Game Development Reference
Figure 16-41: Optimal distribution of plant life to improve cavern biomass
“Interestingly, in the end, we went with something incredibly simple: The player's goal is simply to raise
biomass high enough in each level,” says Smith. “The mid-level complexity turned out to be a red herring for
our project goals, driving the game more in a strategy/puzzle direction, when we really wanted an action game.
Keeping the mid-level simple put all the emphasis back on the action gameplay and the ecosystem interactions
between the life forms. The more life forms you create, the more dangerous or valuable the interactions in the
world are, making Waking Mars a sort of 'design your own level, then survive it' game.
“Figure 16-42 shows a design for a complex life form we didn't ship. We had lots of ideas that didn't work.