More Terrain Control

Dirt is one of the fundamental aspects of any sandbox/crafting game. It’s what we walk on, it’s what we embark on, and in hard times, it’s what we sleep on. I think it’s time dirt, and general environmental control be addressed by including new items:

  1. (Optional) Dirt Block. I’m including this as optional because part of me just thinks “Why even make it a resource? Why not just allow for unlimited dirt?” However, there are some who will argue that dirt/soil is part of resource management, and they’re not wrong.

  2. Saplings. Oak and Juniper are a great start. Hopefully in the future Stonehearth might include such marvelous wood as Applewood, Birch, Pine, Mesquite, Mahogany, Maple, or even Walnut (though I’m probably being a bit ambitious to ask for so many varieties). These saplings will begin just as they are; small tree shrubs growing out of the ground, which will grow larger and into fully-developed trees. They are a semi-finite resource and will drop naturally from trees chopped down.

  3. Shrubs. These are dug out of the ground- flowers, plants, berries and the like. Shrubs are simply the medium used to transport existing bushes and foliage from one place on the map to another. Additionally, harvesting them as resources on farms, or in the wild, will yield a small chance of finding shrubs in order to give the player the opportunity to expand their “grove.”

  4. Seeds. I suspect that this is an existing WIP for Radiant, but it seems silly to be able to assign a farm of your choosing and have an inexhaustible amount of seeds prior to gathering any materials. I think allowing for turnip, pumpkin, or silk seeds rather than affording them to the player at the beginning of the game adds an important element of survival and exploration- it forces the player to look outward for their resources, rather than allowing them to settle into making a silk farm and then just leaving it be.

Now, with these three new items in mind, let’s look at some new mechanics that could come from these:

  1. Groves and Gardeners. Groves would function almost identically to farms, but on a bigger scale. You would select an area to plant trees an ideal distance apart, a gardener (an advanced job, stemming from the farmer) would plant saplings of your choosing, and when the grove matured, the farmer would harvest either berries, or the wood from trees before planting either all of the resources available, or simply filling up the allotted space as efficiently as possible.

  2. Precision Mining/Digging. The Alpha 7 update was incredibly wonderful, but I sincerely hope it’s expanded upon in the form of precision mining. What precision mining would offer is a chance to take natural landscapes and carve them out. Build great, stone staircases instead of ladders, or tidy up your quarry a little.

  3. Precision building. The ability to use dirt, wood, or stone to create freeform structures from raw resources. Much like roads, they can be guided down to the single-voxel length in order to shape them naturally. The difference in this case would be that these natural buildings would be made onto the existing ground, rather than into. If you want to make a 3-dimensional structure, building more on top of already-planned space will instruct the inhabitants to build the new layer on top of the previous layer, rather than having to wait for an entire space to be finished before adding an additional task. Much like building houses, the inhabitants of your town would start from the bottom layers and move upward.

That’s all I’ve got in the ways of terrain control. I hope these suggestions are seen as useful, and I hope they might be implemented in future versions of Stonehearth in some form, or another. Thanks for reading. :slight_smile:


A few very good points I would suggest only making the top layer dirt if it is a resource that way it doesn’t clutter stockpiles if unused as it would have little value in comparison to stone

Also in terms of trees I’d be happy to see seeds but also the option to cut only down to stump so trees can regrow over time

I would say a lot of this will make it into the game eventually.

Very interesting way to regrow trees.

That is in discussion in [this][1] post.

That is already in the game, check out the slab feature.

Nice suggestions :smiley:
[1]: Mining height suggestion


I’m going to tackle your points backwards, because I’m too lazy to cut and paste them in the right order [and also on a phone].

Although block-by-block building - the slab - is already in the game, there’s never anything wrong with more variety , though that has in part been answered by the stone tile slabs. Slab staircases don’t need as many ladders now, either. I love Radiant for this!

@TurtleSquish Well, that post was on the subject of mining, but not really precision mining [although I guarantee that’s around here somewhere] - do your homework, you don’t want to end up like @Geoffers747!

Groves and Gardeners do seem to fit well into Stonehearth. And, yes, seeds! If I must walk across the map to find silkweed before I can farm it, let me; it makes my town’s history just that much more interesting!

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But the suggestion to solve the mining is a precision mining tool.

excellent post @HereticAlpha, and I would wager every one of your items will be addressed in some form… with the exception of the precision building…

I may have misunderstood, but if the intent is to allow the player to place individual blocks as part of the building process (ex. building a custom wall with a unique shape), then I’m afraid that is a design decision the team had already decided against at the onset of SH’s development…