The workshop design

So I just finished watching the workshop stream, I am not sure I like the current state of workshops. The workshops seem very limited and very specific on space which limits building and placement. I have seen a similar thing done in the beta of Prison Architect where a “workshop/room” is defined by the equipment/furniture in it and the player then allocates that area as the specific workshop. I think that kinda system would make the workshops for stonehearth a bit more flexible. What do you guys think?

i have yet to watch the entire stream, but i’ve caught most of it… what exactly is your concern? that there is a predefined space that will house all the workshop elements? you would rather have the ability to freely place a bench, etc. im assuming?

not to go 180 on you, but i really enjoy the direction they’re (currently) taking… the entire process seems to flow well…

craft a saw, assign it to a unit, create a carpenter, workshop has inbox for raw materials and outbox for finished goods… nice and simple…

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yeah my concern is that by having a design for a workshop every one of them will look exactly the same and be of the same size, my preference is that they have a room area tool and the furnishings determine the room. I am fine with the rest of the process.

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im somewhat torn… but i really like the idea of a repeatable process (a known quantity) for setting up a given work area…

(as with virtually every other decision) this seems like something that could possibly be tweaked after some playtesting…

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I know what you mean, the idea of a ‘stock’ area for each crafting professions has been done to death in similar games.

What I would really like to see is something like this:

-create a workshop (we’ll take the example from the stream: carpenter)

you get to place the four items together as a lump, as shown in the video:

  1. working bench
  2. auxilary bench/cabinet
  3. input area
  4. output area

now you can place this anywhere, inside, outside, doesn’t matter because:

You’re now able to move any of the four pieces AT WILL. You move 1. and 2. into the house, you leave 3. outside, while moving 4. into a nearby shed (you built just for this purpose). They are all still part of the same workshop and still work the same (guessing here, but…):

Crafter walks to 1. , takes material (log), walks to 2. makes intermediate item (planks)
Walks to 3. makes item (chair), walks to 4. puts item into the output area

All items are still part of the same workshop and upgrade at the same time. Clicking on any of them opens the crafting interface for that workshop.

Now the carpenters house/shed may or may not be his property (Tom said in the video, the only way they’ll be restricting access will be trough doors…), but at no point is an area declared as a specific crafting area.

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As far as I understood @Tom, the small space is meant to be the minimum required space to make it not cramped and the worker can still walk around and nothing wrong with it to place it in something bigger and the likes like @Andarvi said.

In addition, the “workshop” is important for promoting people. If you not have certain tools which would define the workshop, you can not promote someone to that job. In case of the carpenter, you would need to define the input and output areas and have your workers collect 2 or 3 logs for the working benches.

Let’s talk about it. I can see a few basic possibilities for placing a workshop.

  • All-in-one You place the entire workshop in one go. Pieces of the workshop like the work bench and tool cabinet are always in the same place.
  • Designation You designate an area as “the workshop” and can freeform place workshop pieces within the designation.
  • Freeform You just build workshop pieces and put them wherever you like.

They system we have now is the “All in one” system, because it’s simple and solves all of the problems below. Here are the core requirements of the workshop system.

  • Easy to learn A new player should never ever get stuck when building their first workshop, because really you can barely do anything in the game without a carpenter! So it must be simple to get that first workshop up and running.

  • Apparent in the world As much as possible we want the player to be able to tell what’s going on by looking at what’s happening on the screen, not by looking in some UI screen. So if I have a carpenter and a blacksmith, their workshops should be pretty obvious on the screen.

  • Movable Workshops This is the tricky one. Workshops need to be easily relocated, even by novice players. If workshops are not easily movable you will quickly paint yourself into a corner, where you are more and more restricted in your city planning because of the immovable workshops dotting the landscape. This can potentially smack new players right in the face.

I hope you’re beginning to see why we’ve designed workshops this way now, but hey, we’re open to suggestions.

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Ah I guess that is more clear, if it simply means that the workshop can be of variable size and the required furnishings can be placed in the space anywhere that is what I was hoping for.

I feel that the:

is the best of the possibilities. The all-in-one approach would seemingly remove that element of individuality to your workshops? Granted there would only be the different positioning of the systems, but it’s the little things right?

Freeform feels to me to be a bit of a bad idea? Especially for new users. If someone was unsure, or not paying attention they could end up placing two pieces of a workshop in two completely different areas of their settlement? That’s not gonna be fun watching your blacksmith trek across town. Plus it could just be an unecessary amount of work for players to do?

I haven’t watched the second hour of the stream yet so apologies if you covered this!


Actually, no. Right now we’re going with the “All in one” system where you plop down the workshop and everything is set for you. I’ve edited my first post to make this more clear.

All in one while easy seems like it goes against the free form and customization ideas that have been stated. So I suggest a compromise, go with the designation system but have like buildings have been stated to be and make a couple of prefabs that you can just chuck down if you don’t want to design it yourself, make them include the designation are for extra ease.

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Is there anyway to alter the all-in-one system so that, you have the same system you are proposing, but you can alter the base position of each piece of the workshop?

Well, my idea was to place as All-in-one and then be able to move the pieces around freely. New players could leave it as it is and it would work the same.

But I do agree it would make moving the whole workshop more difficult. What about having an option ‘Move workshop’, that would simply delete all the placed workshop parts from the world and then simply place it as All-in-one again.

As for placing pieces far apart on purpose… why not, if you want to have your carpenter do part of the hauling you should have that option.

My suggestion is ignored? It completely resolved that by having freeform with prefabs just like buildings were said to, allows for move customization and newbie ease in an easy balance.

i suppose this is my frustration from other “similar” games coming through, but i personally like the all-in-one approach as it is currently being designed… its very reminiscent of simply dropping in a barracks to generate troops…

i also like the idea of being able to scan my town and easily pick out where a particular profession is working, because i know what their area always looks like (some of the RTS roots coming through)…

Hmm it’s tricky given the requirements however what about a more limited Designation.

When you designate an area you click and drag the mouse to create a square. (As you would regularly on the computer)

However this square will always have to be at least the size the workshop is at the moment however at most it can only be, say, twice as big. So not letting you make them as big as you want.

An alterative would be to have a max “area” in which the workshop could cover but it still must meet the minimum dimensions.

Once designated, you automatically have the first workshop piece selected ready to plonk down, once placed, the second piece gets selected and so on until you place them all.

To stop people from placing pieces together you’ll want to have a minimum gap between workshop pieces.

This could be represented by the selected piece having a red cross through it or highlighted red.

Bonus idea: When the first workshop piece is selected (i.e. on the mouse until placed) you can see what the queue of workshop pieces to be placed next are (Think tetris with the next tetrimo feature) This is good for planning ahead layout wise

Oh well … I guess if its for simplicity i can understand why there is an all in one design right now, but that really limits player design and creativity. If every carpenter workshop is a copy of the other (granted I dont know of a reason to have more than 1) its limiting to how players want to design their shops.

My original idea is not complete freeform but freeform within an allocated space. Much like during the stream when you created a 7x7 area and that was the workshop space, when a player wants a workshop they should be able to drag out an AxB area of space where workshop elements must be placed in, for example:

I have a 10x10 building, i want half of it to be a workshop i drag out a 5x5(yes its small just an example) area where then i would place a carpenter bench and toolbox, and that area would be designated a carpenter workshop. the rest of the area in the house is left free for other things. If I wanted to re-locate i would either delete the allocated workshop place or drag out another area in town and move the workshop pieces to the new location.

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Some sort of prefab tool like the one for buildings would also be a way of gaining more freedom. Although Im not too sure to what extent the prefab could be customized.

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isnt this just the designation option though?

so, you plop down the workshop, and you cant move the workbench from one side to another, but you can rotate it in position, yes?

Yer that’s what I mean. My only worry with the all-in-one system, is that, well, my understanding, would be that you would have say a 7x7 grid of the workshop which you place down. That is then saying that every workshop of this kind must be this square shape and thus must be in a building of the same size?

What if I wished to have my blacksmith working in say a 13 x 4 shape? Maybe I’m just being picky, but for the city building side of things, having predetermined size/shape of workshops could limit certain things?

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