Lightyear Frontier won't have a full town like Stardew Valley, but you can befriend its NPCs
Developers Frame Break also said they're not ruling out including automation further down the line
It takes a particular type of farming game to really hook me in these days, but Lightyear Frontier's crop-planting mechs might just be the thing I've been looking for. Everything I've seen of Frame Break's futuristic life sim looks delightful so far, and in a recent ID@Xbox showcase, the developers told us a bit more about how it's going to operate, and whether those Stardew Valley comparisons are on the money.
When asked whether players would be able to befriend NPCs like other Stardew-likes, Frame Break's CEO Joakim Hedström told us: "In short, yes. We don't have a full town like Stardew, but the characters that are there, you'll be able to get to know better and learn their stories."
Alas, Hedström didn't expand on whether those friendships and stories would lead to romantic partnerships at all, but hey, at least we can look forward to some purely platonic pals at the very least. Instead, I suspect the bulk of your relationship forming will come from other players, as Frame Break are also adding multiplayer at launch, letting you team up with three additional pals to go exploring together in co-op.
"With co-operative play, we're working to provide new dimensions to gameplay, and give players the opportunity to collaborate with friends," Heström says. "With multiplayer, we intend to provide options for players to share their worlds and have more ways to create fun experiences with each other." And that includes starting the game afresh in co-op, or inviting your mates into a homestead you've already made a start on.
"We have designed the game entirely around both single-player and co-op, so you can play the exact same game alone or with friends. We've decided to balance it around single-player, so if you play with your friends, you'll be able to basically achieve more faster, because we wanted the collaboration to feel worth it, but also not to make the game feel too strenuous if you're playing alone."
With your upgrading mech and taming its titular frontier being such a big part of the game, the conversation naturally turned toward automation next, and whether Lightyear Frontier will be following in the footsteps of other management-style games such as Satisfactory and Denki's Autonauts. On this front, never say never, says Hedström.
"We're focusing on avoiding automation as much as we can," he says. "We want the progress of the game to be the player with their mech achieving new and greater things rather than automating tasks. We're not ruling it out entirely though, but we're going to wait to see what the player feedback will be."
There's still no firm release date for Lightyear Frontier yet, but it will be out on Steam and Game Pass when it does.