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September 18, 2013 | Dukus | 90 Comments

CemeteryI'm waiting for a full clean build to complete, so I thought I'd take a second to talk about cemeteries. Since the last gameplay video I've gotten quite a few questions and seen a bit of speculation regarding their use. Here's how they work.
The player can place a cemetery of variable size anywhere it fits. When townsfolk die, if there is space in a cemetery a grave will appear. If a spot is available the family of the person that died won't be as sad. If there are no cemeteries, they'll be much sadder for a while, but they'll head back toward normal happiness after a few years.
The townsfolk like to visit places of interest in their idle time, and the cemetery is one of these. People that live near a cemetery also get a happiness boost.
Tombstones eventually decay and disappear after a generation or so. This allows reuse of graves. Otherwise a town would be covered by cemeteries by the time 10 generations go by.
Unlike other structures, if you destroy a cemetery, the walls around it will be taken down - but the tombstones won't disappear. The citizens don't want to just tear apart graves so they can build homes and other buildings on top of them. The player has to wait for the natural decay of the tombstones before that space can be utilized for something else.

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90 comments on “Cemeteries”

  1. While I do like the idea of a 'living' (sorry for the bad pun) cemetary. I personally do not like the idea of a much sadder familie if you don't have one.

    I might suggest implementing something like cremation site where they can send of their relatives as an alternative (I know feature creep)

    That just is my opinion.
    Love looks of the game so far.

  2. I really love reading theese, it's super inspiring to me, as i just started learning programming myself.

  3. I can't handle this "daily" posts, my brain is not processing well. Going crazyyyyyyyyyyy 😀 . We got used to get news from you from time to time. (plz don't stop?)

  4. You are KILLING me with updates. I cannot take it.... SELL ME THE GAME!!

    AAAAARRRGGHHHHH. I find myself rewatching vids you've sent.

    Absolutely DYING to get my hands on this!

  5. Love these updates, so eager to play now.
    Although Cemeteries raise happiness being able to bury their loved ones.

    Building houses near them should bring a negative effect, I mean, I can't see living next to a cemetery being something I would be happy about. (especially the smell!)

  6. I hope the game will be as good as it appears. I can't wait :). I really like the cemeteries, thanks for the explanation of how they work!

  7. I love how well thought out every little thing you do seems to be. Really impressed at how the cemetaries work as well. Just like the others, I can't wait to get to try this game. I really hope you will consider, if this game turns out to be really well liked by gamers once it comes out, those expansions you were thinking about, because from the sound of it "more of this game" is pretty much what I'd want.

    Great job, and keep it up!

  8. I agree with @Pieter Van Eeckhout. Some other options like cremation would be nice. But also, as @Pieter Van Eeckhout points out, feature creep.

    Really enjoying the posts, great getting a view of what you're doing.

    Looking forward to getting the game.

  9. That's a nice detail. Altough I'm not sure I'd be happier to live close to cemetery. Also, that would mean you now want to build it in the middle of the town, for max effect.

  10. That's a really great and interesting feature to have. I like it. You're really doing well in the details you're adding to the game. Keep it up.

  11. It's a minor thing but the smokes from the chimneys are too similar. Maybe you could add more smoke intensity on productive buildings like blacksmith and such. Houses should have varying level smokes coming out their chimneys but during the night or winter the intensity increases. Adds a bit of realism to it. Anyway can't wait to play it!

  12. What attention to detail! You have a powerful imagination, my friend. Thanks for the updates! I watch this site like a hawk. I have some nice, freshly-printed American dollars for you if you ever care to make a trade... 🙂

  13. Nice feature, I don't think I've ever played a game that had goodness to gosh cemeteries! Love the concept! Keep up the good work.

  14. Wow, awesome to hear all the recent updates.
    Now that you are near the end of the bug list, I am guessing you are starting to do balancing and testing? Or is "feature creep" knocking on the door again?

  15. Really enjoying the updates. My son and I sit and read/watch them together. We're both looking forward to the game.

    The cemetery feature is great. Someone mentioned a cremation facility which is a good idea. (for an expansion) I may go with funeral pyre instead. Or maybe floating their body in a boat down the river a la Boromir in Lord of the Rings.

    Curious about bad people. Will there be thieves stealing food for instance? And if so, law enforcement & jail? Maybe something planned for a future expansion as well. Was just curious.

    Really enjoy reading about how you are putting everything together. Fantastic updates...keep up the great work!

  16. I am not sure about this one. In what way this mechanic provide fun? Stop adding stuff and release the gaim already!!!! 😉

  17. "People that live near a cemetery also get a happiness boost."
    I'm not sure how good this is. I wouldn't want to live near cemetery myself... unless you're talking people that had someone in family die, if they're close to cemetery that means they can reach their graves faster, that's quite okay, but if they haven't lost anyone i'd rather make it lose happiness.

  18. I love the idea of the cemeterys! Though I disagree with the people saying that they should have a detrimental effect.

    One thing though - you say that they won't want to build on the tombstones and that you have to wait til they decay before they'll do that - what happens if in between then someone dies? Will a new tombstone appear and then you have to wait for that to disappear as well?

    Also @ the person saying the the graveyards should be more like B&W...no, they shouldn't, the art style seems medieval thus Christian style cemetery's is the logical choice to go for.

  19. What if there was a chance for a storm to destroy graves, diminishing happiness? Or a full graveyard making people extra angry: "It's right there! Mildred died a hundred years ago! Who's going to miss her!"
    Also, @Pinga, my workplace is right next to a cemetary. It's nice!

  20. @Aneszej: Actually land values near cemeteries tend to be higher. I myself would be glad to live in the vicinity of one. You got to remember in some cultures people put ash pyres on pedestals/fireplaces. All in all im incredibly pleased by this post and makes me even more excited for this game

  21. This is quiet interesting, A good amount of thought went into the graveyards, Suggestions: Graveyards that use Iron Fences; While visiting the graveyard citizens could place flours; Other than that, The Graveyard is a great gameplay feature

  22. Will there be funerals?

    For instance if more than x number of people die during a specific time the entire town halts production and comes out to the cemetery.

  23. This is totally off topic: Will there be mass disease, Could something like the bubonic plague come into play?

  24. How will you be publishing the game? All of the city builders that I play all end up being about combat when I am actually looking for this. Please release a pre-order or at least an early access alpha or something so that I can give you my money. Please. We (I am sure that the rest of the people reading this will agree with me) really want to support this game.

  25. I would go into combat in real life in order to get a city-builder game of this quality without combat. LOL

    Can't we all just get along?

  26. Nice! Love reading those updates

    One question though, why would people living next to a cemetery get a 'happiness' bonus? I understand it won't make them sad, but living next to a cemetery

  27. Nice! Love reading those updates

    One question though, why would people living next to a cemetery get a 'happiness' bonus? I understand it won't make them sad, but living next to a cemetery won't exactly up my happiness

  28. Amazing job so far, looking forward to release! I agree with other comments about grieving taking months not years, but I guess that depends on the scale of time. Keep up the great work!

  29. love this idea. and what about hygiene... if the town do not has a cemetery, the illness factor will go higher - or even pest... because bodies wont be properly buried. what do you think?

  30. I enjoy reading all your updates since I found your blog in February of this year, I really like reading about the steps your work takes. I also agree with the others that I can hardly wait buying your game, paying and, of course, playing your fatantastic piece of work!

    On the other hand, I'd like to say to you: Don't be pressurized! I prefer a good working and well bug-fixed game with many useful features for which I have to wait some months longer than ...the opposite.

    Thanks so much for your exciting posts here!

    Loic from France.

  31. Three updates the week ? I like it!

    I like the idea with the Cemeteries can we see the name of the Person on the stone who died?

    And what is if we had much deaths because of a storm or so then i have to build another Cemeterie that there is enough space ?

  32. Can i suggest something? cattle produces fertilizer to use in fields, and wheat and mais can be used to feed cattle for a better growth

  33. Really nice to see all these daily updates !! You do a great job, I'm really impatient to play at your game!

  34. Come on you guys, stop giving him ideas to write into the game he will add them you know as his attention to detail is immaculate, whilst all your ideas would certainly make the game more enjoyable to play but, will take him much longer to implement and release the game, so stop it already lol
    By the way- Love the cemetary idea. 🙂

  35. The idea of the decaying of the cemetaries is great, one would end up with hundreds of graves that need all the space for houses later.

  36. Wow...what a concept. I'm still chomping at the bit for this. But please...carry on sir. It can only get better.

  37. I noticed in the videos that all the people walk the same speed, it would be so much more immersive to watch if there was some variation in this. I'm not sure which would be simpler to code but two options might be randomly picking between several speeds, or since people get old and die naturally there must be an age modifier that could be tied to walk speed in an arc value.

    Kids run fast, then adults walk at a slightly reduced speed, then older people walk slower. This would make an aging, declining population even more noticeable.

  38. I think its awesome that you can't just bulldoze a cemetery site at will. It has a cultural cost and an actual physical cost.

  39. good update! love the detail going into the game. seriously "take my money"!

    those complaining that cemeteries should have a negative effect on houses are dead (puns!) wrong. my childhood home was only a few houses down from a cemetery; it was perhaps one of the most peaceful places in the whole town. quite, well tended, birds, flowers etc. and a real sense of history, it was fascinating to walk around the oldest parts and read the big tall tombstones, you could see where some of the oldest family's in town came from.
    the next sunny day that comes up I would strongly recommend a walk around your local plots, it will open up a whole new understanding of the place.

  40. Stuff like this is what takes this game apart from others. You've gone into detail like that, that others just wouldn't have bothered with... kudos.

    Keep the daily posts coming, really enjoying them.

  41. Damnit I forgot to ask my question...

    Regarding the tombstones, what dictates which one is used, is it random or does their occupation have anything to say? I'm still assuming everyone has equal monetary value right? Looks good!

  42. "The player has to wait for the natural decay of the tombstones before that space can be utilized for something else."

    Will that space be haunted by ghosts of the passed souls 🙂

  43. I agree about the comments on pre-ordering. No matter how this turns out I am going to buy this game. I'd gladly pay you now for something I'll get in 2014.

  44. Wow can't wait. The mention of waiting for a clean build does give hope can't wait for its release.

    People should not be happy about living near a cemetary. Do whatever through no big deal

  45. The whole "happy about living next to a cemetery" thing is a little weird. Most people in real life I think don't want to live next to one, unless they're just really morbid.

  46. This gave me an ideia (feature creep) for a "disaster" kind of event.

    If you destroy the Cemetary, and build houses or work places of it before the generation cycle ends, the building would get haunted. And this create a Happiness problem with the people living or working there.
    And to release the haunting soul, you need to send a priest there to "bless" the house.

  47. If it takes years for the tombstones to decay the body's under them would to, thus making the ground more fertile, so if you reused it as a farm it should increase yield?? 😀

    Anyway, love your game and take my money already!!

  48. Living next to a cemetary in a town or city is different from living next to a cemetary that's part of a small developing community. Chances are, the people buried there are old relatives and people you knew, people who, if they were still around, would want to see the community continue to thrive. As such, these cemetaries don't have the ominous fear that comes from the unknown but rather a comforting feel.

    Now release the damn game!

  49. I once lived in an apartment where my bedroom overlooked a graveyard. It was very peaceful. 🙂

  50. Nice idea. Making a graveyard central to village/small town life certainly fits with traditional Christian settlements. On a game balance front it needs that positive reward of producing higher happiness to counterbalance the loss of otherwise productive land too.

    Perhaps this is an idea that could be developed in future expansions? Your culture would dictate whether burial, funeral pyre or being left exposed on a plinth (to name just three options) would be the preferred method for your village. All options will have their own costs.

  51. Will you be putting this on Desura or a similar service? Or GoG, maybe? Both are pretty good platforms for getting it out there.

    Also will you be able to mark certain graves as special, or have crypts/ossuaries? For like some grand hero of your village who died saving the rest from wolves, a la dorf fort.

  52. The graveyard looks great and I really like the way it's implemented.

    As a sidenote, real cemeteries are usually built on high ground and away from running water. This is to prevent the ground water from flooding the freshly-dug graves before they're "occupied".

    Distance from the river affecting graves would be an interesting mechanic to have in some later version.

  53. This game looks amazing! I just came across it and already can't wait to play it. The detail and the graphics are superb. I don't usually get that excited about games, but this looks exactly like the type of game I enjoy.

  54. I simply love the way you go for perfection and just tune the details like crop management regarding diversity to prevent diseases and so on.
    I guess I feel like any other following your work, I simply can't wait to play this game and tell you back how wonderful the game experience is.
    When do you think the game will reach maturity for the release?

  55. Is the game being coded in a way that people could mod it? That would be the best solution to feature creep. The best ideas can be loaded into an existing game, such as house designs, tombstones, etc and the ones people want they can install.

  56. I just discovered this game today, and I wanted to say best of luck to the developer! You can count me as a will-buy on release day... assuming you don't let me buy a beta first!

  57. Hello! A couple of things:

    Firstly, I think there should be another option to deal with a dead family member, perhaps cremation which would use wood and perhaps risk spreading fire, or something else of that nature.

    Secondly, I don't think people should get a happiness /boost/ for living next to a cemetery. Perhaps it's just me, but I know I wouldn't be happy to live near one. Even if my family was buried there and I visited them every day, I wouldn't want to live near one, it'd just be creepy.

    Obviously, it is your game, so you can do as you please, these are just some suggestion from someone looking forward to the final release of the game.

  58. My ideas: maybe we would build an ossuary what is "stores" death people and more space than cemetries but it has slower dissapear rate and maybe not provide happines.

  59. I think the cemeteries are impressive enough as they have been described. Saying "it should do this" and "it should affect that" seems arbitrary.

  60. Graves seem like a reasonable addition to the game. It's good to see the game has been given a bit more steam (from our end that is). If i may ask a question or two:
    What percentage would you say the game is at; and
    how satisfied are you with it thus far?

    I'm very excited about how it is progressing and was curious as to what stage you thought it was up to.


  61. I really don't like this idea. It seem too complicated. For example, if I were to go for a all nature build I wouldn't be able to. I have to mine rocks and clear forest to build the cemetery. That aside, the only way to clear tombstone is to wait. That just seem too forceful to have a system like this. It is not like I can not have a grave yard, cause like you said the people will be sad for years. I can't have my towns folk be like that. Please reconsider.

  62. What about a choice of cremation or funeral pyres? Families can be happy, (well sort of..I don't think of death and happy in the same thought) and scatter their loved ones ashes and not be bound by large cemeteries. Just my two cents..
    Game looks great! I can hardly wait to throw my money at you.

  63. I hope the final game has a law system with watchmen, courthouse, jail, and (optional) gallows. A small old timey town is not complete without a courthouse, prison, and gallows.

  64. A Law & Order expansion might be nice, as well as funeral pyres and river funerals, but let's just let development take it's course so we can get our hands on SOMETHING.

  65. Is it just me or are those headstones pretty huge for a small colonial era village? Maybe the plots would take up less space if the headstones were smaller to match the townspeople scale.

  66. I think the whole thing looks good. But I definitely think that there should be some effects like disease coming from graves or bodies - something like historical reality in there. The Happiness VS. unhappiness thing... hard to say, there are a lot of good points on both sides, although my initial reaction was "Happy to live by a Graveyard? IMPOSSIBRU!" Yes I agree with some people saying it would be peaceful, and historically educational or interesting. but still, firs instinct is "Don't wanna live by one" either way, I like it, and I hope you release soon, my Birthday is coming up. 😉

  67. @Arthaius

    The idea of a graveyard was historically to combat diseases. There were a large amount of diseases coming from the dead people before they decided to set up graveyards. Burying people prevents any disease.

    Like many, I thought I wouldn't live by a graveyard. However, like others said, I think people had a different feeling about graveyards back in the time when everyone lived in villages, where everyone knew everyone. I think he is spot on with the idea.

  68. Concerning the city being covered with cemetaries after 10 generations, why not include the possibilities of having the bodies of the deceased burned and add the possibility of urns for the burned body.

    Maybe it sounds far faetched, but I see a this as an alternative to having to many cemetaries in a town.

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