Is Cattle and Crops a Scam?

Is Cattle and Crops a Scam?  Now before I get too deep in this blog article, let me just say for the record that I DO NOT believe Cattle and Crops is a scam.  However, as I frequently discuss Cattle and Crops (CnC) in my YouTube “Let’s Play” series and on my YouTube, Twitch and Hitbox Livestreams (not to mention I’ve blogged about CnC many times on my blog site) the question does come up from time to time.  Just a few days ago during one of my YouTube Livestreams a viewer asked my opinion of this very subject.  So I thought it might be time to discuss this concern here on my blog.  But before we dive into the question if it’s a scam, allow me to provide a little more insight.

2017 – The Year of Farming

Just a few months ago I wrote about how I felt the year 2017 would go down as the year of farming.  If we count the final few months of 2016, along with the discussions for future agricultural based simulation games with planned release dates in 2017…one could easily say that 2017 would be “The Year of Farming”.  As we were all prepping for the end of 2016, Professional Farmer 2017 came crashing into the scene just ahead of the release of Giants Farming Simulator 17.  For the record, I did take a long hard look at Professional Farmer 2017, but decided to keep my money in my pocket.  I’m glad I did!  Even after many patches and updates, I still think this title has a very long way to go to be considered.  Another title (which really isn’t worth mentioning) is Farm Expert.  Like Professional Farmer 2017, I also gave this one a pass.

If you’ve been watching my YouTube channel, you know I’m very pleased with Giants Farming Simulator 17.  I have over 430 hours in the game (compared to 743 hours for FS15).  I realize I may not be setting any records with the amount of hours I’ve recorded in FS17, but these are all actual game play hours.  Meaning I’ve spent over 430 hours sitting at my gaming PC playing FS17.  Anyway….

In addition to the very promising release of Cattle and Crops (which I’ll discuss in a moment), another title which impressed me and I became excited about is Pure Farming 2017.  The team behind Pure Farming 2017 launched a website and a Facebook page.  Unfortunately, while I’m not saying this is a dead project…there really hasn’t been any new news on this title in some time.  I guess time will tell just what these guys are up to.  I suppose it really doesn’t matter as they haven’t approached the community for any money as of yet.

While my predictions of 2017 going down as the year of farming may not be looking as promising as it was in the Fall 2016 time frame, I suppose only time will tell.  Now, let me get back on subject.

Enter Cattle and Crops

It was early 2016 (February/March timeframe) when I first learned about Cattle and Crops.  The first blog entry I found where I mentioned CnC was dated 8 March 2016.  They released a “pre-alpha” video which really impressed me.  Ok…the video had a cat in it and that pleased me.  But the more I read about this game and their plans for it, the more and more impressed I became.  As the year progressed, the CnC Dev team released more information and more videos.  Sometime in the early Fall timeframe we learned CnC would be funded via a Kickstarter campaign.  I’ve supported many endeavors via Kickstarter in the past, but this would be the first time I would actually support software development.  I signed up immediately…it was a no-brainer.  At the time of the Kickstarter campaign the plan was to provide the financial backers with an early release product sometime in March 2017 with more expanded features afterwards, leading up to the full release sometime in late 2017.  I think everyone will agree, the Kickstarter campaign has been tremendously successful.  Based on the information published on the CnC website, they have a total of 10,071 Supporters who have contributed 460,726 Euro.

Why I don’t believe Cattle and Crops is a scam?

Understand, I absolutely do not have any first hand information to validate my opinions one way or the other.  Like many of you, I’m just simply an investor in the Cattle and Crops Crowdfunding campaign and (again, just like you) I anxiously await the early release and/or any news from the CnC Dev team.  Based on all that I have seen, read about and my own gut feeling….I truly believe this is a genuine software product (not vaporware) which is being actively developed with the intentions it will be released.

I believe much of the concern has to do with the delayed release of early access and the somewhat lack of communication from the CnC Dev Team.  I’ll address communications in a moment, but in the real world I work as an IT Manager for a large US based software company.  While my direct job isn’t in software development, I’m obviously aware of the various lifecycles a software product will go through from the time of its initial concept design to being 100% ready and rolled out to customers.  The old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” can often be an understatement when talking about software development.  As hard as any development team may try to avoid,  delays happen and it’s generally in everyone’s best interest to press the brake pedal, versus rolling full-steam ahead.  In addition, early release products and any associated dates of release should always be viewed with flexibility.  While I agree any published finished product dates should accompany a more solid commitment regarding the date, early access is just that….it’s an early access product.

In addition to what I’ve already stated, I also believe based on some of the individuals involved with the project who have experience with Courseplay, DriveControl, GearBox mod and Modhoster that we would have learned by now if this was destined to only be vaporware.  Moving along…

Communication, Communication, Communication

Early on, I was extremely impressed with the level of communication the Cattle and Crops team released.  While we’ll never know for sure, but I think it was the CnC communications efforts which drove Giants to do a much better job in communicating and building the media hype ahead of the release of Farming Simulator 17.  But unfortunately, I’m of the opinion that Cattle and Crops have really hurt their cause with their lack of communication in recent weeks.

As I’ve already stated, software development is not a perfect thing.  Delays can and will happen.  I fully support CnC’s decision to delay the early access release originally scheduled for March.  Especially after watching how Farm Expert and Professional Farmer 17 were received.  While I agree it wouldn’t be wise to communicate a new target date as often more delays occur and the last thing you want is to have to constantly communicate more delayed releases.  But at the same time, going almost completely dark isn’t helping their cause.

Now some will argue that it may take too much time to create game play videos and that CnC is better off keeping their nose to the grind stone and not wasting time communicating.  But honestly, I really don’t need a weekly YouTube video to keep me engaged in their progress.  A simple blog posting, Facebook posting or even Tweet on Twitter each week would be all that is needed to keep their audience in the loop.  To make us feel as if we’re still part of the process.

If the original early access release date was end of March (remember what I said earlier about flexibility), we are now one full month beyond that.  Most folks who may have helped to fund CnC may not be as familiar with how the software development process and early access releases work.  Again, a little more frequent communication from the CnC Dev Team is most certainly encouraged.

Now having said all the above, the CnC Dev team did release an inspiring video showcasing how they have resolved leaky barn roofs.  The timing of this video update couldn’t have come at a better time for me.  After watching this video and feeling impressed about what they have achieved, I sat down to record an episode on my Lone Star FS17 Let’s Play.  Before I could get all my work done it began to rain.  As I parked my tractor in the barn I happened to notice that it was raining just as hard inside the barn as it was outside.  See…it’s these little things that have me feeling so excited about the release of Cattle and Crops.  Immersion and realism is very important to me in a simulation based game.

Cattle and Crops a Game Changer

In closing, please allow me to remind you that I have no inside information.  I’m not associated with the CnC Dev Team outside of my financial investment as a crowdfund investor.  That’s It!  But I really, really believe we’re going to be surprised (in a good way) with what we’ll see both in the early access version and the full blown release version.  I stand by what I’ve said many, many times that I would much better wait for the product they intend us to have than to receive something that is half baked and riddled with problems.

Finally, I only have a need for ONE agricultural based simulation game in my library.  The main reason I got involved in the Kickstarter for CnC is I do firmly believe that Cattle and Crops will change the way we experience agricultural based simulation games.  While I think FS17 is an awesome product, I’m disappointed in the similarities with FS15.  Giants most likely (or should be) is in the process of really upping their game.   If history repeats itself (and I see no reason why it wouldn’t) we can expect to see Farming Simulator 19 in October 2018.  I’m more than certain Giants has been watching and we should assume that one (or more) of the 10,071 supporters of CnC are folks at Giants looking to get their hands on the game.  While I don’t like to make dire predictions, but when Cattle and Crops reveals it is everything we hoped it would be AND if Giants releases a product which is just a slightly enhanced version of FS17 but they call it FS19, then that my friends might just spell the end for Giants.  At least it will in my book…

I’m curious what you think.  Please leave your comments below.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

One of our own…

One of our own…needs some help!  If there is one thing I truly know in the very bottom of my heart is as a community we do our very best to take care of our own.  Especially when the individual in need of help has helped so many.  Now please understand that this is the very first time I’ve actually put words down on my blog in an effort to ask YOU to help someone else.  So here goes….

A fellow simulation gamer named BiPolar Prophet is an awesome gamer and fellow YouTuber.  I’ve come to know him through his videos and I’m telling you his content is some of the best I’ve seen on YouTube.  He’s been producing “Let’s Play” gaming videos for several years now including game play on ATS, ETS2, Spintires, iRacing and of course lots and lots of Farming Simulator 15.  Actually it’s through his FS15 videos where I’ve come to know him and come to appreciate all the hard work he puts into his videos. 

Anyway, the BiPolar Prophet’s gaming laptop (the machine he uses to play, record and render his awesome videos) is on it’s last legs.   Unfortunately he’s not in a position to be able to just go out and purchase a new machine.  Also, BP is a very proud individual and hasn’t directly asked for assistance.  But many of his friends are asking the community on his behalf. 

So here’s the deal.  Many of you have known me through my blogging (and now YouTube) efforts for many years.  You trust me enough by returning and reading my material and now watching my videos.  I ask you to trust me once again, and please go visit BP’s YouTube channel and watch some of his videos.  IF you like what you see (and I believe you will), then at the top of his YouTube Channel page is a donation link (via Paypal).  I ask you, please consider making what ever amount of donation you feel you can.  BiPolar Prophet will use the donation to purchase another gaming machine and get back to producing his awesome content. 

Here’s the link to BiPolar Prophet’s YouTube Channel.  From that page, just look in the upper right corner and you’ll see buttons for Facebook, Paypal, Twitter, Twitch etc.  Just click the Paypal button and make a donation.  Any amount will be greatly appreciated. 

On behalf of BP and all his friends…I thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for the consideration. 

Jerry

Paradise Hills Episode Fifteen

As I indicated in my post yesterday (Friday), I have several episodes of Paradise Hills recorded, edited and queued ready to go on YouTube.  I also have a few more episodes I plan to record this weekend.  However, starting Tuesday 25 October (as soon as FS17 downloads to my PC) I plan to begin a brand new series with Farming Simulator 17 on the brand new Goldcrest Valley map.  Until then, I plan to release an episode each day for Paradise Hills until all have been released.  I hope you enjoy.

I know in previous episodes of Paradise Hills I spoke about the possibility of continuing the Paradise Hills series and continuing game play on FS15 due to the lack of immediate mod support for FS17 in the coming weeks/months.  However, over the past few days I’ve watched many hours of FS17 game play from those lucky enough to be named preview partners to know that I really don’t think I will have much desire to go back to FS15.  I truly believe based on what I’ve seen from my own two eyes that FS17 is awesome and Goldcrest Valley will keep my very busy until such time as new mod maps are made available.  Plus…mods are already starting to become available and it’s only a matter of time before even more truly great mods are made ready for FS17.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

Paradise Hills Episode Fourteen

TGIF!  And thankfully this is the LAST Friday before the release of Farming Simulator 17.  The game play videos I’ve been watching on YouTube and Twitch have been amazing.  While haters will hate, ignore anyone who tells you that FS17 is just a carbon copy of FS15.  FS17 is very much different from the two year old FS15.  Tuesday can’t get here quick enough.

In this episode we plow and cultivate field 5 to create our new orchard.  I’ve also made some new changes to the opening slides of the video with adding royalty and YouTube safe music.  I hope you enjoy and I hope you’ll continue to watch my videos.

As this is the 14th video I’ve released on a consistent Monday – Friday schedule, I’m planning to release a new video both tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday along with new videos each day next week.  Over this upcoming weekend, I’ll most likely start the process of winding down life on Paradise Hills and FS15.  I plan to start recording content on Goldcrest Valley (FS17) on Tuesday and that will become a brand new series on my YouTube channel.  As I struggle to walk and chew gum in my older years, I probably won’t be able to juggle multiple maps, especially across multiple farming sim versions.  I have a feeling that once I start playing FS17 it would be near impossible for me to go back to FS15.  Plus I believe the Goldcrest Valley map will keep me busy until new modded maps start to become available for FS17.

Once again, thank you so much for watching my videos and your continued show of positive support to my new channel.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

Paradise Hills Episode Thirteen

In this episode on Paradise Hills, we deliver milk to our milk buyer and drop it off in their milkmax homogenizer.  In this episode, I discover an issue towards the end where I couldn’t figure out how to pump the milk from the homogenizer.  I figured the issue was caused by an old mod of these Kotte Universal tankers.  I’ve downloaded the correct mod and all is working.  I’ll demonstrate this in a future episode.

Before I close this post out, yesterday I watched a few FS17 preview streams.  If you’ve read some of my blog postings in the past few days you know I’ve been really excited about the release.  You also know that I’ve said that FS17 is MUCH MORE than just a copy/paste or re-issue of FS15.  After watching about 3-4 hours of FS17 preview streams, my feelings regarding the differences between FS15 and FS17 were proven to be absolutely TRUE.   Of course, I’ll a more in-depth review of FS17 once I’m able to dive into my own game play.  But if you’ve been somewhat on the fence in your decision making process, wanted to wait until FS17 comes out….etc. etc.  Why wait?  Pre-order today so you can join in on the fun on Tuesday.

Enjoy the video and Thank you for watching.

Jerry

Paradise Hills Episode Twelve

Episode twelve includes the second day of activities for game day 5.  We start off mowing, start up our sheep operation and move compost to the greenhouse site.

As we are now officially less than one week away from the release of Farming Simulator 17, I’m really starting to get excited and yes, even a bit nervous.  I plan to record FS17 from day 1, minute 1 and hope my mistakes are few and far between.  Giants has done an outstanding job promoting FS17 the past several weeks.  The information in the past few days has simply re-assured me that FS17 is MORE than just a re-skin of FS15.  I think one new changes I’m most excited about is the “Tip Anywhere” feature.  But there are so many more.  I’ll be honest and admit it’s somewhat hard to take in all the many cool changes and I’ve even forgotten some….but that will just make it even that more special when I begin digging into FS17 on Tuesday, 25 October.

As always, thanks for reading my blog and thank you for watching my videos.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

Paradise Hills Episode Eleven

The eleventh edition of our virtual farming adventures on Paradise Hills continues with performing various field tasks and also planting a new field in soybeans.  Please note, I am aware I should have used a different style planter.  It was sort of a last minute decision on what crop I decided to plant, I selected soybeans and didn’t realize my error until later.  But….no puppies will be harmed as a result of my error and I’m not going to sweat the small stuff.  I hope you enjoy!

Finally, I would just like to say “Thank You” to all who have watched, liked and subscribed to my channel.  I’m having fun making these videos for you to enjoy and look forward to the next chapter (that being FS17) which by the way, releases ONE WEEK TODAY!!!!

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

Fifty

Number-50

The number 50 is a pretty special number for me in many ways.  I turned the BIG 5-0 just a few weeks ago, but even more important….my little YouTube Channel has officially reached 50 subscribers.  Because of this, I’m extremely happy.  Actually….I’m ecstatic.  I truly am!  Yes, I know the number 50 is still very small compared to some YouTube channels.  I know I have so much to learn and I need to really polish, polish and polish some more to get anywhere near the level of quality as those YouTube virtual farmers I truly look up to and admire.  I truly thank each and every of the 50 individuals who took the chance and subscribed to my channel and will work very hard to improve and make you all proud to be the first fifty.

A very special “Thank You” to Mike (Reefy1952) who (unbeknownst to him) serves as my mentor and personal inspiration.

As we continue together over the next several days, weeks and months….I will strive to do my very best and work hard to keep each of you as subscribers while hopefully gaining even more.

Thank you

Jerry

Paradise Hills Episode Ten

It’s Monday!  We’re just a smidge over one week before the release of Farming Simulator 17.

A farm (even a virtual farm) is not a farm without cows.  We’ve worked hard to bring all the important elements together to start our dairy operation. This has included collecting straw, mowing/collecting grass, producing silage and of course mixing all that together to create that magic TMR.

I hope you enjoy episode ten and will return once again tomorrow for episode eleven.  Please leave a like and even consider subscribing to the Grizzly Bear Sims YouTube channel.  I appreciate it.

Thanks for watching!

Until next time…

Moooooo

Jerry

Paradise Hills Episode Nine

TGIF!  Less than TWO weeks to go until Farming Simulator 17 releases.  Can you believe it?  I’m getting more and more excited.  How about you?

Today I’m bringing you episode nine of my Farming Simulator 15 series on the awesome Paradise Hills map by Stevie.  Even if you have plans to ditch FS15 on the day FS17 releases, you should still consider downloading and experiencing Paradise Hills for yourself.  You can find the latest version of Stevie’s Paradise Hills on PC-SG.  Not a member of PC-SG?  You should correct this oversight today!  The PC-SG community is growing and we welcome you to join us, sit back and enjoy the conversation.

Yes…today is Friday and I have the ninth episode of my Paradise Hills series to present to you.  In this edition, we start off planting some barley and eventually do a little mowing.  I hope you enjoy this video.  If you do, I would appreciate you taking just a few seconds of your time to “Like” it and also please consider clicking the Subscribe button as well.  I really appreciate it.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I’ll return on Monday with episode 10.

Until then…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

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