Saturday, 26 October 2019

GAME JAM DAY ONE: WHAT A MESS

I am entering the Weekly Game Jam being held over on Itch.io. The week's jam is titled 'What a Mess' and I immediately thought about the environment and its current state.

Back in the 90s I used a wildlife habitat simulator called EcoBeaker (A quick search here reveals it's still going!) and I thought this would be a great opportunity to develop a simpler version of my own for the jam. To make the simulator a game, I plan to get the player to introduce predators at a time of their choosing in order to maintain an ecological balance.

For this to work there needs to be a few basic rules:

INSECTS

  • The game will include habitat that insects will feed off
  • Feeding insects gain energy
  • Increased insect feeding will result in a shrinking landscape
  • Reduced insect feeding will result in an expanding landscape
  • Insects can only reproduce if they have sufficient energy
  • Insects die if energy levels reach zero


PREDATORS

  • One predator at a time will be introduced by the player
  • A maximum of three introductions at a time
  • Predators feed off insects to gain energy
  • Predators can only reproduce if they have sufficient energy
  • Predators die if energy levels reach zero


DAY ONE'S PROGRESS

At the end of day one I have a procedure that generates a random landscape that depletes or expands according to the insect feeding levels.

I also have randomly moving insects that follow the six insect rules above. Already I'm finding it interesting to watch how even at this basic level, the simulator is highlighting the important relationship between landscape and insect.



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