Multiplayer, why and how?


((absolutely skippable, just a rant just like the whole thing :thinking: ))
The year 2013, craziness about thing called kickstart was happening and me and my friend were interested too, we are big into co-op/multiplayer games and we saw Stonehearth. Great looking, interesting game with promises of many things, including the most important ingredient, and no it is not the bonus dog/cat you get, it was multiplayer. Friend and me, still in highschool, gathered up $50 which is not small amount in Croatia to be honest. And we pledged to the game. The years have passed now the team has moved twice from home office to big office and from promises of game coming out in 2014 to it ending up still being in alpha in 2017, we have lost sadly much interest in the game.
But I look at the updates now and then, when I get them in mail, and I saw the updated roadmap, as any other person here I was very excited, I watched the video, looked at the roadmap, the future focus and everything, but something bothered me. I did not see any mention of multiplayer, of course I ctrl+F and typed multiplayer, and there it was on the bottom “Don’t worry…” after 4 years of waiting, it’s still in a phase of don’t worry and I guess it’s fine as long as the game keeps getting updated and moving towards the end goal of being awesome. But what rustled my jimmies is now a mindset of developers for not even taking multiplayer seriously.

Multiplayer why?

It’s simple, the multiplayer was a core idea from the start, which got my friend and me and probably others into actually supporting and buying this game. What does sound better than having fun by yourself? Having fun with others. Which I believe can be achieved by this game if done properly. Things that could be done in multiplayer: building, defending, conquering. Same stuff you can do in singleplayer, but with friends.

Multiplayer how?

I have seen a topic or two suggesting what to do, and I agree on one thing only, and that is having a hero/elder/mayor or however you wanna call a guy who can be a endgame for you as a player. Your hero should be strong through the game but not invincible, so he can fend off a few enemies at the beginning until you get your village set up properly and later on he can lead a group of valiant soldiers to whatever quest was given at the time.

  1. PvE aspect: or Co-op if you will. You as players start normally as in singleplayer, but lets say there is a AI kingdom, to which you have to pay tribute as you are it’s loyal subjects. This way it adds a difficulty factor to the game, tribute to the AI - difficulty. Now let’s not forget our common enemies, goblins and what have you not which will still attack you now and then AI might aid you or not. As the game progress the AI might get greedier, it might ignore your pleas for whatever problem you have, and the chances are you’d get sick of it, so sick that once you get a big enough army with your friend you attack your AI kingdom city and have it as a win condition?
    Conclusion: Get bigger than AI, kill it, win
  2. PvP aspect: as I am not much into PvP it might be a standard RTS game where you spawn on random place, build, find others and kill eachother. This kind of game mode should not be long, with limited buildings, resources, objectives and only focusing on military part which is kinda foolish in a friendly base building game as Stonehearth but as I said it’s not my cup of tea. And of course the hero is still present in this game mode.
    Conclusion: Get stronger army faster, capture valuable resources before, win
  3. Pure Stonehearth: Just the standard singleplayer, but with friends!
    Conclusion: Fun

Now, I’ve seen some even say that you want to make a AI that continues playing for the players after they disconnect, but why? If you play multiplayer you want to play with your friends at all times, so I don’t see reason for any special AI controllable player villages or what have you not, if any of the players decide to stop playing the other of course should be able to continue the save but I guess he gets all the other villagers under his control?


I believe in this game, I want to see it in it’s glory and I want you not to look at multiplayer like it’s your weird third cousin who picks his nose and puts boogers everywhere he goes. You guys got yourself a nice team, nice offices and everything, so use them please.




I just want to point out that multiplayer is still on the roadmap, although obscured. Look at the upper-left corner :merry:

While that definitely won’t satisfy you, it’s still cool that it’s there.


I think you guys are going to find that there is only one way to implement multiplayer and that is through supporting each other from separate cities.

I do not think that having two people building the same city would be enjoyable. When building a town you tend to push your Hearthlings to constantly build and expand. This causes your resources to be the limiting factor in expansion and having two people with two different ideas of what needs to be expanded will just cause aggravation (one person plays while the other waits). I think Forts is a good example of this. Cities could support each other by sending supplies, trade, and reinforcements opportunities when certain events happen. This could also lead to additional events that arise from building relationships with foreign cities.

One method that might work for co-op building is a creative mode that has its own objectives. These objectives could be essentially the same as a typical game, but with the removal of some, if not all, building supplies. However, this would require significant improvement to optimization as currently building more then one or two building can break your crafters workbenches and workers AI. Can you imagine what two players could do?

You could also try assigning specific Hearthlings or classes to a player so that they always have a task that they need to pay attention to. This could be separated into groupings such as one player controlling Fighters and Farmers and the other Crafters and Workers; or simply let the players choose which classes they control before they start. As Blade said above, perhaps this would be a good way to implement a Mayor and/or General Hearthling class that each player could use (a class that the player controls directly and can be used to see first person, boost morale, and increase efficiency of their assigned Hearthlings). This type of Hearthling could also be useful if you decide to implement different city multiplayer and you could use this class to visit other cities.

Even with all these ideas multiplayer is still a monumental task and I believe that it will be easier to implement multiplayer between two cities. I rather have a well developed series of events and objectives between cites then a multiplayer experience that has to rework the way the game plays.

Whatever path your team chooses you have done an amazing job so far. Great work!


I love the idea of cooperative play with a multiplayer Stonehearth. While two or more players in the world at the same time would require a much larger map, for me it is the question of what happens when one player (or more) can’t get online when the others do. Would it only be accessible if all original players are playing at the same time? If not, what happens to the missing player’s village if events happen? I don’t see giving control to other players working in all situations.

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Well yeah, it’s there somewhere, in the back, hidden which as I said, rusttled my jimmies :slight_smile:

Yeah, I meant two sepperated starting points for players anyways, sorry if you didn’t catch that in my rant :stuck_out_tongue: . Completely agree that it would be a pure madness having both players building on same spot.

And are you thinking about trading between player cities on the same map or like somebody said that pokemon trading that you had as a kid where from 2 different saves you connect, do the trade of pokemon and call it a multiplayer? heh

Nice thinking on the different assignments for the players, like one town working the food, other mining and let’s say for a sake of example third guy making everything with resources provided by other players and then supplying them with the same. And yes, trading would need to be a necessary part of multiplayer games


As I said, you don’t really have a need of playing multiplayer if all players are not online, unless you are a really bad friend for playing multiplayer with :stuck_out_tongue: So I think the answer should be ‘yes’ at your first question :slight_smile:

I would love to see co-op be more of like we all have our own cities we build on and can be visited by other people but you can’t build really. You can trade not only resources but even hearthlings and livestock! Maybe even trade services, for example: pay someone to come build some structure for you so you don’t use your hearthlings. Or maybe you don’t have a engineer yet so you pay them to do some engineer stuff in your city. Another thing I would like to see is a major capitol where people can go (using their like mayor or whatever) and socialize. Make it feel more fluid. This area could have quests that you can do to explore such and such forest and defeat whatever monster with a friend and a few select hearthlings from your city. I think that it would add a level of connection to other players that wouldn’t make it feel so lonly when you are just building your city. You could be earning metals and customizing your hearthlings to be dragon slayers and whatnot and giving them really cool back stories by going out and doing these missions. It also makes it feel more open world. Like I can just walk off my city map and find someone elses city and wander around say hi trade connect etc. I am not for PvP at all really never have been. I can see how people might enjoy being able to go take over other peoples cities but I personally would hate it. Maybe it could be an option you can select to allow pvp mode? It would allow for there to be open world conflict which would give the game a way to build story on its own in a sense. It could also be AI fighting instead so the PvE people can still enjoy it without the extreme consequence of having all your work totally destroyed bc someone has a bigger city and squished yours instantly.