Ecologicated

Ecologicated

Hello, I am programmer kalin. I wrote the original prototype of PJ Inc long ago, and when I can find the time, do various gameplay design and prototyping in the current version.

Today we’ll talk about ecology!

Recently I added a simple ecological system and spent some time tweaking it. Ecology-related game objects are divided into Flora and Fauna – plants and animals.

Flora will continue to spread as long as there are sufficient nutrients around; be it soil or water or maybe even poison gas! Left long enough, it can get quite overgrown.

pj16-overgrown

Fauna will breed and multiply when they are well fed and happy. Usually they reach an equilibrium with their surroundings, but sometimes they can over-populate and eat all their food sources. Sadly this doesn’t end well for them… needs a little bit of tuning still!

pj16-overfish

So I wondered what would happen if I tagged the fauna themselves as a food source… started up the game, the fauna searched for the nearest food source… and found it – themself! All the fauna in the world promptly consumed themselves and disappeared in a puff of particle effects. Oops!

pj16-hungry

So overall the current system feels natural. Untouched areas grow thick with plant life, and creatures tend to gather around food sources – so be careful leaving your farming areas unattended!

ecobot