The Sapling is a short simulation game where you design your own plants and animals, and put them in a world together. Or you turn on random mutations, and see what evolution does to your ecosystem!

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  • Pollination & flowers, allowing the plants you designed to mix their genes. One way to spread pollen is by attracting animals with colorful flowers.
  • A new sandbox level, completely redone and 100x larger! Besides random mutations and timejumps, it now also allows you to change the overall temperature and see what that means for evolution.
  • A new scenario, teaching you how to set up an ecosystem with flowers.
  • Extensions to the procedural music system. It now adds rhythm in if you speed up time, making it even more responsive to your actions.
  • Bioluminescence. We all know that bioluminescence is cool (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BioluminescenceIsCool), so you can now add it to your plants and animals as well, to attract other creatures.

Solo dev Wessel Stoop made good use of the current quarantine situation and spent 3 months to completely rewrite and optimize the underlying engine, making scenarios that are 100 times larger a possibility. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears (okay, only sweat), and resisting the urge to not implement pandemic functionality instead, but when Stoop found himself accidentally playing and enjoying the game again instead of bugfixing, he knew something was right. The larger terrain is what made the rest of the features possible; mixing genes does not really make sense in ecosystems so small that they are fighting for space to grow.

More details on the flower update will be revealed gradually over the coming weeks on Thesaplinggame.com

  • August 17: more details on the pollination & flower mechanics
  • August 20: more details on the new sandbox
  • August 24: more details on how bioluminescence works
  • August 27: more details on the UI overhaul that is also part of this update
  • September 3-10: Twitch livestream where viewers can vote for the temperature to go up or down... will the ecosystem be able to adapt in time?

Useful links (that is, useful to me, but you might also like them)

FlowerUpdate cliff

FlowerUpdate plant

The Sapling available in Early Access today

The Sapling available in Early Access today

News

The Sapling is available as an Early Access title today! In this post I describe how weird that feels, and answer the question everybody has about this...

Six 3D models to explain the evolution simulation in The Sapling

Six 3D models to explain the evolution simulation in The Sapling

News

I am releasing six models created by playtesters using the plant and animal builders of The Sapling. Several bodyparts are annotated so you get an idea...

The Sapling main theme music available

The Sapling main theme music available

News

In this first devlog I announce the official release of the main theme sheet music, along with the sheet music and its separate layers.

Under the hood of the procedural music in The Sapling

Under the hood of the procedural music in The Sapling

Feature

This article is an in-depth interactive explanation of how the procedural music in The Sapling works. Furthermore, we see how I had to give up my preference...

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Latest tweets from @thesaplinggame

The #gamedev equivalent of 'walk into a room to get x, get distracted, and leave without x': start the game to test… T.co

May 15 2022

#programming fun fact: just discovered that I implemented the same function twice at different places in the code.… T.co

Apr 24 2022

Both times when I was working on the Flower update and the Fight & Flight update, after only a few months of silenc… T.co

Apr 17 2022

Wow, check out this Spore remake by @wauzmons ! Youtu.be

Apr 10 2022