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

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Growing Trees!

by oparisy - Compo Entry

Growing Trees!

Please connect a pad, press any button ("Y" will do), and use the left stick to rotate. You can then grow trees by clicking on the "A" button.

You can also use your keyboard directional keys and "space" (you may need to click on the windows once for your input to be taken into account).

Also, I suggest you test this in fullscreen.

Let's describe this as an... experiment, since you won't find much with regard to gameplay. But hey, have a look around! Do try to grow trees on those mountains!

Post-submission fixes :
* debugged tree initial rotation issue
* enabled growth animation
* keyboard support

I consider those fixes fair since the needed code and assets where written during the initial 48h and only required some final debugging.

Oh, and there is no sound. None. Maybe next time!

Downloads and Links




Move127 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:10pm

Definitely more of an experiment than a game. I hope you learned some good things that you can use next time. I like the little planet though.

Stuntddude says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:18pm

If this game had some sound and consisted of more than indiscriminately plopping trees onto a bare planet (maybe some more scenery, or something that prevents me from spawning a tree in the middle of an ocean?), it could build a great atmosphere. What you have so far is a charming start, but there just isn't enough here to keep my attention for more than a minute.

BubuIIC says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:23pm

I liked the animation of the appearing trees, that was nicely done. I covered the whole planet. There should not be trees on water though.

oparisy says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:27pm

@Move127: that's definitely the case, I put some assets workflow ideas and a new coding toolking into practice, which consumed the greatest part of my compo time. That's indeed an investment for the next LD, which I'm eager to start already :-)

@Stuntdude: hey, thanks for your honestly, and I'm pleased you took the time to test this in any case, especially since "charming" definitely describes what I was targeting. I could definitely have added some gameplay rules once the hard part (an engine and some assets) were designed, but I ran out of time and wanted to keep it honest. The scenery idea is nice, I'll keep it in mind.

oparisy says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:31pm

@BuBuIIC: yes, the animation (mostly inverse kinematics) took me some time, but not as much as writing the code to import it into my engine... Well, that won't have to be coded next time I presume :)

With respect to the water, I did the hard part once I detected the proper ground place where to grow the tree (see how it follows the local terrain curvature?), and intended to use the associated terrain information (water, snow, sand or grass) to grow an appropriate specy of tree, or nothing when on the water.

But, again, I had no time left for this.

Fathom says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:49pm

I put trees all over the place. On the land, on the ocean, everywhere.

I have made a tree world.

Cool art! I would have liked more types of things to grow. Maybe a bush or another tree.

OttersDen says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:53pm

The graphics are actually very nice and fit nicely together. And I like how the planet spins slowly when you aren't rotating it. It is nice to just stare at it for a little bit after planting trees.

ninjascript says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:57pm

Nice start to something, Are you going to continue to develop it?

StMatn says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:08am

The graphics look really nice. Its a bit strange, that you can grow trees on the ocean ;)
It would be nice, if you could add some gameplay, because the look is nice. Oh and I would suggest to stop the constant movement, since it makes "aiming" a bit difficult ;)

oparisy says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:58pm

I love how you people used this as some kind of screensaver. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.

@ninjascript Well I'm not sure, it's only my second entry so far and I still try to learn and improve, so I'm more interested in tidying my code, reporting the bugs I've found in the libs I used and improving my toolking for now.

Plus, I'm not sure how far I can change what I have submitted (should I implement that "no trees on water" feature, or is this against the rules?).

If I find how I can serve two versions of my entry from github pages, I may work on some improvements indeed.

The rotation was is for the "realistic fealing" and is actually one on my only implemented gameplay rule (making aiming just a little bit more challenging, you spotted it).

Blobo says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 4:43pm

Pretty neat. it isn't much of a game, but it was interesting. i really like the models of the trees and the planet.

uvwar says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 7:45pm

Hello fellow planetoid-growing-software-toy person! You should take a peek at my game, we had pretty dang similar ideas (I didn't get trees into my thing, yet). Cool tree animations, and your controls a lot more intuitive than mine are, the colored polygons are also cool!

oparisy says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 2:07pm

@uvwar Hi, similar concepts indeed! I tested and liked your compo (I commented in more details there). My controls are mostly an out of the box "orbit camera". I chose to not use an independently moving cursor, which is easier to control, but as a consequence it lacks a visual cue of where the tree will grow.

The low-poly tree was modeled and animated in blender, using skeletal animation.

local minimum says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 2:25pm

It is a very interesting start for an interactive experience or more gameified experience. But without having any restrictions on planting the palms and no variation or dynamic events reacting on what the player does, it feels a bit bare. I would suggest considering button press be inducing 'growth' and that 'growth' would be context dependent on (a) color/type of surface under the cursor, (b) surrounding growth, and possibly also (c)duration of play. A really neat scenario would be if growth would mean increasingly complex ecosystem so that first you grow vegetables of a variety of sorts and then when enough of those exist and you press 'growth' some grazing animal would spawn. When enough of those, predators and so on. Maybe also humans and civilizations. Of course this could not be done fully within LD. But it would be the direction I would go with what you have here. Finally, I think a game like this really needs music that reflects the state of the world for the mood to be well established. Nice entry though, especially the graphics.

Jan 4, 2016 @ 2:28pm

As you've admitted yourself, it's more of an experiment than a game. Interesting foundation for later work though, I hope the experience was a good one.

oparisy says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 7:17pm

@local minimum: thanks for your detailed feedback. I expected to have the time to model different species of trees, and grow the appropriate one with respect to targeted surface. I agree with you that not growing on water would be the absolute minimum :)

I like your ecosystem idea a lot, definitely the kind of systems I'd like to toy with. I still struggle with how to build a gameplay upon it, though. Some kind of Populous game maybe...

oparisy says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 7:20pm

@BunchaSapsGames Thanks! Yes, I indeed learned quite a lot wrt modeling, animation and workflows (game assets are a complex topic when not using an existing engine), and even reported a few bugs discovered (during compo time! Argh!) in libs I was using.

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