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Desktop Tuesday Updates!

Hey everyone, welcome to another Stonehearth Desktop Tuesday! This week, the team is taking a moment between A22 and A23 to work on a number of the long-term projects that have been going on in the background, like building and water. Other members of the team are tackling long outstanding bugs. We expect to begin work on A23 in the middle of August, when we gain a second designer who can help out Richard, whose focus is currently split between high level meta design questions, and detailed system design. This week, while waiting for some of this stuff to land so we can talk about it, let’s focus on the results from the recent Desktop Tuesday survey, which will inform how these DTs will progress in the future.

Updating DT with Feedback!

Recap from the video:

Many thanks to the six hundred and fifty of you who filled out our Desktop Tuesday survey. This week, I’d like to share what we learned so we can all be on the same page about how Desktop Tuesdays will change and evolve in the future according to your feedback.

First of all, we learned that overwhelmingly, 95% of you watch Desktop Tuesday to find out what’s coming next in Stonehearth. After that, about half of you watch to hear about our encounters with hard technical problems. Just under half of you, about 45 percent, watch to find out what it’s like to make a video game, and to make sure that we as a dev team, are still alive.

Second, we learned that on a scale of 1-5, where 1 is low enjoyment and 5 is high enjoyment, that each kind of Desktop Tuesday we make is enjoyed at the 4-5 level by at least 60% of you. The most universally enjoyed Desktop Tuesdays have been about specific features, like mood loadouts, traits, and customization which were deeply enjoyed by about 80% of you, followed by the ones about roadmap and general direction, which were enjoyed by 75% of you. The most controversially enjoyed style of Desktop Tuesday was the deep dive into a feature (in this case, conversations) but even so, 65% of you still enjoyed them at a high level.

The most surprising thing we learned is that though almost 60% of you want us to keep updating every week, even if this means making Desktop Tuesdays about topics other than stuff that’s actively about to go into the game, over 40% of you have encouraged us to spend the Desktop Tuesday time on other things, and only make them when we have stuff to show.

Finally, if we did make Desktop Tuesdays about stuff that isn’t immediately in the game, almost 70% of you were interested in hearing about early stage features that are still in design and may not make it, and that almost as many of you, 63%, would like to hear answers to questions you guys submit.

Given these results, it seems to us that Desktop Tuesday should primarily continue to focus on features we’re actively working on, and that will be in the game soon. If we do not have a particularly interesting feature to discuss, we should do a simpler, lower-time-cost Desktop Tuesday that gives a brief update about what we’re working on or that answers some community questions–so you can see what it’s like to work on a game and know we’re still alive–or a more occasional Desktop Tuesday that discusses long-term future features. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Let us know in the comments below!

To that end, a brief update: the team is currently working on wrapping up a number of long-term projects that have been going on in the background for a while, but that we’re not yet ready to discuss in detail. For example, when I asked Engineer Albert if he was ready to talk about his retrofit of the water system, I heard incoherent growling, probably because QA Analyst Ana/Relyss is kicking ass at using your existing water bug reports on discourse to test edge cases in the new system. So good job on filling those bug reports! In the same vein, I asked Engineer Chris the same question about his and Nikki’s work on the building UX, and I got a terse answer about how he’s on prototype version 6, was *maybe* about to hit paydirt, and didn’t have time to talk.

In terms of answering questions, we hear you ask a lot about whether the building system you saw last week will have actual gameplay involved in it–for example, if buildings will provide protection from the environment, or aid in protection from attacks. That is indeed currently our plan, although the exact gameplay details are still under construction. The first step of this was actually implemented by Albert back in January when he allowed hearthlings to become aware of whether or not they slept outside.

Other Announcements

Stream is happening as usual this week on Thursday at 6:00pm PST. This week, it’s Chris, so ping him about all the things he’s learned about how to create a reasonable experience for building UX.