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Entering the virtual farming realm

Entering the virtual farming realm

A piece of P.E.I. farm equipment will appear in the Farming Simulator video game

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

A piece of farm machinery from one of Canada’s top potato-producing provinces will be available for players of the Farming Simulator video game.

H.F. Stewart, a West Point, P.E.I. company that manufactures bulk boxes, washers and hoppers, has its name in the game through its 45-foot (13-metre) telescopic bin piler.

Getting the equipment into the game took almost four years of communication between the farm equipment company and the video game developer, said Zach Stewart, business development manager with the H.F. Stewart .

“About three-and-a-half years ago, I reached out to (Giants Software) remembering them when I was a kid playing the (Farming Simulator) game,” he told Farms.com. “They got back to me and we started getting the ball rolling.”

Stewart and Giants Software traded emails of 3D renderings and drawings of the piler, which farmers use to pile potatoes for storage or for unloading into transport trucks. Game developers plugged the drawings into the company’s software to create the virtual equipment.

The attention to detail on the virtual piler is impressive, Stewart said.

“I don’t think they could have done much better of a job,” he said. “You can even see our part number on the cylinders on the bin piler in case you needed to order another one.”

Giants Software released its first Farming Simulator video game in 2009. The simulator has featured John Deere, AGCO and Case IH equipment, among other brands.

Seeing his family’s name in the video game alongside those other farm equipment manufacturers was a special moment, Stewart said.

“It’s something you never think would ever happen but it was really cool to play with the equipment (in the game) and know that you were there when it was built,” he said.

The bin piler may only be the first piece of H.F. Stewart equipment to be included in the game.

Communication channels are open between the two parties to work together again, Stewart added.



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