Game Idea Giveaway - Garden Chomp

...continued from The Game Idea Giveaway Thread

Request by freelanceflashgames:
  • what sort of game idea you're looking for
    Something fairly simple and easy to code, yet fun. The game would probably feature achievements and upgrades, but it isn't required.
  • what your goals are in making this game
    To make a good game that will be different from others and people will have fun playing.

The normal idea: Lava Land

The weird idea: Garden Chomp

In short, the idea is a simple arcade collection game where you try to balance your needs with those of the surrounding ecosystem. You are a little guy running around a garden, seen from above. There may be a few scattered rocks or plants as obstacles, but generally the playing area is unobstructed. Your goal is to survive as long as possible without getting eaten or starving to death.

You have an energy meter that constantly decreases. To increase your energy meter, you eat mushrooms. Just move around with the arrow keys or the mouse, and touch a mushroom to eat it. Like collecting gold in N, you have to eat these mushrooms often enough that your energy stays above zero. Otherwise, you die.

Where do mushrooms come from? To answer that question, we'll have to introduce you to your delightful companions in this little garden - the chompers. A chomper is basically a big mouth that can walk around - like Pac-Man with teeth and legs. Their entire function is to eat and produce manure. As luck would have it, chomper manure is the perfect fertilizer for mushrooms. As the chompers amble around the screen, they leave a trail of manure in their wake, which soon sprouts a delicious bouquet of mushrooms for your consumption.

To produce manure, chompers must eat. If they're especially hungry, they'll try and eat you. Don't let that happen - keep them well fed. Like an aphid, you produce honeydew, a sweet delicacy much enjoyed by the chompers. You can click the mouse or press the space bar to produce honeydew and toss it in the direction you are facing, preferably into a Chomper's perpetually open mouth. Producing honeydew subtracts from your energy meter though, so make sure you are eating plenty of mushrooms!

It's not that complicated. If you touch a mushroom, you eat it and increase your energy. If you touch a chomper, you get bitten and lose a large amount of energy. If you touch manure, you get kind of sticky and move slower for a while.

  • You eat mushrooms and make honeydew.
  • Chompers eat honeydew and make manure.
  • Manure gradually sprouts into mushrooms.
It's a nice little cycle. And the timing and conversion rates will take a lot of balancing in order to feel right.

Even though the game is about surviving as long as possible, it might be a good idea to break it into levels. The first level might have one chomper, lots of mushrooms, and few obstacles. The next level could have two chompers, and maybe the next level has two chompers and a bunch of obstacles arranged in a sort of maze. To beat a level, maybe you have to fill up your energy meter all the way, where each level might require a different amount of energy. Or you could just make it about surviving for a certain amount of time, though I could see that being annoying in a level-based game.

And there are plenty of things you could do with random goodies and powerups, changing how fast you move, making mushrooms grow faster, giving you temporary invincibility, or just giving you extra energy. Aiming the honeydew could be made easy or difficult. I'd probably go far something fairly easy, where the honeydew travels in a straight line until it hits an obstacle or goes off the screen. If a chomper is facing you with its mouth open then you can toss some honeydew straight in without worrying too much about aiming skill.

There could even be different varieties of chompers - some completely harmless, some that get hungry quickly and will chase after you, some that move fast, some that move slow. If you want, you even could do some weird things with Langton's Ant and patterns of manure. Maybe the player could push the manure around to change how the chompers walk. But I'd suggest starting with simple random movement and going from there.

Good luck! :)

Want an idea? Make a request on The Game Idea Giveaway Thread!

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