Robber Plants: Farm Fortress

By Craig Pearson on March 12th, 2012 at 12:47 pm.

Country Strafe
Given that the RPS servers wobble like a tightrope walker whenever Notch tips his hat towards us on Twitter, I’m amazed Farm Fortress is still standing. But it is, and it means I can point you in the same direction that the benevolent Minecraft creator pointed. Join the orderly queue. It looks rather interesting. A browser-based persistent, top-down farming and fortress making game. Why farms? Because in this post-apocalyptic vision of future awfulness, the only job for an ex-con is high-risk illegal farming. Why fortresses? Hello! Post-apocalyptic farming obviously means you’re fighting off mutants, other players (a truly apocalyptic addition), and corporate robots. Best build them walls and get hoe-ing in the open alpha.

So the walls go up and the plants are planted. The persistence is what I’m really intrigued by: you set defenses to protect your farm as the world carries on when you’re offline. You can team up with others to build a mega farm, but people can attack the base at any time and you’ll need to build competent protection that’ll keep your plants unharvested by the rotters when you’re not around. There are e-mail settings to warn you when your land is being attacked. The fighting is quick and a bit simplistic, but I imagine the joy in it is in perfection the farm.

While it’s free-to-play, you can purchase benefits: when you’re out of lives, you can’t play for 12 hours, but you can buy more lives and/or a 6 hour resurrection. You can also purchase land plots, if you’re particularly horticulturally inclined. The open alpha is still a bit broken: it just sort of vanished for me, so it might be worth having some serious time with the free component before laying down some cabbage.

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34 Comments »

  1. Gozuu says:

    “While it’s free-to-play, you can purchase benefits: when you’re out of lives, you can’t play for 12 hours, but you can buy more lives and/or a 6 hour resurrection. You can also purchase land plots, if you’re particularly horticulturally inclined. The open alpha is still a bit broken: it just sort of vanished for me, so it might be worth having some serious time with the free component before laying down some cabbage. ”

    Fuck this and everything associated with it.

    • Askeladd says:

      Did you play it? It depends on the difficulty doesn’t it?

      • AlexV says:

        What it means is that the difficulty / number of lives / death penalties will be balanced so as to produce the maximum financial return.

        Not the maximum enjoyment.

        • sassy says:

          No that’s what it potentially means. We have yet to see any actual signs that this is the case so it’s too early to kick the game for something it hasn’t done. Sure approach with the knowledge that it may happen but don’t just assume it has.

    • inertia says:

      There are worse examples of monetisation, Gozuu. This seems positively quaint in comparison.

      • Askeladd says:

        I think the restricted life’s somehow make this game more fun, and the upgrade you can buy seems to be permanent from all I can tell.
        I imagine it like this:
        You play the game alot and have fun with other people. Then you begin to scratch the boundaries of what the game offers you and you can buy things like more lifes, faster respawn and more buildspace.
        If the game’s somewhat fun to play and the upgrades are permanent I don’t see why it’s badly monetised.

      • Gozuu says:

        You are right, it doesn’t make this sort of monetization any better though.

        • spann says:

          No, you’re right; I far prefer the one where you pay £35 and then hope you like it/it works, because God knows you won’t get a refund.

    • Trillby says:

      What a silly knee-jerk reaction this is getting to be nowadays. Earlier, we used to get demos on disks free with games magazines; were you there then as well, crying about how you were being forced to pay for things because you enjoyed a smaller part and now wanted to carry on? Now you are being given access to a complete game, but being restricted in the time you can play (and as Inertia said – with rather forgiving restrictions) and the best you can come up with is a general “fuck this”?

      Are you just jumping on the band-wagon of people who don’t like micropayments? What is your deal really? Either I will pay for micro-transactions because I want to support the company, or because I want to enhance the experience, or I won’t and I get to play for free. Where is the aspect that gets you all bolshy and defensive Gozuu?

      • Gozuu says:

        Can you compare a test drive of a car with a rental? Your comparison of demo versions to a time-limited game is so way off. I don’t know about this “bandwagon” that hates micro transactions. I have never purchased one in my life nor have I purchased any DLC to the games I own. You can call me the front figure of this “bandwagon” if you’d like to categorize me?

        “Hey, join our Free Game – You can’t win unless you pay us, but it sure is fun”

        • Dare_Wreck says:

          Just out of curiosity Gozuu, did you avoid buying expansion backs back in the day, too, before they morphed into the DLC of today? Now, I do realise that probably the vast majority of DLC today is nowhere near on the scale of size that expansion packs used to be, but some DLC is still like that, and I’m curious if you would outright dismiss those too.

          • Gozuu says:

            As you said yourself, the scale of expansions weren’t nearly as tiny as the DLC they provide today. Actually most if not every expansion was an entirely new game. Yes, I purchase expansion packs for video games, but nothing of the 15 Dollar gimmicks that took no time to create.

        • Trillby says:

          Of course. But we aren’t talking about cars, we are talking about games, which are solely for entertainment. They compete with other games and also compete with other forms of entertainment – you choosing to spend time or money playing a game simultaneously means you are preferring that specific enterainment medium to all the other options available to you at the time. So basically, you want maximum “pleasure” for maximum “time” for minimum “effort/money”. You appear (in my eyes) to have taken a rather irrational stance that decrees “as long as there are micro-transactions involved, I will refuse to experience any pleasure”. Obviously this makes it impossible to enjoy the product. You have not made your case as to WHY you immediately write off all opportunities to enjoy yourself with these products – it seems to be some vague moral stance that (in my opinion) is stopping you from seeing that in many cases, DLC, micro-transactions, paying-for-little-bits-a-little-at-a-time etc. can create a thoroughly enjoyable game.

          Your made up quote says: It’s fun, but you can’t finish it without paying.
          I’ll make my case by shortening that to the essentials: Its fun. That’s all that really counts for an entertainment medium.

    • psyk says:

      Get good?

  2. Askeladd says:

    Somehow this reminds me of the old days of farming minerals/tiberium in C&C.
    Closing of enemy routes and securing the fields.
    Honestly I like games like that.

  3. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    They explicitly say on the website that it’s not an isometric turn-based game, so I’m not interested!

  4. Duckee says:

    Awesome concept, but the execution does sound and look a bit odd.

  5. Bluerps says:

    I don’t know. “Persisent world” combined with PvP sound to me like you could lose everything with no chance of defending yourself, because someone decides that he needs no sleep and attacks you at 4 o’clock in morning when all the email warnings in the world will not save you.

    • Askeladd says:

      That was always the reason that made me give up on such games…

    • syndrome says:

      Yep, that’s the apparent flaw

    • jonke says:

      Well, I was logged in and got totally beaten up by a higher ranking player, so now I can’t play for 12hours. So in order to not put all your coins you better wait until the raider has left your farm.

  6. masifhy says:

    They explicitly say on the website that it’s not an isometric turn-based game, so I’m not interested! http://ej.uz/4555

  7. Dana says:

    Anyone played Brutal Homicide on Amiga ? From the screenshot I thought it will be like that, too bad…

  8. hjd_uk says:

    Aaaand, monetizing = instant avoid.

  9. cptgone says:

    mouth watering concept.
    waiting for my activation mail :)

    posts like this makes me wonder how i got by all those years i didn’t read RPS daily.

    • Askeladd says:

      Ha :) Yeah this site is so valuable. It’s like people that don’t read this site are just blind to all that’s gaming and it’s worths. It just feels like that to me.

  10. equatorian says:

    So Harvest Moon and Tower Defense, then?

    Looks interesting. Pity about the monetizing, though.

  11. Torgen says:

    Lettuce all just take a breath, and not squash this game without at least trying it out. It may end up being the apple of your eye.

  12. zizekian says:

    RIGHT before reading this article I came up with a similar game idea, but without the monitization. now it will be forever compared to this game, but I still think I’m gonna go for it.

  13. LTK says:

    That makes me wonder, of the approximately one thousand zombie apocalypse games, has there ever been one where you protect a survivor enclave in a turn-based or RTS fashion? There’s got to be one.

  14. Skabooga says:

    Best build them walls and get hoe-ing in the open alpha.

    Pssh. You build your wall. I’ll dig a hole.

  15. malkav11 says:

    Mm. The basic gameplay sounds potentially appealing. The persistent, real time, PvP multiplayer nature of it in no way whatsoever sounds appealing.