Crate groups / automatically setting crate item designations

The first thing I did with crates was put a bunch of them together in a group and mark it for food storage. I immediately found it cumbersome to click each crate and designate it’s contents as food as I placed them down.

I thought it might be useful to be able to have crates automatically inherit the properties of adjacent crates when placed.

The only issue is handling the properties when you place a crate next to two or more crates with different item designations. I would probably just pick one at random (or just default to all items) in that case. I considered the idea of crate groups that can only have one master set of properties, but you lose some customization there and it doesn’t completely solve the problem as placing a crate that connects two crate groups would still be really weird.

This could extend to stockpiles as well.


I was just thinking of this issue myself after briefly experimenting with Crates. What if there was some of tool that allowed the player to drag and select an area of containers/stockpiles and simultaneously set their accepted items? This way, you can still have adjacent crates or stockpiles with different accepted items (or at least they won’t automatically change, considering you might forget that it happens).

There’s two other issues I can think of at the moment that would need to be considered for such a tool, though:

  • Can there be a way to select only certain types of crates (or exclude specific containers) in the area you select? It might get messy if you have crates snaking around that don’t fall into neat rows/boxes.
  • There’d likely need to be some way to draw the area of selection three-dimensionally. Unlike resources selectable by the Harvest command we currently have, crates can be put on top of each other, bringing up the issue of the Y-axis.

Yeah, I thought about that as well but ultimately decided I didn’t like it as much. I thought adding a new tool might be a bit much in an already growing toolbar. It seemed like automatically grabbing adjacent stockpile/crate properties would be the most useful without adding more stuff for the player to learn.

On the other hand, I’m trying to picture how I would want to go about reorganizing stuff. If one day I want to move all my food to a new spot then a mass edit tool could be useful.

That’s more along the lines that I was thinking–a tool for when a player has already placed the containers they wish to use and quickly want to determine the areas for each item type/combination to be used where. If there’s an option to automatically replicate permissions for a new adjacent container, this would be better if the player’s actively putting them down (and especially if the storage area’s already to be used and access isn’t restricted for whatever reason).

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So rather than make a new topic, I decided to add this here.

I have game where I have round 100 crates and it’s a pain in the *ss to manage all those crates. So I thought what if the crates would take the properties of the crate adjacent to it, but also shows as 1 stockpile. If you open the stockpile manager, it would show as one stockpile with a total equal to the combined capacity of all adjacent crates and crates that are adjacent to those adjacent crates and so forth…

But what if you place a new crate or existing crate with objects in them next to the already existing crates ?
Well, It will take the properties of the existing crates, and all items that don’t match will be picked up by the heartlings and moved somewhere else.

And what if I move a create ?
The total of the stockpile would drop with the total of the crate that’s being moved and the items that were stored in that crate will also be removed from the stockpile.

The simplest solution: allow crates to be placed on stockpiles,and have them inherit the stockpiles’ traits.

This can also be led to some automation, such as if a stockpile is getting full, a Hearthling may check for the largest available crate in a furniture stockpile to place down on the stockpile if there’s room to do so.

Dwarf Fortress had something similar, but crates were containers for a single resource. It’d be a league harder to have Hearthlings determine if it would be faster to transport goods via crate than to make multiple trips between individual items and the nearest stockpile.

Or maybe not so much. If there are, say, 3+ items within 20 cells and no appropriate stockpile within 40 to deliver them, have a worker drop off a crate that can fit that many items. When there are no more items that can be placed in the crate, mark the crate to be returned to its’ prior place.

This is a common scenario for wood, stone, and pelts, and much time is often wasted on long distance trips.