Outside of all of the massive announcements at E3 2018, there was another big announcement for fans of Farming Simulator 19, Focus Home Interactive and GIANTS Software’s upcoming simulator which is the biggest entry yet.
With a flashy new trailer, it was revealed that for the first time ever, manufacturer John Deere will be included in the game. This is absolutely massive news as bringing this manufacturer on board has been one of the most requested things from the game’s community.
At the event, n3rdabl3’s Dale caught up with GIANTS’ PR and Marketing Manager, Martin Rabl, and Community Manager Lars Malcharek to discuss the game and what’s in store for players when the game launches later this year. One of the first announcements when the game was first revealed was the overhauled graphics engine, something the team are very proud of, they explain:
“We wanted to make this game look pretty, and because it’s our engine, we can do whatever the hell we want with it. So we decided to add all these things to make it really look nice, because it’s really important for our players mainly to, you know, if they get their own tractor. Basically there are a lot of players who want to have the tractor they use on their farm for real or something, we want it to look nice we want it to look as pretty as possible and all these new features just gave us the chance, and as you have seen it has changed a lot, especially from the feel of the map, it feels more real and that’s very important.”
One of the more notable aspects of Farming Simulator 19‘s new engine was the way crops now interact with the player. Rather than crops being static when driven, they now move out of the way of the player and the vehicles, a really nice touch that may seem small, but makes the game look even more beautiful than before, however finding that balance between making the game look great, but also being accessible by all players, is a big deal for GIANTS.
“we want the game to be able to run on a lower end machine”
“I think a lot from the features that we’ve added now for the graphics and also in the past, is how much does it cost, as in how much performance does it cost? And that’s always the main factor, like the [crops] bending thing isn’t for free, but machines are getting better, maybe in the future we can code the engine more efficiently for these things, so that eventually things become more possible, but that’s always the main factor, we want the game to be able to run on a lower end machine, so now it’s just upgrading graphics.”
Aside from the new engine one of the main big additions to Farming Simulator 19, which was announced at E3, was the inclusion of John Deere, which was huge news to fans of the game who have been wanting this brand in the title since the start. However keeping this news a secret wasn’t as easy as it seemed.
Fortunately for GIANTS that didn’t happen, but they did come close.
“So as I mentioned before, people want their tractor in the game right, and John Deere is one of the biggest brands in the world when it comes to tractors so we have lots and lots of requests for John Deere. I always make the joke that my work load is going down by 80% now that we’ve announced John Deere because I got so many people asking for it, so we are super excited to have them in the game. Especially because they are big in America.
“We have all these European brands already like Fendt or Massy Ferguson, they are huge in Europe, but now we have something that the Americans are really really crazy about, we are super happy to have John Deere on board. It’s really cool!
“They not just popular in the us of course, but there’s a reason why we announced it at E3, and we’re very excited about it, it was a big project, it wasn’t done in one day, we tried to keep it secret like for a very long time, and I’m very proud that everyone worked together, the whole company, like our colleagues in our office we were waiting for the day to announce it. I’m still amazed that it didn’t really leak, we were really close to a leak when people saw us recording the sounds somewhere, but we learned, we are not that unknown anymore, if there is a car around that has families with their bags in the back seat it is suspicious, so yeah, people know us.”
Lars explained that before the announcement there were several moments where they thought the news would have leaked out before, both through crafty players looking deep into trailers and screenshots as well as people catching them recording the audio for the new vehicles out in the wild.
“There were a couple of things from the community side where it could have leaked, like we have the teaser trailer before where we just showed the first part of this trailer, and you could see the tractor, but it was all black, but there were people already figuring out that it was John Deere, and we had a hard time covering that it’s actually a John Deere. Then there was John Deere itself, like the company, commenting on their YouTube video at one point where someone just commented that ‘oh you should be in Farming Simulator’ and they responded with ‘we are talking to them’ and I was like ‘oh God’ but we managed.
“It was close a couple of times, as we said, when our sound team was out there because we try to have realistic sounds, so we have a sound team driving out to all these tractors and recording them, and we have to send them out, we can’t just wait until we announce it because these guys are like ‘dude we have to record like 100’s of tractors there’s no time for this we’ve got to drive out and aim for them’ we’re like ‘oh god please don’t leak’ but it didn’t it was good.
“The cgi trailer, just before we released it, I zoomed in on the eyes of the driver to make sure that they weren’t crazy enough to put the reflection of the tractor in the eyes! Thankfully they didn’t do it! I knew that someone would at some point, it would be the craziest way to find out. I actually had to fake one of the screenshots that a player sent in because a player just brightened up the colours from one of the trailer shots, and was like this is green and yellow, so I took it, and made it red and was like you just made this up I just made it red this second, it’s not really green and yellow.”
Other new elements coming to Farming Simulator 19 is wildlife which can be found around players’ farms and across the country side. This is just one of the new ways GIANTS is hoping to make the game feel more real and immersive. The team explained that the wildlife, while not a huge part of the game, will interact with players such as running or flying away when approached. It’s certainly a nice touch.
“You can ride [the horses], so there’s that, we can reveal that already, but they won’t be just another livestock”
“The most times [wildlife] interacts with you is when they run away, so that the birds will fly, it’s not like a Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ and they’re gonna attack you, but we’ve added enough realism to the game by them just being there and probably, you know, shooing away when you get near them.”
Speaking of animals, Farming Simulator 19 adds a new type of transport into the game in the form of Horses. Interestingly as well as being able to ride them, there seems to be more depth to these animals than initially announced. Unfortunately they kept any more information under wraps as best they could, for now at least.
“You can ride [the horses], so there’s that, we can reveal that already, but they won’t be just another livestock, it’s not like cows or pigs where you can have thousands of them, you can only have a very limited amount of horses, because we want horses to be used in a realistic horse farm basically, not just having 5000 horses and seeing what they do. As we say you can take them out and ride them, more we’re going to reveal later, because otherwise I’m gonna get killed!”
One thing the team does discuss however is that feeding the horses was an important addition to the game and with that comes one of two new crops which they have announced, oats and cotton. They also revealed that cotton was one of the many requested features they’d received from fans too.
“Cotton is probably the number one crop that has been requested by the community, but the other one might be for the horses. You need to feed them, so we needed a crop for that, they can’t eat cotton or sugar cane *laughs*, so we had to make a decision here! But yes, I think cotton was the number one most requested crop from the community, and because the developers try to take in all the community ideas, that one was just the obvious thing to do.”
Finally, one of the other big additions to the game which was revealed when Farming Simulator 19 was first announced, was the inclusion of a dog companion. Dale tried to dig more into how the dog will be used in the game, but once more the team remained tight-lipped.
“There’s not much more that we can say right now, erm, the dog is like a buddy on the farm.
“We were hoping to show it here, but it’s not finished, so we want to make sure that what we show is actually in a good state, so we couldn’t show the dog but we will sooner or later, sooner or later we will know more about the dog.”
Currently Farming Simulator 19 is set for a 2018 release, when asked about whether they had a more solid date, or a narrower release window, the team explained that they’re hoping to release it around the same time as previous entries, however they currently have no solid date on paper.
“It’s for 2018, similar to the last few titles, I mean we’re still narrowing it down ourselves, people always think we know the exact date like years ahead but no, we cant really do the date now because there’s still stuff to finish.
“Always we have a window that we aim for, but as soon as we have a date we’re going to announce it, for now it’s just a window and that’s what we stick to and look to our older games because we aim for the same thing, but we can’t turn around and say it’s whenever because we don’t know yet.”
Farming Simulator 19 is set to hit PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2018.