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 Special Events

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dinoman9877
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PostSubject: Special Events   Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 am

Before I start off, it is, but also isn't like Spore, and I could not find anywhere else to post this, nor find anything on it.

When I say 'special' I don't mean like in Spore where a ship will just fly around or a meteor shower with meteors the size of a normal rock, I mean big, realistic stuff. Extinction events, migrations, wars...Let's go a bit in depth to some.

Migrations and season: These go together. Depending on how the game is designed, let us assume that there can be seasons on a planet, already we've passed up Spore if it can be done. Let's say there's a planet that's sort of close to its sun, and goes through periods of wet and dry, the rains moving to different areas as the year progresses, like in Africa. Obviously, as it becomes dryer, survival for herbivores becomes harder, with less food to eat and less water to drink. So, for animals that have evolved for such action, they can migrate.

I figure, from what I've seen on 'computer-selection', that the computer can evolve creatures to fill any migratory niches, or pick ones that are already well suited, or close to being so. Migration, of course, leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of predators, and this is where seasons themselves come in.

Let's say the player is a carnivore, who's species had to survive the life of full and empty larders. Now, the migratory species might be the regular prey of the player's species, but what about other viable food sources that would have to be tapped until the cycle comes around full circle? Let's also hypothesize that there's a new species of animal that dwells underground, they're plentiful and their burrows don't go more than a foot or two into the ground. Among other animals that would need to be caught, this could serve as a food source for the player's species until the return of the main prey item.

If we go through this cycle over multiple generations, the player could have (or at least should have) learned that the burrowing animals can be a staple until the main prey returns from migration. What this means is that we get animals that are not only fast for when the speedy migrators come back (we assume their speedy because it's much like Kenya and Tanzania in Africa, as mentioned before), but the player's creatures also have evolved a better digging ability.

This, in turn, will make the burrowers evolve. Having become the secondary food source, they need to get away from the predators, and since up leads straight into the sharp teeth, or pincers, or digestive fluid inflicting fangs or whatever the carnivores have, the only other direction is down. The survivors of the carnivore onslaught would be the ones just out of reach, therefore, their offspring would evolve to dig deeper, and the player would also need to dig deeper. We could end up with a predator that completely forgoes the speedy food source they once preyed on and now focuses mainly on the burrowing creatures, since they are a year long food source.

Migration and seasons can help how the species of the planet, including the player's, evolve. If the player doesn't change to take advantage of whatever resources are available, then there's only one place that their species will end up: In the stomachs of the scavengers.

The death of a giant: In nature, everything eventually gets eaten, even whales. When a large animal dies, every carnivore nearby will soon know about it, and some from far away may stumble upon it or have come from miles just to join the feast.

How does this affect the player? Well, the player will have to evolve into a niche if they're going to make it. It may not be the best niche, nor the top of the food chain, but you have to pace yourself to get to the top.

So let's say the player is a hunter/scavenger, akin to a dromaeosaur in size and strength. (not saying it's a bipedal lizard, just in a similar niche.) Dromaeosaurs were not at the top of the food chain, and neither is the player's species. Let's also assume that this species gets by on insects and small mammals and lizards. Not a glorious way of life, and it makes it very difficult to survive, just by catching the food alone, getting enough to survive for the day is another story.

So 'word' gets around that something has died, something big. Whether by smell, hearing, or paying attention to other wildlife is determined by the player and computer. This big thing could be about the size of a brachiosaur, because why not? It depends on the planet's conditions.

So we have this massive carcass. Usually the first to find a carcass are insects or other fast moving creatures. Insects can only get to the meat inside by wounds or...other openings, because the skin is too thick for measly pincers to break open, so we just have bugs swarming hopelessly around a stinking slab of meat, assuming there wasn't any internal hemorrhaging that would allow the insects to get to their food. (In this case, there wasn't.)

So if the player happens across it, what are the chances it can get into an animal that it does not actively prey upon? Little to none. This is where the player has to be crafty. There are a few places that can be gotten into, but they won't have much nutritional value. So the player effectively can't use this source of food. Or can they?

The player can't evolve a massive set of jaws to tear the thing apart, the assumed time skip would only leave a massive set of bones. No, if the player wants to utilize this food source for all it's worth, patience is needed.

If the player does wait, there can and will eventually be a carnivore that can tear into this carcass. Probably the size of a tyrannosaurus, and with a jaw strength to match, along with whatever other weaponry it has.

Now, the player could run blindly up to this creature and try to fight it, but in the end, they'll just end up in the stomach of the other carnivore.

Again, a waiting game. The large carnivore breaks into the main crown jewel of any carcass, the stomach, and takes what it wants and as much of it as it wants, and then it leaves.

This is where the player and his pack (if they have one) have their chance, they'd have to swiftly run in, grab what they want, and run.

What's the advantage? Well, it depends on how the evolution will work in gameplay, if the food serves any purpose in helping the player advance, let's say that there is a currency system (not saying there is, I haven't looked into the evolution yet because I'm an idiot), and the currency is based on the amount of food eaten before mating, or based on an overall score which is attributed to the fitness of the player's creature, which would include food. Then it would be well worth the wait to run in and grab as much of it as possible.

Minor and Mass extinctions: Plants and animals go extinct, that's all there is to it. No species lasts forever. Now, on a minor scale, we're talking about one or two species. This will effect a player that specializes in only hunting a small number of species, or feeds on a small number of plants, or both. Let's assume that the player's animal has evolved similarly to a cheetah, due to hunting a species of animal that has evolved like a gazelle, but most other species evolved to be too strong for the player, or could evade the player by hiding in burrows or flying. So we have a predator that can only hunt one species.

Many factors can cause a species to go extinct, but let's assume that for the gazelle like species, it's a deadly disease. (I would say from a parasite, but that's probably not going to be a factor in this game.) The disease spreads like wildfire through the herbivores, and they're quickly decimated to only a few individuals, plus the player's species hunting them, the herbivores are effectively killed off.

Now the player has a problem. They can't hunt anything else, and their prey have all turned into bones. The player is going to have to adapt quickly or go extinct.

Effectively, an extinction on a minor scale won't completely destroy the ecosystem, but the other species would have to adapt to live without a possible food source or shelter, depending on what the species was.

Now, a mass extinction is something completely different, and I did find something on that, but I want to go in depth into it. Let us say that there's an asteroid about to hit the planet. If the player's species isn't intelligent and doesn't have some sort of forewarning system, then the player has no way of knowing. Assuming this is still in the organism stage, where the player is looking for the perfect niche, there's trouble.

Let's say that the player is a burrowing, insectivorous animal, but wants to be a flyer, the only thing keeping them from it is a hawk like flyer that catches them for lunch way to often that the player has to literally ground his species until it's possible to take to the skies. There will be subtle hints that the asteroid is about to hit the planet, and the least subtle of them would be a flaming ball appearing in the sky, aimed directly for the planet (don't confuse it with the sun, they don't have flaming tails). Effectively, there's a small number of species that could survive the impact. Surface dwelling species are instantly out the window.

There are a number of species who could survive, given the right conditions. Insects? The only way you're getting rid of those is blowing up the planet. This is a good start for the player, their food source will survive, but their species will need a strong digging ability to get deep enough into the ground to survive the blast. Assuming that there are at least enough to procreate after the matter, there's now a wasteland above ground. This also gives the player the opportunity to take that flying niche they always wanted, as the flying carnivores are now burnt bones and skin.

It takes millions of years for a planet to recover from an event such as this, but when it does, it becomes just as vibrant as before. By the time that large animals return, as well as new trees that either remained in stasis as seeds, or evolving from other species to be similar to trees, the players species has taken to the skies, taking the roll of flying predator that had been the very bane of their sky-bound existence in the first place.

I just wanted to know if any of this was possible. There are plenty more to go over but I just focused on what was possible in the organism stage. Sorry that it's long winded but by better explaining, I hope to be better answered.
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WilliamstheJohn
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PostSubject: Re: Special Events   Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:47 am

I think these are some good ideas.
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Inca
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PostSubject: Re: Special Events   Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:55 am

These are some excellent I ideas which I would love to see in the game. Would really make it awesome if stuff like this was happening.

As far as I'm aware this should all be possible too.
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NickTheNick
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PostSubject: Re: Special Events   Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:46 pm

As I'm not a scientifically adept, I cannot give detailed answers like you are looking for.

Migrations and seasons will be in game. I'm pretty sure each year will be about 12 days on your planet, and those days can be divided into seasons based off of your planet.

That death of a giant scenario won't have to be hard-coded in, because it will probably happen as a result of the parameters of the game anyways. Carnivores will come for food, and if bigger ones see competition they will try to fight them off, so the smaller ones have to use speed, stealth, or patience.

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dinoman9877
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PostSubject: Re: Special Events   Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:54 pm

How about getting into the carcass itself? A vulture can not get into a hippo carcass like a hyena or crocodile can, because the skin is to thick for their beaks to puncture. From a coding standpoint, would a characteristic like that be taken into effect?
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NickTheNick
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PostSubject: Re: Special Events   Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:12 pm

Most likely, yes. Also, I forgot to add, yes those different levels of extinction will be implemented.

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AwesomeSiebren
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PostSubject: Re: Special Events   Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:18 am

I thought parasites would be in the game, since the player is able to be one. Further, some great ideas there.
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Dalroc
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PostSubject: Re: Special Events   Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:41 am

NickTheNick wrote:
Migrations and seasons will be in game. I'm pretty sure each year will be about 12 days on your planet, and those days can be divided into seasons based off of your planet.
So a year on a planet will be set to a specific value? Shouldn't it be variable, depending on how far out from the host star the planets orbit is?
Some planets around smaller dwarf stars would have short years, while planets around giants would have long years?
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NickTheNick
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PostSubject: Re: Special Events   Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:30 pm

It's an average.

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