Day 1 - Documenting the Concept
After writing down some initial thoughts, I have created a post in this forum, to see what other people might think about the idea of having a chronicle in Stonehearth, which is collecting stories about events and adventures you encounter, while you are playing Stonehearth.
The contributions from other members of the forum here helped me to shape what I think could work as a mod. Once this was done, I have decided to start writing down my ideas. A simple text-file is doing it for me and helps to categorize my thoughts.
Here the actual outcome…
Principles Of The Mod
The intention of this mod is to implement a chronicle to Stonehearth, which will track the stories, events and adventures around you and your city in Stonehearth.
To provide an enjoyable mod, it should take some general principles into account:
- Do not un-balance the core game.
- Provide an easy entry to basic features of the mod, which shall be accessible early in the game.
- Offer optional complexity to master the content of the mod, along with a reward to do so.
- Re-use base assets of the game (e.g. resources, items, professions) and add complexity and choice to their usage.
- Add new content to the core game (e.g. resources, items, professions) where it makes sense.
- Provide an accessible interface for other mods to add events to the chronicle.
The basic idea behind “The Chronicle” is to offer a way to document the story of a town. Past events occured in and around the own city should be recorded. They should allow the player to write a related descriptions or background story into the chronicle (optional with a screenshot / picture). The entry might either be generated randomly or been entered manually. The chronicle should be readable and offer a way to share it with others.
Possible Features (including priorities: High / Medium / Low)
Level 0 Profession:
- Can use only bones and argil to write (H)
- New entry might be triggered manually (H)
- Entries can only include text (no pictures) (H)
- Argil is harder to store (not stackable?) (H)
Level 1 Profession (in addition):
- Can use wooden pens and paper (H)
- New entry might be triggered manually or events have to happen next to the profession (H)
- Entries can include pictures (black and white) (H)
- Paper can be stacked (H)
- Can transfer entries from argil to paper (H)
- Profession will collect / create the resources required for new entries (charcoal and paper) (M)
- While gathering resources, profession will provide food as a side-product (L)
Level 2 Profession (in addition):
- Can create a customizable entry in the chronicle (H)
- New entry will be triggered automatically (H)
- Pictures included in the entries are colored (H)
- Can transfer entries from argil and paper into a chronicle (H)
- Can export and import chronicles from older games and other players (M)
- Chronicles can be stored in shelves (library) (M)
- Events should be editable in the moment they are created (later not anymore) (M)
- Stories written down on argil and paper can be transferred into the chronicle, once available (no additional requirements, should be easy). (H)
- Look of the own chronicle should be customizable. At the beginning via selecting from a set of options, later maybe via an editor. (H)
- It should be possible to import chronicles from other players and past games (either via a load-option or more interesting via e.g. loot tables of monsters and enemies). (H)
- An easy and well documented interface has to be available for other mods to submit events / texts which will be included in the chronicle. (M)
- The more time has passed since an event occurred, the shorter the “description” of this event will be, as it will fade in the memory of people. The faster it is written down, the longer the text (and might even include a picture). (M)
- Events, included in other books which have been “imported” into the actual game, should be assessed for similar events and referred to, e.g. “… I wonder if this is the same what happened int ‘CityNoName’, as described in the ‘Lore of CityNoName’?” and maybe include a link to open this book. (L)
- Books should be storable in shelves (library). (L)
- Sacrificing a worker to transfer him into a “writer”-profession might require additional value add to do so, to not “un-balance” the game too much. The profession could e.g. provide additional food or resources as it is gathering ingredients for the chronicle. (L)
- Possibly the profession could be extended later on to cover additional features like “experience-books” or similar. This features must not un-balance the core game. (L)
- Charcoal is the first writing item required for Paper. With reaching Level 2, ink will be introduced, allowing for colorful entries and adding additional complexity in resource gathering. Pictures will be colored in the chronicle. With only one writing material (e.g. ink) the entries might be black and white, i.e. ink is not madatory for reaching Level 2, it is an option to get colored pictures. (H)
- Workers and NPCs belonging to the player might have a buffer to store stories in. Once the chronicle-profession meets one of them, he will be “told” the story and can write it on argil, paper or in the chronicle. (Link)
This is more or less my working document which I use to come back and think about future steps. I am using priorities to differ between features which need to be in the mod from the beginning (H) others, which can bring great value and should be implemented once the core system is running (M) and remaining ideas which are more a “nice to have” (L).