My ideal Stonehearth

@sdee asked in the latest video I watched, “What is missing? What should we add to make Stonehearth your ideal game?”.

I think that is so broad a question - almost too broad to answer but… I’m willing to take a whack at it. I can only think that I’ll need to edit this post frequently.

  1. The trader. Keeps offering me things I can make. He needs to bring me things I can’t make. Maybe a list of things, " I can bring this or this or this, which one do you want?" Then ask me what I’d be willing to give = haggle. It so one dimensional, frankly in its current form (A16) I would axe it from final release.

  2. Inventory. What actually counts against my inventory? I can find no screen that shows that. If the “town” inventory screen does, then does that mean what people are armed with counts against me? It seems like there are things showing there (like workbenches) which should not be showing. Inventory seems way too low in total items I can keep for my style of play. Quadruple it if possible.

  3. Loot should be prioritized. My Hearthlings do not go get the loot we have won from battle. Even when I designate “loot this” they just leave it. It’s always going to be the furthest away jobs but it must be priority.

  4. Town Alert Mode. When sounded fighters should attack monsters nearby and run to any monster that can be seen by any hearthling. Currently (A16) they don’t do this.

  5. Moat. Currently the only way to not get torn up by frequent combat is to build a moat so monsters cannot path to you. There has to be better game mechanics than this. Better walls, castle like formations, rope bridges (monsters don’t have dexterity or intelligence to cross) (of course, your trusty python could and that is a GOOD THING for game play).

  6. You can’t get stuff out of crates/boxes that doesn’t show up on the “place an item” screen.

  7. Automation. This is a big issue. I want to build cities, not villages. To do that, when the cook runs out of poyo and my poyo pen is full, one will automatically be queued for slaughter. Also any building I put down auto-queues all its components. A door that gets destroyed is queued to be rebuilt. Its all about the scale - epic towns and battles - as is, I have to manage way too much to ever play at the epic level.

  8. Plain jane civilization. No Ascendency or Children just plain Hearthlings.

  9. Mining. You can’t mine up. Should be able to mine up.

  10. Co-op. Planetary Annihilation in one of it’s Betas hit the sweet spot for multiplayer co-op. Every player had control of every unit (even commanders). So both players have the same town interface and queue items just as we do now. Direct control of the military works as now.

  11. Mod store. Eclipse (the IBM IDE for developing applications in Java and other languages) has and interesting plugin/resource architecture. From the Kickstarter, we know we’re supposed to get a Mod store where we can install mods via point and click. I hope Radiant makes the format to be a Mod store open so anyone can host one. Like Eclipse if I want things I type in a name and a URL and can see a list of resources available from that site. I can even check for updates. If Radiant does this, like Eclipse, if IBM/Radiant stops hosting the Mod store others will be able to and the game has a chance of not dying. Also then you can get mods from any named resource not just the Radiant store, this has proved to be huge for the Eclipse community’s diversity and resources available.


In responce to your #1, I would like to see trading flushed out a lot more. Limiting the amount of on hand gold shops have could make trading more difficult and realistic, making you think about what you want to sell.

I’ve also been a fan of how Banished dealt with trading, having you request items that you would like to trade for and would like to trade with and have that kind of influence what kind of traders you get.

I could also see having some way of marking certain items you wanted to auto trade the next time a trader comes in. I never remember what I wanted to sell until the trader has already left :sweat:


Agreed! And this points to a more sophisticated inventory management, with controls for Sell This and other things I’m sure we’ll think of.


Makes me also think that we need some sort of “orchard” zone to have workers auto plant saplings and cut down trees based on a set limit for wood you want. :wink:


Added comments about the Mod store. It’s really the first post of the “big picture” items I want to tackle in this topic. Everything else has really been comments about the game in it’s existing state. @sdee was clear in her request - she was looking for what’s missing or what needs to be added to make Stonehearth ideal. I hope to add useful things to that conversation.

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Talking to @sdee and thinking on the comments that we as players don’t use the whole map… Well that’s because we can’t. There’s no explorer function.

I think perhaps a small group could be designated as “explorers”. They’d collect 6-7 days worth of food (jerky, yuck) and a notification would pop up when they had assembled at the banner. The notification would let you disband them or send them a direction!! Of course you’d be able to give them new directions (maybe once every day). Once they had found something you thought was cool, you could send them home or have them settle a new town.

If you made a new town you could select groups from either town and send them from one town to another.

If you had sent them home you could have established a marker that town members could make a pilgrimage to. Maybe a camp site for summer or whatever.

Having two towns would give you two economies or perhaps just one with regional item control. This would be an @sdee question about how the devs wanted to handle that aspect. Wouldn’t want someone walking 5 days away for a plate of berries, now would we?


This is a really interesting idea! Brad already does something like this in his giant saves by sending relays of workers out with crates, to push back the edges of the map, but I can see there’s clear interest in exploring more. Some questions about this:

  • What do you want to happen if your exploring party encounters something unexpected? Like monsters or some weird ruin? What counts as an item of interest?
  • If you did establish a second settlement would you expect to be hopping back and forth between them a lot? Like, how much/how often? How would they interact with the first settlement? (Keep in mind, yes, that pathfinder is CPU intensive! Arr!!!)

A couple of things:

  1. To solve the pathing issue what if a ‘permanent’ path was setup between the two points. If either a settlement or a “marker” was laid down the game would save “the” path that Hearthlings would walk along.

  2. The how would they interact with the first settlement is a very interesting question.
    a) Two separate economies and towns. You have to switch between town interfaces (ui).
    b) One giant town, two regions (fire pit, town banner) for alerts and supplies.
    c) Treks, a way to send parties from one ‘town’ to another.

To answer your question about how often to send treks depends on what benefit would be gained by doing so. If I need to carry food or goods, this might be done every few days.

  1. What should happen if the exploring party sees something? Maybe a dialog like the trader or daily update that you have to dismiss or accept which takes you to the exploring party. So far on the list of items: monsters, statues, interesting landscapes, massive resources, and game elements like the bunnies talked about in the kickstarter.

Just some quick thoughts.

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I like the idea that the maps stay the size they are and self-contained but you can visit other randomized maps with a small travelling party!

For example, one side of your Home map could have a path a few voxels longer than the border and this becomes the Road Out. Taking a party there will trigger a dialogue box that asks if you’re sure you’d like to leave and with a small zone dictating everyone in there becoming the traveling party. Limited to 8, for example. If you say yes, loading screen and bam! New map, same size as your Home map but a map different seed altogether.

Every map you come across would have one road out and one road in that are randomized and it’s up to you to journey across the map to the other exit or scoot around and leave by the entrance. Every time you leave, a dialogue box asks if you want to return to your Home map, keep adventuring or stay where you are.

Some maps can be peaceful, some can have goblin camps, some can have entrances to dungeons, some can have a little house with that big version of Tom’s Magmasmith who you can talk to. Lost his smithing hammer? He’ll reward you if you find it. Of a Bunny totem that asks you to clear the map of hostile creatures and return for a reward. Or a small little randomized village of Hearthlings where you can buy food and supplies or stay at an Inn…or attack!

Every time you leave the map, it’s information is lost so you COULD start building new buildings there but since only your Home map is saved, there isn’t much point (but you’re free to if you like). So who do you take? Footman and archers? A miner to help pave the way? A herbalist to heal bones or save the spots for Knights and Clerics? Or a new Treasure Hunter job that has a higher carrying capacity so you can bring more loot/gold with you and can carry more back from your adventures?

Plus! (Sorry for the rant!)

Plus, you can have a counter that plays behind the scene. Every time you continue from one map to another consecutively without returning Home, it increases. 1 is usually uneventful maps with minor enemies, 2 has a good chance of encountering something, 3 is stronger enemies and better loot with guaranteed quest/event of some kind, 4 is guaranteed encountering a village or a dungeon or a lone hermit living in a hut puffing smoke under a mountain while 5 is encountering something rare like a Bunny person, or wandering Titan, or something Lore related.

Dungeons could work very similarly where, once you enter one, you have 3 floors and for the first 2 you’re just trying to find a door/staircase leading down. It gets progressively harder but once you reach floor 3, there’s either a boss guarding treasure or treasure behind a gate that you have to clear all the enemies to open or a key somewhere to find.

AND! (Still not done, sorry!!)

And you can even group it to make the world feel more connected. A road out will lead you to maps of the same Biome as your Home map. Dungeons have either cave Biomes or fortress/ruins biomes. And as an End Game option, you can build the biggest monument of them all: a Ship! It would require pieces built by ALL craftsman (carpenter for wood, weaver for sails, etc) and be a huge project but once you have it, you plop it into some water and board it with a travelling party. It doesn’t need to actually move on the water or require any physics because it’s only a gate: it lets you travel to other biomes like the Rayya’s Children or the Northern Alliance Biomes!

Boom! Suddenly you have a huge end game that promotes strategic traveling parties that your whole village has to come together to help prepare, off you go on randomized adventures through this randomized, beautiful but risky world and come back home to your warm, comfortable home where everything was just as you left it.

It would take the 10 hour game length of Stonehearth now and extend it to 50-100+ hours because it would never stop being tiring or engaging :smiley:

Oh boy, I got carried away :frowning: Can I add one more thing? How about down the road, people can upload save files of their Home maps on to a server (or it’s done automatically) and when you’re travelling and encountering villages, you can actually come across either default template villages that Radiant has made or possibly (gasp!) another player’s village! (without the other player there, of course; just a way to show off your town without having to get into complicated multiplayer stuff). It would make people really spend time on their villages to make them look great and be able to show them off with no consequences; it would really drive crafting and creativity and organization knowing that a snapshot of your village is available for people to virtually tour (though it can’t be attacked and anything anyone does to the version of your map they come across doesn’t effect you or yours).

And hey, if there’s a merchant class in the works, then YOUR merchant could be the Merchant who visits the stall of another player’s town (with an armed escort hopefully!)

I like the idea that the Road Out and Ship monument aren’t available until Tier 3. That way, Tier 1 is all about surviving and setting up, Tier 2 is about improving and automating processes (irrigating farms so farmers don’t have to water plants and can upgrade to brewers instead) so that you can advance your classes, and Tier 3 is about exploration and adventure (taking everything you made and making it a base of operation as you venture outward into the blue and open road!).

I spend too much time thinking about this game… :frowning:


So, throw your pickaxe vertically upward and hope it doesn’t stick?


So basically reinvent Git / GitHub. Sounds gud m8.

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No need to be so sarcastic or condescending, friend. We’re all friends here. All suggestions and ideas are welcome, no matter how ambitious. Even if only for brainstorming :slight_smile:

I think mining upwards is a good idea should it incorporate the scaffolding in a way. Maybe that would end up being a nightmare for the dev considering how much it convolutes the AI as is but it would be a neat touch if it could be implemented. It would make mines have a very distinct look with lit lamps and tall scaffolds reaching up the inside of a mountain.

Didn’t mean to be offensive. It’s kinda my personality. Plus I typically try to find issues with everything, just to see how well people can resolve those issues, before they become issues put in production.

Part of the future of Stonehearth is a Mod store with point and click mod installation (hopefully privately hosted stores as well so anybody can make a store). But seeing all the cool buildings that others are building I’d love to have as part of a Mod store the ability to share buildings.

So I spent some time reading the kickstarter pages. I thought I would see lots of things that are missing from today’s Stonehearth. And while there may be many things, they seem like achievable goals.

But here is a small list I saw with a few comments:

  1. Modules
    I can’t say enough about this one. This is the core of the modability of stone hearth. Games within games with set pieces and goals.
    a) Tons from Radiant. So far we’ve only seen the campaign and it hasn’t been in terms of modules. In the video there’s the tone that you’ll be able to pick and choose the modules
    b) Module frame work for modders. Keys here are a freaking good API that allows AI co-ordination and depth of modules. Radiant needs to module-lize the campain, give pick and choose ability to modules and build a sharing network (hopefully decentralized allong with the mod store).

  2. Slow combat. Got to slow down combat. The combats right now are small so speeding them up is a temptation but what happens when they get bigger? Right now there is no strategic control only tactical. Where are the damage numbers?

  3. Farming game. Missing.

  4. City growing up aspect. In the video we see a two shot transition of a village changing to a city. Currently we can’t do that, because buildings can’t be removed cleanly. There needs to be other tools for this more architect level tools. Roads, rivers, districts, etc…

  5. Titans. There are 20 people who get to name a titan. Twenty different titans as set pieces in modules that are choose-able. Oh baby, now we’re talking. Can’t wait to see a giant “tower eater”, maybe a rock golumn that has a fancy for tall rock structures and once you have 20 or so rumors start to fly and soon he’s waddling up to your city to eat them.

Really in putting together this list, I’d just say go back to the video and the kickstarter page. There are enough ideas there for a year of coding. Implement them and the game should never stop selling on Steam.

For me whats missing is the Stonehearth citizens acting like a co-ordinated force. When the enemies come, people should run to the banner (safety points). As they go they should inform those within shouting distance of the danger. Combat troops should follow this path of retreat until they think there numbers are enough then move toward the enemy. This combat example applies across the board. I have centipede lines of farmers all doing the highest priority job. No, one farmer should work that and the others should spread out into other fields and work them. Unless the wheat crop is about to fail, then they should all work that so it doesn’t.

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This right here. I would really like a outcast version, have a hodgepodge gathering of different races that are outcasts to start their own settlement, growing into a Empire and eventually being a rival of all the other kingdoms.

My list in addition of:

  1. Also would like in the random world gen a few options ala Minecraft: To have a more flat world option (but not desert) or at the least choose to have it spawn less mountainous areas. Also (obvious one) Island world, surrounded by water. My hearthlings would like a beach with sand along with a forest area.

  2. Would be pretty cool at some point once we get our settlement to a certain size, You get a option to Pick some of the hearthlings (or continue playing the current settlement) and send them out to establish another settlement thereby relinquishing control of the first one to start the second. Maybe over time, tensions have a chance to flair between the 2 and you can duke it out to settle disputes (or annihilate them). Another reason to continue playing once you’ve done everything.