debuffs

Expected Results:
No Cramped Environment debuff
Actual Results:
Cramped Environment debuff
Everyone but one of my 8 heathings are getting this.
The hearthing that isnt getting the debuff is apart of the original 7, They are a trapper if that helps
I Have a save file

In open area, with Cramped Environment debuff
Version Number and Mods in use:
Release -699 (x64) (Steam)
No mods
System Information:

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This happened to me as well and made me bonkers; what eventually helped me was this…

I didn’t do any building right away, was just trying to level so all the beds, chairs and job tables were on the ground. I had been grouping all of that close together on instinct; one loong dining table, beds with only one square between each one. When I spread these all out a bit more like 4 squares between all beds, a square between each dining table, 5 squares between each of the 3 seamstress’s tables, the debuff started to drop off. I just try not to crowd out my little hearts with too much stuff around their feet.

Basically, just experiment a bit. Not that you need one more thing to try and keep track of between the enemy ‘dings’ every 5 seconds! lol Gaahhh!

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this debuff is definitely too strong currently. I have hearthlings working outside the vanilla capenters building claiming to be cramped there as well. It doesn’t make any sense atm. if its about proximity then anytime you have 2 objects too close together the hearthling will freak out. its supposed to be a debuff not claustrophobia . :glum:


I was looking at the Desktop Tuesday where they introduced the visualized concept of hearthling space. Is there a tool or updated version of debugtools that will show us the box so we can see for ourselves where the hearthling’s detection boxes are colliding? I always loved the intimacy of small houses but now I’m feeling they all want McMansions and are losing that cozy feeling.


exactly. right now it feels like all your buildings are inadequate and nothing you do will make your hearthlings happy besides giving them food.

I agree, the game shouldn’t punish you for making small designs when thats the aesthetic you are going for.

My suggestion would be change the name of cramped to cozy where cozy does not effect your mood positively or negatively but is a neutral state. anything that is less than that will then be negative and anything greater than that will be positive.


I’m getting the same impression. The hearthlings have become claustrophobics. The personal space box is too big, 13x13 blocks! Even eating together in a long table affects them. From being a lovely group who liked to work together and gather around the fire they now are just a bunch of isolacionists that demand houses the size of Versailles. Not really happy.
They should be happy to be together and not so demanding about space (smaller houses are cozy, warmer and take less time to clean).

Have Fun, Kyth.


Let me give you guys some light after looking into the code.

You can even have a hearthling hugging a wall, that alone will not give a cramped effect, cause it is blocking just half of his personal space. But if you place it in a corner, than it gets cramped.

Other hearthlings don’t count into the cramped feel! Most objects don’t count either. That’s because they don’t have a collision box (if you can go inside something, it does not have collision).

Hearthlings will only check for things that are at they head level or above!! So if you have objects that are at most 2 blocks high (chairs, tables, beds…) those will not be even seen by them!

Last, and most important of all… After getting cramped, they will be forever in that state, even if they go outside. They actually have to be inside (!) a build, this time with more space, to get rid of it and get the good spacious bonus.
This means that if you only have one house, and that is cramped, they will be forever in that state, even if they are outside of the house now. Only when they get inside a spacious house they will change state to a not cramped feel.


You basically have to learn how to build again, a 15x15 is about perfect from what I’ve found. I agree with what Bruno said, putting anything in a corner is bad. Put your workshops directly in the middle of a wall. Even beds. Pretty much all the pre built templates are obsolete. Yes you can use them, but you will have to tear them down eventually. I’m kinda glad they made this change, I was very complacent and didn’t make any of my own buildings, just used what was given. Now that the change has been in I have made all new buildings. So while I can’t be very lazy, I can at least be a tad more creative

Very useful information! I’ve been trying to work out the optimum way to get hearthlings ‘merry’ or above and am struggling.

How do these rules apply to cave dwellings? What’s the minimum you have to do to make the game recognise a cave as a ‘build’? Is placing a bed enough or do you need to dig foundations and pu up walls inside the cave. The fact that you have to be in a build to refresh the buff/debuff seems strange.

For it to be considered a build it needs a build floor and a build roof, although I think the roof can be made out of slabs (not sure about the roof though)
Make sure you increase the height of the cave, they check up to a height of 6(?) blocks to see if something is blocking and getting cramped.

Oh, and the default templates are actually good. The sleeping quarters actually gives the spacious buff for the middle two beds, and is neutral to the corner bed. The dining hall is also good and gives a good buff.

I removed a bunch of 3x2 sets of table of tables it remedied the issue but then to address the bed issue I plopped down a few Dormitories and it started again

This Building which is quite large and the interior looks like

drives my crafters crazy and I couldn’t be bother making a bigger one.

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Thanks. I think the confirmation of what constitutes a roof is important as this will apply not only to cave dwellings but any custom build house that uses slabs to create unusual roof designs. This is especially true as the ‘automated’ roofing does not work with free walls.

I’ll try some testing.

My feeling is that the buff/debuff trigger needs to be changed to check at periodic intervals and not when you enter a a defined building. But I know this will cause a complication about outside space as this will give them the ‘spaciousness’ buff and disincline to put hearthlings inside structures. So I am assuming the solution will require conditional checks that makes this a less than simple thing to fix.

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We are still having the same problem. The personal space box is too big. Assuming that a Hearthling is just under 1.5 metres that makes a block roughly half a metre. The personal space box requires them to have rooms 6.5x6.5 wide. Players should look around them. How big are their rooms? Do they fell cramped?.
With this system the rooms need to be enormous, and every item the hearthlings use better be in the middle of the room. Corridors, narrow entryways, cozy corners and sandbox, creative designing is gone off the window.
The personal space box should be reduced, I would say 3-4 block radius is enough.
Also, it should not check only when they enter a building, but, providing performance allows it, regularly. That way it would consider how long do they really have to be in cramped spaces.
The way it is now, a settlement with only one, tiny, building will be always extremely cramped. Even though they probably spend all their time outside.
Another thing that could be considered is flexibility in the space box. When a hearthling gets close to a wall, his personal box could expand in the opposite direction of the constrain caused by that wall. If it can do it, there is no cramped feeling. Only if it can not do it then the heartling is in a cramped space and should get the feeling. At least this way we will be able to place things, like workbenches, by walls.

Have fun, Kyth


Actually, you can even have zero builds and get cramped if the hearthling goes into a concave corner of a mountain, cause terrain is counted too. This means he would be forever cramped, cause he got no spacious house to go into. Which is very silly considering he will always be in open terrain.

For me, this is all a bug.
The spacious buff has a timer, when you are out of that place the buff starts to disappear.
But the cramped buff has no timer… He is there forever until you get the spacious buff to cancel the cramped one.


The obvious answer is to build a giant Truman Show style dome for everyone to live in :wink:


I agree on this one, very cramped turns to cramped thought, but cramped thought doesn’t disappear so easily.

By the way, windows do help with narrow spaces. You can build a long narrow corridor and they won’t get cramped if you put some windows on it.

We know that we need to revisit the default templates, since they might not be appropiate for this new system.

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We are definitely going to be tuning this for a while! Thanks for all the repro cases and perspectives.


Can someone please send me the list of requirement that make a room not cramped so i can add it to the top of the post for people in the future?

The bug is currently being reviewed by Albert, because the thought should indeed be removed when hearthlings are outside buildings too, so that might get fixed soon.

We don’t have a list of requirements, since this is something that still needs to be balanced and can change in the future.

Besides having windows, the only other tip that I have at the moment is don’t let hearthlings wander close to doors for too much time, keep them busy (I’ve noticed sometimes they like to chat around the door of the dining hall after eating, and they sometimes end up feeling cramped).

As you can see in the images I posted, the area they observe for calculating this is adjusted and expands towards open spaces. I’ve tested again on the tiny cottage and they don’t always get the ‘cramped’ thought, might be depending on the time they take to sleep or something; I’ve seen their area expanding towards the window and the door and not becoming yellow/red.

Don’t worry about the objects, the base of the area is at the level of the hearthlings eyes : worry about the space between the walls (if the hearthling spends too much time on the inner corner of a building and the room does not have open spaces / windows / doors nearby then yes, it might get cramped). Since the thought appears a little after they’ve felt cramped (for a certain time) you might think it immediately relates to the space they are currently in, but due to this bug, it might have happened way before (maybe when they were building, or mining…).

After this bug gets fixed, let’s compare how often they feel cramped again. Try to make rooms of all sizes and send us the savefiles, that way the tuning will be easier. We’re concerned about this and we also want to be able to have small cozy houses that make your hearthlings happy :merry: