We’re grateful to all of you folks who have been patiently waiting for our release! We haven’t nailed down an exact date yet, but we’re in the final phase of testing and clean up, so you should expect to see us on Steam sometime later this month or in early February. Thanks for your patience and engagement throughout the development process. You are why we do what we do!
Announcing Mod Support!
Customize artwork, dialogs, mails, items, crafting recipes and more using the Verdant Skies modding system! Since development started, we knew we wanted to support modding. We’re allowing users to use the same methods we used to create the content for the game to create their own content.
Making New Friends
As you build your colony on Viridis Primus, you’ll also be building relationships with your fellow colonists. Today we’ll explore some of the technical and creative tricks we use to craft the immersive narrative in Verdant Skies. We’ll also give you an update on our Steam integration progress and reveal another NPC.
Steam Page is Live!
Our Steam page ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/730050/Verdant_Skies/ ) is up! If you haven’t already, please visit and follow, favorite, or wishlist your copy of Verdant Skies today!
There may be four seasons on Earth, but there’s only two on Viridis Primus – Summer and Eclipse. No crops grow during the Eclipse season, giving you a chance to catch up with the other colonists. But don’t worry! Unlike winters on Earth, Eclipse season only lasts 5 days.
Here’s a few of our new cooking and tools icons, courtesy of Sarah Seember Huisken ( https://www.movieshouting.com/ ). There will be more to come as we continue to expand our crafting systems.
Making your house feel like a home is hard work! Now you can change the color of the wood on your furniture to suit your style. Don’t worry about the high price tag! Once you purchase a stain color you may reuse it again and again.
A Curious Cave…
No mining will be happening in this cave. It’s far too small for you to squeeze inside! But a voice from the depths implores you… “bring snacks…” Can you decipher the mystery of the tiny cave to unlock a special item?
Introducing Skye Miller!
Despite being paid by Planetary Pioneers, Skye takes seriously her ethical responsibility to produce an unbiased narrative of the colonization of Viridis Primus. Her desire for an honest representation sometimes puts her at odds with Jade who would prefer a more positive spin on the colony’s progress.
Winter Is Coming
As the cold weather moves into the Midwest, it’s the perfect time of year for game development. We’re definitely not going into hibernation over the holiday season! In fact, you can look forward to two developer updates in the month of December.
Featured in PCGamer!
We are very happy to have been featured on PC Gamer’s website. Lauren Morton focused on one of the mechanics that makes Verdant Skies stand out in the farming life simulation genre – genetic splicing! If you haven’t checked out the piece, you should. It’s a great read!
One thing any homeowner can tell you is that painting your house is no easy task. Thankfully, Andy’s made it a far more enjoyable experience to customize your home’s exterior in Verdant Skies. You can now change the design and color of your door, windows, as well as the texture and color of your exterior and roof.
The exterior of the player’s home isn’t the only decorative feature that’s received an overhaul! Our flat beds have been upgraded. The layers have been tweaked to give them a much more realistic depth. Check out the before (left) and after (right) below!
Since adding animals to Verdant Skies our playtesters have had an overwhelming urge to treat their livestock like a pet. You asked, and we listened! Using the same awesome physics as the gardening hose, Andy created this little rope leash so that you can take your favorite friend out for a stroll.
As a stipulation of his contract to sponsor the colony, Miles Kelly owns the only shop on Viridis Primus. Frugal and always on the lookout for a great investment opportunity, at times he seems more concerned with profits than people. However, Miles can make anyone feel like his most important customer once they enter his shop.
Verdant Skies Coming to PAX West!
It feels surreal to say that we are showing Verdant Skies at PAX West September 1-4 in Seattle, but we are! Our booth is # 7115, and we are very excited to be right across the aisle from Larian Studios on the 6th floor of the expo hall. (We’re really big fans!)
This is a huge step for us in our development process, and it is exciting as well as stressful! Depending on how our meetings go with publishers, we may finally be able to say we have a release date!
Best Artwork at 2D Con 2017!
Even though most of the compliments we receive are about our very unique art style, it is always a pleasant surprise to be officially recognized. Congratulations and thanks to our very talented artist Lizzy on a much deserved win! There were a ton of awesome games at 2D Con this year, so we feel extra proud of our win for Best Artwork! Congratulations to the other winners: Pinbrawl (Best Multiplayer & Gameplay) and Newt One (Best Single Player, Soundtrack, Gameplay, and Game of the Show).
Game Development as a Science
The Verdant Skies team was back at the Science Museum of Minnesota for their Social Science: The Science of Pixar event on August 16th. Andy (@kortham), Beth (@BethKorth), Lizzy (@Pixilizi_Art), and Troy (@YellowChord) gathered some valuable feedback on our latest build. Despite a strong hesitancy to cut down any trees in game, everyone really enjoyed themselves, and a bunch of folks joined our mailing list.
While Lizzy would love to create every art asset in game, it just isn’t possible with the sheer number of items we need illustrated. With that in mind, we reached out to local artist Deborah Garcia to bring the animals of Viridis Primus to life. We don’t know about you, but the team is absolutely in love with the little critters!
New Avatar Creator with Mouths and Noses
We really want our players to be able to see themselves in Verdant Skies. One of the key features that makes that possible is the avatar creation interface. Though the original interface wasn’t terrible, we think this revamp will really help folks visualize their options.
A recurring criticism of our avatars has been that they look “creepy” without anything occupying the bottom half of the face. We played around with different combinations to address this issue, and are pretty happy with the direction we’re headed. They need a little polish, but we now have mouth and nose options!
Genetic Splicer Tutorial!
Many of our playtesters have loved diving into the genetic splicer to create seeds with amazing traits. However, some folks have trouble figuring out how the slider works, and how to best utilize the machine. So Andy made this handy video tutorial to explain how to get the most out of modifying your crops.
Combine two seeds of the same type to create a better hybrid!
Play Verdant Skies at PAX West 2017!
We always love to meet our fans and get their feedback. If you, or someone you know is going to be at PAX, please stop by our booth and say hi!
Busy as Bees!
The last few weeks we’ve been buzzing about preparing for several showings. First up is 2D Con from August 11th to 13th at the Doubletree in Minneapolis. We will also be at the Social Science event on August 16th at the Science Museum of Minnesota. We’ve also had some longer playtests that allowed us to test content beyond the tutorial.
The Relationship Journal, Badges, & More!
Andy finished programming the journal, which is an important tool to manage your relationships with the other colonists. At first, the journal only shows your current relationship status.
As your relationships mature, additional options unlock. The journal is used to breakup with someone you’re dating, to ask them to marry you, or to move in together. If you’ve broken up with someone, the journal can be used to start your second chance to the relationship. As we’ve been discovering, there are a huge number of possible routes you can take through a relationship. Beth has been diligently working to ensure that all the possible events for relationship changes are covered.
We have finalized a lot of technical details around how relationships will progress. We’ve decided which characters will require exclusivity, which ones don’t, and what exactly that means when it comes time for the player to settle down. Here the player has had a baby with Rosie, so they have earned a special badge that shows up alongside the relationship hearts.
You can track your tool upgrades and special items in the new player’s log. Tools have three different levels. Better axes and hammers use less energy and work faster. The improved hoe allows farming in different areas. The fishing spear throws faster and affects a larger area, making it easier to get multiple fish with one spear.
Crops will also be tracked in the player’s log. Certain crops can initially only be obtained and grown in specific biomes. As you progress, you may find the genetic trait that allows you to grow a crop in any biome.
The log will also keep track of your progress as you collect fish and insects. Like crops, certain insects and fish are only found in one biome. You’ll have to explore far and wide to make sure you catch them all!
The world has finally been completely filled in! We’ll have minor tweaks and cleanup, but it’s nice to have this big task finished. The world is roughly divided into a six different areas: the town, the plains, the marsh, the mountains, the forest, and across the east river. In our testing, most players get into the marsh first, and then build the bridge for the other side of the river, but sometimes people switch that around. Although some of the mountain is available from the start, getting to most of it requires some special equipment…
More Late-game Content
Andy spent a few weeks adding end game content. One of the things that our testers really would have appreciated is a way to increase their storage size. Seed storage seemed to run out first, but having extra storage in each group will be very useful! Next up in this category will be to add some mysterious content to the world…
Play Verdant Skies at 2D Con 2017!
Verdant Skies is honored to be included in this year’s Indie Island at 2D Con! Come check us out August 11-13th and be some of our first beta testers!
New fog effects, audio, controller support!
March has been a busy month for us; we showed Verdant Skies at MinneBar, a Minnesota tech conference. We all worked really hard to make VS as polished as possible for the event. For me, that meant a lot of work into perfecting the controller support, since only XBox controllers were available at the event. We got a great team picture of myself, Beth, and Lizzy.
Scott ( @slembcke ) had some free time to help out on the project, and one of the awesome shaders he wrote adds fog to the marsh. Fog changes with the time of day and has a configurable height off the ground. It’s all drawn in the same pass as the sprites themselves, so it’s very fast. We’ve also got a nice night-time / morning fog that occurs in other areas.
Even More Interiors
Beth ( @bethkorth ) has been hard at work making interiors for the new characters. Without revealing too much about the new ones, here are a few sneak peeks.
New Sound Effects and Music
Our two audio masters have been hard at work! Troy ( @yellowchord ) has started writing adaptive music for Verdant Skies, so the outdoor music will flow and change with in-game events dynamically. Topher ( @PhantomFreq ) did a great pass through the sound effects in-game. There are a few special events like the house construction that feel much more satisfying with sound.
Spear fishing has been a big hit at testing, people say it’s a lot more exciting than waiting for a fish to bite. Topher added new sound effects to the fishing mini-game and I programmed different fish characteristics, so you can see which fish you’re going to catch.
Each region of the map has different fish. Being able to identify which fish are which is pretty handy. In this case, the little fish in the middle is a “Flying Trout”, and it’s a good one to target since it’s great for sushi- an easy to make early cooking recipe.
The fish that are easy to cook are great early-game energy boosters for players who want to get the most out of each day.
Since there are more regions, we needed more types of fish!
Meanwhile, work continues on character events, bug fixes, usability and UI improvements, and all the usual stuff.
Every space farming colony needs a reliable botanist, and Dr. Wyatt Jones is yours! Friendly albeit a little distant, Wyatt finds little use for small talk. However, he will be more than happy to speak at length regarding the sciences. Use his vast knowledge to aid you in your farming endeavors.