Aquaponics Project Blog – #2: Production

Hi again,

So now I’m in Reykjavik working on the aquaponics project. Unfortunately, I fell ill for a week which put a damper on my outputs, but I still have stuff to show.

Most of the work done has been on the interactions and the game loop, so visually nothing much has changed.

My first priority was to get purchase menus working for the tank beds. Simple scroll menus that contained all of the plants the player can purchase. Clicking on one will sew it into the bed, ready to start growing. I also added the ability to view the tank, and add fish. I attempted a little test in regard to the fish animation, using a plane in Maya with the fish texture applied, I added a bend and animated it, to create the illusion of a moving tailfin. I also added in some movements to the fish to make them feel a little more realistic. I had originally wanted implement boids to the fish; making them swim around the tank as you would find in nature, which may come later. I did however note when viewing the aquaponics system here in Reykjavik that due to the number of fish within such a small space, that their swimming pattern is not as evident as say in the wild, or in a large aquarium:

When undisturbed they do not swim around as much as I thought they would.

I’ve now made it so that fish now also grow according to feeding, which the player has control of. As fish are fed, and grow in size, it increases ammonia levels in the tank according to ratios found in the literature. For now, I will only calculate the ammonia levels, and grow plants based upon this (in aquaponics, the ammonia is turned into nitrite and then to nitrate, though as long as I know the ammonia levels I can safely calculate how this will affect the growth rates). I’ve also linked this to the plants in the plant beds, so that their growth rate depends upon a balance in the ammonia levels.

Lots more to do, but things seem to be going well. I hope that I’ll also get to see a little more of Iceland before I go.

For now, I’ll leave you with this video of my fish bugging out.

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