Although this article is published under Buildings' Details it is linked to the Units category and the Resource Deposits article as well because in opposite to the known way of how Fishers are handled in the Anno series they are meant to be handled differently in Unknown Horizons. This is a special case.
Instead of having one buildings for a fisherman through all the tier the kinds of buildings will be split into two types: The fishermen housings (in early tiers) and the fishing port (in later tiers). The behavior of both types will be the same. (A whaler station might get number three.)
As the fishing port already explains in words the different types are not meant to be just companies with a certain reach but a mix from those and a harbors (like the branch office). Therefor they will not have fishing vessels as part of the company (like stock farms) but real units which need to be build in a dock.Those units can deliver their goods (food (fish and whale meat) and fish oil (from whales)) from the certain deposits (fishing grounds and whaling grounds) to a port while can be navigated like other sea vessels. The deposits will therefor be a mix of a common deposit and also a port. So the fishing vessels can select those deposits as destinations to set routes between the fishermen/fishing ports and the deposits itself to automatically deliver their goods. Alternatively oder additionally, the units might get the functions to set fishing routes automatically by just activating the fishing behaviour and let them search for their nearest according deposit.
- Fishermen/Fishing port - Handled like ports only certain vessels can dock and unload resources which are delivered to the next branch office, storage or marketplace normally. Depending on how the fishing vessels handle the harvested resources (see below) they can wether be just ports or additionally companies which will refine the fishing resources to common resources (like fish to food). The docking function is limited to a certain sizes of vessels depending on the tier the building belongs.
- Fishing vessels - Sea vessels in OA are all meant to be versatile units. They will have limited space (I like calling it "slots") depending on ship size and their primary pupose for certain extensions (like cargo/units load and cannons). This means fishing vessels need to be able to dock the branch office to unload common goods as well as the docks for repairs. So the fishing resources cannot be stored in the slot for common goods when being already refined on the ship itself - like resource(fish) == resource(food) because food could also be unloaded at branch offices. This would only make sense when totally deleting fishermen and fishing ports from the list of available buildings - not an option, I think. There might be an additional slot for the fishing resources then or the fishing resources are unrefined as fish and whale meat being refined in the ports to food and fish-oil. Optional there could be different behaviours for each type of unit like fishing vessels delivering unrefined resources and whalers being able to refine resources directly while not being bound to fishing ports at all.
- Fishing grounds/Whaling grounds - Also depending on the way the resources for fishing and whaling units are handled (see above) there are different ways of how the deposits are handled themselves. Wether they provide unrefined resources or already refined resources to decrease complexitiy. Nevertheless they need an additional function as a port themselves to make them available as selection for ships. Moreover those deposits should move - like fish swarms do. Their resource hold should be quite limited to make them dissappear from the game relatively fast - like fish swarms do. Therefor there needs to randomly appear new deposits on the map's water tiles when others disappear.
Idea for assigning fishing boats to fisher huts
13:01 < chew-ie> just a thought: you could collect all boats in range x, dump them into a scrollable listbox and (here comes the actual idea ^^):
13:02 < chew-ie> - use a small additional FIFE-camera next to the GUI, centered on the fisher hut (zoomed out a bit to let the player watch radius x around the fisher hut)
13:03 < chew-ie> - outline boats in the new camera as soon as the user hovers the entries in the listbox
The player will have to build a dock first to make fishing and wahling vessels available to build. Then he/she needs an according port (fishermen, fishing port and eventually whaling station) where those ships can dock. The next step is to choose a destination deposit and the destination port - means, the player has to set a common route between two ports for cargo delivery. Optional the player might just click on the go-fishing-button to make the unit check for the nearest according deposit and after finishing harvest to check for the nearest according port. (Disadvantage, when the nearest according port is on a totally different island than where the resources are needed. So it might be a good idea to let the player choose a home port for all the fishing and whaling vessels.)
There needs to be graphical content for:
- Fishermen and fishing ports for all tiers
- When used, one set for a whaling station in a certain tier
- Different fishing vessels (see List of Units)
- Deposits: fishing and whaling grounds (appearing from the beginning of the game)
There needs to audio content for:
- According buildings ambient (when activating buildings' menues)
- Fishing and wahling vessel affirmation
- Eventually for fishing and whaling ground ambient (when activating deposits' menues)
- Fishing port
- Fishing grounds
- Fishing vessels
To a certain degree this might be part of earlier development.