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A lot of players have asked about farming in the last couple of weeks. Are we going to have it or not? Some have even suggested that if the player marries Emily, he/she will inherit the entire farm next door. While that's wishful thinking, we can tell some players are very passionate about this subject. So, we'll talk about it today. First these shots:
Yes, the above shots are from the game. Yes, we actually had most of the farming code done. Yes, it actually worked! But then we took it out. Before you start throwing things at the monitor, let me explain why. Over the past year, we've been tweaking the gameplay constantly. Sometimes we added in too much story and it felt like being dragged around by the nose, then we let loose too much and the player became directionless. We also saw a conflict between workshop gameplay and farming gameplay. On one hand, players had to spend a fair amount of time and energy to attend to their crops every morning, on the other hand, we were encouraging players to go outside and explore new things by having a very rich map. The balance and the rhythm just wasn't there, and it was causing the game to be not fun.
We had a bunch of meetings this spring in which we decided to have a workshop over a farm, the main reason was by that time the world and backstory that we were setting up with the Abandoned and Hazardous Ruins and all the various areas was a better fit for a workshop, you just didn't need all the area and all the resources if you're just making a farm. We put farming on the back-burner and concentrated on the core of the game.
Which brings us back to now. We know we'll need to bring back farming, there's just way too much demand, but we need to figure out a better way to implement it in our game. We're going to try something different with farming this time, unlike most of the farming games where you have to take care of your crops everyday, consuming lots of time and energy, we'll try to make the farming more industrialized, more modern, such as using a planting box or semi-automatic irrigation systems. We want to keep the essential part of farming, such as planting your own crops and watching it grow, while taking out much of the daily routine associated with it. We're aiming to have this function in game in the next few builds. So, what do you think? Are we going in the right direction, at least on paper?
It’s been a few days since we put out My Time At Portia Alpha 1.0, and the responses from players have been very helpful. We’re now much more confident in our approach to the gameplay than before. We’ve already moved on to the next build, which is due later this month, still free. In the next several postings over the next few weeks leading up to the release, I’ll be addressing what we’re working on.
This time, I’ll be talking about the characters. As everyone probably noticed, a lot of the current NPC models are temporary. Mars’ model was used as Presley, Dr. Xu, and Paulie, causing some confusion. Emily’s was also used as Ginger’s. Well, well, not anymore! Check these out:
We’re debating whether we should keep or get rid of the names of the NPCs above their heads when the player gets close, on one hand, it’s really convenient, on the other hand, it does break the illusion somewhat. What do you all think? Our NPCs are detailed and different enough that they’re easily recognizable, but we don’t know if players can take the hassle. We’re also looking to change the clothing design of Nora and Minister Lee. The Church of the Light is more similar to Taoism, so their clothing designs should be much simpler. High quality looking, but simple. On the animation side, we plan to add in some distinct character animation for all the characters, you’ll see a lot of these in the next build.
Finally, many have asked about the basic female player character, while she won’t be in the next build, we have started working on her. Here’s what her concept looks like.
My Time At Portia © Pathea Games. All rights reserved.
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