Not really, as it’s not my area of expertise. That said, maybe I can provide a bit of an analogy? Let’s say that you built a rope bridge across a ravine. The bridge was good and solid for what you wanted it to do, and people could comfortable walk back and forth across it without trouble. You know that the bridge will get more and more traffic with time, and you hope that it will generally be able to expand to meet your needs. One day someone asks if they can ride their bike across it. You say “Ok, well, there’ll be some problems with that, but if we add more slats to the bridge, your tires shouldn’t get stuck.” So you do that, and everything works out. Now people are biking back and forth, and someone asks you if they can bring a motorcycle across. A motorcycle is a lot more weight than a bike, but maybe if you add some rebar reinforcement, line the bottom with metal, and double-run the cords, the bridge can support the weight. So you do that, it works, and things progress. However, now this bridge is starting to see a lot of traffic, and someone asks you if they can bring their car across. Worse, they need to bring their car across, because the two sides of the bridge now depend on regular and fast traversal between the two sides. However, there’s no way that you can simply widen the bridge to accommodate the car; the reinforcements you’ve done are too fundamental now to the function of that bridge, and there’s not a way that you can break and then add more metal without compromising the integrity. Additionally, even if you could make it wide enough, the simple physics of a suspension bridge will not allow it to support the weight; the amount of stress a ton of metal would place on the supports is just to great once the car hits the middle. Maybe if the initial bridge had been a drop bridge, one where the bridge is supported by pillars rising from the bottom of a ravine, you’d be able to accomodate the additional weight. But, since the initial structure was a rope bridge, there’s just no further that you can push it; the car can’t make it across.
In other words, while you can frequently re-purpose and improve a design to be used in a way that it wasn’t intended to, in all designs there comes a point where the ask is too great. As we’ve started to talk through what we want with the builder, and noticed the frustrations players have, we’ve come to the conclusion that that is the case of where we are at.
Nah. If the AI has a better understanding of what to do when, that can only be a benefit to the system.
I think the basic hope is that the building tool is not a point of churn for the game. Players should not be confused about how to make a simple building for their first hearthlings. We’re not looking for an idiot proof solution, nor are we trying to create a tool that can work for someone that has never held a mouse, but building is a core component of Stonehearth. Of any action that players do in the game, this should be among the easiest.
Fair. Stephanie and I have talked about ways to give more visibility into what we’re doing day to day, and stuff like this is part of why we have those discussions.