From Poor To Green Tycoon: Meet Weedcraft Inc, The Cannabis Finance And Management Video Game, And Its Creator

By Hernan Panessi, via El Planteo.

Dedication, time, and skills: from humble beginnings to the big leagues. The wet dream of building a cannabis empire is now possible. Or at least it is with Weedcraft Inc, a finance video game where you can go virtually non-stop from filthy squalor to lavishly rich, becoming a cannabis tycoon.

"We are proud to say that basically all cannabis experts and fans who played the game realized how plausible it is," Kacper Kwiatkowski, Polish game designer and creator of Weedcraft Inc., told El Planteo.

For its creation, the development company Vile Monarch, of which Kwiatkowski is a co-founder, connected with Devolver Digital, a popular North American video game publisher, responsible for Serious Sam, and Hotline Miami, among other gems. They wanted to create a cannabis finance game. So they got to work.

Kacper noted: “Back then we were a young company with only two small pixel art games in our portfolio, so this seemed like a great opportunity to do something more ambitious and work with a top publisher.”

The Business Side Of The Industry

Immediately, the receptions of the specialized press and of the players were positive. "We only had a handful of repeated and surely justified objections," Kacper said. “Some of them were addressed later in updates (including Sandbox mode). Others, unfortunately, were embedded deep in the vision of the game. For example, not everyone enjoyed the manual labor at the beginning of the game.”

Apart from the fussiest gamers, the cannabis community gave it a good reception, praising it, among other things, for the realism of the cannabis business environment. "Like the situation of the United States legislation," he says. "We were especially excited about the opportunity to capture the industry's business side."

High Fidelity

Meanwhile, Weedcraft Inc will most likely be the first video game dedicated to Tycoon-type farming. Tyc what?... Tycoon is a subgenre of management games where you manage or lead some kind of organization or company, where the goal is to become a business tycoon.

“There were smaller mobile games and some strictly farming-focused PC games,” he explains.

Thus, one of the great virtues of the game is the documentation, the quality of the terrain, cannabis strains, and other issues related to the plant.

Vile Monarch counted on the support of advisors and specialists who preferred to remain anonymous.

“We had advice from hobby growers, cannabis entrepreneurs (both legal and illegal), celebrities famous for their weed-related image, and even a law firm specializing in marijuana-related cases,” reveals Kwiatkowski.

The First and Last: No More Cannabis Games

Among the usual audience of Weedcraft Inc. are usually players who are fans of strategy and management, and, according to its creator, "only a part is enthusiastic about 'the grass'". In fact, what Kacper enjoys the most is precisely the financial aspect: “I love seeing the numbers go up!”

—What is your relationship with cannabis?

—We always deliberately avoid this question, so that the game is not seen as a “smokers for smokers” initiative or a piece of propaganda. Our goal was to put aside our personal opinions about the plant and do the best job we could of capturing the reality around it, both the good sides (especially the medical ones) and the bad sides (crime, corruption, shady business practices).

Probably, Weedcraft Inc, Vile Monarch’s first pot-themed video game, will be the last.

Why? "Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding the plant makes it difficult to promote the game, so for now we prefer to stay away from such polarizing topics," Kacper explained.

A Management Game

Previously, Vile Monarch made a name for themselves with Oh… Sir!, a ridiculous insult-based video game, and recently released Growing Up, a life simulator where you start as a child and grow your character into adulthood.

—What would you say to someone who hasn't played Weedcraft Inc yet?

—Put aside any assumptions you may have about the subject and enjoy it as a management game that does everything for showing you different aspects of an existing business. You might learn something along the way, but even if you don't, you'll be left with fun gameplay, an engaging story, and plenty of satirical humor.

—Who is the main character inspired by? Some say that in Shaggy from Scooby-Doo…

[Laughs] No, the resemblance to Shaggy is purely coincidental. The first character we invented was deliberately an "everyman," someone generic in a way, but we also had two other scenarios that dealt with more complex personalities: an African-American ex-convict and a businesswoman of Mexican descent.

Currently, Vile Monarch is developing two new games that still remain in the strictest secrecy.

“Each one of them will be different from each other, but also very different from our previous titles. Both will be set in the broad genre of management. Soon we will be able to make more specific announcements”, concluded the Polish game designer.

Photo Courtesy of Kacper Kwiatkowski. 

Posted In: Cannabis LifestyleKacper Kwiatkowskivideo gamesVile MonarchWeedcraft Inc.CannabisEntertainmentGamingNewsSocial MediaManagementSuccess StoriesStartupsSmall BusinessMarketsTechMediaGeneral

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