wiki:GerminationxGame
Last modified 7 years ago Last modified on 04/29/2011 03:43:13 PM

Germination X Game Design

The game will involve exploring a large shared space, collecting seeds and planting new plants. Each plant will display who planted it and when. How well the plants grow will depend on their surrounding plants, due to the companion planting rules.

Current simple version of this running here: http://t0.fo.am:8001

GerminationxPlantDesign

Games for reference

Serious games that deal with farming and food production:

General ideas

  • You can sew seeds and see other player's plants.
  • The plants will grow according to a simulation model based on companion planting.
  • The game contains planting guide companions who can guide you. See germinationx companion?.
  • Players never directly meet in the game - although they will be aware of each other's activity and be able to share information via simple messages and seeds, perhaps other game related items.
  • The world is large and you can freely explore, but you can only see a small portion of it at a time.
  • The plants will consist of local, interesting or on the edge of extinction species as well as well known types.

Player relationships

One of the core ideas is to create a system from which the themes of companion planting are consistent, by making it possible for people to work together. To enable this communication is required, but will be restricted to the following events:

Players will be notified when people plant seeds that originate from plants they have planted. Players will also be notified when other players create a more (or less) beneficial environment for their plants by their actions.

In this way a graph of connections between players will be created in a similar manner to the facebook friends graph, but less explicitly, as it results indirectly from actions in the game.

Permaculture

Plants in the game will grow according to simplified permaculture and companion planting rules. As well as players, plants are also arranged into guilds, of mutually beneficial plants. The companion will teach you which plants are suitable for planting together and why - this will be based on real life examples. In companion planting?, each plant has something it offers (a function) and also something it needs (a weakness). For example, an extremely simple plant guild could consist of:

Plant Function Weakness
Pea N2 fixer Pests
Turnip Repels pests Susceptible to weather damage
Apple tree Provides shelter Requires N2

In this way each plant benefits from close proximity to the other, and forms a loop of dependency. Not sure if this particular example is accurate - it's very important that we use real examples.

Pea needs -> Apple tree needs -> Turnip needs -> Pea

More plants may form complex relationships, but we don't need much more complexity to get the point across. So, areas planted out of balance will be susceptible to the plant's weaknesses, eg an area dominated by peas:

P P T P
P P P P
P T P P
P P P A

Will be decimated by pests, while an area lacking shelter would become damaged by harsh weather eg:

T A T P
P P P P
P T T T
P P P T

A more suitable pattern would be to mix them up more thoroughly:

P T A P
A P T A
T T A P
P A A T

Regions

The world is separated into regions (temperate, arctic, arid, mountainous, tropical). As your guild's experience increases, you can explore further and grow plants in multiple regions. Regions will have corresponding weather conditions, and pests.

Players living in different regions will be able to give us feedback on growing conditions and ideas for new plants and recipes.

Weekly year seasons

The growing season will be sped up into a week.

  • Sat, Sun: Winter, some harvesting of root crops.
  • Mon, Tue, Wed: Spring / Summer, time to plant.
  • Wed Thu, Fri: Summer / Autumn, harvesting time.

Perhaps these need to be shifted around to suit the average working week! Growing conditions will vary in time as well as space - affected by weather.

Boskoi

Needs much more thought, and a closer look at the project from my point of view, but some ideas:

  • Plants discovered during foraging expeditions result in additional seeds being made available to your gardener guild.
  • Plants foraged in boskoi replenish your energy in the game.
  • As your guild improves, so boskoi unlocks secret plants in your city.