Welcome to the Anniversary Special Devlog for Farmwand!!!
It has been a full year since we first announced the development of Farmwand. So today we will talk about how this project started and review the progress of this year’s work. We also have lots of new content and an important news to share with you. Let’s start!
💡A nice idea…💡
My husband and I have been fans of farming games for years and we played them a lot during the pandemic. It was a very nice way to bond while we were apart and unable to see each other in person, and we put countless hours into them.
During one of those sessions, while we were taking care of our crops, the conversation went to “It would be nice to have magic to help!”. And that’s how everything started. The game was closed, but the conversation extended for hours. For a while after that, everything was just ideas about a “magical farming game”, a fantasy world, characters and creatures that would roam it…it didn’t even have a name back then. It was a nice idea, a dream project to be done at another time, under different circumstances. That is, until last year after we got married and started living together.
Long before marrying we had talked about working together at some point, and after I moved countries to finally be together, and with a whole new life beginning for us, seemed like the right moment to try. To go all in. We started to use all our free time together to organize our ideas seriously, every conversation, every bit of world building, every doodle, every text message sent…the name came naturally, as our game has farming and magic wands, Farm+Wand. We started writing a long, long game design document, drafting the player’s character, potential styles…but we quickly discovered how Farmwand was always meant to look.
I collect children’s books. I love them. I love the illustrations, the color, the beautiful and innocent way in which their worlds are depicted…and my first concept art for the characters leaned towards this, at first because of a lack of experience but more and more purposefully with each new draft. The world of our game was gonna look like it had come out directly from the pages of a fairy tale. Many months had passed since we finally started working together, many sleepless nights in front of screens and whiteboards, until one day, we were finally ready to show our creation to the world for the very first time. It was October 31, 2021.
🥚 Then and Now 🐤
Writing this has been a very interesting experience. Living through something day in and day out, making our game in this case, can sometimes blind us to how much things change over time. We have felt at times that we make too little progress, that we don’t seem to move fast enough, the end of the journey seemingly still far away. However, taking a small break and getting our eyes not on the destination but back at where everything began is a great way to see how far we’ve come.
Even simple things, like the logo of our game, tell this story.
The first version of the logo was designed before we announced the production of the game. I wanted to have decorations on each letter hoping to show the theme of the game through it all. But after we started to show more content of the game we felt it wasn’t always very easy to read. It was being crushed under the weight of too many ideas all at once, and it needed to become simpler, more direct, easier to understand. The same thing would happen again with other aspects of the game.
We went back to basics. Rather than something grand and full of detail, we would make something childish and simpler. I had my husband write the game’s name on a piece of paper, and that became our font. I loved it a lot, and found it quite fitting for Farmwand.
The character design came from my doodles. I’ve never been too confident in my drawing skills, but to my husband they seemed a perfect fit to the children’s storybook style we wanted. As time went by, this little person learned to get well dressed, got a haircut, learned to make expressions…
The house was NOT so simple. We knew we wanted something unique, something magical and that felt as alive as the characters. At first we tried to make more emphasis on customization, then on the design itself, then on customization again…
But finally, we came up with it. A design that made us happy and that we could expand on, make variations of and work into the little world we were building. Designs were made, and a very first house was built!
The interiors changed a good bit too as the lore of the game got refined and the gameplay ideas we had more solid. Our potions room, for example, went from a very blocky square room full of empty spaces to a much more functional one, where everything has a purpose and with a much nicer layout.
Though the mood and the mysterious aspects of it remained the same.
But if an image is worth a thousand words, a GIF is worth a few hundred thousand. So to end this brief comparison better than anything we can write, we want to show you a comparison between the very first footage of our game, something we never shared before, recorded in September 2021.
And how it is looking now
❤️To all of you❤️
There is still a good stretch before we reach our destination and Farmwand is finally ready to be played, its world explored and all of its characters properly met. Every bit of the game, from the smallest rock to the biggest dragon are being made with a lot of care so that they can match every bit of what we dreamed them to be. But again, the road ahead is long.
We’ve been asked several times about whether we will have a Kickstarter or not, or some way where you can help us fund the game. The truth is, this is something we considered only until recently, since our game has been so far a project that we’ve been building, funding and driving forward only by the two of us.
But we do not want to take on the huge pressure that a crowdfunding campaign would be for the two of us, nor to let anyone down if in our enthusiasm we would over promise. And we don’t want to put constraints on our vision, to put features that we would love to have being conditioned to some backing milestones, nor to have to cut corners in something we have put so much of ourselves into as we get slowly crushed by deadlines. We believe that Farmwand and all of you, the people who have been supporting us so much, deserve much better.
What we’ve decided on, then, is Patreon. We have opened a small Patreon account for donations only. We can’t in good conscience offer any big rewards as that would take away what precious time we have now from the development of the actual game, and if you decide to support us financially, we would rather have it be because you believe in the project than because you felt compelled to get some exclusive X or Y item or afraid that our project would fail without it.
Farmwand will continue its development as it has for the past year, until we can reach the end of the road. And once there, our journey may still continue some more 🙂
What we can tell you, all of you, no matter how you show your support and interest in our project, regardless of if you decide to ever pledge to our Patreon or not, is that we are forever thankful for every single one of you who has been with us along this adventure.
Because without a doubt, the highlight of this year has been the amazing, heart-warming support we’ve received from everyone. People from all over the world that can’t wait to see the world we’re building, full of as many ideas and passion as us, and sending so much kindness our way at every step of the way.
We believe that cozy, sweet games tend to attract cozy, sweet people, and the little community that has been building around Farmwand has been the proof of that. So, from both of us, at the end of this first year of development, thank you.
Source: Indie DB