While most of the work that is being done is in relation to systems that are behind the scenes, I do occasionally create more of the map that the game will take place in. Building the map out is obviously an extremely important part of any game.
Personally, I played a lot of Harvest Moon Friends of Mineral Town, and Stardew Valley in my life. While both are wonderful games, I remember finding them slightly lacking in variety as far as where you could explore in the game. FoMT had basically the same temperate environment throughout with a forest and a beach. Stardew did a little better adding in things like a desert and a swamp, as well as a few other more defined areas. I love both these games but I always wanted more of them.
In Verdant Village I have plans for around 10 different environments at the moment. That is a rough estimate that could technically be parsed out to even more, but I'd rather not exaggerate the truth. My goal is to make each of these places unique, with different resources, stories, looks, and feels.
Today we are looking at the swamp area of the game. The picture above is an extremely basic version. I've essentially laid out the tiles and trees but, in the future, I’d like to have more detail throughout. For instance, bushes and weeds, bugs that buzz around you, plants that glow in the dark, and fog cover in the morning all come to mind. Without giving too much away the swamp will act as an exploratory zone where you can find unique fish, as well as plants like mushrooms, and more. I've also tossed the idea around to house an NPC here to give a little more flavor.
Ultimately, that is a big part of what I want from this game. I want it to feel like a world you want to come back to. A world that is interesting to explore and exploit if you wish, instead of just zones in a game that you trudge through. While I love Stardew and Harvest Moon I often found myself seeing most of the sights far too quickly. It is a big ask, but I hope to fill this game to the brim with interesting ideas so that even if you are 30 hours in you can still find something tucked away that can surprise you. Hopefully the variety of biomes will be a good first step to making that come true.