Just a quick note on the ongoing controversy surrounding doublefine’s abandonment of Spacebase df-9 and how it relates to Stonehearth:
For those of you who don’t know Doublefine has just abandoned development of their Steam Early Access game Spacebase DF-9 citing the games early access sales are no longer enough to sustain development of the game, despite it not having most of the features they had planned to put in it, features that had strongly influenced many people’s decision to purchase.
In the backlash that has resulted, I’m even more grateful to Stonehearth Dev’s for deciding not to push ahead with Early Access plans. While several EA games I’ve been a part of have been very well done (Prison Architect, Space Engineers), at it’s core EA is a mechanism for displacing financial risk onto the customers. While this has allowed games to be made that may not have received funding otherwise, there have been notable failures including Towns and Spacebase DF-9 now that have left consumers with unplayable or incomplete games.
Given this latest failure of Early Access, I would strongly encourage the Stonehearth Devs to get as close to feature-complete beta before moving to Steam. This will allow presentation of a complete game to the public. Later additional content releases can be used to keep the game relevant and prolong sales.