Hi Reddit,

Eighteen months ago, my brother and I were both working in Silicon Valley as software developers. The work was interesting, but we've always dreamed of writing a game, so in Oct of 2011 we finally pulled the trigger. We quit our day jobs, set up shop in my basement, and have never looked back.

With over 30 combined years of software development experience, we figured writing a game would be a piece of cake. Not so much... After a few reboots and a trial-by-fire crash course in pathfinding, AI, asset pipelines, etc. we're finally showing off our first project, Stonehearth.

Two weeks ago we did a Kickstarter, which so far has wildly exceeded our expectations! So amazingly, in just two weeks we've gone from "holy crap I hope people like this thing" to "holy crap, people like this thing! We get to make a game!"

Proof I'm me:

TLDR: We quit our jobs to write a game, got our asses kicked for 18 months, but came out of the other side wiser and happier.

Edit: Thanks for all the questions guys! I have to break for lunch but will be back in about an hour.

Signing off! Guys you have been great. I really enjoyed answering all your questions, but I've got to run to actually get some work done today. Thanks again!

Comments: 319 • Responses: 75  • Date: 

BrosEquis119 karma

You said you and your brother set up shop in your basement, but your kickstarter video clearly shows you guys set up shop in your upstairs bedroom.

WHY DO YOU LIE TO US?

But seriously- you guys rock.

inkblotSRK60 karma

If it's any consolation, we've moved out of that upstairs bedroom to my dining room after hiring our first new team member. So now even the KS video is out of date.

squidesquide48 karma

[deleted]

inkblotSRK29 karma

Dwarf Fortress was certainly a major inspiration! Thanks for the luck.

gosufailure36 karma

As the $400,000 stretch goal (co-op multiplayer) appears more and more likely to happen are you feeling more anxiety or excitement? You dudes have some experience in multiplayer netcode already (clearly, shout outs to GGPO) so I expect that you know full well what that entails.

As a backer and long time fan from the FGC I'm glad to see this has blown up. Best of luck to you two.

inkblotSRK37 karma

This whole Kickstarter thing has been an equal mix of excitement and anxiety. On the plus side, it's been incredibly validating that so many other people believe in our idea. But we also feel a lot of responsibility now to not let everyone down. This is a good thing! The pressure keeps us motivated to deliver the best game we can.

We have indeed been planning for multiplayer from the start, so I'm confident that we can have an awesome co-op experience.

Thanks for the well wishes!

PanicAK36 karma

How do you feel about Blizzard making a game called Hearthstone?

inkblotSRK44 karma

Blizzzzzaaaaarrrrdddddd! (btw, I will play the f*ck out of their game)

everythingisopposite22 karma

Do you have Wonder Twins Power?

inkblotSRK28 karma

dafuq man...

peta9717 karma

Will there be physics based destruction of houses, trees, etc? I think this would add a lot to the game, especially in battles.

inkblotSRK23 karma

We would like to add physics for these kinds of things eventually.

gr1f1th11 karma

This may be a weird question especially coming from a 3D artist but... Your game is "voxel based" does that mean it is ultimatly rendering voxels in engine or polygons? Your Dev vid showed that you would optimize the model later in polygons and the facial expressions are animated poly's which leads me to believe that it just has a "voxel look". Could you elaborate? Thanks.

inkblotSRK18 karma

In the end it call comes down to polygons. You are correct, the game has a "voxel look" and voxel like gameplay mechanics, but it is rendered in polygons.

Twheee10 karma

As someone who loves the idea of creating a bustling marketplace of a city, I have to ask: Are there going to be mechanics that support this dream, or will I just have to pretend that it's a hub of commerce?

Also, don't be shy about adding a stretch goal for making coop a little less cooperative!

inkblotSRK12 karma

There will be opportunities to trade with seasonal caravans that will visit your town and with other neutral factions on the map.

SupaTIM8 karma

Oh wow, watching the video I was thinking "Oh wow this looks like the Cannon guy from SRK." Then I saw your username. My brain got bodied.

inkblotSRK4 karma

I just blew your mind.

lifefire9407 karma

Knowing about you two from SRK, and knowing how much you guys have done for the FGC you guys are an inspiration in more ways than one. I heard about this project through Ultrachen, and thought it was a great idea!

As an aspiring game designer I would like to ask, what did you begin working on first, did you work on a straight concept or just built an engine first, and then built your idea around that (I hope that made sense)?

Also what are your inspirations behind the game?

Thanks.

inkblotSRK6 karma

We started from day 1 with the concept in mind: a game that let you build creatively and share your creations with other people. We decided to build our own engine only after determining that we couldn't really build the top-to-bottom moddability that we wanted with an off the shelf engine.

steveadamo6 karma

im going to paraphrase a couple of questions from the campaign comments section:

1) Anna S. wants to know if we will have a granular set of options that define a new game... basically, can we enable/disable certain types of "lethal settings" as you phrased it? e.g. keep food starvation and aggressive wild animals, while turning off aggressive faction?

2) Felix would like to know about "the possibility of engineer/geomancer interaction"... Cannon/Rifle Golems! :D

inkblotSRK5 karma

You've got questions. I've got answers.

1) That would be very nice. I can't promise anything but it's a good idea.

2) It's very possible! We want to have synergies between the crafters whenever possible. For instance, there is a natural synergy between the Carpenter and the Weaver. The Carpenter crafts upgrades that improve the Weaver's throughput (spinning wheel and loom), and the Weaver crafts goods like bowstrings that allow the Carpenter to produce advanced items like bows.

gosufailure6 karma

What languages and tools are you using in the development of Stonehearth? Any advice for business software developers looking to take the plunge and get into games?

inkblotSRK10 karma

The core engine is written in C++11 and Open GL. We write all the gameplay and AI in LUA. Finally, we use JS and HTML for the UI.

For an business software developer, my advice is to just try writing a simple game using one of the existing engines out there. Unity is great for desktop/mobile apps, and I personally like ImpactJS for web apps. For Stonehearth we wrote our own engine, which lets us do some unique things but it as also a mammoth time sink.

Rudy166 karma

Hi! Super excited about this game!! All the best to your kickstarter :) Two Questions:

  1. Have you decided on how magic will work in the game?

  2. Have you heard Raj's music for your game? I would love to hear these tracks in game! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5nPNEwoM4e8

***It's all in your Discourse forums: http://discourse.stonehearth.net/t/music-and-soundtrack-updated-new-song/104/20

Great work! We're all rooting for you!

inkblotSRK10 karma

  1. For a while we were thinking that magic would be very rare and mysterious, but we keep coming up with awesome ideas that involve magic, like the magma smith. So stay tuned on that one.

  2. I have heard Rag's music. It's really good! We're still weighing our options on music, and will hopefully have more time to spend on that after the Kickstarter.

Sargoreth6 karma

If there is not going to be subterranean exploration, how will you ensure there will be adequate supplies of materials typically found underground in other games in order to build grandiose structures? Will material outcroppings generate layers below themselves of similar substances as you remove them, or will there be impenetrable layers directly below the surface?

inkblotSRK10 karma

We would like to add subterranean exploration eventually, but we're concentrating on the above-ground game first.

We can tune the amount of supplies vs. materials in the ground pretty easily. For instance, with wood we've determined that 1 "block" of wood lets you build 5 blocks of wooden wall, so you don't have to chop down every tree in the forest to build a handful of houses.

The world will be based on reality, meaning if there's an outcropping of rock, that outcropping will extend into the ground.

monkeyhole226 karma

I'm super excited for Stonehearth, and have been following the kickstarter closely. But I'm worried about one thing: Blizzard has a card game in beta called Hearthstone.

Are you afraid they're going to make you change the name of your game?

inkblotSRK8 karma

We've had the name Stonehearth since last November, and we really like it.

We can't control what Blizzard does, but we will try to keep the name Stonehearth.

wpScraps6 karma

What's funny is as soon as I saw the first image and the word Stonehearth I decided I'd seen enough to become a backer.

inkblotSRK3 karma

Wow! Thanks!

peta975 karma

For modding, will we be able to use the assets from the game to make our own game modes, with different AI, inventory systems, and things like that? Will it be open to adding our own scripts easily?

inkblotSRK10 karma

Yes. A mod that adds a new game mode or AI will need a lot of LUA scripting, but it will be possible.

Justidius3 karma

How has fighting games influenced the project since you both are deeply involved in the FGC?

I am glad you guys had so much success :) Good luck, the game looks fantastic.

inkblotSRK3 karma

Wow, great question.

The community aspect to Stonehearth is there directly because of the experiences we've had in the FGC. We wanted to build a game that people could rally around and think of as their own.

BrosEquis3 karma

I'd really like to support you guys more (and I know I'm not the only one with this problem) but I'm having a hard time finding justification to raise my pledge up to $100. Physical things like posters and shirts aren't my deal. Are there plans for a pledge between the 50-100 dollar range that could include non-physical benefits?

If you like this idea, I suggest a nod to reddit and add Snoo, the reddit alien as a companion. Alternatively (and since this is an AMA) give the players the choice between 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck to fight in a module.

inkblotSRK12 karma

We're open to new reward ideas if you have any. The one thing we don't want to do is create this weird division between those who can afford the higher tiers and those who can't, which is why we placed all the pet companions in the cheaper tiers.

Ramcat_8 karma

Many of us would pay $100 to have an Alpha in Sept, but being a software engineer myself I am afraid it could slow the project down. That said, careful management, and a small feature set in the Alpha with minimal support could have little impact on the project and let you earn more support now. Also, having to solve the "it won't run on my machine" issues early (Alpha) makes Beta and release soooo much smoother (you've already solved those problems). Edit: Spelling

inkblotSRK4 karma

Bingo.

tomutwit3 karma

What do you see as your competitors? Minecraft? Cube World? Castle Story? Timber and Stone?

inkblotSRK7 karma

I don't think in terms of competitors, because this is a brand new genre and there's room for multiple games.

First, even though we use voxels, we don't play like Minecraft or Cube World at all. Castle Story, Timber and Stone, Towns, and Gnomoria are all better comparisons.

But all these games have their own spin on the "city management with building and crafting" genre that's developed, which is great! For Stonehearth, we're 100% focused on building the kind of game that we want to play.

Xx255q3 karma

What about the family model? Two people have a kid and that childs traits is based on the parents and the father passively trains him/her on his.trade at home etc..... also I hope you mange to.answer one of my questions today

inkblotSRK6 karma

We want your settlers to have relationships: to fall in love, mourn each other when they die, etc. Kids are tough. We're not sure how to model kids moving from infant through childhood to adulthood. Maybe we can do something simple like have an infant to pow instantly "levels up" to a little kid then bam later becomes a full grown adult. We'll keep thinking about it.

Spac3Rat3 karma

Tom, you mentioned that items can be built by developers. So I can make an ubber-sword, for example, which would defeat everything it touches. How will you handle these player-made items on multiplayer games?

inkblotSRK10 karma

Good question. For multiplayer games, the server will determine the list of mods that are in use for that game, and all players will need to have those mods installed.

So if you created a game with a certain set of "fair" mods, I can't join your game with my uber-sword-of-whup-ass and wreck shop.

We will have some system to sync up the mods between you and the server so you don't have to manage them manually.

bkpnr5793 karma

Hey guys Congratulations on the success of the kickstarter. I am looking forward to hearing about the progress on the game and I am extremely excited that this game is being ported to Macs. Is there any chance you guys will be using Evo or FGC events as a way to market your game? or are you keeping it separate?

inkblotSRK3 karma

I think we're going to keep them separate. Evo is all about full-on competition, whereas Stonehearth is a game about expressing your creativity.

crackerjam2 karma

Will there be hats? I want hats.

inkblotSRK2 karma

How can we not have hats?!

crackerjam2 karma

This game looks really awesome, so I'm going to try to stick some ideas in your head if they aren't already there:

  1. Will your game have buildable structures to defend against monsters and such? Things like turrets, near-indestructible walls, etc?
  2. I feel like having domesticated dogs to protect people or attack things would be awesome. Thoughts?
  3. Presumably, over time one will be able to have multiple cities located far away from each other. Will there be any kind of long-range transportation mechanics? Perhaps a steam train or something like that.
  4. If you start the game with monsters/aggression turned off, will you be able to turn it back on later? Say, to build an awesome city in peace then be able to test it later on.
  5. I'm not sure how you're going to handle structure damage, but please make it so structures can be repaired automatically, perhaps by having a unit that will run and start working on anything that's damaged or something. That sounds neat.

Thanks!

inkblotSRK2 karma

  1. You'll be able to build walls and towers to defend yourself.
  2. Yes! The Animal Trainer class will let you do this.
  3. So far we have been thinking of the game as you managing one city or one city with a few tiny outposts.
  4. Hm, interesting idea. I hadn't thought of that, so....maybe!
  5. Definitely.

_King9999_2 karma

So...GGPO support?

inkblotSRK3 karma

Ha. We will have great co-op multiplayer, but it won't use GGPO.

Tuesday_D2 karma

I just want to say that I've seen your kickstarter and watched you do your thing on twitch and I'm really impressed with how professionally you speak to your audience. (Both of "you"... I didn't pay enough attention to discern which brother was speaking when.)

That kind of approach seems to be lacking in your industry lately. I feel like being "edgy" or arrogant as an "alpha male" move is too common. Asking for millions of dollars from complete strangers should be an exercise in humility, not a middle finger in the face of "haters" who said you'd never make it. Not only have you put out a great looking product at the kickstarter level, you also have found a way to connect with people and bring them into your process.

I can't wait for this game. It looks really fun to play and I like you guys as people and would be happy to support your work.

inkblotSRK3 karma

Thanks for the compliment. I chalk this up to our kinda-stuffy business software backgrounds. For us software is serious business, even when it's fun software like games!

ZeroAssassin2 karma

Did you ever think you would be making a game with your brother?

inkblotSRK2 karma

Let's just say I'm not really surprised.

azinbroski2 karma

I checked out your kickstarter video and I was very impressed! I get paid this Saturday and I have serious intentions of helping you out. It looks like a better version of Minecraft! I seriously hope this becomes a big thing. Good luck, guys!

inkblotSRK3 karma

Thanks!

Vector-52 karma

First of all I just wanted to say I love city building type games and procedural generation so your project sounds awesome!

I can't think of any real questions and from what I've seen it looks like you guys are heading in a great direction so good luck with your project!

I only have one request and that's to think about the cozyness factor when creating assets and designing the game. With these sorts of games the city growth/design and creating clever defenses are always fun, but I love when (like with Dwarf Fortress for example) it's possible to just sit back and watch the villagers interact with the environment you've been building and defending. Being able to create items/areas for villager recreation and watching how they are used unfold is one of my favorite things ever. Stuff like festivals, kids playing around by a river, or a family gathered around their fireplace when it's dark and snowy outside makes me so happy and gives players a chance to enjoy what they've been working towards.

Keep working hard, I'm rooting for you guys!

inkblotSRK2 karma

Thanks for the thoughts and kind words! I agree, I enjoy the cozy, and-farm nature of just watching your little guys live their lives.

CycoPenguin2 karma

But we also feel a lot of responsibility now to not let everyone down. This is a good thing! The pressure keeps us motivated to deliver the best game we can.

Beyond having the freedom to create the exact vision you want in a game, how is the above sentiment any different from a day job... Pressure to deliver and a lot of responsibility to not let your company down so that you still have a job.

inkblotSRK3 karma

Well, first the work is just a lot more fun. It's way more fun to think about epic monsters and magic than IT business software. Second, we're working for ourselves now, so the rewards are potentially much bigger. Not just financially, but the satisfaction of having built your vision and other people enjoying the thing that you built.

But your point is correct. It's still a job.

CheezeCaek21 karma

Good luck getting it Greenlit.

I hear that has been sort of a disaster with the way they've been doing things...

For example, your game looks to be better than a lot of the ones already greelit, as well as Rogue Legacy.

How do you feel about games getting greenlit on Steam, and the process involved to do so?

inkblotSRK1 karma

Steam Greenlight is a big, mysterious black box to me. I just know our numbers keep going up, which I think is a good thing.

TheLeafdude1 karma

I can't wait for the game and especially if we get COOP. I have a couple of questions.

1) Will there be automatic trade between cities? So can i have a friend who is focused on food output and another on raw materials while i focus on producing elite men? And we see real trade between these cities?

2) Will everything be represented with viewable motions. For example if my crops are harvested, will they drop on the floor till someone picks them up and carries them to the store house and then will then be picked up by whoever wants it next. Instead of automatically being used when needed?

My questions are very realism focus i guess, i just love the sense of a real city with real systems that move and interact with eachother.

inkblotSRK2 karma

1) Not right away. To do this we would have to have some kind of communication between the game you're playing and your friends' games. It's a good idea and we've thought about it, but it's not at the top of our list.

2) Yes. You can see this sort of stuff in the kickstarter video, where the workers physically lift up blocks of wood from the harvested tree and carry them to be stored.

noxstreak1 karma

Is multiplayer going to be on peoples own server or will you control servers?

inkblotSRK2 karma

You can run your own server.

oweng651 karma

If this game ends up bringing in profits could you see yourselves making games for the rest of your lives?

inkblotSRK1 karma

That's the plan man!

_username_available_1 karma

[deleted]

inkblotSRK1 karma

We came to software development on separate paths. My brother knew he wanted to do software since like age 8. I experimented with art for a while, then got hooked after taking a programming course in college.

Having a brother the same age has been a definite advantage. Once we decided that we both wanted to make this project, we sort of instantly had a 2 person company.

angryfan11 karma

Any chance of you releasing on linux?

inkblotSRK1 karma

Yes, we will support Windows, Linux, and Mac

eldreth1 karma

As clear proponents and beneficiaries of the current trend in crowdsourcing, how far do you think this is going to go? Personally I am beyond excited for any opportunity to cut out publishers and the population at large for a better chance at the type of games I truly love.

Do you think this model of funding is going to revolutionize how (and what kind of) video games are created, or are we going to look back in 10 years with the same level of disgust (and/or disappointment) that we now have for pogs?

p.s., keep it up! Backing at the $30 level.

inkblotSRK3 karma

I do think crowdfunding will revolutionize how new projects get started. It's just amazing that you can go directly to potential customers with your idea instead of having to get a loan from a bank or approach VCs.

Websauced1 karma

Hey guys, the game looks great, and I will be backing your project when I get home from work later today. I read the info you had on the kickstarter page but haven't had a chance to go through the videos or any extra material yet.

So my question is will there be a king/ruler character in play at all? like a hero class character that each town has only one of?

inkblotSRK5 karma

Lots of people have asked for something like that, so we're taking a closer look.

Ramcat_1 karma

My brothers mod idea: An imp who walks around in the shadows and "breaks" things. Cutting a hole in a house wall, rerouting your irrigation, stealing a hammer, all these would be examples of breaking things. Would it be possible to mod such a character?

inkblotSRK1 karma

Absolutely!

naitfury1 karma

This is going to be the first time I pledge for a game on kickstarter, even though I've seen so many amazing games on there, this one in itself looks absolutely perfect, exactly like what I have been looking for. For so long.

Few questions, unsure which got answered and which didn't skip whichever was asked before, if you answer this at all!

  • How big are the worlds going to be? Are we talking minecraft GINORMOUS size? Or are we talking Sim City 2012 "I can't fit a damn thing in here now that I am succesfull"-size?

  • What is the main focus area of the game, early, mid or late-game? I ask this because I often restart a game to change a tiny detail, if early game is very difficult or long this might discourage or even encourage that!

  • When can we expect to see actual gameplay footage of you guys playing? How will you plan to keep is up to date of current progress? This is important to me personally because I am investing money into something and it would be a shame if the game comes out and I can't even remember why I got so excited in the first place!

  • The races in the game: Is your focus on just one playable race at first to be expanded by modders? Or will the game release with several playable races?

  • How can I get you guys to release this faster? :D

The game looks absolutely tremendously epicly awesome of godlike proportions. I've been dying for a while to replay something along the lines of the settlers, minecraft, dungeon keeper and sim city combined and it looks like this is it. So much props to you guys, you are living the dream!

Thank you.

inkblotSRK3 karma

Wow, thanks for your support!

  • Game worlds will be big enough so you won't hit the edges. We're still tuning things, but we don't want you building in a box.

  • We want the focus of the early game to be about survival, then in the mid game transition to more of an optimization, min-max sort of game. The end game will shift back towards survival and staving off epic monsters and disasters.

  • We want to keep you guys updated as we develop the game. You can see some of our live broadcasts at http://twitch.tv/radiantentertainment

  • We'll start out with just one playable race.

  • Buy is beer. Kidding! We're working hard to get the game to you. We want to see it released just as much as you do!

hoontah1 karma

This is awesome! Being a twin myself, this gives me inspiration to do some type of project with my brother as well. We haven't the experience you have as we're just starting college but eventually! Here's $30, I look forward to the final product!

inkblotSRK2 karma

Thanks! Good luck in your studies.

kik_rox1 karma

How did you guys get started in the gaming industry? And when did you know that being apart of it was something you wanted to do?

inkblotSRK1 karma

We've been hovering around the game industry for a while, mostly involved with fighting games. 15 years ago I started a big fighting game website http://shoryuken.com, and started Evo a fighting game tournament which has grown into this mammoth thing. Tony has worked on some game tech like GGPO, network middleware for high-action games like fighting games.

We're just life long gamers and have always been around games.

Hippowd0n1 karma

What gave you the idea for putting your indie on kick starter? Did someone recommend it to you?

inkblotSRK1 karma

I've followed and backed a lot of kickstarters. Crowdfunding is super awesome. It wasn't a hard choice.

frodo0105951 karma

Are you planning to eventually bring ships into the game so that you'd be able to fish and have naval combat and so on?

inkblotSRK1 karma

Not for a while. There are many things we would like to get done before moving to naval.

The great thing about our modding framework is, if people really want to see something like this a modder may get to it first.

PragmaticOne1 karma

Hey guys, just wanted to say reading your AMA and Screenshot Saturday posts on /r/gamedev helped inspire me to work on a game with my twin brother and a few friends this summer. We're both still in college, but I plan on becoming a software engineer after I graduate and he's going into IT. I think it's awesome how you two quit your day jobs and gave this idea your all. I'm happy your Kickstarter is going very well and I wish you both the best of luck! I'll be checking out the game as soon as I can! :)

inkblotSRK2 karma

Wow thanks! I'm inspired that I've inspired you. Seriously, thx.

Bluffles1 karma

[deleted]

inkblotSRK1 karma

  1. You don't play as a settler. You float above the action and give orders, then your settlers obey.

  2. Yup

  3. Yes, most items will have a purpose. For instance, a settler will work faster the next day if he spent the last night sleeping in a bed and not on the ground.

  4. Yeah, the "mini-game" language was confusing. Basically farming will be deep and complicated enough that you could consider it a sub-game. You'll have choices for when crops you plant, and making the right choice will get you a better yield.

  5. The KS rewards will be tied to some kind of authentication. So when you install the game you tell us "I'm me" through your email address or something and we install the right pet.

  6. Nope!

Is_this_The_Chive1 karma

As the game gets bigger and more complex as more stretch goals are met, how large of a team do you think will be required to complete the game on time. Also, can you give us some sort of idea where the money goes when creating a game like this? I am a backer and I think your game looks awesome! I also love the live video streams so please keep them coming.

inkblotSRK3 karma

We're looking to grow the team to around 4-6 people. For a project like this, nearly all the money goes towards people and supporting people: salaries, office space, etc.

We'll keep the live streams coming, don't worry!

EmilAFN1 karma

Will these questions and answers be posted somewhere? So we can easily read them afterwards?

inkblotSRK2 karma

I'll collect the top 10 questions or so and post them to the Stonehearth discourse

MooliSticks1 karma

And for what it's worth, I'll re-collate them.

Reynhart1 karma

Geoffers747? Is that you???

inkblotSRK3 karma

I love Geoffers747

Dalrint1 karma

On the kickstarter, the little pets like the dragon and the cat and dog, do they become 'characters' that wander around our town or are they something that follows a chosen avatar? Can we have all three out at once? Will there be other 'pet' type animals in-game?

inkblotSRK3 karma

The pets are like their own little characters that will wander around, play, etc. We're going to try allowing all the pets at once and see how that goes.

One of our early stretch goals was a baby mammoth pet for all KS backers. I think we're more or less done with pets now. We have a good variety and don't want to overdo it.

Spiak1 karma

Given that pathfinding has been a fun bugbear in just about any game, what options will you present to the USER when it comes to pathfinding? Waypoints, zones that are defined as low traffic/high traffic/transport only, them doing what they want?

inkblotSRK3 karma

Well, we don't want the player to have to micro-manage most units. You sort of give the orders and your settlers figure out how to implement your plans.

For combat units, where you do exert more control, we will have the pathing options you would expect in an RTS: waypoints, patrol, etc.

WaffleSandwhiches1 karma

Would you rather model 100 duck size horse pixel models, or 1 horse size duck pixel model?

inkblotSRK5 karma

100 duck sized horse pixel models. Do one then copy/paste!

Spac3Rat1 karma

Congratulations on the new adventure, Tom! I sincerely hope you guys make it.

inkblotSRK3 karma

Thanks! Me too!

Trogrin1 karma

Everything epic has a beard, you're doing it right.

inkblotSRK3 karma

But....I don't have a beard! I want to be epic too!!

dandoan31 karma

What is that block laying program that you are using to design your characters? How do you import that into an actually GUI for the game? What code / engine are you using to design the game?

The game looks amazing, best of luck.

inkblotSRK1 karma

I use Qubicle Constructor to model my voxels. Great program.

We wrote our own engine using C++11 and Open GL, with LUA for gameplay and AI.

oncewasblind1 karma

Hey Tom and Tony, did you remember to call mom for Mother's Day? Also, can you go into further detail about the combat class options that will be available?

Thanks!

inkblotSRK1 karma

Yes I remembered to call mom! Sheesh! For combat, you'll be able to customize your army through class and gear. Your unit's class will determine most of its abilities, and we'll have all the archetypes represented: tank, melee nuker, ranged nuker, healer, etc.

Then each unit's gear will determine some passive bonuses, and occasionally grant new abilities. For instance, you may decide that you want a strong defensive front line, so you promote 10 footmen and just 2 archers as the main damage dealers behind them, but you can choose to arm those footmen with swords, which do extra damage, or maces, which have a chance to stun on hit.

Of course, all of this is just an example of the kind of feel we're going for. Exact mechanics are subject to change.

steveadamo1 karma

we know you want to have a solid "above ground" game experience before embarking underground, but do you have any plans or ideas for the direction you want to take when/if the time presents itself? to clarify, what will mining/digging look like to the player (will the terrain go translucent, will you have to change the Z level view to see whats going on, etc.)

inkblotSRK2 karma

When we get to it, we want the underground to be just as content-dense as the above ground. Above ground there's stuff going on all the time: trees, flowers, critters hopping around, etc.

We want the underground to have a similar density, where you don't have to dig very far before running into something interesting, even if it's just some fluorescent plants in a subterranean cave or whatever.

nmgoh21 karma

You and your brother have given so much to follow your dreams, how did you find someone to hire that is as passionate about this project as you are?

inkblotSRK4 karma

She came to us! Her pitch was basically, "you're going to hire me. here's why you're going to hire me." It was very persuasive.

steveadamo1 karma

will you do a live stream showcasing how a scripted event might unfold (would love to see some LUA work), or elaborate on the "dungeon master" process you have mind for controlling how things flow in a game?

inkblotSRK3 karma

Maybe not a scripted story, but Tony is planning on doing a live stream showing how to take an animated model and get it into the game, including writing the AI in LUA.

tumor_salesman1 karma

[deleted]

inkblotSRK4 karma

Truth? The big 40 was staring me in the face, and it just felt like a "now or never" moment.

Once we made the decision, the actual resigning was pretty straightforward.

adskad111 karma

Have you thought about having kings and queens as a stretch goal? I think that might make for some interesting gameplay

inkblotSRK3 karma

We've thought about it, but that's a tough one because it implies a certain kind of city. If I'm the kind of player that's building a monastery or a trade-city, then maybe I don't want a king or queen, so that stretch goal has no appeal.

Poiar1 karma

Will there be turtles in the game?

inkblotSRK4 karma

Hadn't thought about it, but anything is possible? Just regular turtles, or....

curveball601 karma

Can you explain to me what the games about?

inkblotSRK3 karma

Our Kickstarter video and page explain it pretty well.

Stonehearth is a game about exploration and survival in an epic fantasy setting. Your job is to help a small group of settlers survive and carve out a place for themselves in a hostile land. You’ll need to establish a food supply, build shelter, defend your peope, and find a way to grow and expand, facing challenges at every step.

Starting from procedurally generated terrain with dynamic AI encounters, Stonehearth combines city sim and good old combat with infinite building possibilities. It’s built to be moddable at every level, from your city, to the people and creatures inhabiting the world, and will ship with the tools and documentation for you to add your own customizations to the game, and share them with friends.

BrosEquis1 karma

What's your favorite DnD/Table-Top Role Playing story?

inkblotSRK2 karma

I really like the old Palladium TMNT and Robotech games.

Java_Beans1 karma

I'm curious about the user created models, if I designed a weird animal, will I be able to specify how it moves/attacks or you will force me to use a skeleton template and build on it?

inkblotSRK3 karma

Yes, you will be able to specify your own animations. Here is a loooong video of me animating a model: http://www.twitch.tv/radiantentertainment/c/2256649

FuzzyChops1 karma

Hey guys! I backed you already and am quite excited for the release of the game. My question was, what got you started into game development and what were some amusing success/failures early on that helped shape where you are now? Best of luck in the future!

inkblotSRK1 karma

Thanks for backing us!

We both really like video games and we like building things (which is why we both chose software for careers), so building a game is just a dream come true.

A lot of our early failures come from being too ambitious. For instance, we originally imagined the game as a full 3D (not voxel) game that looked more like Warcraft 3 or something. Moving to a voxel-type game immediately limited a lot of what was possible, but those limitations allowed us to focus on exactly what we were most excited about (building, crafting, and modding), and just cut off a lot of things that ended up being distractions.

The_Real_RockNRolla1 karma

As a guy who quit his job to develop games, congrats on the Kickstarter! I have a few questions:

  • Since both of you are programmers, who is doing the art for you guys? Is it a person you knew from before or did you hire the person on a contract?

  • Did you ever feel frustrated and thought of going back to your old jobs?

  • Are you going to release this on Steam?

  • You say you got your asses kicked for 18 months (I will reach 18 months getting ass kicked next month), so did you have other game ideas that didn't work out or was this the game you were working from from the start and just kept tweaking to get it right?

  • How long did it take to write your own engine/editor?

inkblotSRK2 karma

Ooooo, lightning round!

  • I'm doing the art. I produced about a year's worth of very bad art before finally settling on Stonehearth's style.
  • I get frustrated all the time, but this is the thing that I want to do, so I'm sticking to it!
  • We will probably release on Steam. You can vote for us on Greenlight here!
  • We've actually been working on Stonehearth for 18 months. We had a few false starts technically, getting the core engine and modding APIs right, but we have always been focused on this game idea.
  • 18 months and counting. =) The engine is solid and mostly there. We need to spend more time on tools.

Gibbtall1 karma

Do you have plans to add Religion? It would be interesting to have different dieties and methods of worship, from offerings of food and big celebrations to offers of blood and war.

Could be a far off patch, I'm more looking forward to subterranean stuff :) which you've mentioned elsewhere.

inkblotSRK2 karma

"Plans" would be overstating it, but we've brainstormed a ton on this topic. We've thought about the different deities and different mechanics to worship each one (prayer, animal/human sacrifice?)

This is on the long list of things that we want to get into the game, but step 1 is building the core features like construction, crafting, and combat.

Morgester1 karma

What programming language are you using for the engine?

inkblotSRK3 karma

C++11 and Open GL

Cronus31661 karma

This is a pretty broad question, but since the KS video states the core focus of the game is crafting and building. What kind of things do you see in the crafting aspect of the game? Will there be a supply and demand type deal, like after so many items the blacksmith will require new tools / soldiers new weapons and armor?

inkblotSRK1 karma

Crafting is going to all about managing your resources. For example, let's look at the Carpenter:

Right from the get-go, the Carpenter can craft furniture, wooden swords that let you upgrade people into soldiers, and wooden irrigation pipes that will up the productivity of your farms. So there's lots of stuff you COULD craft, but you're limited by the amount of wood you can chop down and more importantly your Carpenter's time.

So you have to choose, what's most important? Shelter, army, or food? The answer will depend on what's going on in your game at the moment and what your long term goals are.

And we will have interdependence between the crafters. The blacksmith will need help from the mason to craft his forge, etc.

frodo0105951 karma

Hi, I was just wondering about the sight on the map that you're playing on. Will you be able to see the whole of the map at once and everything that happens on it or will you be forced to like send villagers/soldiers to investigate certain parts of the map (fog of war). Keep up the good work. This game is going to be epic.

inkblotSRK2 karma

We are planning on fog of war.

ericvulgaris1 karma

Can you replant trees?

Is mining/geomancer terrain changing permanent?

inkblotSRK2 karma

You can probably replant trees eventually. Seems like a good feature.

Terrain changes are permanent. If you dig a hole, you can always fill it in later, but the hole is a real hole and will stay there.