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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsBlocky Farm - a voxel mobile farm manager
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sortris
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« on: October 14, 2015, 12:44:05 pm »

Hey everyone! Welcome to our first devlog! Firstly, I want to mention that we’ll be posting news here twice a week: every Wednesday & Saturday, so keep an eye out! With some gameplay GIFs out yet, we felt it was important to talk about the current state of our game, so here we are.

What is Blocky Farm?
Blocky Farm is a mobile farm manager with a strong focus on animal care. The game is being developed by Jet Toast. It will be released on iOS devices in Q1 2016.


Who are Jet Toast?
We are a Polish duo of game developers with a specific sense of humour. Some months ago we quitted our day-jobs and started developing Blocky Farm in September 2015. We have an experience in making mobile games and apps for other companies. We put everything on the one card and we want to create the first joint mobile game for our savings so wish us a luck! Smiley

Technical
  • Unity3D & Visual Studio
  • MagicaVoxel for 3D models
  • Jira for task management
  • Crucible for code review
  • Scrum methodology to keep neverending progress

In-game screenshot

FULL SIZE GIF HERE [1600x900]

First official graphics renders!
Garden


Cowshed


Wheat field


Carrot field


Barbecue Grill


Mill


Scarecrows


Apples


Trunks


Old placeholders


Updating
We are going to update this devlog 2 times per week: on Wednesday and Saturday so we hope you will follow us!
Update #0 - Development start
Update #1 - Production queue and removing obstacles
Update #2 - Magical fountains and animal feeding & healing system
Update #3 - Animal camera focus, treasure chests and game state serialization
Update #4 - Animal gadgets, fruit orchards and daily rewards
Update #5 - Playing with animals (warning: awesomeness), achievements and more
Update #6 - Wheat field rebuilt, product orders and delivery truck
Update #7 - Building extensions and decorations (20% of development progress)
Update #8 - Daily quests, watering system, changing animal names & bonus gifs
Update #9 - Mine, tool factory, gifts and refactoring
Update #10 - Treasure chests and first renders!
Update #11 - Game parameters, rebuilt shop & products collection HUD animation
Update #12 - Loading screen, shaking trees, moving decorations and buildings
Update #13 - Tractor prototype, buildings construction process and renders
Update #14 - Bridge, farm gate, global events and animal buildings models!
Update #15 - Tractor improved, new pet - the Cat!
Update #16 - Pathfinding, medicines production, camera focus & first animation
Update #17 - Polishing: animals reacts to noise, gets flattened and others
Update #18 - Disco Mode, Pet houses and stroking animals
Update #19 - Totally new game scene, totally new graphics!
Update #20 - Animals selfies, dog chasing a cat and bonus
Update #21 - Destroy stones and cutting tree animations with animal response
Update #22 - Animal gadgets
Update #23 - New animals and new animations!
Update #24 - Wild animals and train station
Update #25 - first UI preview
Update #26 - BIG CHANGE - slots removed
Update #27 - Advanced pet care and building effects
Update #28 - Environment details - river
Update #29 - Train, new animal animations and bonus!
Update #30 - Official Blocky Farm logo
Update #33 - WE ARE BACK!


Links
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---
Thank you for taking the time to read this first post! I look forward to hearing from you all.
Best, Tobiasz from Jet Toast team.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 07:30:29 pm by sortris » Logged

starsrift
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2015, 12:08:20 am »

The game's not for me, but I admire derpydog. It's classic.
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"Vigorous writing is concise." - William Strunk, Jr.
As is coding.

I take life with a grain of salt.
And a slice of lime, plus a shot of tequila.
sortris
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2015, 12:31:33 pm »

The game's not for me, but I admire derpydog. It's classic.
Thanks, really appreciate that! We're trying. ;-)
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sortris
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2015, 04:31:05 am »

Hi there!
We have an another update for you. From Wednesday (14.10.15) to Saturday (17.10.15) we did:


Production queue
In the building info panel there are two scrollable lists. The first covers the available recipes, the second shows current queue state. After production is ready, product is instantiated near the building.



Removing obstacles
There are some obstacles on the map that will block building construction on the slots. Of course obstacles are removable for some amount of money. Should we add some tools instead of money? What do you think? In our opinion it will complicate a gameplay.



We are on GIC now!
We are on Game Industry Conference which is taking place in Poland, Poznań. This is such a great event connected with Poznań Game Arena. A lot of knowledge and inspirations we gather! Smiley

Full album is here


Business cards
We have a totally new business cards too. How do you like it?



I hope you enjoyed this update. See you on Wednesday. Smiley
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sortris
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2015, 07:51:35 am »

Hello! We're back in work after Game Industry Conference.
From the last Saturday (17.10.15) to Wednesday (21.10.15) we did:

Animal feeding and healing system
Animals can become ill and hungry. To heal them, you simply apply medicines. To feed them, you have to produce food first. For now animal illness is marked by a big, red capsule ;-)



Magical fountains
Player will be able to unlock one of three magical fountains as a reward/special building. It will help to develop player’s farm faster. There will be a three different fountains:

Fountain of Luck - It will give huge amount of coins every 12 hours.




Fountain of Wealth - It will give very small amount of gems every 24 hours.



Fountain of Experience - It will give small amount of experienve every 24 hours.



Some tests



Final version (still on mocked models)



We hope you will like this update. See you this Saturday! Smiley

Links
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2015, 10:01:48 am »

From the UI of the screenshots I see you have two currencies there, does that mean that one of them is a premium currency? What are your thoughts on free-to-play, and the various free-to-play criticisms that have been aired before, even directed at farm-simulation type games previously?
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sortris
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2015, 01:00:04 am »

Hi DizzyDoo, thanks for your question.

Generally you're right, there will be a premium currency in the game, but:
1. The game will be 100% free.
2. Premium currency can be obtained in free ways too (for example from treasure chests).
3. The only thing premium currency will give you is time.

In our opinion well designed F2P model (not P2W) is better than paid, because user pays only when he wants to.
Our priority is to give quality and fun first, but it would be nice to us to get some revenue from this game.
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sortris
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2015, 09:44:27 am »

Hello!
Here is a Devlog Update #3. We are happy to show you three new Blocky Farm features! Smiley

Animal camera focus
When you tap on an animal, camera will simply focus on it. Then the animal will be happy that we care about it. Simply as that. We want to implement more animal animations in the future. For now you can see also info panel which will allow you to heal, feed or having fun with your pet.




Treasure chest
There will be a treasure chests on the map. Where will they come from? From the sky, like in the Worms game! :D
It will appear very rarely and will contain powerful items. From the common items set (for example: bacon, wheat, wool) to the powerful ones (for example: experience, gems and animal wearable gadgets).








Saving state of the world
We had a lot of problems with our game state serialization. We have to save buildings with its state, animals with its state and every production/construction controller. To implement this feature we used EasySave2 plugin which is a quite good tool (not perfect but good).




That is all for today.
Follow us to be up to date. We have a lot of crazy ideas to implement in our Blocky Farm game. Stay tuned! Smiley

Our dog is a very lucky guy ^^

Links
Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook
« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 09:52:13 am by sortris » Logged

sortris
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2015, 10:25:31 am »

Hello again!
Last days (24.10.15) to Wednesday (28.10.15) were interesting in terms of new features. So let’s go!

Animal Gadgets
This is one of our favourites features in the game. There will be a ton of wearable gadgets for animals, from glasses, hats to whole skin sets. Every item will increase animal's level of happiness and of course make it look awesome!

Here you have some pics:









Fruit Orchards
One of the production buildings in the game will be orchards. Orchard is a small set of fruit trees that simply produces fruits. Player will be able to upgrade orchard and consequently increase yields.



Daily rewards
The player will be rewarded for a regular returning to the game. Rewards are be organised in a 5 days cycle. It will of course worth more with each day but the amount of wealth is dependent on the farm happiness level. 5th day user will get a big treasure chest.


We hope you will like this devlog update!
Cheers! See you this Saturday.

Links
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sortris
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2015, 08:57:32 am »

Hello again! Smiley
This week is was very special for us because we’ve implemented really great features. In a previous devlog update you could saw animal gadgets. Now we have something even better. Take a look:

Playing with animals
The player will be able to play with animals and have fun. There will be two special kinds of pets in the game: cat & dog. We are proud to present to you our killer stick feature! Any words are unnecessary, just see this gif:








Achievements
Other feature is a built-in achievements system with connection to Apple’s Game Center. We decided to make our own achievements panel to increase the user’s immersion and engagement during the play. Every achievement has 3 levels of difficulty and of course a reward. There will be a ton of achievements in the game, starting from the collecting fruits, constructing buildings finishing on playing with animals and more.




Animals panel
In our opinion the possibility to manage all players animals in an easy way is very important. Thus we implemented clean and simple window showing all valuable information with sort option. After clicking on the animal camera will focus on it.




Thanks for following us. We hope you will have as much fun as we during the development process! Smiley
See you next Wednesday.

Links
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« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 09:10:19 am by sortris » Logged

sortris
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2015, 02:54:49 pm »

We can’t stop! More awesomeness in this update is coming.
From last Saturday (31.10) to today's Wednesday (04.11) we did:




Wheat field rebuilt
Previous version of wheat field was too simple in our opinion. It didn’t give “that feeling” of collecting crops. Thus we implemented almost new fields system: every field now has 9 small segments on which player will be able to seed different plants. Moreover harvesting system is now not a single tap/click, but player have to grab the scyther and manually cut all plants segments.
Take a look and please give us a feedback:




Product orders and delivery truck
This feature is really huge. First of all, there will be an orders table in the game. It will give player an information about every order for products. If any order can be completed, user can use a delivery truck to deliver it (thanks cpt. Obvious). Every order will be of course rewarded.
Take a look once again.




As you can see, we implemented only two features, but in our opinion they are awesome. New wheat fields improve user experience and product orders expand our game content.

Links
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2015, 09:33:07 pm »

Just wanted to drop in and say this game looks really cute, and your logo is awesome. I was a little disappointed to read this will be a premium currency game, but it looks fun regardless. Best of luck!  Toast Right
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sortris
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2015, 01:02:13 am »

Just wanted to drop in and say this game looks really cute, and your logo is awesome.

Thanks for the kind words! Smiley

I was a little disappointed to read this will be a premium currency game, but it looks fun regardless. Best of luck!  Toast Right

BlockyFarm will never ever be a Pay2Win game. Our priority is to give quality and fun first. It will be fully Free2Play, but it would be nice to us to get some revenue from this game.
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2015, 02:49:38 am »

BlockyFarm will never ever be a Pay2Win game. Our priority is to give quality and fun first.

I don't think the term 'Pay2Win' can really apply in this instance, since from what I've seen so far, there's no clear 'win state' to the game. When the player buys something, what do they get? If it's just cosmetic upgrades that have no impact on game mechanics, then fine, but most microtransaction systems, especially in mobile games, don't do this.

If it is truly 'cosmetic items only', I'll be very pleasantly surprised, but I'm expecting that it is, in some way, Pay-To-Have-A-More-Efficient-Farm? Or Pay-To-Not-Wait-As-Long?

  It will be fully Free2Play, but it would be nice to us to get some revenue from this game.

So the only route to take is to charge for microtransactions via a virtual currency? I'm genuinely interested in this, because as someone who does not make mobile games, it all sounds quite horrid. Enormous competition, super-low price expectations, one appstore/gatekeeper (on iOS devices at least) all makes me run far away. Microtransactions, and ads, make me feel a bit yucky, though I've seen microtransactions done quite well here and there.
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sortris
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2015, 09:38:18 am »

Generally you're right and we agree with you. All the game monetisation mechanisms are very hard to implement and balance well. Like you, we don't like microtransactions in games too. On the other hand, it looks like that we are gonna develop Blocky Farm for many months and it would be nice when we can get some revenue from this game.

The only thing I can do for you now is to ensure you that we will put a lot of effort to the premium model in our game to be fair and non-invasive. We hope you will understand us too, because we don't want to feel bad about that our game will earn money from microtransactions. Fairness of premium model in our game is very important to us.

Thanks for your feedback and posts. Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2015, 11:21:11 am »

Last time I'll post this, because otherwise you and everyone else will be sick of me, but I still don't really have answers to the two questions I have asked before. Unless I've misunderstood you, in which case, I'm terribly sorry!

1. Is the game 'cosmetic improvements only', or is Pay-To-Have-A-More-Efficient-Farm? Or Pay-To-Not-Wait-As-Long?
2. Do you think the only route to generate revenue from the game is through microtransactions?

I'm genuinely interested, because you've asserted a number of times that the way the microtransactions are setup will be 'fair' and 'non-invasive', which is all a bit vague from my point of view, and a bit confusing, because microtransactions are very often neither 'fair', and they are usually quite invasive. I would love some details as to how you plan to make this work?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 11:29:32 am by DizzyDoo » Logged

sortris
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« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2015, 05:45:12 pm »

Last time I'll post this, because otherwise you and everyone else will be sick of me
No, we won't. Honestly, I like the discussion. Smiley

I still don't really have answers to the two questions I have asked before.
The main reason for no detailed answers is a lack of complete specification and lack of tests that we will surely want to do in the future. But I will try do my best to answer with what we have for now.

1. Is the game 'cosmetic improvements only'
Yes, there will be a lot of free animal skins and gadgets and some bonus-paid (only cosmetic improvement, just changing the way animal will look).

or is Pay-To-Have-A-More-Efficient-Farm?
Here we say a big *No-Way*

Or Pay-To-Not-Wait-As-Long?
There will be an option to rush building construction process but the price will be small. Do rushing building construction make your farm more effective? We don't think so.
Remember that user will be able to obtain Gems - our Premium currency in various of free ways. For example gems can be obtained from: magical treasure chests, magical fountain, wheel of fortune or as a reward for unlocking achievements.
User will decide what gems will be spend on: bonus skins or faster construction.

2. Do you think the only route to generate revenue from the game is through microtransactions?
First of all, we believe that paid monetization model has no future on mobile (consoles, PCs - ok, but not mobile). In my opinion the only ways to do monetization on mobile are microtransactions and ads. How will we implement ads?
1. Among dozens of buildings there will be a Cinema Building available to buy for coins.
2. One of a Cinema functions will be watching ads.
3. User will be rewarded for every watched ad with a small amount of coins.
4. Ads will be available to watch only 3 times per day.
Isn't this idea fair? There will be a fully optional building to construct that will allow user to optionally watch ads. That is our meaning of 'non-invasive' word. What do you think about it?
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sortris
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2015, 12:11:13 pm »

Today is Saturday, so here we are again according to the plan and here is a new devlog update. We implemented following features from last Wednesday.

We are happy to set our game development progress to 20%! Beer!

Building extensions
After a long brainstorm we decided to implement extensions to our buildings. The problem was with the map divided into slots. So from now there will be a special building type that can be constructed in the specified building's neighbourhood, on the same slot. For example: Dairy building can be extended by a Ice Cream Maker. This Dairy upgrade give player ability to produce ice creams.



Building decorations
The next great feature that we had problem with is decorating buildings mechanism. One lonely building on the slot looked sad and generally bad. Moreover we wanted to give players an opportunity to make their farm more unique. Thus we decided to implement decorating mechanism within a single slot. Now it is possible to place some beautiful decorations on the free space.
Isn't it great?





That is all for today. Tell us please what do you think about these features. Thanks, have a good day Smiley


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sortris
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« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2015, 09:32:58 am »

Past week was full of hard work for us. We have for you some big features and great bonus gifs. We hope you will like it.

Daily quests
Our goal in Blocky Farm is to engage user as much as possible. That why we designed three main layers of engagement:
First layer - Product orders with delivery truck - small orders for some products. Very easy to complete.
Second layer - Daily quests - a little bigger tasks to do: feeding animals, buying decorations, collecting products, doing other things. Playing game in general.
Third layer - Achievements - big tasks to do that will take many days to unlock.

So this week we almost finished daily tasks system. Quests are generated procedurally and for now there is more than one hundred combinations of unique tasks. There will be up to 3 available daily tasks at one time. New quests will appear every 24 hours.



Watering system
We were improving field building and crops gathering process. Thus we created well and whole watering system with usage of water buckets. It will be possible to water fields one time in the whole growth process. This will simply fasten crops production. But remember, well will have limited capacity.



Changing animal names
There will be also an ability to change animal’s name.



Bonus
We have a small gift for you: bonus gifs from the development process.

One of mocked ideas: magical water bucket.



Don’t mess with our dog.



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sortris
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2015, 09:52:56 am »

General code refactoring was planned for this week. Despite this we are still implementing features. Not so fast as in the previous weeks, but it still something.

Mine
There will be a special building in Blocky Farm - Mine. Player will be able to use tools (for example shovel, dynamite) to get ores (iron, carbon, even gold). Moreover it will be possible to send our horse with trolleys to the mine in the future. The horse will get treasures for us even when we won’t be playing the game.



Tool factory
This is a building that produces tools from ores. Different tools will be useful for different things. For example: user will be able to remove swamp obstacle with shovel or to dig into the mine to get more ores.



Gifts
Treasure chests was replaced with gift boxes. The main difference is that gift boxes will contain only one random item. We will transform treasure chest into more powerful item in the future.



Refactoring
Clean code is as important as a functionality for us. That is why we do some refactoring this week. It is true that clean code makes development faster and we want to do our best to maintain it.

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