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A More Developed Insulation and Heating System


Nootman
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I've mentioned this in previous forum posts before, but I believe that the current state of rooms is quite boring (as may be expected given how recently they've been added). They currently are perfectly warming in any climate and require very little setup to create, just a sealed box made of any kind of block meaning that the absolute peak of thermal insulation can be achieved in game once you obtain a saw. As such, I think there should be a more rigorous system in place that requires actual preparation for cold and hot temperatures.

General Adjustments

Insulation values

Sealing a room shouldn't be changed particularly much as earthen materials are actually quite effective at maintaining temperature, but ideally there would be changes to the ways in which insulation is calculated for certain blocks. The system of "insulating block faces" for chiselling would be changed such that any thickness of a plane of voxels separating the outside world and a room is considered insulating, but depending on the thickness of it it will insulate either fully or not at all which allows for thinner more decorative windows to be created which still provide reasonable levels of insulation.

Temperature Calculation Changes

At the moment, rooms exist as a sort of perfectly warm space that will heat the player up to the ideal body temperature even in the most bone chilling of climates. Instead of this system, rooms would have a defined temperature value which is ticked to change every second or so depending on current conditions. The colder it is outside and the less well insulated the room is, the faster the room will lose temperature and move towards the temperature of the outside. Heat sources inside of the room would no longer provide a defined area of heating but instead would gradually contribute to the heat of the room at a fixed rate. These fluctuations in the temperature of a room would be slower or faster depending on the size of the room as well, with larger rooms taking longer to cool and heat and smaller rooms taking less time to cool and heat.

Variable Door and Window Insulation

Certain types of doors would have better or worse insulation values than others, rough hewn doors would have terrible insulation, doors with windows in them would have alright insulation, and thick solid doors would be fully insulating. As well as this, there would be shutters that could provide significantly greater insulation to a window when closed but allow it to readily vent out when opened. The system would work by having shutters provide a large amount of insulation to the block behind where they are placed when closed as well as on the block where they are placed such that they could be easily placed over interior windows and closed and opened depending on the current temperature. Doors would operate in the same way, with heavier doors providing insulation for lighter doors that they are placed next to when closed.

Various doors from a recent devlog post, featured heavy doors and doors with windows.

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Shutters, closed and open

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Winter Changes

Heating and Ventilation

An essential component of keeping a room warm is a source of heat, often in the form of something being burnt. As burning things tends to produce smoke, there must be some sort of system to vent out this smoke so that you do not die. This was a system outlined in a previous post of mine where any fire in a room would slowly fill the room with smoke until it reached a lethal level at which the player would start rapidly dying from asphyxiation. Smoke levels will passively decay over time from dissipation through slight cracks in the walls, but this step could be completely circumvented by providing proper ventilation for the source of the smoke.

Cast iron stoves would have their output vents fed into stone chimneys which have access to open sky.

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Hearths would have stone chimneys directly above them, once again with access to open sky.

Hearth.thumb.png.bdb631a6a3707644caa5b58a8078be25.png

Heat sources such as fire pits and forges could also be ventilated with a chimney but would be less efficient at doing so compared to other more refined heating methods.

Good Roofing

A good, solid roof on a house is a necessary component of dealing with snowy conditions. A roof will distribute snow over a larger area and divert any melt away from the house and prevent it from leaking in and chilling the interior. As such, when there is a roof some amount of blocks over your head while in a room, there should be a benefit towards overall heat as well as a resistance to wetness that would normally be incurred if there was no roof and it was snowing or raining.

Summer Changes

Cooling and Ventilation

Summers can get incredibly hot, and one of the best ways to maintain a decent temperature throughout the day without the assistance of external cooling technology is to store cool air within the house during the night and allow rooms to cool off, and then during the day to close off circulation from the outside and stop sunlight from entering into the home through shutters or curtains. This process could also be aided through external cooling through something like ice, but such a solution cannot be fully relied upon and should be saved for more important things like cooling a cellar. As well as this, it may even be a good idea to open up a sunless side of the house in order to vent out excess heat that may be produced by cooking at a hearth or stove (or cooking can simply be done outside on a grill over a fire pit).

Cellar Ice

Hay and ice frozen into large blocks which can be placed and used as very effective passive cooling devices. Can either be used in well sealed homes to keep them cool during the summer or kept in cellars to keep food preserved for longer.

 

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