DT: Ornate Vision

Hey everyone, it’s the end of 2017! In this final Desktop Tuesday of the year, let’s take a closer look at a few features that round out Alpha 23–two more things that relate to appeal, and one long overdue but super exciting water feature.

Ornate Items and Appeal-Vision

Recap from the video:

First of all, many of you may remember that some years ago, Tom modeled a number of fancy wooden items with gold trim. These items, which we called “fine” were sometimes randomly crafted by a carpenter when they got to be higher level. Though we intended these items to be a surprise bonus, some of you have told us that you have your carpenter grind through hundreds of chairs in order to get enough fine chairs to make beautiful gold-covered dining rooms. While updating everything to fit the new appeal system, Malley, Luke, Nikki and the rest of the team finally decided to rewrite the fine system so you no longer have to do this. In the new system, as crafters level up, they still make “fine” and now “excellent” items, which have higher appeal scores than their regular counterparts, so you’re rewarded for having a higher level crafter, but these items are visually identical to their non-fine versions. They are badged with gems in the inventory menu, though, so that you can tell which they are, and they sell for higher prices in stores.

In the meantime, the fancy-looking items are now called “ornate” and are available as their own recipes, which cost more to create, since they’re golden and beautiful, but which can be achieved without grinding. While at it, Malley gave a lot of our other items a gentle update, including these amazing garden lanterns, which now have an entirely new cozy effect after dark. Take a look and let us know what you think!

Our second appeal-related feature is an ability to get a sense of what areas hearthlings find attractive. If you click on the totally work in progress appeal icon in the lower right corner, you can hover your mouse over various areas of the landscape. Areas and objects of high appeal to stand out in yellow, and areas of low appeal, like say, stockpiles full of loose items, are blue. The number in the center of the popup tells you what the appeal of that particular voxel is, and the items that are highlighted are the items that contribute to that particular location’s appeal. Since hearthlings spend a lot of time sleeping and eating, try to make bedrooms and dining halls as awesome looking as possible!

The current implementation is designed only shows appeal around your cursor, because rendering appeal for the whole town, across multiple levels of houses, is really really hard on performance. Let us know how this is working for you on the Steam Unstable branch!

Finally, let’s talk about water! Albert did a ton of water work in Alpha 22.5, increasing its performance, allowing for waterfalls, fine tuning pressure mechanics, and re-writing the merging code to eliminate a ton of bugs, and in Alpha 23, behind the scenes, he has continued to make improvements. Today, we are proud to announce that water now interacts properly with buildings, meaning that at last, you can now make dams, water parks, and rivers with water levels that remain roughly the height of the grassy banks. You can create tanks under rivers, and have them catch water. You can create nested fountains for your hearthlings to play in and around! There are definitely a bunch of bugs still hiding in this code, but these changes are live on the Steam Unstable branch right now, so we look forward to having you play with them and see what you think.

Other Announcements

Desktop Tuesday will return on Tuesday January 9th with a look a what lies ahead for us in 2018.

Contrary to what I typed in chat last week, there will actually be one more stream this year, on Thursday 12/21 at 6:00pm PST. After that, streams will resume on Thursday, January 11th, on I hope you all have a wonderfully appealing holiday, and we will see you all again in the new year.