Years ago, I backed a game that was on Kickstarter. It was an interesting little thing that used voxel graphics and gave you indirect control of a group of settlers who would try to build a town in the wilderness while defending themselves from monsters and other creatures that happened along. While it had obvious potential, ultimately it was abandoned by the developer and released incomplete.
The thing that I like best about that game is that it led me to discover Stonehearth.
Stonehearth might not be everything that was originally envisioned when it was released, but it’s everything that I wanted it to be when I purchased it three years ago even if I still can’t decide if it should be pronounced ‘harth’ or ‘herth.’ I’ve been invested in every group of Hearthlings I’ve sent out into the wilderness, whether I found myself haranguing the early AI for questionable pathfinding in combat or interpreting the speech bubbles as my plucky pioneers take a break from harvesting turnips to discuss the merits of red woven supply baskets.
I’ve restarted over and over again every two weeks as a new update was released, and looked forward to the full-screen art showing off the latest developments. I’ve pushed the builder (old and new) to try and make fun places for my Hearthlings to live and pondered over and over again what to bring- whether it was individual items with a budget (when I could never quite justify the trapper’s knife at 120) or deciding on what collection would suit me best (the one with the trapper’s knife, obviously). I learned why you shouldn’t cut down too many trees at once, and happily embraced the possibility of peaceful solutions to all of the goblins’ demands.
Yesterday I received the last hardware necessary for building a brand new PC from the ground up, and while there’s still a few things I need to get it up and running, I’m hoping that this weekend I will be able for the first time to livestream on Twitch, rather than just recording videos for YouTube. It feels poetic, if bittersweet, that the first game I’ll attempt to livestream will be Stonehearth, playing 1.0 for the first time, so soon after the last official stream.
You have made something great, something unique, something that we will share and enjoy long after today, long after the 1.1 release in December. Knowing that any of you are attached to future projects will immediately perk my interest simply because of what you have done here, over the last several years. The title screens may change, the content may be new and different, but that’s never stopped me before.