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.
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!
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!
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!