Those who are casual readers of the site may be unaware of my ongoing campaign to introduce "arts and crafts" time to Gay Gamer. Those who are regular readers know that the aforementioned factoid is utterly contrived, and serves (as you may have suspected) as little more than a segue to the meat and potatoes of this story - though given the subject matter, we'll have to do without the meat.
One of our readers is currently at work on an iPhone game called The Vegetable Patch. Created by three men named Peter, Mikey, and Stevesie, serving as designer, programmer, and artist respectively. By day, the intrepid trio work for Blitz Games, an independent studio based in the UK, which has delved into the mobile realm once or twice, but focuses primarily on multiplatform, boxed titles. The Vegetable Patch is being released independently of the studio - given said studio's "independent" status, one might consider the game "doubly independent" for marketing purposes - as a sort of arcade-style sim: growing different types of vegetables (it's more complex than that) on a grid, in the interest of achieving that elusive "high score."
The developers shy away from calling The Vegetable Patch a "puzzle game;" rather, gameplay revolves around exploring the tools at one's disposal - all of which are available from the start - and encouraging gamers to find creative ways to further progress, rather than progressively unlocking content - a marriage of exploration and experimentation that has been dubbed "Explorimentation."
Hit the jump to read more!
From the DevBlog:
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!
The degree to which you please the Allotment Manager (a sort of jovial Big Brother) is calculated by the quantity of the plants you have picked, multiplied by the rarity of each plant. Each game session has a finite amount of time, so players must balance quantity verses rarity - sometimes adjacent plants will cross-pollinate, creating more interesting and valuable plants - in the interest of their score. There are a couple more tricks, explained in the trailer/informational video (featured below), but you get the gist of it.
The DevBlog has a listing and description of some of the plants, and will be updated with news about the games features, development, etc. No release date has been set, but our markedly more clever (and I suspect, more cunning) British counterparts are working away on development. In our correspondence, Peter stated that "We've only got a few more features to put in, then it's polishing and bug fixing. There'll be extra trailers, blog posts and whatnots between now." The Vegetable Patch should cost 69p - for we of Yankee stock, that's about $1.08 - an will be available on the iPhone.
I've always had a keen appreciation for nature, but as I peer back into the swirling void of horror that is my memory, I recall a particular... incident from my younger years. I was in my mother's back garden, communing with that which passes for "nature" in a city - i.e., a token patch of flowers and vegetables. What started out as a simple
psilocybin-induced string of revelations expansion of consciousness turned hellishly wrong, and before long I found myself locked in a waking nightmare: my dilated pupils bearing witness to the screaming faces of these vegetable prisoners, rooted to the ground with living shackles. After suffering a sort of psychotic break and proclaiming myself "Cabbage Hitler" for all my past crimes, I eventually ran to the house and locked myself in the bedroom for what seemed like a fortnight, comforted only by the downy softness of my favorite crying pillow.
For those whose third eye has never been pried open by the unspoken horrors of suburban gardening, enjoy the cheeriness of The Vegetable Patch, and be sure to check out the facebook page.