Ludum Dare 34 — December 11th-14th, 2015 — Theme Tied: Two Button Controls, Growing

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Ecosystem

by AtkinsSJ - Compo Entry

A little ecosystem thing. Click the buttons at the bottom to choose your tool, then click around on the world and see what happens. The little coloured dots are seeds. Grow plants, and listen to some (hopefully) calming sounds (or you can turn them off).

There's a web build on the game page, but it's very slow and you can't move the camera or save/load your game. So, I recommend the downloadable Java build.

Move around with WASD/Arrow keys. Window is resizable. Enjoy!

Downloads and Links


Ratings

#292Innovation3.45
#320Mood3.21
#446Theme3.78
#607Humor2.06
#618Audio2.24
#673Overall3.00
#703Fun2.83
#706Graphics2.65
#1679Coolness41%

Comments

HuvaaKoodia says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 12:57pm

A neat cellular automata simulation. I especially like how seeds travel on water.

A few issues:

Water should even out horizontally a lot faster.
Right now it's possible to create a mountain of water, which looks a bit silly.

Turning a fully soaked ground tile into stone keeps the moisture level intact.
This means that the stone tile is blue, which is not normally possible, and a plant can grow on it as well.

Plants can grow through tiles above them.

Cacti can grow underwater as long as it resides on a stone.

AtkinsSJ says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:13pm

Thanks for checking it out HuvaaKoodia! You're right, there are quite a few bugs with it. If I do a post-compo version I'll sort those out. :)

el_kloklo says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 12:18pm

Somehow this game keep me busy for a descent time.

I liked the water physic, even if its a bit buggy when you add rock on wet dirt. I made some "fountains" with stairs used to transmit wetness on several ground.

Maybe some kind of goal and a bit more plant could be nice in a post-compo version. It is also not that clear what makes big and small plants.

lurils says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 3:58pm

this is a really nice simulation type thing, quite fun

SayRafon says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 9:31pm

Wow I liked everything in this game, nice work here ;)

awesomerex says ...
Dec 27, 2015 @ 6:21pm

Great work! This is a really fun ecosystem simulation. I would have liked tool tips for the buttons to help the learning curve. Although it was also fun experimenting with each type of button and just seeing what happens.

Solifuge says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 9:36pm

I had a good time making a little hanging garden in this. It's a simple game; cute and fun to explore. It got me to thinking about all the different directions a dev could take this kind of core mechanic, too.

You could make discrete plants and such into self-sustaining loops. Plants could be feeding each other or some critters, producing a balanced loop of water production and consumption, etc. They could be terraforming barren terrain too; some plants could take nutrients out of soil and make it barren/stone, while others die or enrich it. Perhaps you only have a limited number of seeds you can plant per type, and you need to keep the ecosystem stable to keep playing; new plants, critters, and tools could be given to the player over time, to expand their options, and create a sense of progression. This could move into strategy/resource management game territory with some kind of currency; maybe plants providing the player with currency to trade for new tools or seeds, or a quota of plants need to be grown before a season is up, etc.

This makes me want to try building a strategy game or RPG around cellular automata. :P

ss64games says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 9:37pm

Awesome little simulator! Very impressive movement of water for a jam game. I enjoyed watching cactuses take over everything, and discovering how to grow water lillies. I tried to set up an irrigation system for the flowering plants that need water, but it didn't work out too well. The seed popping sound and rain sfx were a bit annoying. Great concept, would love to see this expanded.

Claire1605 says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 10:17pm

Lot of fun playing with this simulation. Reminded me a lot of a game I used to play where different sand particles had different properties like things that burned and grew. A lot of potential to make extend on this in a similar way if you ever wanted. Great job!

freaknarf says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 1:34pm

Nice experiment ! i liked to try some different configurations and had fun with this little sandbox. Maybe the light factor could have be implemented, because plants quite like it :]
I had some crashes that ended games several times on the web build,and some little details are weird (collisions, snow?)but it's always fun to build a little world and watch it evolve.

AtkinsSJ says ...
Jan 5, 2016 @ 10:51am

Thank you everyone who played and rated, and especially if you've left a comment. Considering this isn't really a 'game' as such, it's done better than I had hoped. :)

I would like to polish this up and develop it further, but I tend to say that about every jam game, so maybe I will, maybe I won't. ;)

Solifuge, I had hoped to have creatures involved, I just ran out of time - I have quite a list of things that didn't get added! The idea of plants terraforming is really good though, I'll write that one down. I chose to go for a sandbox rather than progression, but that could certainly work.

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