Welcome back to Robot Farm!
We built a new website to go along with the new video. A lot has changed, so I figured we should give the website a new look too. Anyway, this post is going to kind of serve as both a "Hey guys, we're alive," and a "What the hell is Robot Farm anyway" for the newcomers, so without further adeu, ahem:
Thanks for waiting. We know it's been a long time since our last video (over a year!) and honestly, we kind of wanted to wait a bit longer. But we felt that it was time to peek out of our cave and say hi to everyone and let you guys know we're not dead. We're also hoping that this video will inspire more interest in the game, since the last video was very early in development and probably didn't make it look like it'd be anything special. The game is special to us, so we want to show you guys why, and hopefully this small peek at what we're cooking will help with that.
Robot Farm's a big game with a lot of elements, and that means it's quite a lot of work to get right, and not to mention the nightmare that's going to be the final bugtesting rounds. It'll be worth it though: Robot Farm captures everything we love about role-playing games and is our love-letter to the genre. We have an over 200 page script with story content we're going to implement once the game itself is fully functional, using the same editing tools we're going to give you guys to make your own mods for the game. This includes world editing (terrain, locations), story/dialogue editing, and even custom coding (lua file support). Each one of these is optional, so if you're more of a casual world builder, you can choose to use the lua code we'll include with the game and just focus on the terrain and location editing, and so on. These parts can also be shared individually, so people that choose to mod Robot Farm can share the content they make with the various tools.
Robot Farm isn't just a level-editor or a story-focused game though, but it also has deep gameplay that has a lot of variety. So you can farm, discover new monsters, capture monsters, fight monsters, build robots, find cool items, discover towns, meet new people in those towns, you can fish, build houses, buy land, cook items you find and farm, the list goes on (literally, see below). If you're the type of player that just wants to play the game, then you'll get that and never even have to touch the level editing tools if you don't want to. Not only that, but loading content that other players make will be as easy as dropping files in a folder and turning the game on.
We also want to support the game after we launch it and give you guys new features as you request them, and also expand the abilities of the editor as we begin to get a feel for what people are trying to make with it. There's a lot we have in mind, so we hope you guys will join us on this ride and see what happens.
Robot Farm is about 50-60% done at the moment, but here's a full list of all the things that are planned to be implemented or already implemented, so that there's clarity to what Robot Farm is and plans to be. The features that are already in a working state have checkmarks beside them. This should give you a clear idea of how far along we are.
- Farming gameplay (basic Harvest Moon-esque gameplay, but also the ability to enlist and configure robots that will run them for you while you're out adventuring - hence the name of the game) ✓
- Unique farming mechanics: our plants are alive and have feelings. You must feed them daily, not water them, and receive their permission first before harvesting their fruit. Plant growth rates vary based on temperature, and their demeanor is variable. ✓
- Buy land anywhere in the world (that isn't occupied already!) to increase farming output, build houses on the land
- "Fast Active Combat" system, battles that take place on the overworld seamlessly, inspired by the games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy 12, Shin Megami Tensei, and Pokemon (that's a lot of name dropping, but that's the best way to describe it until we make the actual video showcase for it) ✓
- Fishing minigame: as you explore the world, you will discover a variety of fish with different shapes, sizes, and properties. But they can only be caught if you have the right bait and can successfully reel them in! ✓
- Aokobots can be built via fusion of other monsters and Aokobots, their power can be increased by injecting materials such as plants or fish ✓
- The player will grow in strength as their friendship with party members increases over time
- Equip both randomly generated and hand-made items ✓
- Customize your house with furniture you find on your adventures ✓
Story (this is finished last)
- Player can choose between playing as a boy or a girl and can choose their name ✓
- Full built-in story mode (roughly about 10-15 hours long if rushed through), includes a hand-made world developed by NOKORIWARE using the World Editor that players will have access to
- Various side-events to discover and experience to learn about the world of Robot Farm
- Seven romanceable characters with multiple affinity events each along with having two versions each (a male and female) that changes based on the player's chosen gender, giving the player a reason to do multiple playthroughs as each playable character
- Story mode has branching dialogue in some cases that change based on the players responses to NPCs
- A full OST that will feature over 30 tracks
- Also there's going to be a giant robot battle at some point in the game (wink wink)
- Discover a world that features both hand-made and procedurally generated elements: it has the soul of a hand-crafted world, and the variety of a generated one ✓
- Go between various towns meeting people and discovering new places ✓
- Bestiary system, discover hundreds of hand-made and generated monster, plant, and fish species across the world as you adventure. ✓
- Monster and plant species are hand-designed with soul, and there are 40 Aokobots/Monster types in total, however stats can vary between each generated "subspecies" ✓
- Monsters can be spoken to and obtained as party members that will join you on your adventure ✓
- Plants can be obtained in the wild and grown on your farms (but only with their permission first!) ✓
- Fish can be caught and used as cooking ingredients for food, weapons and fusion material ✓
The World Editor
- Build entire worlds with the World Editor that have their own unique stories and events, or re-use the ones that come with the game to make your own version of the canon Robot Farm story ✓
- Use our story dialogue software to create branching dialogue events that will work in the game ✓
- Use our Lua code support to add custom behaviors and events to the game that can vary in complexity, even going as far as changing how basic conversation works between the player and NPCs ✓
- Share the worlds and stories you make with friends ✓
I think there's some stuff I missed, but that covers the big beats. I hope this sounds exciting to you! Because it's super exciting to us.
So I feel like a bit of explanation is needed. Why did we disappear for so long? Why was 2017 kind of just a missing year for us? It's a long story and I touched a bit on it in an earlier blog post. However, this website is entirely new, so that blog post is going to be gone after today. So I'll give you a sort of summary here: basically, the lead developer had some surgeries, so he was really just sort of out of it for most of the year. He's fine now, but obviously this slowed us down noticeably. It was just a rough year all around. Plus, we're all adults now (versus being teenagers during the development of We Shall Wake, the lead developer was literally like 17 when DEMO 7 released) so it's a lot harder to get time for making games when you don't really have an income coming in from it. Fortunately, we're all super passionate about it - so we're going to get stuff done regardless. Just probably pretty slowly. That's the explanation, so we hope that helps explain why we've been MIA.
Anyway, time for the shameless self-plug: NOKORIWARE is completely self-backed and self-funded by a bunch of broke college students. If you're interested in backing and helping us improve the game, please don't hesitate to contact us via email. Even if you're not interested in funding the game, even basic marketing advice would be greatly helpful. We believe there's a lot of polishing we could do with the right backing, but of course, even if that doesn't happen, we'll still finish this thing. Just look at the feature list above and imagine what we could do with an actual budget!
Also, if you're just simply interested in the game, please consider donating to our Patreon. All of the funding we get through Patreon goes directly to paying artists to make new stuff, and absolutely none of it goes to any of the programmers/musicians at the moment because there's not enough to go around - in fact, the money we're using to pay artists right now is coming out of their pockets. So if Robot Farm seems like a game you'd be interested in playing and would like to see improved significantly, please send some money our way and we'll put it to responsible use! If we actually had money, we could probably ramp the quality of the game up quite a bit.
And one more time, here's a link to all of our social media:
Thanks and take care guys!
Until next time,