Flora And Fauna

  • Animal AI - are they going to be relatively simplistic, are they going to be complex, would they learn, are they going to be capable of cooperative behavior (flocking, pack)?

    Honestly, some of the more interesting "animal" AI I saw was quite a few years ago in a development version of a mini-game for "Spore." Many different levels of cooperation, aggression, flight, etc.

    Plants: are they going to only grow based on their determined biome, or based on local conditions? That is, if the environment starts shifting due to drought or other climate shift, would the plants change, would which ones grow better change and thereby change the "biome?" Or would it artificially place the biome and then stamp in the right plants for it? The former allows for creation of artificial mini-"biomes" in the form of farms or greenhouses or the like, the latter might prohibit this.

  • The behaviors we have now are pretty simple, and we plan to extend those, prioritizing things that are visible and affect humans, so that there will be interesting gameplay implications. We have a pack behaviors, flee behaviors, feeding, wandering, things like that. Lots more complexity we can do there. A current goal is improving pathfinding, so we can do it with 1000s of animals at once

    Plants grow based on irrigation and pollution levels, and I want to make them grow based on light, and grow on player structures, so you have vines crawling up the sides of buildings and such. I'd like to keep the simulation fluid, so its based on parameters like altitude, climate, irrigation, etc, and not arbitrary biome levels - the biomes should be the high level result that emerges from the simulation, not the other way around.

  • So would that mean one could irrigate a dry land area and seed a greener fertile land?

  • I'm curious if there will be individual variation - for instance, if flight distance were variable, then it might be possible for over hunting to create a population of animals who flee humans at very long ranges, or selectively breed a population with very low flight distances, if not fully mimicking domestication.

  • @Gritmonger that sounds like it could be achieved through a personality/genetic ai or allowing a sort of 'evolution' or 'natural selection' to occur where if a species survives better in a certain area then they will stay there instead of going back to the original location.

  • I was wondering, how does time work in the system with regards to animals and plants? Is the same time scale applied to skill learning?

  • ...for that matter, could animals learn or be taught skills? Could a lot of their behaviors and abilities be modeled as skills to allow for different degrees of variation and improvement through experience?

  • Furthering that thought @Gritmonger i would be interested to know if there's a possibility for animal taming or something close to it where you could train with a particular animal group in order to acquire benefits (i.e. working with elk to gain a mount for faster transport, or a wolf for better hunting, etc...)

    This could even be taken a step further if eventually you have a 'rare breed' or 'unique spawn' of a particular fauna group where they would be desired for either looks (fine pelt or unique coat design) or performance (acquiring an alpha from a pack instead of a lower tier animal would add extra stats or a slight edge over conventional animals in that pack). I could see this divulging into a whole enterprise if such a 'class' as animal tamer existed, A: they could help protect particular 'rare breeds' by preventing it being hunted for its rarity, or B: Acquiring it themselves to attempt breeding of the unique traits and thus fulfilling a role say if someone wanted an extra sturdy elk for use as labor or a unique pelt that a wolf may have (i'm envisioning dogs here and why we as humans like the domestic animals, be it for companionship or showmanship).

  • That sounds like animals evolving and carrying their genes to future generations.

  • @cr4zyc4t
    There are pledge tiers that already involve animal taming so it's safe to say it is within the scope of the game. Although taming bunny's and wolves would be an exclusively perk for high tier backers in Vanilla(no mods) Eco, I suspect taming of some of the other animals would be possible for any user who chooses that skill set for their current character.

  • @SketchBookGames Ya i went back through the KS page and saw that about taming, I'm curious if it will be like a non-combat type that's purely ascetics or if it would involve a skillset unto the tamed animal and a bunny and wolf could only have been attainable through KS campaign (locking out a 'beast tamer' from getting them until said mod unlocked it again).

  • Apart from wolves and bunnies, I think animal taming should be accessible for everyone with 'useful' animals. For instance, horses for transportation, chickens and cows (or goats?) for milk. Horse taming should be more difficult than chickens. What about birds of prey for hunting?

  • The taming relates to the animal being a pet which I am still not entirely sure if they will be useful in any way or just a status symbol.
    Since you are limited to how much you can carry, you'll require modes of transport to move resources around and therefore horse-type animals within the biome (the elk in this case) could become very helpful (possibly after researching since pulling a cart becomes too tiring for you).

  • ¿Is the elk the only horse-type animal?

  • I'm hoping there will be actual horses :) Would love to try being a horse trainer!

  • I'm a bit intrigued if animals will breed and evolve along time so more domesticated versions will become available. That's why I wondered how time is managed in the platform, although I guess that question is beyond the scope of this thread.

  • A lot of this stuff would be quite interesting, but I imagine (in comparison to other things) quite low priority.

    The exception of course being domestication which it very important.

  • I believe it was said somewhere that time plays out at a pretty accelerated pace, from stone age to near future in the course of about a month real time. I'm sure at that time scale it would be realistic for selective breeding to produce effects within a few days of play time.

  • Even if it is not that fast, look how dog breeds have changed in the last hundred years. And that wasn't straightforward. I think 200 to 300 years for breeding a dog (like creature) from a wolf if you know what you are doing.

  • I hope that a lot of these thinks can we mod, because the dev-team has to make the whole game with the complex impacts etc. and we have to make the minor changes we'd like to have in the game :).

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