Posts Tagged ‘Stardew Valley’

Mods

March 1, 2021

I have started to mess around with mods (short for modifications) for a game that I love called Stardew Valley. Mods are usually fan-made programs that you somehow attach to a game to change the content inside. Most of the mods that I have seen are merely cosmetic changes. This is the first time that I have really messed around with mods as I usually just play games as they were designed. I have mostly cool with whatever game designers give me and also I was always afraid that I was going to crash the game accidentally. Lately, mods have become more accessible so I decided to jump on the train with everybody else.

To remind people, Stardew Valley is a cute little game that starts with simulating farm life and then continues on to other gameplay. You run the growing of crops, raising livestock, foraging, fishing, and chopping lumber. You also descend into the mines to locate ore, jewels, artifacts and also fight monsters. It is also a social game with a full town full of people who you can get to know bit by bit. There are ten different love interests (5 female, 5 male) who you can date, marry, have a child with, and divorce. There is a calendar full of events to attend.

I was watching Deerbits play the game with the new multiplayer mode with a ton of mods and I really had to look into it. The first one I picked was a mod that turned all of the male potential love interests into young women. I have dated the guys in-game but I was intrigued to have almost a whole village full of women and to see how their storylines felt with them being women instead. Their portraits, sprites, and all dialogue options for all references are changed and the men all transition into women seamlessly. It also changes both Willie (the grizzled old fisherman at the docks) and Rasmodius (the mysterious old wizard in the woods).

So far, nothing I had done had really changed the game beyond how I looked at certain characters. I tried out a few more options, getting bolder with each choice. The second one I picked simply muted the rooster that cries out at the beginning of each day. I don’t know how anybody can stand that noise in real life much less in a game. I made it so my character could wear eight stat-boosting rings instead of just two, making combat a little easier.

I finally buckled and got a mod that subtly changed dialogue and story options. There is a character named Clint who comes off as a sadsack man who is plagued by both toxic masculinity and shyness. He has a crush on one of your potential love interests and spends most of the game pining after her. Even if you marry her, he will mention his crush on her. This mod subtly changes his dialogue to keep his anxiety but has him being a little less clingy on poor Emily. I have been messing with some odd stat-changing stuff as well.

However, the main one I have been thinking of is a mod that allows for poly romance options. You can date a lot of people at once and then marry multiple people. It’s something that I support in real life (although would never do). It is something I would be intrigued to see in-game. I do not know if I want to complicate gameplay at this point with it but I might try it out in late game.

Stardew Valley and My Time at Portia

February 10, 2020

I have stopped re-watching television shows and movies because there is just too much to watch to repeat anything. There is always something I have not watched that I want to watch. However, that rule really does not apply to video games. There are plenty of video games that I have replayed over and over because they are just so enjoyable. I am well known to have replayed Dark Cloud 1 and 2. I just replayed the Kingdom Hearts series. I have repeatedly played Final Fantasies VII, IX, X, and X2. Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands the Pre-Sequel were built for replays. The list goes on. However, those are not what I am here to talk about today. Instead, I would like to talk about two games.

The first game is Stardew Valley. Stardew Valley took the gaming world by storm when it was released. It is the kind of game that appeals to gamers who like a very chill experience. The game is a lot to describe. I never played Harvest Moon but people have compared it to that franchise. However, Stardew is delightfully different. The plot of the game is that your character (male or female) visits their grandfather on his death bed. He gives you an envelope to open on a day when you need it most. One day, at your soul-crushing corporate job, you cannot take it anymore and you open the envelope. You have inherited a farm. You travel by bus to the quaint town of Stardew Valley.

Upon arrival, there is so much for you to do. You have your farm on which you grow crops and raise animals. Each season, you have a list of viable crops that you can grow. That is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a whole cast of colorful characters in town that you can get to know over time. Little by little you can befriend them all and learn more about their lives as you become friends. In addition, there are ten young people who are available to date. Five guys and five girls. They all have distinct personalities and all of them are available for opposite sex or same-sex relationships. There are also dungeons and mines that you can explore, fighting monsters and collecting treasure. The game also has the best fishing minigame in it. Finally, there is a very intricate crafting system.

Stardew has a simple art style that is very cartoony and endearing. The 16-bit graphics allow for a very cute, expressive animation style. During dialogue, you see close up portraits of the characters so that you can see them emote. Through play, you get to know all of these characters and the world around them. It is a world shared with monsters, ghosts, dwarves, goblins, and all sorts of other magic. It has a rich story that includes a morality system of sorts. The game is full of choices. Evil choices lead to greater wealth but good choices lead to a better world. It is up to you. The next time I play, I am finally going to choose the evil side and I am frightened. The game is still being updated and I am fascinated by all of the new stuff that comes up.

The other game that I want to talk about is one that I started playing this past weekend. The game is called My Time in Portia and it is similar but also different from Stardew Valley. I will say that most Stardew players would enjoy it as well as it scratches a lot of the same itches. The game starts in a similar manner. You have inherited your father’s old workshop just outside the gates of the town of Portia. You work to become the number one builder in town through filling out commissions given out by the bureaucracy. The crafting system is so much more robust and I am astonished by how much I have seen and I have only scratched the surface.

Everything in My Time in Portia feels more complicated but still manageable. There is a relationship mechanic where you can meet and get to know all of the various people in town. However, there is a bit more at stake. For example, you have a rival who does not really like you that you have to deal with. There are also criminals. While Stardew deals with marriage and kids, Portia deals with that and also deals with breakups and divorce. I have no idea who is off-limits for romance yet (although presumably the children and married couples). There are also so many more people. There are also both dungeons and mining although they are entirely different systems. The game is so much bigger than Stardew and I am absolutely hooked. Even with the game crashing a couple of times, I still really want to play it.

30 Day Video Game Challenge Pt. 2

July 24, 2017


Day 11 – Gaming system of choice.

My favorite gaming system so far has been the X-Box 360 but it is also the newest one I have. The controller fits perfectly in my hand and the internet capability made loading DLC or patches to games way easier. I have way more games for the Playstation 2, which I still have. The Playstation 2 got me through a very depressed time in my life and was close to being my only friend sometimes. I think I would have to go with the PS2 because the games that impacted me most were played on it.


Day 12 – A game everyone should play.

That would be Undertale. I have not played many bullet hell games but the main game is not extremely hard. There is an optional extremely difficult mode too. However, it is not the game play that makes me recommend this one. The story and the characters are so complete that it is hard not to fall in love with every moment in the game. There is silliness, deep sorrow, adventure, and joy if you let yourself get sucked in. It deals with LGBT issues in a matter of fact, no big deal kind of way. Most importantly, it deals with morality better than any other game. It really captures the “Hell is Other People” aspect of life that many of us struggle to learn in our teen years and some people never learn.


Day 13 – A game you’ve played more than five times.

I have a lot of games that would qualify as I don’t have a lot of games compared to people who have the disposable income to keep up with everything. I think Arkham City is probably one that majorly qualifies here, though. I replayed Dark Cloud 2 more but Arkham City was a true joy to play. I enjoyed feeling like Batman as I played and it felt like a Batman story from top to bottom. I had the Catwoman DLC which loaded incorrectly the first time I played so it was a completely different experience when I played the game a second time.

Day 14 – Current (or most recent) gaming wallpaper.

Red Dead Redemption

Day 15 – Post a screenshot from the game you’re playing right now.

Day 16 – Game with the best cut scenes.

I would pick Twisted Metal Black, which had a huge impact on me when it came out. The Twisted Metal series is known for its exciting, crazy game play followed by funny/interesting cut scenes with a dark tinge to them. The characters were cartoons that have a cartoon plot attached to them complete with a sort of punchline should they win the game. With Twisted Metal Black, things suddenly took a turn into Horror Movie Land. The characters got intros that were dark and haunting to me and they had voice overs that made me get a good feel for the characters and who these monsters were. They packed the game with more cut scenes so you could unlock a better sense of the dark world you were in and it really resonated with me at the time.


Day 17 – Favorite antagonist.

I would go with Eggman/Dr. Robotnik from the Sonic games because he is just such a card-carrying member of evil and so wacky. Some of the games he is in are not very good but he is so fun to beat up on because he takes things so seriously and he is very animated. His English voice is now iconic and it is always clear cut that he is wrong and Team Sonic is right. I thought of other possible antagonists to use as answers but a lot of them are nuanced and end up not being true antagonists. Characters like Beatrix from Final Fantasy IX and Knuckles the Echidna are just too good to be bad.


Day 18 – Favorite protagonist.

Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. Jade is an orphan who helps her friend Pey’J watch over other orphans and she does it by taking on photojournalist projects. She is a genuinely good person but not a goody two shoes. She spends much of the game trying to uncover the truth of her world and rescue her friends in the process. Controlling her is really intuitive as she stealths, dodges, runs, and fights through secret bases and facilities. I also really liked having a camera mechanic that actually affected the game and having a character interested in interacting with the world around her unlike the silent protagonists in other games I have loved.

Day 19 – Picture of a game setting you wish you lived in.

This would be Traverse City in Kingdom Hearts.

 


Day 20 – Favorite genre.

Adventure games. I like a good game that I can hack and slash through enemies in. Kingdom Hearts, God of War, Dark Cloud, the Batman Arkham series, the Fable series and all the like. I like the visceral feeling of the controls directly leading to damage on an enemy. Like the Batman games, I do appreciate an element of stealth added in. Adventure games like Beyond Good and Evil would fit into this category as well. My second favorite genre would probably be RPGs. They allow me to be in complete control of battle and they remind me of Tabletop RPGs. Games like the Final Fantasy series, Chronocross, and Legends of Legaia are awesome.


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