Red Planet Farming - Perennial Crops

Today has been a pretty productive day so far. I implemented perennial crops, meaning crops that will stay for multiple years. Basically the loop is as follows: players can plant perennial crops, like peppers, and they will grow over the course of the year. They yield produce at the end. The difference now is that the plants do not disappear after harvest at the end of the year. Instead, they will continue to produce food until they run out of health, which is when they are removed from the farm. Crops can lose health if they are damaged in storms.

The goal of this is to create arcs within the game that take place at different lengths than the main arc, which is just the year cycle. Now, certain crops will last multiple years, giving a multi-year arc for some plants and some setups.

I was also hoping that this would alleviate the issues that come about when the player has expanded their farm vastly, and the amount of time that it takes to replant the entire farm keeps growing and growing until the loop is no longer fun.

Here’s a progression of a farm with peppers from a play-through that I did to make sure everything was working:

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As you can see, the crops that were fully wilted in the second image are gone in the next image, because their health reached below 0.

I must admit, when I first was testing the system, I thought there was a bug, because I was so unused to seeing the grown crop sprites during the planning stages! But I’m actually very happy with how this turned out, especially because I was worried it was going to take a long time.

Nina Demirjian