Alice pointed me towards The Botanist [Steam link] which is a plant-growing game making the most of the remaining Steam Greenlight time. She said it seemed like A Good Gardener but without the war and the imprisonment. To me it seems closer to Flower Town (a StreetPass minigame thing for the Nintendo DS system) and Flower Shop (a Ludum Dare entry about fulfilling customer orders for blooms).
Here’s the feature list as per the Greenlight page:
Complete customer requests and build your reputation, to try to become a professional Botanist. Curate a seed catalogue all of your own, where every word will grow a unique plant. Choose words that mean something to you. Your loved ones, pets, or favourite places. Collect varied pots and vases to create displays that suit you and your clients. Commemorate your favourite arrangements with your camera, and cherish the memories forever.
So it’s about creating a vocabulary of plants which you can then nurture. As per the developer, James Biddulph:
“One night, in mid 2016, I (James Biddulph, Developer) couldn’t sleep, so I got up and made a little garden simulator. I was stressed out, and living in the city, but nature and open, green spaces, always help to calm me down. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I made the game generate a random plant based upon a random word. It was super rough, and didn’t look great, but I was just making it to take my mind off things.
“I showed this little game to a few people, and it seemed to connect with them. I noticed that people would always do very similar things the first time that they played. They would type in their own name, their pets name, loved ones etc, to see what kind of plant would grow. It was amazing to see them connect the plant to the person. Maybe the plant was very chaotic and messy, which made them think of their cat, or tall and graceful like their partner.”
I think it’s a really sweet idea, although I think my inclination isn’t to cultivate things named for people or ideas of which I’m already fond. I’d be more likely to try to de-fang things I’m struggling with by turning them into plants. That said, I’d probably then end up leaving some of the more egregious concepts to die so perhaps I’m not the best person to play this.
Botanist is due to launch in “mid 2017”. Here’s the Greenlight link if you’re interested in a touch of botanical button-pressing.