Butterfly ecstasy fills the air!
Copulate as Butterflies in Drunk On Nectar's next Steam update! Dance in the skies with your beautiful mate, procreate, migrate with the seasons, lay eggs and complete the circle of life in Act 3!
Development hereby commences for Butterfly Mating & Reproduction! :)
Monarchs Win the Poll...
Easily winning the recent poll with 115 out of 122 votes, the Monarchs will now lay the foundation for the game's Mating & Reproduction systems, much in the same way that they laid the foundation for its growth and lifecycle systems.
What's coming in this update:
Let's talk about the scope of this update. The fivefold pillars of this update include:
- Finding a partner: Having matured into a butterfly, you will explore looking for a suitable partner in the midst of rivals who have the same idea as you. Male and female gameplay will provide unique and different experiences greatly adding to the replay value of the game.
- Courtship & Rituals: You will use Visual gestures, Sound, Rhythm and other cues along with your partner as the two of you bond, impress, flirt and dance.
The outcome of the mating attempt will be determined by an elaborate gameplay system that will eventually vary from species to species.
This is part I'm most excited about personally and will likely constitute a bulk of the gameplay. Dev update video on this, soon!
- Mating: If courtship was successful, we proceed onto mating! The male butterfly carries the female soaring through the air as they move from spot to spot, looking for a safe spot to copulate. Eventually you land, interlock with your partner, the male's abdominal claspers pairing with the female female's abdomen as the pair unite.
- Migration: Depending on the generation and season, the timing of this step will vary. You may be migrating as a non-mated adult to your Winter roost, or you may be migrating back to your Spring grounds, having just mated after diapuse. Generations born in warm seasons may not migrate at all.
Important Note! Migration is considered a stretch goal for this update and so the final format for this is still being worked out. It may be simplified or deferred depending on how complex the previous parts turn out to be.
My ideal vision for migration is to use this opportunity to finally expand the game's Biomes beyond the "Temperate Forest" mould with new maps that are large in size and focus on exploration. No promises yet though... we'll see!
- Egg Laying: - The Circle Complete! Having mated and fertilized your eggs, as a female you will set off looking for... Milkweed Plants! Successfully laying your eggs on the leaves you will have ensured the next generation has the same opportunity as you did, to start the cycle all over again.
As noted above in migrations, multi-generational gameplay is desired, though the exact format cannot be committed to just yet, there's plenty of planning and experimentation with the Monarchs to be done first :)
Stretch Goals (Wishlist, TBD, etc):
Some interesting but unconfirmed aspects of this update include:
- Trait Selection (Act 4): Evolution and trait acquisition over multiple generations was the original intent of adding an XP system to the game last year. The idea was that your character stats would be enhanced over multiple generations and you would also unlock unique traits that you could choose from each new generation to vastly enrich your replay value.
However the game's goals have somewhat changed since then and this part may be skipped entirely for simplicity.
The reason it is mentioned here is Selection of mates, which would be a bit more meaningful if players are able to choose a mate based on the characteristics they will eventually acquire in a future generation.
The simpler option is to just have players mate with any suitable partner and not overwhelm them with the complexity of traits at all. This makes development easier as well. Thoughts on this are welcome!
- Multiplayer: I would really love to add Multiplayer for this update by converting last year's multiplayer prototype into a production-ready system. Mating with actual butterfly players is obviously an alluring proposition so it will be investigated. A large-scale, persistent world would be truly ideal, but this is just me dreaming out aloud :)
This is definitely the last item in terms of priority and will be dropped if the other pieces of this vast Monarch Act 3 puzzle prove to be more complex than expected. I did want to list it here though, both to elicit your feedback and thoughts and to provide the early vision and fuel for eventually realizing this dream.
Thus has been narrated in full, DoN's massive Monarch manifesto!
It's going to be a busy month soaring high in the skies with our beautiful monarchs, so please relay your feedback, thoughts and suggestions right now! :)
This promises to the game's most fun and ambitious update, I hope everyone will greatly enjoy what is to come! :)
🦋 Venugopalan Sreedharan 🦋
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(Developer of Drunk On Nectar - The Nature Simulator)