- Official roadmap
- Is it just me,or…
- Finding Stoneshard on social media
- Revised Stoneshard roadmap: intro
- Landmark goals met: releases 2020
- Landmark goals in progress: 2021
- Looking ahead: City of gold, 2021
- Looking ahead: The Wizard’s Fate, 2022
- Links page
The problem, as I see it, is the 2021 roadmap makes no sense to me, even though I now understand it. It says it’s a 2021 roadmap and proceeds to list half a page of things they have already added to the game. The green ticks infer milestones passed – but are implied to be ‘on the roadmap’. I find that terribly confusing to process. Essentially, it’s a timeline rather than a roadmap. Cut it in half, make it “Completed in 2020” and “Roadmap for 2021”. (Updating as appropriate).
Maybe it’s just me?
But, maybe it’s not? Most of the dates are too precise and, in fact, relate to things already in the game. Most of the image is not a roadmap of milestones to be reached, but ones passed. If it was clearly separated and clearly defined, fine. But it’s not. Chop it in half, add a new section for ‘goals reached, milestone releases’ and then put the remainder in ‘roadmap’ for future targets and it all makes more sense.
Why they can’t do that on their website is beyond me!
At least they got the Stoneshard Facebook page right! Pedantic, I know, but social media and SEO is one of my things, so when companies mess up on the basics, it annoys me. To be fair, as I mention on Go BIG or go home, it’s something even big companies like Heinz fail at.
What I want from a roadmap is a quick glimpse of “what’s to come, when”, linked to a data pack detailing “who, what, when, why, how?”
It’s not that they can’t. Indeed, it’s not that they haven’t as the information is out there seeing as I got most of this from their Facebook page. The problem is it’s not organised. Some people, arguably wisely, want nothing to do with Facebook and social media. Regardless, most people in this day and age just don’t want to put the effort in. Web designers understand this, or should; if a page doesn’t load in 2 or 3 seconds, people will move on.
Dude, ain’t nobody got time for that 💩. It’s ironic in a way, people will put hundreds, thousands of hours into playing a game, but waiting a few seconds for a page to load, taking a few minutes to refine search parameters, nah.
Official Stoneshard pages on Social Media
This is a snapshot rather than an exhaustive analysis.
Their Twitter page (twitter.com/Stone_Shard appears it be updated more often that their Facebook page. So, looking today, Twitter details an abandoned quarry (reminiscent of the excellent Graveyard Keeper ) and a bridge in disrepair, which hasn’t been added to their Facebook page yet.
The address @Stoneshard would have been better, but some rock band from Holland grabbed it some years earlier. Funnily enough, the band are called Stoneshard and their Twitter page (with all of 18 followers) links to the game’s Stoneshard site. Hard to say whether the link is a homage, or if the band let their website lapse and the developers (Ink Stains Games) bought it.
There again, their YouTube channel goes to the not so memorable address of /UC2eaJ5h3hcICZcY-XvDKwbw instead of /stoneshard or even /inkstaingames, both of which are available. Is it any wonder their YouTube page only has a few hundred followers for a game with 17,000 likes?
I did message them over this, pointing out the importance of SEO. Here’s an example. I searched for ‘Stoneshard’ on YouTube. I didn’t find their site this way, gave up scrolling through all the streamers talking about the game. Early on in the search – to my surprise – I even found my video of the Ancient Troll fight – which I only uploaded two days ago! But not the official site. Telling.
Apart from a broken link to Twitter (which I flagged for them), their Facebook Stoneshard page is actually excellent and I recommend you follow it if you are interested in the game.
You can also find Stoneshard on /reddit. They have some 6,400 followers on there at the time of writing
More for backers, you can also find updates posted there. There are 91 Stoneshard update posts on Kickstarter at the time of writing.
If you can speak Russian, their vk.com Stoneshard page is also kept up to date.
You can find more about the company under Ink Stain Games. Their first game was 12 is better than 6. Not my sort of game, but the music is catchy. My son has that one.
See also: Official Stoneshard Wiki
Revised Stoneshard roadmap
This is how I’d do it, but – at least on a web page version – expanding it to include images etc of the new features, such as monsters, dungeon scenes, skill trees. Really sell it.
Of course, the perfect ideal is to include all the animated gifs but at up to 19Mb each, they start to add up, even on a fast connection. Plus, big files on a fast, wired internet are fine, a 100Mb web page on a limited smartphone plan is rather less welcoming. Thus, as here, you add an image and link to the relevant post. Sometimes things can are easier to eat if you take smaller bytes 😀
I’d also split it into two linked pages, current (‘this is what we’ve done and are doing’) and roadmap (‘this is what we plan to do’).
What’s the point, you may wonder, it’s old news, right? Well, it might interest you to know that 3,641 backers pledged $101,186 to help bring this project to life.
Stoneshard Landmarks: 2020
LANDMARK GOALS MET: 2020
TROLLSLAYER UPDATE: added April 14th, 2020
New Boss: Ancient Troll
New Dungeon Type: Catacombs
New Skill Trees: Combat Master and Athletics
Miniquests and expanded dialogues
BOLT THROWER UPDATE: added June 2nd, 2020
New weapon types: crossbows and polearms
New skill trees: polearms and dual-wielding
New playable character: Velmir the Skadian Revenger
(Related: 0.5.9.0 «Bolt Thrower» – Changelog)
(Related: Devlog June 2020: Progress Update, complex ecosystem, pathfinding, dungeon generation rework)
Equipment I CONTENT PATCH: added July 25th, 2020
New armour and weapons
(Related: 0.5.9.6 – Equipment Update)
WAY FORWARD UPDATE: added September 24th, 2020
Expanded dungeon generation
Expanded catacombs and Decorations
New enemies and enemy skills
(Related: 0.6.0.0 “Way Forward” is Live!
“Enemies learned to trade places when fighting in corridors and tight spaces. Enemies who prefer to fight in melee will try to swap out archers, retreating enemies will attempt to swap with those who can still fight, and those who have high Health – with those who are about to die.”
(Related: 0.6.0.12 Changelog (October 2020) – Reputation Tab and balance changes)
(Related: Devlog (October 2020): Current Plans)
(Related: Devlog (November 2020): Throwing System)
e.g. “By throwing a harmful potion at your enemy, you can apply its effect for a quarter of its base duration.”
(Related: Devlog (November 2020): Skinning & New Traps)
“The way an animal is killed is an important factor. You’ll get the best outcome with piercing weaponry, which won’t damage pelts too much. If you score a kill by primarily using Piercing Damage, the chance to get a pelt will be the highest.”
And finally – smoke bombs, which function similarly to poison traps, capable of ruining the day for enemy archers: the smoke obscures vision, triggers coughing, and deals a small amount of Poison Damage.”
(Related: Devlog (December 2020): Two-Handed Maces)
(Related: Devlog (December 2020): Two-Handed Axes
EQUIPMENT II CONTENT PATCH: added December 25th, 2020
2 new weapon types: polehammers and poleaxes
2 new skill trees: polehammers and poleaxes
Noise and hearing system
New armour and equipment
New enemies and mini-bosses
New combat consumables
Berries and new consumables
(Related: Devlog (December 2020): Update Wrap-Up, introducing the Hearing system, berries, new NPCs, narcotics, and new enemies.)
Stoneshard Landmarks: 2021
LANDMARK GOALS MET: 2021
Working towards City of Gold milestones
February, 2020: Year One Anniversary & Progress Update and changelog. The city of Brynn is coming along, but it will be a while yet.
By a curious coincidence, the anniversary – February 6th – was also my grandmother’s birthday!
Devlog March 2020, City of Gold progress update
Introducing saving on exit, killable NPCs, new locations, rivers, Steam achievements, and The Lute
Devlog April 2020: Brynn Lore – Part I; a brief look at the history and politics of Brynn
Devlog May 2020: Brynn Lore: Part II – Leaders; details such notable individuals as guild master Denvar Brie and General Arno di Berro
Cautionary comment by developers on their Facebook entry warning that
It’s highly likely that most (if not all) major updates will be incompatible with old saves until the game is out of EA.
(You can bookmark this page as well, if you like 🙂 )
LOOKING AHEAD: Cities of Gold
PLANNED FEATURES FOR 2021 to 2022 INCLUDE:
New settlements and cities
New enemy factions
New schools of magic (e.g. cryomancy)
More encounters and Points of Interest
Stealth Mode and lighting mechanic
Cooking, alchemy, and consumable crafting
Full gamepad and keyboard support
Full story update
And much more…
New settlements, including three majestic cities. New enemy factions: the mysterious Deep Dwellers and the ruthless Hive. Even more activities, equipment, enemies and abilities.
Gather your caravan: upgrade it, find new routes and recruit followers – their skills and abilities will surely come in handy. Feeling tired? Return to your camp to hear fresh stories or just rest by the fire.
Devote yourself to one of the aspects of the enigmatic deity. But remember: every blessing has its price. Are you ready to make a pact?
To solve the mystery of the Stoneshards, you’ll have to visit dozens of exciting locations, make decisions with long-lasting consequences and slay a number of ferocious bosses.
Alchemy & Cooking
Discover new recipes and experiment with potions and dishes by combining different ingredients.
ROADMAP AHEAD: 2021
CITY OF GOLD UPDATE: expected late summer, 2021
First major city: Brynn
Global map(Brynn mark)
Basic caravan system
Encounters system and new points of interest
New biomes: rivers, lakes and swamps
Save on exit
(Related link: Devlog: Progress Update (March 2021)
RAGS TO RICHES UPDATE: expected Q3 to Q4, 2021
New small village: Arnem
Improved economy: trade goods and demand mechanic
Expanded contract system: new types and contract consequences
Enchantment system rework
THE WIZARD’s FATE: expected Q4, 2021 to Q4, 2022
New magic tree: TBA
New weapon type: wands
New skill trees: wands and magic mastery