Hey folks, Jon here and today we're delving into housing. In traditional RTS games buildings are seen as almost an extension of a tech tree – a method with which to gate access to higher tier units or constructions. In Lithic, knowledge is held on a per character basis (more about that in next week's blog!), so using buildings in a way that contradicts this would be counter-intuitive to our design ethos.
So how does housing work in Lithic?
In Lithic, dwellings represents a character's home, much like ours do in real life. They're individual and we decorate them to reflect our personality and cultural beliefs. Characters in Lithic do much the same thing, decorating their home as they see fit. This decoration develops as the characters do, adding to their home's decoration – or indeed rebuilding it – as they advance technologically and culturally.
The decoration itself can't be chosen by the player, as it's a reflection of individual character personality. However the way the player interacts with the tribe reflects on their personalities and may indirectly change the way a particular tribe member chooses to decorate their dwelling.
As tribe members gain access to new technology through personal learning, word of mouth and practice they will eventually discover better ways to build their homes, completely changing the way the building looks, for example in the late game the Hu-aan can develop mud-brick huts, a far cry from the small lean-to they were living in at the start of the game. We split the idea of this advancement into “modes”.
As the design of housing changes, so do the way the tribe think of them. Early game dwellings are seen as temporary places to gain some protection from predators and the elements overnight, but as the tribe starts to settle in an area for a long period of time they might develop the idea of housing as a much more personal thing, something that is more than a shelter. To this end a character who is particular fond of fine stonework might make an addition to their house where they have space to effectively work stone, keeping a supply of the bits and pieces they need and allowing them to focus on their craft. Gameplay-wise, the progression breaks down like this:
Mode 1: Simple dwelling.
Mode 2: dwelling + 1 additional slot.
Mode 3: dwelling + 2 additional slots.
Mode 4: dwelling + 3 additional slots.
The additional slots themselves each contain one of several things including shrines, tanning racks and workshops amongst others.
Different races view housing differently, the above paragraphs have mostly referenced the way the Hu-Aan advance, the other races develop differently, for example the Lit-Aan build their houses around trees and are much more likely to utilise fine decoration and display their own skill on their dwellings. On the other hand, the Hob-Aan sleep as a group in a single dwelling, so they build their extras around the outside of their sleeping area with little regard for personal belongings – meaning that they share what they build instead of guarding it jealously as the Lit-Aan would.
So there you have it, a brief insight into the plans for character housing and buildings, there's more to be said on the subject but I think that it's best left for another blog post! As always thanks for reading and your questions can be directed to our Forum or the Lithic Twitter account where we'll be more than happy to chat with you.