Alpha 20 Is Here: Happiness Is a Warm Poyo
Hello Kickstarter Backers!
February brings the arrival of our latest Stonehearth alpha -- so please welcome Stonehearth Alpha 20! This release, now available on Steam and Humble, brings a new Happiness system to Stonehearth and takes a first step into deepening the impact of hearthlings' interaction with their world and each other. It also introduces a couple of new combat mechanisms -- a rising morale buff to help noncombatants oppressed by the enemy and a new option to rescue hearthlings fallen in combat (“I’m not dead yet!”), assuming you have the resources available to devote to this.
Happiness and Morale: Don’t Worry, Be Happy
With this Alpha we are laying the groundwork for a replacement to the Morale system. Morale for a while has been a fairly simple system whose responsibility was to track three different things for the “morale” section of the daily update -- hearthlings' feelings about the food they’ve eaten, about their safety, and about their sense of shelter.
While serviceable, we wanted to start building a richer system for tracking hearthling happiness, one that more concretely reflects hearthlings’ feelings about the details of the world around them. The goal is to provide a framework for greater interdependence of all the varied systems in Stonehearth, so that players can have many more pathways of optimizing their town.
Read more about the new hearthling moods and how they influence your game, as well as all the new additions, here. There's also a neat Desktop Tuesday about some of the Easter Eggs you can find in this release.
Mapping the future
Some of you have asked about the status of our development roadmap, which we haven’t updated for a bit -- and intentionally so. As Stephanie mentioned in her first Desktop Tuesday of the year, we’re now focusing more on upping the bar for Stonehearth as a game and not merely a collection of features -- and naturally we want our revised roadmap to reflect this. So we’ll be updating it soon, and incorporating important stuff that we’re working on such as significant upcoming milestones; richer, fuller hearthling lives; the development of a solid game loop; a satisfying endgame; and our initial outline for where multiplayer may take us.
Team Stonehearth is heading to PAX East in Boston from March 10-12! We’ll be showcasing the awesome booth we debuted at PAX West, so please come by, chat with the team (we’ll all be there, pretty much), play the game, give us your feedback, and pick up some sweet swag.
Windows Vista user? READ THIS!!!!
Google Chromium Embedded, which we (and many games) use for our UI, stopped supporting Microsoft Vista in September -- and for us to manage Stonehearth development effectively we need to stay on a recent (and supported) version of Chromium Embedded. This means that as of A20, Stonehearth no longer can support Vista as an OS. We have created a legacy Steam branch for Vista players, so that while you are on Vista, you can still play Stonehearth -- though we won't be updating the version there past A19.
You can get to that branch by right-clicking on Stonehearth in your Steam Library, going to Properties, selecting "Betas" and then choosing legacy_vista as your branch. (You don't need a password to do this.) If you purchased the game through Humble, simply keep playing A19. Since Microsoft will also stop supporting Vista in April, we will not be able to keep this branch up-to-date; future updates to your graphics cards, etc, may eventually cause the game on this branch to stop working on your Vista machine. However, when you do upgrade your OS, you can switch back to the main branch, or update your game again from Humble Bundle, and Stonehearth will once again update as usual.
Also: Chromium Embedded uses libegl.dll which some antivirus software (notably Webroot) may mark as malware. It is not malware! If this happens to you, please whitelist the file.
As always, please give us any and all feedback you may have on our forums at discourse.stonehearth.net. Since this patch in particular has the start of some major system changes in it, we’d especially benefit from feedback on:
With the changes we’ve done, we’re hoping that the increased number of meals shouldn’t severely strain your food economy. That said, it is likely the food consumption of your town will be higher than it was before. We think the current tuning should be alright, but we’d really gain a lot of value from knowing how it feels across all different town sizes.
Thoughts will be an ever expanding system as we move forward. If any of the current thoughts are unclear, or there’s something you’d really like to see, let us know! This build only represents a small slice of what we’re hoping the system will represent over time.
Does it feel like about the right amount of time for hearthlings to recover after being rescued, both with and without an herbalist treating them?
Thank you once again to all of you that help us test and improve our game! And above all, thanks for being with us from the beginning. We couldn’t have done it without you!
-- Team Stonehearth