Graveyard Keeper is an extremely fun incredibly daunting game, especially in the first few hours. The game gives you some incredibly light direction with your first quest, then leaves you to figure it out. In a lot of games, this is fine, but Graveyard Keeper is extremely complex with lots of working parts. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when kicking off your adventure as the newest Gravekeeper on the block:
The Technology Tree functions as Graveyard Keeper’s upgrade and skill tree. Here you unlock different blueprints for building things, items for crafting, and perks for your keeper. The technology tree is broken into several different tabs based on grouping: Anatomy & Alchemy (improving bodily extractions and autopsies), Theology (building things to fix up the graveyard and church), Book Writing, Farming & Nature (gardening and such), Smithing (working with iron and other metals), Building (working with wood, stone, and other natural findings), and Cookery (unlocked naturally by reading recipes). Each piece of technology requires buying previous block (you can’t unlock advanced woodworking until you first unlock simple woodworking). Technology is purchased with research points. These are broken into three categories:
Red: Labor-Oriented – crafting, building, working, etc.
Green: Nature-Oriented – gardening, foraging, cooking, etc.
Blue: Intelligence/spirit – giving sermons, studying things, etc. (unavailable until the church is open)
Your early efforts and investments into the technology tree should revolve around the Building and Smithing tabs to make yourself self-sufficient, then the Theology tab in order to build components to fix the graveyard. Once you’ve dealt with your first body, have spoken to the bar owner, and subsequently the blacksmith, you should be able to get to work.
If You Build It, They Will Come
The most important goal early on is to get your church open. This will enable you to start earning blue research points, as well as give sermons to bring in donations, buy things through the royalty box, and build up your faith rankings. Once you’ve spoken to the Blacksmith to gain your first set of rusty tools, and unlock the crafting technology tree, you can kick-start your quest.
You’ll need to harvest logs by chopping down trees and digging up the stumps, then store the logs in your Wood Pile. Iron and stone can be found and mined north of your house, and can be stored in the chest next to your house. You’ll need to build a few things around your yard to get your operation moving: Sawhorse for making flitches and billets (think of these as your raw materials for wood working), a Carpenter’s Workbench for turning those raw materials into wooden markers, grave borders, and other things, a Furnace for melting iron deposits into Iron Ingots, a Wood Anvil for turning iron ingots into simple parts and nails, and finally a Chopping Spot for making firewood (much more resource efficient in powering the furnace than wooden sticks, at least until you can get to coal). You’ll eventually need a Stone Cutter to work with stone, but it isn’t quite crucial to fixing the church.
As you gather the resources required to tackle each step of this first phase, you will find yourself awash in red research points. This should help you unlock the new technologies you’ll need to get yourself where you need to be. That being said, in getting started, you may need to purchase a few things from the blacksmith to build each of these structures. Once I had the Wood Anvil, I only needed to buy an iron ingot or two and could turn them into the parts I needed instead of having to buy them.
A Good Body Is A Terrible Thing To Waste
If CSI: Miami has taught me anything, it’s that leaving a corpse in the sun is a terrible waste. As long as you have an open spot in your morgue, the donkey will deliver corpses to you. Repair your corpse hatch in order to give yourself extra time to get around to dealing with these as you focus on getting your territory in tip-top shape.
That being said, if you’re dealing with a body with a ton of red skulls, it might be better to avoid soiling your graveyard’s reputation with their remains. Once your church is rocking and roaring on sunday’s, focus on building a crematorium to deal with these troublesome meatbags. You can throw the bodies in the river if you need an immediate solution, but this has long-term ramifications you’re better off not dealing with.
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
Talk to each and every NPC you come across. Some are duds and don’t respond, but many have quest lines and tasks that open up merchant fronts that will help you later on. Outstanding tasks are tracked in the NPC tab of your menu, but not all pieces of conversation are tracked here. Many NPCs also only show up on certain days, as noted by the symbol above their head in the NPC tab (Astrologer only shows up by the lighthouse on the Moon day). Each NPC will also show up in specific areas. The important ones to worry about are:
Astrologer – Lighthouse
Snake – House Cellar
Bishop – Next to the Church
Merchant – South of the Inn
Inquisitor – Witch Hill
Now Get To Work!
That should get you started in figuring out how to get back home to your loved one. Take things one day at a time and try not to be overwhelmed at all the things you can do and work on. I found it best to pick a single task and focus on what I needed to do in order to accomplish it (for example, I need a wood repair kit, what do I need in order to build it myself?). If you get overwhelmed, pause the game, take a breath, and relax. You got this!