What do you feel are the, max three, most needed features right now?

Rox4me

Larva
Ecosystem Beta Tester
#1
For me it would probably be:
1: A dynamic camera that can continually follow a species.
2: Less fog, so I can actually see anything.
3: Borderless fullscreen.
 

Serafine

Queen
Backer
Beta Tester
Ecosystem Beta Tester
#2
1. A slider to remove the fog.
At certain angles it takes up 90% of the screen and severely impedes my ability to experience and enjoy the game.

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2. More analytical tools.
Ancestor and population history tree like Species ALRE has, infosheets about current and extinct species, etc.
Ecosystem does a much better job at simulating evolution but it severely lacks in the analytical department (it's still a super young game though). I think those tools would also help shape and develop the game as they give additional feedback to the designer, that's why I put them up so high on the list.
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3. Ways to influence the development of creatures via changing the environmental conditions and/or applying artificial selection.
Things like reducing or increasing the base nutrition value of plant and meat, tweaking water temperature, overall mutation rate (like a map-wide increase of radiation), mating preferences (big/small, still/hyper, long/short, many/few extremities, symmetry/asymmetry, same/opposing color, slow/fast, etc.), "extreme" options (like making a super shallow pool or increase speed/drag of water currents by x10), etc.
 
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#3
1. 100% agree that we need more analytics. Evolution sims are all about statistics. I want graphs for everything! :) I also want a better explanation of the underpinnings of the simulation, like what genes are available to be mutated, the mutation rates, that sort of thing.

2. A day/night cycle which, when coupled with the appropriate genes, would pave the way for more types of interesting behavior. Also, it'd probably be pretty.

3. One of the most important features of any evolution sim is a way to turn off the graphics and just crank the raw processing to the highest speed, to really plow through the generations. I get the feeling with Ecosystem that the graphics aren't really a bottleneck like they were in early alife sims, but 2x time compression is just not fast enough. I want to be able to put the sim into overdrive and let it run all night, to see what comes out on the other end!
 

Serafine

Queen
Backer
Beta Tester
Ecosystem Beta Tester
#4
2. A day/night cycle which, when coupled with the appropriate genes, would pave the way for more types of interesting behavior. Also, it'd probably be pretty.
I agree but for a day/night cycle to have an actual impact we first need systems like plankton moving up to the surface during the day and moving back to the ocean floor at night, visibility being reduced during the night, etc., otherwise it will just be a pretty cosmetic.
That would be really really cool though.
 

Rox4me

Larva
Ecosystem Beta Tester
#5
3. One of the most important features of any evolution sim is a way to turn off the graphics and just crank the raw processing to the highest speed, to really plow through the generations. I get the feeling with Ecosystem that the graphics aren't really a bottleneck like they were in early alife sims, but 2x time compression is just not fast enough. I want to be able to put the sim into overdrive and let it run all night, to see what comes out on the other end!
I would probably never use this but it would be cool to have an option of just turning all graphics off to let the game run in the background/at higher capacity.
 
#6
I would probably never use this but it would be cool to have an option of just turning all graphics off to let the game run in the background/at higher capacity.
I've actually stopped running Ecosystem overnight, because even at the lowest settings I can manage, at the lowest resolutions I can possibly tolerate, I can't get it to stop using 80%+ of my GPU, and this just doesn't seem like a good time to burn out my video card (as much as I'd like to replace it.) I'd say that as much as I long wistfully for population graphs, turning off the graphics is the #1 most needed feature currently. It's evolution, after all, and evolution works better and better as more generations go by.
 
#7
I agree with pretty much everything suggested above. My list looks something like this:

1. Improved analytics - as stated above, this is essential to get the most out of the game. Ideally these would allow reporting on both individual species and the ecosystem as a whole. You'd want to be able to present both raw data and the highlights for people who don't have the patience to pore over spreadsheets and graphs.

2. New evolutionary pressures in the form of sexual competition and defensive abilities. Right now, evolution is largely driven by the need to move more efficiently than your competitors, but some of the most visually impressive genetic traits in the real world are the result of the competition for mates. Giving foragers and other fish the ability to defend themselves would also prompt interesting genetic arms races between the species.

3. The ability for species to move up and down the food chain. This is something that bothers me a little about the current game - I have to define apex predators as such from the get-go. I think it would be a lot more interesting if the food chain established itself organically, with the most ferocious species establishing its place at the top through competition. Similarly, if a prey species is exhausted, it would be interesting if predators could evolve into foragers to survive. A more fluid food chain would simply make the game a lot more dynamic. Like Crusader Kings 3 but with carp.
 
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#8
1. Performance-Friendly mode that tries to use less CPU for overnight wolfing runs. As others mentioned, lack of graphics, etc, would be nice, but considering this simulation is largely based off of the physics of the animals and the physical layout of the world itself, there may only be so much you can do.

2. A dedicated full-screen view listing all the species, the amount of members currently alive in each species, perhaps with a map overview showing only the locations of the members of the species selected. From this screen the ability to boost and cull entire species at once, as well as being able to see and move mating zones. I'd also like ratio analytics of the proportion of total foragers to predators to apex predators to understand the overall health of the ecosystem.

3. As someone else mentioned, the ability for species to move up and down the food chain. Specifically, it'd be nice if species randomly mutated their diet type. I had also thought of the idea of specific forager niches, of there being a chance foragers developing specific tastes for specific plants.
 
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