A Message to the Devs and the Community


#21

So, how do we start, I’m a cook at a festival rn, can’t stop checking the forum every break I get :’)

I think we should get an overlook of everyone and their ability, and start to sort out roles etc


#22

Hey Max :merry:
Thank you very much for the reply!

It’s very nice to read it as a friendly/modding advice rather than a “dev reply” and in a way that has been one of the staples of this community for the very short time I’ve been part of it as a modder :jubilant:

However even tho I completely agree with this…

…this is the part that (personally) scares me:

Now, I know this will happen! I hope it will and I look forward to being part of it albeit I’d never - at least under the current circumstances IRL and such - dare tackling such responsibilities right now.

It is (in my opinion) the natural course things will take if we do manage to keep the game alive (as a community); but it’s not exactly my intention at the moment - I might have been unable to express myself clearly on the heat of the moment so I’ll try to do it a bit better now :merry:

The idea here is a short run; not the run that will keep Stonehearth going for a long while (with an unofficial patch and content) but one that aims to “help” Radiant release a 1.0 version that is at least a bit closer to what it could have been. I say “help” because this is the point here - it’s not about the continuity of the game through the community and modding support (which will also happen, I’m sure! :heart:) but the situation at hand: the “now” until the end of July.

The idea comes from, basically, the knowledge we all have about what 1.0 means. 1.0 is a finished product, 1.0 is the point where all criticism can’t be shielded with “it’s a pre-release” or “we’re a beta” and such, 1.0 is the point where people expect to see at least what they “paid for”, and the idea of wanting to help for that, for 1.0, is born out of admiration for the work the team has had to keep up until now and to craft and try to polish as much this beloved product instead of letting it crash, burn and be forgotten in the depths of the “failed Kickstarter campaigns” abyss. This did not happen to Stonehearth - regardless of everything it went through - and this is thanks to all of you that worked so hard to make it happen.

We live in a cruel and sad world, sometimes - one that will be full of judgements and stains, and things that were “left behind” will always be, in a way, such stains. There’s no possible way - regardless of how many of us volunteer - that we could make the whole “Kickstarter dream” happen. Of course there is not :jubilant: I’m not that naive, I guess ^-^ but the idea here is that perhaps we could help make some of these promises be fulfilled. I mention the Dwarven Kingdom because it’s the most notable “cut” in a way when compared to classes and such (feature-wise; of course things like the Linux port are more… severe. But like I said, there’s only so much we could do as a community modding effort) but it could extend to other things.

So, I think I might’ve been clearer now, but let me try to summarize it a bit then :merry: (I can be very wordy, sorry)

  • The idea is not about the long-term community keeping and maintenance of the game - which will exist, hopefully! But the exact point here is more focused on this last month.
  • I’m talking and thinking content (cut content, extra content) but it could also be something ele:
  • A couple of more basic content that could be used as frame for future modders; it seems to be the natural Stonehearth experience to “learn” modding by using the base game mod; and the more (and diverse) alternatives we give to it, the more room for future modding it would create. For example, if the game gets a single “manned” turret for the engineer, that would create the base for many people to create their own mods out of that without having to go through the hassle of coming up with the necessary code to have a manned turret. (just an example); This is something that experienced coders/modders could really help the game with, by providing this base :merry:
  • Or perhaps instead of content we could work together as modders and devs to come up with a “priority list” of refactoring and API changes to leave the game as moddable as possible (?) i.e.: the material tags thing as an array; more control over AI and/or pathfinding without needing access to the source code of the engine since this might not happen, etc;
  • Maybe even just an UI rework and such, like the dreaded UI refactoring should the new Ember version is desired, could be tackled by volunteer work before the game is wrapped (?)

Anyway, this is basically it!
It is about 1.0 and the end of July release rather than the continuity of the game and its community - these things will happen as well and I really hope that everything you mention in your reply will happen :slight_smile: I hope we’ll have an amazing team of modders that will stay, maybe team up to create an “unofficial core pack” that will always keep a solid and stable foundation for modders to thrive, etc… But right now the idea is that: an offering of help to maybe make the 1.0 experience more rich and diverse and one that will feel less “cut from the original idea” from the point of view of those that look at the game from a distant perspective in the future - and then from that point forward we take the wheel and go on with the modding :merry:

To be honest, I feel excited about this and am already outlining some ideas based on the things that were cut from the list or never got quite there but were mentioned before and such. So regardless of anything, these will still end up becoming mods at least :merry:

But just saying that I’d gladly give them away should it become a viable and interesting offer :blush:


#23

Yeah, this sounds smart, but it is somewhat up to the devs as in what could be possible and not, we should line out what should be prioritized and what we as modders can take on our shoulders to take the load of the devs.

Let’s make this “almost” last month productive guys!


#24

I’m really hoping that, by some miracle, the fence tool makes it in. I don’t see any modder managing that any time soon.

I feel like any combat overhaul is left to modding, but I have no clue where to begin. What do we even want?

The engineer is my last sore spot. I’d really like to see something like the old mechanical mod brought back - and I’ve had some ideas for that, but not the means to actually make it all myself.


#25

Yeah it’s tough to grasp what is needed in the core game, and what’s left for the modders to do.

That’s why we need to get some planning out, maybe see what the devs has planned, and what they would prioritize.


#26

For those things (combat overhaul and such) I think that it’s more what I mentioned about modders together making a list of “desired last API changes” and such. Of course not everything is possible within the timeframe, but the more the experienced modders could come up with requests, the better. From what I understood, API requests will actually be still possible until december, so I guess that’s an interesting side project to lead on as well (the big list thing)


#27

I found the name: the big list


#28

now that you mention it i have a smaaall thing i would like to add

but for this post,
i have to say thanks devs for your great work
and Nooooooo, no more @max99x insta solving bugs? (lurking doesn’t count) :sob: (comunity member for the last 2 month so don’t really know the other members :sweat_smile: hehe)


#29

Well, he did say this:

I already feel sorry for his mailbox :joy:


#30

I love the thought of the community coming together and continuing the dev’s work and I would love to be a part of it in some way. If some of that makes it into the actual game that would be awesome.
Making that happen before the 1.0 release however is very unlikely and not something that I think the devs should be bothered with. They will most likely be in crunch mode the whole month and for the moders to be able to do anything that can qualify to be in the actual game the devs will have to put time into defining what they should aim at, answer a bunch more questions, go through the final result more carefully than stuff from reliable employees and sort out the legal stuff. And this is for the gamble that the moders actually manage to make it in time.
It’s 3.5 weeks left until release and any content from moders would have to be submitted long before that. It will take the moders a big part of that time just to organize themselves and anything that the moders can do in the time that’s left could most likely be made by the devs in the same time it would take them to get the moders going. So… sorry for being pessimistic but I think it will most likely hurt the game to bother the devs with this right now.

The 1.1 release in december on the other hand. That’s a different story.


#31

I hope that we get to see the dev’s notes on the features that was cut. Details on what they were aiming at and how they would have implemented it. Warnings about special cases that need to be considered. Results from prototypes. Other versions that they considered and why they wouldn’t work. Unfinished code, prototypes and so on. Anything that the moders can rally to and use as a starting point when trying to work together.


#32

For the short time frame before 1.0, there’s a pretty limited amount of options. There are only 2 feature releases remaining. Bunnies + Geomancer are going out later today, and then Seasons next week, with some minor polish for both based on feedback following. Aside from that, 100% of our focus will be on performance and bugfixes, so any new content of significant size would be considered too risky. That kind of thing would definitely be best delivered as mods, and maybe something can be worked out with the team to have “Radiant Recommends” mods or such sometime in the 1.1 timeframe.

Anyway, back to 1.0, the #1 most impactful thing players and modders can do is playtest and report bugs or performance problems with as much detail as possible. Modders have a leg up here because they can use debug tools, look at code, or just be able to better connect symptoms to potential root causes.

The #2 most impactful thing is compiling a list of API needs, especially if you run across stuff that is not accessible to Lua. The material tags one is somewhat problematic because it would involve changing literally every item in the game and breaking every mod, but I’ll see if we can come up with some alternative that achieves the same goal (e.g. also allow a material_tags_list property). For the pathfinder, it’s technically already possible to write your own Lua one that manages any custom portal/vehicle logic and uses the C++ one for its intermediate steps, though making this work seamlessly would be a large undertaking. If you can describe additional API you would like the existing C++ pathfinder to provide, I can look into getting that exposed.


#33

«Hey Max what does this error mean?”


#34

I think if there is a time to break compatibility, it is now. Just raise the api level. The items can be updated through an automated script? Like run it through the files, grabbing the strings and replacing with a table. At worst, just ignore the material tags if it is a string.


#35

Can we as modders do the dirty work and change every item, to upgrade the api?


#36

The problem is not the game items but the items of all the mods that already exist as well. That’s what “breaking the mods” mean - such a change would basically break what already exists, even if easily fixed by their keepers should they be active.

But I’m with Bruno with this one:
If there’s a time to break all compatibilities for the sake of having the best and more free API we can have, this time is now. It is a bit sad to do some groundbreaking changes that would break a lot of “history”, sure. But it’s a way to ensure a much healthier and fruitful continuity of the game and its community. New modders will arise to fill the holes, should the game become a nice modding scenario as it seems to be growing to lately - and older mods can always be reworked or even remade :slight_smile:


#37

I agree, it feels like it’s now or never


#38

Well, it kinda is :forlorn:

Sir, yes, sir! o7
We can do that :merry:
And I’ll think about organizing a modding effort to fill the “holes” of the promises and features of the game, aiming to be par with the game’s depth, complexity and aesthetics :jubilant:

Oh yes, The Big List™
I’ll for now leave that to the more experienced coders, but should I find things worthy reporting/requesting, I’ll certainly bring them here!


#39

Yeah, I’ll get as fast home from this festival as possible and start reporting my save files, I have one with 60+ hearthlings and huge lags :’)

Other than that we need to contact the big bois for the big list


#40

Also seconding the break the freaking thing notion. I don’t mind re doing the tags for my items if that means we can patch stuff in instead of overwriting.

It sounds like the great escape. Start digging Tom, Dick and Harry XD