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 can be, the builders agreed: they needed to make one thing that was revolutionary, with “utterly new mechanics”. It could contain a fancy economics simulation and extremely life like AI, however as an alternative 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 potential, an aquarium simulator. And whereas it’s not the primary or solely aquarium recreation, Blinkclick CEO and artistic 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 severely concerned within the aquarium pastime in his teenage [years], however in the future transferring to a different place pressured him to throw away his tank and provides his fish to pals,” 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 so much know when you’ve determined to change into an aquarist, and Fishkeeper goals to simulate as a lot of that as potential. “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 pastime, it’s a life-style based mostly on the love of water and dwelling creatures,” Soska tells us.
Soska had some expertise preserving an aquarium as nicely, and he says that Fishkeeper was impressed by that sense of eager for the pastime 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 working an aquarium entails, the extra complicated it will get. There’s the preliminary set of choices: ought to your aquarium be freshwater or marine? Which species do you need to hold, and what species are these appropriate with? What are their house necessities?
Fishkeeper helps you to type by way of every of those choices, in addition to providing you with crops, corals, snails, and different potential aquarium inhabitants to buy and place. You’ll be able to admire your handiwork when you’re accomplished – admire the 3D tank from outdoors in the event you like, however it’s also possible to dive in your self by way of the eyes of a miniature remote-controlled bathyscaphe, which may also be used to tidy issues up contained in the tank (comparable to fish poo, we assume).
“We assume that some hardcore aquarists who spent years preserving 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 “in depth synthetic intelligence” framework for the fish.
Nevertheless, Fishkeeper ought to attraction to newcomers to the pastime, too. “On the similar time, we wish our recreation to be accessible to ‘not-so-engaged’ individuals as nicely, who simply need to have enjoyable breeding their very own fish, aquascaping, and having fun with the view of their stunning tank, with out onerous objectives or superior strategies – merely as a method to loosen up,” Soska says.
Soska’s personal private favorite fish embody cichlids, a tropical freshwater species that’s recognized for preserving its eggs in its mouth. “Typically you’ll be able to even see how the fry enters its mom’s mouth with no concern of being eaten,” Soska says excitedly. “It appears to be like like that was a return again to security. Cichlids may also change into strongly hooked up to their proprietor – play with their arms, allow them to ‘cuddle’ them. It’s such a tremendous, sudden conduct!”
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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. “Significantly, I feel two cult video games that turned indirectly 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’ll be able to wishlist it on Steam. Take a look at our checklist of simulation video games and administration video games if that is the form of factor that will get your fins flapping.