Living Town: Research

in Tutorials

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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.

Dance, dance for the popper God.

Dance, dance for the popper God.

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.

I'm pretty sure that one of our Resource Pack artists is currently shaking her head at my terrible taste in games.

I’m pretty sure that one of our Resource Pack artists who makes a really cool farming tileset is currently shaking her head at my terrible taste in games.

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:

  • Cows
  • Storage
  • 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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • David Ruckman

    I looked up actually theories of time traveling before to make time traveling seem plausible. It’s not as interesting as a fake 1.21 jigawots + 88 MPH types of theories, but it’s much better than not explaining anything at all. *cough*Zelda*cough*

  • arrozaqi sega hidayatullah

    Im sorry,,

    Can you help me to make such a..

  • i kinda don’t get the point of incorporating such systems in your game anyway if it’s not something you’re familiar with. I’m sure there’s something somewhere you’re very familiar with and you can bring to your games. Maybe you’re a very good architect and you want to incorporate that somehow in your game, for instance. Each person has their own experiences and trying to imitate other’s sucesses will only lead to mild results. Do farming if you like it, if it resonates with you. If it doesn’t, then you probably shouldn’t do it… Unless you’re commercial already, then the market’s a whole new dimension xD

  • Orsalak

    I enjoyed reading your Living Town blog. Do you plan to do more installments? Maybe instead of going through additional season at this time, you could keep one season for now, and start adding other characters. Might help you keep things focused on the goal of a functioning town without getting too bogged down by what each person does during different seasons. That can always be a future phase of your project should you decided to add it later.

    Just a thought, but either way, I hope you continue this series!

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