For my final project, I wanted to do a game about planting trees and solving environmental problems. I grew up in rural New Hampshire, so I always took having a close relationship with nature for granted. Now, living in a city for most of the year, I find myself longing for that connection. With this game, I wanted to bring some of the wonders of nature to people who might not normally enjoy it, hopefully encouraging people to plant trees and help make their city or town more green. Another inspiration for this game is Atuel, a documentary game showcased at IndieCade 2022, which teaches the player about the Atuel River Valley in Argentina. Atuel is filled with stories from locals describing the deep spiritual connection they and their ancestors have with the river. While my game does not include stories such as this, I hope the mechanics and feeling of the world can help the player form a spiritual connection with nature. The name of my game at the moment is “Treedom” but that is subject to change. Treedom is a 2D platformer set in a forested environment. However, in this forest, something is off. The plants and animals are unhappy and some are even angry. The player navigates the world trying to fix these problems. The first enemy (and the only enemy right now, though I plan to continue this project and add more in the future) is an acorn. When they player strikes the acorn with his shovel (clicking mouse 1) the acorn is pushed into the ground and grows into a red tree. This tree is climbable and allows the player to navigate to places they could not have otherwise. Some other enemy/level ideas include a level where you enter a bee hive and have to calm down the hungry bees by collecting honey for them, another type of seed that grows into a tree you can wall jump off of, and a flock of birds you have to lead on their migration. I am also in the process of outlining a story for the game that helps tie these events, ideas, and levels together to hopefully have my player go out and develop a relationship with nature.
Notes from the first playtest
- Finalize models
- Jumping wasn’t working quite right
- The level needs more work to feel interesting
- The background feels really empty
Build of Game At First Playtest
(see class folder)
Current Build of the Game
Below is a quick clip of some gameplay from the current build which you can download below.
(see class folder)