Building a Village - Garden Variety
We all neglect things they really shouldn't. Maybe it's a hard task you don't know how to start. Maybe it's just cleaning your room.
For me? It's the mushroom gardening hobby in Village Monsters. It's "technically" been in the game since releasing in Early Access 6 months ago, but you wouldn't know it. I've barely touched it since then and most players aren't even aware it exists.
That changes now. Let's talk gardens, and then afterward let's clean our rooms!
What was once Mushroom Gardening will now be known as simply Gardening. Yep, you can now cultivate all sorts of new plants beyond just fabulous fungi!
But don't expect to be planting boring crops like turnips or corn. No! Instead, you'll be growing suitably monstrous plants: man-eating pitcher plants, never-ending creeper vines, fruit that glows eerily in the dark, and yes: mushrooms.
To help you with growing all these new plants, garden management has received a complete overhaul in both look and design. Check it out:
Each garden now has its own plot (above) that you can interact with to manage all the plants inside. From this screen you can plant new seeds, view the status of growing plants, cultivate the soil, and eventually harvest any mature plants.
You'll be able to purchase multiple plots of varying configurations, but at the start you're limited to the basic 2x2 model.
Your garden won't require a lot of attention if you only care about the basics. You may need to weed it on occasion, and cultivating it with water and fertilizer will definitely help it grow faster, but gardens are otherwise self-sufficient.
After all, gardening is meant to be a passive and relaxing hobby. Of course, there are all sorts of benefits if you want to be an active gardener - let's look at them now.
I'm super excited to talk about the new plant breeding mechanics! That's not weird, right? You'd tell me if that was weird??
In all seriousness, I love breeding plants in video games. I'm not sure why - it's not like I have much interest in real life botany - but I always get really into it whenever it's offered. Adding this feature to my own game was a no-brainer.
In Village Monsters, getting started with plant breeding is actually super easy. You just need a male plant, a female plant, and an empty space. Nature can handle the rest!
Your experience as a gardener governs how fast plants grow and crossbreed, and in the beginning of your career it will be pretty slow; plants take several days (and in some cases longer) to grow, and new starter packs are quite expensive and sometimes hard to find.
Don't fret, though! Gardening is designed for exponential growth, and over time a skilled gardeners can completely outpace the other hobbyists.
Hybrids are a very rare type of crossbreed where two plants combine to form a brand new plant.
As you can see from the chart above, hybrid plants generally inherit the shape of the mother plant + the color / design of the father plant.
It takes a lot of skill & patience to successfully breed a hybrid; they're often considered the end goal for most gardeners. There are dozens of unique hybrid combinations, so you'll be plenty busy trying to discover them all.
The uniqueness of a hybrid makes them highly sought after, and Pishky will pay you very handsomely when you're ready to sell. Better yet, you're almost guaranteed to win any Garden Festival if you put one of these guys in your display.
There are two more big features I'd like to add to gardening, but they won't make the next release (v0.70). Still, this is a dev diary, so I may as well talk about 'em.
The first feature is something I'm tentatively calling Symbiosis. The idea here is that gardening should provide benefits to all your other hobbies - and vice versa! Everything is connected.
For example, you should be able to use certain plants as bait to catch rare fish or critters. Other plants could help you see hidden treasure in the dark. Maybe domesticated critters could provide fast-growing fertilizer for your plants (don't think about this one too much.)
It'll take some time to get it all sorted out, but you can expect this in a future update before release.
The second upcoming feature is called Mutation. Mutations will be similar to hybrids with one key difference: they are completely random! Randomized names, randomized look, randomized benefits, and so on. Procedurally generated plants!
This'll take some time, and it may even have to come in a post-launch patch. I'll keep you updated.
Hey, isn't this like -
Yes, almost certainly!
I really love playing video games, and I'm proud to wear my inspirations on my sleeves. I've borrowed tons of elements from games like Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, even Cookie Clicker and Monster Rancher. If you recognize a gardening element from one of your favorite games then it almost surely is on purpose.
Video games rule.
When can I play with the new gardens?
Everything I described above will be available in Village Monsters v0.70, which will be releasing in the next couple of weeks. Look forward to playing it then!
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