So I had an idea for how the crafting system can be streamlined to make it easier to manage and keep track of in later game stages when you have a big city with many crafters. Mostly because I really look forward to building large sprawling cities when the game is finally stable and complete enough to allow that.
Right now the system of telling your carpenters/blacksmiths/masons to build x amount of items and have those items sit in storage works OK for a smaller town but later on I can see it becoming a bit tough to keep track of many crafters and what they’re all doing.
So I was thinking. What if the system was changed to a more “on demand” system.
You’re building a park for your town and you need some benches for the park. Instead of telling your carpeter to make a bunch of them and have them sit in storage, you would go to a menu that shows all items that all your carpenters are currently able to craft. You would select a bench from the menu and plop it where you want it to go. ONLY THEN, would a carpenter with the nearest workshop go make the bench and then go out and place it where it was ordered to go, or hand it off to a worker who will place it, so the carpenter can be freed up to make the next one.
This would mean that you don’t have a bunch of benches sitting around taking up storage space, there’s less stuff to keep track of in your inventory, and you don’t have to constantly check up on all your crafters to see what they’re doing.
Things are made only when you need them, and all you have to do is say “I want this here, GO FORTH MINIONS!!!”.
This would also work for upgrading soldiers equipment. You would just select a soldier and in his character sheet order an armor upgrade for him. The nearest blacksmith would then craft the armor and place it in a nearby stockpile. That armor would be reserved for the soldier it was ordered for, who would come by and pick it up.
If the order is interrupted before it can be completed (you cancel the bench place order after it’s made but before it’s placed. Or the soldier gets killed before he picks up his armor.) Then the item is placed in storage and the next time you order one, the one in storage will be used before crafting a new one.
It just seems to me that many of these new city building and survival games get so caught up in the early alpha stage where noone ever really gets past a small village with a dozen citizens because the game is too unstable to get any further. They loose sight of how it will play once you have to manage a population of hundreds of people.
Timber and Stone is a bigger offender in this regard, but Stonehearth should probably take it into consideration too.