lizcommotion: word "Hi!" surrounded by all the hi signs from the game Glitch (glitch hi)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
so if I have been posting sporadically of late, that is because Stardew Valley has eaten my soul free time.

It is a farming sim game a la Harvest Moon/Animal Crossing, but combines the best of a lot of games! There is farming, foraging, resource collection (why is resource collection so fun for me? omg it is), basic dungeon crawling, Unlock All The Zones (I don't even know how many??), a lovely storyline, romance options (or not!), a diverse cast of characters...yes. also there is fishing, which sucks a lot to level up but then is kind of fun.

and did I mention that you can be queer in this game? yes, unlike Harvest Moon which practically strong-arms you into heterosexual relationships, or Animal Crossing of no-relationships (other than animals inviting themselves over to your house all the time)...there is a really robust social set-up in this game.

there is a social tab that lets you see your relationships with all the villagers, see how many gifts you have given them (it's capped at two per week), lets you see who is single. also, you have to specifically initiate a romantic option with characters. so if you do not want to do any romance, characters will not be all up in your space when you just want to be friends and maybe also have them send you recipes from time to time. there's a saloon where villagers tend to hang out in the evening, and you can go and also play arcade games. not everyone goes -- there are definitely introverts. i'm in year two and there's still people I don't really "know" yet.

also there is a lot of diversity in this game! with non-tradional families! like a mom I thought was single but apparently her husband really *was* in the military (he returns later on). and grandparents -- one who uses a wheelchair -- whose grandson lives with them and helps with caretaking and does seasonal jobs. or two sisters who are taking care of their house while their parents are off globe-trotting (they are polar opposites: one is Super Popular, the other is into Fiber Arts and Woo Things). Or the Carpenter and her Scientist Husband are an interracial couple; their daughter is biracial and the Carpenter has a son from a previous marriage who is white. None of it feels like token diversity -- people just are and have backgrounds and different reasons why they live there. Some of it is a little "eh" to me -- like the woman who lives in a trailor and has Srs Alcohol Issues. But in the context of her daughter (single and romanceable) who I kind of want to marry just to get her out of the crap Adult Child of Alcoholic situation she is stuck in -- she spends her days volunteering to teach kids at the local library -- it makes more sense.

did I mention this game hits you in the feels in a lot of unexpected ways?

the creator is a single person, and he spent four years coding the game before releasing it on Steam ($15 US, I hear it's 11 GBP). as it's coded by one person, it's thus far only officially available on Windows. I have heard rumors about future upgrades, but don't know if he's planning multiplayer first or making it available for more operating systems.

I have heard that some people have got it running on Mac via Parallels and on Ubuntu Linux via Wine, but it involves a lot of fenangling.

For a one-person-coding-job, it is surprisingly free of bugs. There is also a lot of really nice music -- very retro gaming, but not intrusive, and you can turn it off if you want. When characters talk, they do not make that annoying noise as they do in Animal Crossing.

Some of the controls may not be intuitive if you are not familiar with other farming games. The documentation via the Wiki is fairly comprehensive so far? I'm trying not to spend too much time there, as I don't want too many spoilers as to what happens when I unlock everything in the derelict community center.


I will give this warning: if you get visual seizures, this may not be the game for you? at least not on days when it snows/rains. the graphics there are very...well, they are close to being too much if I were to have a migraine day, so I would advise against the game if seizures are an issue, because there is a lot of blinky black/white contrast. :/

The interesting thing for me personally is how big an impact being able to have a queer romance is. I am planning on playing the game multiple times because there are a couple of characters I really like. (Though some of them are in the just-out-of-college arena and I just...feel to old for those ones. I don't know.) But there was an intense internal debate about the Sculptor versus the Writer who lives by the Sea.

Somehow, in-game queer romance feels so much more loaded than in-game heterosexual romance. I could basically marry the character any time I want. It took me forever to give Sculptor Leah the official I'm romancing you bouquet, and I am going all "I must nest and make the farm perfect before proposing" which is weirdly remniscent of partriarchal cultures. But just...it feels way more significant than any sim game I've played where heterosexual romance is involved.

I don't know what it's like to play sim games as a straight person, but I think part of it is the fact that I haven't really had a game just...let me do this before? I haven't played Dragon Age enough to get to the romance options (because controller is tiring for my hands) and it just feels Super Loaded and like I have to get it right. Plus irl I have complicated personal/political opinionz about marriage versus "remake system into something better not based on ownership, but practically often you do get more rights if you go with the marriage thing" and "why did we push for marriage first and not workplace bias legislation or homeless shelters."


So, uh. Yeah, I'm having feels with this game. Actually the feelz started with the intro, which was more related to feelings about capitalism and labor. You may want to play the game yourself to see it, but here is a screenshot from the intro to give you an idea:


(grandfather lying on bed in front of fire, right after he hands you a sealed envelope and tells you not to open it yet)
"There will come a day when you feel crushed by the burden of modern life..."



Oh, did I mention also that female characters can have beards? Yes. Yes they can. (I imagine there are not restrictions on male characters accessories, either. But.

Also you can have dinosaurs in your Big Coop once you upgrade. Yes. You can have dinosaurs on your farm.

I'm not sorry if this eats your life also. I have not loved a game this much since Glitch.

ETA: I am totally cool with you sharing this entry! Though prefer not too much bookface sharing, etc.

Date: 2016-03-22 06:12 pm (UTC)
syntaxofthings: Death Fae from the Fey Tarot (Default)
From: [personal profile] syntaxofthings
"There will come a day when you feel crushed by the burden of modern life..."

feeeeeeeels.

Date: 2016-03-22 06:31 pm (UTC)
lenores_raven: (keyboard)
From: [personal profile] lenores_raven
wow, such a lovely retro graphics. ^_^ and so many interesting features... I'd better stay out of it until the next winter holidays. :-))

Date: 2016-03-23 06:59 am (UTC)
lenores_raven: (keyboard)
From: [personal profile] lenores_raven
mmm... endless fun. :-))

Date: 2016-03-22 08:01 pm (UTC)
forests_of_fire: A picture of a brilliantly colored waterfall cascading into a river (Default)
From: [personal profile] forests_of_fire
oh god. I so want to get this game, but I also know that IT WILL EAT MY LIFE.

but, but.... -flail-

Date: 2016-03-22 08:15 pm (UTC)
woggy: (Lurking Frog)
From: [personal profile] woggy
This was already on my radar from elsenet, but your review has bumped it up several notches on the queue.

Date: 2016-03-22 08:38 pm (UTC)
shanaqui: Dean and Castiel, fishing, from Supernatural. ((DeanCastiel) To be alone with you)
From: [personal profile] shanaqui
*noodles around with it*

...It is taking me far too long to get used to the controls. Probably because my brain is dead.

Date: 2016-03-22 11:56 pm (UTC)
cxcvi: Red cubes, sitting on a reflective surface, with a white background (Cubes)
From: [personal profile] cxcvi
Fishing in games is weird. I can name at least 4 games that I've played that basically boil down to "wait for thing to happen, then react to it" (Minecraft, Terraria, Torchlight, and various Pokemon games... although at least in Torchlight you can anticipate rather than react because of the way the indicator works). I take it from your comments that there's more to fishing than that?

(Also, it's amazing how a familiar control scheme can make games more accessible to some people... and counter to that, how weird or unfamiliar controls can make a game feel very different... I remember reading about the fact that Metroid Prime doesn't control like a first-person shooter because it isn't meant to be played as one...)

Date: 2016-03-23 02:17 pm (UTC)
cxcvi: Red cubes, sitting on a reflective surface, with a white background (Default)
From: [personal profile] cxcvi
I couldn't make sense of the clicking thing, but I think that using W and S worked? I'd need to try again.

By the way, I officially blame you for the fact that I am not going to get anything done this year because of this game.

(Although I should maybe blame a Youtuber who showed what inside that letter in the start of a Let's Play series. I was... holy shit not prepared for that emotional reaction... and that was the point where i said "fuck it" and bought the damn game. And the soundtrack. The soundtrack was a good idea... there's one daytime track that made me stop and have a holy shit moment... although I think that unlike most games where I own the soundtrack, I'm not actually sure I want to listen to the music outside of the game...)

Date: 2016-03-23 01:04 am (UTC)
shanaqui: Simon from Firefly. Text: Can't take the sky. ((Simon) Can't take the sky)
From: [personal profile] shanaqui
Welp I just spent an hour with it and now I am late to bed. OOPS.

Date: 2016-03-23 06:27 pm (UTC)
shanaqui: My Habitican mod avatar, featuring me and a pile of books bigger than me. (Default)
From: [personal profile] shanaqui
Steam says I have now played it for five hours. I DENY EVERYTHING.

Date: 2016-03-29 03:38 pm (UTC)
geeksdoitbetter: (Default)
From: [personal profile] geeksdoitbetter
can you move with the mouse, too?

i'm allergic to WASD movement

Date: 2016-03-22 09:01 pm (UTC)
cxcvi: Red cubes, sitting on a reflective surface, with a white background (Default)
From: [personal profile] cxcvi
I've been on the fence about this game for a bit... but I think my legs are now dangling on its side...

Date: 2016-03-23 04:30 am (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
This might be a good entry into the harvest-type games. If I get the cash and the spare time that I do not have to play it.

Date: 2016-03-23 01:50 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
Well done on your pick, clearly. Even if a little sleep gets sacrificed.

Date: 2016-03-23 07:52 am (UTC)
tyger: Roxas, from Deep Dive.  Text: (un)Natural light (Roxas - (un)Natural Light)
From: [personal profile] tyger
Ooooooh, you don't have to romance? I AM SUDDENLY MORE INTERESTED, I really hate having to pick romancey things. Just. Ugh.

Here is another question: the thing that most annoys me about Harvest Moon etc. is the day/year system, where you have to stop/start what you're doing all the time because ~time of day so important~ no you can't just keep doing things until you're done you have to a) know the schedules of all the things, and b) keep track of exactly what time it is all the time so you can get to places when they're open. Also the thing where if you don't do thingA in yearY you can never do it again and have lost your ability to endingB for the entire playthrough, though tbh I've never really got that far into one of those games because the first annoys me so much. >>;;; Anyway, are they the same kind of style? Because I don't want to buy it and then get frustrated after an hour and a half or whatever.
tyger: Axel, Roxas, and Xion, on the clocktower. (Default)
From: [personal profile] tyger

HMMMMMM

So it'll be annoying, but maybe not unplayable-annoying. The not being able to keep working and have to go back to base thing will definitely piss me off, though. Might wait for it to be on a super good sale; I've been burned by these kinda games too many times, but it DOES look shiny...

geeksdoitbetter: (Default)
From: [personal profile] geeksdoitbetter
yeah, the going back to base part is something i only let happen in one game at a time

i don't know the genre word for it, but it's like those lovely games where you are actually aging as you play?

Date: 2016-03-23 09:46 am (UTC)
renegadefolkhero: hyper light drifter (Default)
From: [personal profile] renegadefolkhero
"Stardew Valley has eaten my soul free time"
*sigh*

"But there was an intense internal debate about the Sculptor versus the Writer who lives by the Sea."

I'm not really interested in romancing or getting married ATM (I was under the impression your spouse can surprise you with a baby, not sure if that's accurate). But my introverted workaholic farmer kept bumping into these two on their rounds, so they're all friends now.

I wonder if they get together if you don't romance one of them. I noticed Elliot has one of Leah's pictures in his house.

I want a picture. -_-; Leah I bring you fresh eggs... sometimes...

Date: 2016-03-23 01:08 pm (UTC)
shiyiya: Shiyiya, a very pale white girl with brown hair and eyes. (Default)
From: [personal profile] shiyiya
You also have to opt-in to having a baby! Once you expand the nursery onto your house, at some point your spouse will ask if you want to have a kid - you can still say no.

Date: 2016-03-23 06:56 pm (UTC)
raaven: (Default)
From: [personal profile] raaven
This makes me want to fire up the Wii and go fishing in Animal Crossing. :)

Date: 2016-03-23 09:31 pm (UTC)
shila: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shila
I was being Sad because it's Windows only but after reading this I made a point of googling how to run it on a Mac, and it looks doable for me.

I might get to play this game anyway, and I'm really excited about that.

Date: 2016-03-28 05:02 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
This entry is one of the things that precipitated my desire to buy the game. JSYK. (I'm not buying it yet for reasons, but I think I'm going to.)

Date: 2016-03-29 03:33 pm (UTC)
geeksdoitbetter: (Default)
From: [personal profile] geeksdoitbetter
glitch!

oh, dear lovely odd glitch!

i was late to the party and it was ~poof~ over before i knew it

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lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
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