First, I did NOT draw the box art, I photoshopped 3 other talented people’s creations together to make a temporary box art mockup (see credits section). You know what’s missing? Good games for kids. Games for kids AND adults that are calm, relaxing, completely non-violent, adventurous, and open. So here’s an idea for a game called “Rabbit Tales”. Far from my usual zombie slaying, I know.
You play a grey rabbit on a calm, relaxing island who can transplant various plants by eating their seeds and pooping them out in another location. If you’re not cool with a game about a rabbit crapping out plant seeds then just replace the rabbit with a squirrel that buries plant seeds instead. Anyway, there are no humans in the game but there are lots of derelict ghost towns and junk heaps that humans left behind. As the rabbit you can transplant trees, bushes, grass, and vines near or inside buildings until the plants overtake and destroy the structure completely, making it disappear. Thus returning the site, the city, and eventually the entire island back to nature. Different buildings require different plants to destroy them. The more plants you eat the more you level up, getting faster, and being able to eat more. You can also attract animal friends to help you by planting lots of their favorite type of flora. After you return an entire island to nature, the moon disappears and creates a low tide, thus revealing a sand bridge onto the next island which will be randomly generated to have more buildings, larger cities, and different plants, environments, and animal friends. Because the “island worlds” are procedurally generated, the game could go on forever, with larger and larger cities as you progress.
I envisioned the final box art as being a close up of a rabbit with the forest and a dilapidated city in the background along with a blue sky. I can’t draw, so I made this temporary concept art using 3 very talented people’s creations (see credits section).
- The hand drawn background is called “Shibuya 109” and is by TOKYOGENSO from DeviantArt
- The Rabbit is a photo from Fotolia. The title is “Cautiousness” by PressMaster. Image #25880434
- The font used is based on “Angel Tears” by Billy Argel found on Dafont
Game Summary: (repeated)
You play a grey rabbit on a calm, relaxing island who can transplant various plants by eating their seeds and pooping them out in another location. There are no humans in the game but there are lots of derelict ghost towns and junk heaps that humans left behind. As the rabbit you can transplant trees, bushes, grass, and vines near or inside buildings until the plants overtake and destroy the structure completely, making it disappear. Thus returning the site, the city, and eventually the entire island back to nature. Different buildings require different plants to destroy them. The more plants you eat the more you level up, getting faster, and being able to eat more. You can also attract animal friends to help you by planting lots of their favorite type of flora. After you return an entire island to nature, the moon disappears and creates a low tide, thus revealing a sand bridge onto the next island which will be randomly generated to have more buildings, larger cities, and different plants, environments, and animal friends. Because the “island worlds” are procedurally generated, the game could go on forever, with larger and larger cities as you progress.
- The 3D world you’re in is one big island filled with lush forests, plains, rivers, streams, deserts, mountains, and rocky environments, each with their own atmospheric + melodic music.
- The islands have abandoned ghost towns and junk piles on them left over from humans.
- Once you completely return an entire island back to nature by destroying all human structures and there’s nothing left to do, the moon in the sky will disappear, causing a low tide, and a sand bridge onto the next island will be revealed.
- You cannot travel back to previous islands. It would probably be too expensive to program and there’s no reason for it either.
- Each island is bigger and has more towns than the last island.
- The environments, cities, and plant locations are randomized each island so no two islands are alike.
- The 1st goal of the game is to explore the island and look for “Plantables”. Plants that can be replanted by eating their seeds/fruit and pooping them out.
- Only 1% of an island’s vegetation is plantable and it’s spread out. So you have you roam around and look for it.
- Areas you’ve explored will be saturated with color on the map, areas you haven’t explored will be black & white.
- As you near plantables they’ll highlight (a white ring of light around them) and as you near their fallen seeds or fruit they too will highlight.
- You have to eat at least 1 seed/fruit from a plant in order to know its attributes (growth speed, damage to buildings.
- There are 5 types of plants that you can replant by eating: Grasses, Bushes, Vines, Trees, and Giants.
- Grasses are the fastest growing and giants (large trees) are the slowest growing.
- There are dozens of different kinds of plants in each type. (15 types of grasses, 21 types of trees, etc…)
Why look for platables? Because the 2nd goal of game is to return the abandoned ghost towns left behind by humans, back to nature by planting flora around or in them and destroying them. This is an extremely crude sample I made in photoshop. (There aren’t any 3D models used, I just faked 3D by warping the building textures.)
- Houses particularly, require vines, trees, and grass to be destroyed.
- As trees grow, a crack texture fades onto a building’s 3D model.
- Vines grow upwards until the building is completely covered.
- Finally the 3D model starts to sink into the ground until only its roof texture is left.
- Grass breaks up the roof and it fades away until it’s completely gone.
- It’d be nice if the building could crumble but seeing as how this would probably be a low budget game, it’d be best to just have the model sink into the ground and disappear.
- Some plants grow faster than others, some trees do more damage to buildings than others etc…
- Each plant species has different attributes like growth speed, damage ability, etc…
- Some trees take 1 hour to grow and cause 100 damage to a structure, other trees (giants) cause 500 damage to a structure per tree, but take 8 hours to fully grow.
- Plants cause damage to structures as they grow, so when they’re fully grown, they’ve caused their full damage to the parking lot.
- So basically, run around the map finding new species of plants that grow faster and do more damage and listen to the relaxing music and enjoy the scenery as you hop along.
Understanding Destructables (buildings, parking lots, junk piles):
- There are 3 main types of destructables that you can “return to nature” by planting flora in or around to destroy.
- Junk Heaps (cars, garbage, abandoned dumpsters)- usually require just bushes to destroy
- Roads and Parking Lots – require just grass to destroy
- Buildings (houses, warehouses, etc…) – require vines, grass, and trees to destroy.
- All destructables have “Hit Points” or “Health”. Larger structures have more, smaller structures have less.
- The requirements for destroying structures are shown in a small message window floating in front of the structure.
For the small house above, the info window tells us that trees are needed to cause 200 damage, vines to cause 100 damage, and grass to cause 100 damage to the building before it’s “returned to nature.” aka destroyed.
Example: I want to get rid of that parking lot so I hop around in the plains, find some “Prairie Cordgrass” type grass which does 91 damage each and takes 5 minutes to fully grow. I’m leveled up enough so that I can hold 3 plants in my belly. I eat 3 seeds and run back to the parking lot. I poop them out and they start growing.
After I plant the 3 seeds I go back for 2 more and plant them on the parking lot as well. The yellow percentage number reaches 100% after I plant all the necessary seeds and now I just have to wait for them to fully grow. The percentage turns into a green countdown timer that lets me know when the parking lot is going to be completely gone.
Map & Legend:
- Look straight up into the sky and a map will appear with:
- your location on the island
- labels for towns
- locations of already discovered edible plants and what their attributes are
- percentage of the island you’ve returned to nature
- status of buildings and junk piles
- Look at the moon in the sky and a legend will appear on screen that shows all the animal friends you can currently attract, what to play to attract them.
Animal friends are animals that can be summoned to help you carry out different tasks. You can look at your legend to see which animal friends are currently available to you, what perks they offer, and what to do to attract them.
- You can attract as many animal friends as you want on an island, just plant their favorite type of flora.
- Once you attract an animal friend it permanently becomes a resident of the island.
- Animal friends do NOT carry over from island to island.
- Different animal friends are available to different islands.
- Plant 5 oak trees next to each other to attract 1 squirrel
- Squirrels venture all around the island and find new locations of plant types you’ve already discovered. (They’ll show up on your map)
- Plant 15 “Clover Bushes” next to each other to attract 1 deer.
- Deer (and many other animal friends) will venture near buildings and junk heaps that have at least 1 type of manually planted flora and they will replant it until that building’s requirement for that flora is complete.
- So technically, Deer won’t play the game for you, but they do speed up the process. You can have an army of Deer and simply plant 1 of each type of flora required for every building and the Deer will take care of the rest.
- Plant 100 “Tall Green Grass” next to each other to attract 1 elephant
- Elephants venture around the island and find new plants that you haven’t discovered yet.
- They’re slow but are a good alternative to venturing around the island yourself. They also remember a plant’s attributes. New plants will show up on your map.
- Other Animal Friends:
Rain Clouds as a Reward:
- If you play the game every day, you’ll be rewarded with a rain cloud. It will appear in the sky the second day you consecutively play the game and each day after that.
- The first cloud’s rain fall will speed up the growth of currently planted flora by 5%. So any trees, bushes, vines, & grasses you’ve planted will grow 5% faster. If you don’t make it rain everyday, your cloud will keep growing in size 5% each day. The cloud will get bigger and hold more rain until eventually it turns into a giant storm cloud that speeds up growth by 35% (the max).
- Just make sure you play the game every day to keep your cloud.
- To make it rain and just look directly at the cloud in the sky for 5 seconds. The cloud will highlight and a progress bar will start to fill, after 5 seconds has passed it will start to rain all over the island.
- If you forget to play the game 1 day you’ll loose your cloud and will have to start over.
- To promote breaks during extended play, every hour it becomes night time for 10 minutes, your rabbit closes its little eyes and goes to sleep. You can turn the game off or simply step away for 10 minutes.
- Game progress does continue while the game is off.
- Leveling up simply increases your speed, eye sight (new plants are easier to discover because they highlight further away from you), and your tummy (can hold more seeds and fruit to plant). As you level up your “bunny fertilizer” becomes stronger as well, aiding plants by increasing their growth by small percentages.
- Study after study has shown that greenery calms humans and reduces stress. So the game should be filled with it. Plains, forests, beaches, lakes, rivers, waterfalls. Nature should be replicated as much as possible, sight and sound, in the game to reproduce its calming effects.
- There is absolutely no violence in the game what so ever. So the game is open to a larger demographic including younger children.
- Controls should be kept simple. Leveling up should be kept simple.
- Avoiding FarmCity / Farmville Mechanics: Farmville wants you to play as much but as short as possible, then leave so you’re not hogging server power. Rabbit Tales wants you to play for longer periods of time, but not too long, every day. The goal is to get you to put in a good 30 min each day to take the time to relax and be amongst nature and soothing music. Rewards like the storm clouds are incentives to get you to take the time to play each day.
- There’s no way to loose, and the only challenge is to put in time and patience.
I’ve always been fascinated by abandoned towns and derelict buildings. The more vegetation growing on them the better. No matter how hard we try to make something last, in the end nature always finds a way to take it back. I’ve literally got hundreds of photos of abandoned amusement parks, buildings, schools, libraries, and towns that have been reclaimed by nature. Too many to post here.
I also love ambient and chillout music, as well as nature sounds like forests, beaches, wind, and waves. I’m not even going to get into how much I love greenery. This is one of the reasons I could never live in a city like New York. Too much concrete, not enough plants.
I believe there’s too much stress in our lives and am constantly looking for stressless games. I really got into Zenbound 2 but stopped playing because it got hard and challanging. Same with Farmville, it just got too cluttered with all the new crap they added, I felt I couldn’t conquer the game. I can put in time effortlessly but I don’t want time limits, health bars, or any of those other challenges. Look, challenges are fun but sometimes I just want to relax and play something that isn’t hard, has no way to fail, and makes me feel like I’m working towards accomplishing a goal little by little each day. I also want to RELAX when I play a game. And running through the forest as a bunny sounds about right to me.
Are you a game developer? Are you oblivious to the fact that I’m insane? Perfect. You should email me and we should join up and make Rabbit Tales happen.
- “feral houses” (above) by http://www.jamesgriffioen.net/index.php?/prairies/feral-houses/
- Trash pile from http://www.bottlebill.org/about/benefits/litter/2003-MA-charles.htm
- Buildings, textures, parking lot, abandoned car, roofs, etc… from http://www.cgtextures.com/
- Forest texture from Google Maps
- Trees were posted for free use on forums. Similar trees here http://www.turbosquid.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm?id=195547
- Vine texture was a free sample from http://www.turbosquid.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm/ID/228647
- Crappy colored drawings are by me, lol.