Every month we'll post the answers to your questions. You can ask in the Discord or by replying to this post and we'll add them to our list of questions for March!
There was talk some time ago of seeing discipline specific elements added into training to encourage more single-discipline oriented herds. Will we still see something like that in the future?
The existing training system is only about half of what I have planned. I want to add in skills that you can teach your horse and get feedback on how well they performed that skill. My vision is that when training your horse, you would either work on increasing their physical ability (how training is currently setup) or you would work on increasing their skills. As a trainer you would have to balance the physical training with the skill training. For example, a racehorse needs a lot of physical training and not as much skill training, where something like dressage would almost be the opposite. A dressage horse would need a lot of skill training and less physical training however some skills will have minimum physical requirements. A horse would need to have quite a lot of strength before he could learn to piaffe or passage for example.
Skill training is currently half programmed into the game already, but the skills themselves need to be setup and the training page updated to include a way for players to train the skills. A lot of research is needed to create and setup all the skills for each discipline, so it’s not likely this will be added in this year with all the other projects currently planned or in progress.
When discipline evaluation is introduced, how specific will it be? Will there be ratings (good, better, best at such and such discipline) or hard numbers (horse is likely to score between such and such number or at such and such level)?
That is an excellent question and to be honest I haven’t decided for sure yet. There are a few different ways I could go about creating discipline evaluation. Most likely what I’ll do is something very similar to the way Local Shows work. You’d get a score for an event, or maybe a score range, but you’d also get an explanation of why the horse received that score. A breakdown of each attribute required for the event and how your horse compares for that attribute. So, you could easily see what is holding your horse back the most and use that to determine how you should train your horse to improve their scores as much as possible.
Will we be able to "hire trainers" or purchase "training barns" in order to train more horses at one time? Will age-appropriate training be implemented at any point?
Hiring trainers is on the To Do list for the near future. Originally, I had planned that players could craft a “Training Ticket” which would allow another player to use their skills when training their own horses. As an example, if you were a beginner player with low training skills you could purchase a Training Ticket to “borrow” another higher-level player’s skill to train your horses faster. However, I’ve noticed on the forum a lot of people selling their horses to another player for them to train the horse and sell it back to the original player. It seems that people are looking for other players to train the horses and just return a finished product instead of doing the work themselves. I hadn’t expected this type of exchange, so I’m not sure that my original plan for Training Tickets is going to be what players want to see added to the game. I don’t have an answer for sharing horses this way just yet. When it comes time to work on this, likely this year, I will come up with a work around which gives players the features they want.
The original version of the game from 2004 had a Training Arena which was basically a page of all your active horses in training and you could train all of them at once. I would definitely like to add something like this back to the game, and most likely will look at adding this in sometime later this year.
Age-appropriate training is something I will likely look at implementing when skill training is added in. I don’t want to be too restrictive, but still have training that makes sense.
Can we have the foal customizer published in Feb?
Published in February will be a bit of a stretch, but the Foal Customizer is the next major feature I’m working on. This is one of the remaining rewards to be completed from the Kickstarter campaign along with a handful of special wearables. Assuming I don’t run into any issues I should have the Foal Customizer available this spring, or summer at the latest.
What adjustments, if any, are planned for the current show system? Will something be put in place to better match level of training to level of show?
I have several things planned for the current showing system. Players will be able to create special combined-training shows where a horse is tested in 3 different events and the horse who does the best in all three would win. For example, 3-Day Eventing is a combination of Cross Country, Dressage and Show Jumping. I also want players to be able to promote their competition so that first place winner would be awarded a custom prize or trophy. The whole interface should be changed to make it easier to enter multiple horses into multiple events. Currently the game is setup to re-evaluate how competitive horses are at every level of every discipline, every day. This is how the game determines which level your horse should be competing at, but your horse must have entered at least 5 competitions for this to work because it’s based on their actual competition results. This fails with horses who are fully trained before entering a competition for the first time. Most likely I will adjust competition entry restrictions for low level competitions so that if a horse is fully trained before entering their first competition they won’t be able to enter the lowest level events, but this is something I will look into once the training skills are added in because that will also have quite an effect on determining what level a horse should be competing at.
What is the timeline for adding private studs? Also, things like leasing. And breed registries/custom breeds.
Private studs are a feature we’ll be able to work on after the rest of the kickstarter rewards are completed. This will mostly tie in to the same code as private sales I just need to reprogram a few sections of code for the actual breeding event to take place. Leasing is something that I have thought about quite a lot and it seems to be something many players want. I will be adding this in, but I don’t have a time line for this at the moment. We could see this feature added in later in the year perhaps.
Breed registries and custom breeds are another feature that I’d like to get added in this year. Much discussion and planning has been documented and its mostly determined how these will work. I believe I should be able to start working on this in in the later part of the year.
Would it be possible to have a comprehensive list of all the horses a player has bred, and all horses they’ve bred that have titles and such? I think it would be useful especially if prestige rankings were a thing.
Absolutely, I think this is a great suggestion and it shouldn’t be too hard to create. I will add this to my suggestions list and see when I can get this added in.
Prestige Rankings are a very interesting idea and one I’ve thought about on occasion. It’s a plan that needs to be fleshed out quite a bit more before I can add anything in but it’s something I do want to have in the game. Prestige could be displayed as a ranking by your username, and we could have monthly contests and more.
Can we have trophies and blankets and such to display? And championships and such.
Yes, for sure we’re planning on having customizable trophies and other items that players can give out as awards for special competitions. You’ll be able to display your awards in a trophy case right on your farm page. Anything would be able to go in a trophy case not limited to trophies, for example you could show off a collection of special items.