A downloadable game

Welcome to Bíotópico!

Focus Your Breath, Grow (Real!) Trees

Bíotópico (bee-oh-toh-pea-ko) is the first and only breath exercise game designed specifically for the Playdate™ system.

  • Focus on breath practice as a daily ritual with your Playdate
  • Gather Oxygen and use it to plant (real!) trees
  • [Coming Soon]  Collect unique and rare seeds
  • [Coming Soon]  Plant to restore balance across 7 distinct biotopes
  • [Coming Soon]  Maintain your soil and sunlight to optimize growth
  • [Coming Soon]  Cultivate and harvest ripe plants
  • [Coming Soon]  Collect unique and rare seeds through breath practice

Wait. . . The Breath As Gameplay?

Absolutely! Intentional breath focus, even in short sessions, has numerous physical and cognitive benefits. Our focus is on reminding the player that taking that moment to breathe feels good, both in the context of the gameplay moment and more generally.

In addition to its full-scale breath and meditation features, Bíotópico will also integrate micro-exercise breath practice directly into the gameplay flow in future iterations.

Grow Yourself, Grow A Tree

Our breath intrinsically links us to the ecological life cycle of plants, through oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. This is one of the reasons we've picked biotopes as the theme and gameplay focus.

In Bíotópico, players can grow real trees using the Oxygen resource that is produced from their breath practice. We’re partnering with OneTreePlanted.org to plant a physical tree on the player’s behalf each time a digital tree is grown.

We’re committed to offsetting the carbon footprint of this game’s development time, and this is one facet of that effort. It also gives the player a small amount of external motivation, which is sometimes all it takes to launch a healthy routine.

Why the Playdate?

Good question. We love that the Playdate allows for intentional focus on a single experience. It’s convenient, purposeful, delightful, and restorative; everything we hope Bíotópico can be. The unique built-in crank inspires a ton of creative use allowing for unique practice types, and its tiny form factor makes it easy to keep nearby all the time. We think starting a routine of breath practice is right at home with Playdate.

Scroll Down For Playdate Download

If you don't own a Playdate, but you are interested in playing the game on your PC/Mac (without access to the console's adorable crank...), please download the Playdate SDK, install it, and then open the downloadable .PDZ file at the bottom of this page. Please note that this SDK tool is meant for game development, and isn't optimized or ideal for actually playing games with.

Upcoming Features, Reaching Further

As it goes with most game jams, there wasn't even close to enough time for us to realistically get done what we designed (while maintaining our healthy and "crunch"-free working pace)! Below are a few of the things we couldn't find time to implement, but have fully designed and will implement after game jam is completed:

  • 7 distinct and diverse biotopes, including Frozen Tundra and Savanna
  • Dozens of additional scientifically-proven breath practice variations
  • 100+ seeds to collect, with 15 plants per biotope
  • iOS and Nintendo Switch releases, potentially
  • The “Grounded” expansion: use harvested fruits, vegetables, flowers, and leaves to create specific nutrient-rich compost and soils that encourage plant health and growth speed!

In addition to our committed interest in the Playdate, our intention may be to eventually give a more diverse audience access to Bíotópico. Many of the breath practices in the game are specific to the hardware and format of the Playdate; these will be thoughtfully reconsidered and adapted to mobile device touch screens and other platforms.

The Game Jam Schedule

The experience of Bíotópico is meant to target one specific aspect of mental health treatment, the breath, by incorporating it directly into the gameplay loop design. The game was conceptualized and developed entirely from scratch during the 3-week DeepWell DTx May Day Mental Health Jam 2022.

We spent the first week deep at an off-site retreat, in full-blown R&D mode, playing a myriad of health-related experiences and conceptualizing aspects of a few general design directions. Once we settled on the breath as a topic, the week was almost exclusively focused on how that could be restorative for players. It was important to us that this part of the experience could stand on its own; in the event that we (inevitably) ran out of time during the game jam, it could still exist as a useful breath practice tool.

The second week was spent primarily honing that concept and ideating on how to integrate it directly with various gameplay mechanics. We also spent many days doing physical sketches of a variety of things, including art drafts, designs, and plenty of gameplay organization spreadsheets.

The final week was spent prototyping it in code, using the Playdate’s SDK and Lua as the platform. Over the three weeks, we spent roughly 150 hours total across the two team members. About 70% of that time was spent on ideation, design, and iteration. The remaining 30% was spent making the assets and programming. As mentioned above, to us the idea and concept were more important than rushing the execution. We plan to continue development after the game jam is complete, and encourage any feedback from the judges or members of the community.

We are also incredibly proud and humbled to announce that Bíotópico took second place in the DeepWell DTX + Global Game Jam - May Day Mental Health Jam !



The Team

Bíotópico was made by Everyday Lemonade (@Everyday_Lemons), a two-person creative studio.

Foster Douglas - Design/UX, Audio, Programming, "Marketing"
@_FosterDouglas

Corey Marr - Design, Art, Engineering, Programming
@Uncle_Spaghetti

StatusIn development
Rating
Rated 4.0 out of 5 stars
(3)
AuthorEveryday Lemonade
GenreEducational
Made withPlaydate
Tagsbreathing, Mental Health, mindfulness, Playdate
Average sessionA few minutes

Download

Download
Biotopico-v1.2.0.pdx.zip 10 MB

Development log

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Comments

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(+1)

Biotopico is so cool!! I love how you've gamified breath exercises - the music and all the lil sounds are also fab.
I look forward to any future updates!

Thank you John !

(+1)

I installed the Playdate SDK and downloaded the game folder but can't figure out how to play the game. Can you provide more detailed instructions?

If you unzip the "Biotopico-v1.2.0.pdx.zip" file, you'll have a .PDX file, which you can double-click to open in Playdate Simulator ! I can add some additional instructions on the main description to make this clearer.

(+1)

What a neat idea and really well thought out. The breath animations are very intuitive. This shows off the potential of the playdate for more than games.

Small suggestion: You might want to make sure the music either is long enough for the slower exercises or that it loops cleanly.

This is perfect for when I need a mental reset, and I'll definitely be following this for updates.

Thank you! Yes... working carefully on those audio loops... Trying to keep the total game size down is tricky, and looping soft/pad/gentle music cleanly can sometimes be awkward. We'll go back and recheck all the loops and clean them up.

(+1)

This is really rad! Unlike anything else I've played before and will absolutely continue using the game. Looking forward to those future updates. 

Thank you!!

(+1)

Looks really great! Good work, going to download this and give it a try!

(+2)

I just want to say. This has some excellent presentation. This page looks great!

thank you !!

(+1)

Agreed! I didn't know you could do custom CSS on a itch page. The game footage makes me wish I had a playdate.

The itch HTML input stuff is a little bit buggy actually, some specific attributes (like border-radius, randomly?) aren't respected. But overall it was pretty simple, I just built it in a text editor and used inline styling on the header and paragraph tags etc. :)

(+1)

That's really helpful, thanks!