Kickstart This: Wanderer

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I go through cycles where I either am really into sci-fi or really into fantasy. The past few years have definitely been dominated by fantasy realms – Middle-earth, Tyria, Westeros, etc. But between reading The Woods comic series, watching SOMA playthroughs, and the impending release of a new Star Wars movie, I think it’s safe to say I’m entering a sci-fi cycle right now. So when I saw the Kickstarter for Red Cloak Games’ new game, Wanderer, my interest was definitely piqued.

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I Love Video Game Farming

No, I don’t mean like farming worms in Angmar to get that extra point of Valour for your virtues or farming the Turtle raid to get that little pet turtle housing item. I mean like simulation farming – til the soil, plant seeds, wait for stuff to grow, harvest, rinse repeat. I don’t know why. I like gardening in real life as well, but I know logically video game farm simulation does not make a whole lot of sense. But I find it immensely pleasing.

When my college roommate got me to start playing Minecraft, setting up a little wheat farm was one of the first things I did. At the time it was very limited, but now you can breed and capture pigs, cows and chickens (and in the next update horses!) and you can maintain a farm of wheat, potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, melons and netherwart. It’s definitely much better than it was, but it’s not quite enough for me.

So today I was browsing through Steam Greenlight. For those who don’t know, it’s a system on Steam that allows budding game creators to post screenshots, videos and descriptions of the games they are making. Then Steam users get to vote on if they would buy the game or not. If a game gets enough votes of “Yes, I would buy this game!” it gets the Greenlight and gets published on Steam for people to buy and play and all that good stuff. And today I discovered a game there called Stardew Valley.

So far, this game has lots of elements that appeal to me:

  • Farming with a wide variety of plant types
  • Ability to shape and build your farm and farmland however you want
  • Customizable character creation
  • Multilayer opportunities
  • Seasons!
  • Retro-y graphics with a pleasing color scheme
  • Nice music!

There’s also the exploration and mining elements reminiscent of Minecraft. Also some of the underground dungeon exploration from the video reminds me a lot of Towns, which I posted about a while ago. And of course story elements as you interact with the NPCs in your town. Apparently there are also 10 NPCs in town that you can marry – regardless of your or the NPC’s gender, which is not something you see very often in games. The character creation seems quite robust – you choose gender, skin color, eye color, hair color, clothes, cat or dog preference, etc. Definitely something to play around with which is nice.

So basically, I am looking forward to this very much and hope it gets Greenlit. For any Steam members who are interested, here is Stardew Valley’s Greenlight page.