Information for the Holidays!
Hi StarFam! Here at our headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, winter has already arrived. Outside it’s cold and dark, but in the office, it’s business as usual as we prepare for the jolliest season of the year!
The holidays are just around the corner and soon this hard-working team of about 130 people will slow down production for a few weeks and take some well-deserved time off with family and loved ones to recharge for 2020. While we, of course, have prepared updates for every single Wednesday throughout the rest of the year, we’d like to remind you that our workforce will be smaller than usual and our response times on social media and via our support form will be slower from the middle of December to the end of January (as it takes time to catch up if there queues after we return). We really appreciate your patience and understanding and hope you will get to recharge before the new year as well.
So with that being said...
Wait a minute!
You guys usually tell us a bit about upcoming plans during the end of the year, but you haven’t done so this year!
Oh, yeah, that’s true. What would you like to know?
So… why did you not release a new area this year?
Currently, our focus is to update what we already have. It’s very exciting for us to work on brand new areas, but it wouldn’t feel right at this point to keep adding new locations when we have so much space already in the game which we feel needs more attention. This year we’ve given Doyle’s Abbey a magical new look, we’ve remodeled the mountains in Firgrove and Goldenhills Valley to add brand new riding trails, and we’ve done graphic updates in the Harvest Counties, Epona, and Goldenhills Valley, which has been very important in order to bring you a beautiful and coherent gaming experience throughout all of Jorvik. We’re not done opening previously unavailable areas on the current game map either…
To summarize, we haven’t had a brand new area, but instead, we’ve almost entirely revamped the terrain in THREE of our major areas this year while also opening up previously inaccessible parts of Firgrove and Goldenhills Valley. Huge shoutout to the team we call the World Team, who has worked tirelessly to make this happen!
But no *NEW* area also kinda leads to less new quests. What have you been doing instead?
We have been bringing you gameplay not necessarily related to longer quests this year, like the collection with Token the Traveling Dragon and the Red String Trail Ride. Some things we’ve released might not have been lengthy quests, but they have added a good deal of content to play while exciting things have happened here at HQ!
This year our Game Designers have done tremendous work behind the scenes to make Star Stable work better than ever by cleaning out old code taking up unnecessary space, tweaking things which did not quite work as we wanted them to, doing a lot of research, and re-thinking old systems. All of this has led to the start of several projects which have demanded extra time to make sure that in the future you will have more things to do in the game when you log in every day. We want to create an experience you don’t finish in a day but adds to a longer journey. Examples of this are the Spider and Token collections, and the hunts for pumpkins and yule goats around Halloween and the winter holidays. There is still LOADS of work to be done, but we’re very excited about the projects and believe they will ensure you have things to do in between our weekly updates.
One of the basic systems we’re looking into, for instance, is the horse care system, which we believe could be better than it is today. This is not a project to be completed overnight, but we’re very happy to have begun the deep dive to improve the system and make it more fun, interesting, and convenient to care for your horses!
But you keep on releasing horses though! How does that happen if you’re spending so much time on other work?
Star Stable is a horse game, so of course one of the most important things for us is to keep bringing you beautiful horses. Since we began releasing horses for purchase in 2013, we’ve been keeping roughly the same release schedule for them. This is important to us as we want to continue bringing you awesome horses on a regular basis, and we only wish we could bring all your favorite horse breeds sooner!
Our entire game studio is divided into smaller focus groups, and our Horse Team is naturally dedicated to developing our horses. Nowadays we’re also able to bring you special horses available during specific events, which we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. We love our magic horses and the creative freedom they bring to the table, and judging by your love for Woodear and Pepita during Halloween, it seems like you guys agree!
Can you share some specifics regarding what you’re working on right now, apart from the care system? Like a special update coming during 2020? Or a special horse? Or…
We have many exciting things planned, horses included! We’ll continue revamping older horses, now moving on to Generation 2 horses, while alternating them with brand new horse breeds which have been highly requested by all of you!
As for what else we have planned, we can’t say too much right now. What we can tell you is that we’ll see a lot more of the Soul Riders next year, as well as some of the DARKer characters in our story. Bold adventures are on the horizon for our newly reunited Soul Riders, in both quests, and in new ways...
What about a new area then?
We’re currently not planning to expand the game map further, but we do have a few changes in mind to make some already existing areas a bit more interesting… and that does include new quests and plenty to do!
This does not mean we’ll never again expand the game map, just that it isn’t something we have in our 2020 planning and we wanted to be transparent with all of you.
So, there’s a lot of things going on, and when we’re back from the holidays we’re diving headfirst into making sure 2020 will be our best year on Jorvik yet!
We wish you all a very happy holiday season and hope to see you all on Jorvik throughout December!
Many hugs from your Star Stable Team ♥