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Structure of vine crops and gourds, plus trellises


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So I thought I'd drop a few ideas that I'd really wished TFC would have.  I don't know if some of this is too complicated for what you guys are going for, but I thought I'd at least put down the ideas, and if anything sounds good great.




One idea, already being implemented to a degree I saw, is sprawling gourds.  I saw that the plan was for 3x3, but I wanted to propose another thought.  As a rl gardener, I'm familiar with how gourds can take over a garden, and some varieties will smother other plants if not kept in check.  So imagine this:  You plant the parent gourd plant, and that starts as a block.  Then, at some determined interval, the plant adds another block to itself - this time a vine block.  Now any individual parent plant can add a vine anywhere in a large area centered on itself.  Perhaps 7x7, or even 9x9.  However it can only add new vine blocks directly adjacent to the parent block, or an existing vine block.  So it checks in that area until it finds a valid block, and then adds a vine.  But, they cannot fill the entire area.  They are limited to a certain number of vine blocks.  So in a 7x7 area of 49 blocks, there can only be up to maybe 20 vines.  Maybe the max is random within a range.   It could be based in part on the nutrient profile of the parent bock, and also partly on the agriculture skill of the planter.   In this way, each plant will develop it's own growth pattern, based on random chance.  Better ground and skill means better plants.  Now maybe they will even sprawl onto non-farm blocks, but only at a reduced chance.  On the other hand, a lot of gourds to root advantageously from the vines, so maybe they only spread onto farmland.  That way they can also deplete nutrients.  But they can also spread up or down slopes, perhaps.  And furthermore, they ignore other crops.   So if you plant gourds too close to your other crops, they may destroy them!  This would encourage - very strongly - for players to plant gourds on their own plots.  

Now, there is also the issue of adjacent gourds.  It might be useful if each parent plant marked it's daughter vines with a bit, so it knows which belong to it.  Gourd vines will not destroy other gourd vines, of the same or different types.   But if they attempt to place a vine on an otherwise valid block, only to find another different vine is already there, then that placement fails, and no vine is placed anywhere.  Or maybe they do replace it and have a very confusing gourd war.  In such cases, it may be useful for vines to check every so often and verify they have a continuous path of sister vines back to their parent, and if not they die.  Otherwise they could get really diced up in a gourd war.  But basically the idea is to discourage planting gourd vines very close to one another.

Another wrinkle, not every vine produces a gourd.  Perhaps each vine when placed has a bit that tells if it will produce a gourd or not.  Or perhaps they are all selected and changed to the flowering version at the same time.  In either case, the parent plant produces new vine blocks only for a certain portion of the growing season.  After that, it stops adding new blocks, and then the producing vines blocks start flowering and progressing down the gourd production path.  Now this can be carried out a per-block basis, or the parent plant could scan it's area and add the growth.  What this might allow is the fewer the gourds, the faster they grow.  So the player can have several normal size gourds, a few large ones, or one mega-gourd! That might only be useful for pumpkins though. 

So basically, I think it would be fun for gourds to spread very far, in a random fashion, and to obliterate other crops. Which is basically my irl experience with them.  I realize the idea as I have presented it is perhaps ridiculously complex, but I like to 'go for broke' with my suggestions!




Another idea, is trellises to increase yield.  The idea being that certain plants would benefit from being on a trellis - namely tomatoes, pole beans, peas, cucumbers, etc.  The player plants the seed, and then has maybe one or two stages to add a trelliss, made from sticks.  3rd stage and beyond, the plant is irrevocably a ground version.  Ground versions are similar to gourds, but only in a 3x3 area, but can only produce a max of 3 daughters, and each block produces less (perhaps just 1 item vs the 3 that are currently produced per block, it seems).    So they take more area to grow similar amount of food.  They don't override other crops like gourds though.  When trellised, they produce normal amounts.  This would add some depth to farming, and also provide a stick sink.  I don't know if excess sticks will be a problem in VS, but is sure was in TFC.  Trellises could be reusable, or not, depending on how many excess sticks players are found to accumulate.   This idea also allows wild crops to be growing without trellis.  Which means they give less food, and also avoids the annoying thing that TFC had where wild tomatoes and beans are trained on a stick, like some sasquatch is stealthily going around staking all these plants.

So that's a couple ideas I've always thought would be fun, and bring a bit more variety to gardens, and a bit more depth to planning and executing the layout.

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Just today I sugggested pretty much the same mechanics to saraty for pumpkins, but she doesn't like the idea of the pumpkin vines to be a 1x1x1 block and using a cross model would make it difficult to give them a connected look. I leave the choice is up to Saraty


Single poles for pole beans would be really nice. I also always found the Tomatoe Trellis quite odd indeed :D
But talking about tomatoes - we planned on only adding pre-columbus crops (for now, maybe as expansion). Which means no potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and maize :/

Currently there's no excess of sticks. We'll see about it in the future.



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Ya, the graphic of multiple blocks would definitely be a trick.  I  just always like to make things a bit more interesting.  The 3x3 is good and safe.  The more random method, the player maybe has to consider 'ok, am I going to till this full area, or just most of it and hope the gourd fills in where I till?'.  If the potential area is larger than 4x4, then it becomes harder to just plant it next to existing water.  Now you have to do a bit of irrigation to make sure all tiles are watered.  And I won't lie, I 'd love to see a youtube video of a newb who doesn't know the gourd mechanics and comes back to find the gourd plant taking over the garden.  I love watching other people youtube while at work. 

But back to the way it is with 3x3, will the pumpkins be like, actual blocks nestled in there?  That'd be awesome.  Especially if they can be different sizes based on fertility and such, so the player can have various sizes of pumpkins, and of course show off their prize ones!  I'm assuming if we have jackolanterns there'll be a variety of designs :)

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After some long session of figuring out how to join vines in the way they don't look repetitive, I decided to add multiple textures including both - parent block and vines. 3x3 also had some space related disadvantages: placement of big pumpkins / melons would not be possible or heavily overlap the plant texture. The natural placement of vines would allow much more variations in size and distribution of vegetables. We could for example place one small and one large besides.
Oh and different sizes based on fertility is totally awesome idea! I would very much enjoy careful planning and preparing my ground for high yield harvests!!! :x

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