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.