Hello. It is I, Sir Zilla, and I have come with some suggestions to make nature feel more alive in Stonehearth. To make it feel more like the biodiverse ecosystem it’s supposed to be. To make you sometimes feel something for having to destroy it in the name of progress. I have suggestions on…
Warning, I know nothing about game design, and these are just my opinions, so please don’t burn me.
##How to Improve Nature in Stonehearth
Note, this is mainly going to be talking about the forest biome. If this gets a positive enough reception, than maybe I’ll do one on the desert biome!
Ah, nature. The inevitable thing we will always encounter when playing the great game that is Stonehearth. The place where we get all of the resources to progress our small band of Hearthlings towards greatness. Sadly, I feel like nature in Stonehearth is just a mess of the same looking trees. Here are some things I think Team Radiant could add to make their game world feel more alive
One thing that I feel like should be added is more variants of trees. All the trees, when at the same height, look exactly the same, and this breaks my immersive. I’m supposed to feel like that this is some wild, untamed forest, when I honestly feel like a band of friendly hedge trimmers came in and polished up all the leaves on the trees for us. I think each size of tree should have multiple different leaf variations to be randomly generated into the world. Some trees will have more leaves, some with less leaves, some trees will be dead and not have any leaves at all. I know this is really small, but it would really help immerse people into the idea that this place is untamed. More trees in general would be nice to have. Maybe some birch trees or something to spice things up?
Another addition for plants would be more plants on the grounds of the forest. Right now, the ground looks too leveled to be untamed forest. My Hearthlings should feel scared to walk around in the woods, not knowing what’s in the grass, and not just flat bare green voxels. There should be variants of different grass heights (think like how in Minecraft they have the tall grass scattered about). There should be more types of flowers around. Maybe small stones every now and then. Heck, maybe even add fallen trees or branches to make the player question what weather they may encounter in the journey ahead. It would be nice to have different types of berry bushes, and maybe even bushes without berries at all, just bushes.
The idea of having stumps after you chop down a tree would also be neat. The stumps would stay there until you built something on top of them like a farm or house, and then the Hearthlings would remove them. I know that seems little, but it would give you a broader perspective on how much of the forest you’re destroying in the name of progress.
If there’s one thing that takes me out of the immersion of being in the untamed wilderness the most, that’s the lack of animals running about. When I look into the dense forest, I should see animals reigning supreme, and not just trees. Adding more animals would give the forest a stronger sense of character, and it would make the player feel even worse as they chop more of the trees down. The idea of having to destroy someone’s home in order to build yours for survival hits home for some people. It makes you realize why the forest ents are attacking you in the first place. You’re destroying their homes. Seeing a bustling forest full of wildlife became a barren field of stumps will make the player wonder how much will they have to sacrifice in the name of progress.
Birds would be a nice thing to have added to the game. Having all these birds with different colors flying about. Letting them be able to land on the roofs of your houses, trees, and even on the ground as they look for food. Have bird nests in some trees, not even having birds flying to them, would at least add some nice detail.
Forest critters would be nice to have. And more character for the already existing ones. I sometimes want to see a squirrel run out of a tree as it’s being chopped down. I want to see deer walking peacefully in their forest homes. Rabbits making burrows to live in. Foxes hunting rabbits for food. Little things that would make the world feel more alive.
Fish, man would I love to see fish. Right now the lakes feel so empty an useless. They just feel like thinks to block you from building normal structures. But if fish were added, you could actually get some enjoyment out of watching them swim about in their underwater homes. That in hand could lead to the creation of a fisherman class, and that in hand can lead to the creation of fish pikes. Everyone wants a fish pike.
As I said before when talking about fish, the lakes are really boring right now. It’s just a big mesh of blue voxels. It would be neat to add rocks and undersea plants to the bottom of the water. Something to make the lakes not look so barren. I feel the generation for water on maps in general should be improved. I don’t want just lakes, I want flowing rivers, streams coming down from the mountains, etc…
Thank you for reading my suggestions! Have a comment? Want to add something? Post away!