[Dev Blog] Combat Engine!



First! aww yeah. Reading blog

1 Like

and since Disqus seems to be acting up, here’s my initial response to the blog post…

it’s looking great!

i particularly like the number of attacks already on display… four if i’m not mistaken… front (regular) swing, back slash swing, spinning swing, leaping two-handed swing… all look great!!

parroting Jake’s comment about the flip… definitely a nice touch, but needs to be tweaked (pushing the unit further away from the enemy perhaps, to avoid a counter swing, etc.)

i also really like the dust particles and the parry… the blood effects are a bit too bright (but the effect itself works just fine)… overall, very impressed with the combat system and the number of “things” on display in the sample video… :+1:

onward! :slight_smile:


Looks awesome! :smiley:

By the way, I notice there are little red voxels coming out of the hits. Is there going to be blood in Stonehearth?


We’re still working on exactly what we want to have happen when people get hurt. Thoughts?

I would like there to be blood (well that sounded better in me head…)

But there is no need to be grim about it, maybe something like that effect and some blood on the ground that stays for some time like a day or two. If there is a huge battle there will still be some blood left after all the loot is collected and gravestones/bodies have bin moved to the graveyeard or similar.

Maybe the blood duration could stack depending on the battle? If its a minor goblin raid with 6 goblins it might stay for a day. If it is a full out assault with 50 guys getting horribly killed close to one another the blood would stack and maybe stay for up to a week.

Might have gone a bit sinister there but you get the idea, no?


Have a value get raised in a logical spot and if that value gets too high the limb stops working a new set of animations start playing that are slower and show that a limb is broken.

wow, some serious thought into “blood options”… I was simply going to suggest using the existing effect, but adjusting the color to be a little less vibrant… :smile:

I think the options in the combat system work well so far (we’ll obviously have to take it for a spin to provide more meaningful feedback)… but I do Iike the varied attack animations, the particle effects for dust, parry and hits…

edit: options (aside from the blood particles) could be reduced number of attacks, weaker attacks, switching weapon hands (would be slick to see the unit toss a sword from right to left ala Princess Bride) and fleeing…


Looks good! Props to @Albert (and likely a fair bit @Ponder) for such good work in a relatively short amount of time :smile:

@sdee just wondering how the damage works…I assume different attacks do different levels of damage (though tell me if I have misassumed), but will we know? Will there be any kind of indicator? Perhaps we are able to track our guys’ (and the enemies’) health by hovering over them? And will hp levels have an actual effect on combat - would damaged people be less effective/damaging? Would other factors such as tiredness or maybe even hunger contribute, as in would the debuffs that such things would give you apply to combat?

Just one other question - how engine is this? As in, all these attacks and stuff - would it be easy enough to mod a new one in? I could see that making for some really cool extended combat mods, especially if all they had to do was literally create an animation and add modifiers. Be awesome to see. :slight_smile:

ps no I’m not dead, the bulk of my exams are nearly finished and then I’ll be back to my usual obsessiveness :slight_smile:


Lots of good questions, here. :slight_smile: I’ll leave most of them to @Tom and @Albert, who are still talking about lots of this, but I do know that though combat does have quite a lot of simulation to it (numerical differences for things like attacks, weapon types, etc) we also want to make sure that you don’t have to micro your dudes during combat.

Good luck with your exams!

1 Like

When a unit successfully blocks, will they have a small chance of counter attacking for critical damage?



Cool, guess I’ll just wait for the next livestream, whenever that may be, and ask my questions then by spamming the chat constantly with them even when Tom is in the middle of working in the orderly, appropriate manner.

Thank you! 10 down, just 6 to go :slight_smile:


I posted a topic on this in Suggestions titled “The Importance of Limb Damage”. Mobile shenanigans prevent me from pasting the link…

Do the devs have any comments on what, if any, additional features we can expect for combat? I’ll also second the question on moddability of new attacks/ animations. If nothing else, it’d let the devs add more attacks or unique animations easily.

1 Like

shenanigan removal go!

1 Like

I really like the idea of bloodstains on the floor! Maybe those bloodstain can also trigger some events(or give them a higher chance of triggering) like a wolf raid at night, or spawning some other dangerous creatures.

And linking the bloodstains with deseases that have been discussed might also add some ‘interresting’ gameplay mechanics.


Yes, the different attacks will do different amounts of damage, and may eventually also trigger other types of effects such as adding a debuff. Currently, there are two basic attacks modelled - a forehand and backhand swing, which are usable at any time (except during the global attack cooldown). In addition, there are two special attacks shown - the 360 degree swing and the overhand smash, which each have an independent cooldown. Defenses have a similar structure.

Everything you are seeing is core engine tech and is fully data driven for moddability. The simulation models a few key parameters and everything else you see is the result of emergent behavior. For example, each attack or defense takes time to execute, so one of the key modelling parameters is the impact time of the attack. The result of this is that:

  1. The defender can only defend an attack if it has a defense available (not on cooldown) that can take effect before impact.
  2. If the attack is interrupted before the impact time (e.g. the attacker is stunned by being hit himself) the attack fails to do damage.
  3. If the defense is interrupted before the impact time, the defense now fails and the attack is free to succeed.
  4. Flanking attacks have an intrinsic advantage because the defender is occupied by the other attacker.

We’re still working on a visual indication of the amount of damage so that you can see which of your heroes-- ahem, I mean settlers, is being the badass and who is in danger and needs to be rescued (for suspense, of course). We don’t want to turn this into a field of lifebars, so the indicator might be anything from a bigger poof on hit, a longer and more forceful hit stun, an overhead popup, or something else that fits within the spirit of Stonehearth. You can ask Tom his thoughts on this in a future livestream.


Little chunks of their body fall off. Maybe they lose a hand and it falls to the floor? Are we talking hurt in combat, or hurt after combat, or both?

Slightly crazy/ potentially stupid idea … what if the colour drains from the character models when they are hurt?

Update is great as always, apologies for my absence, real life again. So. Much. Happening.


@Geoffers747 actually I have also just thought about the idea with “fading” color :wink:.

@sdee… how about a less martial version of Geoffers’ suggestion and instead of having body parts falling of, the cloth / armor would start to decay with a visible effect, i.e. at the end of a long fight, the workers might end up in rags or even their pants and bra? In case there is a critical hit, maybe they could even lose a complete part of their armor at once (like the helmet falling off).


Body parts falling off could be interesting for the undead, where each body part becomes a (weak) fighting unit on its own. It would be interesting to see an army fight against a bunch of hands, feet and one or two heads.