I feel like Stonehearth just isn't that fun

Hear me out as I know a title like that will draw in some of the forum’s Knights, or at least the Clerics for damage control ;D

Anyways, hello there friends I am Ramsis, a fan of the game and someone who has been following since well before the successful Kickstarter. Like many I was drawn in by the ideas, the goals, and the pure compassion that you could feel from the small dev team. As the years have gone on we’ve all watched as that small team grew, got better, became far more functional and as of late quite well funded, etc.

Today I step forward with a problem that is one that I hope will spark a good discussion not filled with hate or chaos. Stonehearth… is really dull after all these years… I know, it’s a horrible thing to say about a game I’m happy I bought, but it’s sadly the truth. The game really has yet to bring anything to the table after all this time that really makes it stand out. You start with your Hearthlings of a small number and get your jobs sorted out, farming chores and zones situated, mass harvest everything you can see on screen. After a few days something will wander into your base and your little soldiers will take it out with relative ease.

Maybe you’ll build a house or two, an ungodly task that will put some of your Hearthlings out of commission as they try to understand what they are actually supposed to do with the task you’ve given them. Some of you will be unlucky and you’ll watch as they get stuck, maybe you’ll be lucky and the building will take you less than a half hour to have been built completely.

Classes are… interesting but nothing too noteworthy. You have a few starter classes that get the job done just fine, sometimes you’ll hit a point where you can advance them to their next form but at the current state of the game they don’t really do too much to change up any gameplay other than opening up some new crafting chain for better this or that which maybe down the line will change things up a bit but for now don’t.

Combat is straightforward. You’ll get attacked at random by beasts and monsters every other day or so depending on your difficulty and unless you lost a footman incredibly early on you’ll usually fair out pretty well. A cleric usually means the survivability of one footman alone is greater than most waves of mobs can take out, lord help you if you have two footmen and a cleric or even multiple clerics even the biggest baddest enemies don’t stand a chance in combat.

Most people will bring up "well the game is still early early development!
To that I point towards the roadmap. Currently it’s getting more and more full every update until we eventually hit the point of full focus on Multiplayer, which if this is the game we’ll all have by the end of the development process I can’t promise Multiplayer is going to make it more interesting.

Who knows, maybe I’m just completely off in my opinion but I just figured the game would be so much more than what it seems like it’ll be by the end of this crazy adventure.

What do you all think?

Edit: I have just been told that the original devs have actually left the Stonehearth project and actually gave it over to a completely different team. Not sure if this is true or not, I was just under the assumption the entire group worked on the game.


I completely understand your point, this game is not as fun as it is when you start because all the unique and special things you experience get normal after a while.
But I personally bought this game for 23 euro’s and I have now spent 105 hours on it. Yesterday was the first time I gave Rayya’s children a proper shot which gave me not an enourmous change of perspective, but enough to go trough the same ritual without it feeling dull.

Eventually multiplayer will come along and me and my girlfriend will start again because we’d love to play this game togheter.

All in all, I may eventually spent around 150 - 200 hours on this game before I am bored of it and it will hang around in my steam libary forgotten.
But that’s still more than the 35 hours I spent on Dying light. The 27 hours on Far Cry 3 or the 86 on GTA V. All of which cost me 60 euro’s.

In short: If this is not your absolute favorite game you are probably going to get bored of it evetually. But you will also probably remember this as a really fun game for not that much of money. And that’s pretty great.


Your certainly entitled to your own opinion, all I can say is checking my steam stats, I’ve 1288 hours playing Stonehearth so, I respectfully disagree :slight_smile:


Hey and that is the best part of this discussion is your ability to disagree and not be judged or harassed! We all make our own opinions based on thousands of different variables that make us… well us! I wouldn’t feel right telling you you’re wrong for enjoying something that I don’t.


As far as I know, at least as recently as stream 200, Tom and Tony were still working for Radiant, just in a more administrative role than the work they used to do. Radiant’s still working on Stonehearth even though they’ve been acquired by Riot.

I’ve also worried that it’s further than I want at this stage. “Monsters & Denizens” and “Game Master” are still relatively low, however, so there will definitely be more monsters and more of an endgame later on.

Building bugs are slowly being eliminated, at least faster than new ones appear. And the editor’s getting a UX pass soon, so designing should be less frustrating then.

I haven’t played Stonehearth very long in a while myself. We’re at a point now where a lot of fans have been taking time off from the game, and the team is very focused on optimization and bug-fixing.

I hope that as soon as the team figures out exactly where to go from here, we’ll get some more impressive updates.


My thoughts on this are -

  1. For me personally my favourite bit about stonehearth is watching the dev team grow and work out the faults in the game and watch them build the game they always wanted to make. At this point playing the game is like the second thing that comes along with me following the devs.

This is in part down to what you have just talked about, after 150 odd hours on record I have pretty much played though the game as many times as it is possible, before you have to start adding lots of mods to make the game more interesting and challenging.

I think stonehearth is fun but I still wouldn’t play it over my favourite game as it isn’t as rewarding to play.

I will read every patch note and if there is something I think may have an interesting impact on the game go play a bit and have a look at the change.
This is basically the only time I play stonehearth anymore, I can’t wait for the northern alliance as the amount of content that single update will add, will give so many more hours of gameplay.

  1. As @Quryx has pointed out all games that don’t have a competitive multiplayer mode and large active community will always have a limited “shelf life”. This is because players get bored as there isn’t the constant input of other human beings in there gaming experience.

When multiplayer comes out I hope that there will be nice adaptations for PvP and PvE so that the online community never truly dies. It is what the devs and the community make of the multiplayer which will eventually decide stonehearths “shelf life”.

A prime example of this is FAforever, a community driven lobby for the 2007 game Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance.
Supreme commander: Forged alliance is my most played and favourite game of all time. I have well over 1300 competitive ranked games on FAforever which translates to probably about 2500 - 3000 hours of time spent playing the game/ active on the lobby.
My second most played game is Robocraft which was amazing for a time before the devs ruined it. (all dev teams can learn a life lesson for the Robocraft devs, don’t change your core game so much that you alienate your player base)

Anyway both of these games are incredibly multiplayer focus and I think that is the only way that you can create a game that will keep your players attention forever.

  1. The best in-game experiences come about when the player is facing insurmountable odds and manage to overcome things that you would never expect.
An experience of mine

This sort of thing happens very rarely in the few games that have mechanics that allow it, and when it does happen it makes you realise spenting 300 hours playing that game was worth it for that one moment.

So robocraft is an 8v8 moba in which you have to control towers. There are no mobs so the only way to level is to take towers or kill your oppenents.
One game saw 4 of my team disconnect right at the beginning and only one of the enemy team left so it was a 4v7.
We won after an incredible game by me and a team mate we got the better of them after 23 minutes.
Me going 31/3/10 and him going 25/8/12 (kills/deaths/assists)
Result pic below.

Stonehearth needs mechanics which allow this sort of crazy wtf gameplay to occur, it’s why people play games. To experience excitement that they cannot normally get in everyday life. If the game can’t provide that then people won’t play it for long.

To be honest I feel that stonehearth doesn’t have enough there in the way of extra combat mechanics with enough synergy to allow this sort of gameplay.


i have to say, i’ve never really trusted the roadmap, even back in alpha 5 everything was considered pretty complete by it’s standards…


The roadmap is a very optimistic percentage that is not that easily quantified.

The devs have stated multiple times that Stonehearth has gotten more and more complicated the more they worked on AI and realized the amount of time similar games were under developement with a bigger team or with a much more manageable 2D platform did not have the same scope or goals in mind. Part of this is inexperience on the devs part and the other is that its hard to decide direction in development the more things your game can do. Game development is always torn between core aspects and releasing on time. The devs have expressed that they are more concerned about doing it right than the timeline they proposed early on.

While the game will most likely take even longer, it can be a good thing this early in development. They devs are getting a lot of feedback and have a lot of different ideas and decisions to make about the direction of core gameplay and your input does affect that to some degree.

All this said, this game already does things that no other game can do. Though it may be overly-simplified in the vanilla game, its been planned from the start to be mod friendly. I expect the vanilla game to be generic but with solid core mechanics that is supported by mods and easily made into multiplayer. Until the game has those main core mechanics in place modders will not be able to make the insane amount of content you see in games like minecraft. Right now is the time for the players to talk to the devs and help decide what kind of support should be given to what aspects of the game so that it is even possible to make a particular mod or not. This is why people say its too early in development, decisions have not even be made yet.

The fact that Radiant was bought by Riot means more financial support, more people working on the game and an extended timeline for game development.

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At this point, I think stonehearth is till more a toy than a game. More efforts are put in to building up the foundation and infrastructure, than actually using them to craft a better “game experience”. which is not wrong atm (whatever things being used now to craft that experience could be broken when the foundation/infrastructure aka engine changes. so engine dev up to a more or less stable design should have higher priority).

If it is a toy, the ways of enjoying it will be a little different.

  1. Toy users usually find fun in exploring toy possibilities. In stonehearth’s case, one major aspect of this is mine-craft like building design.
  2. Toy users makes up their own “game” rules. instead of the game telling us what to do, we decide what we want to do or the challenges we have. E.g. say you decide to build a settlement entirely over a lake. no in-game rules would tell you to do that! :wink:

So when the two are “exhausted”, we’ll get tired of the toy.

Some possible ways to extend those:

  • mods. These can add more possibilities to both points.
  • community. e.g. “meta-game” like everybody start from one same save game embarked at same location and all posts reports of their gameplay and settlement design… (like DF lol).

If those don’t work, then I think you should take a break. And come visit again when there are more development. At least that is what I would do myself. Anyway, I don’t believe in just looking forward to promised features. I mean, I’ll look forward to them yes, but I would rather find ways to enjoy things as they are. And if that cannot be achieved, I’ll take a break (and return when more features are added, hopefully)


I wish Stonehearth can also get ideas like Rimworld but without those Drugs and Insane body havesting.
And already Dev mention they are going on like Final Fantasy Building Town which already great.
To add on lol if they could mix alittle Majesty or Dungeon Village into the game,
Then Stonehearth will be the greatest game of all Times !

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Hah yeah we actually hear that a lot over at the RimWorld forums (I’m one of the admins over there) about how people like comparing RW to Stonehearth; I think I’ve heard the most about how people would kill for RimWorld’s gameplay mixed with Stonehearth’s graphics.

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I,ve played stonehearth for over 470 hours so far. I’ve liked the game mostly for the building part. That was the case the moment i bought the game A14 and still it has not changed. Personally i like the fact that its still alpha. I like to follow the developement early on, but most games die a premature time because a dev team stop working on it. This game seems to not have that issue. They continue to add new possibility’s in the game, improve gameplay and work hard to find a fix for the massive amount of bugs and errors we experience.

For some weird reason i got really happy when i found some non error pop-up bug in the game. It really made me happy thinking about the fact that i may have just made the game a little better by finding it. I’m not good at modding or a great game play movie maker so contributing like this is most likely the best i can do. Or just coming up with new design idea’s and getting possitive feed back about it or even players who will adopt it in there games. That made me really proud.

To the previous posters i would like to say/ask the following. What did you expect when you first decided to buy the game? Did you have some other idea’s about a alpha state game? are you disappointed the way the game developped and the direction its taking? Or is it just your own idea’s, your own imagination that makes you not being able to play the same thing over and over again. I know there are allot of games, allot of different type of gameplays. And there is a constant supply of more games so the attention span for a single game thus not have to be long. I would just say wait a while, stop playing for a couple months and see if you have gained some more expieriance to play a game that currently is mostly directed at creating buildings :slight_smile:


I respect your opinions, we all have different things we search and enjoy about any game, and maybe the currect game isn’t as fun as some others, and that’s okay, because we all have taste, and with such a unique game like SH, it’s hard to nail down in one style or type of game

For me i enjoy the challanges of HerdMode, and some designing of the buildings, which is the reso the ner combat system and hardmode brang me back to playing for hours on, thugh now i have a lot of new games i bought, so i’m not playing at the vry moment, but i can always be sure that when i come back, i’ll have that challanges and buildings to build, and it’ll likely remain my boost for the game, asides that, i also enjoy moding and making content for the game, it’s nice to contribute to the community and it’s fun for me as a creator

I hope something exiting for you will come up someday and will completely absorbe you, like the combat did to me :slight_smile:

Thankfully, that’s false, he team is still working on the game even after the aquisition of Riot, I obviously don’t know how it’ll go on in the long run, but for now, they’re still here with us, there’s just some new people like the new animator we are so lucky to have!(sorry, i forgot his name)

As far as i know, Riot organizes stuff in teams, it’s not a small company, so they’ll likely have teams working on different games, the Rising-Tunder team of radiant is now working on a game we don’t know of yet, and team StoneHearth(or original radiant, i guess) is working on StoneHearth


I totally agree with that, I really like their openness regarding their advance in development and also their thoughts on the future. They communicate very well, how they work and I’m always looking forward to a new Desktop Tuesday every week.

I too haven’t played the A17/A18 stuff yet and still I like the game, because I like the vision and I can see that the devs are working on the game to make it better with each week passing (reference to the DTs).
Might be that my opinion is not unbiased since I’m working in the game industry (not as designer but as dev). I know that it can be hard sometimes to make right descisions, e.g. what should be the focus in the upcoming iteration, which features to take next, how can this feature fit best in the game etc.

That’s why I like to follow Radiant on their path to Stonehearth’s release.


For me the fun is all in designing my own buildings and town and seeing the hearthlings live in it, I’ve spent >200 hours since alpha 7 doing it and I’m sure lots of people have spent way more!

Also, like others have mentioned, I love watching the dev team work on the game and the process they go through. I would have loved to be a games designer but ended up on a different path so it’s really neat.


i honest i dont want to know how many hours if have played and modded stonehearth xD steam is for this not relavant because mostly i start it without steam - so that my friends not every 30 seconds see that i play stonehearth while modding xDDD


Wait, this is a game??? I thought I pledged for three dev streams and a desktop tuesday each week :stuck_out_tongue:

I love this game even if I don’t have enought time to play it at the moment (or code all those mods I want :p) and I can’t wait for the streams to continue tomorrow :smiley:

Could it be a better and richer experience? Sure, there is always something to improve, ideas to implement, gameplay to optimize, but for me it’s the journey that counts in this special case … :slight_smile:


personally i dont feel the game currently has a solid enough backbone to add more entertaining features.
but down the road sure hopefully we will see more depth.

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Hi great topic. And great insights. I’m pretty positive on this game. I’ve spent a lot of time playing it and thinking about it and wondering about the possibilities. It does still have a certain boringness at this point, but I think sphr captured it perfectly when he described it more as a toy then as a game. Most of the fun I’ve had with it has been in that vein. Creating my own challenges and exploring the limits of the game as it currently stands, including doing things like draining lakes and capturing monsters in self made traps and such. I think there are a couple of things that the game is missing at this point to create a more fun experience.

  1. There aren’t enough little surprises and details. This is something that no one should expect at this point honestly, but think about it… randomly seeded interesting things and occurances could really make the game a lot more interesting. Imagine finding fossils or artifacts or even ruins while mining. Imagine having the lake you build next too suddenly start flooding because of a huge downpour or finding a new creature to trap that provides some special resource. This is both the sort of stuff that gets layered onto a game at later in it’s development, and the sort of stuff that good mods can bring to the table.

  2. There is no plot. Maybe this isn’t the sort of game that really has a plot persay. But little bits of lore and story could be seeded into the game to bring it alive and make it more interesting. If I recall correctly they are planning on adding festivals to the game, so that maybe bring a bit of that to the table. We could start seeing a least partially plot driven encounters at some point too… where there are some chains of decisions that can be made that effect the game play and behavior of the monsters. Right now the monsters are just sort of there for the combat mechanics but that’s not to say they couldn’t have a more interesting role in the future. There are already a sort of NPC in the game that isn’t a monster in the form or traders, if more such characters were introduced into the game and you could actually see them come into town and interact with them like the monsters/hearthlings that would certainly drive a greater sense of plot to the game…

rather then just having random offers from traders you could have a trader establish an ongoing agreement with your settlement that has some semblance of story context, like the kingdom you are trading with needs iron and weapons because they are at war.

I do really hope that this game starts to get some of this sort of treatment as it reaches completion, I feel like the the developers have a responsibility to at least create the framework for these sort of things so that modders can develop content that involving interesting events, surprises, and basic plot lines. The secret crafter recipes that you can get when you agree to build wonders for the glory of the kingdom, seems to be the first real sign of this sort of thing, so that give me hope that there will be some significant further development along those lines.


I personally think that Stonehearth is a ton of fun until you get to the end of the alpha content.
I bought Stonehearth back in alpha 9 i believe? and i havent played it that much until alpha 16 but since alpha 16 i added 23 hours to my playtime :smile: