Saturday, October 4, 2014

Finagling Flower Town

Flower Town seems like it's just about growing flowers, but it's got a fair amount of complexity.  Embarrassingly enough I forgot about one of the breeding mechanics recently, that made getting the seed for my 80th breed take a lot longer than it should have.

The key mechanic to getting new breeds is referred to in-game as "Divergence".  Simply put, when you breed a plant with another plant in the same family, there's a chance of getting a seed that will grow a completely different plant from that family.

However, the color of the plant matters.  You know that color wheel that shows when one of your guests waters your plant and you harvest a seed?  Your plant's color will be lit up, their plant's color will be lit up, and all the colors in between on the shortest path will also light up.  If the two colors are directly across the color wheel from each other, all the colors will light up.  The result plant from that specific seed can be any one of the colors that light up.

If you're going for regular breeds, it's a bit easier since they typically have several possible colors.  However, for the single-color regular breeds, or any one of the rare breeds, you'll need to double-check that you have the correct color.  Especially if you're trying to use Divergence within one of the families of rare breeds.  It might not always be possible.

Another thing that you have to pay close attention to is seed shape.  Each individual breed will always have the same seed shape.  Using this knowledge and looking at the Planter's Preview, you can often tell in advance which of the plants it will grow into.  Don't forget to flip back and forth between the possible plants and the parent plants.  If you're trying to get a new breed, it will help you determine when you've got a seed that will grow that breed if you start with a seed of a different shape.  Consult your journal to see the shape of a seed for a breed that you've already seen one of your guests carrying.  This will also give you a starting point for the plant color.

New breeds always show up in silhouette, with the text "New Breed".  New colors will always have the text "New Color".  The preview for a seed will update with every plant you grow, so check back to see if you have any seeds that you can sell.  Also, each guest can help you grow a seed in the color of their shirt.  If the plant can grow in that color, it will grow in that color.  If it can't it searches along the color wheel for the nearest color.  Either way, it helps you influence the color of the plant.

When buying seeds from Poppy's Seeds, you can only buy seeds for breeds you've already grown.  However, the seeds from Poppy's Seeds will always grow in the same style and color.  There are a few jobs where you can simply buy the seed from Poppy's Seeds, grow it, and turn it in to get gold.

Jobs often require plants to have specific attributes.  While some of them, such as romantic, pointy, round, or fragrant, can be discerned just by reading the journal, the height of the plant isn't as easy to discern.  Every plant can grow in a variety of different styles and heights, that you simply have to breed into it.  To discern the plant's height, the first thing you'll want to do is always plant using the terracotta pots, at least initially.  Once you've grown the plant, update its picture in your journal.  Now look at the picture in the journal.  See how the pages have lines on them?  The plant gets scaled to fit neatly into the page, so the taller plants will appear to have a smaller pot than the smaller plants.  Generally speaking, if the pot is at least two lines tall, it's a small plant, and if it's less, it's a tall plant.  It might take two or three attempts to breed the proper breed, style, and color together, so keep at it.

You can sometimes use the sell price of a seed to determine what it will grow into.  Particularly with seeds that show a rare breed as one of the possible plants.  Seeds for rare breeds generally go for a lot more, though it's not always the case.  It's a good indicator of when a seed will grow into a rare breed, but not a good indicator of when a seed will not grow into a rare breed.

Using all of this breeding knowledge, it would theoretically be possible to get all 80 breeds grown with your first 80 seeds planted.  You'd have to get lucky, especially with the rare breeds, but it could happen.  Having a second 3DS that's already got all 80 breeds will significantly increase the chances, since you can just grow whatever you want on that 3DS and hold the plant when you want to get a seed on the first 3DS.

As far as making money goes, selling fully grown plants will turn you a profit.  You might find it worthwhile to grow a few seeds that won't get you anything new, just to sell the plant once it grows.  At a certain point in the game, you get a free shopping spree from Garden Grace, that can be exploited to get a pure profit.  Simply pick all the most expensive items that are available, and then after you check out, go back to Garden Grace and sell them all.

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