Ok I wanted to summarize where we are at with the patch selection screen / map. What we want is a map screen which shows the patches you can see and how they are connected. It lets you split your species if you wish and send some to a new patch. It should probably also have some climate data for each patch (energy available, light levels etc) however this could be on a different screen. Maybe also it needs info on which species are in which patch, however this could be a different screen too.
We’ve talked about having a node and line style to it which I am ok with, I’m open to other ideas if people have them.
We’ve also talked about whether to have the map be side on or top down, here are my thoughts on that:
Side on: patches which are deep in the ocean are the bottom of the screen and ones which are shallow at the top, northerly latitudes are at the left and southerly to the right. This is cool because depth is a large part of the microbe stage, it determines how much light a patch gets and how much debris falls down to it. Also whether it is on the ocean floor is quite important. It also doesn’t give away much geographical information about the planet.
The drawbacks with this are that it probably won’t work for later stages. I can imagine a screen with land and sea patches all side on but it might be a bit odd, changing map styles between stages is not ideal though possible. It also doesn’t really allow for wrapping the patch map around the planet however I am not sure if that is important.
top down: it works just like a normal map. This is cool because it’s easy to understand and can work easily for all stages. It’s easier to wrap around the planet if that is desirable.
With this though I really don’t want to generate a planet map and show that to the player at any point before they are discovering it with Columbus style expeditions in the strategy stages. So we can generate a top down 2d map for the microbe and creature stages which has the right proportions of patches but which is jumbled up, though this might be confusing.
Moreover it’s a bit more complicated to communicate depth and light levels etc however this shouldn’t be so bad with colours and labels.
Does anyone have opinions or preferences about this? I think I’m slightly in favour of side on but I don’t mind too much.