A game about growing plants (beta 6 released!)

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Beta 5: What should be worked on now?

Polish the 'Perfect Plant' mode
7
58%
Add an options menu
4
33%
Improve graphics and sound
1
8%
Something else (please explain)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 12

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Taehl
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A game about growing plants (beta 6 released!)

Post by Taehl » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:49 am

EDIT) The game was developing as this thread went on, so the stuff on the early pages is out of date. The game now looks more like this, and you can try out a beta version here. And now, back to the original thread.


This is a design document Ensayia and I have been discussing for a new game. I'm putting it here so we can hear general comments and critique (or just to hear if anyone would be interested in playing it). The game would be about growing plants, complete with genetics. The flora isn't going to be strictly terrestrial, we plan on taking liberties. Unlike the few other games which centrally deal with plants, we're /not/ planning on having any main mechanics based on repetitive taking care of them (watering, etc.), since that sort of thing is very boring to us (Harvest Moon, anyone?). So, for your discussion:
And thus, on this eve of December 15, year ten of the second millennium, we wrote:
> interface:
---> click on two plants to crossbreed them, then on the ground to plant their offspring
---> have only a certain number of growing-spots
---> plants can be removed at any time to free up their growing spot
------> have some kind of special effect for this?

> game modes:
---> sandbox
------> include a button to spawn random plants
---> tutorial?
---> "breed this plant"
------> a "perfect" plant is shown, and the player has to breed a copy of it
------> the player ends the level whenever they want, and then they're scored
---------> the score is determined by each plant's genetic similarity to the target plant. The closest plant is used for the earned score.
------> if there are no plants left, the player loses
------> Start with only one modifiable trait (others are locked), and each level unlocks a new trait, until in the final level you have to balance them all.
------> if all spots are empty, the level is over
------> IDEA! A level where you're ordered to make a certain plant (and its entire family) get killed by a disease (or sterile, depending one which mechanic we use) while protecting the other plant (and its family).
---> survival
------> aggressive disease, which strikes with increasing frequency
------> players are scored based on how long they can keep at least two plants alive

> genome and crossbreeding systems
---> traits: stem length, joint angle variance, number of splits per joint, number of stem iterations, number of leaves per bunch, chance leaf will be flower, chance flower will turn to fruit, flower/fruit hue, hue variance, and lightness, familyID
------> when crossbreeding, each trait becomes random in the range of its parents, plus a little extra random mutation
------> familyID is an invisible genetic trait which acts like all others, meant to roughly track lineage
---> plants must be full (or at least somewhat?) grown to be crossbred
---> to make sure players don't breed one family too heavily, use one of these mechanics:
------> disease: every 5 minutes, introduce a disease which has a chance of killing plants which are close to a certain randomly-chosen familyID.
------> sterility: each time a plant is bred, there's a chance it will stop being fertile and can't be bred any more. The closer the familyID between parents are, the higher this chance will be.
---------> make an obvious graphic (and sound?) to show which plants are fertile or not, maybe mushrooms growing on/around it?

> special plants:
---> directly make some plants we like, name them, and record their genomes
---> when player makes a plant that's very similar to one of them, transform their plant into a copy of the special plant and praise them
---> give buttons for unlocked plants, so players can spawn them once per level (or infinite times, in sandbox)
---> make a few of the special plants as the goal of the breed gamemode, so players will discover the unlock system
---> maybe have a special effect for each special plant? Sparkling, or something?

> make a neat bug which hovers around the cursor
---> maybe like a beetle or a dragonfly, but obviously not a real bug
---> animated wings
------> maybe multiple sets of wings?
Image

Image
Last edited by Taehl on Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:23 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Ryne
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Re: A game about growing plants

Post by Ryne » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:47 pm

From reading the description this visual popped into my head.

" A harvest moon type game, where you have a farm and can grow plants, own a house, expand the house etc."

Then I though that a reworked version of the sprites from my top-down zombie game code would look awesome http://love2d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2098.

I'm not sure if you wanted to take it in that direction, but I wouldn't mind reworking those sprites for you, and maybe also drawing up some plants/plants growing sprites. In the end you could still have the same general Idea (with combining plants and what not) but with a harvest moon type graphic style.

I wouldn't be able to offer any help along the lines of programming, but I could definitely do some graphic work for you.

Edit: Okay, Literally after post I read that bit where you said "Harvest moon anyone". Which is pretty funny, since that's the conclusion I came to while reading the description, without actually reading that part :D
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Taehl
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Re: A game about growing plants

Post by Taehl » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:41 pm

Actually, we're planning on making this nothing like Harvest Moon (I just mentioned it as an example of a game with plants that we find to be overly repetitive and boring). There's not going to be any farmhouse, farmer, farm, town, relationships, or anything like that - we currently are planning on the crossbreeding being the main mechanic, with the player just as a magic bug or something. As such, we won't need people (or zombie) sprites.

Really, when it comes to graphics, we're set, since both of us are artists. Fortunately we also hold the roles of master and apprentice coder, so we're good on that front, too. If anything, we could use someone who's good at making sound and/or music (we're both barely capable, but neither of us is too great at it).
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Re: A game about growing plants

Post by TechnoCat » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:46 pm

Punnett squares the game?

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Re: A game about growing plants

Post by Taehl » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:06 pm

Not quite - I'm not currently planning on having any traits be dominant, so the player won't have to fight against them... Or would that actually be fun?

Playing around with graphics and new growth code:
Image
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Re: A game about growing plants

Post by ZenX2 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:01 pm

Breeding specific species of plant and stuff sound fun ^^

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Re: A game about growing plants

Post by Taehl » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:52 pm

Since my last post I've simplified the growing algorithm, did some general work, and have implemented three genes (overall size, leaf size, and plant uniformity/variance). Here's an animation of how it looks right now:

Image

Ensayia is about to start experimenting with different graphic styles while I continue coding the genetics.
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Re: A game about growing plants

Post by TechnoCat » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:28 am

Very cool looking plant you've got growing there. :cool:

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Re: A game about growing plants

Post by tentus » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:17 am

Dude, study Eufloria. The game has some absolutely brilliant growing animations, all done with what look like static SVG files (I cannot say for certain... the game does use Lua extensively though, which gives me great hope for Love). It's also a rather fantastic game in general, it's worth your twenty dollars (procedural generation FTW!).
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Re: A game about growing plants

Post by Robin » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:21 am

Hm... bacon...
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