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Advanced Smelting and Casting

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Feedback' started by MorshuArtsInc, Dec 9, 2017.

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  1. MorshuArtsInc

    MorshuArtsInc Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    218
    Greetings, dear engineerkin.
    I recently read a suggestion by Leadfootslim about mechanical bellows (Mechanical Bellows (For Steel and/or faster Furnaces)) and thought:
    Why stop there?
    So I spent several hours of drawing and researching, and this is the result:

    Some further details:
    • Unlike the regular furnace, the blast furnace is a large grid multiblock structure similar to long slopes or large round walls, two blocks for the actual furnace and one at the side for the channel.
    • It should be the only method to produce steel, like the forge is the only way to process it.
    • Apart from that, it should have a slightly higher output than the regular furnace.
    • It can run without the powered bellows, but is much slower without it (maybe even a tad slower than the regular furnace), and has a lower item capacity. This means you can research and produce steel items without having to have researched advanced mechanics first.
    • The bellows should be able to be placed on all the remaining sides of the bottom part.
    • Instead of directly outputting its pruducts inside its UI, it just smelts the inputted ores, tools and ingots until they are liquid (only one type of metal at a time!)
    • As soon as the wished metal is molten, you can open the lid (or whatever you call it) to the channel by activating it. A little animation plays, with the lid shifting upwards, a "sausage" of molten metal appearing for a time equivalating the amount of metal that is required to fill the mould (simulating flowing metal), and the lid closing after the metal sausage has disappeared.
    • If there is molten metal inside, it constantly needs to be heated. If the fire goes out too soon, the metal becomes hard again after a short time and the blast furnace is rendered useless until it gets properly fired again.
    • Because of that, it should have a bigger fuel capacity than other fueled devices.
    • While a fire is lit inside the furnace, smoke emerges from the top.
    • The small grid moulds can be crafted at the regular crafting station with clay and the item you want as an output, e.g. one or more ingots, with a maximum of eight ingots per mould or so. After that, they're hardened at the kiln.
    • They can simply be placed exactly below the blast furnaces channel, and have a take-only inventory.
    • The large grid moulds however are directly build underneath the channel, using clay, dirt, and a (wax)model of the workpiece.
    • The model is created at a special modeling table.
    • Creating the large moulds and the modeling table need to be researched after the Advanced Mechanics research (because without the bellows, you won't even be able to smelt a sufficient amount of metal).
    • After the mould has been filled, the workpiece can be retrieved by deconstructing the mould.
    I hope you take adding the mentioned mechanics to the game into consideration, I put much time, love and effort in this thread.
     
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  2. Thermonuklear

    Thermonuklear Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    615
    If the subject piqued any deeper interest, I suggest reading Alan Williams' book "The Knight And The Blast Furnace". I also suggest asking your library/ILL since the book costs over 300$ bought. :D
    ---
    Metalworking is a tricky subject to gamify(is that even a word).
    ME has that faint feeling of scientific plausibility, so following historic reality(to an extent) is a must. I honestly can't stand any more Hollywood tropes and clich├ęs concerning smelting and smithing. Then again everything has to be simplified/streamlined enough to not become a niche hobbyist's fetish game.
    But stuff that's fun in RL won't translate well into a limited game environment... And visa versa. I actually had fun with a small indie game where you had to fill in tax forms.
     
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  3. MorshuArtsInc

    MorshuArtsInc Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    218
    I tried to make it as viable as possible, but you're right, "gamifying" historical technology while maintaining historical accuracy is quite hard. What I depicted here is a rather simplified version of a high to late medieval blast furnace which were first used in Switzerland and Sweden in the 1200s. If we were to be absolutely historically correct, we would also need water-powered hammer mills, and our metals (especially iron) would probably not just cast into nice shiny ingots in moulds, but rather some sort of metal sponge ("blooms") in a furrow in the dirt, which would be compacted and freed from slag and other impurities by hammering with a sledge hammer and/or said hammer mills.
    Seeing hammer mills in ME would be nice, but I cannot think of any real use for them (and they would especially not be powered by water wheels).
    If we look further than medieval Europe, things are a bit different. The Chinese had complex water powered bellows and huge blast furnaces as early as at least the first century AD. The Japanese had (and have) the tatara, which is designed as a huge clay tub rather than a tower-like structure, which produces the "glorious Nippon steel" (which is actually not any more glorious than most other types of steel) used for katanas (although I'm not sure since when they have used this technique, might be post-medieval as well). The Indians and Arabs produced sought-after crucible steel called Wootz or Damascus steel.
     
  4. Thermonuklear

    Thermonuklear Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    615
    Make no mistake, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your ideas. Sorry if I came off otherwise.

    I wouldn't mind having a bloomery with NPCs swinging their mallets at the bloom, then refining the wrought into blister or crucible steel in their respective processes... Drool...

    Simulating the workforce is the biggest thing here; working alone is solely a 1900s thing. Maybe we could have "puppets" instead of actual NPCs shoveling charcoal, working the bellows, hammering on the bloom, etc. A bit like Fortresscraft Evolved production line, just replace the machines with workers. But that's quite far from what was originally discussed here :D
     
  5. MorshuArtsInc

    MorshuArtsInc Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    218
    I hope they'll re-implement servants some day. And maybe make them a bit smarter than they used to. Maybe some men-at-arms as well, so we'd need to produce more tools and weapons. But that's a story for another day.
    Imagine Medieval engineers evolves to Early Industrial Engineers: Child workers, tiny apartments, poor working conditions, rural exodus, terrible accidents, terrible payment, overpopulation, poverty, epidemics, rise of communism, bloody revolutions...
    I'd like that.:carlton:Although I'm quite sure no game engine could take that at the moment.
     
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  6. RockahD91

    RockahD91 Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    44
    This actually looks really neat! well done on the illustration. Why not have both NPC workers and this?
     
  7. MorshuArtsInc

    MorshuArtsInc Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    218
    Thanks! Took me a day or so.
    Yeah, NPC workers would be nice, but I suppose this will be in the next major update, and this update is all about mechanics, so I think we would probably get this one first (if they were actually to implement my idea). So short term: Probably not both, but long term: OH HELL YEAH!
     
  8. torgo

    torgo Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    188
    NPC workers don't need to be physical, they can be abstract.
    You pay a set amount to hire a person. The amount can vary based on what skills that NPC possesses.
    You then assign a job, like gather __ sticks, or large stones, or iron ore, and that NPC disappears and the process starts. After a length of time determined by the skill of the NPC and the amount of resource requested, the NPC reappears with an inventory of that resource.

    Graphically, you'd only need a static model. The inventory system already exists, so it becomes a math problem.

    Using vanilla components, you'd pay the NPC in food. Having a hired NPC that was not assigned a task would also cost food.
     
  9. RockahD91

    RockahD91 Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    44
    dont they need to be physical so you could pay them? (hold F on them for interaction). Or have their beds as pay block?
    But maybe you mean the stuff they gather is put in their inventory just by coding, not that they actually walk around and pick up stuff or mine physically? (like in Elder Scrolls online, where you unlocked a servant who sends you a message with stuff attached in your inbox when you log in every 24 or 12 hours)
    But I think that is for another AI specific topic
     
  10. MorshuArtsInc

    MorshuArtsInc Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    218
    The thing with the static NPCs would be a huge step back, considering we already had working servants that could clumsily mine, cut trees, and carry stuff to a certain destination (marked with special flags). They were removed quite a while ago, when earth was still flat. I don't remember when exactly though. Sometime in June 2016, I had a small world I played together with a friend, in which we had some carrier and woodcutter servants, so it must have been sometime after that.
    The woodcutters did a pretty good job, the carriers kind of, and the miners... well, let's say it varied. All of them had in common that they died quite a lot, which was generally easier back then. No wonder they were temporarily removed from the game.
     
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  11. RockahD91

    RockahD91 Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    44
    For the miner AI i think Keen should create some sort of voxel tool with which I could ''draw'' the spots where they may dig
     
  12. TheBoot

    TheBoot Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    168
    STORI3DPAST had a mod in 0.5x that was basically a virtual woodsman. The block looks like a large wood stockpile with a table counter. You "pay" the woodsman by crafting wood-cutter loot bags. A low end one that will get you 3 logs or a high-end one that'll get you 15. The stockpile would slowly fill up after you "paid". It was a great idea. I used it when I was building in an area that didn't have nearby trees. I think it could also be adapted for virtual stonecutters as well. So virtual NPC workers can be accomplished and work well.
     
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  13. MorshuArtsInc

    MorshuArtsInc Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    218
    Fellas, we got a bit off topic.
     
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  14. Thermonuklear

    Thermonuklear Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    615
    Never ever bring up NPCs if you wanna stick to topic, it seems.
    Volumetric liquid metals ftw! Hey, at least it's closer...
     
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  15. MorshuArtsInc

    MorshuArtsInc Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    218
    Never ever bring up liquids if you want your idea implemented by Keen :woot:
    But seriously, I think my solution for the animation should be sufficient and somewhat more performant.
     
  16. MorshuArtsInc

    MorshuArtsInc Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    218
    So I've been casually browsing through the game's assets lately, and made a quite interesting discovery in the Icons folder...
    [​IMG]

    It seems I am not the only one that thinks casting would be a nice idea... And that I was actually kinda late with my suggestion. :p I feel dumb now. But also SUPER EXCITED!:pbjt:
    But now is not the time to think about such things. Keen is quite busy with fixing nasty bugs right now, and I highly appreciate they're putting their energy into that first before implementing new features.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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