Sunday, 11 September 2011

It's not a puzzle game!

You may have noticed that we've stopped calling The Vegetable Patch a puzzle game. Why is that? Well, since we've started trying to explain what the game's about, we've stated to notice that every time we say "puzzle game" to someone it popped a load of associations into their head that just aren't true for what we're making.

Things like Zoop and Joining Hands are what people think of when they think Puzzle game. Games where you have a small number of clearly explained mechanics that you're given at the start to use to solve ever trickier situations.

That's not what The Vegetable Patch is about. In our game you're let loose into the garden and are simply told to be the most impressive gardener you can be. As a player you're dropped into the middle of a great big pool of mechanics and systems and pretty much left to your own devices.

But that's what makes our game fun! For the whole time you're playing you're DISCOVERING new things about the way the game works. "Oh look! If I do THIS then I impress the allotment manager EVEN MORE!"

It's not a puzzle - we're giving the player the sense that they're a PIONEERING VEGETABLE SCIENTIST! Unpicking the laws of vegetable physics!

We call it :

The fun comes from EXPLORING the game! Getting right into the nooks and crannies of the way the veg and the patch work. There's a great wide web of things to find and you're given a free hand to tackle it all in whatever order you come to it.

The fun comes from EXPERIMENTING with the game! "If I let a regular vegetable mulch down then I know THIS happens... So what if I let a Golden Plum mulch down?" YOU are using what YOU know to make those jumps of understanding that move the art of Vegeteering forwards! Each time you play you learn a little more and you're able to impress the Allotment Manager more than ever before!

There's no "unlocking" in an explorimentation game. There's no new tools you're handed after you've played the game long enough.

Our unlock system is simply YOU discovering something new! It's a hundred times more satisfying to DISCOVER a way to make a plant more impressive rather than just have the game allow you to "level up" once it thinks you've earned it.

That's why we're excited about The Vegetable Patch!

Sure it'll be a challenge for us as developers. It's going to take a delicate touch to make our players feel they're discovering things for themselves but not being left with no guidance.

But we know that when we get it right it's going to be DOUBLE FANTASTIC. Every time you learn something new about the way the vegetables work it'll be a DOUBLE HIT of satisfaction.

"AH HA! I knew that would work!"

And then

"SHAZAM! Now if I use what I've learned, I can impress the allotment manager MORE THAN EVER BEFORE!"

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