When you assign tasks for gnomes, the task goes into an internal lists of tasks, which is filtered to gnomes based on their assigned jobs. When you start out, you don't need to worry about what job each gnome is assigned to, just be aware each gnome currently has a job, based on their internal skills. In order to complete a job, a gnome will need to appropriate skills, job, and materials. You will need to make sure that your wood, ore, coal and stones stocks are well supplied, through tasks you set up, as your gnomes won't dig without your instruction. If your gnomes seem to be idling a lot, check you stocks, that's the first (of many) possible problems.
With the new Crafting update, when you request a building or item to be made, the game checks and see what materials it needs, what's already made, and what needs to be made, and then queues that all up automagically. This is helpful in getting your production going, but can cause frustrating delays in production. You can turn this option off, but I encourage you to leave it on for now, and learn how it works. It's easy to "short-circuit" the built in production queues if you are prepared, and your preparation with the queue system will make things go smoother as you go. I'll point out the things I like to do to help grease the wheels a bit, as we go.
First off, we're gonna need a stockpile, to store all our stone and wood in close proximity to our workshops. I like to make a Stockpile
then mark out a square area in the middle of the room. If you have a 15x15 room, a 9x9 square is a good size.
For ease of use, we'll set this one to All Stone, All Wood, All Coal, All Metal, and All Cloth. Priority 4, I want to keep this stocked, so the workers don't need to go as far.
I also like to build a separate area for a food stockpile.
You can also set the priority of your stockpiles in these menus - the lower the number, the more often gnomes will stock that stockpile. It's best to keep these numbers above 4, as to not screw with the gnome priority lists too much, and end up with too much haulin', and not enough buildin'.
After you have your first stockpile set, it's time to build our first building, the Crude Workbench
. This building requires a log
, and a raw stone
, so you should have these sitting about somewhere. Drop the building next to your stockpile, and your gnomes will find the log and rock, and get started. If it takes them too long to start building the workshop, you may have set up too many wall sections for your builders. You'll notice the workshop turn green when someone is interacting with it. This workshop will turn logs into planks
, planks into chairs
, and stone into chisels
. While you're waiting, start farming.