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Butterfly Game Concept Discussion

Discussion in 'Pet game management' started by UlyssesBlue, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. So a while ago I had this idea. Nothing more than that. Certainly never intended for it to be anything more. But much to my surprise the idea attracted interest, so now I'm thinking of progressing it to the concept stage, expanding on it, and seeing where it takes me.
    origins virtual pet site origins kickstarter
    I'll use this thread for these discussions. All contributions and ideas are welcome.

    Here are my initial musings:

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  2. I was thinking of something like this actually, with a static background and animated foreground with the butterflies. This would apply not just to the butterfly house but also to the world being explored, although for the latter I'm thinking some background elements may be animated as well, such as water features.
  3. As far as butterfly appearance is concerned, this is pretty much what I was going for, although I was thinking the body and antennae would be fixed, perhaps only varying in size, which would be a single gene that controlled the butterfly as a whole.

    I have many more ideas, but not the time to write them down now. That'll have to be tomorrow. :p

    I am of this opinion as well, although the variety of genes will still give a great deal of potential butterflies. I've played a couple of breeding sims where the available colours were a RGB system like you describe and I found that it too often resulted in murky horrible colours, and pretty pets could usually only be obtained through customised pets, which usually had to be purchased. I think this is something that can too easily put players off a game.
  4. I was thinking it would be just breeding based, so no combat or non-combat related genes like you describe, however to be perfectly honest I haven't considered this sort of thing as an option so I'm open to ideas.
  5. The set colors will be much easier to work with script wise!

    And as I said in the other thread, I'm very up for working on the coding of this on the side. It may take a while as I have other projects, but I'm willing to work on this for free so I can add it to my portfolio (and try out a breeding script) :3
  6. Cool. :) Battling butterflies seems a bit odd though. XD Maybe for features, there could be racing or beauty contests? I can't think of better ideas right now, but if I do, I'll post.
  7. Haha ya battling does seem... somewhat cruel for poor little butterflies XD I like the idea of beauty contests :3
  8. Thanks for paging me, I would like to see what comes of this project.
  9. Typically, size is used as a visual indicator of age. Having adults that vary in size makes it confusing.

    Were you thinking of realistic Mendelian genetics, or genetics like those in a particular example game? In my experience realistic genetics aren't the best choice for most fun gameplay - it's too difficult to introduce new traits from a few base creatures, and also difficult for the game to recognize and reward the player for discovering specific pet types and sets of pet types. Any sort of random system will result in a lot of "trash" pets, which the player will then need a way to sell or dispose of - in some cases this is a good thing because it can feed back into the gameplay of a tycoon type game. There are several methods of implementing genetics that are fun, I just wanted to put forward the one I think is the most fun so you all are familiar with it as an option. I won't cry if a different option is chosen, though. :cool:

    Alchemical genetics: If anyone is familiar with the game Doodle God (you can play it free online, I think it's a phone app too) this isn't a pet game but it's a great example of an alchemical genetic system. If you imagine each element in that game illustrated as a pet, hopefully it's easy to see how it could work. Also it wouldn't have to be done with the traditional elements like fire, water, earth, etc; it doesn't have to be done with named elements at all.

    How do alchemical genetics work? Well, let's say we have pets of type A, B, and C. Breedings would work as follows:
    A*A=A (and so on for all types)
    A*B=new pet type AB
    now the complicated part:
    AAB*ABC=AABBC (note there are only two As, because this example has a depth of 2. (And a breadth of 3 because there are 3 base pets.) These two numbers determine the number of pets in the complete system, and then one goal of the game is to breed one of every pet, and there are rewards for completing subsets (for example, all colors of a single pet, 5 or 10 unique blue pets, etc.) I feel that achievements of this sort are ideal to provide a steady stream of motivation and recognition of player efforts throughout a breeding sim.
  10. I believe I'll be able to code this, but it'll take a while o_O It will be more complex as new markings are added, but with a set number of colors I think it shouldn't be too bad! :D
  11. Code-wise you could simply make a list of all possible breedings and their results, since in that system it is non-random (for pet type aka wing shape, anyway). It would be a long list but simple to process in the code. Color wouldn't be included in this alchemical system.

    Color would be one gene that determined whether the color was light, medium, or dark - let's say X, Y, or X. Then the second part would be the colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, gray. That could be most accurately represented with three binary genes, one showing the presence or absence of each primary color. So 000 would be gray, the absence of all primary colors, or more specifically X000 would be white, Y000 would be gray, Z000 would be black. X111 would be light brown, Y111 would be medium brown, and Z111 would be dark brown. The only strange result of a system like this is that dark brown looks like black but would actually be difficult to get to black from.

    Then later if we wanted to add monocolor patterns like "starry" that could be done by adding another gene, where the default setting would be flat color, or there would be a different setting for each pattern. Each pattern would exist in the full range of colors and brightnesses.
  12. Wow that got through most of the thinking I'd need to do XD Thanks! I'm going to start writing up some pseudo code for this and make a mini demo (using circles and squares and what not). I do like that system you have for the colors. It would work very well because I can just separate out each digit and go from there
    *feels odd writing such a short reply*
  13. Here's how I'd make colors heritable but non-clashing:

    Each seed butterfly's 'genetic code' could contain an image with multiple colors, like a painting or photograph or just abstract swooshes of color.
    I chose Starry night and Decisive Pink
    1. First, you combine the two images into a new image
    2. Resize the width 50%
    3. Using a Color quantization algorithm, you reduce the number of colors to something like 16
      QFmkF.png 4bHUM.png
    4. Each of the babies has that image as their color genetics (you can also add mutation colors in this step which may or may not be expressed)
    5. Then, for each baby, you extract the subset of colors from the 'genetic code' image to be physically expressed.

    For the example above
    this might be the mother (starry night) DRmqv.png this might be the father (Decisive Pink) g1B3J.png

    and this might be the colors for four babies

    Attached Files:

  14. @soulmirrorsoulmirror, that requires you to procedurally color your graphics, I assume? That would be a bit complicated to implement.

    Here's an example wing sprite, theoretically convertible to 3D. This type of wing is called Swallowtail (unless we want to change the names to fit some theme.) It shows two colors: Light Red Bordure pattern on Dark Red base. Maybe I should add some veining to make the wing look a bit more interesting and realistic?
    #14 sunandshadow, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  15. Yes that is a very complex algorithm to implement. Clashing colors are going to happen no matter what... someone is going to make a hot pink and lime green butterfly I know it XD But what we are trying to accomplish with a set color palette is no puke green and brown butterflies o_O

    @sunandshadowsunandshadow that looks beautiful! Adding a bit more shading would probably look good, but even as is, just beautiful!

    Any ideas on a site name?
    #15 Alkali Regnant, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  16. Glad you like it. ^_^ Do we for sure want it to be a site? I tend to think it's easier to make money on a single-player game. But sites are fun too. Anyway, names... Butterfly Breeder is an obvious default. Wings of something might be nice - Wings Of Beauty, Wings Of Color, etc. Or put an adjective first: Prismatic Wings, Lovely Wings. Or it could be something like A Storm Of Butterflies. Do we want to have some sort of thematic concept for where the butterflies are living? Is it a meadow, a garden, a conservatory...? Then, there is the Latin word Lepidoptera, though it's a bit of a mouthful. I dunno, just tossing out ideas. :)
  17. It depends on your language. A lot of them will have color reduction algorithms available somewhere on the net. Getting the colors would be a one-time thing for when you're breeding.

    Oh, I bet you'll like this demo. It doesn't work in FIrefox though :( , which sucks, so use chrome to at least see it once.

    As for names, it depends on what the game is about. If you are thinking of making it single player, what platform? If it's pay for download instead of freemium then you can add characters and a story, and the name would be derived from that. A big story thing in pet games like Pokemon or Digimon is that you're using the pets for some kind of contest, so you can add an overall goal, like breeding a certain butterfly, or attracting people to your butterfly park to keep it in business. Then you could call it "Butterfly Challenge" or "[character name]'s Butterflies", or "Butterfly Keeper's Quest".

    If it's just a straight-up breeding sim online site then I like the name 'butterfly breeders'. My favorite name was 'Prismatic Wings', but that's for a site, which you will be able to advertise and have an already-targeted niche. I think single player games should have more specific names, like have 'butterfly' and 'breeding' or '[major focus]' in the title, like Cake mania, Diner Dash, Fruit Ninja, or Snowy's Lunch Rush, so that you know what they are immediately when you see their name in a list like the app store. I'd avoid 'garden' in the name to make it not seem like another Farmville-type clone, unless it is. If you make people think you're curating a garden and they're breedign butterflies then you'll piss off people who want a garden and fail to attract people who want a breeding sim.
    #17 soulmirror, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  18. I personally mostly buy casual games for windows - they generally do a 1-hour free trial, then you pay for the rest. Smartphone games are big now, but I don't personally have one, so I couldn't help playtest it much. The design doesn't seem particularly suited to being a facebook game, but if you all want to go for a multiplayer site, fb is fertile ground for recruiting players from similar games.
  19. The only thing about Facebook is you have to watch out for Zynga. They will monopolize your idea if it gains enough popularity.
  20. I'm actually wanting to put out a series of non-cash games. That's one complaint I hear a lot on various sites is most tend to just price things up so high that you eventually need the cash currency to do anything. I think that's something that'll bring in a lot of players is a free game. We can take donations and give out a special item or something for donating, but other than that, no cash currency at all.

    I think breeding games are more fun with a lot of people and you get a much larger variety of pets. So I'm against a single player game.

    I do like Prismatic Wings. I ran across paruparo XD It's fun to say! It means butterfly in Filipino.

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