Finally I’ve written the first lines of code today. These are to create the basic graphics on the screen. Unfortunately I haven’t started to implement the real growth of trees, so this is just a sprite test. Nevertheless it works fine. So I’m quite happy with the outcome of today’s work. I also specified the game mechanics on paper. The game will be about balancing the 4 different ressources (soil, water, air and energy) by constructing five different buildings and let the trees grow. At the start of the game a goal is selected randomly by a fixed set of goals. These goals will include making a specific amount of trees or a specific height. Fine tuning of the concept is still necessary.
Today I have made just little progress on my game for Experimental Gameplay Project and OneGameAMonth. At least I’ve decided for a name: “Growstruct”. Also I’ve detailed the game mechanics and made some first sketches for the buildings to construct. They will definitely not look like the buildings in the mockup from yesterday’s post. They’ll be smaller and more greyish. Finally, I made a new project in FlashDevelop. So I’m not that far away from writing the first lines of code ;).
Started with gamedev today, but haven’t written a single line of code yet. I just made some basic sprites and a mockup of the main screen of the game. The trees will grow by themselves and you can construct tree-buildings that will have an impact on the three resources. These resources will influence the growth of the trees.
Sounds confusing? Yeah, I’m still not sure about the main game mechanics. But the game will look similar to that mockup.
The technology behind
This Ludum Dare I only could spend one day for making a game and I wanted to try out a new technology (HaxePunk). Usually that’s not a good idea for a time restricted jam, especially with restricting oneself even further.
Working with a new language and library worked surprisingly well. Tuning down the scope of my game probably helped, but Haxe seems to be quite a convenient language to work with. The HaxePunk library was a great addition to have quick results, as most of the basic engine stuff necessary for my game was already in there.
For creating some ambient background sound for my game I had a nice idea: As it is finally spring now in Germany, I wanted to record some spring sounds, like birds. I did this with my phone, which worked pretty well. Unfortunately transferring the file into Audacity did something very strange to the sound and it was too late to figure out how to solve it. That is the reasons the bird sounds seem more like from a jungle than a mid-European garden.
What’s that game about
As mentioned, I didn’t have the full 48 hours, so I had to come up with something really simple. The basic idea has some resemblance to my LD23 game Bottlecolonies, but this time with free placement and only two different colors. This makes the gameplay probably a little boring quite soon.
The idea is, that with each new planted flower, the existing ones will grow through different stages. If there are negative influences around (potatoes, mushrooms, different kind of plant) and surpass the positive ones (same kind of plants) the plant will decay. Additionally, a feature implemented quite late, the mushrooms will spread for a while. So goal and strategy of the game is to place the same kind of plants close to each other, block spreading of mushrooms and avoid the negative stuff around your seedlings. The rhythm as how the two different plants are seeded is quite simple. Each three plants it will change. You will win the game if there are enough grown plants and will lose if there are too many decayed ones.
What went right
- Getting the idea (I already had this idea in my mind for OneGameAMonth for the theme “spring” and it also fits the LD theme)
- Fast progress with a new tech (I’m surprised by myself how well I got into HaxePunk)
- Making a Flash game (a lot more plays than usually with a Windows standalone)
- Finish in time (was a long evening, but I did cut the features early enough)
What went wrong
- Making the background sounds (as mentioned above, and took me some time to mix the few recorded sounds to not be to repetitive)
- Player feedback in the game (A lot of people mentioned it: an indicator for the placing position and some feedback what will seed next would be great; I agree)
So all in one, I’m quite happy with my entry.