[Dev Blog] Desktop Tuesday, Update on Steam Release, Plus Exp/Leveling Feature


Some answers to questions posed about Steam Early Access, plus some experimental RPG elements!


So I totally thumbs’ed up the person who wrote this in the comments, but I’m going to repeat it here:

I think citizen levels will be lots of fun.

But I’m totally against a town level. I want to play the game on my own terms, and build whatever kind of town I want. And if I decide for whatever reason that rather than houses I’m going to carve out the inside of a mountain and create a little ant farm of caves and rooms for my stonehearthians I’d rather not be penalized for the lack of buildings, or however the levelling will work.

Mind you, I’m totally open to trying it out and hell, maybe it’ll actually be lots of fun and I’ve just got some very wrong misconceptions on how to level up a town. But I want to make sure I’ll still have the ability to play and build with freedom without being penalized or worrying about level.


I think the decision to postpone Steam is an extremely wise one indeed. It might disgruntle a few people in the short term but I think that’ll definitely outweigh the potential fallout from opening the floodgates.

If they still want to open it up to public access I don’t see the problem in simply offering it through the website with the necessary disclaimers, I think that initial obstacle should be enough to stem the majority of users simply purchasing with no information.

As for the RPG elements, really excited to see how these play out :slight_smile:


Love the xp for citizens but am cautions on the town. I dont want to feel pressured to do town missions just to clear the next xp hurdle to upgrade. Cant wait to see the iterations of this though.


Looks like a good start to the settlers’ XP system (I hope they keep their XP with previous jobs when some kind of job reassignment is implemented!).

I’m not sold on the town XP though. To my mind, there are already two XP systems for settlements:

  1. Net wealth, which causes various other things, eg bigger goblin raids.

  2. New settlers, which lets you get more specialists, effectively dealing with the tech/perks/bonus side of things in the new XP system.

Personally, I’d stick to just the individual settlers’ XP system… with one exception:

Eventually, I assume we’re going to have a more regular method of getting new settlers, rather like the periodic migrations in Dwarf Fortress or Gnomoria. In that case, how about something like this:

So for example, the 3/10 bars here might mean just a handful of basic peasants - maybe one or two have some starting proficiency in carpentry or w/e, but it’s not special.

On the other hand, a 10/10 migration means not only some awesome settlers, but also that you’re doing really well - you’re fending off the goblins, people are happy etc, and so your settlement is a popular destination.


I like the Citizen Experience a lot lot lot! but the Town Experience i am not so sure about. and am vary happy about you guys not releasing early accesses to steam :smile: thanks for a another wonderful desktop Tuesday!

fantastic update, both in terms of the stance on Steam early access, and the RPG elements discussion… :+1:

a very worthy quote from the post:

We will release to Steam Early Access when we’re confident that the game will delight the average Steam customer, and not before.


I’ll add in my happiness to see the postponing the Steam early access. A great update all around and i’m eager to see the XP system on citizens.

However, i’m also in agreement that i’m not sure on Town XP, sounds a little too much like a few certain Phone town building games I play.

re: town experience… i am somewhat torn…

on the one hand, i absolutely love the concept of a “town advisory”, that can alert players to taking some logical next steps (which can be addressed at the players discretion)…

i can see this being leveraged in a number of helpful ways… not the least of which is an optional player “tutorial” of sorts…

however, i am not sure i like the idea of some of the tasks i take (town type tasks) being a requirement for “leveling up” my town… i think one of the basic ideas behind the game (being a sandbox strategy game) would be somewhat stifled if the player had to adhere to a specific set of steps in order to advance their settlements…

granted, there could be any number of ways to “level up” your town, so who knows where this might lead… :wink:

this should be an interesting discussion though… cant wait to see where this heads! :smiley:


I do like the idea of citizens getting exp but I feel the town exp getting a new citizen only when that bar is filled is not the best

rather it would be nice if you have too much food and beds new people will come if you dont have enough food for the people already in the town new people wont join

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as a followup to the town experience idea, its worth pointing out that @Tom’s example made no mention of an item being built (housing or otherwise)… and in fact, it was a fairly mundane task that any starting settlement would undertake, regardless of the players eventual design decisions (we all need lumber for one purpose or another!)…

with that in mind, if the town objectives were generic enough in nature, i could see this as being a viable way to earn experience/level up a town… i do like the premise though… i suppose it might depend on the sorts of tasks that were required, and if those same “perks” could be gained via any other gameplay mechanic, as well…

Heh, typical - I completely forgot about the Early Access bit in my above post :stuck_out_tongue: .

So… yeah, I think delaying it for now is probably for the best (I’m assuming money isn’t a big issue of course - finished game > whining on Steam!). I’m going to say “Spring 2015” will be when we’ll see the SH beta come out, so… maybe there’ll be enough content in February for Early Access then. Other than that, I think I’d just merge the Beta with the Early Access.

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What I don’t like is all of the numbers.

The screenshot that @SteveAdamo posted had “0/20” logs stored and “100 Town experience Points”. Regardless of whether or not experience in any way is implemented, having these objectives with numbers attached really steal away from the way the game currently feels.

Right now it’s this really nice open game. As soon as I need to go gather up 20 logs, I’m taken back to some MMORPG where I need to spend hours grinding for 20 frog bladders or whatever. That doesn’t feel new to me.

I think something more natural feels better. Something like this (it still doesn’t feel quite right, but closer):

“Your town has a house”
“Your footman has defeated several goblins”
“Master Craftsman” instead of “Level 6 Craftsman”

I still like the idea of your citizens or town being able to “level up” and get better at what they do, just not with numbers.


Really happy to read about the Steam earky access =)

An XP-System for citizens would be great and will enable some great depth to the battle. And loosing a high level warrior would be much more frustrating :smiley:

City-XPs: I don’t know. I really don’t like the idea of doing 20 little tasks to get a new blueprint. Store 20 corn to build a blacksmith? Nope. I really like the idea behind it (slowing done the progress of the town), but I would link it to some Citizen-Experience. Anyone remember good old Cultures? Something like that would be nice. So you first need a level 2 miller before you can craft an oven for the bakery.
In this way your town will develop different, if you play different and you could build a trader town with a giant market place or a bastion with many barracks and practice venues.

The idea of some little extra tasks is really nice, but I would prefer a different reward. Maybe there are other towns ask you for help and sending you an high level soldier. Or your blacksmith want to learn more about the fire and needs 20 wooden logs and after that he get some experience. Or some citizen want more food and in exchange the city get a temporary happiness-boost.
One way working with town-levels could be a town-techtree with some minor enhancement, which wouldn’t be necessary. Something like a better recovery rate. But it would be hard to find enough perks to justify this hole feature…

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yeah, i get that… the task that rewards the player does have to be measurable though (what constitutes a house for one player, might not for another)…

personally, i sort of like these more simplistic/specific objectives (what does that say about me?), but i agree that having very “natural” tasks would help fit the current flow of the game…

Agreed, but I feel like the trader (Once he stops being a butthead and starts accepting trades) kinda fits this role?

Or perhaps a series of migrants will arrive and say, we’re looking for a town but yours is missing X,Y,and Z. Finish those up by the time we pass back by here and we’ll join you.

That migrant option would be a gentler way of challenging people to grow their settlements without sounding too much like a fetch quest.

Not saying that should be the only way, mind you. Net worth and happiness/food/shelter should be the main factor for new villagers IMO.


Eh, maybe. It’s a tough call.

I would love if my town got more “experience” by doing the things that are natural to a town. As I grow my town and increase the population and add citizens, my town status should change from “Camp” to “Hamlet” to “Village” to “Town” etc. Those “levels” should give me access to more stuff potentially.

Same thing for citizens. You get natural upgrades like “Apprentice”, “Adept”, “Master”. I guess you can attach a number to them…crafting 20 things might give you a level, but I wouldn’t say “0/20” things crafted. I think indicating how close to leveling you are is a good thing, but a number or a green bar under their name doesn’t feel very charming.


oh, i like that one… :smiley: :+1:

as you said, it doesn’t have to be the only means, but its an interesting option… and the best part of options like this is… they’re options… the player can totally disregard if they choose to…

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I like the idea of more natural progression in town growth, you could even have big and small versions to add more layers Eg small town, major city. Or maybe the types of villages? Small industrial town = more crafters, large farming village = more farmers?

I still play cultures and love the logical building progression. Having to have a skilled farmer before you can have a miller before you can have a baker makes a lot of sense and feels more natural