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

2 thoughts on “Ecologicated

  1. Great stuff, the wildlife is pretty much the most important part of this game after the production of soup itself, I’m glad to see that it’s being handled well and in a natural way.

    Poison-gas-only lifeforms definitely sound neat, I’d imagine they’d be among the most valuable, yet difficult to get to without casualty!

    That’s actually a question I had in mind, how would the poison gas work? The characters seem to already be wearing helmets and such, I’d think that would provide at least some protection from them. Are you going to implement a breath system, where you have a given amount of time in the gas before you start taking damage?

    • Good question! Although the characters are wearing helmets it feels more balanced game-play wise if they take damage from being in gas too long — this is how we have it now! You’ll have to make good use of the tools that interact with gas to profit from it, but it is risky!

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