Creatures

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Early concept art for different creatures.
Early concept art for different creatures.

There are currently 3 species implemented: Manta Rays, Thuntomites, and Jellyfish. Each creature is a persistent entity that exists as part of a simulated ecosystem until it dies, regardless of whether players are nearby. If they don’t feed they will starve, and if they don’t reproduce their numbers will dwindle. The Thuntomites will come in different variations in color and size and were inspired by different real life crustaceans, probably the giant isopod.

Navigation[edit | edit source]

If a creature sees something of interest then it could move directly towards it, using avoidance steering to weave through any objects partially blocking the path, such as trees, rocks, other creatures, etc. But if it can’t see what it’s looking for it has to employ a search strategy. This varies from randomly wandering around when it’s not particularly urgent, to strategically gaining height and scanning a larger area of the island if desperate. Finally it will abandon the island and fly to another if all the above fails. There is no guarantee that the creature will eventually find what it is looking for, so it may end up

dying.

The creatures have the ability to return to things that they’ve seen in the past that they weren’t interested in at the time but are interested in now by leaving a “breadcrumb” trail. So just like Hansel and Gretel, the creatures can retrace their path through the rugged and forested terrain to get back to where they once were. This can be optimized as the creatures follow the trail back by skipping any breadcrumbs between the current one and the oldest one in view. And if the creature happens to see a different instance of what it is looking for whilst following the breadcrumb trail, it abandons the trail and heads right for it. Creatures give up on their target prey eventually if they’re not getting any closer to it.

Behaviors & Drives[edit | edit source]

The creatures have many behaviors, including the basics; feeding, fighting, resting, wandering, and mating. They also have fluctuating drives such as; hunger, anger, tiredness, curiosity and libido. Each creature is governed by their “behavior picker” which determines the behavior that should be active each moment. It does this by scoring each behavior based on the multipliers it specifies for each drive.

The creatures behave and respond in completely different ways by adjusting these multipliers. This is used to configure different species that are more aggressive, passive, exploratory, and so on.

To fix the synchronicity issue, the libido of one of the genders is much faster than the other.

Planned[edit | edit source]

Currently the only planned creature to be definitely added is the Sky Whale, the largest animal in the world of Foundation.

Media[edit | edit source]

Thuntomite color variants. Sky Whale early concept.