Suggestions from another guy

First off, you guys are the best. I have been avidly following this games development since the kickstarter. I was a proud sponsor and continue to be impressed and satisfied with Team Radiant’s attention to detail, intent to do it right, fan support, community based progress and lastly, the product so far. So enough brown nosing, and on to the jist of it…

I have been playing the alpha for countless hours already and am completely satisfied and excited with where it’s at and where it is going. Unlike the previous alphas that I have played, I feel obligated to throw out a few suggestions that might actually be heard and see the light of a dev’s eye. My intention here is to avoid any topics that arent completed, implemented or still being worked on, but instead suggest revisions or different methods to the core mechanics as they are now. Although I have read many of the previous entries, and know that some items here are redundant, I feel repetition may reinforce the point…

  1. FOOD?!?!?!
    Food storage as a requirement for progression ruins the mid-late game. Instead of focusing on creating an aesthetically pleasing town, all of my workers efforts are forced to finding places for food storage so that my entire screen isnt random food buckets littered across endless fields. Although, I am interested to see the changes that crates will bring, I don’t think the concept is appropriate and the gameplay ends up revolving around a pointless and uninteresting requirement. Instead, what may be a better option, is the food satisfaction rating, a ratio of food storage:current population, food diversity requirements, etc.

  2. Stockpiles
    First, I dont think stockpiles should allow for LOS. I can put multiple 1x1 stockpiles across the map and have full, active LOS everywhere…
    Second, although it’s nice that you can assign stockpiles to particular items or groups, I feel that the mechanic is still a little off. Too often my workers will bypass whats close and go on random spirit walks in search of the required raw material. Being able to assign a priority to filling a stockpile and/or assigning a particular plot to a particular construction project may solve the issue.
    Lastly, working off the previous comment, being able to manually and intentionally move materials from one location to the other would be a major help when expanding your town. Although workers will automatically do it, it is a seemingly miniscule task and far down on their list of priorities. It can take a long while for all of my workers to complete all the other implied tasks (such as collecting raw materrials laying around, replacing old stockpiles, moving objects, etc) before they get to what I am waiting for them to do (and in the current alpha state, if they have too many of these ‘implied’ tasks, it seems they just say ‘screw it’ and go sit by the fire whille half my town is littered with empty stockpiles, uncollected resources and fences waiting to be moved).

  3. Workers
    This is my big one… While the class system, I think, is off to a great start and arguably one of the best features of the game itself, I feel workers need a little more love. Currently, and justifiably, workers are on the bottom of the totem pole. They own this position of blue collar labor and do their best at it. However, we (as players) desperately need a little more control over their efforts. In the current build, if I am building a cottage but my blacksmith needs some ore, I have to stop everything I am doing, put a pause on life and go mine. Mining complete… back to cottage building. Oh but wait, im out of wood, stop everything again and go cut trees, then life will resume. In this example, life would be much easier to assign a ‘role’ or ‘position’ to workers (i don’t think this is appropriate anywhere else or for any other classes except maybe shepard. i.e. shepards who can be assigned sheep for wool or cows for meat, etc). These worker roles could include lumberjack, gatherer, harvester, mover, builder, miner or an assistant to a profession (goes and gets the resources for a carpenter/delivers the goods). So with this feature in place, I can go back to my example: A lumberjack collecting wood for my upcoming cottage, a miner collecting ore for the blacksmith and a builder constructing my cottage uninterruped.

Thats all I have for now… I hope it was coherent and my point was conveyed. Moral of the story is you guys are doing a phenomenal job and you have a loyal fan just throwing in his 10 cents.


If I recall it right, your point 3 is the way Timber & stone was managing the “workers”. As it’s not good to do like the challengers, I wonder if we cannot think about a priority task manager. Workers will still have the ability to do every basic tasks but somewhere in the UI (perhaps the citizen panel) we could find a way to give individual priorities. Could be a list of every possible activity and the one selected would be the priority for this hearthling.
Anyway, you’re right, some digging is needed on this particular topic!

Edit: Here is a quick mockup of the above idea because an image is better than a thousand words :wink: :


Nailed it… Definitely worth a thousand words. A simple UI change but definitely an appreciated feature.

Priorities will definitely be nice to have, but it’s a fairly major feature. I mean, if you think the hearthling AI has bugs now, imagine what happens when players can interact with it, turning bits off an on at will? It could get ugly.

I do believe they’ve been mulling over a Task Manager interface for some time (there are even some parts of it in the stonehearth.smod already). I think the main reason they’ve been holding off is that it’s such a big dangerous feature that it really needs to be the focus of an entire alpha to get really right.

Having said all that, these are some pretty constructive suggestions you guys are making here. Keep it up! :smile:


Hmmm I don’t think the goal would be to turn on/off some task but just highlight one in particular. Let’s say you have a group of workers building something, one of them with a priority task on harvesting, the others on building and then, you select some trees to get wood. The one with priority on harvesting will go chop some wood by himself, not the others. And once the job done, he will return on the building task.

That said, what if no priorities are checked? Then we would have something similar to the actual behavior. And the tasks priority order would be sorted depending on what the dev have hardcoded.

Right, but the issue that @Tuhalu is pointing out is that the AI (mostly) works as is, but even now and then there are bugs with the behavior popping up from time to time. Add that on top of the ability for certain parts of the AI to supersede others, and you’re magnifying the chance of bugs tremendously, now and each time a new portion is added to the AI. Better to wait until the game and AI are in a much more solid state and then devote an entire alpha release to the Task Manager, rather than tacking it on and risking causing massive problems arising from that.

@Paranundrox, yep you and Tuhalu are right of course, I haven’t commented this “annoying” aspect because… well the devs should know what to do.
I was just doing a bit of brainstorming around such possible feature! I suppose, on our side we can do that, write some ideas down and discuss if it would be (or not) the best solution to a given problem…

I didn’t respond about this part before. Currently, a part of your hearthlings morale is based on how happy with they are with the food they are eating (and its hinted that diversity helps there). So those things do have an impact on whether or not you get another hearthling.

It sounds like you haven’t tried Alpha 11 yet. I can tell you that containers make a huge difference to how much space you need to grow in. Especially if you double stack the large crates. With that, you wind up using 1/16 of the space for storing things. Also, the food requirements are greatly reduced due to food spoilage being implemented (although you’ll eventually want a Cook to reach really large populations).


I like the idea of priorities, but here’s another thousand words. Maybe we could allow them to rank instead of choose yes/no? Gnomoria does something like this (gnomoria’s system is a bit more complex, which I don’t think is necessary here):


Rimworld / Prison Architect like (and others)? Sounds good to me :slight_smile:

@greene, yes, I too was thinking about ranking all tasks but then I thought it would be adding too much complexity in the behavior because for each decision, the AI would have to wonder what is the top priority. AND, at one point we will have lots of hearthlings, each one with a priority. So I ask myself: would that be so useful to rank all the tasks when all the tasks will be covered at any moment? And so I though a single priority would be enough.

The game actually gives priorities to tasks based on a numerical system already. It’s all hidden away in json files and not directly accessible from inside the game, but it does inform which actions hearthlings will prefer to do.


I am really glad to hear that about the food storage and future cook implementation. Unfortunately, I have not tried alpha 11 yet (I’m in Thailand with only occasional Internet for the next few weeks). But now I’m more excited as ever to put in infinitely more hours, lol. In regards to the worker priorities, there are some great solutions and alternative methods listed here. I’m glad I was able to spark some discussion on them and bring some of my own concerns to light. I agree, however, with the fact that the coding required for a seamless worker interaction is probably beyond where the game is now… But to have it included would prove a great value. I.e. Late game having an active mine, active lumberyard and constructors all working independently would make things more fun and much easier to manage.

Visual mockups are always a good idea to share ideas! :grin:

After putting in some solid time on alpha 11 (awesome btw) I have a revision to my worker concept…

Is it possible to do worker specialty classes? Just go ahead and fully commit them to their task, this would forego the priority thing and also make some extra classes that would be an easy addition to the job tree and coding. Some examples could include the following:

Lumberjack: dedicated to chopping trees in a designated zone. Once a relatively lower level of this specialty is achieved, can be upgraded to forester. Increased levels could yield more wood per tree, faster chopping, access to chopping down different types of trees (special trees like the ancient oak), finding items in trees, etc.

Forester: can plant trees in a designated zone (can be combined with the Lumberjack’s zone). Increasing levels allow faster tree growth, faster planting, planting new types of trees (ancient oak, specialty woods, etc).

Orcharder: upgraded from forester. Gains acces to plant orchards. These special types of trees seeds must be acquired (either as rare drops from trees or purchased). Operates similar to farmer, just with orchard trees instead.

Miner: dedicated to mining in a zone. Once reaching a relatively high level, can be upgraded to foreman. Increasing levels allows for faster mining, better chance of jewel yield (finding jewels in the rocks), better chance of yielding stone, etc (side note… it would be cool if these kind of guys automatically made support structures as they mined. They obviously don’t need them, but things like stairs, ladders, support beams, etc add to the aesthetics and would decrease the micro management)

Foreman: upgraded from miner. Level abilities may include; Increases jewel discovery chance of all miners in His designated zone, can lay rails for mining carts (maybe too much), increase mine speed of all miners In His zone, other supporting buffs, etc.

Builder: basic knowledge of construction, able to build basic buildings. Upgraded to architect. Level abilities; faster construction, chance of not needing materials, more use out of single material (example: 1wood makes 5 wall sections instead of 3). Higher level may be able to use special or new type of materials (magma smith created blocks, glass, ice, etc.

Architect (I know this job title is already planned, but just throwing out ideas on job abilities/roles): upgraded from builder. Similar to foreman in that it grants buffs to all builders working on the same project, such as build speed, material cost, etc. may also be required to design a building using special materials, such as magma smith created blocks, ice, glass, etc.

If these kinds of concepts are used for worker specialties, I believe the actual ‘worker’ job should be a little less effective at everything there is a specialty for, so as to instigate the promotion. However, for early game with a limited number of hearthlings, the standard 'worker would still be necessary as it has the ability to fill all these roles, just less effectively.


I quite like the buff class idea and the mine idea with support structure etc, could be a derivate of the scaffolding system…

1 Like

Totally agree…your mock up would be sweet.

As for the timber and stone reference, why not draw from what works well in other games.

I was thinking something like banished in reference to the forester and as for mines, I feel you eventually will need some way to replace the stone (conveniently there are planned magical classes that have to do with moving/manipulating earth) or have a single block of stone worth more hunks o stone. A few days of in game play with a dedicated setup would wipe a mountain from the map… Being able to slow that down, or better yet, have it replaced by a geomancer, elemental, converted by an alchemist or something similar would be pretty sweet.

Yeah, and you could have that by having a Farmer ( Forester ) who plants self-growable * plants ( trees ), have just like farms a life expectancy, excellent for other professions to affect / boost.

*There was there a project for having water as a resource, right?