Why is game dev so slow? Subnautica is just as old and now it has full release

i dont want to sound like i hate the game and i never enjoyed it, but i bought this game in august 2015 and since then you cant keep playing your savegame because eventually it will lag like crazy! (and crash)

a lot of steam reviews say that the dev team had no-to-little experience at game development and thats the reason there are a LOT of bugs that doesnt get fixed immediately, i dont want to believe that and i would never say that because thats disrespectful and mean!

but sadly… we’ve always had to play with bugs and broken AI’s for the least, this game had/has the player base of Stranded Deep, another game that became quite popular for a while but eventually it started to fall off because of bugs, slow development, lack of content/mid-to-end game content and so. BUT, we are still playing the game because we like it, just like Stranded Deep and Subnautica’s player base.

So… is the final release coming in 2018?

Ps:. Please dont “Stranded Deep” this game… stranded deep is the only game i know where the devs change the core mechanics back and forth and again all over the place with UI,GUI,content and everything… its VERY frustrating to the player base to see that.

The amount of stuff and alphas listed in yearly summary Desktop Tuesday is an indirect way of answering this question negatively.


Stonehearth is one of the games where the players have the most influence over its development, compared to other games in dev. The thing about this game is that everyone is a tester, and that applies to all alpha games or early access, actually. If you love the game, don’t complain about the bugs, on the other hand, consider yourself a tester who will provide feedback and bug reports to improve the game. I’m sure the dev. team is working hard and “slow” isn’t always bad.


The devs have realized that their game was missing a lot of its foundational features and had to go back to add that in, and now the entire game also has to fit in with these. If these features were added in earlier on, I’d bet that the game would be far closer to the end today than it is now. Hey, they haven’t abandoned us like a lot of other early access games and it shows that they still are working diligently.


They also have the support of Riot games, which are known for quality over speed. Stonehearth is a fantastic game and now that they have riots support the progress on the game has actually speed up. We’re getting bigger, better quality features in a more timely manner then we have ever had and they’re not just “oh this looks cool, lets stick it onto the game where it may or may not fit/belong”


Also there is the fact that when Stonehearth was first in early access in alpha 10.5 there was only 5 people working on the project (If memory serves). Looking back, if I can use a cooking reference, they were trying to get the major ingredients into the game. Now they are adding the herbs and spices making sure that everything works cohesively. They are also making sure that we can get the best experience out of the game. This is thanks to being able to hire more people (due to becoming under the umbrella of Riot Games) which makes it up to 15 now. With more people working on this game, there will be more things that can be done. Instead of having a skeletal crew (figuratively speaking) working on the game, they have a fuller staff.

It also helps that they look for feedback through the community and see what we believe will work. The bigger the community testing the game, the more bugs that they will fix. That is because they listen to us.


You’re very sweet. :wink: The steam reviews are half true and half false. What’s true: we did start the game with a team that had never made a game before. We had worked in enterprise software all our lives, so we had made a lot of software, and some of it really complicated, but we’d never made a game before so we made a LOT, and I mean a LOT of rookie mistakes: we built our own engine, we threw everything we could into the game instead of proving out a tiny prototype, we decided to build our game around 3-D agented building, which had never been done before and which turned out to be a nearly impossible problem to solve. Sometimes, I watch the ExtraCredits videos on game design as penance. My personal favorite is the one where they list game genres by level of difficulty. RTS is the last one and RTS, at least has direct control. Community builders aren’t even on their list :wink: . On the flip side, in the last year and a half, after joining Riot, a number of people who have made games before have joined us, and many of our recent improvements are very much thanks to their experience and wisdom.

The steam reviews are also half incorrect, at least to my eyes: the reason the game is full of bugs isn’t because we’ve never made a game before, except insofar as some of the lingering bugs have to do with building a few systems that were so ambitious that nobody has ever done them before. All software, not just games, tends to be full of bugs until right before release, because some bugfixes just get un-fixed again whenever you add new features, so you put off fixing them until the very end.

There are games in early access that play much more smoothly than Stonehearth; I tend to think that this is because they are actually more done than we are.

Thanks for the good discussion, though. TBH, I’m a bit surprised by all the negative sentiment floating around Steam these days. Like, by definition, it’s surely not NEW news that we’re 3 years late and counting, or that a year and a half ago we did a pivot to quality features over random new things that didn’t connect to each other. Maybe people are just getting the memo very, very late? If you guys have any advice for me as I try to wade through this stuff, happy to hear it :slight_smile:


Thanks for a great response, Stephanie! Honestly, keep your head up (and down when you’re working), and continue to provide us with great communication and updates and things will work out. Honestly, Steam is kind of a dark place at times and communities will turn on developers at the drop of a hat…

However, it will flip just as fast when content starts coming in and the game gets closer to completion.

Keep doing a great job, keep communicating, and things will improve!

(Plus you still have us, and we love you guys)


It is mutual. Thank you so much :smiley:


You and the team have been doing an amazing job, and I don’t think anyone who actually looks at the community can fault you folks on that. This game for better or worse has changed from a game that honestly wasn’t worth playing to something incredible. It’s only going to get better. Let the naysayers naysay because in the end they’ll all eat their words because of how nice a game this is becoming.

I think most of the community is behind me in saying keep doing what your doing because it’s working. We appreciate that you’re allowing us to give you feedback and you’re actually considering it. That’s not something most dev’s do. Just keep being fantastic. <3


:grin::grin::grin::grin: I agree whole hardheartedly :heart:


Core mechanics have stayed the same, but the UI in Stonehearth has changed a couple times. I may be off by one or two, but the building UI rewrite I believe is the 4th or 5th UI change since the beginning. That being said, I will give it credit that each time has made it better, just took a few times to get used to.

Until recently, I would have argued this. 2018 is starting to show that they want to listen to us, but 2017 was their own show.

I’ve said my piece on Steam, I’m sure you’ve read it, and I stand behind it. That being said, I still think the “dark side” of the community needs to be addressed. This forum doesn’t allow naysayers. Hell, even this post is all rainbows and unicorns, and this has been one of the hottest topics for half a year now.

I agree with @Solus when he says that Steam can be a dark place. At the same time, a lot of the concerns on Steam (and some here) tend to get pushed under the rug and told to stay there.


Aww, we still love you @SirAstrix and I promise that (at least I) value your discussions on this forum. We’re just an optimistic group here on the discourse for the most part, and we have different thoughts on how the game is progressing. Personally I thought the slow year (Even though yes i wanted more content too, who wouldn’t?) would lead to the game springboarding off of back-end development on the game.

If they follow through with the 2018 development update, it’ll have been worth it!

We’ve already seen the content coming in and hopefully your fears may soon be put to rest… for the most part :wink:


It’s a breath of fresh air to see a thread titled like this actually proceed with a civil discussion rather than devolve into standard fare. It’s perfectly possible to naysay on this forum, all you have to do is just outline your concern as if you were in the studio, speaking directly to another human being.

To answer the OP, all i can say is wait and see… stonehearth is playing with some very undocumented technologies.


In the DT looking forward to 2018 I didn’t see any mention of beta, let alone release.

Not 2018.
2019 seems unlikely at present rate of progress.
2020 maybe for Windows users.
macOS/Linux users …


I really wish they’d do a quick secret test at porting. Even if it turned out to be too hard right now, they would at least get a better idea of what to fix and be able to do that whenever they have to make changes to the engine instead of leaving it until the end (and then risk giving up on it.) I get that they have their reasons for it not being a priority, like most game developers, but I’d like to see that they care a little.

I don’t see that happening any time soon, unfortunately, but I didn’t see the multiplayer prototype happening so soon, either.


Note in advance: please try to read this through the lense of someone who tries to be honest whilst being constructive, because that is how I intent the tone of this to be. That said, I’ve done my best.

I will say it crudly short, so know I only mean the literal part of what’s to come.

No matter how your client wants the building to look like, without a decent fundament you cant start building anything.

According to the dev blog, (update 2018), the fundament seems done, so as you said 2018 is starting to show it. Having said that, I also believe that they listened somewhat to us last year, but I say that taking in mind that I took their priorities into account when asking for stuff.

link please? :slight_smile:


I will politely disagree. over the past year, I’ve seen many threads about this subject more critical of radiant than this one. Nobody then locked the thread trying to silence naysayers, and at least most of us (which is realistically most you can expect in any community, there will always be those few) have proceeded to hold reasonable discussions. It is true that I’ve seen a moderate amount of them begin with the OP thinking they won’t be heard like always, and being emoitionally affected by it. That is fine though, and these discussions should also serve as a way to talk those things out. But in general we have often had good and useful conversations. At least that is how I see it.

I also value your discussions here. And if you think you are stopped from mentioning your concerns, don’t. As I said, we havent banned naysaying discussions, so feel free to talk about your concerns. It would be for the better.


This one is more positive to the devs than most have been, but I believe that is a natural part of discourse. Sometimes it is positive, and sometimes it is not. I will disagree that this is an argument for your statement that the forum doesn’t allow naysayers.

And yes, like @solus says, most of us are an optimistic bunch. Maybe that means the negativity that you feel doesn’t permeate the forum outside of these discussion threads, and maybe that is what you mean when you say that naysayers aren’t allowed here. It is however not going to stop me from being optimistic, because I feel that is most justified in this situation. That is just my judgement however.


When I say they didn’t listen to us in 2017, I’m not referring to the rewrite at all. I understand why they had to change the bones of the game, in order to support future features. That being said, here’s a couple examples of what I was referring to:

  • The new building UI. Was argued that it was a clone of Sims 4, to which Richard said wouldn’t happen. Couple months later…exactly that happened.
  • Adding to that, was the discussion of angled walls. When concerned about them, we were told that they “aren’t within the style of Stonehearth”, and then were told to deal with it because they’re the devs.
  • Dev builds became non-existant, only releasing a week before the pushed alpha, when they used to be weekly.
  • The whole thing about adventuring to get talismans for jobs. A LOT of people said that was a horrible idea and were openly against it. Couple months after that, we had a desktop tuesday showing the EXACT system everyone was against. The excuse for this was that they wanted to see how it felt. If they were listening to us, and the majority of people said no, then why did they need to “feel it out”?
  • Multiplayer with respect to PVP. A WHOLE F$%#-TON of people have said they wanted PVP. Half of them have asked to make it optional. Yet the reply is that it’s not not nice enough for this cutesy game.

I know I can find more, but that’s just what’s off the top of my head.

It’s on Steam. I’ll admit that I didn’t recommend the game. That said, I want to respectfully ask if there’s more of a reason than you just want to see it? When discussions like the original post can easily spin out of control (as they have many times), I would rather not advertise my opinion, in the hopes of keeping things peaceful.

You must have missed the chaos back in September. There were SEVERAL threads that were closed because of how heated things got against the development at the time. On top of that, during that time, (at least for myself) almost every comment made against the current development of the time was met with some version of “the game is still in development, you don’t know what the final product will be” or was straight up ignored. At one point, it was even starting to make a divide between Kickstarter Backers and non, to which backers were being told to get over how they felt.

As for myself, as I can’t speak for others, it got to a point where I was being (indirectly) told to shut up, and even received a message from Steph asking me to leave things alone. All that combined told me that naysayers weren’t really allowed.