Farming Simulator 22 was first revealed a few months ago, but the developers at Giants Software are finally ready to show off some actual gameplay and features. During the first day of the FarmCon 2021 event, various aspects of the game were revealed across various showcases. This included a look at the brand new American map of Elm Creek, the new built-in seasons mechanic, and more.
Different new features of the Giants Engine 10 which powers Farming Simulator 22 have also been revealed. These include improved draw distance, and more detailed effects for the scenery and environments like improved field textures and building materials using a technique called parallax occlusion mapping. Field and crop textures have also been revamped and more effects have been added to the foliage, such as the wind dynamically rolling through tall fields. The dynamic nature of the wind even extends to it realistically switching directions over time. 3D particles are also now created by machines when performing operations like harvesting fields, which replace the 2D effects of the past.
Some implements are also more advanced. For example, some harvester headers will automatically adjust to the tilt and elevation of the ground while running through a field. This applies only to models that actually support such a feature in real life.
The fields will also look more realistic and detailed. The ground textures will look more varied depending on what crop was planted and what tool was used after harvest. For example, a disc harrow will now leave far more stubble from the harvested crop versus a plow or cultivator.
Adding to Americana
The new Elm Creek map in particular really stands out. The scenery designers have clearly put some extra effort into making the map look and feel more like an authentic rendition of the American Midwest. For instance, this map does not feature a full-on downtown center like several other past maps. The focus is now on the environment and proper space utilization for players.
The fields on this map are smaller to ensure that beginners will have an easier time building their funds, and there’s lots of space for players to gradually add more buildings and create larger fields as they see fit. Additionally, it still features some meticulously designed objects and buildings that capture an “Americana theme,” as the developers describe it.
Other small new Farming Simulator 22 gameplay details include the ability to manually shift the geats of vehicles, which is a first for the Farming Simulator series. John Deere tractors will also return, and that includes retro tractor models; this is something a lot of enthusiasts have wanted. The sound engine has also been revamped with more dynamic effects that better represent different gears as they’re shifted, as well as other new effects.
Even animal husbandries received reworks, with more interactive elements now being present that add more realism to the experience. The lighting effects of the entire sim have also been boosted a bit, featuring more realistic interior lighting in particular.
Seasoning the seasons
Finally, some details about the new seasons mechanics were also revealed. Players will be able to adjust the time it takes for the game to transition from season to season. It can be as little as a half-hour to “as long as an entire weekend.”
The different seasons will change the way the gameplay mechanics works. For instance, grass doesn’t grow in the wintertime. So, if there are animals present, enough food will need to be stored beforehand. Wintertime will also cause snow to fall on the terrain, even to the point where using snowplows will be necessary to keep roadways clear. Certain crops will also be in higher demand at different times of years, so as the developers state, a good strategy is to hold off from immediately selling a crop as soon as it’s harvested.
Map modders will also be able to take full control over how the new seasons mechanics behave. For instance, scenery objects can be added or removed depending on the time of year, and crop growth can be affected depending on the region of the world a map is based on.
Production chains were revealed a little while ago as being a new feature in the sim. With these, players will have even more ways to expand their profit margins by taking their harvested crops to different factories where processing will take place to turn everything into sellable goods. For example, you can harvest wheat and then take it to a mill to turn it into flour. The event gave us an even closer look into the intricacies of this new mechanic and how players can use it to more efficiently raise funds and progress faster.
Clearly, there’s a lot of new gameplay features to unpack in the new Farming Simulator 22. Some features have yet to even be seen, such as the enhanced AI features and a deep dive into the new crop types. More details will gradually roll out throughout the rest of the FarmCon 2021 event.