Ex-Lionhead devs’ Kynseed brings new life to the farm

If you’ve played Stardew Valley and wished that poo played a bigger part in life down on the farm, Kynseed [itch.io page] might just have you covered. The developers of this sandbox adventure spent “over 10,000 years (give or take 9,975 years)” working on the Fable series and they want to bring some of the same eccentricities and charm to their new indie project. The eventual goal, it seems, is to build a world that simulates the finer details of passing seasons, ageing, NPC routines and monster poo.

It’s early days for Kynseed, but you can try a free prototype right now, and updates arrive on a fairly regular basis, bringing everything from better mouse and keyboard controls to “toilet improvements”.

So far there are only a few systems in place, though I have managed to befriend a cat through the magic of fish and I planted some crops. That’s more farming and feline-wrangling than I’ve managed to do in my entire life to date so Kynseed can already be classed as a step up from my sedentary lifestyle.

You can follow development on itch.io, were the prototype will be updated. Here’s what to expect:

“To find out more about what features we plan to have, and more about the game in general, please follow us on Twitter as I’m sure we’ll natter about combat, pig markets, allergies, running businesses, monster poo, ageing, seasons, NPC reactions, Jack of All Trades, the mysterious Mr Fairweather, and just what the heck the Kynseed is (what is it with Lionhead Studios devs and their obsession with acorns?!).”

I don’t get along with Stardew Valley. It’s one of those games that I appreciate and I understand why people enjoy it, but I’ve never managed to break through the initial grindiness. If Kynseed’s world is more systemic, with all the emergent mechanic and narrative possibilities that entails, it might well give me what Stardew couldn’t. Some inspiration, the developers tell me, comes from Ultima VII, which still has one of my favourite simulated worlds. It also made me want to be a baker but I ended up being a barfly instead. If there’s even the slightest hint of that splendour breaking through the soil, I’ll go and live on the farm forever.

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11 Comments

  1. tanith says:

    A lot of games are about grinding. Certainly a lot of RPGs. It’s just that people either enjoy that aspect or they don’t.
    I love Stardew Valley because I love planting crops and what not. I understand that it is a form of grinding but it never bothered me.

  2. ColonelFlanders says:

    Somehow I don’t feel like using Fable as a pedigree upon which to promise unique features is a wise idea

    • Lionbum71 says:

      Hey! We have 1 acorn in Kynseed and its growth is intertwined with the player character’s life …so at least ours will do that ;)

    • khalilravanna says:

      What sort of negative connotation have you associated with the Fable games other than the Molyneux Hype? Because as I recall, Fable 1 and 2 were absolutely fantastic games. Full of immersive, beautiful environments. Hell, having trodden back on them in recent years I’ve found the interconnectedness of the world in each one to be astounding. The wandering traders, the economy that was effected by you buying and selling things, etc. All the little things you can do that have no real bearing on the game but add a little bit of believable-ness and fun to the whole thing. Great games. Hell of a pedigree if you ask me.

      • Lionbum71 says:

        Thank you for the kind words..I put insane hours into helping create the regions of Fable 2 and 3 and it’s always a warm feeling to hear when somebody likes the world.

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        kfix says:

        It’s a shame that the later adventures of Molyneux have put some shade on this, but yes the Fables and especially Fable 2 were wonderful little worlds that I’d be proud to have on my resume.

  3. Seafoam says:

    I really dig that palette.
    For some reason you only see these kinds of colors in pixel art. Maybe it just works better or it’s some kind of internal pixel art community culture?

  4. Barberetti says:

    Poo should play a bigger part in every game.

    Hoping for plenty of poo-related hijinks in The Signal From Tölva, Jim!

  5. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Worked on Fable? 1/2 were ambitious but lacked, forget 3 entirely.
    Stardew Valley was great because it captured the SNES aera better than the original aera was with its living birdlife and small animals and wind effects and grass moving if you pass.
    Compared to that the screenshot above looks rather rough like the 8-bit aera but yeah having a different game in the same genre would be cool regardless.

    • Lionbum71 says:

      We only worked on the good bits of Fable ;)

      Hoping to get proper shadows, moving foliage, particles, shaders and all the nice bells and whistles in down the line…and get it all prettied by a proper artist rather than me :)

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