Greetings, true believers!
In spite of the relative silence on Story of Seasons, let me first assure you that the machine is humming along quite nicely. For a game about farming, some of you might wonder how much text it could have. Some of you longtime Bokujou Monogatari fans and fans of the Rune Factory series already know the answer: it has A LOT. But I’m proud to report that right now, the stalwart translators and editors of XSEED have completed over 90% of the game’s text! *throws a little confetti*
When Marvelous entrusted the Bokujou Monogatari series to us, we knew it was a big deal. The series is much-beloved by fans on both sides of the Pacific, with a long and storied legacy to match. Handling the series is no small task, and throughout the process of translating and localizing Story of Seasons, we’ve tried to balance giving fans the kind of experience they’ve come to expect and enjoy from the series with making the game appealing and easy to get into for new players.
The game itself echoes these goals, with systems like its easier crop harvesting and shipping, and so we’ve tried to follow suit. We’ve been trying not to dwell too much on “How was it done before?”, instead handling the title more like we might a new Rune Factory game. At the same time, the Bokujou series isn’t Rune Factory, and we want to remain true to its “series feel” in the way we write the characters and their interactions. There’s a homespun, folksy quality to the game, and we want to capture that, as well as the underlying quirkiness you’ll see in the various citizens of Oak Tree Town.
We’re also carving out a special place for new players with “Seedling Mode,” a new difficulty setting for players who may be new to the series, or who just want to enjoy the game at a more leisurely pace. Seedling mode offers benefits like a 30% reduction in the cost of items you can buy in town, double the amount of seeds you can purchase in the store, and an across-the-board reduction in stamina expenditure for every task you do.
“That’s great,” you may be thinking, “but I don’t need no SEEDLING MODE because I’m a full-grown tree, massive and covered with scaly bark.” Well, my friends, let me tell you about some additional quality of life improvements! After examining the Japanese version of the game, we identified several things we thought our North American players would appreciate, and the developers, feeling particularly generous, obliged us. All Story of Seasons players will enjoy additional blueprints sold in the Carpenter’s shop, informational displays when viewing blueprints to indicate what ingredients are required for the item in question (be an informed buyer!), and additional hints about how to unlock trade with the last two countries, among other things. And of course, our crusade has also won for you a play clock for your save files, allowing you to track how many hours you’ve whiled away down on the farm.
We’ve also heard your requests and listened, making editorial changes such as nixing “cents” as the currency and returning to the game-standard “G”, as well as returning a few of the names we’d changed back to their originals. Instead of Lyla, Michael, and Cam, you’ll be meeting Lillie, Mistel, and Kamil in your town.
In charting a new future for the Bokujou Monogatari series as Story of Seasons, we know we need to live up to fans’ expectations, but we’re glad to have you fans on board. We want this game to do right by you, and if there’s something we can do to make the game more enjoyable for you (within our realm of control, anyway), just let us know.
Soon, Story of Seasons will enter its testing phase, where we leave no crop uncultivated and fervently try to marry every eligible guy and girl in town. As the cogs of the publishing cycle continue to turn, we thank you again for your patience, and for your support.