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Firewood Resources

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In strategy games, when workers gather any mind of resource, it's always shown in visually simplified ways. For example, wood becomes tiny bundles that would only be useful as firewood, not for building structures. The main reason for this trope is that it would be much harder to animate several workers hauling logs than it is to animate single peons working by themselves. Alternatively, it might be because you need miniature planks to make all those tiny buildings.

See also Space Compression, when large territories can be crossed in short timespans; Units Not to Scale, when the sprites for stuff are shown very big on the map; and Bonsai Forest, where trees are unusually close to human-size.



  • Final Fantasy XIV: In A Realm Reborn, you can harvest logs from trees, which generally have to be processed into lumber before they can be made use of. (This presents a different kind of weirdness, however, as it takes multiple individual logs to craft a single piece of lumber.)
  • RuneScape: All logs obtained via the Woodcutting skill are a bundle of three logs in the inventory.
  • World of Warcraft: It pays homage to Warcraft by having many quests that involve collecting those neatly stacked piles of lumber, ostensibly for construction purposes. They are usually represented like that in the inventory too, although some do make them look like cut boards, not firewood. Justified to an extent by the Goblins who, not to be outdone in the efficiency department, use machines called Shredders that can automate the chopping and sawing of wood until they spit out a nice collection of perfectly formed boards. Until they break down and explode, or go berserk and start killing people.

Simulation Games

  • Autonauts: Trees turn into logs when chopped down, which can in turn be further chopped into planks, then poles, then fixing pegs.
  • Black & White: The wood becomes piles of planks, and it looks like long logs while being carried.
  • Caesar: You play the governor of a Roman province/city that has Timber Yards that produce planks. The only use for these planks is making furniture or exporting them. Which makes you wonder just what the heck the city is being built out of.
  • Clockwork Empires has the basic wood resource depicted as a stack of three logs. Those logs are used in the construction of some basic buildings, but most others require cutting them into planks in the Carpentry Workshop.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Logs go directly into carpenter's workshops and be used directly in constructions — even if the construction is a smooth flat road. Further, when logs are used for constructing things like walls you can disassemble them to get the log back and then turn the log into a bed/door/etc. In the 2014 major content patch, trees are given variable sizes instead of one log from each tree, and the speed at which the log is transported back to the stockpile varies according to the mass of the wood; oak logs are noticeably heavier than something like willow, for example.
  • Mon Bazou: Justified since most of your income (at least early on) comes from selling firewood to your brother, but building the sugar shack to start maple syrup production just involves stacking pine logs in a designated area until the titular shack pops out of thin air, none of the log being long enough to make the walls depicted in-game.
  • Pharaoh: Averted seeing that the trees are skinny, man-height, and are brought back one log at a time, though they turn into planks when sitting in your storage yards.

Strategy Games

  • Age of Empires: The Wood resource is represented by a bundle of firewood. Similarly, Stone is represented by a pile of rocks.
  • Age of Wonders: Small wood bundles were terrain items that gave your closest city an instant structure-building bonus
  • Banished: Harvested trees instantly turn into small neatly cut logs. Averted in a more literal sense, however, as firewood is a separate type of resource that has to be made from ordinary wood.
  • Castle Story: A tree falls apart into three logs when cut. Each of those logs is as tall as a Bricktron when cut down and placed, but for transport, it's easily put in a sack the Bricktrons carry on their backs.
  • Colonization: The game shows Lumber as cargo this way, though the Prime Timber resource bonus on map is indicated by a large tree.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic:
    • The backstory behind the endless bundle of lumber artifacts, which provides the owner with one extra wood each day, says it's a small bundle that the person who found it first mistakes for firewood.
    • An expansion of the fourth game has you command an army of militant elves who are categorically opposed to cutting down trees and even launch an anti-human genocide because of it. lumber is gained via a scripted event, that gives the player a small amount of wood every week. Along with the explanation that the player character spent his free time collecting fallen twigs. That's right. Twigs.
  • Original War: All supply crates can be carried by a single person, even though the buildings and vehicles clearly contain parts that are larger than the crates.
  • Rise of Nations: Only the icon for wood. Workers are shown moving small logs while logging camps (which must be built near forests) are seen moving around large logs and lumber. Coal cuts down on wood costs, implying that some of them are used for fuel, so being represented like that makes sense. Just sometimes.
  • The Settlers:
    • After the woodcutter chops down a tree, he strips it of branches and carries the log on his shoulder to his house. This is carried by other settlers all the way to the Carpenter's house, where he cuts the log into planks, which are then carried off to wherever they are needed. Half the uniqueness of the game comes from actually animating all those things, which most games don't.
    • Much of the other half comes from the gameplay implementation of those animations. Nifty animations aside, the fact that your little animated settlers actually carry resources from A to B forces you to organize a transport network that can handle the flow of resources without getting into traffic jams. This game averts Easy Logistics hard, to the point where logistics is the main source of challenge in the game.
    • This also produces the weirdness that one tree turns into one log turns into one unit of planks; the same amount of planks can be used to build either the frame of a small house, a rowboat, or the handle of a spade.
  • Stronghold: The wood becomes planks that are at least as tall as the worker and sounds a great deal like the settlers above.
  • Tropico:
    • Lumberjacks always carry a single log, the tree they just cut down. They are still taken further by teamsters on wheelbarrows and need to be taken to a lumber mill to be turned from raw logs into useful planks of wood. Lumber can be exported, but it's further useful when taken to a furniture factory.
    • In Pirate's Cove, you need to set up logging camps and then a lumber mill to get your construction material.
  • Tzar: The Burden Of The Crown: Lumberjacks transport a single log over their shoulder. The log is almost as big as the worker himself.
  • Warcraft:
    • Units go through the trouble of chopping down trees and then forming them into nice little logs for you before actually bringing them back to the lumber mill.
    • In the first two games, though the Lumber Mills show them as planks, worker units carry them as fireplace-sized logs

Wide-Open Sandbox

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: The wood, softwood, and hardwood resources harvested from trees appear as small bundles of three log wedges, of the kind one might make to use as firewood, despite these are used to make items such as wooden furniture — including furniture visibly made from whole, un-split logs.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: While wood bundles obtained from chopped trees are most commonly used to make fires, there are a few quests that require you to gather them for construction.