Stonehearth Alpha 18: BOOM.
Welcome to the explosive debut of Stonehearth Alpha 18 (aka The Alpha Directed by Michael Bay)! In this release, we’re continuing the focus on building begun in Alpha 17. Except this time, the emphasis is on destruction rather than construction. That’s right -- the “Remove” button is back… with a bang. That means your structures don’t simply disappear, they’re demolished. (This is only the initial implementation of this feature -- improved animations and SFX will be added soon.) You should be able to remove both completed and in-progress buildings, including those from older saves.
Also arriving (finally!): buildings that don’t leave landscape holes when destroyed. (How does it work? We don’t know. It’s almost like… magic.) Please note that there is still a landscape scar left by the Goblin chief’s camp -- but we’ll be remedying that very soon.
But wait! There’s more! This Alpha also features the initial steps in a first-time player’s tutorial (only for the Ascendancy at the moment). Let us know what you think of the format. This is an oft-requested feature, and we're eager to make sure we cover all the necessary first-time player challenges.
Alpha 18 also adds features and functionality that will improve your Stonehearth experience. You’ll now see more engaging idle behavior from your hearthlings, and even in some of your enemies! See if you can catch them in an unguarded moment. There’s also some functionality you won’t see -- but it’s just as important. We’re instrumenting Stonehearth to provide us with anonymous data about how you play the game -- how your towns grow, what classes you choose for promotions, how long you play a given settlement, and so on. This information is vital to help us continue to create a game that captivates you and exceeds your expectations. You can choose to opt in or out of this feature on your loading screen. Obviously, we hope you’ll want to participate!
IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR MODDERS AND PLAYERS WHO USE MODS: Alpha 18 contains certain updates designed to improve performance of the game overall. These updates include a bunch of mod-related improvements we have made to make your life and the game better. The minimum mod version number has been increased to 3 so outdated mods will no longer load. Please update your mods (and let us know if you have any trouble) -- games using mods that have not been updated will not see those mods loaded. These changes are effective immediately. Full details can be found here; and for players, a list of mods already updated to work with Alpha 18 may be found here.
Want to know more about Alpha 18? Go here. Alpha 18 is available now on both Steam and Humble.
And what (you might ask) of Alpha 19? Our next Alpha will bring some long overdue attention to Rayya’s Children. New unlockable building templates, monuments, critters, monsters, music (and more)… finally! The Ascendancy will no longer have exclusive bragging rights. Keep an eye on stonehearth.net for news of Alpha 19’s debut on our Steam unstable branch.
Finally, the team had an awesome time at PAX West in Seattle over Labor Day weekend. We met lots of old and new friends; thanks to all you Kickstarter backers who came by to say hello! Special thanks to community members Froggy, Micheal Handy, and Deluks who helped all weekend, showing off mods and builds and being all-around great evangelists for the game. Our booth was swamped the entire weekend, and we continue to grow our community of players, modders, and fans.
Until next time! And as always, thank you for your incredible support.
-- Team Stonehearth