Alpha 24+: The Alpha to End All Alphas
Hello Kickstarter Backers,
We know it’s been a while… but we’ve been hard at work. And now: It’s Mega Alpha time! Several months ago, Team Stonehearth decided to dramatically parallelize our workflow. This approach let smaller sub-teams work efficiently on many projects at once, with the end result being that with Alpha 24+ we’re delivering about six alphas’ worth of features in a much (much, much) larger-than-usual release.
This mega-alpha contains many features players have long awaited: The new builder! Weather! Town Tiers and Progression Quests! Steam Workshop and Modding Improvements! And… (wait for it): MULTIPLAYER. Plus, there’s much moar in this release, including a host of smaller features and an ongoing pass at performance.
Full release notes can be found here: http://www.stonehearth.net/release-notes-859/
If you’ve been following the updates on Stonehearth.net, you’ll know that we now believe Stonehearth is engine complete: a sufficient number of the game’s core features (core AI, building, crafting, combat, multiplayer, and top-to-bottom moddability) are in a sufficiently stable place to enable full-on modding and content creation. Alpha 24+ is, therefore, the last Alpha release, and future releases to our unstable branch will be named “Beta” releases. To make bug fixing and performance work more efficient, we will not guarantee backwards compatibility between saves from Beta versions of the game and Alpha versions of the game. If you’re very attached to saves from A24+ and earlier alphas, you may want to save a copy of this version of the game to a separate place on your computer so you can continue to access and play with it as we update the build going forward. We will also create a Last Alpha branch so you can retain access through to this build through Steam.
Special thanks to everyone who has helped us debug the myriad of features jammed into this release — it’s been a crazy dense few months! There were many times we thought that we’d never come to the end of the seemingly infinite bugs between where we were and something playable, but in moments like those, looking at all the beautiful things you’ve been creating and posting gave us the energy to go just one more hour, make one more fix, and finally arrive at this alpha to end all alphas.
We've also reached the point in Stonehearth's development where we're ready to call upon our Content Tier backers (the Explorer, Name a Titan, World Shaper, Legend, and Advisor Tiers) for the user-defined content that was included in your Kickstarter pledge. We're super excited to see what you contribute. You'll shortly be receiving a survey where you can submit your hearthling names, titan names, place names, and so on (depending on your tier).
That’s all for now -- but more (MOAR) is coming very soon. Thanks as always to you -- our Kickstarter supporters -- who helped us begin, and have joined us in, the journey of Stonehearth.
-- Team Stonehearth