I’ve been throwing around ideas for my own take on an open-ended fluffy breeding game with a structure somewhat similar to those found in top-down management sims (Prison Architect, Rimworld, etc.)
Open-ended here means a variety of potential ways to run your fluffy business…
Standard pet store fare, whether your customers are seeking companions or stress balls
An agribusiness producing prime fluffy meat and fertilizer
Fluffies built to perform for competition, or for work
…as well as potential scenario modes for specific playstyles.
I lack experience programming games, though I have general experience with programming concepts and enough familiarity with Unity that I could pick things up as I go. Music, art & voice acting are currently foreign to me as well, so if I move forward with this concept I’d much appreciate help in that regard (though it’s currently intended as a free project, and will likely stay that way.)
Much of the inspiration for this game and its mechanics is taken from @Turboencabulator’s writing, and I’d highly recommend checking out their profile; easily my favorite writer on FC!
Attached are some unfinished mind-map notes for the high-level mechanics of the game; a sort of “not-roadmap”:
I haven’t put much thought into smarty syndrome yet, though it does seem like the interpretation of it as a consequence of spoiling (or otherwise improperly raising) a fluffy would make for more interesting gameplay as opposed to it being an intrinsic trait. Same goes for bitch mare syndrome; perhaps there could be some sort of balancing act present in the game where cheaper recreation, though easier to manage and implement, could result in shitty personalities (e.g. from FluffTV brainrot)
I’ve fiddled with gamedev in various ways over the past however long I’ve done it and I’ve found that having a primary language that you can use as a sketchpad for prototyping systems is very useful. Don’t worry about the graphics or sound, but implement a fluffy just as a piece of code and see what immediately jumps out at you as things you need to have.
Since you’re working with Unity, that means C#. You could implement a ‘fluffy’ class, then use that as a foundation for specialty fluffy classes that inherit from the base class. You’d start finding things you need to implement almost immediately.
If you know Unity programming, you should help with the Modular Fluffy Project. A game like this has better chances at succeeding if we work together - and the point of a modular project is that even if it did fail, the parts made for it remain reusable for any new projects in the future.
Pathfinding is the first necessity to have fluffies do anything at all, so if you could code just that, it would already be one less hurdle for all Unity-based fluffy games to come.
@Thk Apparently autism causes low muscle tension, so their meat would be closer to veal.
In case of music, before doing anything on your own you could just search up previous fluffy games and try extracting their music for your project. Even if just as a stand in, it could be a nice little throwback for the people that played the other games.
That would work, though save for the obvious exceptions like smarties I don’t see the need for fluffy-specific code (if anything it’d likely just be extra/alternative AI states) in the context of this game; the basic AI would be applied to all fluffies regardless of phenotypical features, and traits like alicorn-hood or poopie colors would augment attributes and reactions.
I do agree that a collaborative project would be best (and I’ll likely release the source code of the game as progress is made), but my vision for this game differs from the one laid out by the MFP thread. Furthermore the AI model I have in mind has a somewhat simpler structure, essentially a state machine tied to a data structure with the relevant mutable (trainable attributes, relationships, needs, etc.) and immutable (phenotype, innate preferences, mental capacity, etc.) information required by the state logic.
Opting for a top-down 2D perspective also simplifies various implementation details (pathfinding, player building, etc.) but I’d like to avoid the pitfalls of games with similar structures (of which there are many in my experience).
Thinking about how fluffies ought to be modelled in FluffWorks (new, may-or-may-not-be-working title,) and got thinking about some different ways the common phenotypes could be distinguished by innate strengths and weaknesses. (See the chart below and feel free to share thoughts and suggestions.)
Fluffy relationships are something I’d like to put careful consideration into as well; the idea I have in mind right now is a relationship model based on two-dimensional values of “kinship” (a fluffy’s ability to relate to another,) and “intimacy” (the desire for and strength of potential relationships) with each familiar face, as well as the situations that two fluffies find themselves in together (e.g. work partners, friendly athletic rivals, moms that care for each others’ children, etc.) Fluffies may develop multiple types of relationships with another individual, which in turn boost their overall fondness of one-another and culminate in special-friendship if the two are compatible.
These are just young thoughts, as always I’d appreciate it of others shared their own thoughts about these topics.
Fluffies must develop familiarity with each other before developing particularly strong positive feelings. Familiarity raises slowly as fluffies live, play and work together, though active conversations (particularly those having to do with preferences, activities, known fluffies, etc.) get them acquainted much more quickly and at a higher level.
Interactions may positively or negatively influence a fluffy’s overall attitude about the other party, with particularly positive attitudes (initially capped by lack of familiarity) and other special conditions leading to the creation of bonds.
Bonds represent the different kinds of relationships a fluffy might have with another, and can provide boosts to mood, motivation in relevant activities, and enable unique interactions. As examples, a competition breeder may house a significant portion of fluffies that have developed “training partner” bonds with each other, boosting their motivation to race and improve their physical attributes with each other. “Herd leaders” (…not smarties) might dampen the effect of negative stimuli on their fluffs’ moods. There’s also special friends of course, which aren’t particularly difficult to cultivate in most scenarios due to fluffies’ natural propensity to reproduce, though I do wonder if a distinction should be made between mere breeding partners and special friends under certain contexts.
There’s all sorts of nuances to consider for the final implementation of this system, but TL;DR the player is encouraged to cultivate meaningful relationships between fluffies if they seek higher valuation, with fluffies capable of bonding with each other in a variety of ways that improve their well-being and augment their behavior.