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A Permaculture Game? Please

 
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cool thread! i'd like to be the third voice for minecraft. i ain't much of a gamer or know much about making such things, but i have two kids who live there. one of them showed me around and how you can modify and set up a server with certain parameters. probably wouldn't be very "true to life" but principles could be conveyed.

seems to me the wheel is almost invented and there's lots of community already there playing (easily infected brains?) i'd love to be able to say to my kids (which i can't seem to get more interested in what i'm doing in the backyard than what's on their screens), "hey, check out this minecraft server!"

what say ye?
 
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Hi everyone! I've been gone for a while but wanted to let you know that I have been working non-stop on my game. If you're interested you can find information at

http://www.eco-villa.com

There is a really bad version available there, I don't recommend grabbing it yet. I am also accepting volunteer work. There is a web form that where users can enter data about plants, which we can then integrate into the game.

Also, Agricola is so great.

Take care!
 
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My Masters Degree is in instructional Design with an emphasis on game theory. Currently I design curriculum for schools that utilizes game theory and have been thinking about creating a Permaculture board game. In my Masters program, I created a board game that was about cleaning the environment and could easily be a good starting place for a permaculture board game.
So far I have an artist and a graphic designer who have agreed to help me with this project. Where are others in the process? I don't want to duplicate what someone else is already doing. I'm happy letting someone else run with this if they are already down further down the road.
 
Victor Didra
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I chose to use the words "sustainable" instead of "Permaculture" because so many people just look at me with a blank stare when I used the latter.

Today we're entering it in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Winning will give a huge boost to the soil and water simulations progress. Wish us luck!
 
Kevin Mace
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eric johnson wrote:cool thread! i'd like to be the third voice for minecraft. i ain't much of a gamer or know much about making such things, but i have two kids who live there. one of them showed me around and how you can modify and set up a server with certain parameters. probably wouldn't be very "true to life" but principles could be conveyed.

seems to me the wheel is almost invented and there's lots of community already there playing (easily infected brains?) i'd love to be able to say to my kids (which i can't seem to get more interested in what i'm doing in the backyard than what's on their screens), "hey, check out this minecraft server!"

what say ye?




I teach Minecraft camps to students and the easiest thing that could be done quickly is to create a seed that gives players some challenges that are in line with Permaculture.
Also, Minecraft is really good about taking suggestions. So we could send them ideas like changing how rain works (make it pool up rather than just disappearing once it hits the ground). Or ask them to add bees.
Is anyone aware of any permaculture seeds in Minecraft?
 
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Any more updates?
 
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I think some relatively hardcore gaming experiences really primed me to be ready for permaculture. Eve Online, World of Warcraft etc. do a very good job of forcing groups to have a diverse set of complimentary traits.

A Minecraft mod could be a decent way to birth a permaculture game. It has an enormous following, and is the single best selling Xbox game for nearly 3 years. My understanding is that Minecraft has sold more copies than every other game on Xbox, combined. It is also the best selling game on apple and android.

There is already a farming/landscaping mechanic that includes things like presence of water and daylight, and there are mods to make it more realistic, with a much more complicated tech tree, and much more difficult resource gathering.

It is also programmed in java, and already has a huge number of people writing mods for it.

I'm a terrible programmer, but if someone wanted to pick up the mantle, I'd be happy to be part of the team to work on things like user stories, and play testing.
 
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what's the update with your game project, Victor Didra?
 
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What happend to this project???
 
pollinator
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pat less wrote:What happend to this project???



Yes, what is going on here?? Hello, McFly!?!
 
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John Elliott wrote:

pat less wrote:What happend to this project???



Yes, what is going on here?? Hello, McFly!?!




Indeed. Spent the past 3 years researching this from various angles and have found some good feedback and direction from the gamers/devlopers side and would like to share and discuss with this community. 2 years of silence at this sight, on this project idea, is saddening.

There is some truly great potential here. Is there anybody willing to discuss this anymore? If not, please reply and share "Why Not?".

C. Armantrout.
Missoula, MT
 
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I am starting a permaculture Minecraft server.

hundreds of plants, fruit trees, flowers, with individual growing schedule. Theres are 180 new Biomes and over 12 new dimensions. thousands of new furnitures, house interioer and many bosses to defeat.

If you are over 18 and interrested please email me at Blizgar@hotmail.dk or find me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/Blizgar?ref=bookmarks.

We are newly started and are not many so far. be you a builder or a adventurer or something completely different altogether

Best Regards and hope that this Permaculture Minecraft server will bring you fun.

Dan
 
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… hoping that I will keep my head …

The issue of creating a useful (in the meaning of creating knowledge) game is the lack of exact knowledge of permaculture.
It is a tremendously complex subject with a whole range of interacting interactions.
Traditional state/command based programming is useless here, as it would far to many states/commands to capture even a small fraction.

The only approach that could theoretically work is numerical grid simulation. Dividing the "world" into small volumes and evaluating the properties of each:
- soil composition
- soil live
- water, minerals, organic stuff
- density (compressed – loose)
… and that is just the soil.

In permaculture there is almost always to make things possible that are considered impossible. The more you understand the more is possible. You cannot capture this in a program.
The quantity of interactions makes it impossible to include them all and then most of them are still not known at a level that would allow to simulate them.

Instead of wasting the time of people playing some abstraction of the real thing, allowing them to play with the real world (with some precautions) would be far better.
 
Dan Fisker
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Ofcouse you can't make a Permaculture simulation since it is a holistic design process based on observation and dynamic adjustment. But I've made the best with what I got in MC
I am a PDC teacher myself and have been teaching for many years now. But I also love minecraft so I do this in my spare time. Take care m8 You can find me on Permacultureglobal.org
 
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really good, thoughtful, creative ideas on this thread, but out of reality-based games, video games, card games, and board games, reality-based games is the best idea IMO (like "GreenApes"  or even liveRealer with something like Paul Wheaton's PEP 1 (i'm still yet to read more about this)), and so far from this thread Nick Heyming's "seedsthegame" potential gets my vote.

given video game development (and hopefully it's be using and encouraging players to use renewable energy while playing), for the sake of the parallel between more simple/static programming of growing food / farming simulation and conventional, large, machine-scale farming, it may be better to actually preset undesirable values (other than, arguably, self-interested profit for some people) as game objectives, effectively allowing the video-game player to learn what not to do in actual reality (but of course this reverse-objective is fine (especially if players using renewable energy to play), time-accelerated, and educational in virtual reality). so 2 modes can be "profit over all" and "complete destruction of environment" (but still only using real "profit over all" farm equipment )

note: i myself am currently not using renewable energy that i know of
 
Dan Fisker
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Hi everybody I have finally opened the Permaculture Minecraft server for adults since I had too many problems with children on the last server, destroying peoples gardens and fruit trees but its all good. The Server i whitelisted so an email to Blizgar@hotmail.dk with the topic "Permaculture Minecraft" should do it.

Its 2017 Marts so its brand new a fresh start so dont hesitate to join us

Best Regards

Dan Fisker

Check me out on Permaculture Global for more info.

 
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Sebastian Köln wrote:
The issue of creating a useful (in the meaning of creating knowledge) game is the lack of exact knowledge of permaculture.
It is a tremendously complex subject with a whole range of interacting interactions.
Traditional state/command based programming is useless here, as it would far to many states/commands to capture even a small fraction.



Sebastian I think you have the right of it here.

Simulations are based on rules designed to govern every reaction to user input. Those rules are ultimately arbitrary- they can be anything so long as they effectively achieve the desired response to a given user input. The true treasure would be a game that accurately projects the results of a given action as though one were truly planting crops in a sandy clay in hilly country at a given latitude and longitude, season, hydrological situation, etc etc. From my limited understand a game like that wouldn't have to be too much more bulky, but the work to define and create all of the rules would be...substantial. That effort itself would probably result in an incredible reservoir of knowledge, but unfortunately a lot of the necessary knowledge isn't proven or even discovered yet. Perhaps there are things about game design that I'm missing?

Without this kind of faithful accurate depiction, though, what you end up with is fantasy.  Imho a large part of our current situation environmentally derives from people more interested in their fantasies (usually dreams of wealth and glory) than in the effects of their actions in the world and on a timescale beyond their immediate desires. In that same manner of approaching things, I have seen many, many people far more interested in Permaculture as fantasy than as a fundamental change to one's existence in reality. I guess what I'm saying is that my concern would be Permaculture games detracting from the amount of Permaculture being developed on the ground- and in the ground and under the ground, under the canopy and between the hugelbeets! Here in my little corner of the first world at least, I find the biggest challenge is not convincing folks to believe in the ideas of Permaculture; it's getting them to step out into the sunshine and put them into practice!
 
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I agree, creating a simulation almost inevitably creates a fantasy. But there are levels of realism, and in the end a game is a learning tool, and once you've learned all you can from a game, it's time to move on to a bigger, more realistic game. So a permaculture game will definitely be for beginers and amateurs. The point of creating a permaculture game would be to give people the EXPERIENCE of doing permaculture, and therefore LEARN what so many people have learned THE HARD WAY, without / with less of  the cost. In money, effort, mistakes, injuries, etc.

A curriculum or Lesson Plan will definitely need to be created, and the game will have to be built around this lesson plan.

Maybe we can write about our experiences, and the lessons we got from them, and then we can create a game that will let other people experience the same thing, more or less.  

Permaculture has MANY aspects and it may be best to create many little mini games connected to each other.  
 
Jasper Tomas
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For example, this guy in this article

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58ed6c9ce4b0145a227cb982

left his job in Athens and went to a neighboring island and started their own ecovillage where they create food, soap, etc., and never looked back. IT WAS DIFFICULT in the beginning, he says, and this difficulty is exactly the kind of thing that our game could teach to overcome. =D =D =D

NOT ALL ECOVILLAGES MAKE IT by the way, so the challenge is REAL =D

Sorry emotion coming in strong hehe
 
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Hello all,

Since two years I have had some ideas about creating a mobile game involving permaculture. I went googling on this and found this forum. I'm a professional programmer and game designer myself and am starting up such a project. Great to see so many ideas already.

How I see it, is that "Gaming is natural behavior." It is an important part of evolution. It is the safest way to prepare ourselves for our steps in the big world. From this point of view, any part of any message (along with some context) can be put in a game so that players can learn from it.

Permaculture can't be put in a game as a whole. Neither can wars as a whole, or sports as a whole, be in a game. But players can learn aspects from the models presented in simulation games. Learn about interactions, get an eagle view, any information.

As long as the game is fun, accessible and has a good Player Experience, it has potential to reach audiences. So imagine a "Farm Ville"-like game with permaculture mechanics. Could bring a lot of aspects of permaculture to a big audience. Many seeds would be planted...

The project I'm starting is going to be open for input, and although I have a quite detailed roadmap in my head, I'd love to have stakeholders involved.

Thanks! More to follow...
 
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For those of us interested in modelling a board game, Tabletopia is a good resource.
https://tabletopia.com/workshop

You can virtually create the game and play it online. Then, when you have worked out the kinks, you can develop a prototype and Kickstart it. You could even sell the virtual game on their marketplace.
It has libraries of virtual objects, cards, dice, etc.
 
Jasper Tomas
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Jeroen Mets do you have a website for your game? I'd love to learn more about your plans. What language/s and frameworks do you use?

I've been thinking about the game design for a while now, and so far I've settled on minecraft meets the sims. The Sims is about taking care of people's needs like comfort, sanitation, hunger, friends, etc. Instead of the sims working a job to earn money and then spending the rest of the time fulfilling their needs, they could be fullfilling the needs of a garden, a hydroponics setup, some cows, a compost heap, etc. They could install a composting toilet, solar panels, free energy devices, etc. They could build new houses using old tires and glass bottles.

Minecraft adds an engineering perspective, with its crafting tables and ovens. But in minecraft, pretty much everything is instant. You don't wait 30 minutes for your mushroom stew to be ready. You can even make your stew while fighting zombies. Caring for things needs patience and attention. We need to add the possibility of your stew getting overcooked or your potato rotting due to overwatering.

I'm not an expert on minecraft mods, but I think a simple minecraft mod will not be able to accomodate these things. So I'm trying to build my own game from scratch, using Lightweight Java Game Library.

 
gardener
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I've crafted a few from the ground up custom 'opolies' (sort like Monopoly, currently crafting a theme 'triple' super-opoly very theme oriented for someone). Would anyone be interested in something like that?
 
Jasper Tomas
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Monopoly is a business game, it's a numbers and decisions thing. It simulates how people use money and the random things that might happen every day in the business world.

In the beginning, somebody interested in permaculture will have to invest in it, with effort, time, and resources, often including money. Learning can be expensive. It's often better to spend money to listen to an expert's experience, than to invest a lot of time and effort repeating their mistakes.

And no matter how many tutorials you watch, you will have to make your own mistakes. =D We learn by doing. =D

We sell surplus produce, we offer tours and seminars, we do what we need to do to pay our taxes.

So yes, maybe you can put the business side of permaculture into a game board, maybe put in a few tokens that represent other resources like food and knowledge (think tech tree). Hint: if you've played Sid Meier's computer game Civilization, it looks a lot like a game board. A VERY COMPLICATED game board.

But you can't learn to run a business by playing monopoly. It's very hard to capture the feeling you get when you succeed in making something grow for the first time. The things we're trying to achieve, like saving the planet from armageddon by pollution, you can put into numbers via carbon taxes or carbon footprint or something. Almost everything can be put into numbers. Except emotions. Maybe emotions can be put into cards, like a get out of jail free card. Like "breathing the fresh air, and knowing you had something to do with it"

I know every one of us has different ideas, and we might end up producing as many kinds of games as there are people in this discussion. So follow your heart =D. And MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU =D
 
Deb Rebel
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Yes I play Civ.

It is an idea to get some things out there... it wouldn't take a computer to play it either.
 
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I would still love for this to happen. It could be a huge learning curve.
 
Dustin Hollis
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Monopoly and its variants are the best examples of the extreme opposite of what would be best for a permaculture board game.  Monopoly is awful. The board game industry is having a renaissance right now because of Kickstarter. There are so many new board games and systems that I cannot count. It started with the massive success of games like Catan and Ticket to Ride and went on from there.

Agricola and Caverna and Catan are a good sample of mechanics that might be useful. Also, many other worker placement type games (like Queen's Architect) are some interesting models. Euro games, in general, are some nice places to mine ideas for mechanics. Pick your niche of what sort of lesson you want to teach and express this in the game.
 
Deb Rebel
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Dustin, I have manufactured several custom 'opoly' and you can change some of the parameters to still make it a game worth playing. I have been toying on how to make the system work with permie and might succeed yet. The wildest one so far, was converting someone's online/LARP combo game that has a few decades in it's history, into a pretty successful knockoff that worked with a general 'opoly framework.

After the garden stuff is caught up with I might take a serious look at this, including the round board format, which might work better.
 
Dustin Hollis
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If you have played a lot of board games, you will see that most of them express themselves into a set of similar types of mechanics. A good list with description are here:
https://boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgamemechanic
Examples are Worker Placement, Deck Building, Grid Movement, Co-Op, etc. Many games are often dominated by one mechanic but may include some others in combination.
There are also Board games, card games, dice games, and some that combine these, with different mechanics that work well with each.  
The world has changed a lot since Monopoly has been around and there are many other mechanics I would suggest that might be able to express the concepts we ae trying to teach in a more engaging and accessible way, with more replayability, options and expansion capabilities. I suggested a couple games above.

Take inspiration from several game mechanics and see what might work for what vision you want to express. Consider that a game mechanic can be used with many types of themes and artwork to express your vision.
 
Dustin Hollis
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I just played Agricola and Caverna. Interesting games in this genre. Did anyone play any other boardgames that are permie-ish?
 
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Jasper Tomas, Jeroen Mets, Dan Fisker, may I pitch an idea?  

I am founder of a permaculture community (25 years ago.) on the Big Island of Hawai`i, and our nonprofit's (dragonseyecenter.org) most recent project is to develop a youth-operated and -owned agricultural cooperative outside of the nearby town of Pahoa, which would function as a "school-like" entity with systems most similar to The Sudbury Valley School (sudval.org).  This would be a 30 acre, 150-member, multimillion dollar development, for which the time seems ripe based on numerous conversations we've had with significant local politicians, educators, and visionaries, including our State Senator.  Since my daughter, and many of the youth who are involved, are such avid Minecraft users, we have been toying with an idea of starting with either Google Earth data of an actual property (we have several in our scopes) or with an idealized local parcel, to within Minecraft build a to-scale replica of what the project would look like ten years down the road, when all the buildings are built, when the alley cropping and food systems and trees and waterworks/aquaponics and water slide and methane biodigester and wind/photovoltaic systems are all implemented and mature (the budget and architectural plans and basic permaculture design for this project is already fairly well sketched out)  Within this replica, we would develop a series of adventure mode campaigns.  The point of each adventure would be to solve/overcome significant challenges and obstacles to realizing build-out of the cooperative.  Obvious obstacles include:  financing/fundraising, ethics of ownership (discovering and innovating ways in which minors can "own" or be stakeholders in the project), and regulatory hurdles (composting toilets, methane biodigesters, greywater, alternative building techniques).  As players explore the landscape, they would discover information that would assist them in developing a real-life strategy for surmounting the obstacle.  Each win would mean that a new section of the cooperative would be added to the map.  Completion of all the levels would mean that a comprehensive alpha plan for implementation had been produced, and enough money earned to fully fund a reasonably attainable next step in the process.

The idea would be to ask popular youtube Minecraft gamers to donate towards this cause by playing the adventures and appealing to their subscribers to make small donations to the project.  In the process, we would have created a template for other organizations or regions to envision and begin their own youth agriculture cooperative initiatives.  If the project is sufficiently professional and intriguing, it might be possible to approach Microsoft/Mojang for tax-deductible donations to the project.

I am not a gamer and am slowly becoming familiarized with Minecraft's possibilities.  I am very interested in the mods that would allow a team to incorporate bricks that represent permaculture design elements.

I also like the idea of having gameplay include cycling of permaculture elements; for instance, could the cycle of coppicing => fertility => food crop or animal feed => harvesting/preparation => humanure recycling be mimicked in a fun or educational manner, so that interested youth might explore permaculture concepts within the world?  (I think this aspect would be too boring for the youtube gamer adventure challenge).

Any feedback from any of you would be most welcome.  I am currently donating time towards exploring the viability of this idea; if it looks feasible, next I will look for small local grants to hire a project co-ordinator who could work with and direct a team of (hopefully) local teens to build the world.  I would be a consultant as far as story-line and obstacles.  There might be hyperlinks incorporated into the adventure (like the currently dead Hawaii Sustainable Research Zoning Designation bill, or youtube footage of live lava).  There is definitely an interesting thread relating to lava, with our location being on an active volcano with the powerful presence of a traditional creation/destruction archetype, Pele.  The town we're building near was nearly wiped by active flows 3 years ago, and there is a raging local controversy about geothermal energy and fracking.

I've looked at scale, and I'm pretty sure we'd want to scale up, so that 1 brick equaled a foot.  This way, we could create more discriminating and identifiable versions of the different plants in the systems, and architectural renderings of the structures would be more accurate (what building has meter-thick walls?)  This might pose a problem when it comes to already existing mods like cows.

Thank you very much for reading.  You can contact me directly at 23.diga@gmail.com
 
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