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Need Ideas for 2D Garden Design Package

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Hi All I know this is a little vague but maybe some of you can help me with this one. Basically i need some ideas on how to go about writing a 2d Garden Design package, 3D would be nice :-) but dont think i could do it in 12 weeks. It is going to be written in C++ and can be either a console or windows program, im not very experienced in visual programming though so might have to be a console unless any of you can get me started. My knowledge of c++ spans all the basics including Functions, Structs/Classes etc. Im probably gonna design it using the Michael Jackson Program Design Method. Any Help/Ideas etc would be greately appreciated. If you know of any open source prog similar to what im trying to do please let me know so i can have a look. Thanks

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First, you have some design decisions to make. How will the user view the design? You have a number of choices. I believe the best two (for 2d) are an overhead or an isometric view. An overhead view is typical of the old handdrawn garden designs. An isometric view is more natural, and gives the user a better feel for the ''look'' of the garden. Or, you could be ambitious, and try for both (overhead view is more ''practical'', whereas isometric is more ''asthetic'').

Look in the isometric thread in this forum for an idea of the complexity involved. It is not simple, but is not nearly as complex as 3d.

Then, make more design decisions. Do you want users to be able to select from a palette of items to ''drop'' on the landscape? Do you want items to be ''resizeable''? Do you want to be able to define items via some external process; e.g. text files? Do you want color? Do you want tools to help create non-regular items, such as paths? Do you want textures, for things like different surfaces, turf, etc? Do you want layers, for things like an electrical or irrigation view?

And then the practical design considerations. Print? Dump to text file (maybe some common format)? Generate materials list? Save/Open file? Versions?

You should spend some time on these decisions before any code design. Write them down, and use it as a guide as you move forward. Some of these design decisions will have far-reaching impact on your code design decisions, so it is a must first step.

Good luck on your project; it sounds like it could be fun.

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