I’m really not sure how to describe my feelings after the last announcement, that the game is soon considered as a “finished” product. There were alot of promises and I think the game falls short on those at the end, sadly. So when I think about this, my feelings are a mixture of angriness, sadness and frustration. I rarely back kickstarter projects, because the risk of not getting what you expect is big. But I thought Stonehearth will be one of those games that can stick to their promises, especially considered the amount of funds they have gathered. So I jumped in and backed 50$.
But don’t get me wrong, I played the game 119 hours and most of the time I had fun with the game (though there was also alot of frustration thanks to the bugs). But I played these hours and didn’t complain about bugs and crashes because I had this one thing in my mind: The game will develop further, the bugs will be eliminated and at some point the game will reach what was promised.
Right now, the game still feels buggy. It has performance problems (especially in Multiplayer, which was a big promise on kickstarter), the building process still fails at some constructions and many things promised didn’t make it into the game or are badly implemented:
Mac & Linux Port
No Linux Support. Ofc this may not be interesting for 99% of the players, but I think as a programmer you should’ve known before if a linux port is doable (in terms of difficulty) or not. At least you may refund those backers, but it’s like buying a car, waiting 4 years for it and then the company tells you it wont be finished and you just get your money back.
Pirates, Ninjas, Politicians
This is the first where I think to myself: Why didn’t you just ask the community? You have such a big and active community and you could have easily asked the community if this fits into the game or not. At least a comunity vote could’ve helped. But instead, this feature was completely ignored until now and now you’re telling us it won’t come. There may be people who have backed the project just to reach this stretch goal.
The same as with pirates, ninjas and politicians. You have a prototype, you could’ve implemented this in another unstable build and let players test it and give feedback on it. Instead, it was just dumped. Very unsatisfying.
And the list goes on. Another feature that was promised, ignored, never discussed with the community and then dumped. The magma smith could’ve created elemental weapons and materials for the engineer to create elemental traps. And also cool magna-stylized furniture. There are dozens of ideas.
This was the second big milestone stretch goal (after mac & linux support). There were many people who have expected to see this and yet it was dumped like many other features.In this case I think it’s ok, because your vision of the game may have changed, where PvP just didn’t fit anymore. But still, I think it is important to keep promises.
Though this class will come into the game, I fear that it will be very badly implemented. I will talk more about this when it comes to the engineer stretch goal.
I really wonder why especially this stretch goal was so hard to fullfil. As a skilled artist, it shouldn’t be much of a problem to design (for example) a fire elemental that throws fireballs on hearthlings, an ice elemental the is super tanky (similiar to the stone golem) and a wind elemental that man slow down hearthlings or push them around. This is again something that could’ve been discussed with the community.
Though this class is in, I feel like it has no real purpose. I never bother getting an engineer, because a fully equipped knight or archer is just so much more useful then an engineer and the engineer also takes important materials to create his stuff. It’s like the engineer is there, but never really needed. On the other side, all the other jobs fullfil a clearly defined role and are needed very much.
This is a big one for me. Multiplayer doesn’t feel finished right now. It’s to unstable, the performance is bad, especially when 2 players have like 25+ hearthlings. I wonder how much will change with 1.0 and 1.1, but I doubt much will happen.
This is a nogo from my perspective. Saying the festivals stretch goal is kinda finished mainly because some modders have created a good mod is simply a nogo. It’s not the job of the community to create stretch goal content. This is something that has to be in the game vanilla!
This kinda made me sad. I expected more from the world you have created. Like digging down and finding abandoned dungeons with undeads inside. Finding artifacts in those dungeons etc. Or maybe being able to ascendend to an alternate plane once you reach a certain point in the game. Another feature which could’ve been discussed with the community.
And this is surely the biggest disappointment, especially since it was a strech goal that required 150000$ on top to be reached. And I’m not even talking about the dwarves themselves. Building underground was one of those features MANY people wanted and many expected those features to come with the dwarves. Now that you have abandoned this class, building udnerground civilisation will prove difficult and we have to work around the current available building mechanics to make this possible…
So out of the19 stretch goals that were funded, 12 of them are either not in the game, or are not good implemented.
And now lets get to some of the promises that have nothing to do with the stretch goals:
Where are those jobclasses? You even said you have MANY more planned. Yet the jobtree looks way smaller then what was promised. The marauder was even shown in the first video.
Promised as a feature in the stonehearth kickstarter video. The game should’ve come with many modules and the game should’ve been designed in way so that other players can create modules, which a shared over the network and appear in other peoples game. I’m not seeing that this actually happens in the game and don’t expect to see it in 1.0 or 1.1 as well.
Storytelling and exploring a rich world:
The vision was to create a game that emphasizes storytelling and that motivates the player to explore the world. The story itself has no depth. You beat one monster group and a stronger one comes next. And why should I explore the world? There is nothing to be found anymore. The map is not big and you only find some plants, trees, rocks and bunny statues. And digging underground? Like I said before: You will not find any hidden stuff there. Only stone, clay and ores…
In the video you have shown a minigame for farming as an example. This feature was (in my memory) never discuussed anymore and completely dumped.
So all in all it sadly feels like the game is far away from what was promised / envisioned. And wen reading the news, it just feels like the real reason for not implementing many of the things is just the lack of time and funds. And that’s why I’m kinda angry, sad and frustrated all at the same time. Yeah, I will get over this in the next days, but right now I’m just simply dissappointed.
And don’t get me wrong: I understand your position very well. You miscalculated and overjudged your own abilities to finish the project like envisioned and you now have abandon this project because at some point you need to look forward, since riot won’t endlessly fund this project. So I know you HAVE to do this. But that doesn’t mean I need to be happy about it. Truth to be told, I was expecting something like this some month ago when you introduced multiplayer. The game still felt so far away from your first vision, that I was wondering already “how long are they actually able to work on this project?” and sadly I have my answer now. I know that this wasn’t an easy step, since I guess you knew that this will disappoint many people, but that’s how it is now.
All this said: I wish you guys good luck. The time I have spent with you in the last years wasn’t bad, just the end made me a bit salty.