Pollen is in the air and flowers are in full bloom as the Flower Update arrives for Wessel Stoop’s The Sapling. Other new additions to the low-poly ever evolving life simulator include a larger sandbox play area and bioluminescence.
At the heart of the Flower Update of course is flowers. Designed plants can now mix their genes if they have the same pollination organs. This mixing of genes between two different plants by either wind or animals can lead to interesting new combinations.
Animal pollination can be achieved through growth of colorful flowers with nectar to attract nectar eating animals. Two new specialized nectar eating mouths have been added.
Bioluminescence now lights up the world at night. Besides just colorful flowers, glowing body parts and flowers can make plants more attractive to pollinators. The instinct system for animals has been extended so that players can design light in the dark responses.
There are three new glowing body parts for animals. They are wired to the instinct system. Also, animals that respond to light also bring new opportunities for carnivores to bait them with a glowing body part for a quick bite.
Previously the sandbox level had a very limited amount of space. Now with careful design and system improvements the new sandbox level is 100 times larger. The new level includes as much environment variety as possible with cold, hot, wet, rocky, and windy areas.
Several changes were made to the UI in a major overhaul. After several lengthy playtests there was an evidenced gap in tools for players and with community feedback the game was extended to address these needs. In the plant editor things were moved around to accommodate the new functionality of flowers and bioluminescence. The animal editor has seen a number of UI elements changes to add more information about the animal being designed.
Other changes include modifications to The Sapling’s procedural music system. The update has expanded the music system to include rhythm as players speed up time and be more responsive to a player’s actions.
The Sapling along with the Flower Update is available on Windows and Linux through Steam early access for $7.99 USD. The game is also available on Itch.io other digital distributors including Gamejolt and Kartridge. More information about The Sapling can be found at the game’s website thesaplinggame.com or follow @thesaplinggame on Twitter.
Wessel Stoop is an indie game developer based in Nijmegen, a city located in The Netherlands. Since 2002 Stoop desired to play a simulation game where players could build their own plants and animals which lead to The Sapling being created to satisfy this desire.