Desktop Tuesday: Quest Design

Scheduling things: Due to a team-wide Stonehearth-focused hackathon activity, we will not have a stream this week on Thursday 3/15 or a Desktop Tuesday next week on 3/20. Streams will return on Thursday, March 22nd, at 6:00pm pst at, and DT will return on Tuesday, 3/27.

Building: Building is still out to a group of Friends and Family testers, who are suffering through megatons of pain and bugs so that your future experience will be less painful and buggy. Chris, Justin and Nikki are making great progress though, especially relatively to our progress on the initial builder in this period of it’s early testing. Hopefully we’ll have a version out to you soon, but even when we do, please expect your first activities with the builder not to be building things, but to be helping us with the builder. :slightly_smiling_face:


Curious question on the new building editor.

For mod developers, is there anything we need to know about for our mods, such as coding changes or new lines that need to be entered for new furniture and other items?

Personally, I’ve been holding out for the last week or so from working on a personal mod of mine, as I don’t want to make a bunch of new content, then have to go back and change all the files for them in a couple weeks (or whenever) the new editor is released on unstable.


I really like the starting hearth “levelling up” that’s a cute little mechanic.

Are there any changes planned for the amount of time it takes to craft items? Currently it seems that even “complex”, higher level items craft very quickly. Perhaps it could fit to have the process take longer/have more steps so that buffs and crafter perks have greater effects?

The idea that a player can CHOOSE a path that will result in more attacks and such is a really clever move. People who prefer more peaceful city building can lean that way, and those who want attacks and sieges can lean the other! It’d be nice to see a few other “paths” the player can choose. Perhaps you need to become a trading hub with suitable accommodation and marketplace for travellers, or you need to provide a town for adventurers to buy armour and weapons in addition to healing… I’d love to see the OPTION for the player having to host an out-of-town ambassador or noble, providing them a suitably fancy and spacious house, good meals etc etc.

Also as always - Please give more building templates, even if they’re placeholder! Sometimes a player just wants to pick something ready-made to plonk down in their town to keep it growing!

Also these types of berry bush groupings seem common, waaaay too much food around the place in a new map. Especially now that seeds are things. Some players might find it fiddly and annoying, but I honestly enjoy the “minigame” of locating and transplanting berry bushes, flowers and silk into small plantations. Even if berry bushes were scattered in groups of twos or threes quite uncommonly it’d still be easy for a player to move them together for an early game farm. Honestly you could get a whole new class out of this mechanic, or extra use out of an existing class, wherein you lay down a zone for automated, repeated collection of plant products.

This picture was naturally occurring bushes in my latest game, easily way too much free food.

Goblins initially blackmailed me for 50 wood too, which seemed to be a pretty lame roll of the dice for demands.

Also the icon for the Trapper job for a characters passionate trait is not the same as the job icon.

Goblin chieftain still seems to wander around near town and not counter attack when my dudes start ganking him.

The early goblin military attack seems to be an all-or-nothing thing where the player can either repel it with ease or gets destroyed. I thought having two soldiers at that early stage was erring on the side of caution but I got into a death spiral and had to reload, then with three soldiers it was easy. The player could do with some more guidance or advice for military matters in their first real taste of combat in the game.

Perhaps adding a plot driven re-enforcements option if the player starts taking casualties? NPCs could intervene and help out, the player could then learn they needed to have a stronger military. To be honest the whole idea of getting into a “fail state” with the game is pretty disagreeable, perhaps thinking about if it should be possible at all or if NPC intervention could always occur. Perhaps with the player losing a lot of gold or possessions when it happens, but still able the get back onto their feet.

Game still dies of idling when I have 14 hearthlings, and my PC isn’t exactly low spec :frowning:


A couple of quick feedback points following things raised in the DT video:

  • you mention that the intent of the mid-game buffs is to create a “perpetual” boost to the town, however, 1/3 to 1/2 of the benefits are related to immigration… which for most players is only a limited-time issue; most of us hit “end game” not long before we hit the limit of how many hearthlings we can run. For players running 50+ hearthlings this might be a different story; but personally I run 20-25 and I usually have them before I’ve really tackled the big quests. Now this is where pacing also comes into it and I suspect that the progression is a lot faster now than it used to be; but I feel like the immigration boosts won’t add a “perpetual” benefit to the town. On the other hand, the extra bonuses (e.g. summoning monsters) will be extremely fun and useful; and long-lived. So, if the boosts to immigration aren’t quite enough on their own, it may well be worth adding similar summon/“attract visitor” mechanics to the other hearths – for example, the trading hearth might be able to periodically summon a “super trader” (top-tier goods, highest quality furniture, etc.) or permanently increase the quality of goods that the existing traders/market stalls offer; the hearth of cheer might allow you to throw a quick party (for a cost – food, decorative items and such which are consumed in the event) in order to boost everyone’s spirits. This way all three hearths have an “active” and “passive” buff/ability, making them a little more flexible and more equally attractive.

  • while I understand that the initial banner selection is supposed to be a nudge towards a playing style, it almost feels like a more determined prod – in other words, it feels like a choice of how you’re going to play, rather than a boost to the way you want to play. There’s another thread which covers this issue in more detail, but suffice it to say that a single choice which can’t be changed later might have the opposite effect to what’s intended, restricting the story into three paths (farming, mining or trading) rather than promoting whatever kind of path the player wishes to follow. I like the idea from the other thread of being able to apply multiple small bonuses to the banner rather than getting a large up-front combo – that way, players can add buffs as they discover new things they want to do, and there can be mini-quests or conditions to attain each buff so these provide further narrative opportunities.


About the timing of the choice of the first banner. It currently feels way too early. You start a new game, place a stockpile and look around, and already have to choose. I would prefer it if it waited till you got at least 1-2 extra hearthlings. This way, you got basic housing set up and a general idea of where you want to go.


Adding @jamiltron but I believe that the answer is no; existing furniture/items work just like they used to. Housing templates are another matter! If you want to make templates… maybe wait a bit. Eventually, we hope to have an old-template converter but we will prioritize building bugs first.


For the most part most things should work as is. There’s some new tech related to grouping resources, brushes and the like in the UI and playing appropriate sounds when interacting with them.

There will be a few new fields in resource_constants.json you’ll have to specify if you want non-default icons and sounds for any custom resources in the builder. We’ll make that more obvious once the new builder has been released.

We’ve been trying to code with a lot of awareness that modders will heavily extend the builder and already have created a lot of awesome stuff, and we want the new builder to be easier to use in all aspects.


So building colors and such will be effected, but the furniture and items won’t be? At least that’s what I got of that.

Furniture and items should work as is, building color is only really affected if your brush is associated with a custom resource type.


Creative Mode vs. Progress Mode

Creative Mode: You can build whatever and whenever you want without any limitations. For those, who want to work on big projects and don’t want to be limited in any way.

Progress Mode: What I would like to see is, that you can build more complex buildings the more quests you absolve. Like this…
No quests absolved:

  • max 4 buildings
  • max 500 cubes per building
  • only wood allowed
  • only one-story buildings

First quest absolved:

  • max 8 buildings
  • max 1250 cubes per building
  • wood and stone allowed
  • up to two-story buildings

And so on. I think this would make sense story-wise, since you are only a few at the beginning with no knowledge at all. It needs time and experience to develop the knowledge to build a modern, complex and efficient house / city. :slight_smile:

That could be interesting. I assume you mean that those are on a new level of options when starting a new game? Do you consider creative mode to be like the game works now or should it be even more free? If more free then there should probably be an option for the current version.

For the progress mode I’m not a fan of the artificial limits. Max number of buildings and cubes and to some extent the limited option of building material. I think the limit on material should be the result of other things. Maybe your workers are really slow at mining stone in the beginning and things like that.
I prefer limiting the number of stories, the height of walls, how wide a room can be without additional support for the ceiling, the overhang on the outside, colors and patterns and other things that are more related to the skill of the builders.

I would probably want this to be connected to the workers skills. Letting them level up as workers or level up the individual skills. But I guess you could say that the town level is like the mean level of the workers and that’s what’s important when building something big.

That’s a cool idea. And if the player opted in for that mode, you wouldn’t even mind if the limitations were imposed by a simple message “Uh we don’t have the right building permits yet!” or something equally derived.

The fact you can just plonk down all of your stuff in the outdoors happily kind of negates an downside of limited buildings. Limiting number of jobs too perhaps?

right now theres no real advantage to stone or wood or clay beyond that it’s a different material, i wish that it played some significance in the game

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I don’t care for this idea at all. Why limit the person that much? The game is a sandbox, with some direction of allowing us to write our own story. This imposed limit would almost make the game linear rather than open.

Plus, what if I wanted to start by making a castle that everyone lives in? Or one town in a single building like Whittier, Alaska? There’s just so many things people can do that limiting them to this would hurt.

That said, if you wanted to really limit people, I think the object tiers is the best way to go. Tier 0 has hay beds, plain seats, ect. Tier 1 has cloth beds, chairs, windows that aren’t just holes in the wall, etc. Tier 3 is ornate and has glass windows. The list goes on.

If my two story building has a basement though, how would the game know whether that’s a 2 story with a basement or a 3 story? And if I’m not allowed to have 3 story buildings because I’m not far enough along, does that mean I can’t have a basement?


and to be honest, you don’t need to limit buildings. buildings are one of the easiest ways to increase town wealth (last i checked, might have changed recently;) thus, they also attract hostile mobs more easily, since some of the campaign triggers and spawn levels are base on town value.

basically if you build to quickly you get swarmed and killed off.


All I’m hearing is “add destructive fire to the game as a weapon/accident” >: D