early stage rewards

#1
I notice that most early stage creatures evolve towards big blimpy shapes. My guess is that the children produced at that stage is based on the total volume of water that a creature's hitbox passes through, although to me it seems as if small creatures gather energy at a similar rate to the large ones when they have the same speed.

I guess this is probably already the plan, but penalizing large shapes by setting a cost for movement that is attached to number of motions and hitbox size might prevent everyone from becoming as giant as possible at the start.
 

Tom Johnson

Worker
Developer of Ecosystem
#2
I notice that most early stage creatures evolve towards big blimpy shapes. My guess is that the children produced at that stage is based on the total volume of water that a creature's hitbox passes through, although to me it seems as if small creatures gather energy at a similar rate to the large ones when they have the same speed.

I guess this is probably already the plan, but penalizing large shapes by setting a cost for movement that is attached to number of motions and hitbox size might prevent everyone from becoming as giant as possible at the start.
In the earliest stage, creatures get energy based only on distance (I ran a test once using total water volume and they balooned up to a really absurd degree, often moving only slightly). The main factor that slows them down is drag from the water (though drag is also how they propel themselves forward) and the fact that a larger mass will require a larger force to reach the same acceleration.

It's a good point, though! I have noticed that shifting the viscosity of the water (and thus the strength of the drag force) tends to result in different sizes being more common. In nature, larger creatures require more energy (though are often also capable of producing more young) and it is possible that adding in more differences like that will result in more size variety.
 
#3
So the creature parts don't resize independently of each other? Maybe also and interesting way to encourage useful body parts while getting rid of weird appendages. But then I guess the fins would get stupid big instead of the whole body.

In nature, larger creatures require more energy (though are often also capable of producing more young)
Yah, and if I recall bio class correctly, energy scales in a pretty crazy way with a longer/wider body because everything is cubic. I guess that's more of a land animal problem though, hard to overheat or collapse from your own weight under water.
 

Tom Johnson

Worker
Developer of Ecosystem
#4
So the creature parts don't resize independently of each other? Maybe also and interesting way to encourage useful body parts while getting rid of weird appendages. But then I guess the fins would get stupid big instead of the whole body.
The parts do actually resize independently, but one other factor that I forgot to mention with size is that the amount of torque a creature can apply to a fin depends on the size of the body part it is attached to, representing muscle strength. So big fins often need a big torso to get them moving!

Yah, and if I recall bio class correctly, energy scales in a pretty crazy way with a longer/wider body because everything is cubic. I guess that's more of a land animal problem though, hard to overheat or collapse from your own weight under water.
That's a good point! I'm working on adding pathfinding now, so hopefully small creatures being more maneuverable (and hopefully fitting into spaces large creatures cannot) will also add more reasons for size variation.
 
#5
I've been trying to push creature size down by hiding food in nooks and crannies (like a real reef I guess), but usually my demo starts to get buggy before anyone has even evolved proper swimming speed, let alone size evolution.

anyway, its a super cool game with evidently a lot of thought already put into it, nice work.
 

Tom Johnson

Worker
Developer of Ecosystem
#6
I've been trying to push creature size down by hiding food in nooks and crannies (like a real reef I guess), but usually my demo starts to get buggy before anyone has even evolved proper swimming speed, let alone size evolution.
I like that, it's a good idea. I may make a similar test case on my end to see what happens. It is definitely something that I would like to ensure works in the final game.
anyway, its a super cool game with evidently a lot of thought already put into it, nice work.
Thank you :)
 
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