Thursday, December 26, 2013

Release Info


"Growsim" will be released as a full beta version very soon.  I've been thinking about how to go about it, and listening to some feedback from people checking it out and play-testing it, and decided to go with a different release format.

The full game will be available free of charge, no strings attached.  A few features will be disabled in this free version, such as importing and exporting clones, but all other functionality will work normally--saving games and unlock codes will be available in the free version.

If you decide to support the project and buy "Growsim", you'll receive an in-game sheet with all the available unlock codes (you won't have to wait to discover them in the game) and you'll be able to export plants (save them to your computer) and import saved plants into any game of "Growsim", or share the exported plants with anyone using a full version of "Growsim".  Future updates that include new codes or premium features will be available for users of the paid version, but all bug fixes and other updates will be free for any user of "Growsim".

Over the next two weeks, I'll be finishing some minor bug fixes and tweaks, getting feedback from play-testing, and the release version of "Growsim" should be available by mid-January.  All links to download the game will be available on this site with info where to find more info on the web.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Screens & Info


The Features page has been updated to include changes in the latest version.

Some new screenshots are available on the "Growsim Media" page.  After putting them up, I scrolled through the previous images and videos and there's sort of a film reel of the project's evolution on display.  It's probably only something the creator experiences, but it's cool seeing the progression.  If you ever worked on a creative project, or even a work project, and saw it grow from the beginning, then you know what I'm saying... ya feel me.

Now, about the Indiegogo campaign: it's a fundraiser to try and get "Growsim" on Steam Greenlight and other portals, and to do some marketing.  If you aren't familiar with Steam, then just know it's pretty much the biggest online game platform with something like 2+ million people connected at any given time.  There's a developer fee to join up--hence, a fundraiser.

There are some rewards that can't be had otherwise, though.  For $5 you can grab a copy of the game starting with the current beta version and all future versions; for $10, you get the game and the right to name a patient and clinic that can appear in-game; and for $20, you get the previous two perks and the right to create your own strain of marijuana!  You'll get a code to claim a free clone of your plant in the game, too.

If you haven't tried the demo, give it a spin and--at the very least--leave some feedback.  If you're willing to do a review and have some experience or exposure on a channel that does reviews, please let me know and I'll set you up with a copy of the full game.

You can try an online demo or download the demo for free by clicking on the links to the right.  There is a Chrome Webstore version available also.


Friday, December 13, 2013

"Growsim" on Indiegogo

Greetings!  As of today (12/13/13), "Growsim" is on Indiegogo in hopes of raising some funds to pay the Steam Greenlight fee and provide some marketing for the game.  There are some nice perks for contributing, as well.

Here's the link to "Growsim" on Indiegogo

If it's not something you're interested in--or don't have the cash--I'd still greatly appreciate any feedback on the game.  Try the demo and drop me a line with your thoughts.

Oh, and please spread the word if you find "Growsim" even a little interesting!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Steam Greenlight Concept

"Growsim" has been submitted to Steam Greenlight as a game concept to get feedback.  If you're on Steam and would like to check it out, I've added the link to the box at the right.

Greenlight is part of the plan, so stay tuned if use it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Demo on Chrome

Greetings.  The "Growsim" demo is now available from the Chrome web-store.  If you use the Chrome browser, head over to the "Growsim Free" page and get it!

The download links on the right have been updated to point to the IndieDB download page for the demo.  Suffice to say, it's easier and cheaper than trying to host the files myself--work smarter, not harder?

As always, any comments or suggestions are welcome.

Friday, December 6, 2013

"Growsim" demo available for download & online play!


A late alpha version of "Growsim" is available for download or online play as of today.  The game is still being tested, balanced, and updated, so this is NOT a final version.  Also note this is a demo version and a few features are disabled.

Download Growsim - click the link to download the installer, run the downloaded file when complete

*** The installer does not add any 3rd-party software or collect any information about you or your computer ***

Play online now!  - click the link to open a new window / tab and start a game

*** Note that some browsers don't accept the 'Exit Game' button, so close the browser window/tab when you're done ***

Thanks for checking it out!  Any feedback is most welcome.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ideas behind "Growsim" - the big picture?

Greetings.  This post is more of a general discussion of ideas, concepts, and plans regarding the game.  I've had some feedback from videos, news, and play-testing that has been extremely helpful in solidifying what I expect and what I want with "Growsim".

I'm a big simulation game fan.  If you've played and enjoyed Capitalism, SimCity, SimLife, Civilization, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon, or FTL, then you know what I'm referring to!  Personally, I'm madly in love with games that  use a simple interface and minimal eye-candy to accomplish something special.  If the gameplay makes you come back for more time and again, then it's a win--regardless of what it looks or sounds like.  Presentation is all well and good, but gameplay is paramount.

Graphically, "Growsim" isn't pretty but it won't blind anyone with ugliness, either.  It's functional.  It's an interface intended to run a simulation with game mechanics sprinkled throughout.  Perhaps if I had the budget, I'd hire an artist to do some work, but I think that can wait--either until the lottery ticket pays off or "Growsim" earns enough profit to do a prettier sequel.  I'm sure there are gamers who rely on graphic and sound to judge a game, but I'm not too worried about it.

So why medical marijuana?  After all, simulations can be about anything imaginable--even fictional pursuits are viable.  First, it's a contemporary topic and one that is personally interesting to me.  I'm much more likely to try medicines and remedies considered to be "folk" medicine, or whatever it's called, before I'll experiment with synthetic pharmaceuticals.  Maybe I'm a hippy or something, but herbs and such found in nature that have healing properties makes more sense to me than drugs developed in laboratories.

Being a big fan of indie games in general, I have to make the project my own--give it a touch that marks it as an amateur attempt at something bigger.  With very, very few exceptions, some of my favorite games--and most addicting ones--were and are indie games.  Blockbusters often bore me and lack the originality and personality of smaller projects.  I also believe indie games should be inexpensive and less demanding, offering fun and depth at a fraction of the cost and frustration.  Smaller projects often mean less hardware required to run it on the user's end, allowing more people to enjoy the experience.

Over the last decade, I've worked on dozens of small games for my kids and friends, along with a few more practical ones like budgeting software, fantasy football trackers, role-playing tools, and so on.  "Growsim" represents my first attempt to publish a complete game and build upon it going forward.  One of the cornerstones of my projects is to have plenty of depth to encourage diversity and that "one more turn" addiction.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a chance to try "Growsim"!  A demo of the first beta release, along with a pre-release full version sale, will be available soon!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gameplay Video & New Features

Greetings!  A new video is available from the media page and is also up on my youtube page (links on the right).  In this latest video, I grow a strain from beginning to end, test it, harvest it, and sell it to patients.  The entire process is unedited and displays the configuration options available to players.

A bunch of hours went into play-testing the latest version, and my sincerest thanks to the handful of guys who volunteered their time to test it out.

The latest version includes the following updates:
- fixed a bunch of graphical and text errors
- fixed some bugs in selling to patients without sufficient money
- fixed some bugs regarding identified plant information
- optimized some code to reduce memory usage

Features implemented and tested:
- ability to dispose of unwanted clones to make room for others
- importing saved clones into new or existing games (cross-game sharing)
- added larger quantity buttons when selling products
- added option to give a gift to patients (free product)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Play-test Update & Beta Release

Completed a 6 hour playtest marathon with a couple of volunteers generous enough to waste a chunk of their holiday weekend.  The great news is that no serious bugs were discovered by any of the testers!  There are some minor things to fix, such as some visual / display errors, incorrect text, and some pricing issues when selling product.  No one experienced any freezing or game-ending problems.

I'll work through the fixes this week and the plan is to have the first beta version released by 11/7.  I'm not sure what platforms it will end up on, but the links will be available on this site when the the beta is ready.  "Growsim" will probably utilize a pre-release offer if anyone wants to buy the full game early and play the full version of the beta and all the updates.  A free demo will be available for the beta and the final game.

Thanks for reading!