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

NOTE: Because of the Theme tie, we allowed everyone to pick either Theme. Using both was optional. To keep things simple, there will still only be one Theme category. Every category in Ludum Dare voting is an opinion, so you’re welcome to rate them as you see fit. But we encourage you to be fair in your scores to people that chose only one Theme, and not both.

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Plant Lab

by Moebius - Compo Entry

### About the Game ###

Plant Lab is a simulation game that lets you mess with the DNA of a plant.

The bigger/more branches/leafs/fruits the plant grows within the maximum of 16 days the more money you make. You can use this money to manipulate even more genes of the test subjects.

### How-to play? ###

In the DNA manipulation screen (first screenshot) you can change nucleotides using the nucleotide changer tokens on the bottom of the screen.

You can buy those tokens with money you earned with your plant.

To manipulate the genetic material you just select one of the changers and click on the nucleotide you want to change to that specific nucleotide.

On the top row you can select which plant you want to use as starting point for your next genetic incursion. The last 5 plants along with their genetic material and some growth statistics are preserved.

In the simulation screen the right top icon shows the current weather. The three bars on the left side are: water (blue), sunlight (yellow), energy (red). The plant uses water and sunlight to produce energy. This energy is then in turn used to help the plant grow. Depending on the plant's DNA the plant will use more or less energy to grow. Nearly everything is encoded in the DNA - even the color of the fruits!

### Notes ###

The game is written entirely in Java using LibGDX.

* Note that this game has no sounds (due to lack of time) and might not be fully ballanced yet.
* Windows version only runs under 64bit Windows versions (most ppl should have 64bit by now).
* If you don't want to spoil the fun you should not look up how the different properties are encoded in the DNA by looking into the source code. You have been warned ;)


Post compo version with better balancing and three difficulties to select from:

Downloads and Links




danbolt says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:41am

Very cool. I liked the clean, small retro aesthetic of it. Or, it added a cute character compared to a lot of fullscreen-esuqe Unity games. Not that those are bad!

Editing the genome was really interesting, but it felt a bit opaque. I wasn't 100% sure what my effects would do, or how combining them together changes it.

Did you use an L-System for the plant logic?

Moebius says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:33pm

No, I didn't use the L-System. I hadn't really time to work into that so I created my own little algorithm ;)

And that editing genomes is not very opaque is by design.

Echo Team says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:24am

My plants are terrible, deformed creates who cannot fathom the light of day.! Kiiillll mee, they beckon once matured. Kiiilll meeee

Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:21pm

This is a really cool take on the theme, I love it! :D
On Firefox 42 on Windows 8.1, there are scrollbars around the embedded game though, maybe you should make it a bit bigger in your entry settings (around 20px either side might do it?)

DrTeaSpoon says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:30pm

Very cool. Though very hard to get hang of the different gene stuff.

pjimmy says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:33pm

very interesting

Moebius says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:50pm

Thanks @zedutchgandalf for the info. The problem with the scrollbars in Firefox is now fixed :)

Dianouille says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:50pm

I love how you use the theme. Pretty innovative idea. The graphics are clean. The only matter, I think, it's that I didn't really what I have to do, how to modify the genome to make the plant that I want .. Maybe it's due to a lack of feedbacks and tutorial. But you're game is cool, congrats !

piper82 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:18am

while we dont need source code to progress, small hints would be nice to give some pointers. really liked this one. got a 650$ plant on third try so im gonna grind some money and mess with it a bit more :) so... put some hints and diminishing returns for the same plant being exploited for balance?

purrpurr says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:36am

I'm a bit unclear about the weather effects and a larger history would be nice. But other than that I do really like playing around with this. It's one of the smarter entries as far as I'm concerned. Just can't help but want this on android somehow.

daveh says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 7:30pm

Fantastic take on the theme. Growing money is always fun. ;-) Some goals to work towards would have been nice. I really like the graphical style too.

BubuIIC says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 7:47pm

Really nice idea. Pretty unique take. I never really made any money to improve my plant though. Once you're stuck with a crappy plant it is difficult.

Pusty says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 8:47pm

Well I like the concept and the DNA screen but the actual plant growing looks a bit weak , I think. Also not knowing what the changes do combined with the lack of music/sounds made it kinda boring. But I think the idea itself is very good

IAmSpencer says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 6:55am

wow, there's a lot of systems in place here, very well done for 48 hours!

the graphics all seemed to be coherent and personally I loved them, very retro and pretty haha, the plant growing mechanic is a very interesting beast, and I can definitely see myself getting sucked into figuring out how everything works and how each property is affected.

Excellent entry, nice job :)

fxtagn says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 7:35pm

Roses are red, .. oh. Interesting and fine implemented idea! May became the "one plant tycoon" =)

Jan 5, 2016 @ 1:07am

[ETC from Creative Sectors]
It took a couple of run to fully understands what's happening on the plant screen after my changes in the lab. I really like farming and tycoon games and it was a great game to chill between two action-packed games. I like your unique approach of the Growing theme.

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