I have been spending a lot of time this year searching for games to play in between my main ones. Tears of the Kingdom has consumed a significant portion of my life for the past month, and recently I attended Summer Games Fest in LA. Earlier in the year, I was playing Kirby, and when I returned home, I had Humanity waiting for me. However, all of these games felt too intense to play throughout the entire year. Lately, I’ve been yearning for something slower, a game that I can get lost in. And that’s when I discovered Havendock.
Havendock is a city-building game, but it’s one of those cozy ones that offers goals without high stakes. You don’t have to frantically manage a civilization as it crumbles before your eyes. The game takes place in the middle of the ocean, starting on a small deserted island and expanding to interconnected wooden docks. You build more docks to make space for housing, people, and mechanisms that make your life easier. The first priorities are potable water, food, and shelter. As you progress, you can even build dance floors and chicken coops. Materials float by on the waves, adding a pleasant element of randomness and surprise to the game. Recently, I built a dance floor and a prayer center to give my residents something to hope for.
While your castaways do experience hunger and fatigue, their needs build up slowly and are easily fulfilled. Their existence is rarely stressful, at least in the early hours of gameplay. Havendock is a soothing experience that allows you to leisurely build a civilization, sprinkled with moments of humor. For example, I discovered that I can grow hamburgers in the garden, and the NPCs that arrive to assist me have amusing names. The game is full of personable goofiness and aims to please its growing community of players during its early access phase.
The creator of Havendock, who goes by YYZ (Yeo Ying Zhi), started working on flash games as a teenager. He later took classes to learn 3D engines such as Unity. YYZ worked on personal tower defense game projects and released a successful 2D idol RPG game called Enchanted Heroes. Havendock is his first attempt at a larger 3D game. YYZ was inspired by a restless night to create a peaceful place in the middle of the ocean, and that concept eventually evolved into Havendock.
YYZ faces challenges not only in transitioning from 2D to 3D animation but also in creating a proper multiplayer experience. The multiplayer feature in the early access version of Havendock is described as “highly experimental.” This is because linking interactions across players, buildings, items, and characters proves to be a complex task. YYZ acknowledges the issues with multiplayer and is working hard to fix them.
Although some may hesitate to play an unfinished game, YYZ believes in the importance of open development. He has been blogging extensively about the process, taking community feedback into account, and being transparent about the challenges involved. He released the earliest version of Havendock to the public after only six to eight weeks of development. Although it was a nerve-wracking experience, YYZ believes that early access provided valuable feedback and helped him create a game that players truly wanted.
Despite the struggles, YYZ feels that releasing Havendock in an early access environment has allowed him to develop the game more efficiently than his previous projects. He currently has around 2,400 Discord community members who provide valuable assistance. While he primarily works on the game alone, YYZ also has a part-time job to support himself financially.
YYZ’s dedication to Havendock is evident, but when asked about what would make the game a success, his answer is simple. He hopes that enough people know about the game, and he can proudly ask his friend if they have heard of it. Recognition and popularity are what he considers cool and a measure of success.
In conclusion, Havendock offers a calming and enjoyable city-building experience set in the middle of the ocean. The game is filled with whimsical charm and aims to please its community of players during its early access phase. YYZ, the creator, has been transparent about the development process and values feedback from players. While facing challenges in creating a multiplayer experience, YYZ remains dedicated to creating a game that resonates with players.
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Basant Kasayap is an entertainment aficionado who delves into the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. From Hollywood to Bollywood to regional cinema, she offers readers an insider’s perspective on the world of movies, music, and pop culture.