Beta 0.8 – Farming and plant evolution
Eating, crafting and building mostly require materials from plants: fruits, fiber, wood, straw and so on. Therefore long-term sustainability heavily depends on the regeneration of trees and crops. It can be natural or artificial. Natural growth has the advantage of costing nothing, but is unreliable and can be slow. Moreover, some plants like food crops will not fare well when left to themselves. On the opposite, having your villagers planting seeds and saplings gives you full control of what resources you’ll obtain. However collecting seeds and planting them will require a time amount your survivors can hardly spare at the beginning.
Imitating nature’s behaviour
So, vegetation evolution plays an important part in Stormland, and as for the other aspects of the game we wanted it to be accurate. The model we came with defines that every cell of the map has a fertility level, from bare rock which has no fertility at all to forest ground which is the most fertile soil that exists. Then, every plant requires a minimum fertility to grow, and once grown can affect the fertility level. Crops will “consume” the fertility of a cell to produce fruits and grain. Dead plants will rise the fertility level when returning to the soil, as will do trees by spreading leaves all around them.
In order to clearly see the vegetation evolving in the game, it happens a bit faster than in real life. You’ll have a chance to see grass colonizing bare rock cells, eventually creating dirt on them, allowing for later appearance of blackberry and other bushes… This long process finally resulting in the creation of a forest, which is the ultimate biome nature works toward.
Well, this long-awaited feature is now released, but it is not the only one of our first big update !
Working with metal
The blacksmith is the cornerstone of the development of your village. Metal tools are more efficient and last longer than the rudimentary tools your survivors were relying on until then. This is just the beginning though, as the first furnace will only allow for bronze casting.