Farming Simulator 19

Real time sync, so crops have a real-time growth cycle?

FarmingSimulator19 2 - Real time sync, so crops have a real-time growth cycle?
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I've been out of the loop on Farming Simulator for a while. I only own FS15 and haven't picked it up in a while.

My longstanding issue with Farming Simulator is I've never been able to get along with the timescale. In my experience, I either feel rushed with too much to do, planting in the morning and then harvesting in the afternoon, or I find myself hanging around with not a lot to do. Now I know a lot of people have no problems with the built-in timescale, so I don't want to raise any strong feelings; that's just my experience.

Lately I've been wanting to get back into FS but have realised what I really want to get out of the game, isn't really to play it as a game at all. I'd love to have a farm that actually follows real time through the year, i.e. I sow my crops in real March or something and come back in real August and they're grown. And if I launch the game in May, I see them growing and spray them.

I don't have time to play FS regularly which is why a literal realtime approach with a real-world growth cycle would transform the experience for me. Just like real life, I'd only get super busy at harvest season and could easily dedicate a weekend to getting the crops in. And in the winter, I could just check in to do some farmyard tasks, move the tractors, spray the crops etc. on occasional weekends.

I'd also be using a realistic economy mod to make sure this works in the long-term. I'd probably allocate myself e.g. £300k, use "start from scratch" in FS19, and buy myself a little farm and some vehicles as if I was actually starting up IRL.

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My question to the community then: is this possible?

My research so far suggests the following:

  • I'm going to need a dedicated server
  • I should probably be using Seasons mod
Read:  Would my other half enjoy this game?

Will seasons on a server let me do what I want? Would the server have to be running continually or is there some way so that when launching the game, the game can see it's August now and I last played in May, and the crops should be grown now?

And finally – can dedicated servers be hosted on a PC that is also the client? Ideally I'd host on localhost for fast connection because my internet is poor (so renting isn't an option) and I don't have any spare Windows hardware. I keep seeing different things about this but no conclusive advice – can a single PC be both a server and a client, and how I would specify the two licenses? Could I use a retail copy as the server, and also install the Steam copy, and run that simultaneously as the client?

Apologies, there's a lot of questions here, but the tl;dr is I played FS15, got turned away because it seemed too shallow, want to throw myself in the deep-end with realtime seasonal roleplay, need help to get there after years away!

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