Hi everyone. When we launched the Stonehearth Kickstarter in May 2013, we promised that all backers would receive the game in September, 2014. After a lot of hard work, and a lot of great support from all of you, that day is nearly upon us, so I wanted to take a minute to explain where we are in development and what we will be doing on the deadline.
This is long, so let’s just put the TLDR up front, shall we?
- The game is currently in Alpha. We’re making steady progress, but there’s still lots of game left to build.
- In September we will release Stonehearth Alpha 5. At this point all $15+ Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers will get the Alpha and all subsequent releases until the game is complete.
- We’re still working on the Kickstarter pet rewards. You can expect them once we have a few more major gameplay features complete.
- Soon after the Alpha 5 release, we will release Stonehearth on Steam Early-Access and change the price to $25.
- Expect continued Alpha releases until all game features are complete!
First, as most of you know, we’re behind schedule on building the game. My reddit post here describes why we are delayed, but long story short, we’ve chosen to stick 100% to the original vision of the game, even when it costs us time. We would rather ship the Stonehearth we want late than ship a watered down version of the game on time.
The encouraging news is that many of the tough technical problems are behind us, and we’re adding content at a faster rate than ever. At this point we have a solid, fun kernel of the final game, and we’re excited to keep working until we deliver all the features we promised in the Kickstarter.
Alpha 5 Will Be Released to All Kickstarter backers in September
We will release the next Stonehearth Alpha in mid September, and make it available to all $15+ Kickstarter backers and those who have pre-ordered the game for $15 on stonehearth.net.
The Alpha 5 release will have major features like farming, trapping, building, and basic combat, but it will be missing other features like mining, water, and multi-player. So we can do one of two things: hold the game back from you until all these features are ready, or give you the game now, leaving it up to you whether to play now or wait until it’s feature-complete.
We’re giving you the choice. You can choose to download it starting in Alpha 5, or wait until the game is completely finished. Based on the feedback we’ve received so far, we think there’s enough in Alpha 5 to play and have fun with, but it’s totally up to you.
So if you’ve been on the fence about buying the game, you can save a few bucks by buying it now for $15, then waiting a few weeks for the Alpha 5 release. And of course, all Stonehearth customers will continue to get free updates until the game is 100% finished.
OSX and Linux ports will come after all major game features are complete.
Timeline for Remaining Features
So when will the remaining features make it into the game? It’s tough to give an exact time, but you can follow our progress at http://stonehearth.net/roadmap/. We will implement major features roughly in a top to bottom order as they are listed on the roadmap.
And as I said above, a lot of the brow-furrowing, tough technical problems are behind us, so you can expect features to continue to come in at a fairly regular pace as we complete development of the game.
Digital Kickstarter Rewards
Pets and other Kickstarter Rewards will come in by the time the game is finished. You’ll be able to download all these rewards through the Humble Bundle download page for Stonehearth.
Steam Early-Access Release and Price Change to $25
Soon after Alpha 5, we will release Stonehearth on Steam Early-Access! If you have already bought Stonehearth, this really doesn’t affect you, since you can already get the game through the Steam key we provided you on your Humble Bundle page.
Alpha, Beta, and Final Release
We’ll continue to use the Alpha title for Stonehearth releases for the time being. Alpha and beta mean different things to different people, so here’s what those terms mean to us at Radiant.
- Alpha: The game is still in major development and missing big game features. Expect frequent bugs.
- Beta: All major game features are complete. The game still needs minor enhancements and bug fixing.
- Release: The game is finished and as bug free as possible.
We expect to be in the Alpha phase for the foreseeable future, so you can expect Alpha 6, 7, 8, etc. to follow Alpha 5.
Once the game is “feature complete” we will officially move to the Beta designation. You can expect the beta period to be much shorter than Alpha.
Getting Stonehearth to this point has been a long road for us all. Even though there’s lots more work to do, we are more determined than ever to keep at it until we have the game we envisioned when we first made the Kickstarter video.
We are extremely grateful for all of your insightful feedback, and all the support we’ve received about fulfilling the original vision for Stonehearth. We wouldn’t be here without you, and your help has made it even better along the way.