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Protect Your Plant -- The Atrium

posted Feb 16, 2021, 7:55 PM by Jacob Evans
So I've been learning about tilemaps. Turns out they're a pretty good way to make a videogame after all. And your 2D game won't run like garbage with a couple light sources going at the same time if you replace your dozens of massive sprites with a tilemap.

So I started using tilemaps, but I am aware that the main levels will probably have to change again, as I learn more about what level design works with this gameplay, and I'm sick of redoing work all the time. So I'm starting a few small, contained levels, to practice and figure out what works.

These will be set before the end of the world, while things are bad outside but people are still going about their lives. You still play as a little plantbuddy hexapod robot, but now limited to houses, apartments, office buildings, and retirement communities. That's what this art is for, a self-sufficient old folks home for the pandemic age. Thinking about how the place should reflect the times has kept me busy while making/laying out floor and wall tiles. Lots of VR stations, gaming consoles, and I'm thinking robot caretakers who fold into exoskeletons for the residents with mobility issues.

I also wanted to set a new precedent for the game, that all the new buildings are inside out. Built right up to the property line, with enclosed atriums where they can still keep plants alive, while the new blights and infestations that'll help kickstart the apocalypse in the main game destroy the world around them.

This atrium is designed to look trendy, in a sort of greenwashed way, while still having a hopefully decently functional output. In the center is this sort of brutalist concrete island in a square pond. The island is covered in "fruit salad" trees -- each with branches spliced from related species, so the apple would also have cherries and plums, the orange tree would have lemons, etc. The rest of the atrium will be structured into aquaponic beds of plants, laid out in irregular terraces like rice paddies, climbing up towards the walls. The pond has catfish swimming in it -- the facility cafeteria would feed them kitchen scraps -- and the water would be cycled through all the 'rice paddies' and trees to use the nutrients from the fishes' waste. Basically a trendier version of a normal aquaponics setup.

In the game, I've got multiple fish set up and they move around at various speeds, but that's easier to do in Godot than in my image editor. I did include one of them in the bottom right.