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!

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