Amazingly, as of today it has been exactly one year since the start of our Kickstarter. Back then we were literally two guys working out of a spare room in house. Thanks to all of your help, here’s what we’ve accomplished over the last year.
Team Stonehearth Assembled
The Stonehearth team is now up to six full time developers! Every one of them is uniquely talented and has had an enormous contribution to the game. Here they, in order of hire date.
- Tom & Tony. Do we count as hires? Whatever…we started this whole mess by jumping ship from our jobs in corporate America to write our dream sandbox simulation game. What could possibly go wrong?
- Stephanie. Stephanie joined us just after the start of the Kickstarter, informing us that she was coming to work for us whether we liked it or not. She jumped in with both feet, responding to literally hundreds of backer messages a day and building the game’s core crafting system. Multi-talented, today she writes gameplay code, assists in our UI design, and writes all of the game’s lore and journal entries.
- Albert. Mega coder #1. Albert has amazing technical chops, having worked on crazy-technical problems at Microsoft and his own startup company. We rely on Albert for solving our big simulation problems like terrain generation, fluid simulation, and managing crowds of game character AIs (like for instance, in combat!)
- Chris. Mega coder #2. Canadian. Chris has done amazing work on our renderer. Most of the pretty things in the game have his fingerprints on them: the lighting, sky, shadows, etc. More recently Chris has been pitching in on the AI system, where his impact has been significant.
- Doug. We didn’t know how much we really needed an audio guy until we hired Doug. Doug is responsible for everything you hear in the game. He mixes and implements our sound effects on his own, and has done a terrific job in managing the composers for our sound track. Doug’s a perfectionist, and his work really adds to the atmosphere of the game.
Also, big thanks to our volunteer community moderators, SteveAdamo, Geoffers747, and everyone who’s contributed to the online Stonehearth community, giving feedback, posting bugs, and sharing your creations.
Last fall we actually moved into a real office space in downtown Los Altos, CA. Renting real estate in the SF bay area is….let’s just say challenging, so this was a big deal for us.
Progress on the Game
Of course, all of this work is in service of completing the actual game. To be honest, Stonehearth is a much bigger challenge than we anticipated, mainly due to our no-compromise approach. We want a high quality simulation game…in full 3D…with detailed, animated characters….and make the whole thing moddable. We have had our share of set-backs, but we have remained 100% true to our original vision of the game.
The reason is simple: we started this whole adventure not just to build games, but to build THIS game. A compromised version of Stonehearth wouldn’t be the game we’ve dreamed of, so we have no interest in doing that. We’re building the game we want, no matter what it takes.
And our persistence is paying off. Most of the major technical hurdles are behind us, and the game engine is more stable and faster than it’s ever been. For the first time, the whole team is focused on adding gameplay content, and we’re adding content at a better rate than ever before.
There’s still a long road ahead of us, but over the coming months you will start to see more and more of the game unfold, and Stonehearth the game will start to look like the vision of the game that we all have in our heads.
And as always, your feedback in valuable to us. So please keep it coming!
Stonehearth Alpha 3 Formally Released!
I’ll make another announcement about this later, but we’ve just pushed Alpha 3 to all Steam branches and your Humble Bundle page. This public release of the Alpha fixes a ton of bugs that you all have reported from the Steam Latest branch, including the stuck Carpenter and Trapper crash bugs.
What a year, right? The past year has been one of transformation for Radiant, from a passion project to an actual development studio. We’ve set ourselves up to deliver on the promise of that original Kickstarter video. Over the next year, we’ll deliver on that promise by building the game we set out to make.
So once again, thanks to everyone who’s supported us: our families, Kickstarter backers, pre-order customers, discourse members, /r/stonehearth, and stream watchers. Here’s to a productive and successful year 2!