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DT: Roadmap++, Part 1

Hey everyone! Though the team is working hard on A22, let’s take a break from our usual conversations about what’s coming soon, and step back to take a look at the big picture. Let’s talk about the Stonehearth Development Roadmap. If you want, you can go straight there and read all the details first: The Updated Stonehearth Roadmap!

Roadmap Updates, Part 1

Recap from the video:

  • You’ve been asking for an update to the Stonehearth Dev Roadmap for almost a year! Today for Desktop Tuesday, I’m really pleased to be able at last to share not just an update, but a brand new roadmap with you.
  • From our first roadmap, we learned that our game development cycle is iterative.
  • To best reflect the team’s current goals for the game, and the way our schedule changes to accommodate your feedback, we’ve dramatically overhauled what’s on our roadmap, and how we think about updating it.
  • The new roadmap is centered around Missions. Missions are now written around large, aspirational gameplay goals (like “Engage with Hearthlings as Individuals” and “Classes are Distinct and Useful”) instead of individual features (like “Pets” or “Magmasmith”).
  • On the roadmap page, under each Mission below the graphic lives a feature list, which enumerates features we think will help our game achieve the Mission’s gameplay goals.
  • Scheduled features are ones we’re targeting within the next three alphas. There are very few of them on purpose, because our schedule changes based on your feedback, and what we think will best benefit the game at that time.
  • Proposed features are ones we think we’ll want eventually, listed in priority order. The proposed feature section may grow or shrink or become reordered as we build the game and assess our success at meeting our gameplay goals.
  • To reflect the fact that game design is iterative, and that schedules change in response to feedback, only scheduled features, and missions with scheduled features, appear on the roadmap graphic.
  • More of the graphic will appear as we progress through the Missions.
  • Missions and features that are not yet scheduled may change in response to gameplay feedback, and we may add more Missions at any time.
  • Gameplay must be developed in a well-rounded fashion, so we can evaluate systems as a whole experience. As a result, we may work on features from many Missions before finishing all the features in a single Mission.
  • The hard work we’ve done over the last four years is absolutely still represented on this new roadmap!
  • Artist Allie created the new roadmap art inspired by maps from games and lore we love, but also inspired by the original Stonehearth roadmap that Tom drew. Original Building Town, Cave of Monsters, World Generation Volcano, and Game Master Cloud are all still present on our new roadmap, and they record all the progress we’ve made so far.
  • To represent the fact that the new body of work we anticipate is potentially larger than the work we’ve already done, though, she’s made this sub-continent connect to a much larger one by a classic RPG style bridge.
  • The details of the new content are currently obscured and cropped away, but we look forward to pulling back the clouds and unveiling more of this new land as we travel through it together.
  • Our biggest goal as a team is to make an enjoyable game, as opposed to simply making a game with certain features, and we want our roadmap to reflect this.
  • We also want to be sure that the way we update reflects the fact that the features which achieve each goal may change as we get feedback from you and as our understanding of the game changes.
  • If you’re curious about your favorite feature, and where it lands inside the new mission structure, or if you have questions or concerns, we also have a detailed FAQ at the bottom of our roadmap page.
  • This Desktop Tuesday is getting pretty long, so next week, let’s take a closer look at how we got to this roadmap, and why it’s so different from our last roadmap. We can also talk about what this new roadmap structure means to our velocity as a team, and about when you might expect the features you’re looking for next. You can also get a preview of this by looking at the FAQ section of the roadmap.

Other Announcements

Our weekly stream should happen as usual this week, on Thursday at 6:00pm PST. Our second quarterly update stream should also happen NEXT Wednesday, 5/10, at 8:30am PST.

Also, in the year and a half since we last moved offices, we outgrew our previous space and needed to move again. So we’ve had a very busy week!

The new space is pretty awesome, has a nice view, and gives us even more room to grow:

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Our amazing office manager, Kam, made us this Stonehearth lounge space. It was a complete surprise, and we were very touched:

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And the wombat, as always, oversees us all:

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