[DEVLOG] Moondrop Dale, Cute&Demake Jam


Welcome to Moondrop Dale! A tattered beat up little garden house has been left to you by the city by an unknown donor that had recently passed away. Your goal is to tidy up the property and revive the once flourishing garden to its proper glory.


I love farming games, and I thought doing a demake of Stardew Valley mixed with Plants vs. Zombies Zen Garden would be a fun entry! Especially since I’m always talking about my plans for a game called Tor’s Garden.


Since it is for a jam, I have to try and focus on keeping the scope quite trim (at least for the jam :wink: ) so here is what I have planned so far:

  • Grid based movement. (almost like Awaken but you’ll be able to “face” the 4 directions)
  • No more than a dozen or so plant items (flowers, veggies, fruits, just random totally inaccurate items). These will grow based on their time to day cycles and how much water treatment they get.
  • Only 2 “map” views (static screens really) one for the garden and one for the shop.
  • The player will be able to select between two characters (just affects the skin) Tor, and Lol.
  • Player will have a handheld device for interacting with settings, buying/selling items and seeds, saving.
  • I’d like to add a “fishing” spot, because come on, the game wouldn’t be complete without it :wink:
  • Day/Night cycles.

So lets see if I can cram all that in! :smiley: I am super excited about this.



  • Character select screen :white_check_mark:
    • Right now this just changes the sprite.
  • Saving mechanic :white_check_mark:
    • Use handheld to open menu. :white_check_mark:
    • Go to save option and use action to save. :white_check_mark:
      • Field data should be written to the field file. :white_check_mark:
      • Money should be saved as cookie. :white_check_mark:
      • Seed inventory and unlock status will be written to file items :white_check_mark:
  • Purchase/Selling mechanics :black_large_square:
    • Purchase
      • Use handheld to open menu
      • Go to purchase view (pop up menu)
      • Select seed and use action button to purchase.
    • Selling :white_check_mark:
      • Crops auto sell at harvest :white_check_mark:
  • Purchase items :black_large_square:
    • Seeds (for crops)
    • other?
  • Planting mechanics :white_check_mark:
    • Equipping planter
      • select crop seed
    • Activate planter on empty plot
  • Tool selections :white_check_mark:
  • Grid based player movement :white_check_mark:
  • Field design :white_check_mark:
    • 6x6 grid of plots for crops to be planted.
  • Save/Load field data from file :white_check_mark:
  • Crop selections :white_check_mark: :
    • 0 Empty unplanted.
    • 1 Turnip turnip;
    • 2 Radish radish;
    • 3 Daisy daisy;
    • 4 Coffee coffee;
    • 5 Tea tea;
    • 6 GreenBean greenBean;
    • 7 Tomato tomato;
    • 8 Blueberry blueberry;
    • 9 MagicFruit magicFruit;


[Edit 1]
I quickly threw together a palette, started a Javitto project in FemtoIDE, and threw together a really quick concept page of where I’m going to be heading with this.
Behold, in all the programmer art glory:

Shown are some basic ideas that will be present:

  • Fishing/Water gathering spot.
  • House (entering the hut will end the day and save progress)
  • Player intro design (Thinking Rayman style)
  • Tool and targeting mechanism.
  • Basic planting.
  • Pathway to “village” (just for selling/buying items)

[Edit 2]
Not too much to report except that I finally initialized a github repository for the code

[Edit 3]
Alright, new stuff added today!

  • Added sprite for Tor (unfinished)
  • Character select screen! (Tor or Lol, Lol is not yet started really)
  • Added initial Garden field view. No sprites or assets for the property yet.
  • Added some initial code structure for save manager, inventory manager, etc…
  • Worked on the grid based movement system I want to use, including the cursor to identify the action zone. This will eventually only appear when an actionable item is equipped from the inventory view.


  • Been tinkering with how to save data. Since this game will have lots of things to save, I quickly learned that Javitto’s cookie was not going to cut it. So now the idea of a more custom File read/write in Javitto is in the works. Looks like I could do some nice inline_cpp in javitto to interface with SDFileSystem! So let’s see where this goes :smiley: many thanks to @FManga as always for being patient with my constant rambling, and to @carbonacat and @HomineLudens and everyone else that helped out today in the chat.
# Demo 2!

Here be the bin:
Moondrop Dale.bin (127.3 KB)

Source for the curious: GitHub - Torbuntu/MoondropDale_Pokitto: Pokitto farming/garden sim game

This also requires the following:

  • drop this into the music folder: mddal.raw (459.6 KB)


  • Many bugs, might just crash out of nowhere. Demo at your own risk :smiley:
  • Gameplay is mostly just turnip planting at this point. But you should be able to save up to buy the Fishing Rod :slight_smile: only $100!
  • “Talk” to the door to immediately end the current day.
  • Unlock new crops in the shop! (Some are quite spendy)
  • Now with “Continue” and “New Garden” options in the Title screen. (This should work, might be buggy, let me know :slight_smile: )

Some directions

  • Player moves in a grid. The Cursor will show up in the field where farming can happen.
  • Watering can is refilled by “using” the can on the river.
  • The action to plant is: Hoe → Plant → Water → [grow] → Harvest
  • Fishing is simply smashing A until you catch something at this point. I need to tweak it. I’d love to hear some suggestions here :slight_smile:
  • The day/night cycle is pretty harsh and will just happen. The red meter at the bottom will show you when a day is over, but it ends at “200”, so seems to cut short.

Release Demo!

Here is a pre-release demo version! Hopefully there aren’t any show stopping bugs someone can find :slight_smile:

The Bin: Moondrop Dale.bin (142.5 KB)
The Data: MDDaleData.zip (1007.4 KB)

Instructions on Data

  • Decompress the archive
  • Put the mddale folder into /data/ on your SD Card.
  • Put the .raw music files in /music/ on your SD Card.
  • Drop the bin in whichever category you’d like :slight_smile: For testing I put mine in 7Demo


I couldn’t get the POP tool to work :frowning: https://felipemanga.github.io/mkpop/
I uploaded my BIN, but I could not for the life of me upload any screenshots, and it wouldn’t let me take a screenshot from the game either. It just stayed black :frowning: Hopefully I can figure that out before dropping a real release on itch.io.


Sounds well planned already :grinning:

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Is it cheating if I have been wanting to make a game like this for like… forever?

Until I read ‘Stardew Valley’ I was thinking of ‘Viva Piñata’.
You may want have a read about Viva Piñata, it certainly fits the ‘cute’ theme.


Oh yeah! I never actually played that one, but I’ve seen it around (ages ago now haha)

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Oooooh I’m sure hyped for this game!!

I could also take some lessons into scope limitation and planning haha can’t wait to see the first screenshots!

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Nor have I, I’ve never owned an XBox or Playstation, but recently something reminded me about it so I decided to have a look at the wiki and dig up some footage of the Rare Replay version to see what it was like.

The original had the “garden gifted to you by elderly person” set up long before Stardew Valley got in there. (Though I wouldn’t be surprised if Harvest Moon got there first.)

Well “Farm Story” (harvest moon) was released in 1996

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Viva Piñata 🪅 - yes, this was great!
But the whole idea sounds very interesting for sure.


Been having so much fun with the progress on this. Got the key pieces of everything working out the way I’d like so far! This gif demonstrates a few key things:

  • Character select
  • Planting a seed
  • Watering the plots
  • Moving around based on the grid
  • Day meter at the bottom (doesn’t affect anything just yet, and will obviously go MUCH slower lol)
  • Menu display!
  • Selecting “seeds” to plant from the menu.
  • Saving and quitting to menu.(yes, this saves to file the progress in the field!)

Obviously there is much left to do! But it is going to be so much fun :smiley:



Things now implemented:

  • Watering can! Needs to be filled at the pond.
  • Lots more sprites added.
  • The daytime now grows crops each day (need a cut scene for new days)
  • Lots of rendering shuffling and ordering.
  • Doesn’t look like it, but a lot has been added :laughing:

Now for the HUD I like having the tool selected in the bottom right, but I’m not sure exactly what to do with the second box. I am thinking that it’ll show the equipped seed type when the planter is selected, and it will show the water meter when the water can is selected. Not sure what it can show except a blank box for the Hoe item.

Another thing I didn’t even think about until now is the typical “energy” meter. Not sure if I really want to add that or not yet. I’ll maybe add it as a scope item if there is time.


Your ‘programmer art’ graphics make me feel less terrible about not being very good at sprite art.

One of the biggest things that puts me off making games is how difficult it is to make decent sprite art.

Are you planning to have different tiers of tool or have tool durability?

If not, you could always flip the boxes and only render the second one when it makes sense to do so.


It is really hard isn’t it! And seeing all the amazing projects with super high quality art can be really intimidating. I’ve felt like not even trying before because of this too. But I decided I’d rather make games that have ugly art but someone may enjoy than just not :grin: it is hard though.

I didn’t want to initially for scope. But it has crossed my mind as a stretch goal for post jam.

That’s brilliant! I’ll give that a go :smiley: thank you!

spoiler gif

Worked quite a bit on the controls and menu:

  • Selecting a tool (Pressing B will also fast-toggle)
  • Selecting a seed to plant (Only unlocked seeds will be selectable)
  • Shop entry (eventually where you will buy more seeds)
  • Save & quit

Harvesting currently auto sells crops, which I think makes sense as there isn’t really any mechanic for storing the goods, and you’ll just end up selling them anyway :slight_smile:

Added a lot more place holder sprites and updated a few others.


  • Redid most of the UI and HUD.
  • Entirely restarted on the graphics.
  • The pond is now a river!
  • I started adding fishing :wink:
  • Most of the mechanics are now set up and functional. Needs to be balanced and tweaked of course.
  • Tons of extra work I forgot about lol…

I might be able to pump out a playable demo by this weekend :smiley:


Demo time!

See the top post for details :smiley:


Demo 2

Uploaded Demo 2 in the main post.


  • Lots of changes.
  • New sprites
  • RAIN! (I forget if it was in the first Demo, it is now) Basically it just rains over the night time and waters everything planted (it also turns the grass a dark wet :wink: )
  • Lots of balancing mechanics.
  • More fleshed out game play.
  • Closer to “finished”.

Let me know if anything is completely borked and if there are any suggestions to the “flow” I’d love to hear them :slight_smile:


Just put out a pre-release in the first post! If there isn’t anything too breaking, I’ll try and get a POP working and upload for release on itch.io :slight_smile:

I really appreciate any feedback or comments folks are willing to share :smiley: Thanks for playing.

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Very cool! I played for a bit and then accidentally hit the reset button, unfortunately before I could buy the fishing pole to try it out (and sadly, I hadn’t saved…). I’ll go back to it soon. Here are my notes so far:

  • I enjoy that the butterfly exists, but when I was trying to water, it really got in my way with surprising frequency. Not sure what a solution could be. Having it only over the grass on the right?
  • It would be really nice to have the movement have a press-and-hold behavior. Like how long UI-lists (or inventories) behave. I think good starting numbers sound like: after pressing and holding, 0.5 second delay until it throws again, then 0.3 second delay thereafter.
  • When is button-down being checked? I’m not sure if it’s my Pokitto or not, but I feel like I’m missing a fair number of actions when I try to move, water, or do other things. Edit: nevermind, I think this is my Pokitto
  • It would be great to have some feedback when the watering can is empty. Right now, there’s just no sound, which compounds with the above issue of me having actions missed. I get confused as to whether it’s missing the input or not, but then after a few tries I think to glance at the water level and realize it’s empty. I did this a lot. I would recommend a few quick red or white flashes on the highlight square that’s in front of the player, maybe even a very quick buzzer sound.
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Funny you mention that! It is under the TODO items on my README in the repo and I just didnt do it yet :sweat_smile: I’ll definitely make sure to put that in there before release.

You are absolutely right. After testing a bunch on hardware the constant clicking movement really sucks xD I’ll play around with the holding behavior movement and see what I can do!

This was actually intentional. I wanted to add a little bit of challenge to the daily chores and waiting or navigating the butterfly was a sort of way to do that. If it is way too annoying I will work on a way to make it move away from the player after interaction :slight_smile:

Thank you so much for giving it a play! The feedback is very appreciated and I’ll do what I can to address everything to make it better :smiley:

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