GooKeeper - Game Concept


Lore Master
Hey guys,

New game design concept! This one surrounds our good, old, slimey buddy Gooey. In GooKeeper you function as a goo wrangler / breeder / keeper. Your job is to capture various gooeys in the wild, keep them fed and happy, and combine them into brand new goos; for fun and profit! What do you mean this sounds like Slime Rancher? How dare you! OK, it's a little similar, but still different.

You will start off with enough money to build a basic pen for your GooZoo. The more gooeys you capture, the more profit you get from visitors to your GooZoo. The more variety of gooeys, the more visitors, the higher you can charge for tickets, and the more gameplay elements you unlock/upgrade.

Capturing gooeys will work like capturing ghosts in Ghostbusters. You fire a plasma based stream of wild energy at the Gooey and then wrangle it into a slimepod - a small device that can hold 1 gooey. Slimepods must be placed on the ground and activated by the player. A gooey might just happen to walk over one and you could catch them this way. But the plasma stream will act like a lasso and allow you to move a gooey (who will fight a bit - like a fish on a line) onto the slimepod. The player can only carry five slimepods to start with but can upgrade gear to carry more. You can also upgrade the plasma gun to work more effieciently (cool off faster, fire straighter and more accurately, work better with newer or different gooeys, etc).

Each gooey will have a different color and AI to match it. There are three basic gooeys in the wild.

Blue Gooeys are your standard type.
- Not aggressive, but not necessarily friendly either.
- Easy to catch
- Low payoff - visitors to your GooZoo are unimpressed and pay less to visit
- Prefer relaxing in shady places and near water (forest biomes)
- Like to eat snargs (another critter to catch)

Red Gooeys are very aggressive
- They charge and attack the player on sight
- They fight and resist when being wrangled by the player
- High payoff - visitors love to see mad red goos.
- Prefer the open plains and deserts
- Like to eat lavarocks (an object found in desert biomes)

Yellow gooeys are very friendly - almost too friendly
- They swarm the player, but don't hurt the player
- They hinder player movement by sliming the player with "love"
- They can be difficult to wrangle because they stick to each other in packs. You have to pull them apart from each other.
- Medium payoff - visitors find yellow goos to be super cute and adorable
- Like sunny fields with flowers
- Like to eat flowers and lick players

All other gooeys can be "bred" to make new and exciting versions. They will work just like the color wheel - so Blue + Yellow = Green (our mascot!) and Red + Yellow = Orange, etc.

The new versions can have random blends of traits from their parents. Fun with inheritance!

Another component is "base building". As you earn more money you'll be able to buy new elements to make your GooZoo that much snazzier. The more interesting your GooZoo, the more money you earn. Elements like cutomer bathrooms, benches, food stalls, or upgrades to your pens, etc. may make the game more motivating and fun for players. It should be as open a system as possible with players able to terraform their zoos just like you normally could terraform in Terasology - try to keep this as open and creative as possible.

I will have some concept art coming along to support these ideas. Let me know what you think.

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Lore Master
Part of the fun of GooKeeper is the inheretance of genes when crossing types of gooeys. This illustration explains how far you can go crossing one particular gooey multiple times. You essentially can get two different results before crossing a gooey with the same gooey again leads you back to the same gooey. At that point there are just too many similarities and uniqueness is lost. The more you cross a gooey with the same type of gooey, the more similar it's traits will be; until you've lost any uniqueness from the original partner.

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Lore Master
So where does this gene mincing madness end, you ask? Do the permutations and combinations go on forever?! Well, no. As we discussed above, anything beyond generation 3 reverts back. But what about if you mixed the fun starry, lime green guy with a blue?! Of course you asked that.

To make it easier to understand I'll assign values to our primary colors. y=yellow, r=red, b=blue.

The lime green guy who is third in his generation is actually made of one blue and two yellows; or 1b2y. The addition of one more y results in a reversion back to yellow. The addition of one more b results in a new gooey we will just call cyan for now; 2b2y.

But what about red!? Well if we add 3 primary colors to ANY combination of colors we get brown. No matter what permutation you're on, if you suddenly have 3 primary colors in the mix, you get brown.

We can see how this plays out in the following illustration.


I believe this leaves us with 15 unique colors; which seems like plenty of work, since each color = a unique personality, unique properties, unique AI.

yellow, red, blue = 3

yellow + red = 4 combinations
1y1r, 1y2r, 2y1r, 2y2r

yellow + blue = 4 combinations

blue + red = 4 combinations
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Org Co-Founder & Project Lead


Org Co-Founder & Project Lead
Absolutely you can help and yep Java will be a piece of cake with a C# background.

Starting hint: get a source workspace up and running in IntelliJ if you haven't already, then run "groovyw module recurse WildAnimalsGenome GooeysQuests" - you'll get a pile of modules and at least one (AdvancedBehaviors) will refuse to compile. That's OK - it is a v2 engine merge issue that needs some help resolving it.

Main reason for those modules: they include a lot of our AI (the AB issue is because it predates the newest round of changes to the behavior tree AI system), Pathfinding, Genome, creature stuff, and the one current Gooey model we have (in GooeysQuests)

Dig around in GooeysQuests (it and all its dependencies should build fine) and either try to help fix WildAnimals / WildAnimalsGenome (the logic it depends on in AB needs to be rewritten to match the new Behaviors system) or wait for that to get fixed while you familiarize yourself with the AI, creature, and genome stuff since that all relates to this item :)

(Edit: darn habits, had "gradlew" not "groovyw" at first)


Lore Master
Important safety tip from our man, Stickman Stan. When wrangling a gooey, always remember to bend your knees and brace yourself. The PlazMaster 3000 fires a powerful plasma stream with major kick. Always brace yourself by bending your knees when letting loose or you may find yourself on your back, staring at the stars!


Gameplay notes:

- wrangling gooeys should be a challenging and fun element of gameplay
- plasma tanks on a players back will eventually run out and need to be refilled at home base. (these can be upgraded)
- different gooeys require different frequencies for wrangling. players must set their guns to the correct settings before firing or the beam won't "catch" the gooey.
- gooeys should fight back by trying to move away from the direction players are forcing them to go, but are constrained by the plasma beam
- it should have a feel like trying to pull in a big fish that's trying to get away
- maybe have players hold down a key, like Shift, before firing to "brace themselves"
- have the plasma stream be a little difficult to aim and control - but not frustratingly so (accuracy can be upgraded)
- have the plasma stream scorch the environment when it misses; causing small fires. Concentrated fire for long enough time should destroy a block.
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Lore Master
Some notes on GooZoo construction

I will revisit these with some supporting art at some point, but wanted to jot down some ideas.

Structures will be built with "blocks" in typical Terasology/Minecraft style; however, blocks will have certain properties and a unique visual look specific to this module. Here are some example block properties specific to this module:

Entrance Blocks
To officially open your GooZoo you will need to build an "entrance" for NPCs. Much like building a nether portal in Minecraft; if you arrange entrance blocks in a door-like pattern; the entrance portal will be open; allowing NPC Visitors to spawn into the world.

- There can be multiple entrances
- Once NPC Visitors spawn in they can wander anywhere in the world. Gooeys will be attracted to visitors and will want to eat them.
- If visitors come into contact with a gooey they will be consumed by one. The gooey will grow large enough to engulf the visitor model
- The wrangle gun can be used to pull a gooey off a visitor
- If a visitor is not rescued within a certain timeframe, the visitor will be digested. The player will then be "sued" by the visitor's family and loose a large amount of money.

Players can use any blocks they like to build walls to guide visitors through their GooZoo. Any two high blocks will prevent a visitor from climbing/wandering into danger. However, special blocks are used to contain gooeys.

Pen Blocks
Players will start out with certain "pen" (aka cage) blocks that are required to house the three primary gooey colors (red, green, blue). Other pen blocks will be unlocked with achievements.

Pen blocks have the following properties:
- gooeys that correspond to a pen block cannot "jump" or climb over the pen blocks
- note: gooeys should normally be able to climb any vertical surface, treating them just like horizontal surfaces.
- gooeys that do not correspond to a pen block can move around pen blocks normally

Visit Blocks
Once you have opened a GooZoo, NPCs will start to room around the zoo. A visitor will idly roam around the zoo until they bump into a "visit" block. These can be placed like a "floor" allowing visitors to stand and observe a gooey. These will allow the visitor to "view" the gooey. The more visit blocks placed near a pen, the more visitors can view the gooeys.

- Visit blocks must be placed adjacent to a pen block to function
- Visit blocks must be within X distance of a gooey to function
- Only one visitor may occupy a visit block at a time
- Visitors will stand on or next to a visit block for X amount of time
- Players will receive payment for each visitor that stands on a visit block
- visitors only pay the player once per visited gooey

Exit Blocks
Much like the entrance, the GooZoo will need an exit to send visitors back to whatever dimension they arrived from. Players will have to decide how best to route their visitors through their zoo to acheive maximum payments from visits, but also provide a way to get rid of visitors that are no longer paying. Visitors will only pay once per visited gooey. After that they just take up space!

- Exits will have to be built in a pattern similar to entrances
- there can be multiple exits

Those are the basics - I think the fun/chaos of managing visitors and having gooeys attracted to visitors and wanting to eat them will provide for some fun management challenges. When redeisnging or growing a GooZoo, GooKeepers will have to remember to disable entrances or risk visitors wandering into the wild to be eaten.

Other quick ideas to expand on: Concession stand blocks, Toilette blocks - visitor pee may act like an acid that destroys blocks and gooeys, visitors are very alien in their appearance
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