Plumbing / Water Delivery Systems

Hey, longtime lurker/backer, first time poster.

I noticed what looked like a canal in this teaser image everyone has seen before, and I was wondering if things like this were going to have any actual utility in Stonehearth game mechanics. I remember that disease was discussed as a potential bad thing that could happen to your settlers, and I was thinking that proper access to/quality of water in their homes would be one of the factors that would lower the chances of having an evil plague.

Obviously there are lots of ways to accomplish water delivery; the old 1990’s city-builder Pharaoh had a little water carrier that wandered around neighborhoods dropping off the stuff. Digging wells, canals, aqueducts, and finally real-live plumbing systems (copper, not lead, sorry Romans) could be progressively more advanced methods to give ever-cleaner water to your settlers. Or it could be a precursor to upgrading homes, etc. etc.

Rather than just plopping down an ornamental fountain that magically fills up with water, it would be way more rewarding if you actually had to set up an actual method for the water to get there, and build it yourself.

If the devs have already given any information on this, it would be cool to hear, but this can be just a general brainstorming thread on water and its various utilities.


welcome aboard, or at least to posting, @Thlayli! :smile:

here’s the boiler plate response to all things water:

Answering questions regarding water and water physics.

“Re water: We’re working on it! Water is…hard. There will certainly be water in the game, and we want it to behave in water like way, with flow, dams, etc.”

there are a few random comments on water scattered about the discourse, but this seems like a good place to gather discussions around water delivery (which we know will be a part of the farming/irrigation process)…

I think that this would add a bit of depth to the game but it could easily become a hassle if this was quite the way you want. If my village is stuck in a place that has dirty water everywhere, wouldn’t it make it so that I couldn’t live there?

I think you have misread what he said, he was talking about a video game, and I don’t think they were very big in the 1890’s or 1790’s.

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Sorry didn’t see the city builder part of it

It seems like the more advanced methods of water delivery (pumps, pipes, aqueducts, dams, etc.) would definitely be something that the Engineer class could accomplish, but a more basic water-delivery system might just involve a Mason and/or a Miner popping a hole in the ground to make a well. That kind of water might be dirty, or at least less good than river water pumped directly into the homes, but it might fit the bill for a starter settlement.

Another interesting thing to consider is watermills, if milling wheat into flour is part of the food production process.

Edit: Thanks @SteveAdamo!

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With your idea I think it makes the possibility of disease (of which I dislike as a prevalent mechanic) if it is in the game, and this exact idea is too, that my early village will catch diseases so quickly that it would make the game too hard. If I’m already stuck worry about a disease killing everyone in my town, does it really add much fun if I need to worry about how clean my water is?

Well, everything here sounds good, and we do know that they would like to haver water behave as @SteveAdamo has talked about above, with physics and the such that causes it to flow.

Having the water carry disease sounds pretty interesting, especially if there are bodies etc. upstream from your settlement! This could also ruin the land meaning your crop yields are affected.

I would imagine that this would then easily extend to transforming and manipulating the land either through the Geomancer/ normal worker to redirect or create water channels allowing easier access to water for your farms and population.

Ultimately you have to think that, as water is something really fundamental, how it is implemented and how we can interact with it will surely be high up on the list of things they are looking at.

All of the things listed above make sense and seem like good ideas … to me that’s two tickboxes ticked for finding something similar in the game. The question then becomes whether incorporating such things are a) manageable, and b) fitting to the game.

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I think these are ideas are good but they need to be scaled down, if they are implemented and stay the same they are not something that the approach can be chosen with unlike the farming. This game seems to be taking a peaceful town, not too lazy but not too stressful if I needed to have clean water and protect from disease it would become very intimidating and would lose it’s calming feeling and become something that forces you to watch as your cute voxel citizens slowly die of pneumonia. I don’t think that sounds like fun

right… well, we know that a player will be able to choose how “involved” they want to get with any particular facet of the game (for example, farming)… you can micromanage it, and work towards optimum efficiency/production, to produce large food stores (which would probably involve more complex delivery systems)…

or, you can to the bare minimum, and just get by on what’s produced…

I know about the scaling down, I read a lot of the disease thread but didn’t see much mention of scaling the spread of disease down. If there is I’d like to see it

well, disease in general hasnt been mentioned by the developers as even being in the game (at least, nothing that i recall, or have seen elsewhere on the discourse)…

the health care/disease thread is just a place for discussion on the potential inclusion…

edit: we do have the potential for zombies though, so… there’s that… :wink:

Can we raise the dead?

“Yes …it has to make it in, we don’t know how, but it has to make it in. There will be some way, you might not like it. Maybe this is how the zombie apocalypse starts … maybe the penalty for losing someone is that you have to ‘res’ them, and ‘ressing’ them too often could turn them into a zombie … zombie apocalypse should be a way to lose the game”

@Risko, you know there’s going to be a peaceful mode if you don’t like danger. If you feel worried by pneumonia, I think a goblin raid will really upset you. :wink:

It’s difficult to imagine there not being disease if Physicians are already confirmed as being in. Plumbing and water physics doesn’t just have to be about disease, though. There’s loads of different applications for water, drinking first and foremost. If your villagers eat food (and they do) they should presumably be drinking some liquid too! If hunger and tiredness are in the game, thirst should be too.

And if you don’t want them to wander 2 miles to the river, Dwarf Fortress-style, to get a drink, you should definitely give them some sort of delivery system.


A lot of these systems will also revolve around what sort of interpretation on bodies of water they take in development. If liquids are considered finite, like in Terraria, then the use of lakes and rivers for irrigation might seriously start to change the landscape later on in the game. If it’s more like water in Minecraft, then your town’s going to be set for a long time.

Personally, I’d like to see the former, just as long as it’s executed in a plausible, reasonable way–otherwise, building a single successful city in one place will be pretty difficult late-game. Eventually, water for farming, drinking, etc., normally returns to ground water or evaporates, then makes its way back to larger bodies of water–If water slowly “regenerates,” maybe this could be a way to represent this cycle in Stonehearth, and not cause droughts everywhere your settlers go.

(Now of course, that does raise the issue of how the game would recognize these bodies of water, and not flood every underground mine/structure you make under the water/sea level. Is the latter a common issue with real-life mining, does anyone know?)

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I just got finished with a book on the Pamama Canal (The Path Between Seas), so I may have absurdly grandious ideas about water for the next few weeks. That being said, I like a lot of the ideas on this thread already. What about sewers. Let’s break down your city for a minute before we go further.

Simple, beginning cities might only need to worry about wells and the quality of the water easily at hand.

Middle-ish cities might want to get cleaner water, or pump said water to homes or shops for use. They might even get crazy and begin simple water works like motes or water wheels.

Large-ish cities might want to not only pump water in, but develop sewers, drains, and all sorts of complicated water machinery such as dams, water stations, and who knows what all. Just picture that large city in the media section, it seems big enough for sewers?

What do you think?


In terms of Risko’s worry about the cleanliness of water, one real life property of it is that it is naturally cleaned by the rocks and sediments it passes over. So, if there were bodies upstream, the player can elongate the stream itself so that it would be clean by the time it got to the player’s city. While this takes up a lot of space, later tiers can include an upgrade in the type of rocks and soil that are able to purify better in a smaller space, and then the final tier would be that of an actual water treatment plant.

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[quote=“Thlayli, post:13, topic:3155”]
you know there’s going to be a peaceful mode if you don’t like danger
[/quote]That’s not what I’m saying I feel that this is too hard. The basic version should be playable with some difficulties occasionally but all of these suggestions seem to be saying they want this game to be as hard as the developers can make it while still be somewhat playable

i am fairly certain this is the case… quoting from the campaign page:

The heart of the game is city building and management.

combat will have it’s role, but the emphasis is on the above, making SH (in my mind) a slightly more casual experience …

Well I have no first hand experience with this, but AFAIK water is a serious danger with regards to mining and mine shafts. They are often large, very deep holes in the ground, with little if any thing in the way of drainage. I seem to recall at least a couple of different news articles in the last 20 - 25 years regarding mining deaths related to water infiltration.

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I expect there would be some sort of early water filter that you could make to clean the water a bit, oh and I think the disease would come from things like dead bodies lying around, uncooked/rotten food, and having dirty unfiltered water.