Entity Idea - Local Storage


  • So I was thinking, rather than having individual inventories for every workbench (which often results in a game of juggling items between benches), why not have a storage chest of some description that provides the entire building with a localized storage from which all benches draw from?


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  • A shared building storage feels a little too easy, and unrealistic. However, I agree that there should be some better way to manage inventory within (possibly between?) buildings.

    I think a better solution would be some sort of item/inventory transfer blocks, like conveyor belts that could move items between objects in buildings (or outside as well?).
    Conveyors are obviously a higher tech option, that should be at industrialization level. There should be some sort of low-tech alternative, but I can't think of any at this time.
    Ideas?



  • rails and minecarts with chests xD

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  • Not really any less realistic than dumping giant piles of dirt on say, a research table lol.
    The problem as I see it with a conveyor belt system would be the demand on system resources in an already complex environment. It wouldn't be so difficult to process on a gaming rig but seeing as the game is designed to be rolled out as an educational kit, and seeing as most educational institutions that I know of don't really spend big when it comes to their tech, this may be an issue.
    I think something needs to be done though. Currently you can wind up with stuff all over the place and not really any way of tracking it other than having to run about looking at each inventory.



  • @evanpage

    I'd be interested to hear what a dev has to say about the potential system resource demands from additional systems. In general, that is a challenge with all feature additions. Ideally, there should be optimizations that can ease this process for most cases.



  • @R4mbo

    "Doh!"

    Years of Dwarf Fortress should have made that obvious. Thanks!



  • That's sort of the idea with the stockpile system that @Metachronism has mentioned, at least as a place to store block items such as dirt, logs, stone, etc.

    Then you would be able to use the contents of the stockpile for construction in a given area.

    I don't know if the stockpile would be able to store other items or if the items in the stockpile could be used in crafting.



  • Stockpiles are currently being discussed and designed, though it's all too early to say they'll be in for sure. If they do make it in, they'll likely be storing only block-type items (dirt, stone, etc) which doesn't really solve the upkeep of the other smaller items like seeds, food, ingots, etc. Linking nearby chests to crafting tables has been considered a few times, but we're not sure exactly how we'll end up approaching the issue.

    As for performance, we might still be in the "add stuff, optimize later" mindset but we're always making sure things don't get too out of hand and, thanks to Meta, ensure things properly utilize multithreading, etc. I currently develop almost exclusively on a machine that doesn't even have a dedicated graphics card - at the very least we'll be aware of the performance on similar machines.

    • Ecoylent is not intended to replace every meal, but it can replace any meal


  • @craig.jong said:

    Stockpiles are currently being discussed and designed, though it's all too early to say they'll be in for sure. If they do make it in, they'll likely be storing only block-type items (dirt, stone, etc) which doesn't really solve the upkeep of the other smaller items like seeds, food, ingots, etc.

    Just curious, is this a design decision, or is there some technical or other limitation that is behind this?



  • There are a lot of things that need to be done and, while storage is really important, we're not sure if that's where we want to devote our time to that at this exact moment. Even just prototyping the concept would take time out of other tasks that we currently consider higher priority.

    • Ecoylent is not intended to replace every meal, but it can replace any meal


  • Personally I hate the pointless storage meta-game. When it comes to stationary storage, the building-level idea seems really cool. I'd also eliminate "slots" in favor of lists and unlimited stack sizes (though you might have an overall capacity limit) to reduce the micromanagement for building-level storage of this type. Making inventory "realistic" at the expense of usability and fun would seem like an anti-goal. I'd also eliminate the notion of blocks vs. entities as a distinction for these storage types. It seems to me to add nothing to the game/simulation.

    Having building-level storage still makes choosing where to store things important, and one could have "warehouse" buildings/modules which are more efficient (in terms of capacity) at storing things. This keeps the transportation meta-game involved, particular with the likely future conveyor belts or similar autonomous transport methods. Imagine a small town with several "factories" which automatically transport goods to a warehouse which is hooked up to a train station that pulls from there whenever a train comes to town.

    From a technical standpoint, automated transport a-la conveyors does not need to be computationally expensive. The expensive part comes if you need to exactly simulate the movement of individual items to the client. For example, BuildCraft in MC would show you exactly which blocks were where in the world at any given moment. This accuracy is expensive, and possibly unnecessary. There are more efficient ways to implement such a system while still retaining the interesting game elements. Don't let fears of complexity prevent you from proffering ideas in this space.



  • How else is my table going to become a catch all? I think it adds some immersion personally.
    I mean who doesn't have a computer table with random bottles of empty soda, or ibuprofen? Who doesn't have a castle of empty copenhagen cans neatly stacked behind their monitors? Not this guy.

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  • @ChronosWS another early-mid game level of transport automation could include log driving - the process of floating logs downstream to their destination. We could include a block similar to the Aquaduct but rather it maintains the flow of water. This would not only be efficient and educational it would also just look pretty damn cool as well.


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