Exo Keeper II is here!
Source code of competition entry
Relpatseht gave me the following wishlist to work with:
1. Monitor/influence game. I want a game where the world can function without me, and I'm just watching and making influences. Something I can run as a side task forever and devote a little time here or there to to improve. Much closer to ProgressQuest than to StarCraft.
2. Procedural content. I'd like as much as possible to be generated to keep the world always interesting. Infinite worlds are a plus.
3. I want you to implement one of your own wishes.
(And I picked the following wish from my own list: "I love science, and I love games based on science.")
When I read these rules, I immediately had to think back to Exo Keeper, a game I programmed earlier this year for LD46. Exo Keeper is inspired by Sid Meier's Sim Earth, and it has exactly this "gardening" aspect that Relpatseht was asking for.
For this competition I re-wrote the game in D+Allegro. It still contains all the art and music contributed by my LD46 team mates. I added a few new features to make the game easier to follow. For example, species now tell you why they aren't growing, if they are too cold, too hot, or hungry...
How to play
You start with a barren, cold, empty planet. At the start, the planet is completely frozen. The poles of the planet are cold enough to make carbon dioxide freeze. The goal of the game is to terraform the planet, and reach a nice temperate average of 298 °K.
You do this by introducing various micro-organisms. Introducing photosynthesising species will release oxygen, making the planet suitable for higher forms of life. Microorganisms will also stain the white snow, lowering the albedo of the planet. A lower albedo means more heat from the sun is retained, thus warming the planet.
The README has more tips on how to play. Most of all, don't worry too much about all the science. Just spread some microorganisms, have a cup of coffee while you watch them spread and grow!