A Grittier, More Mature Take On Harvest Moon Is Being Kickstarted

By Eugene . December 20, 2013 . 1:31pm



Called Wild Season, don’t be shocked at how similar its title looks to Harvest Moon. The Kickstarter indie project by Philippines developers Quickfire Games is unabashedly aimed at creating a “more mature” version of everyone’s favorite farming simulation game. This includes the possibilities of same-sex marriage, turning yourself into a stalker-san, or even turning townsfolk into your enemies.


The game is currently on Steam looking to be Greenlit, and is intending to broach the gamut of what-did-I-just-do oddities. There’s some sort of dark secret surrounding this town that you’ve come to anyway, taking over the decrepit farm. And if you explore hard enough you might find out what that secret really is. You don’t have to do much to follow the farm itself, say the developers, if you choose. You could instead opt perhaps to run for office and shape how the town goes if you so desire.


The game will also slowly introduce new technologies like TVs and cellphones to make later tasks more automated.   Wild Season’s custom-built relationship engine—called with no irony whatsoever the Friend-Zone Engine—will actively track and manage how you deal with other characters, including whether you sneak into their rooms at night (which will eventually have them yelling at you) or if you miss a few nights of drinking at the pub. If you schmooze and then dump a potential love interest, they might even turn into crazy exes. (I’d like to see that,actually.)


Of course, if you prefer, there’s also all the standard fare of a farming simulation game, including raising crops and animals, selling the produce for phat profit, and basic odd jobs to help you earn a little bit of spare cash.   As of press, the game’s raised over half of its intended goal with about £15,700 and some 11 days to go. You can check it out here.

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  • Hatsuaki

    This… could be interesting, I suppose.

  • FlobotingIt

    The more I read about this game, the more I fall in love with it. This is what I want. Bring this to 3DS or Vita and I’ll pick it up. I’d pick up two copies!

    • almostautumn

      Seeing as Nintendo said “No!” to Binding of Issac because of its thematic contents, there is no chance in hell this will hit the 3DS.
      Because Nintendo likes to pretend we’re all their children and they our dads— because everyone wants their electronics provider to be just that!

      • Herok♞

        Honestly rejecting The Binding of Issac because of its contents makes perfect since that is dark and has blatant ties to a specific religion and could easy be seen as offense by many people. If Nintendo wanted to pretend we were all children they wouldn’t have let SMT IV on their handheld, the wouldn’t have let Madworld exist and for the love of all that is good they wouldn’t be PAYING for and PUBLISHING Bayonetta 2.

      • FlobotingIt

        Basically what Herok said. Binding of Issac was turned down because of it’s blatant ties to religion and the fact that it was taking a religious story and making a violent mockery of it. Also, before Binding of Issac, Strange Journey came out… Which had angels and demons, allowed you to side with angels and demons, and… There’s a six breasted demon in the game. Nintendo’s not protecting us from homosexuality and alcoholism or angels and demons. They’re making sure they don’t get their asses busted for when some religious fanatic sees their bible story turned into a video game. SMT games are different because they only reference religious aspects, as well as combining several different religions into one game.

        • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

          Uhh, I read it was turned down because of the child abuse themes.

          • FlobotingIt

            Could have been one of the reasons. But I just read an article, after you posted this, saying that it was mostly due to “Questionable religious content”. I’m sure you’re partially right though. There isn’t much scarier than a mother turning against her own son and trying to kill him.

  • ヴァルラシュ

    Dear god, everything doesn’t need to be “gritty”

    • Kumiko Akimoto

      No everything sunshine and rainbows let’s teach kids about the importance of friendship

      • Suicunesol

        Don’t worry. They’ll learn about that in real life.

    • Dsvkb

      It doesn’t need to be, but it’s a nice alternative I guess.

    • PreyMantis

      What about cheese!? Don’t discriminate, cheese needs to be gritty. Without gritty cheese, what will you do– what would anyone do!? We can’t do anything without those gritty cheeses, you know.

      But seriously, like you said, everything doesn’t need to be gritty. However, some people like it this way, like how they like their cheese gritty.

    • Shane Guidaboni

      It’s just an alternative. Not everyone likes their social sims to be happy fun time.

    • icecoffemix

      You’re right but not everyone doesn’t like gritty.

      Choice is good.

    • Micrologos

      It’s a cyclic thing. The “in” style swings back and forth on the pendulum of cynicism and optimism every now and again. Sometimes everything needs to be gritty and other times everything needs to be rainbows. Judging by recent releases in the game and film industry this is the time for grim ‘realistic’ modern reboots.

    • anarchy_panty

      It’s a sign of the times. No one’s feeling very optimistic right now, so the media that people are going to create is going to be dark and “gritty.”

  • d19xx

    Can I bury the dead bodies of my exes in the farm?

    • Ryuki

      Why bury them when you can burn the bodies?

      • Alter

        land fertilizer. LOL

      • tubers

        Well, it’s fertilizer!

    • PreyMantis

      IDK, but can I bury my real ex, though?

    • tubers

      omg lol!

  • brostar

    While I’ll give it a chance I am starting to get tired of all these western developed indie games on kickstarter whose main selling point is “it’s just like dem Japanaese games you’ve been playing.”

    • Letiumtide

      It’s not about making a game with the selling point of it being like those games, it’s not about a selling point, it’s about those games having affected the creators and them wanting to provide an homage to that. The context is a little different, and a little less pessimistic, just because advertising and marketing encroach on so many aspects of our life doesn’t necessarily mean somebody is going to make projects like these just to appease a relatively niche audience. It’s about what moved them when they were kids.

      • brostar

        I’ve seen it so many times though. I’ve seen some games that are EXACTLY like the games they were apparently inspired by. It’s taking a loved IP and using it to try and sell you a very similar game that is almost a clone.

    • bubbabutt

      The Phillipines isn’t part of the West.

      • Symbol de Au

        Really? It’s always been my belief that “western” just meant “not Japanese”. I mean if not why don’t they call them ERPG instead of JRPG?

        • Suicunesol

          *Or “not Korean or Chinese” since games from them are pretty “Eastern” as well.

      • brostar

        I was being general in my comment. As it’s a thing western developers are doing. A lot.

    • Might as well expand that to “It’s just like dem games you played as a kid”

  • Matenshi

    “Same sex relationships”

    That’s all I needed to hear. :)

    • Time Sage

      Agreed :3

    • Phlo

      Might want to look into Stardew Valley if you aren’t already.

      • Matenshi

        I hadn’t heard of this game before. Thank you for bringing it to my attention! :D

    • Nana

      After a certain Harvest Moon got censored in that department for the western release, I have to agree here!

    • TomSkylark

      Yeah, seriously. I don’t know how some relationship-based games still justify leaving this out in 2013.

  • anarchy_panty

    Harvest Moon: now with 100% more divorce, death, and taxes!

    • Maybe throw some indentured servitude and subsidized farming cuts in there, or do a Rune Factory spinoff with peasant rebellions and pogroms

    • Sounds like real life!

  • Nanaki

    I really enjoy the sprites. I would play this.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    “Whilst our primary distribution channel for PC/Mac/Linux is currently steam, we are looking at also distributing via GOC, as well as offering direct to consumer for those that request DRM free copies of the game :).”

    What’s GOC? Is it a typo of GOG or is there a DD service I’m not familiar with called GOC?

    Anyway, since they’ve promised to have a DRM-free version available, consider me interested.

  • Suicunesol

    Sounds more like Animal Crossing than Harvest Moon in some ways, doesn’t it?

  • ChiffonCake

    Hmm, this sounds pretty interesting.

  • ElAbuelo69

    Graphics are arse. And I’m not saying from technological perspective “zomg not HD!!!!!”

    They are bland, uninspired, generic.



    • DaiRaiOh

      A person doesn’t play this type of game for the graphics. You’re missing the point entirely

      • Aerii

        If you read the words that he typed, you’d realize by “graphics”, he meant “art”. And it is fair for someone to want a game to look nice. No one plays any game for the art, for the most part, but bad art can deter someone from playing a good game.

        • almostautumn

          Yeah— someone whose two sentence post with exclamation-abuse, typical and unsourced quote-mocking, and capital-letters abuse, totally had a more “defined” meaning to their post.

        • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

          There’s a lot of empty space. The map design resembles somebody who’s just started out with RPG maker.

      • Ispheria

        I think he means it’s not aesthetically pleasing, which is rather important in a game. If a game isn’t graphically impressive these days, then it needs to be aesthetically pleasing (though i would argue that it should be aesthetically pleasing either way…but CoD still sells like millions so I guess franchises like that can get away with it)

        • CoD at least has a fully realized and consistent aesthetic, even if that aesthetic is brown and grey. This thing is just crude and ugly.

      • Seraph

        I think it sounds like here that spritewise, this would be something you would sort of expect from the RPG Maker engine which a number of Kickstarter projects are using.

        Admittedly in this project’s case, I would be looking at execution (the gameplay mechanics) and not graphics.

    • bVork

      I think it’s the lighting. The objects in the two screenshots are all
      drawn as if light is striking them from different angles. The bushes are
      being lit from directly above whilst the trees are being lit from the
      left side. Each individual object is competently drawn but you get a mental sense that nothing really fits together, and I think that’s what makes the art look really off-putting.

  • FreelyWillyNilly

    Seems like the “grittier” part of the title is damaging the game more than helping. Not that the developers ever advertised it being “gritty”. Just that the characters are more developed or mature.

  • AkiraScare

    man i though it was gonna be more mature as in GTA (^_^)

  • Warboss Aohd

    Sounds good

  • M’iau M’iaut

    But but I’ve already got my more mature Harvest Moon — it’s called Crusader Kings II.

    • Ladius

      You’re a Paradox fan, too? :)

      • M’iau M’iaut

        I keep promising myself I will do the right thing and play a ruler marginally historical for once, but hacking my way to hedonism and a court of debauchery always seems the shinier object in the room. :P

  • Omikuji

    Holy crap from the graphics and the logo I totally thought it was going to be some sort of IOS cow clicker game. It looks like every single cutesy ios game involving farming ever.

    …Hehe cow clicker.

    Anyways, ‘choices that matter’ is such a buzzard saying these days it means nothing unless they can prove it. I haven’t seen a game boasting that ever actually -have- choices that are so dramatically heavy it would change the gameplay.

    • Nana

      Hm, what about Planescape Torment?

      • Omikuji

        I’ve heard and seen a lot of that game, but never got around to playing it myself so I can’t have an opinion about it and it’s choices matter thing. I have played Baulders Gate but it was too dated for me, and I had no nostalgic connection to it enough to really enjoy it. Which is not to say it wasn’t a good game, it was, but I just wasn’t blown out of the water (I also don’t really like the DnD setting)

        So I have been a bit iffy on trying Planescape Torment because of the experience with Baulders. It could be amazing, but it may have not aged well to the point I as a new person to the series can’t get indulged in it because of the fiddly systems.

  • RaikageV

    “friendzone engine”, huh…

  • ronin4life

    Is that… a Sacrificial altar?

  • Muffum

    Honestly, a lot of the features they boast to differentiate from Harvest Moon just make it sound more and more like Harvest Moon.

  • bVork

    Even though I think the art looks questionable, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Not enough to give them money just yet, but I’ll keep an eye on them.

    On the other hand, if Stardew Valley were to open pre-orders, I’d be buying a dozen copies immediately…

  • Ben Lyd

    phat profit

  • Zikrayrus “Zikk” Dis Pear

    The art…doesn’t exactly appeal to me. Anyways, the concept sounds somewhat interesting. Interested~

    • Derek E Nay

      It looked like a edited art of rpg maker. Not that it’s all bad, just a bad taste. I do hope the game is good non the less.

  • HershelLousyton

    I’m conflicted. On one hand, I can’t stand developers who make self-proclamations of being ‘mature’, I question how well they’ll be able to execute some of their ideas, and the game’s visuals, while not awful, aren’t doing too much for me. On the other, I love Harvest Moon, and not only love the ‘Town with a dark secret’ trope, but think it’s criminally underused in video games. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TownWithADarkSecret

    The idea of living in a town that seems happy on the surface, but ends up being really messed up sounds delightful. I suppose the best way to answer whether or not I’d support the game would be to ask 1 question. Is the altar that appears in one of the screenshots used for evil, maybe Satanic, rituals? If so, I’m in.

  • That’s an…. interesting idea

  • Arrei

    The last time I looked at a game calling itself a “mature” Harvest Moon, it was a FoMT mod that featured a Karen who dressed like a hooker. I’m quite wary of games with that descriptor now.

  • schwarzmasa

    People treating you like a stalker? BACKED.

  • junir

    There’s something amazing about a game using cutesy visuals to portray a compelling and dark storyline.

  • The game seems ice but I think they shoyld’ve tried something else than Harvest moon. There’re so many other “jobs” XD

  • DigitalFowl

    This seems like a pleasant alternative direction for the farm simulator genre. While we have Stardew Valley pushing the ‘absolute freedom + co-op’ spin, Harvest Moon continuing to improve upon its core mechanics and try to offer new experiences and Rune Factory having its clearly anime influenced tone, this looks like a pleasant new take on the genre.

    I think this will be the first thing since the Class of Heroes 2 Physical Deluxe KS that I’ve actually helped crowdfund. The art style, the gameplay offerings, the relationship engine and activities planned have me really interested.

    And it’s only 10 bucks for a copy of the game. Not bad.

  • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

    This seems overly ambitious.

  • I would like to farm some monster heads please

  • Rick Warren

    Reading the story the developers have it feels like they are trying a little too hard to be gritty and dark in some aspects. im all for stuff being more mature but I dunno just feels like the grittier parts of the story just sound forced and awkward.

    • GameTaco

      I have to admit, the explanation of how you end up owning the farm being “the Mafia threw you out and took your stuff” made me smirk a bit… And still does. It’s creative, I’ll give it that. :P

  • ReMeDyIII

    Hmm, it says my credit card is declined when donating to this. Never had this happen before. There’s also no option to pay via PayPal.

    With only 5 days left at ~81% funded, I’m doubting this is going to hit 100% anyways, which is a shame. Looks like a promising idea, and I’m loving the artwork.

  • Rein

    I wish it would become a 3ds game.. :)

  • Pichi

    Would like a “mature” take on the animals. Like you care for many of the animals but short on cash and forced to turn them to burgers or bacon. A heartfelt emotional experience on how to deal with it.

  • katamari damacy

    Sounds great! Harvest Moon got way too cutesy after Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life.
    Hopefully each villager here has some actual ROLE in a small town, not the neighborhood hairdresser for a population of 20 people, or a ‘mad scientist’ with no discernible role at all

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