Early game progression & sense of achievement


I’d like to share a few thoughts regarding early game progression. The game is still in alpha so it’s likely not been balanced yet, but if not, I’d be curious to know what’s the long term plan. What I’m going to say is a bit negative, but I’ll try to be constructive because I want the game to get even better than it already is ! :smile:

I feel like there isn’t enough sense of progression early game. Within five minutes of playing, it is trivial to have a carpenter, a mason, a farmer, a trapper and a soldier, and yet there aren’t many things you can have them do. Setting up the trapper & the farmer is very easy and can be done within a minute of playing. After that, you only need to chop down a tree or two and you can start building your first house. Before the first night, you can have beds for everybody, tables and chairs, and maybe even a tailor working on some stuff if you’re lucky. Only the blacksmith takes a while longer to get.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the game and I enjoy doing all the things I mentioned above, but I feel like it’s all coming in too quickly, too easily. I’d rather have things be a bit more difficult to get to, choices to make early that will influence what I’m able to do and what resources I will get later on. Right now, it’s very easy to get the resources you need and do everything at once, and there is little sense of achievement and victory when you get something new, because it wasn’t hard to get it.

Secondly, the required resources for crafting things don’t make a lot of sense, and it doesn’t help. For the carpenter, you can just close your eyes and assume everything will require either 1 or 2 wood, which comes in almost unlimited supply. Same goes with stone for the mason. The blacksmith is a bit more complex and a bit more balanced, because ores are much harder to find ! In addition to that, there is a big lack of feedback on what resources you have and what resources you need. For example, if you want to craft a bunch of chairs, it’s hard to figure out how much wood you have from within the carpenter’s workshop UI, so you don’t know how many chairs you should push in. There is also no way of knowing what a building will cost you. Not being able to clearly see what you have and what you need reinforces the lack of sense of achievement, since you don’t know how well you’re doing and what you need to get what you want done.

All that being said, the game is still fun to play. I just think it needs more feedback and more fine tuning of the difficulty. I’m sure it’s planned at some point down the road, but I’d love to hear some information about what other people / devs think about this !

Cheers, and keep up the awesome work.


I think the thing about progression is partly predicated on what the goal is.

For example, if the end point of progression is “I have beds and a first house” then yes it is quite easy at the moment.

BUT… that’s only the “end game” at the moment because there’s not much else to do. You can’t build castles or fight Cthulhu yet, so naturally when you’ve done 50% of everything that’s possible in the game it’s going to feel fast :slight_smile: .

When Stonehearth is released as a finished game, I would expect that, like you’re finding, it will be pretty quick and easy to set up the basics of a settlement. But going from a few huts in the wood to New York City and fending off all the monsters that will be intent on stopping you… that will take much longer :wink: .

As for the resource costs… yeah that stuff still needs a balancing pass :smiley: .

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I agree that the game currently lack mid/end game goals simply because it’s still under development and that’s fine :smile:

And I understand what you’re saying … The early game might feel a bit “too easy” right now because the real content of the game will come later. But I disagree. I don’t think that the current content of the game should only serve as a quick & easy introduction to whatever will fill the mid/end game ! As you said, “i have beds and a first house” is an early game goal and it is very easy to reach. Although I believe it should be harder to reach, no matter what’s coming next, because going from a fireplace to a few hunts is in my opinion just as interesting as going from a few huts to New York City.