Today the first big update for evolution simulation game The Sapling is announced: the flower update. It will release September 10th, and will extend the indie sim with major new functionality.
A very general overview of the new features can be found in the list below. More details on the flower update will be revealed gradually over the coming weeks on thesaplinggame.com/flower.
- Pollination & flowers, allowing the plants you designed to mix their genes. One way to spread pollen is by attracting animals with colorful flowers.
- A new sandbox level, completely redone and 100x larger! Besides random mutations and timejumps, it now also allows you to change the overall temperature and see what that means for evolution.
- A new scenario, teaching you how to set up an ecosystem with flowers.
- Extensions to the procedural music system. It now adds rhythm in if you speed up time, making it even more responsive to your actions.
- Bioluminescence. We all know that bioluminescence is cool ( tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BioluminescenceIsCool ), so you can now add it to your plants and animals as well, to attract other creatures.
I made good use of the current quarantine situation and spent 3 months to completely rewrite and optimize the underlying engine, making scenarios that are 100 times larger a possibility. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears (okay, only sweat), and resisting the urge to not implement pandemic functionality instead, but when I found myself accidentally playing and enjoying the game again instead of bugfixing, I knew something was right. The larger terrain is what made the rest of the features possible; mixing genes does not really make sense in ecosystems so small that they are fighting for space to grow.
More information on these dates:
- August 17: more details on the pollination & flower mechanics
- August 20: more details on the new sandbox
- August 24: more details on how bioluminescence works
- August 27: more details on the UI overhaul that is also part of this update
- September 3-10: Twitch livestream where viewers can vote for the temperature to go up or down... will the ecosystem be able to adapt in time?
Published Thursday 13 August 2020