Planning a Prototype

I found this nice article about prototyping: http://gamesfromwithin.com/prototyping-youre-probably-doing-it-wrong

I think I’ll start this Arbor game by making a prototype. I’ll just try to make one branch with a leaf that you can click and drag. You draw a curvy line while you’re dragging. After you release the drag, the branch will grow to the shape of your line.

That bit is the only part of the design that seems difficult. If I can get that done, the rest won’t be too much of a challenge, besides making it look nice, of course. That’s always the most frustrating part.

Game Designing: Arbor

It has to do with trees.

Sorry for the blurrified picture. I don’t have a scanner handy.

In case you cant read it, the important text says:

Branches:

  • Collect nutrients
  • Use a lot of water
  • Use little nutrients

 

Roots:

  • Collect water
  • Use a lot of nutrients
  • Use little water.

 

The main goal in the game is to grow a tree.

On a micro level, you grow the roots and branches by pulling on leaves (on the branches) or little nubbins (on the roots). The longer a branch is, the more nutrients it collects, and the more water it uses. The longer a root is, the more water it collects, and the more nutrients it uses.

There are two ways to lose:

  1. The tree runs out of either nutrients or water. Go too long without nutrients or water and the tree dies.
  2. The tree falls over. Does a tree falling make a sound if no one is there too hear it? If you put too many branches or roots on one side, you’ll find out.

 

You have a score that is based solely on how big the tree is. Just try to grow the biggest tree you can. You win by getting a high score and then bragging about it on a social network of your choice 😉

The game will be very slow paced, but hopefully still challenging.  I imagine it being kind of like Eufloria.

You can grow the tree any way you like. Make it tall, make it wide, make it gnarled and twisty, make it look like a Squirtle, whatever. Once you have something cool, you can take a nice picture of it and share it.

I might make something bad happen if you have more nutrient or water than your tree can handle, not sure yet. I kind of like how simple it is now.