Alpha 22… and Moar.
Hello Kickstarter Backers!
We’ve supersized our latest alpha -- Alpha 22.5 is now available on Steam and Humble Bundle.
This alpha-and-a-half release focuses on the full introduction of Conversations, a feature which builds on the Happiness and Trait systems launched in previous Alphas, and the combination of which deepens the impact of hearthlings' interaction with their world and each other (and with you!). These collectively provide a foundation for a more engaging and deeper Stonehearth -- one which features more vibrant communities, a solid economy, exploration and discovery, and (sssh) multiplayer.*
* We’ll say no more. Except that we're planning how it's going to work right now. And it’s going to be really cool.
This Alpha also delivers the first significant upgrade to water infrastructure for… well, a really long time. For the last few months, Albert has been reworking water’s basic infrastructure, dramatically improving correctness and performance. He’s also added evaporation of water puddles, so that an excavation error won’t make your town soggy forever. Waterfall rendering has also been improved and appears more integrated with the water source.
Read all the details here: http://www.stonehearth.net/a22-5-on-steam-stable/
A bit more about the work we’ve been doing recently: As we’ve been emphasizing for a while now, we believe that Stonehearth is, at its core, a game about people -- that is to say, your intrepid band of hearthlings and their struggles and triumphs as they seek to survive and thrive in an unfamiliar environment. So we want to bring features to the game that further engage you in their lives, bringing them to life as individuals and as a community, and that reflect their development as your settlement grows.
What We're Working On and What Lies Ahead
It is worth noting that Alpha 22/22.5 development represents an even purer version of a pattern we’ve introduced over the last few releases, in which the whole team -- artists, animators, engineers, designers -- works collaboratively on a single primary feature. This is a departure from our past approach, where individuals would work separately on different features and then we’d throw them all together for the release. While this did result in more individual features appearing in a given release, we have come to realize that it’s not the best long-term approach for us to take in planning and developing the game.
The isolated, siloed approach meant that we did not always take into account how a given feature might impact future development on related features (perhaps forcing us to redesign or rewrite things). Working collaboratively now on more complex, deeper foundational features gives us deeper individual features and is something of a “go slower now to go faster later” approach… something that will create a strong infrastructure for the game we want to bring you.
This may mean a slightly slower cadence for the releases in the short term, but it’s totally going to be worth it: Alpha 23 (next up) is about improving and enhancing crafting; and up right after that are our new building system and an improved and more effective economy. (Not necessarily debuting in that order.)
So stay tuned! We’ve set the stage for a lot of great stuff to come. Soon. Soonish. And, as always, we are grateful for your support and feedback. We couldn’t do it without you.
-- Team Stonehearth