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Thatch Roof Smoke


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Grass roofing was popular in the age of the open flame for a variety of reasons amongst a variety of different cultures around the world, spanning from the ancient to the medieval periods until better materials, alternative methods of venting smoke, and stricter building codes within cities eventually usurped it from commonplace use; primarily in favour of slate in Europe during the early 1800s, where it quickly spread. However, this isn't to say that it is an unviable or even a bad method for covering a roof. One of the biggest reasons why exactly it was so popular is that thatch itself is a cheap, flexible, and available byproduct from farming that's partially breathable whilst also being a natural insulator, allowing for better temperature regulation no matter the climate. Additionally, thatch is lightweight and traps the oils and soot from wood as it burns and rises. This is vital to the longevity of the thatch since it allows for a more effective watershed, preventing mould and insects from damaging the roof.

Currently [as of 1.19.4rc], smoke is unable to pass through thatch, and instead is trapped inside. As mentioned above, while I'm sure this is doing a wonderful job at keeping the locusts and other insects from infesting our homes, it is a bit of a shame that I'm always stuck searching for ways in the early game to construct interesting and believable dwellings that allow for smoke to leave in some fashion, whilst also keeping my insulation values in check. Mostly so the roar of the recently added [and quite lovely] new storms doesn't drive me insane... [Speaking of, the latest updates have also restricted most, if not all of the solutions I had for early game windows. Currently, the only one left standing is to position the rough stick door so that it catches the most light at sunset, but this is a topic for a different suggestion.]


1. Allow for smoke to pass through while blocking other particles.

I might be wrong, but as the particle system and engine progress, I feel like this would be the hardest to keep working properly. It's also more or less a bandaid fix for a nitpicky 'problem', if this can be called that.

2a. Add a more robust way for thatch and smoke to interact.

How would this work? For a start, we have our fire pit—noble, humble, goes all burny when we need it to on those cold vintage story nights—and the smoke, of which, goes directly up in the absence of wind in an insulated home. My idea is that thatch could [theoretically] be made to check if there is an unobstructed active or smouldering fire pit within 3-to-7 [or something?] blocks below where the roof block is placed. Then, after confirming the firepit is still active [or smouldering], the thatch roof directly above would begin emitting amounts of smoke equal to the current state of the firepit, and other roof tiles in a radius that are connected to it could be told to do the same thing. [This could also be applied to torches to a far lesser extent.]

So, as the smoke particles dissipate indoors, we now have the illusion that it's smoking the thatch as we would expect and exiting out the other side so we can breathe all that lovely, non-lethal air.

2b. Do the same as 2a, but inverse.

tldr; make the firepit check what is above it.


Currently, you can make chiselled chimneys by "funnelling" smoke up through hollowed-out blocks, but this doesn't work very well, and will [on most occasions] break insulation values. With 2a & 2b, it could be a perfect stepping stone for making specific 'vent' or 'flue' blocks in the future, and could also open possibilities for gasses to become a part of Vintage Story's sandbox; for example with mining—think dust or poisonous gasses—and industrial revolution scale manufacturing if we ever get that far, be it mods or base game...

[A system like this could also facilitate in-depth roof maintenance mechanics, though I know not everyone would enjoy that level of busywork.]


This isn't a high priority, and I'm not expecting it to be implemented any time soon [if ever, unless the devs or a modder thinks it's neat], but I think it could add some additional depth to an already incredibly cosy atmosphere within a wonderful game.

Also, if you feel like you have a better solution than any of the ideas I had, feel free to expand on the suggestion since mine aren't perfect and there's likely room for improvement.

Edited by Awry
Cleaned up sleep-deprived wordings, added additional context, hopefully improved clarity.
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