Category Archives: Game Design

Desktop Tuesday Live Edition! 4:00 PM U.S. Pacific


Hello. For this week’s Desktop Tuesday, I’ll be streaming on our Twitch channel. I’ll be modelling some farming assets, and will walk through some of the things the team has been working on behind the scenes. And of course, I’ll answer your questions online.

Here are the topics I’ll touch on, so please focus your questions on…

  • Farming
  • The overall job system
  • UI tweaks
  • Save/Load preview!

Oh, here’s a pumpkin.




Behind the scenes with Bush #4

Hey Everyone! Stephanie again. As Tom mentioned in last week’s livestream, we’re working together on food! In today’s test environment, young Sean Connery brave Willad Northpoint is harvesting berries off of bushes so he can eat them later.


(He still doesn’t get hungry yet, but one day! One day…)*

Since some of you displayed an interest in the more technical aspects of content creation, I thought I’d take some time this week to show off some behind-the-scenes screenshots.

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Desktop Tuesday, A sneak peak at construction

Hi. As I said last week, Tony has been pounding away at a re-vamped construction system. A part of this is the ability to show planned-but-not-constructed buildings in a blue, wire-frame mode. Here’s a shot showing the new renderer in action. As your guys complete the wall, the brings go from wire-frame-blue to solid voxels.


Desktop Tuesday, Live streaming Today and Thursday, 4:00 PM PST

This week we continue our march toward the preview release in December. As usual, our time is divided between slow but steady progress on gameplay and on the boring-but-essential features that we need to actually ship a game: clear modding APIs, installers, and performance tuning.

One such under-the-covers enhancement was to change the way we treat professions like the Worker and Carpenter. There’s a lot that goes into a character’s profession: how they appear on the screen, what kinds of things they’re allowed to do in the game, how they react to their environment, etc. A Worker or Carpenter might run from an invading orc, but a Footman or Archer would engage to defend the town.

Our original system allowed modders to manipulate all these aspects independently. It was flexible, but difficult to use. We’ve re-factored things around the notion of “equipment.” Like in RPGs, all characters have a set of equipment that they wear. In Stonehearth, you will be able to associate AI scripts with a piece of equipment. So the scripts for chopping trees, hauling, and other workman-like tasks are associated with the “Worker’s outfit” equipment piece. The AIs for crafting are associated with the “Carpenter’s outfit.” When a citizen takes off one outfit and puts on another, the AIs are swapped out as well.

Of course, that begs the question: what does a person look like with no outfit on?


Two Live streams this week!

I’ll be streaming both today and this Thursday, at 4:00 U.S. Pacific time on both days. I’ll be taking a first nibble at the eating/drinking systems in the game, mostly modelling and animating. As always, you can tune in at


Desktop Tuesday, A pile of Carpenter craft-ables

Work continues on the crafting system, world generation, and renderer. This post will focus on the progress we’ve made on crafters. The very basics of the system are pretty much done. We can write a recipe for an object, specify the ingredients, and instruct the crafter to go build it. Now we’re moving towards actually doing something with those crafted objects.

This screenshot is a nice summation of crafting so far. We’ve got:

  • The Carpenter, in his Carpenter outfit
  • His low-level, work bench. For now nothing more than a glorified stump, but it will be upgradeable!
  • The “out box” stockpile, where the Carpenter will drop off the goods he crafts
  • The crafting window where you can select objects to craft
  • And lo’ a whole pile of crafted objects on the right!


As you can see, the chairs, beds, tables, etc. in the pile are all minified. That’s how your crafted items will look when they’re not actively in use. The next step is to build the system that takes the minified object and expand it out to it’s full form when you place it in the game. So at your command, a worker will run over to one of those mini-objects, say the bed, haul it to your desired placement location, and drop it in it’s fully expanded form.

It’s been a lot of work getting the core crafting engine in place, but we’re definitely closer to the end of the work than the beginning. The good news is the whole system is data driven, so adding new crafters and craftable items is very straightforward. In other words, adding the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th crafter will be WAY WAY less work than adding this first one. And of course all of these APIs will be available to you as a modder, so you can make your own crazy crafter.

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