In addition, maybe we can add a “slaughter” button. emergency food/resource supply, ye know… lol.
ahem, coming back, I think a lot of ideas above a good, but we probably want to organize them a little more and flesh out how they could possibly be integrated into a system.
To begin, though, perhaps start with motivating stories? i.e. a short stories describing the in-game experiences we would like to see (regardless of the means of achieving it first). After that, then we can look at how it can potentially be achieved (e.g. what new features/mechanics would be required).
BTW, I think the current general system for Hearthlings needs improvement as well. Could be related as pets can be seen as a member entity of the settlement, which could share a lot of implementations with hearthlings.
Sample “short story”:
A day in the life of Grover, the watchdog.
Grover is a watch dog. He was raised and trained in the village of Fair Wall, which was founded in a troublesome region where goblin raids and dangerous wild beasts are common.
Being assigned to keep watch at night, Grover starts its day waking from sleep just past noon, in a small kennel assigned to him within a barn in the village. After shaking off the residues of his slumber, he proceeded to his designated dish besides his kennel, where it would have been filled with his day meal by his masters while he slept.
After enjoying the meal, Grover had most of the day time free to himself. Usually, he took turns, depending on his whim on that day, to strolling around the village, communicating with other animal members of the village, harrassing the animal non-members of the village (chickens and rabbits in the coops, sheeps in the fields), and chasing wild animals that occasionally got lost and wandered into the village. At times, he would follow his designated master, guard captain Roger, as he went about his daily businesses, or play with the children after their day lessons.
In the evening, Grover likes to rest in the shade, often taking a nap. The wall behind the kitchen is his favorite during the colder days, as the walls are constantly warmed by the hearthfire. No matter how deep his slumber went though, he would always wake up at at around an hour past sunset, where he would proceed to his night meal at his usual dish.
After the second meal, his real work begins. There are basically two manners of working he adopts, depending on whether his master, guard captain Roger is on night patrol. If his master is on duty that night, he would follow his master as they went on patrols. If his master is off-duty, he would take his own circuit, patrolling the edges of the settlement.
His job, is to make use of his keen senses and look out for the village of dangers that approaches during the night, way before any human villagers can spot them. Of these dangers, goblins are the worst, in terms of threat level, as well as… smell. Grover can detect the unpleasant smells of goblins hours before they are even visible on the horizon.
If any dangers do appear, Grover will raise warning by barking loudly, which would quickly catch the attention of any guards on-duty, as well as wake the rest of the village. (i.e. sends a notification message to player). If actual conflict ensues, Grover is trained to avoid the dangerous opponents (leaving them to his master and the human guards) while harassing the less dangerous ones. His particular specialty is to make use of his speed and agility to assault goblin archers while evading their arrows, to prevent them from harming his master.
If the night is peaceful, the first rays of sunlight over the hills signifies the end of his work for the night. He would nibble whatever that was left from his night meal from his dish, and settle down into his kennel to rest away his fatigue.
Some “features” from the story:
- schedules: regular actions (sleep/eat), periods of free activity vs period of “work”
- default behavior appropriate to animal type, possibly influenced by instance-specific characteristics (e.g. a lazy dog vs a playful dog)
- animal training for particular jobs
- animal senses, interaction with game ui (send notifications)
- associating places/objects (kennels, dish)
- associating hearlthlings (master)