Last week was another Lirec meeting in Bamberg, where I was able to present an in depth description of how Germination X works. I also had the chance to talk with SICS/mobile life lab (one of the other project partners) about how we can take the game forward with the aim to provide some studies for how people relate to Lirec’s companion/characters/plant spirits – and hopefully also other players.
The game’s main mechanics are as follows:
Germination X is similar to other farming games except for the third factor – that plants may get ill if their ecosystem cannot provide them with what they need. The other thing that makes Germination X unique in the socal games space is of course the addition of the plant spirits.
Each spirit represents a group of plants – the more specific permaculture term is a “layer”, as the groups represent the layers of a forest, from the root level (called rhizosphere) all the way up to the canopy trees.
Note: dandelions are more correctly part of the herbaceous layer, but we are taking artistic licence here, and lending it to the ground cover spirit for the moment.
In the FAtiMA rules for the game, the spirits have relationships defined for each of the plants in their group, and relationships defined between themselves. This allows us to use the way FAtiMA models emotions to get some nice results, for example if a player plants an apple tree the Tree Spirit may experience “Joy”. However, the Ground Cover Spirit doesn’t like the Tree Spirit as it’s plants shade it’s clover and dandelions too much – this action will cause it to express “Resentment”. Such processes, so the theory goes, create more understandable and believable characters.