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Let's talk about food and farming 🌽🍄🌾


Markus
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Hi everyone!

Thank you very much for testing The Wandering Village with us ❤️ A big part of the game is farming, and we want to get it right. But as often is the case, the first iteration of a thing is not perfect, so your feedback is of utmost importance to us :) 

Please let us know your thoughts about how you experienced food production. Was it clear to understand? Was is easy / hard to feed your people? Was it too simple or too complex? Did you harvest berries or did you use a farm? Was the behavior if the farm understandable with the plots-system?

You already posted good feedback in the beta survey about the food, so I think it might be good to open a topic to discuss it in more detail.🔍

One thing I'm curious about is: when using a farm - how many plots did you add? How many farmers did you employ in a farm?

 

As always, thank you for your help and cheers,

Markus

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Hi!

I've started up a few games now, but seem to run into issues with feeding my villagers, ending up in villagers being starved to death.

I always make a farm quite early on. In my last playthrough I put 3 workers on the farm. Meanwhile, I also periodically harvest groups of berries, and prioritize them when I notice my food supply gets too low. But soon there are not too many berries left on the map. Regarding the farm: I often try to use all the plots (or a large part of them) for beets. Is it true that a fully farmed farm with beets is insufficient to feed 16 starting villagers? 

Also, I notice that beets sometimes get stored in the farm and then are not shown in the number of beets in the top left corner. Although villagers seem to be able to go to the farm and get beets there. In my large playthrough I also added a kitchen, although apparently that was already close to when my people started starving - currently I only have 13 people left, which makes it harder to continue to keep ourselves alive while also expanding stuff.

Am I maybe making a mistake with the food stuff? Should I have more than 1 farm, or try to beeline for the wheat, mill and bakery?

 

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Hi HarrenB,

no, you're completely right - farming and feeding needs more balancing (and it does have a few issues, like how efficiently farmers harvest crops). 

Philo (responsible for game design & balancing) said that is currently balanced that 1 farm with 3 workers + 1 kitchen with 2 workers should be able to provide food for 20 people. But I'm not sure how many plots you need to fill, maybe the whole radius? I'll ask her :)

When I playtest, I'm able to get by with one farm&kitchen (like philo intended) and additional berries, but that's because I already know from the start what to build - we need to balance it it a way to be more lenient and allow for various viable solutions early on :) 

At the moment, more fancy food like wheat/bread is meant for when you have more people and they demand more food variety - it's (at the moment) not more efficient or something. We need to communicate this more clearly (and also block wheat until you have researched the mill/bakery).

The way you play is correct, you're not making a mistake :) We'll try to balance it more and make it more forgiving.

Arno is currently working on improving farming in general, and adding stuff like temperature and weather of the biome to influence how crops grow. 

 

How did it feel to use the farm? Was the manual placement of plots intuitive or did it feel strange? Do you think this is an interesting mechanic? Any suggestions or additional thought? :) 

Thank you so much for participating and writing feedback!

 

 

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Thanks for your reply! I just tried it again, beelined for the farm, and got a kitchen as soon as possible. I filled the whole radius with beet plots, and put 3 workers in there. 2, and later 3 in the kitchen. And I also harvested several berries nearby. 

But still my people were starving and died, see the screenshot below.

Regarding the farm: yes, for me it was quite natural to use the plots in the farm. So it works! But I guess it is mostly interesting if you reach the point where you should use different plots for different resources? Otherwise it makes sense to immediately fill the whole radius with beet plots. Definitely interesting to have temperature and weather influence the crop growth. Might be good then to do give information on what weather/temperature will come up later on, and how that might affect the crop growth, so you can take that into account. Maybe even add mechanics to plant crops in different ways (not sure how, but somehow optimizing for specific weather types, or even helping to steer the Onbu to more optimal crop growth).

Also: once you start to lose people to starving, it is quite hard to get back from that right? I think the only way is to scavenge for new people?

image.thumb.png.e403878837adab5d3089f675ac8cecff.png

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Oh, I just realized 💡 ... the default "output product" of the kitchen is "berry muesli" instead of "beet soup", which is what you would want when using a beet farm! (in a earlier version, you were also able to plant berry bushes with the farm, that's why we had berry muesli as default in the kitchen). The way the kitchen works is, that it takes a fixed input and transforms it into something else - it doesn't work for all food sources automatically...

Since we developers know this, we automatically switch to "beet soup" when we play the game... but this is nowhere explained in the game 😓 Did you change any settings in the kitchen?

If this was the case (I'm very sorry, that this is not better explained 🙇‍♂️) - would you find it better, if a kitchen would be able to automatically transform all food types? Maybe with some settings like which types it can produce and in which priority?

WaViKitchenSetting.thumb.jpg.25a628075a3e67d6c561ed68d06ff6e1.jpg

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Ah yes, I don't think I changed that! No problem:)

 

Maybe it would indeed be better if all food types could be transformed automatically (but as a player you might decide to switch off some food types or change their priority). Might also be interesting to add some efficiency bonus when your kitchen only focuses on one food type for a while

 

 

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Ah, and sorry, I forgot to add:

Yes, scavenging for people is (at the moment?) the only way to get new people. I don't know if there are more options available later in the game, but for now, scavenging is the way to go. Also for other rare resources not available on the back of Onbu. Though we'll introduce flying merchants later in the game 🎈 :) 

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I tried to do it right this time: kitchen with beet soup (2 workers), farm with 3 workers, all plots used, both close together. I also saw last time I didn't build any tents, which lowers the worker productivity (right?). So this time I also made sure to build tents for everyone. I let it run for a while (and in the beginning supplemented it with berries), but still my villagers are starving. 

 

But maybe I'm missing something else :) I am also curious how others are doing - I don't mean to hijack the whole thread!

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You're not hijacking the thread, don't worry. Please feel free to discuss here as much as you want :) There are just not yet enough other players using the forum, or they might prefer to discuss on discord :) 

Good point about the tents. The first thing I build is always 8 tents and then the researcher, and then the farm. Let me test it again - maybe we'll get other testers here in the meantime :) 

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  • 2 months later...

So far I have not had issues feeding my villagers. I have 1 beet farm that I have maxed out the plots and workers. So far I only have 26 villagers total but my production is +34. Everyone has a tent at the moment but researching houses. I am used to games like Banished on Hard mode where if you don't get food locked down in the first 10 minutes everyone is dead so I may just have that going for me! 😄

 

One thing to note is make sure you have enough air wells and a water tank so they have water to plant the crops. Without that production can grind to a halt.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a couple of play troughs now, and I didn't have any big issues with the farming aspect. It all comes down to plan and execute it well. No problem with understanding how farming works or how to shift from beats to wheat, or how the kitchen works in regards to the beats and berry's. 

One thing I'm curious about is: when using a farm - how many plots did you add? How many farmers did you employ in a farm?  

I tried to tinker with the amount of plots, from a small amount, medium to full added plots. This to see if there was any difference in efficiency, but I think there is none. If I have enough villagers I always use three farmers in each farm. Normally I rush and build two or three farms right at the start, depending on the map starting area. Then as fast as possible I ad three air wells, and later on a couple of more air wells (water is key to success). I also sometimes build one or two berry gatherers, and then later on when I get one or two more farms I remove the berry gatherers.

 

I would like to see in the full game more options for different kind of plants/vegetables, maybe some sort of animal farming would be possible, that would be neat. More recipes connected to the different plants in regards to the kitchen. I would also love to see an option for some kind of equipment upgrades for the farmers, better tools like a sickle, hoe, shovel, irrigation system, and maybe a plow. Things that increase the farms yield in crops and how fast things grow.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/10/2021 at 10:46 AM, Markus said:

Please let us know your thoughts about how you experienced food production. Was it clear to understand? Was is easy / hard to feed your people? Was it too simple or too complex? Did you harvest berries or did you use a farm? Was the behavior if the farm understandable with the plots-system?

Plot system was clear, but I saw somebody on youtube play first. I prefer to harvest berries when I have little food and my farms are not yet ready, but long-term plan assumes farms (and bakery if I manage to research it). At first it is quite hard to keep everyone fed (I rush scavengers for more workers so I build farms later and hope nobody will starve until then) but then it gets stable

 

On 12/10/2021 at 10:46 AM, Markus said:

when using a farm - how many plots did you add? How many farmers did you employ in a farm?

I want to keep things in rectangles to manage available space in an efficient way. If I see some plots are not used, I employ additional farmer, if I see them standing and doing nothing - I release one.

Other feedback:
- I'd prefer farm plots to occupy whole tile, so two plots next to each other leave no space in between. I cannot imagine a farmer keeping nice squeres, 1m x 1m, on his farm. Something like farms in "Knights and Merchants" - if you decided to build several plots next to each other, they were surrounded by border all together, not each one separate
- When building berry building' I'd love to see number how many berries it hits. Counting it manually is quite not-fun

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  • 2 months later...

I'll put the warning of I run the game on 4X speed most of the time. 

The thing I have noticed the most is at first crops and food are super duper easy. Then you suddenly have pollution clouds hit one after another, when one has hardly managed to grab even the slightest amount of people to decontaminate. Your priorities are Starve, or suffocate. There is very little in-between, with very little incentive to improve upon your food, or pollution for that matter.  Even the pause trick hasn't helped me these past three tries on beta. I am not new to games such as this, and I do really love the challenge, but I do feel the food balance is suffering slightly when put against pollution early game. One can lose a person here or there after the third or fourth cloud, it will hurt, but its not game ending if you put all your gaming knowledge to the test. Before that its entirely possible to yeet off the planet due to lack of workers, the beast being hungry/sick, or multiple clouds come at you back to back. I've almost always nailed it back to food related issues one way or the other.

In terms of food, I'll reword what I said before in steam open.

More Crop types : Potato, corn, squash varieties, ext
With more Crop Types: More calorie[value] laden foods. Potato would be medium growing time, but high value crop, with corn being fast growing but low value crop. Squash an health in between.
Crop Rotations: With added crop varieties would come beneficial gains from cold snaps, or heat snaps. Such as pea's do well in cold, but fail in heat, while a bean thrives in heat and isn't great with cold snaps. 
With Crop Rotation: All crop option that a player has researched/found, be growable on a farm instead of one. [To prevent soil, pest, ext issues like IRL]

I love resource style games, as such I have pretty much downloaded all the crop/animal mods on a similar game. As a gardener and varied livestock worker, variety is what keeps me in a game. 

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