Thoughts aloud on storage

Why do we ever need storages? Every extra resource spending its time in storage is just dead weight. Even worse, every time resource gets brought to and then taken from storage costs extra time and needs some unit to perform. In efficient economy resources get converted to target product continuously.

Why do we still need storages?

  • Firstly we need them for startup resources. Self-sustained town is our goal, but we still have to start somewhere. Growing a town from just a “seed” is a great fun.
  • Buffering. No matter how good and balanced the town production chains are, there are still times when resource production is stalling (e.g. when worker goes to eat). For these cases we need to keep supply busy and temporarily buffer resources somewhere – up to 5 items fits in each house, for more, additional storage is needed.
  • Avoiding running costs of resulting products. Army is a product of economy in RTS games. Unlike many other games, Knights Province army has a running cost – it needs food. Keeping army in “disassembled” state, in form of warfare and not trained recruits saves us food.

Now let’s see how Knights Province handles that:

  • Camp is a startup resources storage – it holds just the bare minimum to get the townbuilding up and running. Providing buffering for early resources.
  • Each house is a small storage in itself, with up to 5 resources in input and output.
  • Store is a pure buffer – it smooths out resources production and consumption flow of advances wares.
  • Fort and Barracks are resource storages. They hold resources ready to be transformed into warriors.

Could we do better than that? What other kinds of storages we could use?

  • Wagon is a mobile/bonus/pickup storage. Basic form is already implemented. Further development might allow for wares transportation by players command (e.g. PvP trade).
  • Resources laying on ground, that could be picked up by serfs. This is actually pretty interesting idea that allows for building a town from scratch. Resources could be brought to roads/houses building sites in advance without being lost. Serfs could lay down unneeded wares on ground instead of throwing them away them. Some interesting dynamic script mechanics could appear (e.g. wares spawn in the center of the map and players must compete to collect them with Serfs or Wagons.
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5 Responses to Thoughts aloud on storage

  1. Mirathrim says:

    You can always try Settlers 3/4 approach: All buildings hahe a limit storage, but you can build additional stockpiles with limited space and designate which resources you want there. That way you can hoard something that can be useful in large supply like food for example.

  2. Kyron says:

    The idea of storage in just about any game is to increase inertia in your system.
    The larger the storage you have the longer it takes to fill up but also the longer it takes to empty out.

    Imagine a basic “wheat farm” -> “mill” – > “bakery” setup for instance.
    With no storage, as soon as the farm runs out of wheat, both the mill and the bakery stop working. But if there’s storage for wheat and flour and both the farm and the mill can produce more than the next one in the line can make, storage will start to fill up.
    After that, if the farm runs out of wheat, the mill can still run for a while and the same for the next level.

    The idea is that every building you have stopped is detrimental to your economy, storage mitigates that and helps reduce the impact of any incident on lower levels of production that force them to stop.

  3. Ozan says:

    I quite like Settlers IV too, but I think the storage system in that series wouldn’t be transferred to KP because a limited capacity storage means storages spawning all over your town, taking up much needed space, not addressing the issues we want to solve, and an eyesore to look at. And, goods lying on the soil wouldn’t fit to road-bounded Serf system KP uses. Will I build roads just to pick up two logs and stones, which will then be never used again?

    I wonder what would happen if you give all buildings unlimited storage capacity – i.e. a farmer collects wheat till the end. By removing storage completely from the game, you would save enormous time and labour of your Serfs, as well as marginally increase your overall productivity due to less travel of goods. Instead of wheat->storage->mill, it is now always wheat->mill. This is something you are wondering in your post. However, such opportunity to player should come with its limitation if we want to stay true to KP (and K&M) spirit – that is there is balance in everything. KP does not have building cost as used in Anno or CIV series, but perhaps we can tweak productivity rate? A farmer with empty storage has higher productivity level than the one with, say, a hundred wheat. So you have an option to expand your production by building more mills so that your wheat won’t be lying idly in your storage, or produce at a lesser rate and put yourself at a risk compared to your opponents. This scenario would push player to expand its town continuously, which is itself again a risky and much deliberation required strategy. In overall, this would be marginally faster beginnings in the game due to increased productivity and freed labour, and faster end games at later stages in the game due to pressure to expand your town. Rather than hoarding goods in your fixed town, a better town planning skills would be required to balance production, expansion, and land use. A bigger town also means longer journeys for Serfs too, so it would make town planning aspect in this game more tactical and strategic.

    This scenario almost immediately makes the Storage Building redundant except perhaps for two cases: first, at the start you need resources to begin building and expanding, and second, you may want to demolish a building (e.g. because it’s in war zone, to open up some space, etc.) and want to keep its goods. If enemy combatants destroy your building all your goods would be gone too, so it might be a good idea to transfer goods to somewhere safer. A wagon, mobile cart that is carried by one or two, or even five, ten, Serfs, could address both problems. You can start with a wagon filled with basic resources and order your serfs to unload or load it when war knocks your door. And, since a wagon too is a good opportunity to player, its limitation would be it has to be carried by at least a few (e.g. five) settlers.

    • Krom says:

      Hi,
      Thanks for so lengthy comment!

      Above post is more about “Hmm.. What storages are there and why? Oh, there’s another one type which could really benefit the game – stockpiles”.
      Stockpiles aren’t meant to replace existing storages, but to compliment them, bringing new gameplay mechanics into the game.

      I’m reckoning that unlimited storage would shallow the game. At the moment player needs to balance between supply and demand and camp/store “wares allowed in” flags. Hoarding goods is only beneficial for warfare as mentioned in the post.

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