Desktop Tuesday: APPEAL


#1

http://www.stonehearth.net/dt-appeal/

Other Announcments
Unstable Builds are Now Way More Unstable!

We’ve also updated our criteria for unstable builds! As I mentioned in the release notes for this Alpha, we’ve gotten into a bad habit of holding things back from the Unstable branch until they’re actually quite stable, which means you don’t get to give us feedback as early as we’d like. We also do quite a lot of extra work on things like save compatibility. In order to release content more often and to get feedback from you all earlier, the unstable branch is going to get a LOT more unstable. You’ll see work in progress UIs, assets that aren’t final, and lots and lots of bugs. Saves from an unstable build may not load in a future unstable build, or in the final stable build of the Alpha. We will, however, continue to support save compatibility between stable releases, so if any of this freaks you out, or if you just want to play the game in peace and not have to deal with the chaos, we fully endorse you jumping back onto the regular, default Steam branch by right clicking on the game in Steam, going to properties, going to the Betas tab, and selecting “none” from the branches dropdown.

DT and Streams
More last minute work travel has interrupted my regular schedule, so let’s plan to skip Desktop Tuesday next week, December 12th, and return together for one more Desktop Tuesday of the year on December 19. After that, Desktop Tuesday will return in the new year on January 9th. Streams will continue their regular Thursday schedule on Twitch at 6:00pm pst until Thursday, Dec 14th and will also resume in the new year. See you then and see you in two weeks!


#2

Glad to see they explain the slider bar a bit better. Though i’m still not in love with how that particular mechanic looks/works. The rest of the appeal system is pretty on point though.

Thanks for the DT!


#3

To me the system seems kkay but also a little odd,
Because i assume if they have a lot of things they dislike around them they get unhappy right? But if you put a good spread of all items placed around town, wouldn’t that just all even out to a neutral?
I suppose they like more things than they dislike but the system seems to conflict with itself in my eyes especially since Hearthlings don’t intentionally avoid places than have things they dislike or the other way around, and managing each house/room to fit an individual hearthlings seems extremely tedious to me (i liked the whole bed and space things since that was universal even thiugh it was tiring, but this just seems straight up tedious)


#4

It is simple, a hearthling will considerate all items near him. Items have appeal, like a vault have 40 so it makes the area very likeable.

But hearthlings have a small group of items that they have preferences over that changes the default values of the items. Loving or liking an item amplifies its appeal, so that vault value will go way higher. Disliking an item will make it negative, -5 to be precise. So that same vault will not be so good for such a hearthling.

They can only dislike 3 items. Love 7 and like 7. That is it. Everything else not in their preferences list are considered with the default appeal of the item. Edit: love 3, dislike 7

Running in an old save game is enough to see how different areas affect them with default values.
Only new hearthlings will have preferences and show the items they like or not in their profile pages.


#5

I tested the current unstable. I really like the conversations, the ability to give orders to soldiers individualy.

I don’t like how hearthlings sometimes spread their stuff they had to restock all over the map because they were interrupted (by conversations ?)

I am surprised hearthlings bug badly when it comes to build + restock + mine, they just forgive to mine forever.

I miss decorations so much. Please please please create more stuff for decorations with appeal !

I have found a bug I have put a window on a natural dirt wall for a test I just can’t remove it.

I would like to have transparent colored cubes for custom constructions.

I can’t wait to test the next new building system !

It’s tricky how I never have enough hearthlings because I try to fullfill jobs and no workers left. Especialy since campain and hard modes require full equiped soldiers ASAP.

I regret each time I play, I have to play the same scenario with goblins, kobolds, Oggo, wolves etc.

I don’t understand why you don’t add the rabbit civilization because you told you would do in kick starter.


#6

There are many mods for that, though they probably haven’t been updated with appeal yet. Here are two that come to mind.


There’s a resent mod for that. I haven’t tried it but here you go.

As far as I know they’re still going to. There’s just a lot of other features that has a higher priority.


#7

Questions: What would happen if I just place 100 liked items close to each other (without caring about placement)? Would hearthlings still like the area with the 100 items they like? Because powergamers could easily abuse this.


#8

I agree a falloff of some sort would probably be smart, (Every time x same item appears in view more than y times, appeal gets -1), but not essential.

I guess If you really want to craft a million things that look similar, then your town will look weird… And if they play the game to get an A+ in appeal no matter what, i guess that’s their prerogative.


#9

Feedback

The little conversation/thought bubbles are visually distracting when zoomed out medium or far. I’d suggest having no thought/speech bubbles at all at a far zoom (except the most vital indicators for combat or distress), in the medium range zoom have something other than the fully formed bubbles. An unintrusive visual indication to show two hearthlings are talking. Then if the player cares for more detail they can zoom in to a close or in-your-face level to see the specifics. Kind of reminiscent of Rimworlds system of what it does and doesn’t show at various view zooms. Not only would this give players more control over the levels of visual clutter, it also adds a more immersive and intimate air to taking the time to eavesdrop on your tiny people. Players who don’t reaaaaally care about the personality side of things won’t have to see it all the time, and those that do will be getting up close and personal with the little lives going on.

I also can’t say I’m a fan of the various info panels on the bottom left of the screen being detached from the border, I’d rather the UI info was “anchored” on the rest of the UI.

Also I may need to restart my game for some reason, but a fresh install and boot, setting all the graphics to the highest and yet the anti-aliasing looks either really really low or not enabled at all. Despite being turned on in the settings.

Another issue I encountered in my 30 minutes of playing was that my fresh Trapper was too busy Hauling items around to go off to the trapping zone I had laid out. I had to turn off her hauling in order to get her to go and focus on her job. Some kind of priority/distance-to-job imbalance perhaps?

Appeal

So far when I can be bothered to inspect what my Hearthlings like and dislike (not because I hate the mechanic, I’m just apathetic about it sort of) what I observe doesn’t give me many gameplay options. So a Hearthling dislikes wall lanterns. Great, that doesn’t mean I’m going to minimise or reduce the amount of wall lanterns around the place. Heck, it’s silly that a little medieval settler person would generically dislike lanterns, they’re useful things!

What I would propose in place would be more broad categories of like/dislike. So a Hearthling might dislike wooden furniture, or leather products. This gives the player the excuse to kit out their living space with stone or ceramic comforts.

Or if colour is going to come into it they love blue, so the player makes sure to give their room blue curtains, plant blue flowers etc

I’d see that as a more broad and meaningful system which gives the player more agency and angles to exploit, and you end up with more distinct cities. It’d give the game a little Animal Crossing style subsystem where players who are inclined can have fun meeting the likes and dislikes of their little people. Rather than the very specific and seemingly unworkable current system. (I DON’T LIKE LANTERNS REMOVE EM ALL OVERLORD!)


#10

ho yes, i have to take a closer look at the appeal now. Sounds interesting, i just have to see how it works and when the new Alpha is released i can upload the new mod version


#11

A couple more annoyances

Moving an existing item into a building is still “adding” a copy of that item to the building blueprint. So I finished off a new kitchen building, used the “reinstall this item elsewhere” function on my existing cooking workshops to move them into the new building. The outlines for the items appeared, but never got moved. Clicking on the outline revealed it had simply added those items to the building blueprint.

Hearthlings going to rescue wounded hearthlings needs some tweaking. Currently any hearthling goes to rescue, which can result in valuable crafters being put in danger. Having the system weighted so basic workers are more likely to respond would be better.

Also in general the “wounded” system. It works very well for most combat, but when you lose a few hearthlings in an enemy camp it can be very difficult or impossible to rescue them. This is fine, after all the player made the decisions that ended up with those hearthlings being “killed” However it’s a bit strange and depressing that they lay there dying for so long. Enemies capturing or finishing off your soldiers would make more sense. At any rate it’s a bit of an odd sort of “dead spot” at the moment that needs refining. A good gameplay loop that could come out of failed base raids would be the option for the player to retreat their soldiers (and rescue the fallen ones at the same time) and the enemy then quickly raids the player town. Then if the player was smart and had a second squad in reserve they could fight off this reprisal raid.