The Farming Simulation Competition Is About to Heat Up
Farming Simulator is a great game. On most nights, I’d rather explore alien galaxies or fire a rocket launcher at someone’s head, but there’s no denying the appeal and sense of accomplishment I feel when I look back at a well-plowed field, especially if I plowed it with my $300 specialty controller. Call it “slow gaming,” which much like slow TV, is way bigger than you think, especially in Europe.
Though there are a few imitators, the farming simulation genre is largely defined by the Farming Simulator series, which is developed by Giants Software. However, there’s a new farming simulation on the way, and it’s backed by a company that might give Giants some real competition.
Pure Farming 17, as the upcoming game is called, is being developed by a studio called Ice Flames, and is being published by Techland, which will also support development. Techland is a Polish developer known for the Wild West shooter Call of Juarez and the zombie apocalypse games Dead Island and Dying Light (a personal favorite). They’re big budget games aimed at core players, so farming simulators are a little out of Techland’s wheelhouse.
How can Techland leverage its experience with mainstream games to sow the seeds for a new, successful farming simulation franchise? I emailed Techland producer Kornel Jaskula to find out.
Motherboard: You said that you think there’s room in the market for another farming sim because other farming sims have fallen short. What features, specifically, are you adding that aren’t in other games?
Kornel Jaskula: There’s quite a few to be honest. There’s the campaign mode which gives players an interesting narrative to follow that adds to the experience of filling the boots of an actual farmer. You’ll also be able to truly grow your farming empire as you see fit as there are multiple expansion options where players will be able to upgrade their farm infrastructure through various skill trees. This mode is also where you’ll be expanding your farming empire into different countries (in our case Italy, Japan and Colombia) so new crops and machinery also comes with that. There’s the mechanic mode where you’ll have to maintain your machinery to ensure better output and efficiency and then we also have
Are you aiming at fans of the farming sim genre or do you hope to bring in new players? If so, what’s your strategy for getting new players into farming sims?
We’re aiming for both, really. The ones who know farm sims will be attracted by our variety and scale. As for beginners, we noticed a lot of existing farm sims have a steep learning curve so this is quite a deterrent. You’re simply dumped on an existing farm and told to figure it out on your own. So in our campaign mode where we want people to feel immersed in the idea of you inherit a small farm and it’s up to you to build it up bit by bit. This will allow us to take the player through each facet step by step.
Are you going to have any licensed gear in the game?
We’re going to have only licensed machinery and hardware. We know very well this very important to the whole experience.
What kind of research are you doing or have done for this game?
Quite a few of the Ice Flames and Techland producers on the project are amateur farmers themselves. We’re consulting with various experts where needed and we’ve also done extensive competitor research. We see what players are asking for in forums, comments etc. so quite a bit of our ideas stem from this.
As you can see from the trailer above, one thing that’s clear is that Pure Farming 17, which is built with the Unity 5 game engine, looks really nice. That alone could give it an edge over Giants, which will launch Farming Simulator 2017 in October. Pure Farming 17, meanwhile, will launch in early 2017.
No matter which is the better game, farming enthusiasts like myself are the real winners.
Words by: Emanuel Maiberg