.. because the polite thing to do is not to ask, but I reckon fuck polite so I'm asking.
One of the things given to me by Dr Wheel was a game called, romantically, Farming Simulator 2013. Now, I have never been a big player of sim games but when I have, I've tended to get addicted to them. Like, you know, Virtual Horse Ranch, which was literally grid-based and had no graphics at all. This one not only has 3D graphics, it has correct physics. More about that later.
The aim of the game is, as you'd imagine, to run a successful farm. You start with one field and two paddocks and some sheds and silos and stuff, and a bunch of machinery. Your job is to harvest/cultivate/sow/fertilise your crops, then sell them at the right time to make money. You can also run chickens, cows and sheep.
Yes, sheep. OK, you got me, I'm interested. Yes, I planted crops and chickens and things (cows are too hard right now), but I also bought 50 sheep. They require upkeep:
Here I am feeding my sheep. They eat grass, but instead of grazing it, I have to cut it with that lawnmower thing and feed it to them in that trough. Luckily one trough full lasts 6 farm days, so it's not as tedious as you'd think.
And then, they miraculously produce wool. Not through shearing, instead it appears neatly packaged into bales on a pallet, which have to be picked up with a front end loader:
And here's where the physics come in. You see, wherever this game is made, a front end loader is a dedicated piece of machinery, unlike here where most front end loaders are tractor attachments and thus have other uses as well. Anyway, this one is articulated in the middle like the sort of thing you'd find on a wharf rather than on a farm, and that makes it really bloody hard to steer. In fact, I've discovered that I'm far better at driving actual farm machinery than virtual farm machinery, and since this sim is going for realism, I caused a traffic jam in the middle of town when I jacknifed the trailer in the mainstreet and had to use the front end loader to lift the little tractor off the kerb. *cough*
So once your pallet of wool is on a trailer, you add a few more. Reading forums tells me once you get good at it you can stack them, but at the moment 8 is all I can manage. Once the trailer is full you take it off to the wool store where they give you money for it:
See my fantastic tidy stacking! I only tipped the trailer over once doing this...
Apparently as you get better you can buy more fields and tractors and stuff, and hire workers to do the grunt work while you run about the fields with your cows and sheep. I have yet to harvest anything except wool and eggs, so I've two tractors and a bunch of implements and a field full of greenery that I'm waiting to turn into money. I'm assuming eventually I'll be able to make hay and silage and then I can have cows. And probably have to learn to drive an articulated tanker using only the arrow keys and mouse. Especially the arrow keys and mouse on this new hypersensitive wireless keyboard/mouse combo that Dr Wheel gave me.
Another thing I was given was this:
I'm not a tea drinker but it'll come in handy for when I have tea drinkers round to visit, eh? And the YoT gave me a mini Garrus, who is now in a sniper spot in the lounge, keeping the geth at bay. And and and, I now have a copy of The Silent Grove which is my first graphic novel ever. I feel blessed with gifts.
Meanwhile, I gave Dr Wheel a ticket to Rainbow Serpent. This is me being proactive about making sure we get to more festivals. It's kind of a present for me as well as him because I get to be at Rainbow Serpent with him and that makes me go *squee* in so many ways. And the YoT got his first smart phone which he was a bit meh about till he realised he could play Angry Birds on it.
So, folks, what was your favourite gift, to give or to get? I bet you didn't get a whole farm..