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Soul Garden (Justin Honegger)

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Soul Garden is a VR puzzle game where the objective is to reverse plants back into seeds and manipulate the environment that they were planted in to make them grow stronger than before. The player alters the flow of time as they move water, light, soil, weather, events, and magical energy around the plant’s relative spacetime to turn small, emaciated sprouts into otherworldy herbs inspired by wuxia literature, the Voynich Manuscript and the Codex Seraphinianus.

Vote for this to be one of the prototypes we make over on Humble.com

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For those that have taken the time to consider voting for my project, thank you for coming!

If you have any questions or comments please post them, and I'll do my best to answer them. It may take some time for me to figure out the right words to answer you with, as I'm the IT guy and not a heavily experienced developer like my coworkers, so please be patient and bear with me as I try to translate my brain into something more understandable.

 

ps Thank you Derek Brand for the title art and 2pp for the wonderfully edited video!

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Really like the concept. How would you imagine these elements (water, light, soil, etc) come together to form a puzzle? Is it more about experimentation to figure out what in what order these elements need to come together for each mystic seed?

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Hey thanks for asking! =D

The idea is that there is a soilscape that comes along with each plant that you manipulate to cultivate it. Think a giant floating chunk of land with weird bits and the seed stuck in it. When the puzzle is first entered, it's in it's natural state; Unordered, full of obstructions and only incidentally capable of growing a weak version of the plant.The player then interacts with the soilscape by moving things around to make it a more ideal environment to grow. The elements aren't applied in an order to the soilscape, but more brought together to amplify each other, or to feed off of each other.

Once the plant's environment is set the player begins Time again, and the plant grows until it can no longer gain anything from it's environment, either because of insufficient resources or encountering something that weakens it to the point of death.

Things that occur on the timeline itself (Events) hover in the air around the soilscape on a long ribbon. As time advances the time ribbon passes through the soilscape, activating the event. The player can move events from one part of the ribbon to another if they want to prevent disasters such as a rain of fire from affecting the plant. I'd also like to compress or stretch the events on the timeline ribbon to improve variety (A compressed rainstorm dumps all of its rain at once, and a stretched one gives less rain minute to minute but goes for longer.) At higher levels multiple ribbons or ribbon loops would attach to the soilscape for more complicated puzzles.

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This feels like it could work equally in VR as out of it...as a brand new puzzling concept to bridge the gardening with the final art inspired "plants".  Especially having the concept artists using such influences.  Maybe even having part of the concept being attempting to decipher the influences and creating your own answers for puzzle enjoyment purposes.

Am I offbase with this possibility?

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It could, but my personal preference for AF is to aim for a VR version from the beginning. The small, isolated puzzles I'm envisioning feel like they'd be really fun in a VR environment, and I want to prioritize making that a wonderful experience.

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