It’s been over a month since my last blog posting. The busy travel schedule has ended and as I write this, I’m down to the last two work days left in 2017. I’m hoping they both go by as smoothly as possible. As a matter of fact, at the present time I’m enjoying a big cup of coffee while watching it snow from my 4th floor office window. So I guess this should tell you I’m pretty bored and really just marking time until I can walk out and not have to return until next year.
2017 The Year of Farming
As we were closing out 2016, I wrote a blog posting where I predicted that 2017 might go down as the year of farming. After all, Giants had just released Farming Simulator 17 and we were all salivating over the news about titles such as Cattle and Crops, Pure Farming 17, Farm Expert 17 and others who all were saying their products would be released in 2017. Of course, we all know not all these things ended up coming to fruition. Cattle and Crops delayed their “early access” release by several months and what they released in the early summer was simply not ready even for EA. Pure Farming 17 ended up changing their name to Pure Farming 18 and a release date of 13 March 2018 is now being advertised. Farm Expert 17 appears to be anything BUT an expert as reviews are quite poor for this title.
While we may have been left disappointed by those other titles, I’ve got to say that Giants really helped make up for it this year with the release of their Kuhn, Big Bud and Platinum paid DLC packs along with the unexpected bonus free Horsch Packs. Giants single-handedly saved 2017 and placed themselves squarely in the drivers seat for 2018 and beyond.
I only began hearing about Farmer’s Dynasty a few months ago. Most likely with my busy work/travel schedule (which kept me away from just about everything related to simulation based gaming), I began seeing information popping up on forum sites like PC-SG and began seeing some preview videos on YouTube. I honestly wasn’t planning on involving myself with another “Early Access” game title (especially in the agricultural simulation genre) and had pretty much convinced myself to just wait and see what happens. Especially after learning the developers initially hadn’t planned to add support for wheel/pedal type controllers. (more about this in a minute)
But my dear, dear friend Eustace Pharmer pulled the trigger and through a most convincing preview video featuring Creepy Oliver, the bait had been set and I took it “hook, line and sinker”. According to Steam stats, I’ve spent approx. 1.3 hours in the game and all-in-all I’m not disappointed in my purchase. Is Farmer’s Dynasty the Giant(s) killer? NO! At least not now and certainly not from anything I’ve seen in my short history of playing the game. But, the 1.3 hours I’ve spent playing Farmer’s Dynasty does have me wanting more.
As previously mentioned, Farmer’s Dynasty is an early access release. There are bugs, there could be more bugs coming and obviously the game will most likely change for the best over time. Again, in my 1.3 hours of game play, I’ve not experienced any game crashes, errors and performance has been fantastic running on my high-end gaming machine.
I would best describe Farmer’s Dynasty as a mix between Farming Simulator 17, The Sims and perhaps the upcoming House Flipper. Essentially Farmer’s Dynasty allows you to do some farming, interact with other characters and make repairs to your old, run down farm which you’ve inherited from the death of your grandfather.
In the 1.3 hours I’ve spent playing, I’ve taken the time to repair Oliver’s barn. In return, he gave me his old run down tractor and I’ve spent just a bit of time repairing a few things on my farm. I probably have more questions than answers at this point. While I’m enjoying grinding away in these early hours to build up my equipment, repair my farm and gain social status points. I’m curious just what the future holds. For example, will other maps make their way into the game? Will we be required to grind away each and every time we might choose to start a new map?
Controller Support – Including Wheels/Pedals in Simulation based games
One of the biggest disappointments I’ve seen with Cattle and Crops and also Farmer’s Dynasty has been the lack of support for external hardware controllers and specifically wheels and pedals. While I’m not a software developer, I wish the first line of code that would get built into these types of simulation based games would be for 3rd party controller (wheel/pedal support). Game titles which I’ve previously mentioned all involve some form of driving. While much of the work we’ll do in the early hours of Farmer’s Dynasty won’t involve much driving, eventually more and more will. After all, we’ll be driving a tractor to plow, fertilize, seed, harvest and sell the crops we grow. While not everyone will use a wheel and pedal setup, many do. And from reading comments, many have decided not to support the EA release until such time wheel and pedal support has been added. So gaming developers, if you are going to build a simulation based game that has any sort of driving involved, YOU MUST add support for wheels/pedals.
GBS Holiday YouTube Schedule
I’ve been working hard the past couple of weeks in creating a small backlog of videos to cover the Christmas and New Year Holiday period. My wife has a rather long list of “Honey Do” projects lined up and while I do plan to spend time playing simulation based games over the next 10+ days, I most likely won’t have time to edit, render and upload anything new until after the new year. But don’t worry….here’s my release schedule which covers from now through 1 January.
Wednesday – 20 December – MidtownUSA Ep 3
Thursday – 21 December – MidtownUSA Ep 4
Friday – 22 December – Thornton Farm Ep 13
Sunday – 24 December – GBS Christmas Message
Tuesday – 26 December – Thornton Farm Ep 14
Wednesday – 27 December – MidtownUSA Ep 5
Thursday – 28 December – MidtownUSA Ep 6
Friday – 29 December – Thornton Farm Ep 15
Monday – 1 January – Thornton Farm Ep 16
If you’re not yet a subscriber of my YouTube channel, please consider subscribing. Just visit www.youtube.com/c/grizzlybearsims and click the Subscribe button. You’ll find 100% G-Rated, Family Friendly entertainment suitable for all ages on my channel.
Well….I need to seek out another cup of coffee and take a stroll through the data center. I hope you’ll tune into my channel for my FS17 videos and a special Christmas Message on the 24th. Thank you all for your support and friendship.
Until next time….
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you next year!