Linking Cities and Saves

Whenever I have the time, I sometimes contemplate StoneHearth and it’s development - the direction it is headed. In doing this, I come up with some random ideas and concerns. Usually these ideas and concerns are silly or too insignificant to bring up, but recently I thought of something that I feel is pretty important.

At the moment, the endgame of StoneHearth is to build your city so large that your computer cannot support any more hearthlings or growth, rendering your save unusable.

Now obviously, this isn’t really something to look forward to. Nobody will sit at their desk playing this game for hours saying to themselves “Oh boy I cant wait for everyone to start freezing!”. Now you could argue that the devs have placed maximum hearthlings caps in-game, or that they will make more efforts to optimize the game in the future - but that still doesn’t change the fact that at some point, growth is no longer something achievable or desirable.

As things are right now, this is the endgame of every SH save.

So, I am here to propose a solution, one that our glorious devs hopefully think is a good one.

Rather than having every save independent and separate from one another, what if we had them all linked?

Linked saves would exist adjacent to one another in the world, and would be able to exchange and interact with one another. So for example, perhaps each town would be able to trade goods and services with one another. If the neighboring town/save has a blacksmith, then the other town would be able to request items made by the blacksmith. If one town gets attacked and needs reinforcements, their neighbors could send troops to provide help.

This concept really gets me excited because of all the possibilities its allows for. Rather than having a bunch of independent saves existing in entirely separate worlds, players could build EMPIRES spanning across multiple towns, outposts, and cities, all of which interact with one another.

Players could create saves with actual purposes and focuses. One town could focus on food production and farming, while another is producing a strong garrison of soldiers to protect the surrounding villages.

So, not only would this option prevent each save from being rendered worthless and dead once built to capacity, it would also keep the player interested and would add a bit more thought to the game in regards to how players will want to design their towns so that they can support the other towns in the empire better.

I recognize that this sort of addition to the game would probably require a large amount of time and effort, so I don’t expect to see anything like this soon.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.


graahh! posted such stuff few months ago!!! XD

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This would be really awesome! I get so depressed each time i hit the limit for my settlements, but i cant help starting a new town anyways :laughing:

Might be a good way to link the different biomes together aswell later on? im just wondering if partygoblin have the time to travel between all these towns?..

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Not exactly the same but yeah its related.

yeah my thread drowned basicly in: "sounds cool but i want everything on one map"
which isn’t possible engine technically and gameplay would also suffer.

I’ve toyed around with this idea before and I think it would be possible to realise today already. I would do it in a colony/settlement kind of style, similar to SimCity 4. You could initiate trades between cities, move goods and maybe even knowledge/hearthlings in-between them. The currently city would be active, all others would be inactive.

So you could effectively “drain” a city, or fill it up with loot. The next time that city is played again, the “simulation” is playing a bit of catch up; items and units that you moved away will be removed, stuff that you moved there will appear. However, no time will have passed. Maybe some things could happen, like resources regenerating or what not… but it’s hard to tell. Worst case, it would just adjust your calendar.

The other way would be to have a fire-and-forget scenario: You can decide to “branch off”, select a few units and goods and start a new game with them. The old settlement is still there, but not available for trading or whatsoever - maybe it just provides you a passive bonus based on previous achievements? Like, if you had a giant settlement with lots of farmers, your new settlement would receive monthly a wagonload of food or something like that.


I think this is an extremely interesting idea. I think the concept is sound, though the fact that you aren’t actually playing all of those saves at the same time leads to some concurrence issues. But those could be worked through.

Of course, in the earlier days of development that implication was that Stonehearth was a Survival Game, and the ‘endgame’ was that you’d eventually grow large and powerful enough to attract the attention of giant enemy you could not defeat (like Orange-lulthu) and that would be the end of the settlement…


mhh in my thread i had the mind of having a seperate save for traded goods instead of simulating a constant income.
Just simply in your first save you gather some items, put these into trading chest or simply give it to a “Plyer created trader” which uses his own save file, so the goods will disappear from the first world save completely. In your second world save you can summon the “player trader” again and add or take goods from his inventory. You could possibly abuse this save mechanic by editing the traders save file but on the other hand you already can use the debug tool for cheating…

such linking method is for me more immersive than the current traders, because you decide the goods you’ll receive and trade. You actually play more…

but talking about the current game status, such system would be abit underused, aside from draing simply stone,clay and ores (simply the not regrowing resources), we simply need a lot of content and a few limitations (like biome/kingdom specific items, resources etc…)

My system would work via a serialised third party too. The goods disappear from your game, are stored in the serialised archive, and upon loading the world are added to your world. However, my system would not only allow pushing items away but also pulling items in. You just need to keep two separate blobs; one for the inventory of each city (alias/quantity suffices), one for the journal to keep track of transactions (and, upon loading a save, applying missing transactions).

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My big question is: What would this accomplish?

Unless you specialized each individual town, there wouldn’t be any real game play change at all. Even then, I think it would be boring playing in a town full of potters, or a town full of blacksmiths.

I always thought that the appeal of this game wasn’t bigger = better, but how the town and hearthlings interact with each other. You shouldn’t need a massive city and population to get the fun out of that.

This is actually what I see to be one of the likely options for multiplayer. Your friends or whoever will have control of the next town over. You can trade, or attack or help them defend against others. Maybe let them open a consulate in your town. You designate a plot of land and they get to select what building is there. They can then send their own resources or workers or buy them off you. They send supply wagons to liven up towns a bit. Have the caravan roll into town from over the horizon. All they ask is that you defend it from marauder attacks.

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I’m not sure where you got the impression that the game was based off of hearthling interaction with the exception of the healer. We haven’t seen much in the way of either “bigger is better” or “interaction is better.”

What would this accomplish? It would accomplish increasing the scope and longevity of the game and would make players focus more on designing their cities to most optimally fit the needs of their empire and play-style.

Nobody is saying you should specialize towns, its just another way to play the game.

the main plot is more in the future, when more content is added and the 3rd kingdom is playable.
Mhh do you remember settler 3 and 4? Several different kingdoms/nations were playable, all got their own design, the gameplay was slightly different through different resource preferences, different magic spells and some technical specializations. Now let’s add some biome specific content and we get pretty different gameplay each time we change the kingdom or map we play. But you’ll want to have access to all aspects of the game once you play, right? Or simply use some decorations, recources and items which simply aren’t available in your current game, or you don’t want to leave a giant hole on your map while you’re buildign a giant castle (not regenerating resources). This where the suggested link would help.
In other words, trading is helpfull but earning the stuff by playing the game is always more fun. And the three kingdoms will definetely develop in different styles, so you won’t have access to 100% of the content by playing only one of them. And additonaly you can play passively with your friends by linking your cities, but everyone is playing at different times…

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Just seems like a lot of work to add a feature that wouldn’t impact much. We already have traders that give you access to things you don’t already have (especially wooden items when playing with Rayaa’s Children). Coding it may or may not take very long, but then you have to go through the whole debugging phase, and then you would need to (or should) go through a few balance passes to make sure that you can’t just grab everything from a different save to boost your town from 0 to 20K net worth in 12 in game hours.

it wouldn’t have impact at the current state of the game. But in future this would be the best solution for trading immersively among cities (be it your own or even multiplayer wise). For me personally trading with money is absolutely boring, it takes away the need of competent player who has to calculate is economy…

I agree that money trading is totally boring. However, the problem with not having a currency in a trading system, is that players always find a few items that take the place of currency anyway. One of the first things I did in game was find out which carpenter item had the best time/cost/trade-value ratio and have him make nothing but that item for the entire game. My net worth skyrocketed. Could have just as easily had him making straight gold.

I just don’t see what this feature would bring to the table that isn’t already there. Trading is already happening, and reinforcements from the next town over almost seems game-breaking.

read the thread i posted above, i already had a brainstorming session with a guy and don’t want to recopy the stuff…

Read it. I’m not seeing the difference between trading between your old cities, and trading with traveling merchants. Other thing I see could happening is maybe getting a few cosmetic items from one faction to the other, but I feel like random trading would be more entertaining to get that kind of stuff from.

I don’t think I communicated this concept correctly.

I agree that it would be totally unfair and overpowered for one town to be able to grant end-game items to a brand new town and would completely drain the game of the typical grind/build up.

All that I proposed was that if crafters were available in the adjacent save (like a blacksmith), the traders that randomly appear would offer the items that can be crafted by those crafters.

So, to reiterate on my previous example. Lets say you have two saves, Save 1 and Save 2. In this situation, Save 1 is a town that has a blacksmith, but not many ores. Save 2 is a town with no blacksmith, but an ample supply of miners and ores.

Each town has it’s own finances and money. Money cannot be gifted from one save to another as this would be OP.

Save 1 blacksmith crafts some gear, and the player designates that this gear is to be traded with other saves/NPCs. This gear would disappear from the playable game, as it is currently being carried around by traders.

Save 2 now will receive the ability to buy this gear from Save 1 from the traders. However, depending on how difficult it is to obtain the items being traded, the price will be lower or higher. So in this case, the blacksmiths gear would be pretty expensive, meaning that the town in Save 2 would not likely be able to afford it.

In order to gain enough money to buy the gear, Save 2 would need to sell it’s ores to gain enough money to buy the items. Since ores are relatively easy to obtain, they would sell at a significantly lower price.

Save 1 could buy the ores once Save 2 offers them for a trade, and part of the money would be transferred to Save 2’s bank.

So in conclusion, no - you wouldn’t have one town granting end-game items and goods to another town, because the new town would still need to pay for the items and wouldn’t be able to afford them.

This may seem like a complicated concept but really the problem is that I am awful at explaining things. Hope this cleared it up.

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