Prototyping Week 3 – Sprouter

I spent this week working on a game called Sprouter. The idea is that you guide a seed from sprouting into a full-grown tree, controlling the growth of branches and roots and interacting with the surrounding environment.

One of the artists developed the following presentation introducing the game:

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The prototype ended up quite different from the gameplay in the presentation. The problem was we (the programmers) could not work out to program the tree growth mechanic in unity in the 2 days available to us. In the end we created a system where you pressed a button on the seed or existing branch/root to create a new branch/root, you could then adjust its rotation as desired. Suffice to say this was a little forced and did not really capture the relaxed gameplay style we were after.

We discussed the idea of having a game menu based on the seeds in an existing tree. You would start a new game by clicking on one of the seeds, at which point it would fall off starting a mini game where you had to land the seed in the best possible spot for future growth. the prototype includes a short scene demoing this idea.

Click here to Play!
Note: you’ll need the unity web player.

Instructions:
In the first scene you can use the W and S keys to control the height of the seed. It doesn’t really matter what you do here, as soon as the seed hits the ground you’ll begin the game proper.
In the second scene you’ll need to grow roots to get water and minerials and branches to convert water to energy. Make sure you start by building at least one branch and one root.
To build a branch or root click and hold one of the tan buttons on the seed. While still holding use the Q and W keys to rotate the branch/root to the desired angle.
If you get stuck you can use the IOP keys to cheat.

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