Projects 2010 > Blossom Bristol > Journal
A couple of weeks ago our UWE intern Aaron Gordon spent three days in the PM Studio doing some fantastic research and thinking on Blossom Bristol. He had some great conversations about the project with visitors and other residents whilst there, which led to a number of lightning flashes of inspiration. Here are his redacted notes:
One of the main aims of Blossom Bristol is to allow users to interact with real world data in a fun and engaging way, which in turn encourages social change. Keeping this mind I've tried to reward the player at every opportunity when they make these real world changes. For example; after a player has harvested their crops, they can sell them instantly for a modest price. However if they travel to a real world farmers market, they can cash in their crops for a much higher price (which they can in turn spend on better crops).
I was also careful in defining how the player interacts with this real world data, and how this data effects the growth of the player's crops. I wanted to add a sense of depth while keeping the game play as simple as possible.
Each plant will have “Grow Points” which will be effected by the “Total” value of a geographical area (as seen under the 'Location' tab in the below image):
Using the example above a crop planted at this location will gain 25 Grow Points after at time based intervals (yet to be decided) e.g. every 24 hours. The plant will have to reach a certain number of Grow Points to determine the outcome. However if the player waits to long to harvest their crops, they will rot (e.g. 4 days in this example)
0 - 49 Grow points - Fail
50 - 99 Grow points - Poor Harvest ( - 50% sell price)
100 - 124 Grow points - Good Harvest
125 - 149 Grow Points - Great Harvest ( + 50% sell price)
150 - 175 Grow Points - Award Winning Harvest (+ 100% sell price)
Using this method players can still plant and yield crops in locations with average scores. It does however quickly reward players who look for better locations with higher total scores.
A problem with this method is that the player does not interact with the data, they would simply just glance at the total score.
A solution to this problem is to include modifiers to certain crops so that they positively or negatively effect individual values. For example;
Carrots: These don't mind the cold, +4 to temp (can't exceed 10)
Cauliflower: Resistant to air pollution, +4 to air (can't exceed 10)
The advantage of this approach is that it adds yet another layer of depth to the game, and for more experienced players. Using this mechanic also ensures that the players interact and engage with all of the data, which is one of the main goals of the game.