Gravity Garden alpha 11 : newer new terrain
Hello gardeners. A new version of Gravity Garden is ready for planting.
New Terrain System
I liked the larger home island from the last alpha. Having that big chunk of land acts as an anchor to hold the space together - makes it feel like a Place rather than an empty void. I wasn't happy with the texturing on my large land mass though. The colors and style were awesome, but my workflow made for some mushy textures. With so much land I wanted crisper, more varied textures. I also wanted grass and weeds to add visual interest to all that open space.
I found a couple of great solutions in the Unity Asset Store - MicroSplat and Vegetation Studio. Now the terrain has plenty of high-quality textures that blend together in interesting ways. Much higher-resolution land mass with hand-painted details to blend with the procedural ones. There are grasses swaying in the wind. There are 4 biomes with contrasting colors, plants, and characteristics. All sorts of fun stuff.
I was able to keep the color-coded water and compost info from the last alpha, too. When you select the water tool you'll see the terrain change color to show how much water is available. Same with the Compost tool. I think I am finally happy with the terrain and soil system and can stop futzing and start fine-tuning.
The Vegetation Studio offers support for instanced trees. I experimented with that, but having plants that the player couldn't interact with was confusing. I did like having the trees, though. I like the visual variety and the way they filled up some of that super-sized island. There is a lot of space there. o.O
So there is a new kind of plant in the garden - Trees. They will generally be larger than other plants, less animated, longer lived. For now they are not animated at all. The do have fruits that you can harvest for some quick Energy, but you can't keep the fruit or plant more yet. This set of trees has a coherent style that I like very much. I pretty much nailed the look I've been searching for with those.
Other Changes for Alpha11
- Critters: The sim needs more life. Feels kind of static and lonely in there. I'm bringing some of the critters and ideas from my Breeders sim into the garden. First to arrive is the Herder. The will eat some of your plants if they can reach em. Other plants send them away. If they do eat your crops they'll poop out a little fertilizer as a thank you.
- Floating islands are back. One has an example of the little Discoveries and Distractions that you'll find when exploring the floating islands. You can find some RoboBees that are attracted to your plants.
- RockNoms are back, too. They eat all the nutrients from your soil if left un-checked. They don't like water.
- Help Tab with basic info an instructions.
Probably a few other small changes, but nothing major comes to mind. Have fun with the new version and please send any feedback or suggestions my way.
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