Herpetology the Video Game - Help Me?

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Fatal_S
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Herpetology the Video Game - Help Me?

Postby Fatal_S » Sat May 12, 2007 7:05 pm

Hey guys. I'm a intermediate game designer, and I'm starting work on a new game. Herpetology. Care to make a guess as to what it's about? :) For quite a while I've wanted to do a game about keeping herps, and maybe even being a herp breeder. Now that I have more experience working on games (I'm in a Girls in Gaming class where we're designing games) I'm hoping to make this new game.

Now my game will have an educational twist. Throughout my years working with herps, learning about herps, and as a member of this site, I've learned a lot. However, I've found a major problem is that people have no idea about the requirements their pets come with. My game will therefor have a requirement where you will need the equipment to properly care for your pet, and if you give it the wrong care it will become sick.

Now I'm considering this an On-Topic post as I will of course have at least 1 subspecies of BTS. In fact the BTS will be my base animal. Eventually I'd like to have several other sub-species (shingles are much different for example), but that's a maybe. I'd also like to have other common and uncommon herps to work with.

As an idea of what I'm hoping the game to be light think of Zoo Tycoon, but in a herp setting. You'd be able to have several tanks in your room, and zoom into each tank. Your herps would live their lives and you'd be able to interact with them. I'm thinking of adding a Tame-Level. You might buy a untame animal and through proper care and interaction calm it down slowly. I'll also add the VET function, which would help your animals, describing the problem and how it's being fixed, but it would cost a lot of money. You can decorate your tank and such. It will hopefully become a fairly advanced game, but it will take a lot of work. Still not 100% sure what I'll use to program it in, but I have my ideas.

For right now I'm looking for suggestions on different herps to include in my game. First, which species of BTS should I start with? What other ones should I include? When you suggest a herp, could you also include some basic care info about it? Info that would be appreciated is size, tank needed, diet needed, light needed, temps needed, general personality, etc. I'll look up info on any herps mentioned that I haven't heard of before, and probably on those I have as well. Any other suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Melanie J. Pratt
www.MelsExotics.ca
Currently living at Mel's Exotics:
BTS: Northerns, Caramel Northerns, Meraukes, Irian Jayas, Silver Tanimbars, Yellow Tanimbars
AFTs: Wild-Type, Striped, Amelanistic, Caramel Albino, Patternless, White Out
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Postby mouseinamilkbottle » Sat May 12, 2007 7:12 pm

I'd probably use an Indonesian breed (eg. Indo, IJ, Merauke) simply because they're the most common ones available in the US, through pet stores, and therefore the most likely your "consumer" will see in real life.
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Postby Omega » Sat May 12, 2007 8:16 pm

If possible, make the reptiles talk.. sorta like Seaman, hehe. Sounds like a cool sim! Just an idea, but you could make it so you can have a "real-time" viewing of your herp setup as a screen saver, and interact/change/etc it in game.
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Postby Fatal_S » Sat May 12, 2007 8:33 pm

Omega wrote:If possible, make the reptiles talk.. sorta like Seaman, hehe. Sounds like a cool sim! Just an idea, but you could make it so you can have a "real-time" viewing of your herp setup as a screen saver, and interact/change/etc it in game.


The reptiles won't talk (they will make reptile noises), but there will be a feature called the EXPERT. This is where you will be told the information about your herp, including It's name, age, health, happiness, tameness, status (shedding, pregger, brumating, etc). The EXPERT will also tell you what setup is still needed for your herp (Roxy would like more hides, Fido's tempuratures need to be adjusted, Iggy needs UVB lighting, etc). So in a way you can tell what you herp is thinking.

I do plan to have the game played real-time. You'd have to set the timer and leave it, but come back often to do stuff. I would like to have the option of having some of your herps living in the screen saver. All herps will be interactive and will live their lives, grow and age in real-time. I have many think I will need to add to this game to make it work the way I want. It will be a huge undertaking but I'm up for the challenge.

Also, there will be a MARKET feature. This is where you will be able to buy and sell reptiles from. Reptiles will be up on the MARKET in various conditions, ages, tameness, etc. I want this game to be very realistic, both in graphics and in game-play. I'd also eventually like to add scenarios, such as collect and breed every available species of snake, or breed 100 babies in 5 years. There will be a money aspect to the game too.

So guys, from what I've said so far, does it sound interesting? Do you think it would be a good idea? Would you possibly play it? Would you recommend it to be played? And keep the suggestions coming. I need herps of all types, big and small, for begginers and experts. I have a current list of 26 potential herps that I know of or from the net, but I'm sure you all know many, many more.
Melanie J. Pratt
www.MelsExotics.ca
Currently living at Mel's Exotics:
BTS: Northerns, Caramel Northerns, Meraukes, Irian Jayas, Silver Tanimbars, Yellow Tanimbars
AFTs: Wild-Type, Striped, Amelanistic, Caramel Albino, Patternless, White Out
California Kingsnake
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Postby mouseinamilkbottle » Sat May 12, 2007 8:53 pm

About the "real-time" aspect - does this mean you'd have to play the game for three years to get your baby old enough to breed? Do you think that people will get bored and lose interest if the game is that slow? Sims has an accelerated pace for that reason.
Ruth

--------



Mum of

Drazil - 126 grams

and

Tye - 173 grams

(Four-month-old Easterns)
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Postby Tyler » Sat May 12, 2007 9:05 pm

Is this going to be free or would someone have to pay? I'd give it a shot if it was free, but (not trying to sound mean) I wouldn't play it if I had to pay. And can I get a komodo dragon?
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Postby Zach » Sat May 12, 2007 10:14 pm

I don't pay if I don't have to :hehe: :whistle:

I honestly feel like I get ripped off with the price of some of this software.

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Postby mouseinamilkbottle » Sat May 12, 2007 10:29 pm

I don't remember the last time I paid for anything like windows, photoshop, norton, etc.

Having IT savvy brothers who wear grey hats is so cool. :ohyes:
Ruth

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Mum of

Drazil - 126 grams

and

Tye - 173 grams

(Four-month-old Easterns)
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Postby Omega » Sat May 12, 2007 10:56 pm

Zach wrote:I don't pay if I don't have to :hehe: :whistle:

I honestly feel like I get ripped off with the price of some of this software.


no kidding... companies wonder why pirating is such a problem, then raise the price to compensate for the loss. This game sounds sweet though, I like your market idea and pretty much everything so far. Sign me up for the Beta crew!!!
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Postby Nature's Gift » Sun May 13, 2007 2:49 am

So now all the thieves have put their hands up - so encouraging for the poor software designer!!!!

(OK, I admit, I have some less than registered software on my pc's)

"Real time" for a reptile program/game doesn't sound too action packed!!! I'm trying to figure out what you mean --- after Brumation, the game won't be compatible with the current operating systems.
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Postby Shellyjean » Sun May 13, 2007 9:49 am

Sounds cool. What kind of herps are you going to include? Everything from easy to care for to complex?
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Postby Lucifer_Spades » Sun May 13, 2007 12:17 pm

mouseinamilkbottle wrote:About the "real-time" aspect - does this mean you'd have to play the game for three years to get your baby old enough to breed? Do you think that people will get bored and lose interest if the game is that slow? Sims has an accelerated pace for that reason.


i'd agree with this have real time an option but also allow for those impatiant people who can't wait for the good things. I'd want to play in real time or double speed (6 mo = 1 year) but I like the whole idea I'm a sim freak (though I hate The Sims sorry but I don't wanna have to tell people when to pee thankyouverymuch) but I love most of th Tycoon games my favorite being the animal breeding ones If and when you come up with a beta version I'd love the oppertunity to try it out. :D
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Postby Fatal_S » Sun May 13, 2007 1:24 pm

You guys bring up some awsome points.

1) Real-Time : I want your herps to act like they would on a 24-hour schedule (diurnal are up during the day, etc) and continue aging/living when your not playing (pausable in case of vacation of course). However, true real-time wouldn't work as you point out. There would probably have to be a ratio, such as 4 real months = 1 game year? I should probably have the ratio setable by the player, such as -Pause, 1y:1y, 6m:1y, 4m:1y, 2m:1y. Lizards would still live their lives in 24-hour time, but how many days in a year would be adjustable. Does this sound like it would solve the real-time problem?

2) Herps: Herps would range from beginner pets to the more difficult ones. They also range in size. The game is meant to show people that all herps need special care, and some make better pets than others. I currently have a list of 26 common to semi-common herps. My current list only includes herps that can be kept in a tank less than room size (retics/anacondas are too big). Later versions may move into more exotic or larger herps such as the Komodo, crocodile, burmese, conda, etc. but that's is only a maybe. Of my list I believe the largest herp I have is the Iguana or Tegu.

3) Price/Theft : Ya bunch of theives :rofl: I too am guilty of cheating my way into free software (I'm poor, so sue me). I hate how programs I happen to like using (word, flash) cost hundreds of dollars to get. Who in the world has that kind of cash?!!! I also hate games that look sooo awsome but require you to buy a membership to play. I'm planning on putting this game out for free, or at least the basic version of it. If I'm going to end up spending over a year on this I would however like the possibility of getting some compensation. Now as this game is meant to educate people, at least most of it will have to be free. People wont pay to be educated. So I'm thinking of having a fully-functional version of the game free, and an upgraded version for a small price. The free version would work normally, but might not have all the available herps (13 of the 26 for example) or decorations or such. However, as a gamer, I hate games that constantly try to make you pay for more, or that stop at some point if you haven't paid. So you would just have the option of buying the full version if you really liked the game and wanted more herps, decos, scenarios, etc. I'm not going to charge much if I do have the full game for sale though, only $10-$15 maybe. How does this sound to everyone out there? I'm probably not explaining it well *sigh*.

Keep the suggestions coming. Thanks guys!
Melanie J. Pratt
www.MelsExotics.ca
Currently living at Mel's Exotics:
BTS: Northerns, Caramel Northerns, Meraukes, Irian Jayas, Silver Tanimbars, Yellow Tanimbars
AFTs: Wild-Type, Striped, Amelanistic, Caramel Albino, Patternless, White Out
California Kingsnake
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Postby Fatal_S » Sun May 13, 2007 1:48 pm

New Feature - NUTRITIONIST

The EXPERT feature deals with what the animal is feeling. The NUTRITIONIST will deal with the herps food. You will use this on each herp. You enter the panel for the herp, and have a list of all kinds of food. The NUTRITIONIST tells you what the animal needs to make a good meal, and you pick foods to fulfill the requirements. This example will better explain how the NUT works.

Example:
Blue Tongue Skink in NUTRITIONIST
NUT ADVICE: The BTS is an omnivore. Your adult BTS requires a meal that is 50% Veggies, 40% meat, and 10% fruits. Most of their meal should be greens and other veggies.
You Select : Collard Greens, Superworms, Rasberries
NUT ADVICE: More veggies and protein should be added for a healthy meal.
You Select: Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Butternut Squash, Ground Turkey, Superworms, Rasberries
NUT ADVICE: This meal is well suited for a BTS.
You press Food Ready.
NUT: How many days will your BTS eat this? BTS do best on a diet that is varied, usually on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
You Select 14 days.
NUT: How often should your BTS be fed and at what time? Adult BTS do best being fed every 3-5 days. This varies depending on the individual BTS. BTS can be fed at any time during the day.
You Select 4 days at 5pm.
NUT: Your meal is ready. Press OK.
You Press OK.
At this point your BTS is being fed for the next 14 days so you don't have to worry about it. If money is a factor for feeding you would be charged now. (You'd be able to see how much your spending at every stage of NUTRITIONIST). The same meal would apply to all adult BTS, so you wouldn't have to set it for each animal.

Okay guys. What do you think of the NUT?

I'm also working on a HELPER feature which would clean the tanks and such but maybe for a price. So far that's 5 possible features.
Melanie J. Pratt
www.MelsExotics.ca
Currently living at Mel's Exotics:
BTS: Northerns, Caramel Northerns, Meraukes, Irian Jayas, Silver Tanimbars, Yellow Tanimbars
AFTs: Wild-Type, Striped, Amelanistic, Caramel Albino, Patternless, White Out
California Kingsnake
Dumeril Boa
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Postby Shadowfax » Sun May 13, 2007 2:49 pm

Oh, you definitely need to have cute sounds -- like kissing noises if they breed. Or if they get hurt, they should go "OW!"

And there definitely should be a function that says -- "oop, you got too close to your croc when feeding him, he has now eaten your arm."
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Postby Tyler » Sun May 13, 2007 6:31 pm

If you do only give us 13 of the 26 in the free version, will we get a bluey in one of those 13 :)

It does sound like a good game though! Did you start it yet?
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Postby Fatal_S » Sun May 13, 2007 7:00 pm

Tyler wrote:If you do only give us 13 of the 26 in the free version, will we get a bluey in one of those 13 :)

It does sound like a good game though! Did you start it yet?


Yes, bluey will be one of the very first herps you can get. I promise. And no, it's not started it. It's still in developement stages. I only really bagan the planning in the past 3 days. I'm still not 100% sure what I'll be creating it in. I know flash, java, VB, and a few other scripts, but I don't think any would give me the look I want. I'm looking into a game engine from Garage Games. We shall have to wait an see.
Melanie J. Pratt
www.MelsExotics.ca
Currently living at Mel's Exotics:
BTS: Northerns, Caramel Northerns, Meraukes, Irian Jayas, Silver Tanimbars, Yellow Tanimbars
AFTs: Wild-Type, Striped, Amelanistic, Caramel Albino, Patternless, White Out
California Kingsnake
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I like It

Postby kvega92 » Sun May 13, 2007 8:14 pm

I have to say that I really like your Idea. As a school teacher I think as long as you reserach your information that this can be a great resource for students. I also think it is neat kind of like the SIMS. PM me anytime and let me know how it is going.
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Re: I like It

Postby Fatal_S » Sun May 13, 2007 8:55 pm

kvega92 wrote:I have to say that I really like your Idea. As a school teacher I think as long as you reserach your information that this can be a great resource for students. I also think it is neat kind of like the SIMS. PM me anytime and let me know how it is going.


WILCO. Glad you think it's a good idea. I really do want to make it fun AND educational.
Melanie J. Pratt
www.MelsExotics.ca
Currently living at Mel's Exotics:
BTS: Northerns, Caramel Northerns, Meraukes, Irian Jayas, Silver Tanimbars, Yellow Tanimbars
AFTs: Wild-Type, Striped, Amelanistic, Caramel Albino, Patternless, White Out
California Kingsnake
Dumeril Boa
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Postby kvega92 » Sun May 13, 2007 8:56 pm

Fatal_S wrote:
kvega92 wrote:I have to say that I really like your Idea. As a school teacher I think as long as you reserach your information that this can be a great resource for students. I also think it is neat kind of like the SIMS. PM me anytime and let me know how it is going.


WILCO. Glad you think it's a good idea. I really do want to make it fun AND educational.
I think it has potential. I can not wait to see it. I think it sounds like a fun thing. Great for kids.
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