When my daughter began playing Stardew Valley, she hit upon a brilliant wheeze. I’d been guiding her through the game’s early stages and demonstrating some of the farming mechanics, but what she was interested in was the town stuff and decorating her house. So: She would play on her own, then come to me with a list of things she wanted in the game, at which point I had to grind to get her enough money. Bit like real life really.
It can be quite freeing, I imagine, to just shunt all the busywork onto another party. Now anyone can enjoy that feeling of having a drone do all the work for you: After all, when you’ve planted one parsnip, you’ve planted them all. The Farmtronics mod, created by one Joe Strout, does exactly that: This adds a computer to your house, on which you can use simple scripting commands to, essentially, build the farming equivalent of Skynet.
“Farmtronics adds the Farmtronics Home Computer to the TV in your farmhouse. Simply select it from the list of channels, and the computer will appear, ready for your commands! […] The computer includes a number of built-in demo programs, and has full access to information about your farm, allowing you to immediately put it to good use.”
The headline attraction here is the cute little farming bots, and here’s what they look like in action.
The mod expects you to complete a simple list of toDo tasks on the computer, after which “you will receive your first Farmtronics Bot in the mail! These handy cybernetic farmhands can do almost anything you can do: use tools, water crops, plant seeds, etc. They can also sense their surroundings, and indicate their status by changing the color of their status light or screen.” Once you’ve earned the first, you can buy more bots at Pierre’s shop.
Both the computer and bots can be programmed by the player using MiniScript, an extremely simple coding language, and the mod even comes with its own wiki (including examples) to help players get started.
This may seem a little involved, but Miniscript is honestly a doddle and what the creator is clearly going for here is flexibility around what you can make the bots do: No doubt the more dedicated farmers will soon have everything running factory-style. You can download Farmtronics here.