Actually I'd love a game like this and have been thinking about design and
The first is variation.
In reality, farming isn't just a matter of planting things and waiting, or
even just remebering to add water every so often. You need to watch out for
pests, perhaps irrigate the land if there is too much rain, or add extra
water for too much sun, weed the garden whilst making sure not to pull up
your plants etc, plus of course there are different sorts of soil conditions
and such that affect different plants.
If anyone has ever played the gardening minigame in four dimensions mud
you'll get an idea of this.
Basically games are fun when the player is engaged and need to use their
judgement about certain conditions. So for example, suppose you have a field
with carrots in the north and onions in the south.
Well you look at your north field and find weeds growing there. Okay, you
need to take the time to pull out the weeds, however while your doing this
there is a lot of rain. Your carrots will be okay in watery soil, but your
onions need dryer conditions so you'll need to alternate your time between
weeding in the north and shoveling a bit of sand in the south. The problem
though is your spending so much time weeding that your at best only able to
fulfill a holding action for your onions which are rapidly becomming water
logged as the rainy weather continues, so you use some of your limited funds
to buy weed killer which will ease off the weeding so you can concentrate
more on drying the soil for your onions, as you hope that if you grow enough
onions you can recoop the cost of your weedkiller.
This is the sort of thing I mean by judgement and reaction, give you
changing conditions that affect your crops and require you to spend time and
resources in the game making those judgements.
hth and I really hope your gardening game gets finished.
All the best,
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