Customizeable Layers/Stories for Multi-Story Viewing (Interface concept)

Another small suggestion built from a request circulating the Discourse for a while (that is, being able to see through different stories in a constructed building).

I had an idea for GUI implementation based off of my usage of the Finale program that’s used to compose music on a computer. When you have more than one line of notes on a single staff, there’s a set of numbered buttons that you click in order to change only one of them at a time. Why not something similar for viewing and constructing structures in Stonehearth?

When constructing a building, you can specifically select voxels/walls/etc. and set them to different buttons. When they are active, these voxels will be visible; conversely, deselect them and that portion of the build will go away. So if the structure is organized 1-4, with the roof being 4, deselecting them descending will remove the structure down to the ground (however, some voxels could belong to multiple groups, like the foundation to keep track of where the building is, physically).

This would also be very useful when structures don’t match the units in the cutaway view mode’s increments clearly (perhaps the buttons could also be set to specific heights for each of vision if the mode is used). And if there’s a way to coordinate looking at multiple buildings on certain floors, you wouldn’t have to keep switching between layers to observe things.

I think being able to customize a view system will be most appreciated when we begin to see more and more abstract, split-level creations. But for now, small things like being able to view a staircase or the foundation from both the ground- and upper story would be nice to have for aesthetic and clarity purposes.


so if i understood correctly, kinda like a photoshop for the buildings?

(at least thats what i got when you said about the music stuffs)

Sort of. Basically, instead of a simple cutaway feature like we have for terrain, the player would be able to customize exactly what parts of their builds will be seen/invisible when their respective layers are changed. So if a house has levels 1-5, where:

  1. Floor (Foundation)
  2. Floor + ground story walls
  3. Upper floor
  4. Upper floor + walls
  5. Roof

…and you turn off 3-5, you’d only see the ground floor with the ceiling opened up. Or if for some reason 1-4 coordinate with each of the walls, turning 3. off will remove only a single wall, allowing you to see both floors simultaneously from the side.

Granted, these are basic ideas that could be possible with a cutaway tool (or viewing mode), but as a building gets fancier, the simpler tool might hit some problems for the player.


Perhaps one way to do that would be to assign a filter type (roof, wall, basement) to 1x1 slabs because actually the visibility system is thought for simple constructions like the pre-made default blue prints. The whole interface of custom building would then have to be tweaked to integrate some thing like:

  • basement
  • wall : auto walls (like actually) + free walls (like actually) + slabs
  • roof : auto roof (like actually) + slabs

With that, the visibility feature would work much better, but then comes the Atralane’s idea. The problem I see is at dev level is you cannot do such thing simply because you cannot anticipate what people will do. Imagine someone build a 10 stories building + 5 underground levels; that would be too much buttons when the slice feature can handle any possibility.
Now what if the slice feature had multi purposes? Let’s say you can select a building, then if no building selected, the slice tool would be like actually. Now if a building is selected, the buttons of the slice tool would become for example -1F / +1F to let you go up and down. We could even imagine that the whole exterior scene would receive a semi transparent layer to tone down the world to get a real focus on the building.

That said, its is clear the actual state of the game concerning the building visibility isn’t good. We need some love at this level but I’m pretty sure the dev’s have already done some clever thoughts on the topic. Now it’s possibly not the most important thing to work on right now but I sure this topic will be central when the time will come to polish the game.

I miss when the slice view let you view lower stories. Viewing inside buildings is one of this game’s weak points - which is bad, when your main goal ATM is to build and decorate as many or as complicated of buildings as you can.


True. I suppose my biggest concern is if the viewing system only works like the cutaway mode, since it might push the player to only build in vertical strata and not try anything too crazy or unique.