Mod-Diary: "The Chronicle"


#1

After the constructive discussion in this thread about one of my ideas for a potential mod, I have decided to think a bit more about it. As the idea started to gain in shape I have begun to like it more and more. At the moment my intention is to make this mod working in Stonehearth… in case the game does not offer a similar functionality or someone else is faster and better :laughing:.

Enjoying the feedback I have received in the mentioned thread, I would like to share what I am thinking about and / or working on. Maybe there are other people outside who do not know where to start. I guess you might be able to learn from the mistakes I will make on the way… and I expect them to be countless :wink:.

Please feel invited to share your thoughts and comments if you like, dislike, agree or disagree with something.

So, let’s jump into Day 1 of my diary (and all days which will follow)…

Agenda



[Kickstarter Update] Stonehearth Development Update
Epic System for creating historic events
Voxel Pirate´s Qubicle Creations
#2

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:

  1. Do not un-balance the core game.
  2. Provide an easy entry to basic features of the mod, which shall be accessible early in the game.
  3. Offer optional complexity to master the content of the mod, along with a reward to do so.
  4. Re-use base assets of the game (e.g. resources, items, professions) and add complexity and choice to their usage.
  5. Add new content to the core game (e.g. resources, items, professions) where it makes sense.
  6. Provide an accessible interface for other mods to add events to the chronicle.

Basic Idea

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)

In addition…

  • 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)

New ideas:

  • 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).


Mod-Idea: Typographer / Chronicle
#3

wow, thats a lot to digest, but well worth it… :smiley:

if you can pull this off, it will add a very rich dimension to the game… at any rate, i applaud your attention to detail, and your very thorough description of the basic premise… i dont think i have anything tangible to add at this point, but i cant wait to see how this progresses… :+1:


#4

Profession level 0 should be the story teller, and all NPCs should have a sort of note list, the story teller must go around and collect stories. Telling stories should raise moral in your citizens.


#5

This mod seems good. When are you planning on releasing this mod?


#6

@naturalnuke Interesting idea. The problem with Level 0 is, that it should be very accessible. I would love to see that you can start recording your stories as soon as possible, i.e. without having one of your workers been sacrificed and updated into another profession that early in the game. However, let me think about it… like the idea.

@EpicDwarf Depends heavily on when we will have more insights into the interface for mods. I guess it will take me some time after Beta is released.


#7

Love what you are doing and If you dont mind I will probably copy you approach a little :wink:

Also Argile maybe better translated as clay possibly unless you were specifically going for that word then ignore me :relaxed:


#8

@Tobias Happy if you feel that the approach is worth copying… feel free.

First I have corrected some spelling errors… including “Argile” :smile:. I was thinking if I should use clay (which I can write at least), but had the feeling that Argil might fit better. However, if clay is more common… I am open to change. At the end, all the terms are still placeholders.


#9

to solve the problem with sacrificing a worker why not make the story teller (or whatever) travel to the town after the first event occurs. Then like you said make it so that they can gather a little food as to compensate for themselves that way nothing is taken from the player’s town itself including any of the workers.

@naturalnuke also loved your idea for the first level to be called a story teller and for him to raise moral.

I was wondering though maybe you could have a profession tree that branches out. like a librarian to work in the library on one side and a professor to research things (like the ex book idea you had) on the other.


#10

I like that, a professor can research on the stories and find out what works against certain guys. He could tell you after your first titan fight (if it went to shit after 6 seconds, you know what i’m talking about) what is effective against that type of titan, and whether archers are the way to go, or that you have to throw foot soldiers at him and hope for the best. He could also research different plants for herbalists to use.


#11

@Arkelf By “traveling to the town” you mean that the player will be rewarded with a free profession? To be honest, I prefer not to give gifts to the player but to let him work for a reward. However, the first level should not be too challenging and demanding. My actual tendency is to see if an existing profession could handle the first level… maybe even a basic worker.

As I have a rather closed mod in my mind at the moment, i.e. the related professions will take care of the chronicle and not provide too many additional things, I am not sure if it makes sense to have a complex profession-tree in place. I have 3 professions in my mind, of which the first one would be preferably no new profession… for each level one. Things like the library I consider as added value or feature which the chronicle-profession can cover. At the end of the day I do not want to force the player to spend more than 1 worker for this mod. Keep in mind that the number of workers will be limited.

@naturalnuke Nice idea, but out of scope for this mod. Might be a nice addition to a “scout”-profession or another fighting unit.


#12

Well any way most professions in the game need a type of building so the librarian needing a library for maybe the second or third P-level would fit in with the game, the story teller could have a normal house that’s just highly decorated on the inside.


#13

Day 2 - Resources, Items and Professions

As a next step I have started to think about which resources, items and professions would be involved in this mod.

Resources:

  1. Wood // Required for: Paper, Wooden Pen and Printing Press // Origin: Trees // Core Asset
  2. Water // Required for: Paper, Argil // Origin: River // Core Asset
  3. Ink // Required for: Printing Press // Origin: Squids // New Asset
  4. Feather // Required for: Wooden Pen // Origin: Chickens or Birds // Core Asset (?)
  5. Metal // Required for: Printing Press // Origin: Ore // Core Asset
  6. Leather // Required for: Books // Origin: Animals // Core Asset
  7. Soil // Required for: Argil // Origin: Earth // Core Asset (?)
  8. Bone // Required for: Bones (Pen) // Origin: Animals // Core Asset (?)
  9. Starch // Required for: Paper // Origin: Vegetables // New Asset
  10. Charcoal // Required for: Paper // Origin: Ore // Core Asset (?)

The major forcus here is to re-use existing resources. I expect only two resources to be new. Other resources should be already included in the game (core asset).

Items:

  1. Argil // Required for: Carve on argil // New Asset
  2. Bones (Pen) // Required for: Pen to carve on argil // Core Asset (?)
  3. Paper // Required for: Writing on paper, Books // New Asset (?)
  4. Wooden Pen // Required for: Writing on paper // New Asset
  5. Book // Required for: Writing into chronicle // New Asset
  6. Printing Press // Required for: Writing into chronicle // New Asset

Other than with the resources, I expect that there will be not too many items which could be re-used. Maybe even bones will be not in the game. So here are some designs I can work on in one of the next steps.

Professions:

As mentioned before I see one profession per level. However, the first profession should be not specificly required for this mod. In addition the carpenter will be required to create some of the items mentioned above.

  1. Carpenter… will create the wooden pen, printing press, etc.
  2. Basic Worker… or another standard class, will get the ability to carve on argil.
  3. Profession 1… will collect resources to create paper, will write on paper.
  4. Profession 2… will collect resources to create paper, will create a chronicle, will write into chronicle.

Based on some ideas provided in the early forum-thread, there are different suggestions for the naming of “Profession 1” and “Profession 2”.

  • Profession Level 1: Poet… alternative could be “Writer” or “Story Teller”.
  • Profession Level 2: Scribe… alternatives could be “Typographer”, “Archivist” or “Chronicler”.

To get a better overview of which relationships do exist between the different resources, items and professions, I have tried to visualized them:

image
Red colors do indicate that this might be new assets which are required by the mod.


#14

I’m staring at my profile pic wondering when i did this.


#15

as an alternative to ink, you could perhaps find/craft lead or charcoal?

overall though, i’m continually impressed with the level of detail and thought you are putting into this concept… :+1:


#16

@SteveAdamo The alternative is a good idea. However, I highly expect that there will be water in the game… and if is is just a basic, blue voxel. That should be already enough to let one of your settlers “fish” in it and randomly find a squid. If water will be transparent, it should be possible to place squids in it which can be hunted down a bit more impressive. Let’s cross fingers that there will be use for my small squid-model :wink:.


#17

:smile:

and with your intent to be able to reuse as many base materials from the game as possible, introducing alternative forms of writing materials (lead/charcoal) might be pushing it…


#18

Thanks… just got a nice idea. Different materials to write can allow the use of color in your chronicle. If you have only one material, the entries will be black and white. Once you have a second one, you could create colored entries. And here we go and add it on the list.


#19

Just googled ink. Found that there are at least 6-7 different ways of making ink, primarily using burnt bone, soot, or resin. Just to suggest alternates to how you get the stuff in case people are not near a squid population. Like being in, say, a desert.


#20

As mentioned in an earlier post, I like the idea from @SteveAdamo of adding a second material to write with. By moving “Ink” to level 2 and replacing it with “Charcoal” at Level 1, I might add a bit more optional complexity (resource gathering) on the higher level and bring an award with it (colored pictures). I have updated my other entries to reflect this change.

Day 3 - Voxel-Design: Argil, Paper and Book

Although re-use of assets is high on my priority list, there will be a need for some custom designs. So I have started to work on the three types of “documents” which this mod might be using: Argil, Paper and Books.

Argil… will be the first available material to write stories onto. It should be easy to find and early accessible. I want a look which reflects the early stage of the game where Argil should be used most. What came first into my mind was “Archeology”. Argil should be uncomfortable to use and hard to store. I like the idea of this transportation boxes which can be used to transport arttfacts of past civilizations… pay attention, it is fragile:

image

Paper… will be the second usable material, available once Level 1 is reached. I think it is a nice idea if the papers have the same size of single pages used in the chronicle, later in the mod. However, I am not yet happy neither with the look of the papers nor with the “storage” options I have came up with:

image

Books… or the chronicle itself, is the final documentation. The chronicle will enable some of the features which should make this mod enjoyable. I expect that if someone is interested in this mod, he might want to reach Level 2 as soon as possible and that the other two stages will be just short stopovers. So all the customization for players should be located here. I would love to have custom looks for chronicles. For the beginning there might be a set of pre-designed books available, to choose from. In addition loading a “custom design” sounds like an interesting option. I have played around a bit with different styles and looks of books. Some of the inspiration came from @Raistlin and @Pandemic (thanks for that). For the moment I am quite happy with the result:

image