I previously posted that I was making a game. I still am!


The first two video updates were really fun to make but each time I think I’m at a point to make a new video, I have another idea that I think it would be cool to include. I think this has been happening for a year now.

The game is now in some form of 3D (the awful way I’ve bodged a 3D engine out of a 2D one is worth a video on its own), the creatures briefly had actual brains but they outsmarted me, the sounds are better, you can have staff and give them jobs, you can make buildings, you can slaughter animals and make recipes and sell the food, there was a safari mini-game but I broke it, some creatures lay eggs now, some get pregnant, the creatures can have names, there is the concept of a “species” and a species-name-generator, you can save/load state, there is a day/night cycle with colour shifting and shadow direction, creatures make friends with other creatures now, a whole new UI, and lots more.

And I gave the creatures the gift of depression!

I feel like I’ve made a pretty good simulation of whatever this is. There needs to be actual gameplay though. A lot of the gameplay will come from generally running your zoo but there’s a few extra ideas I’ve had, some are half-implemented, some are just ideas:

  • Breeding creatures to order
    Other zoos will request creatures with specific attributes, the player will need to breed animals to meet those requirements.
  • Restaurants
    Slaughtering animals, growing crops, and building recipes to sell to guests.
  • Actual online creature trading (not NFTs!)
    Imagine breeding a really good creature and putting it up for sale but it actually becoming available for other players and you getting in-zoo coins every time that happens.
  • Animal bands
    The synth part of the game is often the best part of it. There’s already a little step editor and a global BPM, I’d love to implement some kind of basic DAW.


I’m currently working on getting the NPCs to queue up outside a kiosk to buy creature-meat-burgers. I will try and make a new video soon!

Over our many lockdowns, I’ve been learning C++ and video game development. I’m not sure if I’m creating something enjoyable or even playable but I’m having fun. The bugs I leave in my regular projects usually reveal themselves in logs and error codes. Bugs in a video game result in heads leaving bodies and slowly shuffling offscreen, animals turning inside-out, and (at least in my game) spontaneous frame-rate-tanking orgies. I’m laughing a lot even if no-one ever plays this.

I wrote the first version of the game in Godot. It was spectacularly easy to get started and I soon had completed my first goal of a randomly generated creature:

(I love him and he remains my desktop wallpaper to this day).

It soon became clear that I had set my sights on something horrendously complicated and I was struggling to make that work with Godot. It’s brilliant, do not get me wrong, but it may not be the best option for a code-heavy simulation game. I had also read that it’s a good idea to rewrite a game from scratch once the basics are in place so I decided to do that, just in another language and framework.

As I’m writing this on my lil 12” Macbook but am aware that most folks playing games do so on Windows, I looked for something cross-platform. I settled on C++, the SDL framework, and XCode as my IDE. Lazyfoo.net’s SDL tutorials were rather necessary to get me started.

Over a year I’ve built an engine, named Flower 🌺, that includes a little 2D texture generator, an audio synthesiser, and many features geared towards a pixel-art simulation game. The game itself is now playable and I’m working on refining the basic gameplay before I start adding game-progression and story elements.

There’s two videos on my YouTube channel where I talk about the game at some early stages: Introduction and Second update. I should create another soon!