Plea for Compatability with Older Systems


#1

A brief rave:

I am so excited about this game. i absolutely fell in love with the charming art style and that love has continued. Everything from the design of the people to the GUI to the cute Cthulhu stomping the town is inviting. I can see the potential for serious gameplay while at the same time I feel like I wouldn’t be afraid to let my young kids play this game.

Another thing that I am loving about this game is that while it may have similarities to Minecraft, Dwarf Fortress, Gnomoria, and half a dozen other games already on the market, Stonehearth has potential to have engaging crafting and survival elements while also including story and progression elements that lead to a satisfying conclusion (“The End”) and strong replay value. I love the idea that the game will be made up of scripted modules that could include story elements and will have definite goals for completion beyond “Go here. Collect this. Build this.”

A brief rant:

The only thing that keeps me from investing in this game right now is my fear that Stonehearth will not be compatible with my older hardware. I get to update my computer every 5 years, maybe. I’ve loved supporting games that appreciate the fact that there is a large portion of the population that does not maintain a “gaming rig” with the latest and greatest machinery. I’ve been thoroughly frustrated a few times by developers that assumed that the people purchasing their games had the newest hardware. This is particularly the case with indie games where it is harder to find dependable minimum hardware requirements.

I can appreciate a development philosophy that says, “Let’s make the best possible game we can, that has the best look and the best features we can imagine.” I tend to avoid those games because I don’t have the hardware to run them. I’m also old enough to remember when game developers kept games under 1 MB because hard drive space was a premium commodity. This forced game designers to optimise every aspect of the game and really challenged their creativity to make a great game with limited resources. While I’m grateful that these limitations have lifted, I still wish more developers maintained the philosophy that their games should work with limited resources for the largest majority of the population.

My computing power consists of a 2011 macbook pro and an older Windows XP machine. The Windows machine runs Minecraft, League of Legends, and Portal with little problem, but for some other games I’ve tried, especially 3D games, it bogs down and becomes unplayable. Since everything about Stonehearth appeals to the casual kind of player like me, which tends to be the type of gamer with older systems, I am hoping that the developers make efforts to have their game work on older machines. I’ve heard that they are wanting this as well, but I am pushing this to the community as well so that others like me can make sure that their voice is heard in support.

I really want to drop $30 into this game right now, but I am really afraid that after doing so I won’t be able to play.


#2

Upgrade to Windows 7. Why should the developers support you when the makers of Windows XP have stopped supporting the OS?


#3

your concerns are perfectly reasonable, but im sure they are not developing for high end platforms specs… having said that, you can really spruce up an aging machine with a little more memory and a decent ($60-$80) graphics card…

i’ve kept my secondary machine at home chugging along for quite some time with just little upgrades here and there… :slight_smile:


#4

I dont believe that the hardware of your windows machine would give you grief.
Should there be problems because of the Windows XP then I suggest you try to install an Ubuntu Linux or another Linux flavour of your choice as secondary operating system.

As the 200K stretch goal was cross compatibility you probably will be able to run the Linux version without too much hassle even on older systems.


#5

We want as many people as possible to be able to play, including those who can’t afford routine hardware upgrades. I’ve tried running the game on my 5 year old Windows laptop and it performs pretty well, even though we haven’t done any performance tuning yet. I think you should be fine with your 2011 Macbook. I’d but surprised if we couldn’t get the game to scale down that low.


Minimum Specs...Can I Play the Game?
#6

This creates a new question for me, will there be video settings for people with high-end hardware to make the game look nicer, or is that not really possible without destroying some of the voxel/16-bit feel?
And how heavy will the physics simulation be, since I heard you were going for very realistic water :slight_smile:


#7

Let’s not forget support for supports sake. I mean, it’s like donating to the starving children around the world, only better.

Also, I’d recommend upgrading your computer piece by piece. It is much easier on the budget.


#8

while not wanting to resort to the tried and true “its possible via mods” response, Tony did specifically mention modders being able to implement their own shaders in the last live stream… whether that means we can have something like per-pixel shaders, hard & soft dynamic shadows, and SSAO is beyond my meager understanding of the that side of the house… :smiley:


Modding the Render Engine to accommodate VR
#9

@Ponder:
I know I asked about this before through Kickstarter, but I hadn’t heard if you had tried the alpha on your old machine. This gives me greater hope that my old machine will be able to hack it and I am really looking forward to playing this game with my family and friends. Thanks for the consideration.

@CTheRain:
I will assume that yours was a thoughtful question and not the question-of-a-person-who-has-never-had-to-support-a-wife-and-family that it sounded like.

Microsoft is Microsoft, and they are rich and powerful enough to do whatever they want with their software. However, because Windows XP was Microsoft’s operating system for so much longer than any other to date (2001-2009+ not counting Vista, which nobody should), it had time to infiltrate a huge user base and continues to be used by a large number of gamers. If you don’t think this is true, then why do so many new games continue to list “Windows XP SP3” as their minimum operating system?

Given another couple of years, I’m sure the situation will change. I’m likely to upgrade my work computer and then I will have a newer “old machine.” But at the moment I’d rather support developers who have a realistic view of the capabilities and limitations of the hardware their users are likely to have (which it seems Tom and Tony have), rather than lose money to developers who say, “If you want to play our game, you’ll buy the hardware that makes it possible.”

@Everyone else:

I appreciate all your suggestions. I added new memory and a graphics card to my old computer a few years ago which is why it is still breathing as a game machine.

I’ve also looked into Linux, but I will save switching over because there are too many games that I play that are still unsupported on Linux and I do not have the time to hunt down work-arounds for every one. Thankfully for all the Linux (and Mac) gamers, the number of unsupported games are rapidly decreasing, but there are still too many “Windows Only” games being produced to switch. I’m glad the cross-platform support goal was reached and I am hoping that the beta will be available for Mac this year as well as for Windows.