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 Ontogeny (Growth)

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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Ontogeny (Growth)   Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:16 pm

Wow, it's been a while since I began a new thread.
Ontogeny refers to the patterns of organismal growth, and is something that we currently have no plan to implement. We have no plane to implement it largely due to it's baffling complexity. For instance, a professor of mine, who is an expert in tyrannosaur ontogeny, has, from fossil evidence alone, compiled a list of hundreds or possibly thousands of changes in the tyrannosaur skeleton, based on a specimen pool that contains virtually no very young animals. This is an incredibly complex topic, and it's not something I want to fake in our game, which is why up to this point I've elected to ignore it entirely. 
The only method of faithfully representing ontogeny that I can think of would be forcing the player to model and define the transition specifically between every life stage, which would be beyond tedious and beyond complex. That's why I'd like to open up the floor. In this thread, I'd like any ideas on how to implement growth in organisms faithfully, reconciling:
-differential growth rates
-loss or development of structures
-computer generation of growth patterns
-evolution of growth patterns
-effects of growth patterns on fitness
-effects of growth on animation
-complete/incomplete metamorphosis

You needn't swoop in and solve these all at once (though that would be appreciated), so ideas on any of these topics (or ones that I've missed) are appreciated. I just want everyone to be informed on the subject.

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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:20 pm

Well for one thing, as I posted on the Crash Course Evolution thread, I think the best time to make ontogenical changes is while the player organism is asleep. I'll have more time later to give a more in-depth response, but if no one else posts by then, i'll just edit it into here I'll make a new post to keep this thread active.

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Last edited by NickTheNick on Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:56 pm

Okay, so I can't address any of these issues directly, but I do have some ideas on how to approach solutions to these problems. First of all, I would try to avoid as much as possible putting any of these into the behaviour editor, because that would mean we would have to come up with two systems. One system for how it will be implemented into the behaviour editor, and another for automating it among AI orgs. Also, letting the player decide would give a bit of an unbalanced position to the player, because they could simply decide that children would be born with the same physical capabilities and size of an adult. So for these reasons I think ontogeny should be kept out of the Behaviour Editor, out of the player's control, and up to the computer to decide.

I am also against the idea of metamorphosis past anything visual (such as colouring and/or texturing of the animal) because that would greatly complicate Auto-Evo and the Organism Editor. Instead of mutations just affecting, let's say, species X, it would have to affect each stage of growth of that species X independently.

What I think is viable is increasing the size of an organism as it grows, altering its appearance, and gradually giving it the abilities that an adult of its kind would have (like climbing, swimming, flying, etc.)

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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:54 pm

I am not in favor of playing as a infant ant-shark. Not only is it more complex, it also evokes memories of "learning" in spore. *shudders* Also, as accurate as this idea is, players might get annoyed at having to go through the same process every time they mate, unless it is planned to be 5 minutes in real time.
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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:57 pm

Yeah, that's what I just said. The parts of ontogeny I think that would be good to include are the parts of physical growth, appearance changes, and "unlocking" abilities.

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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:30 pm

I think we can dumb it down a bit to the point of 'metamorphosis'. Complete and incomplete.

Complete metamorphosis is basically a young animal, which looks nothing like the parent, growing and developing into the adult form. Most insects go through this.

Incomplete is when a baby is born looking like an adult. Mammals, reptiles, birds, etc.

Now, ~scio, you did say making the different life stages for an organism would be complex. The loophole is that if we used complete metamorphosis, the creature would only go through a few of these stages...or as many as the player would want. I just figured this could help. It allows the player to choose how they develop their species. If they want to be born a defenseless grub and grow up to be a deadly insect predator thing, all they have to do is design it. It could also bring up some new organs which could be specific to an individual only during that period in its life, such as silk or web making organs to make a cocoon with.

Just throwing in my ideas in.
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penumbra espinosa
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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:44 pm

dinoman9877 wrote:
I think we can dumb it down a bit to the point of 'metamorphosis'. Complete and incomplete.

Complete metamorphosis is basically a young animal, which looks nothing like the parent, growing and developing into the adult form. Most insects go through this.

Incomplete is when a baby is born looking like an adult. Mammals, reptiles, birds, etc.

Now, ~scio, you did say making the different life stages for an organism would be complex. The loophole is that if we used complete metamorphosis, the creature would only go through a few of these stages...or as many as the player would want. I just figured this could help. It allows the player to choose how they develop their species. If they want to be born a defenseless grub and grow up to be a deadly insect predator thing, all they have to do is design it. It could also bring up some new organs which could be specific to an individual only during that period in its life, such as silk or web making organs to make a cocoon with.

Just throwing in my ideas in.
you forgot amphibians, but yeah....
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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:57 pm

It was an example, dang it!
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:46 pm

Complete metamorphosis is easy, but how can we include it without a system for incomplete?

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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:50 pm

But then with metamorphosis, auto-evo has to evolve each one independently, in a way that keeps them consistent, which I think would be a terrible pain in the Belgium to code or even plan out.

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PostSubject: Ontogeny Idea   Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:08 am

Isn't this determined by how much protein the creature gets,the amount of energy it has,how it uses the energy (Like does it grow or become wider)
And I think that if a player makes a change in the size of the creature (Height,With,etc.) It would slowly be implemented into the creature like...1 or 5% Per Year or Per Month and if he makes radical changes (We should define radical to the computer (maybe 40% of the mass?)) It would be even less (like 0.1% or a little bigger)

This is probably not even close to what you are saying but In my opinion any size is the effect of the atmosphere (It limits growth)

If you have more air your creatures can have more effective lungs and grow larger (the limit of growth is larger)
Today we have less air than 160 million years ago so we have a smaller growth limit (So most creatures are about 1m tall (The limit is the size of an elephant or giraf (On Land) and a blue whale in water)

This might be off topic entirely but then again
Idk :L
So...
I apologize ahead :I
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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:33 am

Evolutionary changes take effect immediately upon the birth of the next generation, and the compound system, and the availability of compounds will limit the size and development of organisms naturally.

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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:01 am

Okay, so we have at least an outline of what will happen to simulate growth. How is the game going to determine how long it will take to reach the certain stages of development? Especially since the year is planned to only be 4 days long on the player's planet with (possible) variation.
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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:44 pm

Outline? We don't have an outline for it yet. So far we just know what we want as the end result.

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PostSubject: Re: Ontogeny (Growth)   Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:06 pm

Sorry, that's just how I word things, the plan is just a concept, I know, my bad.
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