[Mining] upward stairs; fine-tuned snapping of "large" mining block

In my last game, I tried to rely entirely on dug-out caves for my Hearthlings to live in (pueblo-style in the “Canyon biome”)
I encountered two difficulties which I would like to discuss and propose solutions for here:

  1. The “large (4x4 voxel) mining block” is certainly very useful when digging out large rooms. However, more often than not, its rigid snapping made planning the rooms very difficult and correcting the leftover walls with the “small digging tool” quite cumbersome. I certainly see the value of the snapping itself (easy and quick area layout), but want to propose an additional feature.

SUGGESTION 1: Let us alter/fine-tune the snapping grid (just x- and z-, not the y-axis) by using (for example) the ALT key. As soon as the first block was defined, all further blocks will follow the new grid - until it is re-defined by the next use of the ALT key.

  1. The attempt to dig stairs upward was quite difficult for me. I only managed it by digging out the upper level first and then removing the floor to the level below. This is not always feasible and certainly not intuitive.

SUGGESTION 2: Introduce a third default mining command (like the small and the large mining block): A “stairs upward” tool that defines stairs over two levels (which should be a 9 blocks hight, if I am not mistaken) and hence makes those tunnels way easier to construct.
I think the tool could create stairs of 2 tiles depth in order to grant more controle to the player. But a 4 tile broad stairway would work as well.


The stair miner should also work for mining downward.

There were already attempts by the devs to create a mining tool for stairs. I don’t know which of the streams it was but a rudimentary version of it does exist somewhere. I guess it was not as important yet to finish the tool.

Edit: Found it :merry:

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Thank you for finding this stream!

Well, that’s realy a shame! I hope, the’ll re-visit this tool.

If they do, I suggest the’ll expand the dug-out area by one tile on the top so the tool also penetrates the ceiling (= bottom of the upper level). Stairs exist to connect the levels after all and limiting them to the hight of the standard 4 voxels won’t do the trick.

The next release will contain a new resizeable, non-snapping mining tool. We’ll be looking forward to your feedback on that one. We also experimented with upward mining, but hearthlings aren’t smart enough to do it effectively, and the experience overall was too confusing for everyone who tried it (including me, who wrote the darn thing).


Thank you for answering, max!

I am looking forward to your new approach, which should cover my first point.

Regarding the second one - well, I’ll have to believe you here. Nevertheless, the issue stands: digging out upward stairs (especially in the mountain, when digging from the top is not an option) is mind boggeling.

Maybe it’s worth the effort (at some point in the future) trying to teach the Hearthlings how to deal with this special situation.

As shown in the movie Amnaa linked, you were trying to create a very flexible tool that allows changing the stair’s depth. This is very welcome, of course. But if the Hearthlings get too confused about this, I could personally live very well with something more rigid.
As mentioned above: a fixed, 2 tile wide stairway would be sufficient. Obviously, I don’t know anything about your mining algorithms, but wouldn’t it be possible to hard-code a certain digging order into such a fixed standard tool that allows the miners to reliably solve the order?

looking forward to experimenting with it :slight_smile:

Are you referring to the experience when assigning the mining zone? Could you give a description of the method(s) you tried and the problems you encountered?
I was looking at doing a mod for improved mining at the start of the year but put it aside to wait for the new builder and after seeing the stream about minings stairs.

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Yeah, both assigning and having hearthlings dig. Ping me in this thread after the new tool is out and I’ll explain how to re-enable upward mining support in it if you want to try it yourself.