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Pemaculture Game/ Simulator  RSS feed

 
Posts: 4
Location: New Zealand
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Hello Folks, greetings from New Zealand,

The title says most of it: I was thinking of creating a Permaculture game/ simulator used not only for serious scientific, and educational purposes but for fun as well. My friends and I are currently in a more-or-less informal part time startup group at the moment, and we thought that this would be a great idea to pursue.

There is at least one other person attempting this that I know of:

https://permies.com/t/53977/rid-grass

And I would be keen to know who else would be interested in helping produce it. If it already exists, awesome. Please show me where to download it.



We were considering doing a free version of maybe a small garden simulator, which could give you advice on planting, and crop rotation, given one's latitude, location, rainfall, soil conditions etc.
Perhaps, then having several versions, with the more expensive* versions having more interesting features, such as full blown, 3d terrain, modelling water flows, pest species, and plant guilds, taking into account topology, mineral content and soil structure to make a training product for die-hard permaculture enthusiasts/ teachers.

Perhaps something like these:

http://theselfsufficientliving.com/10-free-garden-landscape-design-software-tool/

But, dynamic in the time dimension. watch your plants grow, (or not) depending on environmental factors. Change the contours of the land to see how water run-off occurs, and nourish your land with compost, for improved yields. (sort of thing)


*unfortunately, while I like to do this, simply because I am a permaculture nut and I find it fascinating, my friends (who are mostly students, and need to pay the rent) would like to get some form of lucre for their efforts. (Hence a price tag.) Also, making polished software does take a lot of time and effort, so I don't think that the final version could be open source.
However, I was also considering crowd funding this, as it might be a better way to cover our overheads. Also, then we could make it open source, and everyone could use it free of charge! (more aligned with the culture of permaculture, I would say...)
Whatever the case, I would love to release a simple, initial tool which would suit most beginner gardeners for free.

From the Permies community, I would be very appreciative if you could give me your opinion:

a) would you use this?
b) how much would you be willing to pay/donate?
c) what would you like to see in it?
d) could you help us? (even if you aren't a computery person, we could do with data on what plants like what other plants, yeilds in certain soils, what water concentrations will kill them. etc.)


Any thoughts and/or (constructive) criticism is most welcome

All the Best,

Henry


 
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Henry Coulson wrote:
a) would you use this?
b) how much would you be willing to pay/donate?
c) what would you like to see in it?
d) could you help us? (even if you aren't a computery person, we could do with data on what plants like what other plants, yeilds in certain soils, what water concentrations will kill them.



A.) Yes

B.) $5-20 depending on sample and preview. Possibly $60 if it was amazing

C.) I would like to see updates on Permies.  I could see similarities between Civilization, Sim City, and garden planning software.  I'll think some more on it.  School systems might purchase the software.

D.) I'll keep you in mind.  A wiki page could help maintain reliable updates for plant/habit info and real time updates for various activities.  If Permies wanted to document their experiences into a useful data pack, that could be inputed into the program?  I don't know, just thinking.

Good luck, I would like to play it in winter time.
 
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Here's a thread I started a while back. A permaculture game please


Maybe it'll be of some use to you.  I thought there were a lot of good ideas there.  too bad nobody ran with it.  Anyway... it's there.  I'd really like to see something come of the idea. 

Best wishes

 
Henry Coulson
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Yes, but the devil is in the detail.

I would hesitate to call it a "game" as such. I would like it to be more of an educational tool, (which isn't to say that it can't be fun), so a simulation would be better title.

But that is a potato/potah-toe situation.

Steve Taylor wrote:
A.) Yes

B.) $5-20 depending on sample and preview. Possibly $60 if it was amazing

C.) I would like to see updates on Permies.  I could see similarities between Civilization, Sim City, and garden planning software.  I'll think some more on it.  School systems might purchase the software.

D.) I'll keep you in mind.  A wiki page could help maintain reliable updates for plant/habit info and real time updates for various activities.  If Permies wanted to document their experiences into a useful data pack, that could be inputed into the program?  I don't know, just thinking.




Regarding the feedback, thanks Steve, that is very helpful. I agree that regular updates would be good, to make sure that it doesn't die a lonely death. I will try to post updates on here, and then migrate to a better place when possible. Cogs will not be turning on this project for at least another couple of weeks while we do some market research.



 
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I think this is a great idea!

As a computer programmer with two decades of experience (C#, .Net, SQL Server, JavaScript, etc.) and a card game designer, I do have a few suggestions:

1. If you are looking to make money, you may want to eventually appeal a broad audience.  What can you offer the average (non-permie) gardener that would insidiously turn them into a Permaculture Jedi? 
2. To start with, a toolkit that leads people through the Permaculture Design process would be very helpful for all of us Permaculture planners, and maybe not that graphically complex. Ex: a Random Assembly generator, a Sector Analysis tool, a Highest Use tool, a Needs-and-Resource Analysis tool, etc, etc, etc.  A Permaculture Zone planner might be a little more complex - especially if you start to overlay sectors and stored data. I think this is kind of what you have in mind.  You could, however, start with these simpler (non-graphic, user input) tools.  These could be built with the idea that you would eventually overlay them into a more gamified version of the product.  Offer the prototype for 99 cents, build a following, create some buzz, run a Kickstarter (that's why you build the easier prototype - to create the buzz and gather a ton of FB friends and followers) and then start working on the cooler, gamified stuff.
3. If you are looking for an alternate, fairly simple project to help get things rolling, people have been asking me for an app or online version that would simulate the food forest card games.  I don't honestly know how much demand there is for this, but it's a comparatively easy build since most of the graphics already exist on the deck of cards.  It could be as simple as moving virtual cards around on a screen.  I can't pay for but would be happy to offer a partnership deal to the right team.
4. I have a ton of other ideas for you, but don't have any time to post it all right now.  Maybe I'll return later with more.

Please feel free to ping me for advice on any of the above.  Advice is free with no strings.  I love to help people, and it might save you a ton of time/money. 

 
Henry Coulson
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Karl Treen wrote:I think this is a great idea!

As a computer programmer with two decades of experience (C#, .Net, SQL Server, JavaScript, etc.) and a card game designer, I do have a few suggestions:

1. If you are looking to make money, you may want to eventually appeal a broad audience.  What can you offer the average (non-permie) gardener that would insidiously turn them into a Permaculture Jedi? 
2. To start with, a toolkit that leads people through the Permaculture Design process would be very helpful for all of us Permaculture planners, and maybe not that graphically complex. Ex: a Random Assembly generator, a Sector Analysis tool, a Highest Use tool, a Needs-and-Resource Analysis tool, etc, etc, etc.  A Permaculture Zone planner might be a little more complex - especially if you start to overlay sectors and stored data. I think this is kind of what you have in mind.  You could, however, start with these simpler (non-graphic, user input) tools.  These could be built with the idea that you would eventually overlay them into a more gamified version of the product.  Offer the prototype for 99 cents, build a following, create some buzz, run a Kickstarter (that's why you build the easier prototype - to create the buzz and gather a ton of FB friends and followers) and then start working on the cooler, gamified stuff.
3. If you are looking for an alternate, fairly simple project to help get things rolling, people have been asking me for an app or online version that would simulate the Food Forest card games.  I don't honestly know how much demand there is for this, but it's a comparatively easy build since most of the graphics already exist on the deck of cards.  It could be as simple as moving virtual cards around on a screen.  I can't pay for but would be happy to offer a partnership deal to the right team.
4. I have a ton of other ideas for you, but don't have any time to post it all right now.  Maybe I'll return later with more.



Hi Karl, thanks for that. I agree that the best way to keep the momentum going is via regular updates. however, stuff isn't going to get started on this for at least a couple of weeks.  We still need to do a bit more market research.
 
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I always thought that a "permaculture game" based off the farmville style game play would go over well.  It's hard for me to say what I would pay, there's just way too many variable for what it could be.  A simple game I would probably want for free with ads or for less than a couple $ without ads, a really detailed simulation/design program (I'm talking Vectorworks level) I'd be willing to pay a couple thousand for.

You could beta with one simple small homestead and if things worked/got enough attention you could expand to having the choice of starting your homestead in various climates. 

As you build, different items would have modifier attributes like corn, squash, and beans having an attribute that if they get planted close enough together you've made a 'three-sisters' guild that increases productivity of all three by 5%; Have attributes that quantify amount of shade cast and amount of sun needed by the items and modify plant productivity specs accordingly. There's lot's of other examples floating around in my head, but these give you an idea of what lines I'm thinking along.

I've noticed that my kids really liked the Doodle God type games where the whole purpose of the game was to figure out what things you could combine to make different things (can't say I really understand the appeal, but hey, it was a best selling game series) so that could be a major component of the game, finding different permaculture combinations as a set of achievements.  Get enough achievements in a certain area and you get some kind of badge or skill: 'Water Harvester' if you get a bunch of water collection achievements, 'Guild Master' if you find all the plant guilds in the game, etc. 

The great thing about this system is that it will get people thinking about how to combine functions or how to put elements together to increase productivity.  Throughout the game there could be little hints given about permaculture principles and each time an achievement is earned there is a quick teaching moment about why the principle behind the achievement is important/useful.

Good luck with the game, I'd really like to see something like this out there, wish I had the time to tackle it fully myself.

 
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Henry Coulson wrote:Hello Folks, greetings from New Zealand,

The title says most of it: I was thinking of creating a Permaculture game/ simulator used not only for serious scientific, and educational purposes but for fun as well. My friends and I are currently in a more-or-less informal part time startup group at the moment, and we thought that this would be a great idea to pursue.

There is at least one other person attempting this that I know of:

https://permies.com/t/53977/rid-grass

And I would be keen to know who else would be interested in helping produce it. If it already exists, awesome. Please show me where to download it.



We were considering doing a free version of maybe a small garden simulator, which could give you advice on planting, and crop rotation, given one's latitude, location, rainfall, soil conditions etc.
Perhaps, then having several versions, with the more expensive* versions having more interesting features, such as full blown, 3d terrain, modelling water flows, pest species, and plant guilds, taking into account topology, mineral content and soil structure to make a training product for die-hard permaculture enthusiasts/ teachers.

Perhaps something like these:

http://theselfsufficientliving.com/10-free-garden-landscape-design-software-tool/

But, dynamic in the time dimension. watch your plants grow, (or not) depending on environmental factors. Change the contours of the land to see how water run-off occurs, and nourish your land with compost, for improved yields. (sort of thing)


*unfortunately, while I like to do this, simply because I am a permaculture nut and I find it fascinating, my friends (who are mostly students, and need to pay the rent) would like to get some form of lucre for their efforts. (Hence a price tag.) Also, making polished software does take a lot of time and effort, so I don't think that the final version could be open source.
However, I was also considering crowd funding this, as it might be a better way to cover our overheads. Also, then we could make it open source, and everyone could use it free of charge! (more aligned with the culture of permaculture, I would say...)
Whatever the case, I would love to release a simple, initial tool which would suit most beginner gardeners for free.

From the Permies community, I would be very appreciative if you could give me your opinion:

a) would you use this?
b) how much would you be willing to pay/donate?
c) what would you like to see in it?
d) could you help us? (even if you aren't a computery person, we could do with data on what plants like what other plants, yeilds in certain soils, what water concentrations will kill them. etc.)


Any thoughts and/or (constructive) criticism is most welcome

All the Best,

Henry




Personally I’d make it a freemium and add as ad system that makes people have to do surveys to earn “coins” to speed up crop production or the time is a long wait but it should be able to balanced with survey and not keep rising up to the point that people have to pay. A lot of people don’t like freemium but there are some very well balanced ones out there that you can earn the stuff you need if your willing to put a bit of survey effort.

And advertisements is big money.
 
I think I'll just lie down here for a second. And ponder this tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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