Freeplay Species

Buffalo981

Soldier
Extremely Helpful Person
#1
Along with the addition of leaf cutter ants in free play mode, will we be able to play as a trap jaw ant colony or an army ant colony? Bascially a new queen model and being able to build trap jaws or the different army ant castes.
 
#2
Army ants live in bivouac, which is a nest made of their own body, they move at day, camp at night. The game is quite realistic so far, so I don't know how they gonna make it work. Trapjaw ants is more probable, they only need queen model to be playable.
 
#3
However the army ants could still provide an interesting gameplay. Obviously the game will be much more challenging without having a nest. So you will try to defend your colony from the first moment while trying to raise your offspring. It would be a delicate balance between defending your queen and the workers caring all the time about the eggs, larvae and co. (These could be a caste of ants similar to the mimics being always around the queen and doing only that). While at the same time you will need workers to forage. Since you won't have any food tiles, trophallaxis could be introduced at that point. Potential levels could be:
  • First Survival: Beginning with a queen, you try to survive and build up your colony till you will have a chance for the future.
  • The Needed Raid: After many days without finding any food, finally the little army arrives to a food oasis. This level would be similar to 3.2 where you try to sweep everything on the map.
 

Buffalo981

Soldier
Extremely Helpful Person
#4
As gameplay mechanics go, while it would be time consuming and difficult to do army ants, it may be worth it to introduce the "army ant" mechanic into free play at least. African driver ants are some of the most wished for ant species for the final formicarium tier, and if the army ant mechanic is already introduced, it could make designing them easier. In my opinion this game is going for ant species with hugely different gameplay mechanics from each other, and army ant species would give completely different gameplay, similarly to how leaf cutter ants are completely different from wood and black ants.
 
#5
They have semi done the moving queen. If anything, the move should be based on what food is in the area. Some sort of limiter or meter that measure food amounts in an area so your scouts go to find the best place to have a nest at. If anything, i noticed some things about army ants in the game as is, they gather food. No other ant does that, even though on their level the others do get food from time to time, but eciton specifically prioritize food if nothing around to fight similar to your controllable ants.
 
#6
Army ants live in bivouac, which is a nest made of their own body, they move at day, camp at night. The game is quite realistic so far, so I don't know how they gonna make it work. Trapjaw ants is more probable, they only need queen model to be playable.
Is it plausable to insert army ants in to the fusca colony though the same way the leafcutter majors have been added following game lore.
Leafcutter majors harvest other insects instead of leaves so surely army ants would get away with not living in a bivouac if part of the fusca colony.

That being said, I'm not sure how the individual gameplay would go as army ants as it would be interesting.
I'm not familiar with how bivouac's interact with the world in real life if attacked at night.
Might be a tough mechanic - maybe a bivouac could "spawn" where the majority of your army ants are at night time. All of your army ants "enter" the bivouac and do not respond to pheromone marker commands during the night.
This could lead to boring gameplay so maybe when army ants are selected the night cycle would have to be halfed/slightly sped up. Or we don't worry about it and we watch the army ants chilling and hope they survive.
So you would need your army ants to gather at a point on the map by sundown to be "safe". If your bivouac spawns in the open you are unable to move your bivouac and your ants could potentially be killed during the night cycle as they go to the bivouac and do not respond to your commands to simulate this.
Potentially when the bivouac is spawned it could create a zone similiar to the other ant's underground area where your ants now rest for the night.
This zone can be invaded by insects and maybe any insect killed inside the bivouac would yield 0 food so again you have to prepare and position yourself correctly or you'll die in the night.
To try offbalance the harshness of losing ants during the night cycle and not gathering any additional food; some balancing may require army ants to carry more food. Whether this bonus is only activated during army ants only games to balance out fusca colonies - it's something to test out if going down this idea path.
This could lead to some really diversified gameplay and some potentially interesting levels.
 
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