As many have likely noticed; Ever since we made the transition from Leviathan to Godot, our spawn system has become ineffective and rather undependable. It is possible that we will need to rework the system from the ground up in an effort to create a much more even and dependable gameplay experience.
We had some brief discussion within our developer chatroom over the matter, and numerous people have come up with their own ideas on how the issue could be potentially solved.
I have posted these here so that they would not be lost in the chatroom.
“i had a quite simple suggestion/additon: increasing the chance of species being able to use a certain compound to spawn near said compound. this would mean that bacteria or cells with rusticyanin could spawn closer to iron chunks and such. my idea is that it would make it harder to get those compounds if you are also depending on them, meaning that you actually have to compete with the others to get it. its just a little thing, but just something i was thinking about when i was getting trailer footage”
“That would definitely make things more interesting, and believable too. I would want to try to limit that to atleast one cell per specified concentration of compound, so that it wouldn’t be too overwhelming
If possible that would also be something I would love to see coupled with a spawn system that encourages more species diversity in spawns. That is, instead of spawning massive clusters of a single species, they could generate singles of one species based on the current situation
1 respiring cell per 1000 glucose around the player
1 predator cell per 5 cells around the player
I do not know how feasible such a style would be from the programming perspective, but now I am quite curious about such a potentially responsive system
I also fear that it could potentially be resource intensive when it comes to processing all that detection”
“I think firstly it’s worth saying the work you’ve done on it already is cool Ice. I think a lot of game design is about trying something, getting a feel for it and then iterating or even trying something else.
I’ve been watching Liam make a game called Patch Quest and he has redone core features several times and it really shows now, the game is really solid.
So yeah I think I wanted to say that even if spawning is started again what was made before is worthwhile and an important part of the process.
One thought about an algorithm is maybe something based on like nucleation, to draw things together into blobs.
So imagine just scattering a load of points over the plane (could be a grid but that’s a bit dry) and each time you approach a point the game picks 0-10 microbes (of random species) and 0-3 clouds and spawns them, relatively densely, together around that point.
That would sort of lead to these little islands of interaction. Where each time you meet one you need to think about risk vs reward of the other microbes and the resources that are there.
I think some sort of clustering like this might help create some action in those places.”
There were some nice ideas raised when we discussed this last, but we never came to any conclusion on how exactly we really want to handle the spawn system.
The ideas previously raised can fortunately mesh well together as one cohesive plan, but we still need to decide on what is feasible.
In particular, I really like Tjwhale’s idea. It is more cohesive, and will make for a great foundation that we can build off of in this thread.
Having a sort of “encounter” at specific destinations would make exploration feel more alive, and potentially make steady movement more rewarding and interesting. If we decide to go with this, we will need to come up with a method of spawning things steadily as well however; So that the world does not become lifeless when the player stands still. Cells should still be able to come and go even when the player isn’t actively exploring.
My only idea for this is that cells could spawn around the player on a timer or other condition, whenever there are currently no other cells present for a certain timespan.
Alternatively, we could try to reapproach the current spawn system which spawns objects in a ring around the player just outside of their vision. Ideally, this should make it so that the player must move in order to find more resources, but ultimately it seems that moving in a roughly circular path results in a performance dropping mass of resources everywhere.
I feel that my and Naggorath’s ideas could potentially bring order to this otherwise chaotic system by imposing limiting conditions on the spawning of objects. We would still need to consider how to handle compound and chunk spawns to avoid them spawning in too much excess of course.
It is also important to consider that we will need to carefully analyze the system in order to find out what is causing issues, such as iron never spawning in places it should be plentiful, and so on; Else we will need to recreate it entirely but keep the general idea behind it’s functions.
I am personally leaning towards Tjwhale’s proposal as I feel that it could make for a more stable experience. I would like to hear what everyone else thinks before moving on as we need to decide on the foundation of how we want the spawn system to operate.