From the ashes, the sunflowers shall rise again! Or something like that. Not long ago, we had a game called Sunflower Farmers, perhaps best known for bringing the Polygon network to a standstill. But that game is now closed. And in its place, we have a new, more blockchain-friendly version called Sunflower Land. Let’s take a first look at this game about farming and crafting.
With an open beta launched in April of 2022, Sunflower Land has the same look and feel as its parent game, Sunflower Farmers. However, the dev team learned some important lessons and built the game to run mostly off-chain, while still allowing players to buy, sell, and trade NFTs and resources on-chain. Getting started in Sunflower Land costs 10 Matic, 10% of which goes to one of two charities of your choice. In return for the 10 MATIC, you receive your very own farm NFT.
The game is limited to one farm per person — no multi-accounting. And while you can hold multiple farms in your wallet, you are only allowed to play on one farm
Sunflower Land Gameplay
Appropriately enough, the game begins with harvesting sunflowers. From that sale, you buy sunflower seeds to grow more sunflowers to harvest and sell for more seeds. I think you can figure out where it goes from there. The game features a number of crops. Once you start growing pumpkins, the first recipe in the kitchen opens up. Besides the kitchen there is also a crafting spot for making tools, trees to harvest for wood, gold, and ore to mine, and a dangerous Goblin Village that sells goods found nowhere else. The game includes a large swath of ‘foggy’ areas, leaving plenty of room for future expansions. These areas open up with Land Expansion NFTs (not yet released).
And while the game is limited to crops at the moment, farm animals such as chickens and sheep are coming soon.
It is very much possible to bootstrap yourself up through the game. But those who are impatient can just purchase SFL tokens directly and skip some of the tedium. However, some of the game content is gated by in-game quests, so even with all the tokens in the world, you’ll still need to play the game a bit. Also, players gain experience from performing in-game actions. Every five levels they get a new skill which provides a bonus for farming or crafting.
Sunflower Land includes an in-game harvesting portal for those who contribute to the SFL / Matic liquidity pool on Quickswap. Pool contributors can visit the Wishing Well in the Goblin Village to retrieve their token earnings once every three days.
All game progress is saved on a central server. But if you want to make sure your game NFTs and tokens are safe from trips to Goblin Village (sometimes Goblins steal stuff), you’ll need to sync them to the blockchain. You will also need to sync if you want to sell any NFTs or resources from the game.
Sunflower Land Tokenomics
The Sunflower Land token (SFL) is the only game token in Sunflower Land.
With most of these sorts of games, token devaluation becomes a major problem. Sunflower Land seeks to counter this in two ways. One, there just isn’t a lot of token creation to begin with. The coin generated from selling items and resources only slightly outweighs the cost invested in creating them in the first place. Also, the amount of SFL paid out for crops changes based on how much total SFL is circulating. The more SFL available, the smaller the in-game payouts. They refer to this as halvening events. The game has already been through several, with the next slated to happen once the token supply passes 20 million (the current supply is around 11 million). Any tokens used for crafting are burned.
This seems like it would discourage players, but the SFL token isn’t really the play to earn part of the game. Instead, that would be the special, seasonal, limited edition NFTs. Some are decorative only. Others provide in-game bonuses. All of them cost SFL tokens, and often a sizable number of game resources as well. The hope here is that other players will value these NFTs and be willing to purchase them from those who spend the time needed to acquire them.
There is also the possibility of selling resources on secondary markets, but with the generally low prices and the need to pay fees to sync to the blockchain, that doesn’t seem an especially profitable venture.
Will Sunflower Land be able to succeed where its predecessor did not? Well, for starters, by keeping the data off-chain until synced by the player, they’ve already passed that hurdle! Will it be a long-term sustainable game model? Hard to say. I was never much of a fan of this sort of farming game, myself. But that hasn’t kept millions of others from playing Farmville — and often paying for the privilege of doing so! So, as long as the team can keep pushing out additional content to keep people interested, and continue to draw in new players, they should be able to get something going here. And the limited, seasonal items are already a strong step in the right direction.