Wellsteppe: Experiments in Digging

After falling in love with the Rayya’s Children aesthetic, I found myself perplexed by the unique gameplay challenges of Clay; specifically, the need for lots of digging. Quarrying is typically an ugly affair, so I opted to find a solution with a more elegant and aesthetically pleasing end result. Cursory research led me to Indian stepwells, which meet those criteria perfectly!

The first attempt, Pit City;


On Normal mode, I worked my hearthlings to the bone non-stop to dig this monstrosity out, as well as carving rooms with entrances at the bottom of each stair. However, these proved nearly impossible to view in X-ray mode, and had to be started from the bottom up since one can’t dig beneath the foundations of an existing floor - though I later discovered a workaround using Roads.

The surplus of clay gathered was so great that I had to start selling it wholesale to keep from lagging - my Mason was similarly burdened, but by digging in soil I had almost no ore to speak of, and found myself underequipped when Kobolds came around.

The second attempt, which is still underway, was built on Hard mode. To make the design more geometrically even, I added a walkway in between the steps; the 3x3 decorative tiles form an even grid. Since they’re Roads, my Hearthlings (and enemies!) will prefer to walk on them first, which cuts down on unnecessary stair workouts.


Beginning the job with a layout of the first level; I took a lot more time between digging out each section, and there was less digging total, so the load of clay and stone was far more manageable. As with the first town, I’ve sold most of the clay and stone - but this time in the form of teapot and gargoyle exports, netting me a handsome profit and a path towards 20+ Hearthlings. The remainder is compacted into stacks, of course.


Almost complete! It’s not as deep as the last one, nor does it have nearly so spacious a bottom floor, but it’ll do nicely. Still, there’s a bit of detailing left…


Completed stepwell with slab “inlays” and road paths. If I was smart, I’d have included space for a final walkway around the perimeter, but the charm of having the stairs go right to the building doors was a big initial appeal of the design. I may have to do some demolition and renovation going forward to make it all work…

So there you have it. Going forward, I’d be thrilled to see if the water mechanics allow me to ever make this functional, but I won’t push my luck just yet. I still have Kobolds to fend off, after all…

Please let me know what you think!

Mod edit: uploaded images directly to Discourse.


ooooh, that’s absolutely gorgeous!

This is where I would love to be able to pump water around–I’d flood the lowest level below the mini-houses, sink a pump at the bottom and circulate some of the water just to have it constantly flowing down channels between the houses. After all, the point of these structures IRL was to reach the water table deep below ground…

I’m going to have to give this a try sometime! The thing that stopped me playing RC thus far was the amount of scaffolding required when building above ground… I don’t want to cut down all those wonderful acacia trees lol. But sinking wells like this, and possibly carving out one of the smaller rock formations, now those could allow for awesome buildings with minimal wood cost.

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Very nice, hows the hearthling’s pathing? I find they go in odd paths when up and down or zig-zaging on built roadways

The first iteration had some zig-zaggy pathing but was generally a straight (ish) line. The current iteration feels cleaner since they stay on the straight pathways for as long as they can before taking the stairs, but I can’t tell the difference in terms of performance. Maybe once I get more Hearthlings…