Videogames publisher Iceberg Interactive today presents an interview with Martin Prochazka, one of the developers from Hammerware, the studio behind the new sim/tycoon game Family Farm (PC/MAC).
Find out what inspired Hammerware to develop Family Farm, what makes Family Farm so different from the other farming games out there, and more.
• Who are you and who are you at Hammerware?
- The core team consists of three people in an office in Brno, the second largest capital of Czech Republic. My name is Martin Prochazka and my responsibilities are management of production, I take part in the programming and I have worked on the game design too. We use the service of freelancers and our talented friends in disciplines like animation, music and graphic art. There are about ten people who were involved in the development of the project at some point.
• How did the idea of casual farming sim Family Farm come to your minds?
- Contrary to what people might think, Family Farm is not inspired by the social farming games phenomenon. Back in 2008 we completed a demo for “Garden”, which was a preproduction of a Wii- exclusive title where the player uses the WiiMote to plant and water flowers, arrange decorations, etc. The project never entered production but we made up our minds then to pursue original ideas which are outside of the hardcore market. We were of the opinion that maybe we should focus more on characters and their management and a farming theme, as this is not covered in current games often. Family Farm is not just for farmers, is it? We don’t presume any knowledge of agriculture It was never our intention to make a realistic farming simulator.
• How does Family Farm combine the addictive elements of both farming and life sim games?
- We have combined three genres in our the Family Farm game design: tycoon, time-management and RPG. Players have a limited time to manage operations on their farm with characters that have various skills and attributes that can be developed over time.
• What makes Family Farm different from the other farming games out there?
- Family Farm offers a more in-depth experience of farming than social games with the same theme, as it is more like a tycoon. Compared to other games with a farming theme, Family Farm is also likely to offer more strategic gameplay. On top of that, the gameplay in Family Farm is more goal-driven than most life simulation games. I think we were successful in making a casual game with 3D environments though this was a tough job hard to make and there’s not a lot of games like that.
• Does Hammerhave have any plans for expansion packs? If so, will these also focus solely on farming or will families go on adventures outside of the farm?
- Yes, we are going to support the game with additional features and probably some extra content depending on the game’s success. We would like to extend player possibilities but farming will always be the main theme.
• Have you ever fantasized about living the simple life yourself?
- Yeah, I personally like the countryside and I think it is something that is increasingly appealing to people, especially now the energy prices are soaring and the economic situation in a lot of countries is unstable. Being self-dependent on your own Family Farm would be great, wouldn’t it?
Family Farm will be released on 27 May 2011 by Iceberg Interactive in the UK and Ireland, as well as France, Scandinavia, Benelux, Australia and New Zealand. Pre-orders are available in the Iceberg Webshop (http://www.iceberg-shop.com/family-farm.html) and will be delivered on the day of release with free shipping.
About Family Farm
In Family Farm, the harvesting season is short with activities taking place in real-time, so players will need to manage their farm workers efficiently. They must prepare the soil, sow the seed and harvest crops, care for livestock and cook meals to stay energetic. Over time and when well managed, family members will improve their skills and work faster. External labour can be hired, but will be expensive. If the house is upgraded enough, perhaps new babies will be born, who will later contribute to the Family Farm. Farming was never this much fun!
Family Farm Features:
- Farm to your heart’s desire on your own 19th century farmstead.
- Enjoy the farm life in up to 10 stories that span a lifetime.
- Create your own farm family and manage their talents, skills and needs; welcome new babies and hire external workers!
- Groom and raise a variety of cute farm animals: choose from horses and cows to sheep and chickens.
- Grow and harvest the fruit, crops and vegetable on your patches and fields in harvest season; but make sure the work gets done before the weather turns foul!
- Decorate your farm with flowerbeds and pretty ornaments in your own style and patterns.
- Make home and cook delicious meals to keep your family and workers happy and improve their farming – regular or with special effects on their attributes.
- Includes tutorial, statistics, achievements and trophies.
- Upgradable house and expandable farm.