It was a while ago now that I introduced the Papillon Butterflies. Since releasing the butterflies the plants and accessories have been added to and there are also Firefly’s available for breeding. I had my Papillon garden for a few weeks and can say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Over time the breeding of the butterflies can supply you with most everything you will need to sustain them. The effective points system that is part of the Papillon gameplay can provide the breeder with the plants and accessories that are needed by the butterflies. The firefly’s also eat the same food and use the same accessories as the butterflies, and so are easily added to your butterfly garden.
The butterflies themselves have a life-span ranging from half a year to a year, though some accessories allow them to live even longer, and some mutations and special elixers (gained from their internal minigame) can let them become Eternal (live forever!). However, even if the butterfly completes its life-cycle, it simply enters a forced-mode where it becomes a cute toy; it continues fluttering around being cute, but no longer eats, breeds, or performs its other tasks. You’ll never lose your butterflies…any case where they would have died simply turns them into a toy, and unless they’ve completed their life-cycle in full they can be returned to pet-mode with a simple click. The bonuses to morale and loyalty gained from some of the rarer butterflies affect those around them, making them work harder (especially Worker butterflies!), consume less, and generally perform better all around (including mating!). While most of the bonuses don’t directly stack (two princesses provide the same benefit as only having one), the butterflies have a better chance of affecting every butterfly around them if more than one are performing the same task.
Ground-cover patches make especially good food sources considering that they constantly increase in maximum capacity, and the gardening hoe replenishes a PERCENT of their total resources, unlike plants, who restore a set amount with each charge of the watering sprayer. After three months the ground cover patches have as many resources as some small plants, and after six months they rival the larger plants…and STILL restore a percentage per charge, at the same low cost. The patches begin with very low resource counts though, and slowly build, which means they’re incapable of initially sustaining a butterfly for very long. It takes a week or two before they’ve accumulated enough resources to be a proper source of food.
The butterflies, much like other breedable products currently available, are designed to live out their life-cycle, produce offspring, gather food from nearby sources, and…well, generally look cute =) However, they also individually have a specific class that performs special tasks within their butterfly community. The workers replenishing food sources, the soldier ward away spiders, the priest and priestesses tend injured butterflies, the prince and princesses bolster morale, and the kings and queens bring about loyalty. Each of these tasks affects the butterflies around them, creating an inter-connected community that functions as a whole.
There are several tiers of rarity ranging from type, class, size, and radiance, as well as a billion possible color combinations, altogether adding up to over five hundred billion potential visible combinations, and several trillion combinations in all once mutations and other factors are taken into account. In order to create a larger visible spectrum and promote competition, the butterfly’s wings are tinted rather than individually textured to a color (though each butterfly race/type DOES have a different wing texturing), with offsets ranging from 0.000 to 1.000 in each of the three color fields (red, green, blue). The greater the offset from 0.5, the greater value the butterfly has, and the higher the chance of potential evolution and mutation in its offspring. Butterflies with perfectly pure colors (ie, pure red <1.0,0.0,0.0>) are extremely rare, and have a significant chance of ‘special’ offspring.
Genetic information is passed on from parent to offspring like in most other breedables projects, though the potential for mutation is also affected by the butterfly’s morale, loyalty, tier, wing-color offset, and other factors. Small-step evolution is more likely than drastic mutation, but both are possible in any offspring.
Soon to be released is a Will-o-wisp tree. Although in some ways it is an accessory, it also adds bonuses to the gameplay in leaps and bounds and is a breedable. Although I’m not clear on if 2 are needed for that to happen. Butterfly Bellflower shared with the group:
Will-o-wisps absorb life from everything around them (plants, fireflies, butterflies, etc), and split apart once they’ve gathered enough energy. They gain bonuses to their evolution and mutation based on what they absorbed, and everything they were influenced by gets boosted by their contact (fireflies/butterflies mate better, plants grow better, etc). The amount of time that it takes for them to split will be based on what they have around them. Every ‘new’ thing that they interact with speeds up the process. So people who have a wide variety of stuffs will see faster mating than otherwise. Will-o-wisps by default will be the slowest mating things we’ll make. It’ll at least be a week-long timer, but that’ll be influenced heavily by what they interact with. They don’t ‘eat’ though, so they’ll be the lowest cost product. You, in theory, don’t need any plants for them; even toy-mode butterflies and fireflies ‘feed’ them. And they can even harvest from avatars, so in theory you could have just…the will-o-wisp, and let it nibble off of you 😉 People who’re low-income and can’t afford other breedables could still have them (and they’ll be five prims or less).