Morale and Population

Wonderful, as always. Since we’re all sharing, here’s a work-in-progress mockup of the citizen management screen. As you can see, we’re thinking of some of the same ideas! If your town morale is high, new settlers will come and ask to join you.

This is early, so of course things could change. But that’s the general idea.


mockup approved :white_check_mark:

please proceed with implementation… :smile:

pretty much loving everything about the way the screen is headed… here’s my CSI-interpretation…

the overview has a highlighted name to imply the basic “state” of the town… a visual indicator of happy and unhappy citizens (i wonder if that will that expand to match the towns actual population, or will it always be X number of “heads”, shaded to match the morale)…

the citizens tab would likely have the detailed list of your citizens, their current moral and associated gossip that is affecting their state… click the name to “jump” to them perhaps? :smiley:

the inventory tab will perhaps list all the “work” in flight (goods being crafted), as well as stocks of goods (food, chairs)?

the banners represent (the number of) various citizen types?

@Tom So what happened to the idea of having to make that hard choice of trading food for a new citizen/worker? Other games employ the idea of migrants and one of the things that enthralled me about StoneHearth was you describing me being able to make that decision of if I want a new worker. I the player have to do the hard math - do I have enough food, do I have enough defence (to expand for the new house I’m going to need to build), etc… The way you described it in the past, I would be able to trade X food for a new worker.

I like that model because I can expand as fast as I am able to support them and expect dire consequences from having people starve.

A algorithm that evaluates my city and brings migrants at semi-random intervals does not have the same gut-wrenching decision making you described before. On that town overview form I would have a “New Citizen” button with tooltip that tells me a new citizen costs 500 food.

In sort it seems you’re deviating from the original descriptions of the citizen/worker acquisition model you described in the kickstarter days and early streams, what gives?

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As always you come, post something witty or awesome (in this case the latter) and then disappear into the night.

It all looks very slick! The sword emblem/flag in the top left, is that gonna be customisable? :slight_smile:

I might have forgotten this but where about was it mentioned that you would have to pay for new workers? I remember talk around increasing your population and the early thoughts were that if you had enough food new workers would come and ask to join.

Arguably nothing here has changed? You still have to ensure that you have enough food stockpiled to accommodate new units and adequate shelter/ defence. By the sounds of it you still have the choice of whether you accept new units, it’s just that rather expanding through just your food you now expand via morale.

while i’m perfectly happy with an approach of new citizens asking to join, based on the success of my town, i seem to recall something, somewhere about players being able to actively acquire units… but, the specifics escape me… :no_mouth:

this is the best quote i can find on the matter:

How will your settlement grow population wise?

“Your settlement will grow at the same scale as your food supply. We haven’t nailed down the final mechanic yet, but we want there to be a constant choice between burning resources to craft things (buildings, weapons, armor, etc.) and investing in the food supply (farming, trapping) to get more people.”


Ah fair enough. We obviously don’t know the details (and I might be wrong, it does happen occasionally) but I would argue that none of this has really changed, it all now just feeds into the morale system. Surely?

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The plan is still certainly that you have a real tradeoff between economy (more people), tech (more crafters) and defense (more military), and you can take a strategic risk by over-investing on one of the first two, but if you take that risk too far you’re going to have a bad time.

For instance, early on your settlers will have low morale if they aren’t properly fed and sheltered. You can race to satisfy these basic needs at the expense of tech and defense, and will thereby get more settlers sooner. But you run the risk of being caught with your pants down when a raiding party comes to take your food.


I might be wrong, but this sounds like there is one optimal way of playing. And a very rigid order of development. Driven by the next first thing people want to satisfy their morale.


i will make a silent prayer to Raya each night, in the hopes that @Goldmetal takes this as inspiration for her next concept art project…

I don’t follow? Do you mind elaborating a bit more?

I mean, @tom seems to give a good overview of the choices you have to make early on, it seems more about finding the right balance for you, whether or not it is more beneficial to always focus on one thing at the start of a game will be something to wait and see I suppose.

All sounds great to me, obviously these things are easier to comment on when we get hands on.

Interestingly in the picture we see a red face with an exclamation mark talking about how they are sick of turnips, so perhaps it’s not enough to just have food to improve your morale, perhaps you’ll need food variation? Thoughts and inner most feelings people?

I was just excited to see we’ll have turnips… they’re delicious…

but I noticed that too, and think you are spot on in the assumption… variety, it seems, is the spice of their lives as well… :smile:

which is great though, in that it would add another layer to the farming system… efficiency as well as variety can all be tackled based on your playstyle…

Pfft. Variety. My minions are going to have turnips breakfast, lunch and dinner and they’re going to like it. :godmode:


Is there going to be a set list of descriptions for a city?

Settlement :arrow_right: Prosperous Settlement :arrow_right: Town… etc?

I love it! Its a great idea.

I think a more global buff if you don’t use your workers would make sense. Because people normally are more are happier if they have some free time :slight_smile:

@Tom While I can see that you’re still crafting a game with those hard decisions between farming, tech, and defense there is an element you might not have thought about.


When I the player can “buy” a worker for X food, I set the pace of the game.

When I have to wait for the game to present me with the choice to “buy”/accept a worker the game controls the pace of the game.

In example, and with respect to another Dev team, Timber & Stone uses the migrant model. During its early development when the pace of migrants was too slow the game was agonizing to play. When the rate of migrants was extremely high (higher than preferred by the game designer) true choice was opened up to the player to take risks.

So in short, the more control I have as a player the more I control the pace of the game and the more risk I take. If I only can make the decision once a day or every few days to accept a worker, my pace and risky play will be controlled by the game, not me.

@Tom @Ramcat I (Personally) love the migrant model and if implemented into stonehearth I think it would work very well but how do we choose between lots of migrations and very little or find the right balance?

We could have a option when starting which allows you to choose how many migrations. Maybe something like:

Rare : Medium : Frequent

Or we could have a slider that you could use to select the amount of migrations per in-game year.

Another Idea of mine is to have a system where if a nearby town or such is having starvation, drought, flood, earthquake, disease etc. The amount of immigrations would increase and you would start receiving refugees and if your town is having these troubles immigrations would slow down or stop completely and some of your people might migrate to another town (Maybe to return when your town recovers or maybe not. During these times you could receive:

Starving People (Eat more food then usual when they first arrive)

Diseased People (They spread disease)

Also, If a nearby town is at war/civil war you will receive immigrations filled with refugees that could include:

Injured soldiers (They could be missing limbs which would slow down their work rate)

Cripples (Basically the Injured Soldier except no starting combat skills)

Homeless Orphans (Mouths to feed and if they don’t have anyone to take care of them, they may turn to crime)

Crazy Soldiers who went mad because of the things they saw. ( Crazy people with combat skills, this could only go well)

But the nearby fighting could have even worse effects:

Increased Crime (The nearby fighting and starving immigrants is good business for many criminals)

Increased Bandit Raids (Deserting soldiers are meanies)

Better armed Bandits (Deserting soldiers are supplied with much better equipment than the lawless scum that scavenge for scraps of armour and rusted swords)

And maybe at the beginning of the war or near the end, this could happen:

@SteveAdamo ville soldiers are taking refuge in your lands, @Geoffers747 town soldiers are demanding you arrest them and give the soldiers to them. What side will you choose? (You have to choose a side in the war, There is no way to get out of this without having someone declare war on you or get really angry with you (If you were an ally they get really angry with you))

Sorry, This started out about migrations and then derailed a little…

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I felt it best to move everything over here!

To me it sounds like there will be a migration based model, that is directly linked to town morale:

I might just be making too much of the plural in that quote though, but increasing your settlement one unit at a time seems like an incredibly slow pace.

It’s also not too difficult to imagine certain random events where a unit would like to join your settlement either:


yes indeed! perhaps you can discover one or more units roaming the landscape… down on their luck… “Hey! we’ve got food and shelter just over that plateau. Come on over!”

not to mention a rescue effort of sorts (quest perhaps?)… saving a few units from the the brink of death, at the hands of some roaming band of nasties… :smile: