Hey there. Had the game for 2 days now and racked up 12 hours of gameplay. I really like where this is heading, but I can see that there is some way to go. Just wanted to note down some of the stuff that I’ve noticed and some suggestions. Please don’t hit me because all of these have been suggested or picked up on elsewhere.
Building system: the balance between simplicity vs utility seems to be just about right, but the system still needs work.
- I noticed that you can’t mix free-standing walls with autowalls, it’s one or the other, or you have to place them side-by-side.
- Being able to place furniture and decorations not yet crafted, then have a ‘shopping list’ afterwards, so you know what still needs to be crafted to fully decorate your building, is something I would like to see.
- I’ve had hearthlings fall into lakes trying to construct buildings that are too close to water: any way to tweak the pathfinding AI of builders to maybe only construct from the inside of a building if this would happen?
- Builders often leave extra resources on rooftops or left in either inaccessible or ignored parts of buildings (a village of mine has stone blocks littering its rooftops), which leads me to the next point:
The ability to sometimes directly interact with the world, or have a greater influence over the actions of your hearthlings. Right now, there are some things that happen in the world that you just have to live with. Items are left on the ground, either from harvesting, defeating enemies or from building/mining, and these are left lying around, with no way to either manually move them (which I appreciate does go against the gameplay dynamic, so isn’t really a viable idea), or a way to force hearthlings to give these items priority and do all they can to retrieve them, no matter how awkwardly placed or far away they are.
Gameplay-wise, the game doesn’t currently offer too much incentive to keep building and improving. Hearthlings seems happy no matter what you do. Feeback from the hearthlings, in the form of messages, thought bubbles or other visual cues. More pressure to build suitable shelter for all hearthlings in the beginning, whilst later on improve food diversity and upgrade items to improved versions would be good. Decorating your villages and providing extra amenities for your hearthlings is also a system that I would like to see.
Item quality and upgrading could be streamlined. I understand this process is still being worked on, I know, but here is what I have noted. Artisans crafting the better-quality versions of furniture is hit and miss: at some point, you should be able to either guarantee that an item will be produced in its better form, or at some point the better form should be unlocked for crafting, without having to pump out ten copies of a chair in the hope that some of them will be the better version. Certain items should be upgradeable (like the bed currently), but you should be able to do this without having to remove the item from the world. Maybe upgrading picket fences to stone, or even upgrading existing buildings without having to tear them down.
A focus on slower play: for most of the game, sticking it on fast forward seems to be the way to go, with little impetus to slow it down. Meeting with traders, combat, crafting, researching and building could all add elements where a little extra focus needs to be applied that would incentivise the players to go a little slower.
Those are the major things that I’ve come across whilst playing so far. Really enjoying the game and looking forward to future updates!