Author Archives: inkblot

Final Testing Pass for Stonehearth Alpha 5

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Good news and bad news today guys. Bad news first.

The fan on my computer has ceased operating entirely, so I don’t have the ability to put together a weekly video. Here are the guts of my poor, fan-less development box.

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The good news is we’re in the final testing phase for Alpha 5! This release is mostly devoted to bug fixes, though we did manage to sneak in a fix to the picket fence. We are planning a final push to the unstable branch now, and if the thing doesn’t completely blow up we will make it available to all Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers. This process may take us day or two. We appreciate your patience. ;)

In other news, we put our heads together and brainstormed on the next major features to add to the game once Alpha 5 is out the door. Here’s what we came up with.

Upcoming Development Focus

  • Building Improvements: Usability improvements, cost estimates as you make a building plan, building templates, and more!
  • Class Progression: Your units will level up in their chosen class, gaining new perks along the way. Crafters will earn new recipes, gatherers will gather cooler stuff.
  • Mining: The ability to mine into the earth. Make your own subterranean caverns, mine for stone and minerals, etc.
  • Roads: You will be able to build roads. Citizens will travel faster on roads
  • Trading: The ability to buy and sell goods from travelling vendors who visit your town.

Some of these will take weeks. Others will take….longer. So expect them to trickle in over the coming months. Ever onwward!

 

 

 

Steam Unstable Branch Updated to Build 134

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Quick notice that the Steam Unstable branch has been updated with a grip of bug fixes. Once we’re happy with the stability, this release branch will become the Alpha 5 release that goes out to Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers.

 

Desktop Tuesday, Update on Steam Release, Plus Exp/Leveling Feature

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Hi guys,

The bug fixing continues in anticipation of our release to all Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers. Along the way I’m experimenting with a few gameplay features. But first, here’s a quick update on our planned Steam Release

On Steam Early Access

Last week we announced that we would release Stonehearth on Steam Early Access.

A lot of you have expressed your concern, primarily around the average Steam Early Access customer’s expectations compared to Stonehearth’s progress in its development cycle.

We did indeed consider these kinds of concerns when we decided on the Early Access release plan, but we can also spot good advice when we see it. One of the best things about developing Stonehearth in the open has been the friendly, positive community that has sprouted up around the game. We certainly don’t want to do anything to put our current vibe at risk, and value your combined wisdom and outside perspective.

So, we are indefinitely postponing the Early Access release. Our official release timetable for Steam Early Access is “when it’s ready.” We will release to Steam Early Access when we’re confident that the game will delight the average Steam customer, and not before.

Our other release plans remain unchanged. We will release Alpha 5 this month to all $15 Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers. At that time, we’ll remove the pre-order option from the Humble Bundle widget. We’ll all be on the same happy ship sailing to Stonehearth’s final release, Alpha by Alpha.

Thanks to all of you who chimed in with your thoughts.

Experiment: Exp and Leveling

I’m playing around with adding RPG-like concepts to the game like experience points and leveling. This would give you one more way of measuring your progress in the game and unlocking perks for your town and citizens. This is totally experimental; maybe it’s a great idea, maybe it’s not.

Here’s what I have prototyped so far. Let me know what you think either in the comments to this post or in the discourse.

  • Town Experience. Your town itself can earn experience when you complete particular tasks. Notice the green bar at the bottom of these screenshots, which shows how much exp your town has earned. When your town levels up, you’ll gain a new citizen, and unlock some kind of perk, tech, or bonus.
  • Citizen Experience. Each of your citizens has a level and earns experience as they do their jobs. The plan is that leveling up your citizens will make them more effective at whatever their role is: crafters unlock new recipies, footmen get a damage boost, etc.

 

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Stonehearth Unstable Build Updated to 129

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Quick note before the weekend: we’ve updated the Stonehearth Steam Unstable Branch to build 129. Here are the significant changes in this release.

  • Lua is now minified instead of being compiled.
  • We’ve enabled JIT compiling of Lua, resulting in a massive speed increase for CPU heavy tasks like map generation, loading, and pathfinding
  • Enhancements to the character sheet, showing stats and equipment. Access the character sheet by clicking the banner icons on the citizen management screen.
  • Lots of misc bug fixes

Also, we’ve identified a new bug crash bug introduced in unstable build 127. We know the fix, but that bug is till present in build 129. This, of course, is why we do unstable builds. ;) Have a good weekend everyone.

 Update: We’ve updated the build to 130 to fix a particularly nasty crash bug.

 

Steam Unstable Branch Updated to Build 127

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We’ve updated the Steam Unstable Branch with a new build. Here are the major changes.

  • Fix for goblin spam. Invaders will now attack at a more moderate pace
  • Addition of no-combat “peaceful mode”
  • Massive performance improvements in the pathfinder. Workers will get stuck even less now.
  • Fix UI crashes when a settler dies or joins the town.

Plus lots of other small bug fixes. Give it a whirl. If things go well we will push this release to everyone.

 

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The Stonehearth Alpha is now available through Humble Bundle.

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