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:
---> 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:
------> include a button to spawn random plants
---> "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).
------> 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?