So, I didn’t update this devlog as much as I intended to, but better late than never.
Day/Night is now established as a force in the world. Plants, predators, and players are now all affected by whether or not they are in “Day” or “Night”. Plants bloom quicker in daylight, queens and their pawns move slower at night, and predators come out at night.
One of my goals with this system is to force players into action and have them fight for territory that’s getting more sun, and therefore growing food more quickly.
In relation to the day/night cycle and the plant blooming cycle, I added the ability for players to force plants into bloom by clicking on them. When this is done at night, the plant becomes more stressed; when this is done during the day, the plant becomes less stressed. And as the plant becomes more stressed, it takes longer and longer to bloom.
My goal here is for players to learn how to “farm”. Part of the trick is that plants gain stress faster than they lose it when farmed, but if left alone for a while they naturally come back down. I see this as part of learning to dwell within the world. I also see it as a way to increase engagement, by making the game more “clicky”. In particular, I’m reminded of falling suns in Plants Vs Zombies.
I’ve also settled on the visual motif for this game. I’ve decided I want a very geometric look, so the queens are ovals, the pawns are triangles, predators are rotating octagons that live inside deccagons, and plants are squares that fold out when in bloom. I’m not gonna lie, a big incentive to go this route is simply how much easier it is for me to do.
Because this game is based on emergence in mechanics, it seemed natural to work towards random level generation. So far, even with few constraints in place, levels are coming out interesting. I’m gonna keep refining this aspect for probably longer than I need, or until it stops being fun.
I would really like to make the game multiplayer as soon as possible, but due to constraints on my time and the limited amount of time left in the semester, I will most likely wait until May to begin in earnest on that.