Module Mechanics

I’m wondering about the exact nature of the relationship between geography and module architecture. The video suggests that modules can be placed down on various parts of a randomly generated map. I ask because I was thinking about module building a little the other day, and it seems appropriate to derive a little inspiration from D&D modules I’ve played. Often you have scenarios where another location is cited in conversation to give the players a sense of place (think module town’s relative location to Neverwinter), or you may have to mediate between rival towns in different locations. So specifically, might there be a way to support such scenarios with module behaviors like:

  1. Vastness - Modules covering a large space where multiple pre-built towns can be found.
  2. Rescrictions - For example, three modules representing towns which cannot be deployed separately.
  3. Dynamic NPC Behavior outside module geography - For example:
    L["My son went to find work in %s and hasn't returned. If you go there will you look for him?"]:format(largestTownName)

You can script it with Lua

I can give you a Lua interface to my blender, but it only has one speed :wink:

The three potential examples I gave would require varied hooks, that might or might not exist to the module. Discussing these things in detail can offer insight into the architecture, and give module builders ideas about what they might or might not be able to build.

I think you are talking about functions such as

largestTownName = Name ( Towns ( range 1200; SortSizeDesc; ReturnMultiples = 1) )

(yes, that would probably get me a type error but it’s pseudocode so there =)

It is now included in the $500k stretch goal.
Alternate Planes: Many dimensions lurk beneath the fabric of reality. Lured by the promise of untold riches and arcane secrets, your bravest townsfolk open portals to previously unknown realms. What could possibly go wrong?

Through the door I saw… the sky. The sky at night, when the stars fill one end of the horizon to the other. Except… the stars were ordered in perfect rows, like corn in the field. And little round plates studded with rubies dashed around between them, jabbing lances of light at each other. One of the plates… flew apart as I watched. In a ball of fire!

…No more mushrooms for me.

– From the diary of Archmage Twellot

I wish they would make up their minds about magic!
If they hit this stretch goal they’re going to have to have magic be a major presence with a title like “Archmage” and the ability to open portals!

I’m resurrecting this thread because it seems to be on the same lines as my questions and I wasn’t sure it was kosher to start a new thread.

I’ve read a lot about adding lore to the game, modding the game, and scripting, but I’m still left wondering how will modules work? Modules are supposed to be little mini-adventures with some story and maybe unique AI encounters. But since there isn’t the same kind of micro-control of characters like there would be in a traditional RPG, how are these encounters going to work? Will they simply trigger when one villager finally trips over it as he is carrying out other tasks? Will there be some mechanic for exploring the map that will allow for controlled triggering of the modules?

And what sort of modules are there likely to be? When I think about the D&D modules I’ve played (which are few), I was part of this band of characters that talked with some guy in an inn, and now we are slogging through this kobold filled dungeon seeking to stop the Lich King Agremand from raising the Dark Devourer and extinguishing all life in the universe. That kind of thing works find when you control individual characters or even the movements of the party, but Stonehearth is a city builder. I can (so far as I’ve seen) only control my minions by giving them tasks as a group and waiting for some one to carry them out. That is much more removed than traditional RPG controls.

And if my intrepid band of villagers is tromping through kobold filled forests seeking to stop the Lich King Agremand, then they aren’t building my city and I am playing a different game entirely. I’d love to hear some official word on the type of Modules we are likely to see (at release) and how these modules are likely to run. Please.

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We will have a better understanding of Modules when they release them for the beta. But I’m thinking they will make it even simpler for people who do not know how to program. Maybe a tree like flow chart with options for what you want. For example,

Module Name: Winter’s Hell → Type: Action, Adventure
Season: Winter → Snow: Yes
Difficulty: Hard
Enemies: Goblins → Numbers: Over 1000

Something like this would be easier for the average user and they will make less mistakes. I’m sure their would be a way to customize it in lua as well.

Thank you for the reply, but that isn’t really what I’m asking about. I’m wanting to know how a module will actually run. What are the game mechanics for triggering one? How are the story elements likely to play out? I don’t think every one will be a city siege, but what other story module types are there likely to be? Do modules activate as soon as the terrain spawns, or do they have to be discovered? What are the incentives for discovering or interacting with these modules?

These modules are supposed to be a major aspect of the game and are a large part of what interests me about Stonehearth, but they are also the part of the game that I have heard the least about. I’ve heard about modding in new gameplay mechanics and new items or villager classes, but I have heard nothing about how the story modules are supposed to work.

+1. I really want to hear more about these modules. I wasn’t really interested in the game until I watched the entirety of the Kickstarter video and saw that they were planning to mix procedural worlds with scripted, moddable adventures!

Particularly, how do they mix with the city-building mechanics of the game? Is my city going to be alright while I send my best warriors off to slay the great Spaghetti Monster or what have you?

As a modder, what kind of scale can these adventures be? Can I send the player’s warriors on a boat to another island - maybe even an island I design? If the game generates modules and places them on the map, what happens when you run out of space? Will I not be able to import new modules into my established city?

There is another thread that discusses adding new modules to existing games. Sorry. I’m too lazy to hunt it up right now. And since the world is procedurally generated, you will (theoretically) never run out of space. So I don’t think you ever have to worry about running out of modules in your world, though all the modules within a reasonable distance of your city could be completed.

I’d really love to have some official word from @Tom, @Ponder, or @sdee explaining how the scripted story modules are supposed to work. Anyone seen something similar in a city building game like Stonehearth before? I think it is a pretty unique feature in my experience.

You shouldn’t confuse Modules with Mods
The game itself is built out of mods by the Devs themselves. Those are little bits of code that make the game run different things like AI and professions, animations, etc… As seen in the latest video stream.

What you call Module is more like the D&D concept of adventures. They are also possible IMHO but are more a one shot mod designed to produce some interesting effects.
They said somewhere in the archives that your people will be motivated by events linked to their (yours) actions.
ie. if you go more into fighting you will get more options to fight or if you concentrate on food production then this will become the focus.
It is perfectly reasonable to assume that some Mods will in fact be full scale Modules designed to provide some adventure or event to advance the story. Some of these will no doubt be created by the community as well. It is easy enough using Lua scripting to generate any kind of this sort of module.
This can be as simple as a set of quests doubling as a tutorial. For example go chop a Tree and collect at least 10 logs. etc…
Or as complex as placing an object on an island and sending you to explore it.
I had some experience in another game designing this sort of module and although it can be time consuming for an independent modder, it is quite feasible.
Sorry to be vague but we just don’t have enough information about the whole game yet.

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Thank you for your input. Not confusing Mods and Modules is exactly my point. Up to now, all I have heard about is how the game will be made of mods and will be moddable in almost every aspect. However, if you watch the Kickstarter video, the developers clearly describe how the world will be procedurally generated terrain and monster populations sprinkled with a selection of Modules which are to be scripted encounters with potential story elements and custom AI.

I expect the modules are to be exactly like D&D modules except that they will have to involve a city instead of a small band and I’m not sure a module like “Go here and collect this item” will be possible since there isn’t supposed to be the same kind of micro-managing of unit movements as there would be in a traditional RTS.

I really want to know how these modules are likely to work and it is the one major aspect of gameplay that I have heard least about.