Do Team StoneHearth have any incentive to move out of alpha?

This is a simple proposition based on nothing but my own unease.

Alpha seems to have these benefits for TS:

  • StoneHearth is presumably selling enough in alpha form to keep going anyway
  • Can keep tinkering with StoneHearth in the hope of finding enough ideas to actually produce a beta edition
  • Don’t have to deal with the thorny question of multiplayer
  • Don’t have to deal with the thorny question of macOS and Linux versions

Alpha downside

  • Backer support is slowly dwindling away
  • The devs have a clear vision in mind what they want to accomplish with the game and this goal has not been reached yet (many gameplay elements missing, no real endgame, no multiplayer yet, no dwarfs etc.)
  • It is quite normal that backer support dwindles away over time. As long as there are enough people reporting bugs, I dont see a big problem with that. They will probably return once beta starts
  • Rushing things never really helps. Ofc they could release another mayor update and call it beta, but it wouldnt change much. The game would still be unfinished with lots of bugs and players still had to test it
  • Team Radiant is releasing updatesvery often and keeps us informed. As long as they do this, they’re doing a great job and better then 90% of the other kickstarter projects, who stay silent over month and then release just a minor update (see project phoenix, mighty no. 9 etc.).

All in all I dont see much use of forcing to get out of alpha now and I doubt they have a rough estimate yet.


If the devs have a clear vision in mind, they’re keeping it close to their chests.


They’ve definitely started rethinking a lot of things this year, but so far they’ve mostly worked towards living up to their Kickstarter promises.

It seems most people that have followed Stonehearth for a while have taken breaks but eventually come back, so I wouldn’t say support is dwindling away that much from my view on the Discourse.


Desert monsters, MagmaSmith, lava, North Alliance, Arctic Biome, Animal Trainer, seasons, Rabbit Clan, Geomancer, golems, Titans, elementals…

Those are pretty far to complete and yet we know about it. You can watch they stream weekly and see they working with the added bonus of getting some development news there.
Not to mention their kickstarter plans.

For this next version they are working on the happiness system, new combat mechanic (faint) and adding the last cosmetics to the desert.

I would say if they are trying to hide anything, they are doing a horrible job.


They know what they want to accomplish with the game, but they are completely open for community suggestions and feedback and have no problems altering their vision for the game if the community brings up some good arguments.

I mean, if they didn’t know where this game should be going, development wouldn’t be as smooth as it is right now. They couldn’t fill weekyl DTs and streams if they had no idea what they want to talk about.

Backing a kickstarter project always bears the “risk”, that you probably have to wait 3-5 years until the game is finished, since the teams are mostly very small and still lack experience (and have real jobs sometimes too). So if you dont like the waiting, you shouldn’t back games or maybe you should just forget about the game for now and come back at a later point of development. :slight_smile:


Perhaps someone could point to where the development path to beta is, because the roadmap and Trello boards seem to be stuck in early 2016. I seem to remember this game had already seen some development before the KickStarter, which was funded in May 2013, so to be still waiting for a clear route to beta some four years later is a worry that won’t be cured by being told to wait and see.

Sorry if this is rocking the boat, but I think this boat needs, and is worth rocking.

Is this your first kickstarter project? I have pledged many projects, some never reached the light of existence, others are still in development (and longer then stonehearth for sure).

I think this “boat” only needs “rocking” if the development would go into the wrong direction. They focus on important things and they find a good balance between adding content and fixing things or m aking the game more stable/run faster. They update weekly so that we players know about the upcoming stuff. And the developer always asks for opinions. Take a look at the Desktop Tuesday from this week, about the emotions of hearthlings. Our opinions were taken very seriously and therefore changes in th e expression of emotions might get altered a little bit to fit the taste of the community a little bit more.

Ofc a project could always run better/more efficient/faster. But as long as it doesnt take like 6 month for a minor update, I’m not worried even a little bit. And since you are the first one here I ever see complaining about the current status of the project, I dont think many others think alike. Ever been in the developer forums of project phoenix or mighty no. 9? Pure chaos there, because the developers do not communicate with the community, leaving them in the dark and delivering a project no one asked for, which is completely different from what they have advertized in the campaign, while stonehearth is very close to what has been promised for now.

No offense, but I think the development speed is good right now and the game will be great.


The roadmap in place is their current to-do list, and path to any version outside of alpha; whether that is release or beta. They’ve been VERY transparent about what has been accomplished over the past years, and are VERY transparent about what they intend to do.
I feel as if it’s not impatience that you suffer from, so of course the “wait and see” pill doesn’t work for you. You simply aren’t accepting what they’ve shown. I don’t think it’s required to define a line between Alpha and release, just so it can be called ‘beta’.

Is this my first KickStarter, no. Obviously, compared to Godus this is a paragon of development, compared to The Dwarves, it seems positively pedestrian. Universim strolls along with a part time team and took ages to get out of pre-alpha and little Devil Inside recently put years on its delivery schedule. SUPERHOT, Chaos Reborn and TinyKeep all managed, with some slight slippages to do what they intended within sight of the timescales they suggested. Elite Dangerous recently announced its fourth platform for development, having actually delivered more than one.

I don’t think that I’ve suggested that team StoneHearth are not transparent, just that they don’t appear to be very focused. I may well be wrong, but I think it’s worth considering that all may not be well in paradise.

PS if you want to see unhappy backers, have a look at the KickStarter comments.

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“If the devs have a clear vision in mind, they’re keeping it close to their chests.”

For me this sounded like you were suggesting that they are not very transparent about their vision.

You can pretty much always see unhappy backers in every kickstarter discussion. And that’s because there are thousands of different players with different tastes and with every patch you bring to public you will always have some minor groups who are not satisfied. And there are always people who think a kickstarter project can be developed as fast as a title from a big developer like EA/Activision/Ubisoft/etc. and just dont know the difference between indies who dont have much experience and experienced devs with 100+ workers.


Shouldn’t the focus of the Alpha be to put all the features in?
Beta to fix all the bugs?
and then release?

Build and grow your City
Notice it says CITY, not Town.

I’m still waiting for the game where I build my City and a game that can actually cope with 40+ buildings and 80-100 Hearthlings + 10-100 other AI-entities such as animals and enemies.


Beta means that the game is as bug free as possible, like a polished version of the full game, which devs could come back and add things if they wished. Alpha is more for adding, debugging, adding some more xD. Adding everything at once is a really bad idea, for performance, rendering, debugging ect. Sure you could throw everything in at once, but then you’d spend double the time going back over everything. With a custom game engine, performance takes a lot of work and time, coming from back in alpha 3/5 you could barely build 5 buildings before a crash, and we can already build a lot now. I would say to build something like that city would be around beta time, once the game and game engine is more polished, but I’d say it may be possible now on a good pc.

Building something like that city has always inspired me, and one day I hope to build something as nice, :wink:


Yeesh, yes of course don’t put it in all at once.

But where at Alpha 20 now, for how many Alphas are they going to release before going beta? 30-40?
Where is the over-all plan for how they will complete the Kickstarter goals? Whats their plan for the coming 4 alpha releases?

My argument is this, spend more time getting gameplay , simulation and performance up and running and less time on emoticons, graphics and animations.

But I guess that’s just me being a former QA-tester on a AAA-game talking.

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They are working on gameplay, simulation and performance…
Why can’t they also work on the other things? They have multiple devs, each in a different area, working in this, while one is doing performance tests, the other can be creating some new house furnitures.

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What’s an animator to do besides animations? Besides, the whole look at emotions is because they’re going to be adding that to the core gameplay.

Are they?

When have we been shown a test-level with 20+ Hearthlings going about their business and how they have improved pathfinding and job-finding for those scenarios? Or even 50+?

The game as it is now have trouble with assigning jobs to over 10 hearthlings at the same time.

Multiple times, in-fact, there are streams of Tom (or Tony, can’t differ them) doing that with a save from the community, live, where he even found some bugs in the game right there. (The stream is old though)

Every update comes with improvements, last year I couldn’t have more than 10, while right now I have a town with 34.

I think Yang did one stream testing performance too recently, with the loading times and other bugs


They actually did show such tests, or rather, patches

Back a while ago, there was a issue with pathfindimg taking too much CPU and it not pathing to far away objectives, or to jobs, it was a issue that rose when you had a lot of Hearthlings, it was fixed/improved after a little while, and it’s effect was drastic, it may feel like something you can take for granted, but it really was something that was fixed in the more recent time (i think it was this year, actually)

It’s easy to not notice or take note of it simce it feels so obvious, they should do that, they should go there, but it was littered with issues and fixes for a long time, and we barely even notice what happenes in the AI head if at-all

And for the Alpha thing, yes, it is quite slow lately, and i think that’s part due to the team changing up and organizing, but i think the biggest part is the fact that the features we have left for the to-do list, are now mostly majoy features, the Geomancer needs the terrain editing tech, water and agriculture needs the water system to be polished and for tach related to the watering, the other race needs assets and balancing, biome work and design, Seasons are a lot ot tech and design, the Magic is soemthing complicated

What i think happened here is that we managed most of the relatively easy and quick tasks, and now we’re left with all the other massive features we need to cover, i suppose that wasn’t the best pacing on the team’s side sure, but it wasn’t that bad of one either, since we got a lot of features as a result.
What i’m saying is that, it’s different making a knight Arther and Cleric, to making a Water system work, the former is done by the artist and the programmer, and not that it makes it easier, but it’s that its simpler that something like Water or the Geomancer system

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