Meet Hempy. He's small, and cute. Leafy too. He has big dreams: to one day be a Hemp Tycoon.
CEO and Creative Director Vincent Lacava, and Game Designer Noah Sasso took some time to field some questions about a game that pays homage to an important alternative resource.
How would you describe Hemp Tycoon?
Vincent: Comfort play!
From what sources did you draw inspiration during development?
Noah: At the time, Zynga's Farmville was a really big deal in the world of game dev. Everyone wanted to get rich making games about planting stuff and waiting around, so Hemp was an attempt at a parody of that moment.
What sort of difficulties have you faced during development?
Vincent: Keeping subversive humor without referencing or encouraging drug use.
Were there any specific "Aha!" moments that set the game in a new direction?
Vincent: When we saw Hempy's first walk cycle, or when we realized that ultimate success for Hempy meant more leisure time – this is hinted at in the final instruction panel where the text "become a tycoon" is juxtaposed against an image of Hempy sleeping.
What aspects of the game did you want to implement, but had to leave out?
Vincent: For me, hybridization. We envisioned grandpa Hempy introducing a new class of fruit-yielding seeds. Combining banana and strawberry plants would produce rare banana-strawberry hybrid seeds. More uncommon pairings would be challenging by virtue of mismatched grow times. So for example, a player would need to plant a kumquat seed, check back in 2 hours to plant kiwi's on either side, and then return to the game at the precise moment when both plants mature to harvest the kumquat-kiwi hybrid and collect its seeds.
Tell us what the back of the box for Hemp Tycoon would say.
Noah: "Made entirely of hemp".
Here's another alternative resource: @marshnaylor