Admiring Procedural Islands And Flora In Meadows

Meadowy.

You know that scene in a sci-fi film where a scientist is so fascinated by a tiny creature or moving plant that they don’t notice the other dozen rising around them? And then they turn around and are surprised and delighted/horrified to see all the rest? Meadows can feel a lot like that. Created by Tom Betts in this year’s Procedural Generation Jam, it’s about roaming procedurally-generated islands, watching procedurally-planted flora grow according to their needs. Then we turn around and gosh, a whole island has sprouted while we focused on one sapling.

I have very much enjoyed creating island after island, trying to guess how they’ll sprout based on their colour-coded soil types. I’ve enjoyed roaming rocky outcrops and finding passages through them, plants hidden in their dark corners. The ever-roaring seas are very soothing to my wonky ears. And watching everything grow is lovely, of course. I’m very fond of games which will show you something strange and pleasant if you give them five minutes of your time.

Betts describes this free build as a “demo”, noting he had more ideas. He had planned for plants to mutate, but didn’t have the system working in time, wanted to make plants replantable, and quite fancied the idea of ambient life popping up in the wake of plants’ growth and spread.

Here’s one of the many islands I enjoyed visiting:

[Tom Betts worked with our Jim on Sir, You Are Being Hunted. I also know Tom a bit myself through friends in common.]

6 Comments

  1. padger says:

    Brr. Bit cold and weird. Dreamlike, except it’s a dream about TERRIFYING PLANTS.

  2. Napalm Sushi says:

    Ah, I was waiting for this to be covered. Truly mesmerising, and the resemblance of the pre-growth islands to Ramshaw Rocks is something of a feels-multiplier for me. Can’t wait to see how it develops.

    Also pleased that it made me aware of another work of Tom’s; another experiment in procedural generation, but more bleak and haunting in vibe: link to nullpointer.co.uk

  3. Don Whitaker says:

    Can’t get the download to work at the moment, but this looks fantastic. Love the low-poly atmosphere. I’m also working on a game with plants that grow according to their environment . It’s a sci-fi farming sim called XenoFarm. link to brainblinks.com

    • padger says:

      This is a superb idea.

      • Don Whitaker says:

        Thanks padger – now I just need to get it from my head into game form. (^_^) I have a good start though – most of the research and planning are done, and the proof of concept plants are growing. I’ll have a playable prototype for people to try in January.

  4. Bank12 says:

    Alice, your voice is amazing. It fits so well with the quiet growth on the chilly island.