• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Miles Flansburg
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Anne Miller
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mike Jay
gardeners:
  • Bill Crim
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Greg Martin

Permaculture Game/ Simulator  RSS feed

 
Posts: 11
Location: New Zealand
2
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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


 
Posts: 136
Location: Ohio
chicken hugelkultur woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

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.
 
steward
Posts: 2719
Location: Maine (zone 5)
563
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Posts: 11
Location: New Zealand
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator



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.



 
Posts: 80
Location: Providence, RI, USA
18
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Posts: 11
Location: New Zealand
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

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.
 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
141
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.

 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

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.
 
Posts: 11
1
chicken forest garden writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dani Cohen wrote:
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.



My two cents: I wouldn't play a game no matter how fun it is if it had time-gated content with an optional pay-to-win-faster sort of scenario. I imagine more like Stardew Valley with more realistic and permaculture-related concepts. (It is awfully difficult to make plant guilds when there's not a lot of perennials to pick from in the first place). There are a lot of gardening games out there with very "cutesy" content but I wouldn't call most of them very educational in that respect. If it were a good indie game with depth of content, I might pay $20-30 for it on Steam.

I'm currently looking for a good landscape design program since I don't want to draw everything by hand, so that aspect is more interesting to me currently
 
gardener
Posts: 455
Location: SoCal USA
71
bike cat dog tiny house trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One example of a game that has been very successful without costing a penny to play but includes purchases for "frill/cosmetics only", is Path of Exile. I enjoy it a lot, and perhaps it provides an example of a way to make money on a game without making the game "pay to win".

For a permaculture-focused farming game/simulation, you provide all the base features for free, but then have art packs that can be purchased for a few dollars each. I'm thinking packs like deciduous trees, evergreen trees, deciduous shrubs, evergreen shrubs, flowers, expanded perennials, expanded ground covers, etc. You could/should include a way for users to import their own models into the game, for example Cities: Skylines (another game I enjoy) allows you to create your own building models and share them with others, but also offers packs of models that all work well together as downloads for $3-5 each.

I've never tried Farming Simulator, but it seems to focus mostly on driving the big combines around, so not a good comparison. There's also Wurm Unlimited, which is a medieval based survival game that include a huuuuge range of skills that you improve with practice. When I played that I had large orchards lined with berries and other crops like flax and cotton that grew over time and were harvested and turned into foods and fabrics which were then cooked or turned into poultices and clothing etc.

I think something that starts with a 3D survival/simulator like Wurm Unlimited, minus the trolls and dragons but adding bugs and birds and diseases on the smaller scale of the homestead, would be rather fun for learning (including text excerpts explaining the interactions if a person opens the expanded info option).
 
Henry Coulson
Posts: 11
Location: New Zealand
2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi All,

So over a year later, and I have had to quit my job to actually start work on this. (It seems to be a pretty enormous task, actually).
Progress is slow, as at the moment, I am the only one working on this. However, there seems to be quite the variety of threads started regarding a Permaculture game, and it seems that all of them have perished in their quest. However, I suspect the people who started those threads are still interested in completing the task, so I might reach out to them and see if they are interested in banding together.

The first problem immediately apparent is the lack of usable data out there on what crops work well under what conditions. This means that to begin with, any game/simulation will tend more towards the game side of things, so I wouldn't get all excited just yet.

The best I could find with regards to modelling crops yields under various conditions comes from here:

https://dssat.net/

They have a bunch of experiments which one can run experiments against, and will probably have the best simulations out there. However, it is exceedingly dry, and seems more a tool for academics and corporate types, than the lay-person who wishes to learn more.

List of related threads:
https://permies.com/t/9160/permaculture-simulation-game
https://permies.com/t/34741/game#824598
https://permies.com/t/22514/Permaculture-Game
https://permies.com/t/18836/request-comments-permaculture-simulator

if anyone finds any other threads mentioning a permaculture game/simulation, please let me know.



Cheers,

Henry
 
Posts: 1
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Henry,

So I recently started working on a similar project to what you describe. I also have some ideas on how to make this pay for itself that I'd love to get your take on. When I started, I also took a crack at the back end but was quickly daunted by the complexity of the simulation necessary to do permaculture justice -- props to you for trying to tackle this! Instead, I've started putting together a smart-phone and web application 2D map user interface as I knew I would need such an interface once I figured out how to crack the simulation nut. I have an engineering background and enough experience with front end and back end software development to be dangerous. I'd love to chat about where you are going with your work, based on what you are describing I think we have a complimentary overlap in agendas. I'd love to chat and see if we can work together!

If you are interested in talking, I would love to take this to a private channel. You can reach me at gmail. My address is simply my firstname.lastname@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers,
Andrew Lyjak
 
Henry Coulson
Posts: 11
Location: New Zealand
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Andrew,

Yeah, so I sent off an email to you. You are right, the complexity is immense here, and I have some plans as to how to go about tackling it. But I think that it will be necessary to get a band of programmers together to tackle this.

Cheers,
Henry
 
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Henry,

Odd that I should see this at this time - I'm also from/in Aotearoa and a Permie (unfortunately not a designer/programmer) and was looking to see whether there was a permaculture game around. There might be people in the permaculture community in NZ that would be keen to help. I can reach out if you'd like, not sure who you've been in touch with so far.

Cheers,
Mikesh
 
Henry Coulson
Posts: 11
Location: New Zealand
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Mikesh,

Hey another Kiwi! I am sorry to say that in all of my scouting, there is not a Permaculture game around yet (that I know of, at least) and there might not be one for a while. (Unless someone makes one before I do, and I hope that happens so I can buy it, and go on living my life.)
I have been in touch with a few programmers from overseas who are making earnest footsteps in that direction as well. But none from New Zealand.
If you know of any programmers who might be interested in helping or giving advice, then I would certainly be interested.

Cheers,

Henry

P.S. Interesting fact, the guy who made the New Zealand Permaculture page on Facebook lives down the road from me. His lawns are all gardens.
 
You showed up just in time for the waffles! And this tiny ad:
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!