Robert Hornbek

Game Development & Exploration

Kernips: Update

Posted by rHornbek on March 25, 2010

Ok so I thought it was about time for me to post an update on Kernips development, so here we go.  Last time I focused a lot on gameplay concepts that we wanted to implement.  In addition to this I covered a few goals set for the game by the end of development.  Most of this has not changed, but we have made a few changes as we learned more about our creation.

Our programmer, while very capable, is learning ActionScript for the first time so part of early development is getting him acclimated with the language and software.  To achieve this, we established what I have been calling the Alpha Prototype objectives.  If the name doesn’t give it away, the objective for this milestone is to create a rough working prototype.  This has narrowed our current goals, as listed below…


  1. Kernip garden containing 8 x 8 spaces called “plots”
  2. System to produce Kernip sprouts in random empty plots at random intervals
  3. 6 different Kernip asset types
  4. System for Kernip’s life cycle
  5. Allow mature Kernips to be plucked from the garden

This set of objectives gives us a good start point to develop the game further.  Once we get this working we can see what’s fun, what isn’t and where we need to make improvements.

For the first objective, we decided that the garden would be procedurally generated.  In other words we will have two variables, Hight and Width, that will define how many plots the garden will be.  Initially we plan to test on on an 8 x 8 plot garden, however if this feels too small or too big we can quickly make changes.

As for the 6 Kernip types we are not going to be using anything too exotic.  Our focus needs to remain on core gameplay, but we will need the art assets to test them.  In the mean time our artist will be busy elaborating on their concepts.

In the previous post I talked a little about the Kernip’s life cycle; Seed, Bud, Mature, Withered and Dead.  Not that this is groundbreaking information but we decided that we did not need a unique art asset for each Kernip’s Dead state.  The reason for this is entirety gameplay related.  When a Kernip is dead its color will make no difference in the users decision process.  This will save on some time and asset costs.

A work in progress!

Behold!  The image above is the Alpha Prototype in progress.  At the moment random color Kernips spawn in random locations and begin their life cycles.  If left to their own device all the plots will become filled with dead Kernips.


One Response to “Kernips: Update”

  1. sajust said

    I like your development approach. I look forward to seeing the progress of this game

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