Local designers make fun and games out of a "budding" industry - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local designers make fun and games out of a "budding" industry

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RICHLAND, WA - It's a one-of-a-kind video game that's being homegrown right here in Eastern Washington. 'Cash Crop' allows gamers to explore and learn about the legal marijuana growing industry. Reporter Jaclyn Selesky caught up with the two guys behind this budding business.

It's a sign of the times. With marijuana being legalized in states across the country and grow houses popping up left and right, two Tri-Cities guys decided to create a video game so players can explore what goes on behind the scenes of the marijuana-growing industry.

"We believe that this is going to be the tycoon game for marijuana," said Ty Mulholland, creative director of 'Cash Crop'. "This is going to be the farming simulation game that people will have a lot of fun, they'll get educated about an industry that has been forever shrouded in mystique, and a lot of negative mystique."

It's a realistic spin in the fantasy world that is gaming. Ty and Grant, the creators of 'Cash Crop', want to make sure that players understand the common struggles that growers can face.

"Flies, aphids, birds, thieves coming and stealing your crops, all of this gets to be part of that game experience," said Grant Williams, president of 'Cash Crop'. 

'Cash Crop' takes place right here in the Pacific Northwest. It's about a beet farmer from the Midwest who wants to break into a different kind of farming.

"This is the area that is really going to take off," said Mulholland. "Both in the marijuana industry, which is already showing to be true, and potentially in this industry type of game. We believe in the Pacific Northwest and we believe in what's happening here."

Most importantly, Grant and Ty want to break through all of the negative stereotypes that are associated with the legal marijuana industry.

"The game isn't about drug use, the game isn't about crime," said Williams. "It's about having a fun, quirky crew that makes these plants. It's about managing the health of your plant, making a great product and customizing different strands."

Right now 'Cash Crop' is in the prototype phase. Grant and Ty are taking their video game to Game Connection at the end of the month, which is a business convention for video games in hopes that a publisher will invest in their game development and marketing. If all goes well for them, their product will be available on Steam, a digital distributing platform that would reach players worldwide.