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Don Whitaker

A member registered Jan 31, 2014 · View creator page →


Recent community posts

Very cool.   I've spent many, many hours in Mandelbulb 3D. It has a sort-of-real-time view of the fractals, but it all feels a little 'ephemeral' until a full (slow) render is made. This feels so solid and physical.  Lot's of fun possibilities there.

Awesome! I love to explore 3D fractals, especially in real-time. 

Is this using pre-generated data, or could you create new variatipons on-the-fly?

Thanks for the clarification.

So content that supports VR and the device Vove

Is this a typo? Do you mean the FOVE eye-tracking  dev kits, or the HTC Vive? 

Thanks Skydjinn. I probably won't be improving this specific version of Breeders, it is just too janky. I've learned a lot about Unity and coding since making this. I may work on something similar in the future, though.


Gravity Garden community · Created a new topic Roadmap
(Edited 13 times)

Here's a loose outline of my development plans Gravity Garden. Development will be somewhat slow as I do have other responsibilities and can't devote 100% of my time to game development.  Full release planned for mid to late  2018. Check the MindMap for more details about what I have planned. 

My current priorities are too expand upon the basic game loop, allow the player track their progress - and give them some goals to progress towards.  Save/Load system is high on the list, too. 

 More details about what I'm planning for the next several months. 
updated 1/20/2018

  • Build on the Game Loop and add more gameplay elements
    • limited resources
    • care for plants to survive and thrive
    • discover/buy new plants
    • rewards for exploration
    • Player can PROGRESS
    • Goals so player has something to work towards
  • Save System
    • Save each active plant
    • need location, age, totalHealth
    • 'fast forward' each plant to proper time, growing a new plant in the old spot will not be exactly the same plant but it will be equivalent
    • need a fast forward mode for plants anyways
  • Intro/Tutorial
    • in-game video accompanied by images showing buttons to usImprove UI
  • Command Station and Hand Menu
  • Refine current hand tools
    • raycast lines
    • grab indicators
    • get rid of green 'grab this' lines
    • replace with icon and matching icon in palm of hand
    • more subtle grabcast indicators - sparkly spheres are distracting
    • very dim point and line as default
    • 2 stages - normal, Interactable
    • less visual clutter when nothing to grab
    • more info about what each tool is
  • Hand Menu
    • Keep basic idea, refine and improve the look
    • make position dependent on hand position, like Chunky Orbits
  • Command Station
    • home base with game controls, info, and options
      easily use each Station with preset teleport points - or maybe just point and grab to use
    • large, easy to read screens and text
    • Info screens set back a bit with up-close controls
    • My Garden
      • design the rest of the Command Station around this
      • will be used often during gameplay
      • Center-stage and easily accessible
      • info and current stats for plants and everything player has rezzed in the world
      • current Energy, Water, Nutrients shown at all times
      • seed inventory shown at all times
    • My Collection
      • info and list of everything the player has collected, unlocked, and discovered
      • No traditional 'Inventory' for game objects. Player 'Unlocks' items and can rez/de-rez them at will. 
      • Blueprints or recipes. Energy cost to rez, refund some when de-rez.
    • My Universe
      • skybox, shader effects, avatar options, Color LUT effects
    • Game Options
      • audio, graphics, etc
    • Locomotion Options
      • snap-turn, angle, strafe already in
      • walk speed
      • turn speed for smooth rotate
      • vignette
      • Move with Left/Right hand
      • teleport flash effect
      • teleport Dash
    • Save/Load
      • Simple Slot system
      • multiple saves with no typing necessary
      • Simple pre-set icons instead of filenames
    • Sound Effects
      • Don't leave these for the end of development
      • Need to iterate on these, too

Excellent - thanks for giving it a try. I like the 'playdough meets Tron' description.

Glad that you recovered from your rocket mishap. :) They'll be a better tutorial someday - kind of just dropping people into the game and letting them poke around for now.

Achievements will be a big part of the final game. This will allow me to create a game where players are free to just goof around or challenge themselves by working toward specific goals.

A few that I have in mind

  • Grow X number of a certain plant
  • Grow a perfectly healthy plant
  • Find X number of Alien Artifacts
  • Collect X amount of Energy

What sort of achievements would you like to see?

Gravity Garden community · Created a new topic Known Issues
(Edited 3 times)

I know about these bugs:

  • Player sometimes gets stuck after teleporting rapidly, especially when using both hands to teleport. Can usually be fixed by teleporting again and then pausing for a second before the next action.
  • GeoMelons sometimes mutate and start growing vines that aren't connected to an plant. These def need a rewrite - they are janky. :)
  • Had to turn of Single Pass Rendering feature in Unity - it's causing the game to crash when built. Hoping to get this worked out asap. It'll provide a big performance boost.
(Edited 12 times)

Alpha 7 - January 15th, 2018

  • Full-body avatar test. Using a fantastic unity plugin called FinalIK to add a full body, animated avatar for the player to control. All of the animation is generated on the fly from the position of the player's head and hands. Very tricksy. 
  • New Pest - called RockNom for now, but hoping to come up with something better. ;)  Eventually will spread as part of a 'thunderstorm' type event, but for now a sparkly comet might deliver some to your island.  They'll eat all the nutrients in your soil and they multiply quickly. You can eliminate them with one of your garden tools. 
  • Tweaks to player controls and grab system. 
  • Alignment of scanner, delete, grab, and other lines was changed to match the new avatar hands. Eventually there will be options to adjust these angles.
  • When Gravity is On  your avatar is a humanoid figure that walks and mirrors your movements. With Gravity Off you are a disembodied cloud of  fire and stone floating through space. :) New avatar set-up will allow for some fun character customization options. 
  • You can now see the active Tool or Seed in the palm of your hands. 

Alpha 6 - November 8th

  • Updated game engine to Unity v 2017.2
  • Nifty new shaders that supply a slightly cartoonish look.
  • Grab all fruits with both hands - current fruits active on GeoMelon, CosmiCorn, Bambooya, and DingleBerry
  • Tele-grab. Grab things from a distance. Your hand turns green when it's ready to grab. Uses the Grip button to grab  Soon an option for trigger, too. 
  • Tele-harvest. Harvesting 'portals' attached to your hands. Turn your  ripe fruit into more Seeds, Energy, or Compost.   Finally have an actual Game Loop. :)  Plant, Care, Harvest.
  • More tweaks to the locomotion system. Trying to make both modes feel consistent even though the Gravity On version needs to be different to make it work on uneven terrain.
  • Teleport now works when gravity is off. Just point into space to TP.  Set distance for now - later the player will be able to adjust the distance. 

Alpha 5 - October 6th

  • New player controller. Now it's all under one coherent system, all physics based.
  • Teleporting is no longer a tool based action. 
  • Player can change locomotion modes: teleport or thrusters
  • smooth turn or snap-turn
  • snap-turn by specified angle or choose any angle with stick/pad
  • turn strafing on/off
  • Improved teleport controls and marker
  • fixed velocity of thrown objects
  • fixed: some held fruits pushing player around

Alpha 4 - September 6th

  • Player can now harvest fruits from plants. Right-hand only for now. Grip button when your hand is near a ripe fruit. 
  • Fruits now give an indication when they are ripe.  More colorful and brighter is ripe.
  • Improved Clouds.  Now physics-enabled and more efficient. 
  • 14 new islands to find and explore.  Empty (for now)
  • 4 new farm-able islands. 
  • Velocity is transferred when player turns gravity belt off. 
  • Water and fertilizer particles now inherit velocity from player
  • Improved skyboxes

Alpha 3 - July 31st

  • Updated to SteamVR plugin 1.2.2
  • New Hands. Wanted to see what the game feels like with hands instead of controllers. Feels good. Just a few generic poses for now, but I will add more specific poses as time goes on. 
  • New configuration for fly/walk. Toggle between flying and walking by pressing the right stick/trackpad. Much easier now to switch between modes. No more 'pull-string' rocket tool, but I may bring that back in the future. 
  • Lots of new floating islands - I made a baker's dozen of new islands to populate the sky. All empty for now but eventually they will have things to discover and experience.
  • Dynamic lights -  similar to a day/night cycle without the annoying night time. :)  Still needs work but I like this first pass. Adds some nice variation to the visuals without bringing affecting performance significantly. 
  • Player now rotates around their head, instead of the center of their playspace.  More comfortable.

Alpha 2 - June 20th

  • Updated game engine to Unity v 5.6
  • GPU instancing now functioning properly along with Single Pass Stereo Rendering. Big performance boost!  
  • New plant - Energy Bubblers
  • New skyboxes
  • New control  to apply modified colors and image effects 
  • Delete plant tool
  • New cloud system
  • Beginnings of Inventory system
  • Harvest water from clouds, energy from stars, fertilizer from planetoids

Alpha 1 - May 14th, 2017

  • Basic player movement - classic first person controls or teleport
  • Bare-bones menu to choose plants and tools
  • Tools for watering and fertilizing soil
  • 7 different plants that grow, die, produice fruits, and respawn
  • Gravity jets that allows players to fly and navigate in 3D space
  • Scanning tool for testing soil conditions and identifying plants

I'll use this thread to collect all player suggestions. Tell me what you'd like to see in the final version of the game! You can reply here or start a new thread.