So now, I’ve gotten to another point where I have to plan to go any further ahead. The next plan is to incorporate seasons and different routines based on what time of year it is.
Which is where I ran into a problem. Arglebar is a farmer. I, despite having grown up in a rural area surrounded by farms (I once joked if you saw a barn, a cow, and a fence, you had seen the entire county), have NO IDEA how farming actually works.
I assume you harvest in Fall, because that was when we had the Harvest Festivals when I was a kid where I could buy those throwy popper things that you shouldn’t throw at your friends (which I then threw at my friends). But really, I had no idea.
And this will happen the more you try to emulate anything in games. You will run into SOMETHING that you don’t understand, or know anything about. I mean, I pride myself on knowing a lot of different things. I know a lot of European and American history (and a decent amount of Chinese and Japanese history), I studied electronics in school and am good at math, I know how to build houses from the ground up, and I know enough about social media to do the job I do now. But farming? Never done it, never was interested in it really. I haven’t even managed to get through a Harvest Moon game.
Luckily, we have the internet. And the internet knows EVERYTHING. Or well, close to everything. It knows enough about things that if you read several sites, you may not then get things disastrously wrong.
Anyway, I started on the Wikipedia article on “Growing Season“. And then I realized… this is more complicated than I thought. I think we will ignore that different plants need to be planted at different times. I don’t think we need that level of granularity to the simulation. And I’ll use the North America section, as it has a temperate four season system, which is what I wanted to use for the game.
But what do people do in each season. I googled “Farming Seasons” and found two articles that I read to get an idea of what goes on during each season. (and now they are going to be super confused as to why they are getting link ins from a game engine website…) They both talk about similar things, and while not all farms have the same things, it seems safer just to use their experiences rather than go off on my own and make a mistake monumentally larger than the small mistakes I can make imitating their experiences.
Basically, what I can gather from those gives me the following sort of “plan” for Arglebar. First things I’m going to need to add to the map:
- Cow Shelters
And his routine will change as follows:
- Summer: Weeding and looking after calves
- Fall: Harvesting
- Winter: Feeding cows, birthing calves
- Spring: Planting.
This gives me a better idea of what I will need to accomplish next time.
Have you ever had to research how something was done for one of your games? Maybe you looked at stuff on smithing for a crafting system? Or bits of history to help in the immersion of your setting? Or even some science to add some plausibility to a scifi game? Join the conversation in the comments below.