Using Patch Plants
Patch Plants are a special kind of agent that allows you to draw a square "patch" on the wall where fruit or other produce will start sprouting. When you first inject a patch plant, for example, the apples, you will notice an icon of the fruit following the hand. This indicates that the hand is currently in Patch-Placement mode.
Once you're in placement mode, click once on the spot you would like to anchor a corner of your patch. You will notice that a green dotted line now appears between that spot and the hand.
There are some limitations on where patches can be placed-- mostly notably, they can't cross outside the room system. If you stretch the patch box over an invalid place, the dotted line will turn red, indicating that you can't place the patch there.
Once you've decided on the other corner for your box, click again to anchor it. You will then be greeted by this dialogue:
Cancel will remove the box and act as if nothing happened. Retry will remove the box but put you back into patch placement mode so you can try drawing the box again. Confirm will...well, confirm your patch, and bring up the options menu:
Here's where it gets fun.Density
controls the maximum number of fruits in the patch. At 100%, the patch will spawn as many fruits as can fit in the patch. At 50%. It'll spawn about half that, and so on. The minimum number of fruits a patch will spawn will always be 1, regardless of the density. For a small berry bush, a higher density might be appropriate, whereas for a massive apple tree, a lower density will look a lot more natural.
One thing to note is that fruits within the same patch are scattered randomly and will not overlap. meaning that even though technically a 4x4 patch would be able to spawn four 2x2 fruits at 100% density, it might only be able to spawn one or two or so before it can't fit any more without overlapping, depending on where in the patch those fruits spawn. For this reason, 100% density and 50% density can appear strikingly similar, depending on how big the fruits and the patch are.Growth Rate
sets the timer, or tick, in the fruits of the patch to a random number between the two numbers that you input. Exactly how this affects the fruit depends on the code of the fruit itself, but generally the lower the growth rate, the faster the fruit will grow
. There are roughly 20 ticks to a second, so if you wanted your fruits to advance to the next "life stage" every 2-4 seconds, you might set the growth rate between 40 and 80. Setting a wide range in your growth rate, say, 40 to 400, will result in some quickly edible fruits as well as some slow-maturing fruits.Growth Plane
indicates the "layer" the fruit grows on. Agents with a higher plane will overlap agents of a lower plane. Pay particular attention to this if you are planting a patch over something other than the background, such as a decoration-- you'll want the Growth Plane to be higher than the plane of the agent the patch should appear to be growing on; otherwise the fruit will appear to grow behind the agent instead.
allow for control over during which in-game seasons your patch will bear fruit. Such options can add an element of realism or be useful for testing migration and hunting instincts in creatures-- if a patch stops bearing fruit in the winter, will your creatures sit dumbly around where the food used to be, or go out in search of another patch?
One thing to note is that while a patch may stop spawning new fruits during a certain season, any fruits already in the patch will continue to grow. If a patch is set to a very long growth rate, and no creatures pick any of the fruits from the patch, it may appear as though the plant still bears fruit even in its off-seasons. This can create interesting situations, such as one in which a tribe of creatures indeed has enough food to last through the winter if they eat it sparingly.
Confirm will close the options menu and your patch will start growing. Remove patch will... well, remove the patch, and we pretend none of this ever happened.
Once a patch is confirmed, the outline will vanish, and you can watch it in all its glory!
Now if you decide later you want to change your patch's options, have the Magic Words Core
installed and simply use the speech-bubble command "Patch Options":
When you do this, all your patches will appear outlined in white. Hover over one (the outline will turn green), click it, and the options for the patch will appear again, so if you decide a patch is, say, growing too slow, you can alter it to your taste.
That should tell you all you need to know about patch plants!
Random trivia: The idea for patch plants, formerly know as "planting-stuff-into-walls agents," actually came long before the idea for the Garden Box, in fact, patch plants spawned the idea for the garden box itself. You can find an old post about it here!
All we have left to cover now is decorations!