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How I spent $1.3 million trying to bake a cake in Farming Simulator 22, Part 2

Farming Simulator 22 tractor by cows
(Image credit: Giants Software)

In the first part of my diary I was in the midst of attempting to bake a cake from scratch by Christmas in Farming Simulator 22, though with only two months left in the in-game year, I'd managed only to produce some eggs and strawberries while spending... let me check my notes... ah, yes. One million dollars.

I still need wheat to turn into flour, sugar beets to make sugar, and a whole bunch of milk because I need to turn some of it into butter while leaving the rest of it as milk. While my prospects of completing a single cake seem dim, at least there's been a little progress in the cow department.

Milk and butter

A farmer's work is never done, especially when he hasn't even begun 80% of his work. As I'm running past my cow pen panicking about everything, I see they've actually produced some milk. Naturally, I can't use my water tank to transport milk, so it's time to lease a different goddamn tank and tow it to the farm. With 649 liters of fresh milk, I head to the dairy, which I buy (for $70,000). I then tell it to start making butter and to send that butter to the bakery, please and thank you.

(Image credit: Giants Software)

Frazzled as I am, it never stops feeling good to actually produce something from my stupid little incomplete highway farm. But even though I've got milk for butter, I also need more milk for just plain milk, so I spend about $10,000 on more cows (this time I have them delivered). I now have eggs, butter, and strawberries sitting in my bakery, waiting for everything else.

Beets

Meanwhile, I get some discouraging news. After plowing a second small field on the other side of the exit ramp and renting a different seeding machine (everything seems to need its own specialized gear) and filling it with beet seeds, I get a notification that I can't plant beets in October. They need to be planted earlier in the year. Well, shit. Beets were my avenue to sugar, a fairly important ingredient in cake. I really wanted to grow my own, but after sitting at my desk with my head in my hands for a while, I start wondering if there's a shortcut I can take.

(Image credit: Giants Software)

I check the map for existing beet fields, and as it turns out there's one right next to the baseball stadium across the highway. I know I wanted to make everything from scratch, but I've got two months until Christmas, and my cake currently consists of strawberries floating in raw eggs next to a stack of butter and I am stressed. I buy the beet field for $146,000, I rent a giant beet-harvesting truck the size of an aircraft carrier for $24,000, and I drive to the beet field.

The entire field is withered. The beets are dead. What kinda shitty farmer lets his beets die so another shitty farmer can't harvest them? I drive my harvester all over the field, but it gathers no beets. Sheeit. I head back to my farm and stare angrily at my wheat field, which hasn't grown at all. Sheeit.

Beets, still

It is now December. My cows have produced more milk, which I drive glumly to the bakery. I sold the stupid dead beet field, recouping my loss, but I'm still down to about $350,000, and my cake prospects aren't looking good. I have plenty of milk and tons of strawberries in the bakery, I have a decent amount of butter and my chickens are making more eggs, but I have zero wheat to make flour or beets to make sugar and no time to grow them, anyway.

But what if I just buy wheat? I bought wheat grain to feed my chickens, so does that mean I can just buy a ton of chicken feed, drive it to the grain mill, and have them make flour out of it? It's not making it from scratch like I wanted, but I've gotta do something. I take my trailer to the store, fill it with several enormous bags of chicken feed, then drive to the mill, which I buy for $96,000. Sure enough, it allows me to dump my grain into it and starts producing flour.

Okay. Okay! My dreams of growing everything from scratch are in shambles, but maybe I can still get some cakes out the door by Christmas. I search the store for beets, but they don't sell them. They do, however, sell pallets of sugarcane stalks, which can be put in a sugarcane seeding machine and planted. I have no time and even less skill to do that, but can I just take the sugarcane stalks to a sugar mill instead?

I buy about a thousand dollars worth of sugarcane to fill my trailer, and then realize I can't find a sugar mill anywhere on the map. So, I build one on my property for $80,000. This is how desperate I've become, I'm just building entirely new industrial buildings 6 inches from the highway on land I had planned to use for farming. I drive my sugarcane to my brand-new sugarmill, dump it all out front, and... yes, the plant begins producing sugar.

There is very, very little time left in December, but for the first time, my bakery has every ingredient it needs: flour, sugar, milk, eggs, butter, and strawberries. As I stand outside the bakery, staring intently at my screen with pleading eyes, I see the cake production change from "Missing Ingredients" to "Running." The sugar has arrived. They can bake the cakes.

I check the bakery's storage. It says Cake: 1.

Cake

I have baked a cake. I have baked a cake! I may have added some audio to the gif above! But I have baked a cake! I spent $1,327,348 and didn't actually grow a single thing on my stupid farm, but I have baked a single goddamn fruitcake. 

The only thing souring the mood is the bakery won't actually release my cake until I have an entire pallet full of cakes, instead of just one. And I don't have nearly enough ingredients for a whole mess of cakes.

So, I spend the rest of December in a mad rush to deliver more milk to the butter factory, more sugarcane to the mill, more eggs to the bakery, and more wheat to the other mill. I entrust an egg delivery to an AI worker but he literally drops the eggs along the way—I blame myself for telling him to drive a forklift on the highway—so I fire his ass and take over myself. Then I'm hit by a car, the eggs go flying, and my forklift falls over. I just pick up the eggs and run down the sidewalk to the bakery, dropping them several more times. These are gonna be some delicious cakes.

It's nightfall, the final hours of December are ticking away, and I'm sitting outside the bakery in my truck, headlamps pointed at the cargo area. 

And then, magically, they appear. A proper pallet of strawberry cakes I can actually see with my tired farmer eyes.

I can't move them—my forklift is still lying on its side down the block—so I just jump in my trunk and honk the horn. I did it, and given there's 2 hours left in the gameday of December, I'm gonna go ahead and say I did it by Christmas. I have $70,884 left in my bank account, which means I spent $1,429,116, almost my entire savings, to bake a pallet of cakes sorta kinda from scratch. I did not, at any point, successfully perform any actual farming.

Just for kicks, the next day I take my pallet of fruitcakes to a local restaurant to sell them. They're worth $2,674. Merry Christmas.

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.