When Blinkclick Video games, a small indie studio based mostly in Krakow, first sat down collectively to work out what the plan for its first recreation could be, the builders agreed: they wished to make one thing that was revolutionary, with “fully new mechanics”. It could contain a posh economics simulation and extremely sensible AI, however as a substitute of creating a flashy FPS or a brand new RTS recreation, the studio turned to one thing its members knew from first-hand expertise. They determined to make a recreation about fish.
Fishkeeper is, put as merely as doable, an aquarium simulator. And whereas it’s not the primary or solely aquarium recreation, Blinkclick CEO and inventive director Piotr Soska tells us it’s completely different in that it’s constructed on as a lot real-world details about fish, their habitats, and aquariums because the studio has been capable of lay arms on because it started creating the sport.
“Our producer Jarek says he was critically concerned within the aquarium interest in his teenage [years], however in the future shifting to a different place compelled him to throw away his tank and provides his fish to associates,” Soska says. “For a very long time after he couldn’t even sleep with out the noise of the filter and aerator in his bed room.”
Because it seems, there’s quite a bit know when you’ve determined to change into an aquarist, and Fishkeeper goals to simulate as a lot of that as doable. “The one factor we deeply perceive – and which isn’t a secret for aquarists – is that fishkeeping and aquascaping aren’t like a part-time interest, it’s a life-style based mostly on the love of water and residing creatures,” Soska tells us.
Soska had some expertise conserving an aquarium as nicely, and he says that Fishkeeper was impressed by that sense of eager for the interest that had change into impractical. For some, it’s a transfer to smaller housing in a giant metropolis, whereas for others it’s all the way down to a scarcity of free time after beginning a brand new job.
The extra you dig into what operating an aquarium entails, the extra advanced it will get. There’s the preliminary set of choices: ought to your aquarium be freshwater or marine? Which species do you wish to maintain, and what species are these appropriate with? What are their area necessities?
Fishkeeper helps you to type by means of every of those selections, in addition to providing you with vegetation, corals, snails, and different potential aquarium inhabitants to buy and place. You may admire your handiwork when you’re finished – admire the 3D tank from exterior should you like, however you can too dive in your self by means of the eyes of a miniature remote-controlled bathyscaphe, which can be used to tidy issues up contained in the tank (equivalent to fish poo, we assume).
“We assume that some hardcore aquarists who spent years conserving and breeding completely different species wish to see pure and plausible options based mostly on actual life expertise,” Soska says. That’s why Blinkclick has labored onerous creating an “intensive synthetic intelligence” framework for the fish.
Nonetheless, Fishkeeper ought to attraction to newcomers to the interest, too. “On the identical time, we wish our recreation to be accessible to ‘not-so-engaged’ individuals as nicely, who simply wish to have enjoyable breeding their very own fish, aquascaping, and having fun with the view of their lovely tank, with out onerous objectives or superior methods – merely as a way to chill out,” Soska says.
Soska’s personal private favorite fish embody cichlids, a tropical freshwater species that’s recognized for conserving its eggs in its mouth. “Typically you possibly can even see how the fry enters its mom’s mouth with no concern of being eaten,” Soska says excitedly. “It seems like that was a return again to security. Cichlids can even change into strongly hooked up to their proprietor – play with their arms, allow them to ‘cuddle’ them. It’s such a tremendous, surprising habits!”
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Past designing and sustaining your aquariums, Fishkeeper additionally helps you to breed fish – you’ll even be capable to flip a revenue by promoting the offspring of uncommon, unique species. Soska sums up Fishkeeper by name-checking a few of its main sources of inspiration. “Severely, I believe two cult video games that turned ultimately an inspiration for creating Fishkeeper have been the Tropico and The Sims sequence,” he says. “Combine that with Tamagotchi and a few expanded AI, and also you’ll get Fishkeeper.”
Fishkeeper doesn’t have a set launch date but, however you possibly can wishlist it on Steam. Take a look at our record of simulation video games and administration video games if that is the sort of factor that will get your fins flapping.