[Feature] [Feature] Patch Critters

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[Feature] [Feature] [Feature] Patch Critters

Postby Grendel Man » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:38 pm

For a backup/auxiliary CCSF release, I was thinking about adding some converted C2 critters to the garden box. While mulling over ideas, I came up with the idea of "patch critters," similar to patch plants but subtly different (besides what's being made, of course).

Instead of growing fruits, a patch critter agent would let you define an area where a certain critter (for example, zander fish). The patch options panel is a little different - instead of having density, growth rate, and growth plane, patch critters would have spawn rate and maximum population. Spawn rate controls how fast the critters spawn, and maximum population is self-explanatory: how many critters would be spawned before the agent stopped making them. When the critters fall below the maximum population, new ones spawn in the area.

You could technically already do something like this by screwing with patch plants, but there's a problem there. For example, let's say there's a patch "plant" agent that spawns fish. You define an area in a body of water to spawn these fish. Since the patch plant module isn't designed to create critters, it'll likely get confused and spawn another fish whenever one wanders out of the area that was defined. This would likely keep going until the agent spawned enough fish that there was always the maximum amount inside the area; most likely resulting in a body of water so full of fish you can't see anything else.

Just something I thought might be interesting/useful.
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Re: Patch Critters

Postby Amaikokonut » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:04 pm

In my notes I've been referring to these as "nests" :P

Actually though, the patch system won't create more critters when they wander out of the patch area because it doesn't determine the amount present by counting the number of critters in the area-- it counts the number of critters in the world that have spawned from that patch-- they are identified by an ID number stored in the spawned agent.

In most plants, I have them set to clear that ID number when the fruit hits the ground so they are no longer counted by the patch (as noted in the annotated chilis cos guide thing), but if you don't clear it, there's no reason the spawned critter can't go wherever it wants and still be counted as part of the patch.

The "max population" for any patch is calculated by dividing the height/width of the patch box by the size of the fully grown critter (the size of the image you define in NAME "sprite_file"/"sprite_pose"), and then multiplied by density as a percentage. So while a little complicated, it's still perfectly functional to use the patch system for critters too. In beta I was screwing with an aquamites patch and it functions rather nicely.

That said, while 'nests' are still technically functional as is, it would make things clearer to the user and less clunky for critters to have their own system. I can see it being annoying if you want a large population but the room has a lot of walls that won't allow you to draw a large patch-box, and a set max-population variable would be a little more definite. It would also be less resource-intensive since the critter-spawning system wouldn't have to worry about placing objects so they don't overlap each other. It's going to be one of those things I'll probably put in if enough people nag me about it :P

Either way, I would love to see some C2 conversions!
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