Farming and Harvesting System Research

The last of the systems is the Farming and Harvesting Systems. These are the systems in how you care for your ingredients in the garden and greenhouse (farming) and how you harvest your ingredients from their plots.

To begin with, like the other systems, I looked into games that I knew including games that are on Facebook or on Android systems as well as one online one that I found – Farmerama. I briefly played the tutorials for these games to see how they go about the farming and harvesting processes. Some were incredibly similar to what we’re thinking of achieving (Farmville and Farmerama) and the others ended up giving me some more inspiration as to how I go about the iconography and think about how the Player can interact with the garden and greenhouse etc by planting crops where they’d like.

It was interesting to see how many similarities there were between games and yet many people still play them without getting bored. There’s an element of addictiveness here where you get simple rewards in some cases and yet in others, you have to work hard to earn your rewards by either waiting or doing other quests to help. This is something I found enjoyable and so I may try and test it out when coming up with concept ideas for the systems.

The iconography inspired me in games such as The Simpsons: Tapped Out. They had a yellow thumb to symbolise that the farming had been completed and that rewards were ready to be collected. Whereas in Game of War, when a quest is finished or complete, there is a whole tab dedicated to the quests which are simply highlighted with a tick and then a ‘collect’ button next to it to get the rewards. Maybe there are some sorts of symbols that I could use in Belljar such as maybe what the ingredients look like when they’re fully grown to show that they are finished? Or maybe coloured sparkles connotating the idea of dreams and all things nice.
Also by using Icons, I could symbolise when things aren’t going so well in the garden such as if there are Nightmares trying to kill the crops – maybe there’s some black smoke or some other sorts of visuals ways to signify this. I will be trying this out in my sketchbook as part of my next steps.

In terms of the Harvesting system, we discussed as a team how we would like to have this as a mini game. We feel this is a good way to do this as it means that depending on how you play the mini game, the quality of ingredient you harvest could change. The farming comes into this as if you end up neglecting your ingredients, they won’t be good quality so even if you ace the harvesting game, it still won’t be worth it. This meaning that the ingredient quality doesn’t have to depend on just one solitary element and so is fair to our entire target audience. 

Next Steps:

  • Explore ideas in my sketchbook of ways to have the farming system work
    – How you will make plots

    – How you will plant ingredients
    – Will there be any specific requirements – what ingredients can’t be near each other
    – How will you know what your ingredients want (water etc)
  • Explore ideas in my sketchbook of ways to create a Harvesting Mini Game as the system
  • Think about the sorts of Iconography that will be needed as this will be something that Millie will be taking further in the project

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