I’ve been playing Stonehearth for what I think is quite a long time, considering my usual attention span and I’ve thought of something I really think would help game play and planning for your village/town.
Right now, Hearthlings (Excluding fighting soldiers) drop their work at midday to eat. This brings up numerous inconvenient situations:
Tasks you set your Hearthlings to come to an immediate halt
Your food hall needs to hold all your Hearthlings, which means it has to build quite large
For each Hearthling to have balanced meals you need to have a lot of food in store for everyone to be able to choose what they want to eat
These things mean that you need to constantly keep in mind the eating schedule while planning large projects, especially when these are far from the food storage.
So I thought, what if eating would be treated the same way as sleeping does?
Hearthlings sleep at different times at their own convenience. Meaning you don’t have to plan around it and meaning that 2 of your 10 workers going to sleep doesn’t stop a project, but only reduces speed of completion.
Except for making sure your soldiers aren’t sleeping at the other side of town while nobody is guarding the gate, sleeping is not something you need to bother planning around.
If Hearthlings would just gradually get more hungry during their day and take a moment to eat when it’s at their convenience you would need less space, less planning and your cook has his/her work divided more troughout the day, rather than having to refill all stocks after lunchtime.
Lastly, having everyone eat at different times would means your Hearthlings get to develop personality’s more. Because everyone has a different eating pattern, everyone lives differently.
I’d love hearing feedback about this idea, even if you totally dissagree with it.
I agree with eating at different times. But the reasons you gave are not much a problem for me, except they stopping their current task to eat… It would be so much better if they at least finished their current task before going to eat!
For me, such planning is part of the fun. If I want to start a far away mining operation, for example, I have to organize supplies, sleeping quarters and protection. In real history, some towns only came into existance, because of an extensive construction project near by.
I don’t mind all the hearthlings eating at the same time. It helps me plan the day’s work easily. Although having them do it at different times, at their convenience but at some acceptable times, would feel more natural.
My concern is with soldiers. I hate seing entire units going to eat at the same time, leaving their post unguarded. Soldiers should spread out their eating times within the unit so that some of them are always on duty.
I do agree with @BrunoSupremo. I would love the hearthlings to finish their current tasks before going for a break. It would save the hearthlings and the players a lot of time and make more sense.
I’d prefer it if hearthlings tried to eat three times per day, although obviously that would mean each meal would be smaller. This means much shorter eating periods, since a hearthling’s morning, midday or evening meal would consist of a single item rather than however much is required to fill their “stomach.”
For example, right now a hearthling might sit down and eat two or more plates of vegetable mush in a single sitting. Not only does that burn through a lot of raw veggies, it means a few trips back and forth between the food supply and the table. Now, if you have a well-stocked pantry in your dining room, that’s not such a big deal…
…but if your hearthlings are closer to the farms at the time, they’ll grab raw veggies straight out of the farm’s storage (or freshly harvested veggies lying in the field where another hearthling abandoned them when lunchtime came up), and then walk to the nearest chair if there’s one available. Now, most of us like to decorate our farmhouses with chairs inside; and I for one like to build a garden outside with a bench and other decorations… so that makes the hearthling head for those chairs away from the dining room, meaning that if they’re still hungry then the closest food is almost certainly going to be at the farm again.
There are a few issues here; but the biggest one for me is the fact that a hearthling will walk backwards and forwards multiple times for a series of unsatisfying meals. I’d like to see the improvements to the eating system include a way for hearthlings to split their food requirement up through the day, making each meal less important and thus minimising the impact of an insufficient or missed meal; and reducing the delay when a hearthling does decide that a raw pumpkin makes more sense to eat than a delicious stew.
Of course, more meal times directly equates to more chances for hearthlings to go on a long and pointless walk either because a) there’s raw food slightly closer than the nearest cooked food, or b) because the nearest vacant chair at the time is off in another part of the town. However, I reckon that these risks mainly apply to the “lunch” meal, since at “breakfast” every hearthling will be near their bed, and at “dinner” most hearthlings will be sitting around the firepit. Usually when hearthlings have an assigned bed they get a chair with it, so it’s a simple matter to add some food storage to the same room and thus easily provide for “breakfast”; while the dining hall can handle the lunch and dinner rushes.
I am undecided on that one. It certainly is a problem if all guards leave post at the same time for lunch break. But if they all eat at different times, there will be only a minimum force left guarding over a longer period of time. And in case of an attack, those few brave men and women could quickly be outnumbered.
Maybe a backpack with privisions for soldiers could help. So they can carry a number of meals with them and only have to restock from time to time - or could receive supply deliveries from other hearthlings?