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A sandbox strategy game with town building, crafting, and epic battles!
22,844 backers pledged $751,920 to help bring this project to life.

What to Expect from Stonehearth Alpha 1

Posted by Radiant Entertainment (Creator)
262 likes

Hi guys. This is a bit of a long update, but I wanted to let you know exactly where we stand as we near our first release.

As you probably know, we’re planning our first release this December. Thanks to your help with the Kickstarter and beyond, we’ve come a long way from our initial prototype. We are steadily making progress on the game week by week, but we are also challenged by some big, hard problems like coordinating multiple AIs and building game systems that are both powerful and also flexible to mod.

We’re proud of what we have accomplished so far, but features that we had hoped to have finished by now, like construction, are still works in progress. To be perfectly clear, we are still very confident that we can build these features. It’s just taking longer.  

We thought very hard about whether to hold back on a release until these key features were finished, or to release what we have now in its incomplete state. We’ve decided to release what we have now, for two reasons:  

1. We want your feedback, both on the things that we’ve finished and on priorities for what you would most like to see next in the game.

2. We promised a release this year, and we believe in sticking to promises. We know a lot of you are excited to get your hands on the game, even at this early stage.

We will release this first version of Stonehearth in the second half of December. Based on our progress, we’re officially calling this the Stonehearth Alpha release, or more specifically Stonehearth Alpha 1.

What’s in Stonehearth Alpha 1?

The alpha releases will be available to everyone who pre-ordered the Stonehearth “beta”, either through the Kickstarter or the Humble Bundle store. For you Kickstarter backers, this is everyone who pledged $30 or more. You’ll have the option of a direct download or installing through Steam. We’re still working out the details on Steam, so that may come a little later.

Here’s what’s in Alpha 1: 

  •  Random world generation 
  • Ability to choose where you want to settle 
  • Harvesting resources (wood, berries, etc) and storing them in stockpiles 
  • Basic crafting, with one profession: the Carpenter 
  • Day/night cycle 
  • Your citizens will eat when they get hungry and sleep when they get sleepy 
  • Basic construction of walls and houses 

This will be an Alpha quality release. There will be bugs. It is missing major features, like the ability to save your progress.

Stonehearth Release Plan

Going forward, we will update the Alpha frequently. When new features are ready, big and small, we will push them into the game immediately, so you’ll get access to them right away. You can expect these new features to be buggy and sometimes incomplete, but they will get better over time. The goal is to get your feedback early and often.

We’ll keep releasing this way all the way up to the finished, polished game.

For those of you with a lower tolerance for bugs, we’re working on a way to offer somewhat more stable releases at a slower pace. We’re still figuring out the details on this one, so stay tuned for more info.

Thanks once again for your support. Despite the setbacks, we’re all incredibly pumped to finally get a release into the wild. We can’t wait for your feedback, and we look forward to taking this Alpha release and building it into the fully featured game that we’re all dying to play.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Alex on

      @mathew and @nick, I didn't get the survey either yet, and asked. They said they have only sent the surveys out for people with physical awards, ($100+).

    2. Missing avatar

      Nick Early on

      @Mathew I never got the survey either, but I backed it fairly close to the end date. Maybe its a problem with when you backed it?

    3. Missing avatar

      Ben Wight on

      Will mac users get the alpha version on the same day as windows users? Thanks can't wait!

    4. Missing avatar

      mathew graham on

      I don't recall getting a survey (I looked in spam folder) will I still get to play alpha?
      30$ backer

    5. Missing avatar

      Timothy Card on

      YES! After moths of waiting the alpha version will finally be released! Also, the beta backer will include they cat or dog thing? If you gave the 30$ when backing it?

    6. Mikhael Ramirez on

      @David i know what you mean but its just an Alpha release they need others to test out the game to see where they stand on the amount of bugs they have to deal with, best caught now then on final release.

    7. Rhys Lowcock on

      so cool i have been waiting for this although i will get it for on steam i can wait that bit longer for it

    8. Missing avatar

      blackcitadel9 on

      I hope that the people who have early access relish their chance to find the bugs and issues, so the dev team can iron them out for the proper release. Unfortunately for me, a slight issue with funds at the time I backed means I can't join you. So, to both devs and now alpha testers. Thanks for your hard work. :D

    9. Steve Adamo on

      @Ryan ... keep in mind what the alpha process represents... its a testing phase for a very early/rough build of a game... its not early access to simply "play" a game...

      i do agree that saves are an important issue to be address, but more so now for what they represent to the bug reporting process... having a savegame + a list of reproduceable steps to address a bug will be key for helping team radiant resolve those issues...

    10. Missing avatar

      David Fenwick on

      Don't rush the game for the love of god, schedules are schedules not contracts and if a deadline has to be broken for the quality of the game do that. No point in tarnishing your game trying to rush it through the door. I backed this game because of its potential and with time and the effort you guys are putting in it will be a success, just don't trivialize yourselves with deadlines please, all of us can wait for a better product.

    11. Missing avatar

      Ryan Elderkin on

      Heyyyyy okay so i just got your newest update email please please please create some sort of basic saving mechanism before you do an alpha release... with this type of game you cant not have that so even a super basic 3 tier save will do until update. but thats very veyr important

    12. SinoSamba <(-'.'-)> on

      Great news, I backed beta but get to play alpha :D

      Very excited to test the game. Thank you, Radiant!

    13. Steve Adamo on

      @Ameen ... which browsers have you tried? i know i initially had issues with registering on the discourse...

      @Mikhael ... "second half of December" ... ;)

      @Tyler @Orson ... i believe you choose one or the other, which each client you have... so, if you purchased two clients, you could have one via Steam and one via direct download... but i dont believe you will be able to have the same client via both methods...

    14. Missing avatar

      Thomas Hoffmann on

      @Mikhael Ramirez
      Second half in industry terms usually means somewhere between the 14'th and Christmas. So the 15th is certainly a maybe. But it depends on how long they need to finish the construction module sufficiently to be confident enough to release it.

    15. Missing avatar

      Ameen Kurdi on

      this is a really cool update and all but i have a problem which is i cant see the discourse for some reason it just loads as a blank page is there something on my side or on your side? if anyone knows a fix or something that would be swell

    16. Christian Breitenstein on

      Super news! I am very excited about the fact that you offer Steam from the get-go. That's very handy :-)

      It'll be fun watching my mini - eh - guys do their stuff xD

    17. David on

      Super excited you guys!

    18. Mathew on

      Take your time, you cant make something beautiful by rushing it, you know Davinci? (hope i spelt that right) you know it took him years just to do the lips of the monalisa? how do i know this? random facts ha ha.

    19. Mikhael Ramirez on

      im going assume about Dec. 15 we can begin the download and have fun playing?

    20. Rand Chua TL on

      This is a great news to know.

    21. Missing avatar

      BeyondDarkness on

      In a project as massive as this, there are bound to be set backs and obstacles to overcome. What pleases me as a backer of the project is the honesty you display about the obstacles you face, and the confidence in your ability to sort them out.

      I think, the aspect of the game, that I personally would like to see focussed on, is construction. In a game such as Stonehearth it is construction that plays the biggest part, what you're able to build and how you arrange it to your individual tastes and such.
      In my opinion, when construction is more fleshed out, that what it will be at Alpha 1 release, and we're able to build a town with different buildings and a couple of specialisations for the towns people, then it's time to look at the rest of the features again and see what the community would liked focussed in then.

    22. Missing avatar

      Curtis Turner on

      My vote for the first big feature is a flawless launcher/patcher which allows you to push game updates 24/7/365.

    23. Missing avatar

      brendenn on

      pretty happy with this decision. No matter how early in development, i can't wait to test out this game. I actually find it to be a good thing to allow early access like this because that will be a lot more people testing the game and giving feedback on any glitches and bugs.

      Can't wait to test, looking forward to it. Thanks for all the hard work Radiant!

    24. Gavin Reading Rainbow KS backer! on

      I bought the $25 two-pack tier, so no alpha/beta testing for me. However, I am quite patient enough to wait until the rest of you bug fix the heck out of this thing!

      (Technically this is not true. I simply have plenty of other games to test & play in the mean time. I was smart about checking estimated delivery dates when I backed projects! ;) )

    25. Gearsoul Dragon
      Superbacker
      on

      @zachary -- lol! Well, yes, technically true. But at such an early stage...

      Well, I guess if you spent like all day gathering and building an awesome town with sprawling, mansion-sized buildings and mazes and the like you'd want to save that.

      But can we even build second stories in this version? Chances are there will be so much missing in this first release you either won't be able to build what you want or you'll have to or will want to start from scratch in a later release because it's so different/much better.

      So, Radiant... When do you imagine you'll start work on saving?

      Also, I have a similar concern as Tyler does about Steam/Direct? Do we get both, or does it require two copies as part of your tier?

    26. Paul Buttle on

      Super stoked that we're able to get our hands on this (admittedly limited and buggy) Alpha. That is the beauty of it, we can help fix the product so on final release we can all sit back and say "I helped sculpt that game".

      Good work guys, looking forward to it :)

    27. Chris on

      Glad for the honesty, and look forward to alpha! Let the bug squashing begin!

    28. Shawn Adams on

      There are three pillars to project and product management. Cost, Scope, and Schedule. Scope (aka quality) should never be sacrificed. It's good to see you're sticking to that. If schedule needs to be adjusted (which it does for every game every developed in this world), then so be it. You will always have a defensible position if you put out a quality product and the community will respect you for that (naysayers and trolls dont fit within the community, so ignore them). Thanks for the update!

    29. Missing avatar

      neongrey on

      Is the kitten gonna be in the alpha? :)

    30. Laura Hart on

      Any idea if we'll be able to play this on Windows XP? The graphics check you uploaded, didn't seem like it worked for any XP users.

    31. Nik Gervae on

      Jonathan, I believe they've said Mac support will come later. I am curious to know what the system requirements are likely to be. I am still running Snow Leopard (10.6.8) on my computer. :-)

    32. Missing avatar

      Roth Brantley Cook on

      You guys are doing great! Just want to give you some encouragement and remind you a lot of people out there really like love what you've done so far. Great job staying in contact with your player base too.

    33. Jonathan Hunter on

      Will this be released on Mac as well?

    34. Missing avatar

      Ronel on

      Awesome! Can't wait to play :)

      Question: How exactly will I get the download? Through PM?

      Anyways, thanks!

    35. Missing avatar

      Josh on

      Sounds like a great plan. Love all the progress we got to see so far and I start the graphics test every so often to watch the bunnehs hop.

      Keep up the great work! Looking forward to the first release, being fully aware that some things will be buggy. <3

    36. Zachary Shovelton on

      Saving our/your progress should b #1 on the "to do" list

    37. Missing avatar

      TYLER JAMES CROSBY on

      Great news Radiant!

      Very excited.

      I do have a few questions concerning steam:

      When everything is up and ready with steam, will I be able to have a steam key as well as my direct download? I really very much so like to be able to put a copy onto a flash drive to have with me should I get a hankerin to play somewhere that internet access is denied to me. I always try to keep a direct link to the devs with games I've bought and I would very much so appreciate this.

      If not, though, I know I paid enough to have at least 2 beta keys, would I be able to use one for steam and one for the direct downloads?

      Either way, veery excited and pleased to see this game's alpha ALREADY. I will definitely be participating in the alpha.

      Cheers!

    38. TheChosenOne on

      When will you plan to release on Steam early acces? At the beginning or a later stage of the "early period"?

    39. Manuel Warum on

      Will you allow us to post YouTube videos covering these early versions?

    40. Niklas Krebs on

      I appreciate the release as an "alpha", since it gives us impressions of your work and that's the greatest thing, when backing a game project. Even if it's full of bugs and less features, it shows us that there is progress in "Stonehearth":
      I'm proud to be part of this journey and I'm pretty sure, we're going to see something big here in the future.

    41. Radiant Entertainment Creator on

      @Nathan, eventually we will have an auto-updater, but initially you will have to reinstall the game. I believe Steam will autoupdate the game if you choose that route (Steam support is a very high priority for us)

    42. Steve Adamo on

      @Nathan ... thats an excellent question, and has come up over on the Discourse as well:

      http://discourse.stonehearth.net/t/dev-blog-desktop-tuesday-what-to-expect-from-stonehearth-alpha-1/3754/9

    43. Praemus on

      Excellent idea! So much better than to "wait till it's done". Looking forward to it.

    44. Josh Benard on

      Excellent decision Radiant. Kickstarter is definately the environment where almost all of your backers would rather have a super buggy game to play around with than wait for a fully published release.

      Look at Minecraft, that game finished it's beta almost....3 years after alpha was released? They probably made more money in open beta than post development. Absolutely looking forward to playing through the alpha. Keep up the good work

    45. amigacooke on

      Can us Mac guys alpha with the PC version (Bootcamp) then convert to the Mac version when it's ready?

    46. Missing avatar

      Nathan on

      Do you all have a solid updater or will you have to direct download the new version each time?

    47. Steve Adamo on

      @Victor ... persistent, connected worlds was not an achieved stretch goal... but PvP city raids and co-op multiplayer were! both of which are likely much further down the development path at this point though...

    48. Anthony Nichols on

      Take all the time you need - the advantage to indie development is not having a publisher breathing down your next forcing you to meet a deadline. Better to release a polished game a year late than to release a bugging incomplete game on time.

      Looking forward to trying out the alpha though, bugs and all!

    49. Steve Adamo on

      @Ray
      1. No multiplayer correct?
      correct

      2. Operating systems? Windows only at this point?
      correct

      3. Bug reporting
      will be managed on the forums, here: http://discourse.stonehearth.net/category/support/bug-reports

    50. Missing avatar

      Arnan de Gans on

      Looking forward to testing out the game, also to provide useful input on anything :)

      But - Make sure reporting issues/bugs/comments/ideas is intuitive, easy and smooth. Preferably from ingame or really easy to do... This will enhance the experience for everyone and generate more useful reports for you guys.

      Perhaps unnecessary -
      To me this means; no silly forms with dumb questions, no complex instructions to generate a system report (if you need this, the game should generate this and place it on the desktop), no forum/twitter/facebook threads where everyone talks through each other, no endless account linking to get anything done.
      Just a simple submission form, which registers an account in the background (or no account at all). Something smart, modern and intuitive.