Creatures

The worlds of Outer Colony are populated by many unique, strange, useful, and dangerous creatures.

creatures_large

A compilation of some of Outer Colony’s creature species.

Summary

  • Outer Colony worlds are populated by a variety of creatures, each of which has its own set of properties and behaviors that make it well suited for a particular environment.
  • Each biome has its own sort of ecosystem and is populated by a unique set of fauna and flora. Creatures can only live in biomes that fit their temperature profiles and provide food they can eat.
  • Each species has a behavioral profile that governs the activities of that sort of creature.
    • All creatures engage in reproductive behaviors. Creatures, like humans, pass traits to their offspring, by way of Outer Colony’s simplified heredity system. This can change certain mutable properties of a species’ local population over time, helping it fit in its particular environment.
    • All creatures engage in some sort of feeding behavior.
      • A single species can be capable of multiple feeding behaviors.
      • Grazers consume grasses and other edible ground covers.
      • Fructivores and plant eaters consume small plant life, having a diet that corresponds to plant species available in their resident biomes.
      • Filter feeders consume plankton, found in oceans and fresh water.
      • Insectivores consume small insect life.
      • Predators track, kill, and eat prey species. Beware! Sufficiently large predators are a danger to humans, as they can consider humans prey.
    • Most creatures need to sleep. All creatures can loaf when they’re content.
  • Creatures (and humans) are the only sources of certain materials, like meat, bone, and hide.
  • Fishing, hunting, and trapping are all useful human activities relating to creatures. These skills provide mechanisms for killing creatures (usually to convert to resources) or capturing them.
  • Some creatures can be domesticated and trained, once they’ve been trapped.
  • Creature bodies are composed of functional parts and materials, just like humans. The difference is in composition (as creatures can have all sorts of parts and functions that aren’t found on humans) rather than underlying mechanics.

Creatures Overview

somecreaturesprites

Select creature sprites.

Creatures are an important part of any Outer Colony ecosystem. They interact with the world in a variety of ways, consuming minor life (like plankton and small insects), eating plants, killing each other, and making more creatures. Each species has its own behavioral profile, designed to model the instincts that govern creature activities in the real world. This behavioral profile defines many aspects of a creature, including:

  • Which activities the creature is naturally capable of doing.
  • What sorts of things the creature eats.
  • How fast the creature can move.
  • Which modes of movement are available to the creature (terrestrial locomotion, swimming, and flying).
  • Which body parts are responsible for which functionality (wings are needed for flight, so if wings are damaged, the creature can no longer fly).
  • The creature’s metabolic rate (how much energy it needs to consume to avoid hunger and starvation).
  • Its favorite prey species.

All this information combines to govern creature activities in the world. If you’re curious, you can use the tile inspection tool to view all sorts of information about nearby creatures, including their current goals and activities. Below are some example screenshots of a bordit living its life in a jungle. Bordits are insectivorous birds.

bordit_activity

Current activity data for the bordit. It’s flying around, looking for insects to eat.

bordit_body

Body data for the bordit. All its limbs are intact and healthy.

bordit_physical

Physical properties of this bordit. It’s larger than the average member of its species, but is below average in most other respects.

bordit_state

State data for the bordit. It’s currently very hungry, which is motivating its present search for food.

Minor Life: Plankton and Small Insects

insect_life_density

Insect life density at a location in xeric shrublands, during the winter.

Outer Colony models lesser forms of life, like small insects and plankton. These are consumed by many of the normal creatures, and they comprise the base of some food chains. Plankton and insect life densities vary based on biome and season, and as their numbers ebb and flow, so does the availability of food for the creatures that eat them. This in turn impacts the behavior of these creatures, and can lead to starvation among less fit or fortunate individuals.

Posted in NPCs, Simulation