Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tree of Tranquility Official Strategy Guide

I finally have a copy of the Official Strategy Guide that I wrote for Tree of Tranquility... I have included a photograph of it here, although the quality of my camera is less than professional.

I see now why the editors considered it to be a very long guide. It is dense, as are all my guides... I only hope it is as comprehensive.

As always, I will be more than happy to answer game questions from players.

Like every one else, I am waiting for the game to be released in order to be able to purchase a copy for myself. I really miss the Island in ToT now, although there was a point where I had worked so hard and long on the Guide that I almost did not wish to look at it again. Fortunately, Harvest Moon games always are compelling enough to call players back to them and 'Tree of Tranquility' is no exception. After my child in ToT was born, I was able to start a 'next generation' game with him as the main character, but was not able to pursue it long enough to marry.

ToT is one game where a player can choose the gender of his/her child in a wonderful ritual wherein, after the announcement of pregnancy, you and your spouse make a prayer to the Harvest Goddess at the local Church. As I suggest in the Guide, you therefore may wish to choose a child of the opposite gender, giving yourself the chance to play both as a girl and as a boy, as the game 'ends' with the opportunity to play a new game with your child as the main character. (The game need not end at all, if you do not wish to choose this option.)

Enough said here. Take a look at the Guide if you would like more details about every aspect of Tree of Tranquility. It now is available at Amazon, which is where I ordered it myself.

Note: I have written about this in another post, but please be advised that the final retail version of the game does not allow you to purchase raw fish from Pascal at the Fish Shop. You only can purchase Grilled Fish of various sorts. There is some question as well about the availability of the Decent Cocoons at the Brownie Ranch. In the builds I played they could be purchased, along with Good Wool, once unlocked.


Alyssa said...

I definitely will buy it! Do any of the proceeds go to you, as the author?

By the way, I love your name, if yours is the one in the bottom right-hand corner...very elegant, as are all of your game names. Mine are very generic...Oliver, Alyssa, Claire, Lizzie, Jack, etc.

Freyashawk said...

Thank you, Alyssa. That is my real name, I confess. It was my grandmother's name.

To answer your question: I don't get royalties. Writers are paid a set fee before the guide ever is released. It is kind of exciting to see one of my guides in print though.

By the way, the screenshots in the guide weren't taken by me, because I didn't have sophisticated equipment for that, so none of the names are from my game. Oh well...
I took hundreds of screenshots actually but I don't know if I'll be allowed to post them here. One of my favourites shows every colour of horse in the pasture...

Freyashawk said...

What name could be prettier than Alyssa? Is that your given name?

Mars Frog said...

It is a nice name. Mine's old, and overused.

How's it feel to be holding your own work in the form a book? Quite different than just seeing it through a screen huh? Think you'd like to do this sort of work more often? Perhaps with different publishers?

I'm really looking forward to ToT. It looks marvelous. (no pun intended).

Anonymous said...

Good memories. I used to ADORE the name Alyssa. It was my favourite name. It's still on my top favourites list, but, I have moved on. My new favourite name is Eleena.

Freyashawk, I love your name. Very unique. I've never heard nyone with that name before. Alas, I still must wait to buy ToT. D=

Freyashawk said...

I never had a working printer so I could not print out my own guides. If I needed to take notes from my guides, I did it by hand.

It is rather wonderful to have all the data organised in 'hard copy' but most of the time, I actually play the games in the dark, so would not be able to see a book in any case.

What is rather sad to me is the thought that all of these games have a certain impermanency based on the systems for which they are made.

For example, MFoMT, a fabulous game made only a couple of years ago, is no longer available at most retail outlets. I hope one day there will be a Harvest Moon film at least... to bind the past to the future, whatever the changes in game platforms.

I thought of writing a 'serious' Harvest Moon novel more than once.
Not that I am arrogant enough to think I could make Harvest Moon immortal through any act of mine. I suppose the best hope is that Natsume will continue to revive the older Harvest Moon games on new systems at the same time that they release new Harvest Moon games. I never understood the disdain of some gamers for 'port games'. To me, there is nothing better than seeing a beloved classic brought back to life.

Alyssa said...

To answer your question, yes, my given name is Alyssa. I love my name, but yours is rather elegant.

Many, many HM fanfictions are saved on a little pink flash drive, hidden deep within the confines of my notebooks. More still are coded into my Neo, which is a portable word processor. However, I don't think I would actually have the patience to sit down and write a guide, much less a novel! I commend you for that, and thank you for doing my 'dirty work', so to speak.

Mars Frog said...

I agree, it's awesome to see classics brought back. I was giddy like a school kid when Skies of Arcadia was ported to Game Cube, as I never owned a Dreamcast, but heard / read so many awesome things about the game.

I'm hoping Natsume / Marvelous will have Harvest Moon 64 released for Virtual Console in the near future, as I would to experience once more ... being my first HM game, which I played to death.

Oh, and if you ever have time, you should take up that idea and write a HM story. From what I've seen in your other blog, you're quite talented, and I'd dare say there are few who understand HM's large cast more than you. *nods in self agreement*. There's nothing like a good story to express your love for something, no matter what it is.

bunny-gypsy said...

I love playing port games, too! =3 Especially if it is a game that is hard to find in stores for a particular system.

Once I get the game, I am SO buying your guide. I really like the 'depthness' and helpfulness of your other guides. =)

It is too bad you do not get paid royalties.

How is the guide in terms of screenshots? Are they clear pictures of locations, characters, etc.?

Can't wait for ToT! =3

Freyashawk said...

The maps in ToT are brilliant and you are given more than sufficient guides in terms of your Farm Menu (with their own maps!) as well as billboards on the Island that provide access to more maps. The screenshots illustrate specific moments and so on but the most helpful information was taken directly from the game in the form of maps. I provided detailed descriptions after the key to the map that describes each position on the map as well as what they mean strategically. I hope that the completed Items Lists with pictures of each item will be helpful. The character art is good.

A guide like this is a group effort. Brady has its own experts who are in charge of art and layout and editing... I was the writer, that's all. I can't claim that I actually produced the guide. I think that's why the official author always is listed as 'BradyGames'.

Freyashawk said...

I should mention that Brady pays their authors well for their work. Having written guides without any pay for years, it was a new experience to be paid for it.

Alyssa said...

I should say so! It must be a wonderful feeling to be getting paid for doing what you love to do. Undisputably, you are talented enough and have enough patience to actually write the guides. Bradygames sure chose a good content writer.

Although I may have jumped a little faster if you were paid royalties for each copy furchased, but nonetheless, I will invest some money in the quality work I know it'll be.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for this game, kinda sucks it's getting pushed back so far. Anyways congrats on the book. I'll definitly buy it.

To be honest I never thought that BradyGames looked for people to write their guides... I 've always thought it was their paid experts at their workplace.

Again congrats.

Freyashawk said...

Thank you, Anon. I think Brady does use their own people for the most part. I was fortunate enough to be recommended by Natsume actually.

Ville said...

I bought your guide yesterday. I have to say thank you!! It's perfect. All of the information is exactly what is needed for truly fun game play.
Great job!
Harvest Moon forever.

(p.s. I am a 41 year old HR Consultant, and I am addicted to HM.)

Freyashawk said...

Thank you for writing, Ville. There are a couple of changes in the game itself with respect to the final retail version. The Guide had to be based on earlier builds because of the deadline for publication. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

P.S. It appears as though we may share a love of cats as well as a love for Harvest Moon.

Anonymous said...

I've used your guide from IGN for HM:MFOMT for years! I've been playing the game for almost 3 years (sporadically) and your guide has brought me the most success.
I am now playing HM:ToT and look forward to a guide from you for it as I've yet to discover a guide that is truly as in-depth and helpful as your's. Thanks.

Freyashawk said...

Anon, I hope you understand that I cannot write internet guides for ToT as I wrote the Official Strategy Guide... I have posted the few changes that have occurred in the final retail version of the game, but that's as far as I can go on the internet, having signed legal agreements that prohibit me from writing anything that will compete with the printed ToT guide. If you have any questions about the game, I am more than happy as always to answer them. I hope you will feel that the printed guide is worth the price in this particular case. My hands are tied!

Anonymous said...

I really don't know when you will see this, but I am trying to find a recipe guide for HM Tree of Tranquility. I don't like DetroitDJs so if you could find me one...

Freyashawk said...

Anon, I will add a link to an excellent Cookbook Guide to the ToT section tomorrow. An old HM friend of mine is almost finished with one.