Minecraft-esque water physics!

I’d really like to see some advanced water physics, to be able to build aqueducts and terraform some awesome looking waterfalls and rivers.

Maybe, a simple way of achieving these goals, without getting the water mechanics too complicated, would be to adapt the minecraft water physics for the most part, but adding some twists, like water spawns and drains / placeable waterblocks, so you can still flood or drain areas.

Anyone else with me on that idea?
Any additional ideas or suggestions?
Would love to hear your thoughts!


i got your back on this one :wink: i would like to see that too. buckets of water, making ponds, waterfalls, wells etc etc

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Other games in the genre have got by just fine using a mix of finite and “infinite” water blocks – in other words, some are source blocks while others are simply a finite volume of water. Generally, the infinite blocks form rivers and oceans while the finite blocks form ponds and, well, other finite reservoirs.

However, Stonehearth already has the mechanics in place to add and remove water; they’re simply not hooked up to the main game version yet. The old mod to enable the “test” water showed that Stonehearth has no problem with springs/sources and drains; it’s just that the terrain generator currently can’t handle things like waterfalls very well. The water just goes everywhere, and I suppose @Albert ran out of time to implement a nice solution for that.

I’d love it if Radiant simply included ways for players to spawn and remove water, and left it up to us to deal with the rough edges for now. When they’ve got time to work on all the cool stuff they want to do with water, that’s great; but in the meantime I’m sure that players can do really interesting and impressive things with even the most basic tools.

If Stonehearth manages to be the first game (or the first one since Dwarf Fortress, at least) with a credible liquids simulation, that will really set it apart from other games in this genre.

The thing about having water as a “decoration” (which is all it’s really there for at the moment) is that static water is boring. The real pretty stuff comes from running water. Ok, so it’s messy and things can go wrong… players don’t have to include running water in their designs if they don’t want to. However, for players who do want to are currently limited so much that the current implementation of water feels more like teasing than something we can play with, LOL. I’d much rather have messy, buggy water which moved than reasonably stable water which effectively runs out when you try to do anything with it.

Of course, there are other compromises available. If the static water could be given a rippling texture, that might work as a stand-in until we can do things with flowing water. Or, frankly, I’d even be happy with “fake water blocks” which I can build a convincing (if totally fake) waterfall with. I realise that’s going into modding territory and I dearly hope someone makes that mod; but giving us water without giving us the tools to manipulate it is like parking a car in someone’s driveway and then taking the keys away. Currently the water is basically a building obstacle, and you need to have a huge lake of it if you want to use it for any meaningful water features.

Again, I realise that there are higher priorities and that there are greater plans for water down the track. However, my feedback and advice for the dev team, if I may be so bold, is that “half a feature” usually isn’t better or more fun than none of that feature. Once the excitement of having water simply in the world wears off, it quickly just becomes a reminder of all the things you can’t do with it. And that includes getting it out of the way if you happen to have a pond spawn somewhere inconvenient – draining unwanted water away is sometimes even more hassle than trying to get it to a building project (such as a moat or garden pond), since you have to find a permanent place to store it and then it’s like storing radioactive waste. If any leaks during the transport, or you change your mind about what you want to do with the place you’ve stored the water at (e.g. if you’re digging a tunnel and realise it intersects your water holding area)… well, good luck cleaning it up!

I reckon that, alongside terrain tools (i.e. the Geomancer or whatever we get to terraform with), water moving tools should be in that same priority. It’s not just about thematic closeness, the two are intrinsically linked… I mean, you really could classify water as part of the terrain anyway. Imagine if we couldn’t cut down trees, or mine out the randomly scattered chunks of stone; well that’s basically the situation with water at the moment. You can get it out of sight, but not out of mind… if you put it out of mind, chances are you’ll have a flooded basement or mineshaft LOL!


I definitely would like to see water become a bigger part of the game in general, maybe as a source of food (fishing?), or just nice lakes to ride a boat on (boats would be an awesome feature!)

I didnt mean to demand any water physics for updates in the near future with this post, it was more meant to become a thread to collect ideas how water could become an interesting feature to play with in the long run.
Especially for a sandboxy game like stonehearth this might add alot more content to play around with - to keep people interested and playing for some additional hours!

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On a personal note static water does 95% of what i need water for. So personally i would still murder everyone for a water spawner just so i can get my needed water level.

dont care about fancy stuff for now…but .i desperately need static water…why? Since the game to me currently is 100% about looks. Since i cant really find much challenge or prolonged gameplay in the game itself.

So i support yeti about give me the tool!!! sooner the better!! I NEED IT !!!

Dont agree that static water is boring, since the gameplay isn’t really exciting (for me) currently :stuck_out_tongue: im here for the building! and that makes water quite exciting even in its most basic form.

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If the game currently is 100% about looks for you and you play it for the building - you should definitely check out my twitch stream sometime - you might find some of my builds kinda interesting :wink: (Twitch)
Also it would be awesome to be able to talk to a fellow artist-builder! :slight_smile:
i stream around 7pm-9pm CEST almost every day

heh sorry dude dont have patience or the timing needed to watch twitch! I need recordings so i can fall asleep to stuff like that or sound i can have running in the background.

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Dont worry, i will post screenshots here in the forum to attract some viewers, later this day :stuck_out_tongue: maybe you stumble upon them…

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Holy balls, i just realized you are that guy that built this giant castle. i really liked your build - but didnt you have performance issues while building / cruising around the finished building with the camera? i had problems with my giant cathedral build, that made the camera movement near it kinda choppy

Well no not really,…the castles itself has some issues since it carries some game bugs.

And it takes me like 1-2 secs to place a block on it in the end. but when not working on that building, the game runs fine.
And i dont get low frames working on it i just get very slow updates when placing slabs. (bug might be reason for that)

besides that game pretty much runs like when i started it…Only times i get low frames or no frames :stuck_out_tongue: is when i turn on the wall see through feature.

game does suck up 8+ gigs of ram tho so i imagen a lot of people only have 8 gigs in their rigs and windows taking its part. that might slow down a lot of machines.

OH and thx :stuck_out_tongue:

well, i have 16gb of ram and my pc is a beast in general. but i might upgrade my ram in a week and see if it gets better then.

and i feel like an idiot now because i just knew about the castle but just saw you even built a city right next to it, with a ton of individual, brutally goodlooking builds aswell…:disappointed_relieved:

and i know that feel when buildings get bugged, bro. it breaks your heart :smiley: had the same, when building the city next to my cathedral. it literally crushed my whole building plans and i had to start over.

and this talk totally drifted away from the topic, lol

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In that case upgrading ram wont help this is a fairly old machine and getting fairly dated! should probably consider a bug report and have devs take a look at it.

And no point feeling bad! feel inspired instead! or challenged that’s what i do when i see great builds :smiley:

And thx again! funny i did consider asking you to ask in my post instead. to not pollute this post :stuck_out_tongue:

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I dont support this idea simply because I hate the water system in minecraft. Back in 1.2.5 of Minecraft I always installed the Finite Water mod because it was so much better than vanilla water. I personally would like Stonehearth to have realistic finite water in the sense if you make a water area large enough the water will eventually disappear into the ground because there isnt enough water to maintain its shape in the container it’s in

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When i talked about minecrafty water physics, i mostly thought about the way it would flow.

I think we need some kind of system / physics that provides both - a way to easily terraform and play around with water to make waterfalls, rivers and for example aqueducts possible and a way to make it disappear / drain areas. Thats why i really like the suggestion of finite and infinite water by @YetiChow

In terms of realism - i personally dont think it should behave / look too realistic. It wouldnt really fit the art style of the game. Yes - it definitely should look a little more real than the current completely calm bowl of boring blue soup, but actual water movement like waves would be a little over the top i think.

And again, i think water should become a bigger part of actual gameplay in the long run. it would be awesome to have it implemented as a source of food or something like that.

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why stop there?

  • steam (plumes). Separate fluid system that can drive mechanisms as well, but have different fluid behavior (e.g. it goes “up” instead of down). Created from evaporating water and condenses back to water.
  • ice. water becomes “rock” in deep winter months and can be mined/used like so! Just be careful living in your ice-house when spring comes… could be innovative way to transport water: mining them in winter and placing them at where you want your new pond to be and wait for spring.
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If the water system can use temperature, that would be awesome beyond belief. Volcano-driven steam engines? Yes please! Pour water into a trap, and hit it with a frost mage’s ice creation spell while the enemies wade through, and serve up goblin-cicles for the new Footmen to train on? Hell yeah!

I’ve always been a massive fan of systems which encourage the player to turn the environment into an ally rather than a static obstacle to be overcome.

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Holy balls! Hold your horses, buddy! thats sooo detailed :smiley:
Im not sure if im already ready to go this far. My brain might melt if i’d try to imagine what else would be possible if even that could become a part of the game.:grin:


Lol, if flowing water and boats would become a thingie, we might go for some hearthling white water rafting! :grin:

NOT my idea. Anybody who knows where that came from… will know. :wink: