DinoSystem is a survival game set in a simulated ecosystem.
Every element of the world is emergent and evolves according to physical and biological rules: plants grow with sunlight and fertility, animals need for food, water, sleep and mate. Weather, temperature and day length depend on seasons. Lakes form or evaporate, and terrain become fertile or arid depending on a miriad of simulated variables.
In God mode you have complete control over the ecosystem, while in Survival mode you join the ecosystem and fight for your life. DinoSystem will be released for PC, Mac and Linux, and, if the stretch goal is reached, it will be also ported to smartphone.
Head over to the Kickstarter page for more infos.
Please help this project become reality
I love procedual games and I’m super interested in insects. When I heard that the game design students from Zurich would do games about bees for their procedural game design course, I went nuts. Now the prototypes are done and I want to share them with you!
Change the genetics of your bee in the laboratory and let it fly through a dangerous parcour, designed by a mad scientist! Experiment until you manage to create the ultimate bee.
The player takes the role of a queen bee who has to find her worker bees who have fled the hive after a hornet attack. She has until sunset to save her colony from extinction. But the meadow isn’t as peaceful as it seems – hornets and other dangers are waiting for the queen to make a mistake.
Multiplayer time! The scene: A junk jard, The actors: Two mechanical insects fighting over fireflies.
If your insect is destroyed it will be procedurally re-composed within second but with completly new stats.
A turn-based strategy game where you control a bee colony that has to survive the expansion of another bee species, hostile and dangerous. Explore the levels and send your bees out to gather nectar and produce enough honey to win. Always stay in motion and out of the reach of the enemy as good as possible. Place your hives on new locations to protect them as you cannot actively fight the opponent.
Well that’s it for now. I’m really impressed by the diversity and quality of the prototypes, considering that they where developed in less than two months. As a turnbased strategy games lover I was especially hooked by To Bee or Not to Bee, still have to beat that super hard third level…
Are you interested in one of the games? The developers will be happy to receive an email from you!
Thanks for reading
As a side-note: The very first prototype for Niche – a genetics survival game was also created during the very same procedural game design course last year. And it looked like this:
I’m one of the only members of Playful Oasis who isn’t actually a gamedev. I founded indiegames.ch last year and helped with the web design here.
I got the request to write additional content for the site and there I was – sitting in front of the bright computer screen and startet thinking. Games and nature, a very broad subject. Why do I like nature in games? Why do I even like nature itself? And what does it take to fully immerse myself in the world of a game?
The first question is easy to answer: Simply because I love nature. Why do I love it? The answer to this question takes us to the third. Most importantly but often overlooked by the sheer beauty that meets our eye: The sound. Singing birds, the rustling of leaves through the wind, the sound of fresh snow when you step on it or even the silence on the top of a mountain. There are thousands of different sounds in nature and the key to create an immersive world aren’t realistic visuals in the first place. Without those important sounds video games are just an interactive painting – a quite boring one.
This fact was illustrated pretty good by Robin Arnott’s Deep Sea. Wearing a taped gas mask, so all you could see was complete darkness and only using your ears to navigate through the horrifying underwater world, created a terrifying experience deeply disturbing people and letting them rip off their headphones in panic.
Photo by Matthew Wegner
Now let’s talk about visuals. A video game about nature doesn’t need to be super realistic like for example The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. It needs to deliver variety to the eye. It doesn’t neccessarily need to be colorfoul like a forest in autumn or a hayfield in summer. More important are the different shapes and structures. A dessert isn’t only a huge plain. It has a variety of dunes and patterns painted by the wind. A forest has more than two different kind of trees and a complex undergrowth.
The icing on the cake isn’t on the ground, it comes from above. Who doesn’t love a beautyful colored sky during sunset or watching the clouds passing by. Even down below sunrays can create a dense atmosphere. Imagine the brief morning light shining through the leaves of a lime surrounded by fog.
The Long Dark by Hinterland Games did a great job in creating a fascinating winter landscape and managed to combine it with a realistic soundscape, although there is room for more. Nonetheless, every picture you take in the game could be used as a desktop background.
Obviously we aren’t there yet, but a bright future lies ahead in regard of the upcoming virtual reality devices. There have been experiments with google street view and many people experienced the immersive power of VR in horror games.
When it comes to nature, especially first person exploration games come to my mind. There aren’t a ton of these out yet, but games like Kira show that you can easily create worlds where the player wishes to live in. You feel like a child again, wandering around looking at everything with curiosity and deeply enjoying the experience. A result games rarely are able to achieve nowadays and which reminds me of when I started playing them in the beginning. There I can feel it again: pure joy.
Playful Oasis is a collective of four indie game teams, each developing their own game related to nature/biology.
All teams will post development updates on a regular basis, offering you interesting behind the scene insights.
We will also post news & reviews about other game related projects and blog about nature topics in general.
We hope you enjoy your stay