Folk Tale Patch 0.2.13 introduces significant change with an overhaul of the first hour of gameplay.
Starter Wagon and Resource Clearing
Players starting Folk Tale
for the first time often arrive with an implicit knowledge and expectation from other RTS games. To make the game more intuitive, we have to acknowledge and design to this. Having watched Let's Play
Folk Tale and Twitch
streams, one of the most common first time actions of new players is to select a villager and right click on a tree, expecting them to go and chop it down. That wasn't happening, so we introduced sweeping changes.
Peasants can now gather resources from the environment (thereby clearing areas for future construction) by selecting and right-clicking on a resource, including chopping trees, quarrying small stone deposits, mining iron ore deposits, and foraging for berries. The iron and stone are new assets that are now dotted liberally around the starter location. After several visits, the resource will become depleted and will be removed from the world.
Peasants cannot access Quarries, Iron Mines, and the (possibly) soon to be added Lumber Mill
. These will in time require Works
to be constructed that can only be operated by Woodcutters, Stonecutters and Blacksmiths who are far more efficient than their Peasant peers. If you examine the current Quarry, we'll be removing the crane and wooden platform to make Works, an upgrade that becomes available once you have constructed the corresponding Profession building, which in this case would be the Stonecutter Lodge
. You'll then be able to construct Works on Quarries, and assign Stonecutters to commence work there.
Woodcutters, Stonecutters and Blacksmiths can also clear areas, and are more effective than Peasants, requiring fewer swings of an axe/pickaxe/hammer and yielding more resources each time they drop off resources.
Enabling Peasants to gather resources presented a new design challenge: where should they drop off the collected resources? Henceforth, the very first thing players need to do when starting a new game is place a Supply Wagon
containing a few rations and basic clothing to keep your Peasants happy for a short while. The Wagon also acts as a low capacity Storehouse.
These changes took gameplay further back in the life of a settlement, to where you start with very little and have to find what you need in the environment. There's a degree of urgency and survival. With food being a priority, and the Bread economy chain taking a while to get up and running, we've added foraging for Berries
by selecting a Peasant and right clicking on a Berry Bush
. Berries can be stockpiled and eaten by Peasants when they get hungry, and satiate a small amount of the need for carbohydrates.
Watching some of the recent Let's Play videos
and playing ourselves, we noticed that it was easy to get into a situation of having lots of Planks
, and not much Firewood
. To address this (prior to the implementation of the Marketplace
building), we added a crafting recipe to the Woodcutter's Hut for converting Planks into Firewood, available immediately once the building is constructed. With some further balancing, we'll get the Firewood situation under control.
Improving Villager Needs
In the last patch Peasants would frequently complain via the Advisor about being hungry and needing food, even though inventories would be brimming with supplies. This wasn't caused by mass hunger, but rather individual units - especially Hunters
- wandering far from town and becoming hungry while doing so. To solve this, we've changed the Needs
system to monitor averages, and added some useful charts to the Civics
dialog that can be accessed via the topbar button to support forward planning. In times of bountiful harvest, Peasants are able to gorge themselves to fend off hunger for longer. They also take longer to get really hungry, reducing the frequency of them leaving.
New peasants will now only arrive if happiness is in the yellow or green.
Taxation And Changes To Economy
We were dissatisfied with the way the economy was working in regard to Villagers buying goods for gold. While it sounds logical, this could lead to unacceptable delays waiting for gold to be generated. We've not removed the exchange of goods for gold, and replaced it with a new taxation system. In the Civics Dialog (see image above), you can now set the tax rate in gold. Taxes are levied every 30 seconds, and are dependent on Cottages. Setting low taxes will lead to increased happiness, while heavy taxation will lead to decreasing happiness unless you are taking steps to offset that.
The whole concept of accruing Research Points didn't feel natural, so we scrapped 'em. Now, you choose which research you want to undertake, and as workers deliver resources to the building, part of that work effort can be allocated towards research, progressing the percentage complete. Once you reach 100%, the research is unlocked. Multiple buildings of the same type can contribute to the same research at the same time to unlock it faster, or research something completely different in parallel. For example, one Blacksmith might research Leatherworking
. Building a second Blacksmith, you can set it to contribute towards the existing research into Leatherworking, or research Plate Armor
Moving to a progress model however presents some redesign challenges for non-production buildings including the Barracks
. For the Barracks, we'll be introducing a villager need for security, which can be satiated by stationing City Watch in locations frequented by villagers (by the Storehouse and Wagon would be great!) As Peasant's pass by, they gain an increased sense of security, and that generates a tick in the progress towards any active research in the Barracks. Having City Watch behave in this manner also plays into the original plan for their role as law enforcement, and opens up the possibility of implementing crime and thieves.
Research at the Storehouse will be redistributed to other buildings including the Workshop
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