Sunday, November 10, 2013

"GROWsim" features: Starting a New Plant

Greetings.  "GROWsim" has a lot going on under the hood.  I'll try and lay out how one of these systems works and some of the reasoning behind the game-play.

When you start a new plant, the first choice is what type of seed to use.  There are 3 tiers of random seeds to choose from, each tier will have a higher maximum potency than the previous.  New plants are randomly generated based on the seed choice, with varying preferences and attributes pertaining to how the plant grows and what type of environment it prefers.  Matching plant preferences with the growing environment will maximize plant growth.

There is also a seed designer, allowing you to name a strain and select options such as potency, size, preferred climate, and life-cycle.  Each choice comes with a price, and designing the ultimate strain will cost quite a bit--but it's not all about the cost.  Larger plants will generally consume more nutrients and water, and require more light, to reach full potential.  This means more costs for you.

The other option is to use a clone.  When a plant is in Sapling stage, you can clip off healthy limbs to grow clones that will have the same attributes as the parent plant.

Selecting a seed type is followed by choosing a bucket size.  Larger plants will have a hard time reaching their potential in small buckets, and large buckets with small plants can result in too much water and food for the plant to use and the possibility of over-feeding.

The final step is to choose a rooting medium.  Each medium has its perks and flaws, so it comes down to a matter of experimentation and preference.  Do you try rooting a plant in soil to give it a sturdy base or in root moss to maximize feeding?

Until a plant is tested and its genetic attributes revealed, there is no sure way to know plant size, life-cycle, or environmental needs.  Once this information is known, you can customize the grow room to suit that plant.  With so many potential combinations, there should plenty of variety to keep you interested!

The goal is to avoid the unrealistic notion that a huge plant is best.  It's just as possible to have a crop of smaller, fast-growing plants and the turn-over will compensate for the difference in yields.  In testing, it seemed that the variety opened a lot of different strategies.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any specific questions or suggestions, please leave a comment.

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