Sunday, February 13, 2011

Game Project Update: Creature Caretaker

I intended to write yesterday but ended up sleeping almost the entire day, and when I wasn't sleeping, the power was out. Bleh. Anyway, here is my first game project update, enjoy!

Creature Caretaker

This is my first game update, so I'll give an overview of the game.


In Creature Caretaker, you play as an Elf tasked by Leaf, the Goddess of Nature, with befriending a variety of magical Creatures. You must increase the friendship between Elves and Creatures, as well as the mysterious Sprites, by charming, training, and breeding many different Creatures in order to accomplish different goals throughout the story. Story-based goals will be primarily exploration based. The player will also be able to decorate their ranch, grow food for their creatures, create items both useful and just for fun, and enter their Creatures in competitions such as beauty contests, races, and arena combats. The overall feel should be one of exploration, creation, and relaxation.

Game Type:
    Farm Simulation/Virtual Pet/Point and click adventure
    Windows OS, eventually to be ported to mobile phone

Key Mechanics:
  • Mix and match all sorts of creature to create your own bizarre monsters
  • Includes detailed genetic algorithm for creature breeding
  • Possibility and ways to encourage mutations
  • Crafting system that allows your creatures to help you build items and structures
  • Many different types of competitions to enter your creatures in
  • Detailed world to explore
  • Interesting combat system where your creature performs depending on how well it was trained
 Last Week

During the last week, I got the wild Creature generation algorithm started. It does not yet take Creature species into account when generating stats, but it's a start. At the moment I'm working in a test bed wrapper program while coding the engine, later I'll work on the application itself.
NOTE: I haven't decided whether all these stats will be fully transparent to the player. It's possible they will only be able to see whether a stat is particularly high or low, and it will instead be called a "trait" - so if the creature's attitude is particularly high, it might have the "Cheerful" trait.

Originally I was using combinations of pokemon sprites for the Creatures, but during the last week I've begun working on my own sprites. Since I've never done spriting before, they are a little rough, and I may re-work them in the future.
The Elf sprite is straightforward, and doesn't have any animations yet. If and when I give her animations, I suspect it will be quite difficult due to her flowing hair and dress.

The Creatures themselves are a more complex problem. I've decided to use a modular approach, and create the body parts for the creature separately, then construct them in game. Additionally, I will use a single palette of colors on the sprites I create, then change those colors in game depending on the Creature's genes. Shown above are the components for feline type creatures, and one example of a feline creature. The blue is the primary color and the green is the secondary.

Overall I'm quite excited with the progress of the game, and wish I had more time to work on it. 

Next Week

During the next week, I don't have very much time to work on this project. I'm going to set a small goal of simply getting the species-specific stat adjustments added to the wild creature generation algorithm.

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