A downloadable game

"An old, long-forgotten garden has a new gardener, and the things that grow are glad to hear it."

Far from your old life, you find yourself a new wilderness - a life once lived in these dense woods, waiting to be rediscovered.

The Garden Path explores the quiet moments of a life well lived, where your garden will grow to reflect both the passing of time and your own design. Time here runs in concert with the real world, and the passing of seasons heralds new encounters and a new story to weave.

Above all, The Garden Path is a life sim that celebrates the tranquil and the pensive, a tucked-away place to shape and grow as you like.


Designed to be played as and when you wish, The Garden Path features a wealth of stories, activities and distractions to be experienced at your own pace. Don’t have time to watch your flowers grow? Come back tomorrow: time in the garden passes alongside the real world, and you’ll find plants you nurtured one day may bloom the next.


You won’t be alone in your new home. Charming inhabitants will come and go, from Bunk, the tea-brewing macaque to Larto, a Greenlandic Musk Ox with a penchant for song-fish. You may even find some visitors willing to make their home alongside your own!

The garden is calm and still. A tender world of familiar sights and sounds, melody, and friendly faces. A space to call your own, to curate, and to reflect.


With a unique hand-drawn aesthetic, The Garden Path’s stunning visual design embraces you from the start, inviting you in and welcoming you to stay. Combined with unique soundtracks for both day and night, it won't be long before you're lost in the flow.

Features:

  • A humble gardening life-sim with real-time progress even when you’re away.
  • Rich illustrated visuals and original soundtracks that draw you in.
  • A charming cast of characters, all with their own stories to tell.
  • A far away corner to call your own - somewhere to pause and stay awhile.

Put on your gardening gloves 2021, on Windows macOS, and Linux.

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Development log

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Comments

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I have played the demo version on Steam. It's a very beautiful and meditative game with nice sound design and atmosphere. In general, my impressions are positive. I like the fishing and gathering processes in the game. The issues are very confusing and non-intuitive controls, mouse control isn't used at all. There are a lack of instructions. For example, I haven't figured out how to catch dustflies. When I walk up to them with a jar, they just disappear. Also, it is hard to figure out how to equip the tools. It would be great to have a section in the menu with control instructions and tips. Thank you! Can't wait to play the final version ;)

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Hi yenin, thanks for playing! Sorry to hear you had some trouble figuring the controls - I'm going to be expanding the tutorial to hopefully ensure things are as clear as possible. In the latest version (available temporarily on Steam) I've been experimenting with mouse controls which seem to be working well alongside the keyboard controls, so hopefully they'll be polished and ready soon.

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I got a little lost playing this game. I’m in a bitta trouble trying to figure out what to do and where to go by myself.

Apart from that, it’s a very nice game, I feel at ease exploring the world, and it brings me peace feelings.

I can’t wait for the release!!

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Hi! Thanks for taking the time to play. Sorry to hear you felt a little lost, while exploration is part of the game, I'll be streamlining the beginning experience to suit both those who want to feel lost and those who want a more guided time.

Glad to hear you found the demo a peaceful time otherwise.

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This sounded neat, but it's not for me.

The camera is deliberately designed to make sure you see as little of what's in front of you as possible, regardless of what direction you're moving.  The character moves near the edge of my screen regardless of anything I've done.

The controls are absolutely bizarre on keyboard.  I have no idea who mapped them but it was clearly only ever meant to be played on controller, because what keyboard keys perform actions seems to be random.  Tab opens a menu - one of several, good luck finding the others.  Menus allegedly close with B or Q, unless they don't, in which case go through the alphabet and see what works, I guess.  Sometimes hitting the same key that opened the menu works to close it, but not always.  You cycle through things with X and C (mostly), which are not exactly ergonomical on keyboard.  The only thing that's standard is WASD to walk.  Clicking does nothing but make you cry.

There is no explanation of how or why to do anything.  If this was a more intuitive game it might be fun to explore, but overall it's just been one giant frustration.  That said, I appreciate you all giving an opportunity to test the game before backing t.

Hey purplehawaiian, sorry to hear you had a frustrating time playing. Camera and controls are going to be worked on for release, for sure. 

Hope you'll give the game another shot when the time comes.

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I can’t pick up the second part of the knife (it tells me inspect, and I press the key, but nothing happens). I really like the overal atmo. The biggest issue for me are the controls. As I am playing on a computer, I would like to click the buttons with the mouse. Another thing, I would like to have some guidance, which buttons to press on the menu itself. The menu is inconsistent there, because some parts work with arrow keys and some with wasd and e to interact, but enter does nothing. Same for the esc menu, which doesn’t trigger it iirc.

I don’t know if I missed it, but I got a rod and told to equip it, but there was no explanation on how to open the inventory. I only got an explanation for the TAB menu at the beginning. The actual fishing mechanic itself is very nice and works well together with your sound scape.

Speaking of soundscape, I love how pressing connect on the star map plays different notes forming a melody.

Hi Johannes, these are all great points - thanks! I really appreciate you taking the time to play.

I've addressed some of these in the latest patch, and others I'll put forward for later versions. Mouse controls have been frequently requested, and I'll be looking into including them.

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I'd love to see this come to Switch — hope it makes the target. I would probably support if there was a web demo, but since I can't try the game out, I'll wish you all the best for hitting that target!  🤞

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Loving the art and the demo so far! Only have just started, so looking forward with what's to come :)

Only issue I have had so far, was it crashed couple of times and during my first play through it triggered the scene without the Dustflies NPC a few times back to back. Wasn't sure if this was the best place to post any feedback?

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Thanks JessieJeto! This is really useful, I'll be sure to look into it.

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definitly has potential.
fingers crossed for the full version :)

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Hi, I tried the demo and want to say I'm excited for the full release! Congratulations on the kickstarter.

I was thrilled to know there's fishing! however, i dont know if it's just me, but it was a bit hard to understand the mechanics of the fishing feature? I just can't seem to hold it in the red dot and it's very unforgiving.. I also don't understand what allows me to catch one, as I tried pressing x when the ring is in the dark blue, the lime green and the red dot. and none of them seem to catch any fish.. 

and it got really frustrating after a bit..

I would love to know if this is just something that could be made easier for a chill/relaxing game. or if it's just a bug that won't let me catch fish..


Otherwise! really excited for the game!

Hi crystalunvrs, so great to hear you tried out the demo and are looking forward to the release!

So much of the demo is understanding what's clearly signposted for players and what isn't - I totally agree the fishing mechanic needs more explanation and I'm currently working on making sure it's clearer to avoid frustration (the last thing we want in The Garden Path!)

The time to reel in the fish is when the fish reaches the float and bites. You'll hear a plop sound. You then have 3 or so seconds to successfully reel the fish in. 

This might change for release, but will work for the demo.

Thanks for the comment!

Ahhhh right okay, so I was assuming that I would need to press X when the ring reaches the red dot. I reeled when the fish haven't had a chance to bite the bait. 

Thank you for replying and clearing that up! I met Art yesterday and so excited to see the journey of this game :D

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Hi Louis! First off, congratulations on launching KS campaign! Really hope it gets fully funded in no time!

The demo was beautifully crafted and it was really fun to play as well. Just one small nitpicky feedback though; I see you are using the cursive font for the letter you get at the very beginning of the game and for the quest titles. Again, really really nitpicky but as a person who grew up with a lanuage that does not use the Latin alphabet for writing, cursive fonts are very hard to read. There are cursive fonts that are closer to non-cursive (stylistically and aesthetically, it looks fancy and hand written but it is easier to read for those who are used to well...non cursive fonts) and I was wondering if that's something that you might consider. 

Regardless, great experience already at this stage! I am very excited to see how this game grows!

(+3)

Hi jjunjin, great to hear you had fun with the demo.

I've had multiple folk reach out to let me know the cursive font is difficult to read, so I'll certainly be looking into finding a new typeface that evokes that handwritten look but is also more legible. 

Currently, clear text versions of the quest dialogue are available if you go to the errand tab in the overview menu (the knot tied to a finger icon). Eventually, the letters the player uncovers will be in the player's inventory, and have an option to transcibe them in a clear typeface.

Thanks again for taking the time to play!

(1 edit) (+2)

Hi Louis! I want to congratulate you on the recent Kickstarter launch. I've been following the game for a while, and after playing the demo I was left with a wonderful feeling. You have these little charming descriptions in your game, which certainly add to the over-all thoughtful experience. I became interested in making a localization for a rather small language that I am a native of. What would be the best way to contact you to discuss this?

Hi sand castles! I'd love to hear you out - are you able to DM on Twitter (@LouisDurrant) or Discord (ccLouis#4790)? 

If not you can shoot me a message using the contact form on louisdurrant.co.uk

Thank you for the reply! Just wrote to you on Discord.

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Hello! I have a question, but first of all I would like to say that the game looks very charming, peaceful and beautiful! Now, on to the question. I am aware that games like this are sandbox in style, so the experience varies from playthrough to playthrough depending on players own goals. But, what always bothered me with these kinda games is the replay value generated by the game itself. It is always a pain for me when I want to play Stardew Valley and have to pass through that boring start at the beginning, meeting people in town, grinding for basic stuff through the whole first year and then essentially maxing out my farm, unlocking everything and being left with nothing else to do than to collect stuff. So, what I would like to know is, do you have any plans at all to add randomly generated parts of the game world, random systems (except the weather) or any system at all to enhance the game's replay value past the point "I shall build that first" or "I shall focus on this first". Thank you in advance! Hope you succeed!

(+3)

Hey Pageplant, great question.

My hope for The Garden Path is that it strikes a balance between RNG experience and curated experiences, but compared to a game like Stardew Valley it leans far more toward RNG.

There isn't a linear timeline of events - while there are a few fun annual events, content is for the most part gated by what the player chooses to do rather than by a calendar.

Part of the game's philosophy is to make it as quick and clean and possible to get into the sandbox, be it the first or 100th time booting in. After a short ~10-20 minute softly guided tutorial the game runs as it would.

The game's map is randomly generated from a series of connecting pre-designed chunks.

'I shall build that first' or 'I shall focus on this first' will still be what you're asking yourself, but you'll be navigating unpredictable elements like who decides to visit your garden and when, what items vendors decide to stock, which rare items reveal themselves, what rewards you obtain, and which errands/dialogue trees you fall into.

That said, the game is more 'experiential' than Stardew Valley. It's not a resource management game, nor a system building game. It's a sandbox to explore/enjoy for what it is, and for achieving your own goals in shaping the garden, favouring horizontal progression over vertical.

(+2)

wonderful art, it is like I live in painting

(+3)

Dude, where do I start?

Your art style is beautiful! The idea of the game is great, creating a gameplay that warms the heart. I heard that you use Krita and Godot in this project, and that made me very happy because they are two tools that I like! And knowing that someone can create something so fantastic with these tools is very inspiring to me! And there's more: a one-person project. This is unbelievable and amazing!

I look forward to the game! Congratulations on the beautiful job!

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What software do you use to create your art? It's amazing!

(+2)

All the art is made using Krita.

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It looks amazing, thank you for the info!

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Good luck on the development, me and my friends are very exited for the game =)

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Your work is truly inspiring.  I'll keep an eye on updates

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Are there any plans for a Mac version? I would definitely love to give it a go ;) 

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There are plans for a Mac release, it may come later than Windows and Linux due to some additional testing required.

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Thanks for the reply! (^~^)

(+4)

I saw this on the Godot showreel. It reminds me of some really cozy book I read as kid. I look forward to playing it.

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I just saw this in Godot Showreel 2019! I love the graphics and the concept. You are doing an amazing job! Keep it up.

(+5)

I am intrigued cuz it's a non-violent game that looks cool! These screenshots remind me of the forest in Super Mario RPG with Geno. Maybe I'll check it out in 1-2 years

P.S. Godot's news page is how I found out about this game.

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I'm a big fan! Alas, this game will be maze-free.

Glad to hear you're interested.

(+3)

I only just heard about it and already I'm excited. Can't wait to see how this develops.

Hopefully you'llmake it available for Linux when the time comes, like your other games.

(+1)

So glad to hear it! 

Linux support will absolutely be a top priority and, now that I've moved to Godot, working in Linux will be an important part of its development.