Ok, prepare yourself for a novel-length post. You say, and I quote, “The more feedback we get, the better!” You may be about to regret that… But this is possibly the game I’ve had the most fun with in years, and I’m absolutely in love with it. And what you love, you want to help make the best it can possibly be.
So here are some issues and general feedback after two full colony playthroughs (on exciting world mode).
- Goblins and colonists are able to attack one another through walls. On several occasions I’ve had colonists attack goblins through the top tier stone fortification; one one occasion a goblin managed to nearly kill a colonist with his bare hands through both a stone fortification, a square of empty space, and a stone wall before I could figure out what was going on and move the colonist further away.
- I’ve also had archers repeatedly shoot a wall trying to hit a goblin on the other side of it. Sadly, unlike fists or swords, the arrows did not go through.
I’ve seen some general issues with the AI priorities which I think could be improved. Some are serious problems, some are minor tweaks.
- When colonists and goblins are in proximity, “fight” becomes top priority and colonists immediately move to do so. The problem is that this takes priority over even such things as equipping their armor and weapons or manning towers. I had a fight where my four archers started running out the front gates without their armor on because the goblins got close on the other side of the wall before they finished equipping. I ordered them to man the towers and then tried to manage the rest of my melee troops, but realized a minute later that they had decided to “fight” first and then man the towers afterwards. Eventually, after getting out of combat mode, they went home, reequipped civilian gear, and then finally manned the towers.
- On a related note, when civilians go into combat mode, I suggest that automatically eating should be disabled like their jobs. Somebody is always hungry right when a fight is about to start, so equips his gear and then heads over to the nearest shelf to sit down and enjoy some pumpkin stew as the goblins rush the gates. It requires micromanagement (the bad, frustrating kind) to prevent that right now.
- Doctors need to have tending patients be a TOP priority, superseding even their own needs and the creation of medicines, let alone the brewing of beer. Currently I regularly have my dedicated doctor relaxing in front of a fire for a full day while someone is dying of flu or has a broken leg. I let it go a few times to see, but about 7 times out of 10 I have to manually force the doctor to go tend to patients. Similarly, I’ve manually commanded a doctor to go tend to a person with a broken leg, and he’s gotten halfway there and then felt tired and gone back home to sleep, leaving the poor broken legged miner starving in the wilderness.
- Colonists often grab healing potions without my noticing it even when they aren’t that badly hurt, and just going to bed would make way more sense. Since healing potions are an extremely rare and valuable resource in the early game, I’d like that to be something that I have to manually assign rather than something that colonists did automatically.
- Farmers often act in ways that I think could be improved significantly with a slight tweak to priorities. Not infrequently, during the spring, I have my farmers get in a loop of watering and harvesting and resowing a tomato field and never even get to sowing the strawberries until it’s too late in the season, so half or all of the field never gets planted at all. Similarly, there are times when at the end of spring they let the strawberries die unharvested while focusing on, say, watering the tomatoes. Here’s a suggested fix: first of all, if possible, do a conditional check for whether it is the last day of the season. If it is, then the priorities should be HARVEST->SOW->WATER. In all other circumstances, or if the aforementioned conditional check isn’t possible in the code, the priorities should be SOW->HARVEST->WATER. That way fields are always fully utilized, and farmers will generally get the harvest off the field before a season change. Worst case scenario, if you don’t have enough farmers working overly large fields, some things are ready to harvest before they’ve been watered and you lose some product. But that’s a less significant issue than missing out on sections of fields entirely.
- Finally, here’s a dream that may be a pipe dream, but I figure it can’t hurt to mention it. Someday, I would absolutely love to be able to set priorities manually in-game. Rimworld had a system for this which worked pretty well, in which you could essentially set any given activity to a number from 0 to… 5, I think? It’s been a while. If an item was set to 0, the colonist would never do that activity. Otherwise, 1 was top priority and down through 5 from there. So the AI would check if the top priority was applicable, and if not cycle through. If there was ever a way to implement something like that in Founders Fortune, I’d be eternally grateful. (It could be implemented an “advanced” button next to the profession’s tasks checklist, and ignorable by anyone who wanted to just stick with the default priorities.)
Traits and Personality
No bugs or issues per se here, but some ideas I’d like to float by you.
The traits/personality system is one of Founders’ Fortune’s biggest selling points for me, and likely for a lot of others. It really makes the little colonists feel like real people. But by the end of the game, most of the colonists end up being pretty much the same. I get rid of bad traits, give them good ones, and by the end everyone is an optimistic, tireless machine with good health, etc. Sure, I can’t get everyone every good trait, but they get less and less individual over time.
So here’s a crazy idea. I’d love it if Life Satisfaction could ONLY be spent for temporary buffs, which I absolutely never do now because it feels like a waste when I’m saving up to get rid of Dumb or Pessimist. The buffs could be expanded upon, but the idea would basically be that you’re banking on past wish fulfillment to get something extra out of your colonist in the short term. “Remember all the good stuff I’ve done for you? Well, now I really need you to work hard for a bit.” Spend Life Satisfaction points to have the character double productivity for a limited time, move faster for a limited time, be inspired in battle, that sort of thing.
Meanwhile, Personality could be a separate thing which has the chance to evolve over time based on character actions. Some possible examples:
- Every [insert unit of time] spent studying a new category “General Studies” at a bookshelf has a tiny chance to remove the Dumb personality trait. So do I take the dumb guy and just have him work the fields, or lose the productivity in the short term but have the chance to improve him later on? Similarly, a character who spends time in “General Studies” and isn’t Dumb has a chance of gaining the “Fast Learner” trait.
- Every time a colonist is knocked out in battle it has a small chance to produce a “Coward” trait which gives a significant mood debuff or damage reduction in battle. And every time a colonist wins a battle it has a small chance to remove the Coward trait or produce the Brave trait which gives a damage boost or a mood buff.
- Every minute that a colonist spends at a negative mood has a tiny chance to create the Pessimist debuff, while every minute a colonist spends at a positive mood has a small chance to remove Pessimist or create the Optimist buff.
- Every time a colonist has a Lazy Day, there’s a chance to gain the trait Lazy, which makes them work a little slower all the time. Lazy has a chance to be removed every time you spend Life Satisfaction points to increase work speed. And if you use Life Satisfaction points to increase work speed when the character doesn’t have the Lazy trait, there’s a chance to gain the Hard Worker trait, which makes them work a little faster all the time.
- Every day spent with an uncured illness or injury has a chance to give the trait Sickly, which reduced maximum health. Every day spent at full health with no injuries or illnesses has a tiny chance to remove Sickly or give the trait Healthy, which gives a small buff to maximum health.
And so on. The huge benefit to this is that characters will actually feel different over time, and their personalities and traits will become more distinct as the game progresses. Currently the opposite occurs.
I know this is a pretty wild idea, but I think it could be incredible if well implemented.
“Someday” Wishlist–Advanced Medicine
I’d love to see a more advanced doctoring system. Mainly, I’d love there to be “sickbeds” which are locked behind higher level research and give back more health per second than a standard bed, so that building “clinics” is mechanically supported rather than just an aesthetic choice. Similarly, upper level research could unlock the ability to cure ailments like “Limping” with operations performed on a patient in a sickbed. I also think that it would be neat if “splints” had to be created out of wood and were an actual item.
Ok, that’s more than enough from me for now. I hope this is welcome feedback and not just overwhelming nonsense. I really do mean what I said about loving this game already, as it is, even without any of the changes mentioned. I’ve been spending WAY too many hours playing it. (With Civ games it was always “one more turn,” with this it’s worse- “one more season…” and then it’s 4 AM.) It’s a genuine indie gem, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
[Minor edits for typos and clarity.]