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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsEda: a bonsai-growing game (Demo available!)
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alpha_rats
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« on: May 19, 2016, 04:06:28 AM »

Edit - 20.07.2016

The demo of Eda is available!

>> Play/Download it on GameJolt <<
>> Play/Download it on itch.io <<


There are some performance problems with the web version,
trying the desktop one is highly recommended!





Hello TIG! I'm starting my first devlog here about my current project Eda.

Eda is a bonsai-growing game based on a prototype I made for the Ludum Dare 34 last December : here is the LD version of the game on itch.io!
I'm developing it further since 10 days now, and plan to have it finished by the end of 2016.


The idea :

A relaxing and aesthetic experience, the goal of the game being mainly to create the most harmonious tree possible by controlling the growth of the Bonsai and trimming/shaping it using tools and processes inspired by the real-life process of bonsai care.

My goal is to offer an interesting variety of different trees to grow, and to have the most harmonious/life-like way for them to behave. The focus is the easthetic experience and the expression of the player's creativity.

Platform : PC, and i'm also aiming for an Android release
Controls : mouse/touch controls


What is alredy implemented :

- randomized background elements (pottery, little carpet...)
> to be expanded later on

- different types of tree to grow
> implemented, I still need to draw the art assets and create different growing patterns for each tree type

- growing mechanic : allows the player to subsivide and grow branches from the end of another one

- pruning mechanic : allows the player to prune an unharmonious branch
> later on, a pruned branch will grow two subdivisions from the cut point, creating shorter branches with more subdivisions, traditionnaly considered more aesthetic

- rough camera movement

- rough UI

The next important things to implement:

- Make the tree grow by himself, add some life! : make the overall tree grow and expand, new branches grow from existing ones, etc...

- Have a season/lifecycle for the tree: make the leaves grow and wither, allow some trees to grow flowers and little fruits, etc...

- Add more shaping/trimming/styling possibilities for the player

- Add some care possibilities for the player: change the pot when the tree is to big (or it withers), etc...

- Allow players to take pictures of their trees easily


Ok... now, screenshots!




example of a bonsai you can grow in the current version



a preview of the current gameplay!




Thanks for your attention Smiley
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 02:57:52 AM by alpha_rats » Logged

bdsowers
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2016, 07:22:14 AM »

This is really relaxing. I like the simple aesthetic.

Would be interested to know how you're doing the "growth." It looks like it's just some rotation and scaling of textures?
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thekosmonaut
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2016, 08:13:59 AM »

Cool

I think there is a top seller on iOS that basically is a tree growing simulation as well, can't remember the name right now, maybe you can look into that for inspiration.
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nnyei
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2016, 08:24:14 AM »

Oh, that's looking nice.

Dunno about mobile, but on Steam you're going to have to compete with Viridi.

Good luck with the project! I'll be following. Smiley
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Zorg
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2016, 11:17:31 PM »

You're comparing apples and oranges here, bonsai tree and succulent plants.

Bonsai trees can be made from tree-like succulents (like spekboom), but Vrindi seems to focus on the composition of succulent plants which do not feature a tree shape.

Nevertheless, there are some bonsai games on the market but if you can manage to improve an aspect of the bonsai game experience, go ahead. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2016, 02:38:44 AM »

You're comparing apples and oranges here, bonsai tree and succulent plants.

Fair enough. I mostly brought up Viridi in case the poster decided to release on Steam because that game had to go against many people on Steam who were asking "why is a moblile game on Steam?" despite the fact that Viridi wasn't even out on mobile (at least not at that time; dunno about now). I was a playtester for that game so that's why I got a more hands-on experience of the perception of that game than usual.

But I guess my comment wasn't as pertinent as I thought. Feel free to ignore what I said.
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2016, 05:29:23 AM »

 Smiley Cool! I'm doing something similar. Not bonsai though.
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2016, 06:18:33 AM »

Oh my gosh, gorgeous! As someone who's suffered some severe anxiety in my lifetime, this is brilliantly soothing. I approve. I look forward to more!
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2016, 06:55:45 AM »

Looks interesting, commenting so I can follow your progress.
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alpha_rats
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2016, 10:27:13 AM »

Thanks everybody for all this feedback! It's very encouraging!

Would be interested to know how you're doing the "growth." It looks like it's just some rotation and scaling of textures?

Yes, it's actually as simple as that! this choice also played a role in the very simple/flat visual style of the game, so there would a continuity between the different branch parts.

I think there is a top seller on iOS that basically is a tree growing simulation as well, can't remember the name right now, maybe you can look into that for inspiration.

I guess it's prune you have in mind - I really dig the simple art style in this game, concerning the gameplay it's mostly a kind of puzzle game though. Still a good reference when it comes to plant growing!

Dunno about mobile, but on Steam you're going to have to compete with Viridi.

I tried Viridi, I found the game really gorgeous looking. All the growing happens in real-time though, and the player has little agency over how the plants grow exactly (it's more or less limited to sprinkling water on them or uprooting them from what I remember). It's more of an Idle game than a "plant shaping" one, but I still see it as an interesting reference. I liked the fact that you could get actual information about real-life plants through the game for example!

Smiley Cool! I'm doing something similar. Not bonsai though.

Cool, I check out your project Asap! Smiley

Oh my gosh, gorgeous! As someone who's suffered some severe anxiety in my lifetime, this is brilliantly soothing. I approve. I look forward to more!

Wow! This is very motivating. I'm glad the game manages to create this soothing feeling, the ideal goal being to achieve a good mix of calm and focus.



Different leaf types

Adding some variation to the trees with different leaf types and colors :





Adding some depth to the trees, by creating variation in theit brightness and sorting layers :

« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 01:50:12 AM by alpha_rats » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2016, 01:34:22 PM »

Looks great! Commenting to follow Wink
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2016, 05:36:24 AM »

Some progress:

- implemented a nicer UI to select the tree you wish to grow
- implemented an in-game screenshot command
- added a little expandable menu (toggle sound on/off, back to menu, relaod tree, grow new tree)



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ashtonmorris
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2016, 06:30:54 AM »

I really love this!

As someone who has tried bonsai a few times and killed a few plants this looks right up my alley.  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2016, 08:21:27 AM »

Good luck with this! The leaf size and color variation was a nice touch. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2016, 07:04:05 AM »

- Moon Calendar

The moon calendar was my strarting point when working on the Ludum Dare version of the game.
I started by implementing moon cycles, which regulate the color palette of the background.



Then, I added month and season variations on top of it :



- Season variations



Season variations are represented by changes in the sky color palette.
The colors are a bit rough in the current state of the game, but here is a little preview of how it looks like now :



- Scene transitions and UI behavior






- Testing on mobile devices

The game runs well on mobile, and the main changes to implement come from UI and interaction:
- The players needs a way to pinch and zoom into the tree to reach the smallest branches, to compensate for the lack of precision of touch controls.
- The UI elements need to be bigger for the same reasons.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 06:02:48 AM by alpha_rats » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2016, 06:20:20 PM »

Whoa plant sims are honestly my favorite. I'm loving the visual style of this so far--it's very relaxing. I can't wait to see how this mobile ui comes along!
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alpha_rats
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« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2016, 06:13:27 AM »

I really love this!

As someone who has tried bonsai a few times and killed a few plants this looks right up my alley.  Smiley

Whoa plant sims are honestly my favorite. I'm loving the visual style of this so far--it's very relaxing. I can't wait to see how this mobile ui comes along!

Thanks for your encouraging comments guys!

Work on the background scenery

I started working on the creation of a more interesting scenery, with the idea later on to provide an interesting range of different animated backgrounds, with interesting animations like weather and season variations. For the moment only the color changes according to he current season :









More work on scene transitions



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« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2016, 02:14:16 PM »

it looks gorgeous  Kiss Kiss Kiss
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« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2016, 03:08:08 AM »

The backgrounds are a perfect touch. They add another level of "serene" to the imagery! Keep it up Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2016, 01:48:54 AM »

it looks gorgeous  Kiss Kiss Kiss

The backgrounds are a perfect touch. They add another level of "serene" to the imagery! Keep it up Smiley

Thank you! Smiley


Adding variety in the trees: branch shape and color

To further emphasize the differences between tree varieties, different leaf types are now associated with different branch types.
Even if the variables shaping the tree and leaf growth are the same for all the bonsai for the moment, it already contributes to add variety and personality to each species.






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