Stonehearth is a game about helping a small group of settlers to survive and thrive in a fantasy-esque setting. Your job is to give commands out that help your people survive, like harvesting wood and constructing farms or buildings to your specifications. In turn, they try their best to fulfill your commands while still having lives of their own. It unashamedly draws inspiration from dwarf fortress, but is not trying to copy in but just in 3D (mainly because there is far too much dwarf fortress to copy)
It’s currently in alpha, and has just released alpha V5, which seems to be the most stable version of the game to date. Having said that, the game is still very buggy and is missing a lot of content, but seems to be progessing well, if a little slowly.
In the most recent build, I discovered that it’s actually possible to make multi-story buildings by constructing on the roof of an existing building and using the recently added ladders to move up and down the higher levels. Unfortunately the game doesn’t cope too well with multiple levels, and the pathfinding struggles when the workers have to move up and down multiple levels at the same time.
Here is the my first real attempt at a multi-layer building.
This was when I realised I could make buildings multi-story, with the small extension on what was to be new sleeping quarters for my people.
Once this was finished, I went straight towards building a much larger multistory building. I decided to work with flat roofs rather than the angled ones you see above to try and minimise any problems with pathing or needing to manually add lots of ladders (like I had to with the building above). This also let me basically try and make a copy of the ziggurat from my earlier godus post, only manually this time!
The first couple of levels progressed very quickly and without much issue. I spent a while making sure there were plenty of doors and windows on these levels, which may well have been a mistake as my workers seemed to start struggling with pathfinding to put them in place.
The third level also wasn’t too bad until it came to placing the roof. The pathfinding started taking up all my CPU and it was reduced down to only one person working on the roof at a time. In my haste to see if I could fix the problem, I started work on the floor above hoping that the 3rd floor was just an odd one out and the higher floors would proceed much faster. As a result, I was stuck with the scaffolding remaining around the 3rd floor for the entire build.
The fourth level finally in place (minus roof). It took them a very long time to get to this stage, and it wasn’t getting much faster. I decided to try and place a new storage level on the second floor of the building, in the hope this would alleviate some of the pathing issues by meaning they would have to use fewer ladders to get access to wood.
This just about did the job, and the fourth floor was finally completed. Onto the fifth!
Sadly this was the only successful picture I snapped of the fifth floor in progress before the game crashed. I’d been expecting it to happen for a while because the save function had become corrupted meaning I couldn’t save, so I was going to lose all progress anyway. Thanks to the wood pile on the fourth floor roof, they did manage to progress and complete the fifth floor, but it was as I pressed the screenshot button that the game finally crashed.
I think I’ve learnt a fair bit about the AI function doing this, and do think that if i’m careful I could actually make a much larger building in the future. It’s also occurred to me that I should probably have started by doing a basic introduction to the game first, but that’d be far too logically and sensible for me.