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Lanterns, How should we make them? What metals and resources to use?


tony Liberatto
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I'm not sure I follow.  That's not really historical as far as I'm aware.  Unless you mean as solder?  Lead would be great for bullets if we ever get slings or guns, quenching of some metals in special recipes, babbitt for machinery, and batteries if we ever go steampunk.  Also probably alchemy.   I think lanterns would be better as brass or bronze, and could have different tiers that cast more light with the incorporation of silver and glass, which would tech them up a bit.  As opposed to lead which is stone-age, really.

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I was going to suggest that lanterns cost too much, but stopped myself thinking they shouldn't be too easy to make.

Gating them behind bronze rather than simple copper is probably a good idea, while reducing the currently absurd ingot cost. Maybe the recipe should be

Clear glass(or just clear quartz)

Torch

Bronze Bar

Glass itself should be a rather more difficult thing to aquire, there has been mention of glass blowing so I'm sure later the recipe for things involving glass can be a bit more complex.

Historically lead has been useful for tons of stuff, pewter specifically, but roof shingles, pipes, practically anything we currently make out of plastic might be made out of lead because of it's low casting temperature and malleability.

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Whatever the metal, I'd say they should have an actual smithing pattern eventually, rather than just bars.  It could be a pretty intricate and large pattern (a six-sided box with four sides having 'windows'), and take at least a second bar added in to complete.  I think it's useful to have them take quite a few bars, as it provides a use for copper (or bronze/brass) after you get to the iron age.  I'd really hope that maybe some day the game has more than two tiers of lighting.  Lanterns as a permanent light source could perhaps be pushed back to later, and some kind of refillable oil lamp could be inserted as a copper/bronze age long-term lamp.  If there were multiple fuel sources (rendered oil, alcohol, maybe even flax seed oil, though that's not strictly realistic) it would make it a much more viable light source.  I always thought it was ridiculous how difficult TFC made it to obtain olive oil.   I always preferred to simply skip it and go straight to lava, since I was so close to that tech anyway.  There's a lot of naturally derived burnable oils, and I think it might be a good impetus for the player to do some early mechanization, to press those things for oils.

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I always used the Decorations addon, it was a complex recipe requiring the smithing of the ingots to create the Lanterns.

One way or another I liked that we had different Lanterns depending on the metal used.

Right now we have Lanterns made of Copper, so they should be red. 

We so many metals in the game we could have many different colors and that adds to the overall effect of a building.

If we ever have an option to have Lanterns that produce more light I would prefer it is something of more technological nature. Imagine like you are just replacing the light bulb for a more strong one.

My point is that I do not want to see the lantern made of steel to give more light than the lantern made of copper. That just limits the color choice so, in the end, everyone that is wealth enough will be using the same color.

My idea is to have some kind of internal component that would determine the light output.

Let the different metals just show the personal taste of each player and how wealth they are.  

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3 hours ago, tony Liberatto said:

My point is that I do not want to see the lantern made of steel to give more light than the lantern made of copper. That just limits the color choice so, in the end, everyone that is wealth enough will be using the same color.

Right, so for instance when I suggested a silver plate for better lanterns, that's intended to suggest an interior polished piece of silver reflecting the light better.  It would be additional to the shell.  And requiring some glass is of course material neutral.   Technically a mirrored lantern would cast more light in 2 or 3 directions, and none in the others.  So they would be best used on walls, casting light away from the wall, rather than on poles lighting a large area.  But that's not really a necessary detail for the game. 

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Agree. That's exactly the way I think it should work. 

We would have a set of say 7 different Lanterns with the external color depending on the material used.

We could then have 3 different internal dispositive that would determine the light output.

having a silver lining or plate makes sense, also glass helps. 

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Wow, thank you guys for these awesome suggestions (especially the silver lining - I would have never thought of it myself)! Lantern recipe, as it is now, is indeed a placeholder and needs improving. I think I will proceed with textures right away! :x

It's a highly decorative block, so making it out of various metals would be epic win. B|

How about this. Each lantern requires:

  • 2 base metal plates for top and bottom (acquired by smithing),
  • 4 clear quartz (cheaper) or glass (more expensive, but also gives additional brightness)
  • candle (I will remake the model so that player can actually see what light source is inside).
  • including silver plate (optional) gives another brightness boost

Molybdochalkos - why not! Giving lead an early use is a good idea.

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Another way to enhance lanterns in ways of light and colour are by adding more materials.  I believe I suggested in my old ideas thread the addition of glowing mushrooms and crystals in underground caves.  This adds more variety to lighting as well as enhances the underground.  Mushrooms can be placed in decorative pots for interior lighting and crystals can be used in lanterns and as torches and chandeliers.  Would be cool if these objects were found in old underground ruins as a source of lighting for the previous residents.

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21 minutes ago, DMKW said:

Mushrooms can be placed in decorative pots for interior lighting and crystals can be used in lanterns and as torches and chandeliers.  Would be cool if these objects were found in old underground ruins as a source of lighting for the previous residents.

Ya those would definitely be sought after ruin loot.   The mushrooms would be maybe the light level of oil pots? 

6 hours ago, Saraty said:
  • 2 base metal plates for top and bottom (acquired by smithing),
  • 4 clear quartz (cheaper) or glass (more expensive, but also gives additional brightness)
  • candle (I will remake the model so that player can actually see what light source is inside).
  • including silver plate (optional) gives another brightness boost

Plates could be a way for sure.  I don't think we currently have a plate recipe going, but I'm assuming it'll take 2 ingots?   That'll make the lantern cost 4 ingots?

Or, a smithing pattern like so:

LanternPattern.png.6b10f5cbb9cb3430e0a38bf2148fd327.png

This recipe has 72 voxels (each voxel being 2x2 pixels in the image above) - I'm not sure how many we get per ingot, so I'm not sure how many ingots it would work out to be.  But one (perhaps the main) reason I suggest a complicated smithing pattern like this, is to provide a use for machinery down the road in speeding things up.  I purposely made this take the max area, but of course it could be shrunk down to reach the appropriate ingot cost if necessary.

So this is a bit beyond this topic, but for instance I'd envision down the road, there would be a roller mill.  With a roller mill, rather than smithing up a plate, you simply shift-click on it with ingots, and it slowly flattens them out, outputting sheets.  So it takes the player work out of making sheets, at the cost of being slower than the player (and fuel) but the advantage that it's automatic and the player doesn't have to smith each sheet.

Then, there would be a stamping mill.  You have to make a die for what you want the stamping mill to output, and this requires a special metal allow that is very hard, but then with the die in place, you can just shift-click sheets into it, and it starts slowly outputting the finished part - for instance this lantern part.    If you want to simplify it further you could just let the player put ingots in the stamping mill, and output the part.  If quality makes it into the game, the stamping die is a quality dependent item, and the outputted final product is a direct result of the quality of the die. 

So the idea is, you let the player make the lanterns early on - as early as the material requirements allow.  But because the above pattern is pretty involved, it's fairly time intensive.  But down the road, with a powered machine shop, they can automate the process to be much quicker (though possibly at the expense of quality).  You can do the same with sheets of course, if you have an automated roller mill and don't want the lamp pattern to be quite so involved.  The sheet--> stamping mill progression is a bit more authentic though.

Edited by redram
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3 hours ago, redram said:

I don't think we currently have a plate recipe going, but I'm assuming it'll take 2 ingots? 

I think 1 ingot could be crafted into 1 plate. Dunno, I haven't looked at it yet. But if plate = 2 ingots, then we need that smithing recipe, otherwise it's too expensive.

Anyhow, I had the greatest fun today making all these! Glass is now properly transparent so that player can see what's inside. Yeeeey!!!! Enjoy! B|

lanterns.thumb.png.69949f3b3f978c5c47cd977fa3b0eb42.png

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Thanks, Saraty. I just love the textures.

I would like to point that if you have in mind all the components to the Lantern recipe it should not use more than 1 ingot of whatever metal it is made of.

Not that ingots are that expensive, but to work them in the anvil consumes a lot of charcoal and time.

Right now it is faster to smelt 3 ingots of copper into the molds than it will ever be to work them in the anvil. Again there is the additional cost in charcoal and in time to work it.

Also, what do you mean by Candle? Is it the one with a clay bowl and the animal fat?

They are a pain to make in quantities as you have to work the clay and burn, again using fuel.

Right now we do not have any way to fast produce clay pottery and do not have a Kiln to burn several pieces at once.

On the other hand, it would give a use to the old candles that the players retire once they have access to Lanterns.

My point is that with all those ingredients we should at least make it easy on the cost of metal.

 

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By candle, I think Saraty means candle, not the fat lamp.   As I understand it we'll be able to render down those fat blobs into tallow, to make candles.  Not sure where they'll fall on the light continuum by themselves.

As for lanterns, it's an infinite light source, with a very good radius.  Does it *really* need to be easy to get in the copper age?  We'll have candles, we could add some kind of oil lamp of comparable radius to the lantern.  Why not make the lantern a bit more costly to acquire?

Edited by redram
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Not 

25 minutes ago, redram said:

As for lanterns, it's an infinite light source, with a very good radius.  Does it *really* need to be easy to get in the copper age?  We'll have candles, we could add some kind of oil lamp of comparable radius to the lantern.  Why not make the lantern a bit more costly to acquire?

 

Not easy, just not so costly in terms of resources and time.

Right now I only use the anvil for those tools that can only be made there.

Just think about. I already have the metal in liquid form, it easy to pour into a shovel mold than to pour in an ingot mold and have to reheat in the forge and them work it in the anvil.

Right now the recipe asks for 3 ingots of copper and 1 torch, expensive in terms of copper but quick to make.

If we change the recipe to require :

  • 2 base metal plates for top and bottom (acquired by smithing),
  • 4 clear quartz (cheaper) or glass (more expensive, but also gives additional brightness)
  • candle (I will remake the model so that player can actually see what light source is inside).
  • including silver plate (optional) gives another brightness boost.

Then breaking down the recipe we have:

Candle will for certain require you to kill an animal, melt the fat ( Uses Fuel and time to melt it), add a wick ( probably from flax - more work to farm it ) 

Clear quartz is not expensive but also not that common, you have to mine a lot of quartz to get in quantities.

Base metal plates. ( mine the ore, smelt it into an ingot, heat the forge ( Fuel ) Work it into the anvil ( Time)

All I am saying is: Work 1 ingot in the forge and anvil and have the 2 base metal plates for 1 Lantern.

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I mean, a lot of this isn't set in stone, the game is still very much in progress.  While we don't have the full range of options, sure, the recipe should be shortcutted.  But:

I can't imagine we're not going to have bees at some point, for 'farmable' candle wax. 

And there's no reason it has to be 4 clear quartz/glass.  It could be 1, or none. 

We don't know how much fuel it will take to melt tallow.  It shouldn't really take all that much.  It should be similar to cooking meat, really.  Anything that I can do with wood I basically consider a non-issue in terms of fuel. I only really care about things that require more than wood heat.  

Yes, currently casting is obviously the easiest for anything that has a mold.  Who's to say we won't get some sort of smithing bonuses though, similar to TFC?

I haven't found smithing fuel to be a problem personally.  I use 1 piece of lignite to heat 4 iron ingots and I can smith them all into pickaxe heads before they cool.   Now if the cooling changes that may change obviously.  But 1 or 2 lignite isn't that much in the grand scheme, to me.

I think the silver plate notion should be considered a bonus addon that the player works or trades for.  They can make a lantern just fine without it.

To me, the better solution would be to create an 'aladdin' lamp type of thing, cast from the soft metals like copper and bronze.   It just takes metal and oil, it's low tier, can be cast in clay form, and doesn't take that much time or fuel.  But it's not infinite.  It should last a vary long time, and that should probably be configurable for SMP purposes.  But as long as the player has many options for oil (rendered fat, pressed olives, boiled flax seed, etc, barrels of loot oil in dungeons) Hopefully it would not be so onerous as it was in TFC. 

I'd even like to see more lighting systems.  Centralized oil/gas lighting for instance.  You make gas lamps, and a gas reservoir.  You link the lamps to the reservoir 'remotely' with tubes, because who wants to actually have to run ugly tubes through their building?  You have a stack of tubes, you right click on the lamp, which establishes that as your base lamp, and then right click on the reservoir.  Depending on the distance a number of tubes are subtracted from your inventory.  Now that lamp draws gas/oil from the reservoir.  So now the player only has to keep a single reservoir filled, rather than filling individual lamps. 

By providing simpler options, the lantern becomes a more prestigious item.  Yes, you can make it at low tier, but it does take work and resources.  Maybe you opt for oil lanterns instead.  Maybe you're not lighting 3000 meter roads with lanterns right out of the gate.    Down the road, the player uses better machinery like I mentioned, and now it's no longer such a burden.  They have machines to smith the metal, better furnaces to make the glass, and established animals and bees for candles.    To me it would create a more interesting interplay of light sources throughout the game, and also bring definite benefits and demand for machinery. 

 

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12 hours ago, redram said:

And yet, no silver or gold lanterns?

Yea, I can make those too. Should they perhaps have naturally higher light level? I think it would be silly to do silver lining on silver / gold lantern :D 

5 hours ago, redram said:

But as long as the player has many options for oil (rendered fat, pressed olives, boiled flax seed, etc, barrels of loot oil in dungeons)

With rendered fat you mean tallow right? If yes, then it's already work in progress! Also, cooking tallow is not suggested on too high temperatures, so wood and peat will do just fine. We can also add a very basic bee hive block (without bees for now), so player could harvest wax and not depend solely on animal fat. 

Having a lot of alternative light source options is certainly a way to go and I really like the idea of centralized gas and oil lighting system!

Talking about lantern crafting; I think plates would be the easiest option for now. They will have a simple square pattern, that's probably done by hitting with 1 hammer mode. A more complex grid could be saved for later, when the machinery is available to stamp the patterns or at least flatten out the ingot. Chandelier is also up on the list (loot from ruins, later also bought from trader). It would take up to 8 candles, with each one increasing an overall light level.

6 hours ago, tony Liberatto said:

Clear quartz is not expensive but also not that common, you have to mine a lot of quartz to get in quantities.

Well depends. Early in game it is a very expensive commodity, of course. But it changes once you've made some bombs. All you have to do is find a bigger cavern with quartz laid out on the floor (I have seen a decent amount of those) and go blasting on it. Few bombs will give you a guaranteed set of clear quartz and even more sets of normal. Bombs are really, really suited for quartz, because deposits often come in 2 -3 layers and are fairly flat.

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hm.... I don't know how much programming work it would be, but hey, think of this: What if more then 1 candle can be placed in 1 block? Lets say up to 9? Not only that it would look beautiful, but player would also not need to spam candles all over in order to light up the base (considering that each candle ups the brightness if placed in the same block).

The same we could do with current oil lamps. They are bit larger in size, so 4 per block? I think it would be amazing.

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The only tiny thing left now is to add light coloring ability to lanterns :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
We have those awesome colored lights as creative torches - why not have them in lanterns?

For starters it could be slight coloring of light depending on lantern material. Golden lantern - yellowish light, etc. In cases when lantern material has no signature color, I propose to add some clear color. E.g. greenish for bismuth, bluish for ... idk, purplish for black bronze. Just to cover all clear colors.

Probably people will hate that lantern light color is fixed. But maybe they would like it as a temporary thingie untill the full coloring system is introduced into VS.

Maybe we can vote for the approach to use. Or maybe it would be the designer's choice.

Ideally in future any lantern can have any color candle with a custom RGB code:D

Hehehe. :)

Edited by heptagonrus
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