[Dev Blog] Pumpkins! (Stonehearth, Kickstarter, and Upcoming Releases)


#1

Pumpkins!

http://stonehearth.net/2014/09/02/quick-desktop-tuesday-pumpkins/

Stonehearth, Kickstarter, and Upcoming Releases

http://stonehearth.net/2014/09/02/stonehearth-kickstarter-and-upcoming-releases/


#2

Copy-pasting the TL;DR here, because it’s worth repeating:

•The game is currently in Alpha. We’re making steady progress, but there’s still lots of game left to build.
•In September we will release Stonehearth Alpha 5. At this point all $15+ Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers will get the Alpha and all subsequent releases until the game is complete.
•We’re still working on the Kickstarter pet rewards. You can expect them once we have a few more major gameplay features complete.
•Soon after the Alpha 5 release, we will release Stonehearth on Steam Early-Access and change the price to $25.
•Expect continued Alpha releases until all game features are complete!

Personally, I’m not sure I’d do Steam Early Access so soon - there’s very little in the game ATM after all, which could backfire. Other than that, well, updates are always nice :slight_smile: .


#3

Are you sure it is a good idea to have an early access build so soon on steam? I mean people that follow this game on the discourse can and do understand that the game is no where near complete and give a certain degree of freedom and understanding towards the dev team. But once it goes up on steam early access, the masses will get a hold of it and may not be so understanding. And therefore give this (great) game false negative reviews that don’t represent the game in its entirety and people could be turned off buying it.


#4

This was one of my worries as well, there was actually a good blog post I read the other day with one of the guys behind Project Zomboid - is certainly worth a read and I’d suggest @sdee (as she is my main point of contact since @not_owen_wilson started ignoring my love letters) has a quick browse of it:

Whilst it could be a big jump in popularity and obviously revenue there is the very distinct possibility that you upset a large amount of people for various reasons.

Certainly a dilemma I don’t envy them for.


#5

Indeed. Personally speaking, I’d like to see at least the following ready in time for Steam early access:

-Balanced combat (!). I know there’ll be peaceful mode, but if it isn’t better balanced then early access release will just result in the forums being flooded in more “OMG GOBLINS!” threads, which won’t reflect well on Radiant.
-Terrain modification (ie digging steps etc), or failing that, at least ladders that go down as well as up.
-A whole bunch of bug fixes, especially the game-breaking kind. Villagers being reduced to just heads, crops that won’t harvest properly, wall o’ text error windows, that kind of thing.


Wishlist: Quality-of-Life Features for Alpha 6
#6

We’d all love all of those things right :stuck_out_tongue: But, and quoting the article here, I think the biggest thing is the expectation management (self-plug). As long as it is made crystal clear just what state the game is in, that it is buggy, that it is does do odd things, and that it is not feature complete, a lot of the backlash should be mitigated or prevented.

So, hopefully with that in mind, the floodgates won’t be opened drowning us all horribly.


#7

I agree, but… well, you know how cynical I am about people :wink: . There’ll certainly be plenty of people who get alpha/early access, then promptly QQ about bugs/lack of content/bugs/unfinished game/bugs/more bugs… meh. Sure, if you’re going to do early access etc then it has to be early, I’m just worried that it’s too early (or rather, will be too early).


#8

a girl heads out for a little pampering, and we get two blog posts… my stars! :star:

pulls up a chair for the ensuing comfy read-through

edit: love that @Tom references his reddit comments… :+1:

long story short, we’ve chosen to stick 100% to the original vision of the game, even when it costs us time


#9

This is one of the many reasons Team Radiant is one of the best game dev companies around, if not the best.


#10

PUMPKINS!!! I like pumpkins, will we be able to make pie out of this later? my peeps dont seem to like them raw


#11

Just the other day I was thinking of the September release. The plan was, as we all know, to release beta in late 2013 and full game now. Perhaps I wasn’t expecting an official Kickstarter update, but I’m glad it came! As an early backer it is worth a lot to have regular updates and honesty from the developers. As with all Kickstarter projects, we took a risk of not getting what we expected. And to be honest, I kind of expected that the planned beta release half a year ago would be something like what we have today (basic crafting, a few classes and house design, although the house design is better than I expected!).

Looking at it in terms of “value”, my expectations (or rather what I was hoping for) were not really met… Since I could as well have paid the $15 instead of $30 just to be part of the beta and still get almost the same package. I know many of you already played the game for many hours, and in that case the term “value” could be met by far if comparing to some huge titles with only 10 hours of play time.

Please note that I’m not complaining! I’m just making a summary of plans and expectations and comparing that to what has come so far :blush: I don’t regret backing, I had fun trying it out. Most of all it has been fun to be this close to the “development journey”, which I wouldn’t have unless I had backed the game. Also, spending time in the community is fun, there are a lot of creative people here that inspire me every week! Thanks to the translation activities I picked up programming again and have a piece of translating assisting software that works quite well. Everything leads to something…

I am looking forward to what’s coming, the game is still as promising as it was in the Kickstarter over a year ago, and I stand behind the idea of sticking 100% to the original vision! It was both what you wanted to make, and what we wanted to have when we backed it. So keep it up and know that you have our (at least my) support! :smiley:

(This post took me two hours to write… working at the same time.)


#12

[quote]> long story short, we’ve chosen to stick 100% to the original vision of the game, even when it costs us time
[/quote]
Just so long as the game gets made :wink: .


#13

I was quite surprised to see an Alpha 5 announced since I think between now and the release they have enough to fix just on your list above. I would only add one thing to your list…

Improved building editor and villager build process. Many buildings fail to construct, and I think, if I can draw it, it should be buildable.


#14

hmm… can you be more specific here?


#15

Yes, it seems that when you queue a building you cannot queue another or save before that building is complete, if you do the villagers will not complete the building. I’ve seen bug reports saying the same thing. And I’ve had that experience as well.

Also this weekend I had the privilege of letting an 8 year old play StoneHearth on my computer. I realize I am playing StoneHearth as if I wrote it. A Dev often will not cause any error in what he has written because he knows how to use it. Watching the 8 year old play, he caused error after error. None of his buildings completed in the five runs of the game he had. Just doing stuff in the UI caused wall’0’text errors and all sorts of UI incompatible states (dialogs up together I did not know you could have on the screen at the same time).

He also did something critical in my opinion. He had a worker build two wall pillars next to each other and end up on top of the two pillars. This caused the villager to stand there until it started crying with hunger, also surrounded by goblins. The worker could not get down, nor finish the building. Such a state should not happen for two reasons, villagers should not move to a position where they are trapped or complete an action that would trap them (complex code I know) and dropping down a pole or a tree instead of starving is an action every person (in real life) would take. I think that edge case is important to this game and should be coded in.

TLDR: Villagers get stopped on completing buildings or glitched in the building process for unknown reasons. This, IMO, needs to be fixed for the “September”/backer release.