I had the privilege to talk with some absolutely fantastic people through my work, and I became involved in every interview with the same kind of curiosity and genuine interest I think about everybody. Nevertheless, this was the first interview where I was really starfing.
Having niche interests often means you end up in person and/or rely on people more or less, and eventually, with loving horses and games, I found The Mane Quest. The blog is run by Alice Ruppert, a game dev who loves horses and games. It’s purpose of the blog is to point out the key points. 1) Why horse games are valuable, 2) Why they’re generally wasteful and 3) How we can make them better.
I have followed this blog a lot and have enjoyed watching these girls appear like Polygon and even some Reddit gaming threads. That is not surprising to me, since Reddit is quite interesting about games. When the PR threads of fate came together and I was able to talk to Alice myself.
I was in a dark experience talking to Alice. I wanted to know the industry as a whole, but not just horse games. And I think information will be useful to a lot of fans of this genre because, to be honest, the frustration is at a constant high.
One of the greatest stories of the elephants, Emerald Valley Ranch.
Alice has worked on games before, but that was her first major project with an extension company; she was hired as a creative producer while the game was already out. Aesir Interactive was a German company who used to experiment with horse titles in the past (like Windstorm), and a similar idea would have been to affect the genre further and bring it some much needed attention. And since Alice was the one who referenced them in the past, she was an excellent addition to the team.
When she got there, there was a classic indie game debacle: Everything that could seem like obvious additions to a game simply couldn’t be implemented, and the scope would not certainly be able to meet the high expectations that the players were already placing on the game. In comparison to how many barns you can build, there are a ton of horses on your various islands, but you will never see any of them in any pasture you build. Your horses are literally bits of code that you can take out of the barn only if you want to ride them. (Alices’ response: What do you mean, we don’t have that, please). Finals, the horse renderer would have forced the game to be difficult.
To compensate, the devs cleverly decided to combine their resources into a groovy, demanding player resonant. They were specifically implemented by the gameSelle Francaises and Irish Cobs because they have some of the highest coloration varieties of the sexy breed. This allowed the devs, who are Alice at the helm, to create an interesting breeding system. And its honestly such a fun mechanic, especially if you study horse genetics.
You can bring your horse to a veterinarian with a basic remark of the DNA coding. The devs really didn’t skimp out on varietyI was shocked to see the terms Amber and Gold Cream in a video game. And regardless of the way in which you know what horse genetics are, you can enjoy putting together your best and/or best and/or most comfortable horse and seeing what kind of foal they produce. I was so impressed by how realistic a mare with cream dominance was created by the dun stallion, and the two created a buckkin foal. You’re looking for a gobbledygook and trust me, you are the one who makes his horse gobbledygook, baby! Alice was really excited about this. Horses are often designed to children and such aspects offer enough depth that would appeal to adults. Some people are very satisfied, so they have also done long-term breeding projects to get their dreams in order.
Although that is the main draw of the game, there are also some other things to celebrate. The animations are very beautiful in a game. But I personally loved the world’s aesthetics because I’m not part of the creative group. There’s also racing, that may not be all the usual cup of tea for all as a game mechanic, but that I always enjoyed. I’m starting at the start of my game, so I log in and hop on my last cool horse, then spin it on the overworld, the galloping by the side and attempting to do a race. Horse Tales is so relaxing that I can unwind at the moment.
However, they have many bugs in there. The devs are actively working on solving many issues, that Alice says a few QA teams need to find after months of testing, which is undoubtedly just what those things do. In Horse Tales you may build something cool on your property overnight, then log into the next day to find that building lost in rubble. There is some way that the game tells you your horses a particular phobia has been cured, but what really happened is that horse is bent off without having ever overcoming that phobia. What you end up with is a horse that, whatever effort you put into helping it, you can never even ride through the cave without freaking out.
I actually accept these hiccups because I understand where it’s coming from. Horse racing is barely a matter, and really is being carried over by their few hardcore supporters, like Alice. The fact that Horse Tales is addictive and playable as the horse game that doesn’t cater to young audiences and plays for anybody makes it one of my favorite games of the year. I was surprised to see where to live and what happens to that team of devs.
But, it was sad. I’m only one of those who complain.
The horse game community is a part of the game.
In quotes, I do not know what others should call these communities. A horse-game news article or that you aren’t afraid to tell those who are best in Red Dead Redemption, inevitably you will be confronted by a big, age-diverse group of people. Many of them devote themselves to these projects, and whose expectations are so high, never ending a project will disappoint them.
I really didn’t realize that people would be so turned off by the bugs in Horse Tales, so when I opened its Steam page, the most positive reviews were the greatest. Some of them were fairly open and rational, stating they didn’t want to pay 40 for an unpolished game with so little contentunderstandable stories. Even others criticised a game that was never as broad as the reviewer claimed it would be.
Alice struggled to make sense of fairness when discussing this subject, because in terms of being a leader of the horse game movement, Alice, in particular, received some cheers from disappointed fans. She wanted to understand their concerns but allowing, wearingily, that she wanted to let the players know the differences between the indie early-access games, live-service gameswhich Horse Tales isn’t traditional-published games.
Apparently, in the community, players have been waiting a couple of years to play what Alice calls the Horse Game To End All Horse Games. This game would have more specific mechanics than Horse Talesbreeding, racing, caretaking, and ranch-building,but it would also include classic lifestyle sims such as in-depth story and worldbuilding mechanics, the buying and selling of animals, the erasing wealth, a sprawling open world, the dynamic weather, yada yada et al. These fans have been starved for years, and they’re hungry for perfection. But my belief is that these expectations are completely unfair and naive, considering how many funding indie studios get. Even a good game like this can’t make this big order.
Where Alice’s concerned, even small dev teams will get involved after their own projects are released. The community continually declared such projects as the Horse Game To End All Horse Games, yet they’re just passion projects created by a handful of people who could’ve done it all. I look at some of these games and a couple of people still have to leave in the community, all I see for a long time of doing is janky games that will do something or two very well before they become boring. And that’s fine. As Alice said, to get this whole operation off the ground, we need good examples of many different things that will be great for us. But really, a group of starved fans will write awful reviews for the indie game, when it doesn’t meet their massive expectations.
I say that it would be OK if this industry took off. And you know you must nurture these things in their early years, right? Come! All that you can think about while you’re in your private life, should you do this? But it wouldn’t be OK to get these indie projects into the internet where investors can watch the reviews. The game isn’t too bad. If you want to play a bad game, you can pay the same price for a X-rated shovelware drivel on Steam.
How about the horse tale: Emerald Valley?
– (Aesir Interactive)
However, Horse Tales is a fairly decent game I intend to continue playing. It’s got several elements of My Time At Portia and classic horse games of yore, all of which culminate in a truly relaxing and rewarding experience (so long as you know the limitations of this course). I don’t know that the story is short than what I wish it to be, and the lack of fast-travel mechanics tittle a lot of time, but let’s go of a resurgence to build my home with pretty ponies and ride em a bit. And that’s what this game can do for meand seemingly much more than it does. Alice notes that in spite of that sluggish tidbit of detractors, the positive feedback is very positive; and those people are really satisfied with the game.
Overall, I think Horse Tales is a very good addition to our industry, and while $40 is expensive for every game, I give it a try. The simplest of the games is your bread and butter or the one who is just trying something new. However, you would still help a talented and eager team to progress towards the next step.
I personally feel really excited for whatever next thing it might be for.
The animated picture is filmed by Aesir.