Idea to streamline the crafting system

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.
For example;
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.


the idea is not bad - normally it wouldnt be a problem with the system at the moment ^^ but the maintance and craftingsystem doesnt work correctly - after finishing them - i think they will check it ^^

It’s not a bad idea, and it makes it easier so you yourself don’t have to keep track of how much you need for one specific thing.

But I think the problem with this is, it removes (almost) all interaction with the crafters. You’ll pretty much promote someone to a crafter job and then just forget about them. But i dunno, maybe it’s just me. :stuck_out_tongue:


I basically just signed up for Discourse to post this exact same idea.

I’m surprised this didn’t get more replies. This is an issue I’ve seen come up over and over again in the Dev Blog comments and this is a great way to fix it. At least one mod as been made to try and address it and I’ve seen several other threads dancing around the idea that crafting is tedious and needs to be improved.

I know the devs are worried about not having the game “play itself” and that’s a very valid concern but I don’t think it applies here. If anything, this would bring the crafter more in line with the amount of interaction other professions have. If farmers, for example, were set up like crafters, you’d be clicking through a menu to set how many pumpkins to grow instead of just zoning how you what your village setup and turning your minions loose.

The current crafting interface is just kinda bad. And that’s not knocking the devs. Any menu that has to handle that many options is going to get pretty clunky by necessity. Crafting systems just make UI complicated. You either end up with a puzzle/memory game like Minecraft or a super long, unintuitive menu that is hard to sort through like every other crafting game out there. Why not just say, “I want a bench here” and have the carpenter go? What are we really losing here?

Extra Credits had a great little video that I think can apply here: Awesome Per Second - Don’t Waste Time - Extra Credits Don’t waste our time searching through menus over and over again. Just let the fun happen!

Totally for this - I was just about to post the same thing. I find construction frustratingly convoluted. If I build a house I then have to keep referring to the blueprint to find out how many windows, doors, lamps etc it requires and then manually request these from the craft menus. I would much prefer that demand for components is automatically generated when you place the building.

I’ve taken to requesting that 1 of every item be maintained in stock to get round this. Then you run into the limitations of the crafting interface. You end up with an endless list of =1 items.

Totally agree - placing a blueprint / build request - should automatically demand from the crafters. I would also like to see the craft list gone. Rather you should be able to click items that increments demand by 1 - or you can do a modified click to set stock levels.

Other games (settlers, city builders series) get this right. :smile: