Current concerns for the game


Let me start off by saying I have been here since the kick-starter. The majority of this post will be based off of my own observations of the game’s development, and how it has strayed away from (or stuck to) the game described in the kick-starter campaign.

I remember that when Stonehearth was announced, the photo that almost instantly sold me was this one:

The game was described as a “City management game” frequently. While the game certainly is focused around that concept, I feel that it has been moving in a direction that prevents players from managing their cities on a large enough scale.

The problem with this is that what may previously have been possible (such as building a large city filled with hundreds of Hearthlings as portrayed in the photo I previously linked), is no longer as viable. Sure it is realistic to build up a large town, but after playing the game for a while I found a couple of serious conflicts.

Issue 1: The Game doesn’t provide enough control over groups of Hearthlings
This is ironic because when the Kickstarter was announced, I thought that there would be too much control. But now that we’re at Alpha 14, I find myself questioning what is and isn’t possible because of how things have been developed so far.

Lets use Farmers for an example. In this case, I want to have two fields - one field on the east side of my town will produce wheat, while on the west side of town, I want corn fields. We are now faced with a serious issue. The farmers are set to farm ALL farmland. There is no way to allocate one group of farmers to the eastern field, and another to the western field. With the current system, it is impossible for us to have a town that has fields in different sectors because the farmers will only take care of one farm at a time and cannot split up.

The same issue presents itself with other classes. Builders for example cannot be broken up into groups to work on multiple projects simultaneously. With builders, the issue is less serious than it is with farmers - but it is still a missing control.

So how can we fix this? By introducing the ability to allocate workers to specific tasks (or zones), we would be able to resolve this issue. I could select the farmers I want to work on the eastern field, and I could send them off to work on those fields ONLY.

I am aware that this control exists already with military “parties”, but these parties are not intended for long term use. If you tell a footman to guard a spot, He will guard that exact spot without wavering until he starves to death and dies. I will address that issue later.

By adding zones, it would also enable us to expand our small settlements into large bustling cities and even kingdoms. It would be possible to establish additional settlements on the other parts of the map, and to connect them with roads. It would provide purpose to the settlements themselves. So in short, WE NEED ZONES.

Issue 2: There is no true purpose to ANY structures
This is easily my largest problem with Stonehearth. Buildings (as they currently are) are virtually pointless. There is no benefit to having beds or crafting stations inside, and theoretically a player could have everyone live outside in the cold and be completely fine. Sure, structures can be useful for keeping the bad guys away from your sleeping citizens, but aside from this they are useless.

There is absolutely no incentive for us to build anything other than because it looks cool. So how can we fix this? I propose that rather than having “crafting stations”, we have structures allocated to specific tasks. This concept has been employed to an extent in other games such as Terraria or Prison Architect, but not to the extent that I suggest. The idea is that players would have a long list of potential purposes for structures, and they would have to meet minimal expectations for that room/structure to be created.

So for example, in order to build a Carpenters Workshop(Building) - a structure would have to contain the carpenters workbench and a door. By adding additional items to the room(s) inside of the Workshop, players could enhance the effective capability of the carpenter. So for example, by adding a chair, window and a bed to the workshop, the carpenter might be 5% faster and have improved morale.

This particular system would be fantastic because it would provide purpose to buildings, while still allowing players to design their settlement in the way they want. The requirements for each official structure would only be dictated by the contents of the rooms and not the actual appearance or composition of the building. And the list of potential buildings could go on and on. There could be functional buildings like Inn’s (That allow traders to stay in your city), Workshops, Restaurants, Government buildings, Barracks, Banks, Smithies, Armories and the list could go on and on.

In conclusion
Stonehearth is coming along to be a fantastic game, but I really think the devs need to take a quick breather and consider the greater picture. How will it be possible to manage a large city with the current controls we have? Perhaps before we add more features, items, and classes. We should get the controls under…control.

Thanks for reading my wall of text. I plan to compile this entire post into a video that will much more effectively get these points (and the other points I don’t have time to type) to you.


I agree with the zones entirely, I know Team Radiant wants the players to have little control on micro managing their hearthlings, however they have done this so much as to have almost no control whatsoever over the hearthlings. I believe simple allocation could change that and would not add to much more micro, like your zone idea. I hear in the future there will be more purpose for buildings like staying inside in the winter to keep warm provides a moral buff, but ya things more specific like barracks and government buildings, and workshops would be some of the top three buildings that i would definitely like to see put into the game by buffs and whatnot.

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Good points and great thought LordNevs

This zone idea could also help to reduce the “Many Heartling” problem, that if you got to much of them, they dont work anymore. With fixed Zones for Heartlings, the decision tree for every heartling should be much smaller.

But on the other side, i have to say, i like that feeling, with no control over your Heartlings. It feels like im a God and give them advice, but the have there own mind ^^

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@Spiro That was going to be one of the points I made in the video I mentioned. The Hearthlings are too similar to mindless drones. They have no free will or desires and do things exactly the same way. It would be much more fun if they had their own desires and “personalities”, and if they acted the way free-willed beings would.

So for example. I assign @SteveAdamo to be a farmer and he works the corn field. But once in a while Steve will be lazy and will want to stay indoors for a day.

This sort of addition to the Hearthlings behavior would have a major impact to the game and would add an entire new wave of decisions for the player to make. Players will want to give Hearthlings jobs based off of their personality. Someone who is strong-willed and loyal would be more likely to be a soldier than someone who is lazy like Steve.


This works wonderfully in Prison Architect. What i would really like to see and what i think would be more up the developers’s alley is more of a Banished type System. Housing is automatically allocated to a specific hearthling(or hearthlings). Furniture comes later. Shops have a ticker where you can change the amount of workers at the specific shop. They wouldn’t really need to change anything just add a way to designate a building.

House = Bed + Chair + Table + Fireplace
Potters shop = Kiln + Potters Table

Combining these makes a potters shop/house

I’m not necessarily sure i would like to see positive buffs on houses. Furniture sure, like fireplace = warmth in winter or whatnot. What i would like to see is negative buffs because of the lack of housing, including freezing to death in the winter, or in the freezing desert nights

Now. my biggest concern is that unless you invest serious time into the game, its extremely hard to get a large group of hearthlings. Ive put 8 hours into a town and gotten 20. I understand balance and whatnot but i think there needs to be multiple ways to attract hearthlings to your town.


There’s a shelter score which is supposed to be factored into morale, but I’m pretty sure it’s not calculated very well at the moment. I think weather and seasons are probably going to make buildings a little more useful.

As much as I like the occasional open air workshop, I’d definitely prefer functional buildings. That’s a system that has to avoid both being too simple or being too complex. I’d like something more advanced than “I need foo & bar to build x, baz & quux to build y, …” or “The always best way to build z is with a, b, and c”. For me, there needs to be actual choices and trade-offs. Something like “If I have this bookshelf in the room, my carpenter will produce more fine works but he’ll take a bit longer to craft things” or “These bellows let the forge run hotter and therefore smelt ingots quicker but the blacksmith can’t work as quickly on the anvil in the heat”.

Of course, then there’s the risk of being too complicated. If these things actually had visible effects rather than just numbers, it would probably be a bit less overwhelming.


I like your ideas :slightly_smiling:

Buildings might get useful when they add a winter season. And that heartlings will be warmed up inside buildings, so if you make them sleep inside they will be heated up enough to work through the day without feezing to death

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This works wonderfully in Prison Architect. What i would really like to see and what i think would be more up the developers’s
alley is more of a Banished type System. Housing is automatically
allocated to a specific hearthling(or hearthlings). Furniture comes
later. Shops have a ticker where you can change the amount of workers at
the specific shop. They wouldn’t really need to change anything just
add a way to designate a building.

House = Bed + Chair + Table + Fireplace
Potters shop = Kiln + Potters Table

Combining these makes a potters shop/house

I do not think that they should require it like in Prison Architect, So that you must have Kiln + Potter Table to have a potters house. But more like if you add all those and a have roof over your head, Then it will give you a bonus (like better changes for fine items)

So if i would like to start in the open field, it should still be possible. Same for if i want to have a caveman village.


It would also allow new classes based off the idea of management.

So I agree also with

  • control

( you could assign farmers to specific farm plots )

( you could assign hearthlings to specific

  • not a deep mechanic except visual to buildings ( yes moral
    is not enough )

( you could place a net worth on all things so you know why
you are filling your walls with paintings :stuck_out_tongue: )

( you could have lvls for buildings ! size 1 building needs
a bed a light source a table a chair and a sertain min size, and different lvl
of buildings give different bonuses to assigned hearthlings to that building as
more morale , less food consumption, buffs, I could go on forever… )

ps. making buildings have mechanics like that makes a goblin
stealing stuff from your buildings have a point and an effect on the lvl of the

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I’m very happy to see that Hearthlings will now eat while guarding a zone as a new feature in Alpha 17. Can’t say that the update is a result of this post, but hey - I can always hope!

Now lets just hope they add some purpose/function to buildings soon.