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Dun(ce) Crow

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Everything posted by Dun(ce) Crow

  1. An interesting way to play this game is as a simulation of evolution, that is, with minimum input from yourself, to see what kind of form the nichelings would take based on their environment. This new mode beside story and sandbox would allow that playstyle to its full extent: As much or more pre-game customization as in sandbox mode, but AI-controlled nichelings ingame. You can: Look at their genetics, change the speed of the game (perhaps even automatic Day changes? If so, it should be disalbable), and a button to cause Migration (the youngest nichelings move to the Migration Plattform and then to the next Island). This way, Niche could serve as a simulator for evolution, population genetics, and ecology. The suggestion originally comes from my evo-devo prof who saw me and some friends play Niche in the cafeteria and started a conversation.
  2. That is a good question. In real life, there are three possibilities: Either both get pregnant (most gastropods), the one who initiates the contact after, for example, a bout of penis-fencing (sea slugs) impregnates the other, or both just send their seed out there and who, if anyone, gets pregnant is up to chance (plants). Both would be the easiest one to implement, but there might be a balance issue in that case, so perhaps the second option?
  3. Alright, so here is my headcanon for what exactly the player is in the world of Niche. A research drone sent by future humans to study life on an exoplanet. This is the reason why the Niche animals have portmanteaus of Earth animal names as names - those are what the human astrobiologists were reminded of. The genetics of the animals are close, but not quite, like that on Earth - for example, phenotypical changes are in at least one species much faster and more drastic than in any multicellular lifeform here. Those peculiar genetics are the point of the research this probe is conducting. The hexfield landscape is how the drone's systems maps the area. When you "control" the nichelings, you are actually just recording and logging their activities - the drone is able to interface with the nicheling's brains, which comes with the downside of only sensing what they sense as well as an aerial view from a satellite or atmospheric vehicle. It also means that you can't actually see the difference between "what they do" and "what I do". So, what do you think? Plausible?
  4. Oh, I love this idea! To keep with the mixed earth animal theme, may I suggest naming them Snorms? Part snake, part worm?
  5. Okay, if this is added alongside certain other suggestions, there should be interactions with those. Here are some ideas: Sandbox Customization options: Since Parravens could potentially change the gameplay drastically, both the spawning of their colonies and the ability to befriend/enrage them should be able to switch off. Challenge Mode - Islands Falling Apart; Volcanic Island: Due to their high intelligence and mobility, it would make sense for a Parraven colony on a doomed island to move away on their own. On the next island, you may have a chance to meet a group of Parravens with the same relationship status. Wether that group is the same as before or simply another group which has been told about your nicheling tribe would be up to interpretation by the player. Scruff Carrying: A nicheling should be able to carry a Parraven chick the same way, which allows for faster and safer transportation at the risk of its parents misinterpreting it as predatory behaviour. New Weather Types: In fog, the range of their sight would be much smaller, but they could still fly out. In thunderstorm and hail, they won't fly at all. Beaver Teeth Tree Cutting: If you cut down a tree carrying a colony of Parravens, they will move to the closest fitting tree, turn hostile, and tell any other Parravens about it, making any other Parraven you may meet hostile as well, even on other islands. This effect lasts a several generations of your extremely foolish groundlings. Avian features (several suggestions): A bird-like appearance should give a small relationship bonus. So, what do you think of these interactions? Better ideas?
  6. Sounds great! There could never be too many avian creatures. Upvoted.
  7. Horn colour scorpion tail does sound good, yes.
  8. Crag Island is very young, and as such, it is sheer rock, the ocean eroding it to form tidepools. On the rocky surface, nothing grows but barely nutritious lichen. No landdwelling predators or prey beside shells and crabs. There are birds that steal those. The tidepools, however, have a rich aquatic ecosystem. What do you think?
  9. Allulring smell does sound great, another option could be an Imitator Snout or Beak. Like a lyrebird, the animal would be able to imitate any sound, like for example the calls of the young of its prey
  10. With the new flying nichelings, there should be some more specific interactions between those and the Parravens. Perhaps trying to get on the tree will always be seen as a hostile action by the birds, and have a chance to turn them neutral/hostile, just like taking their acorns? Perhaps, if you leave a winged nicheling newborn under the tree of friendly Parravens, they could adopt it? Also, now that there are more trees, do you think there are trees they shouldnt be able to Nest on?
  11. Can a Mod change the Title to "Scorpion Tail Improvements", this typo is embarassing.
  12. Tangentially relevant: If you are interested in learning about strange sexes in biology and related topics, I very much recommend "Evolution's Rainbow" by Joan Roughgarden, a fascinating and well written book. Also, its the source for what I said in the OP. Forgot to add that to the post.
  13. For the sake of collecting all the ideas about this: Lifespan should also be an option, as well as means of reproduction (sexual/asexual/both) and allowed sexes (male/female/hermaphroditic/sequential/One, two, three, or all of the above), similar to this suggestion.
  14. While the concept of nichelings with Scorpion Tails IMO is incredibly cool, the way it currently looks on a primarily mammalian lifeform is pretty jarring, at least to me. So here are two ways in which I think it could be improved: 1. Manticore Style: Pretty much as it is now, just with a more chitin-like texture and dark vrown/black coloration. Less realistic, but much better looking. 2. Andalite Style: Similar to the aliens from the Animorphs series of books, this would be a flexible mammalian tail with a horn-like stinger on the end. Both more realistic and better-looking, but would need a new mesh, thus more work. So, what do you think?
  15. That sounds like a great third option! For my sexes suggestion as Well.
  16. While I agree with AncestorNature in that the current lifespan system leaves much to be desired, I feel that having a single Gene determine such a complex thing would be even less realistic than it is now. Instead, I suggest that certain genes already in the game should also add or subtract from the default lifespan. For Example: Large/Small Body: Larger animals usually have a longer lifespan than smaller ones. Low/High Fertility: While there is Little connection between lifespan and fertility, this could be an elegant way to implement the difference between the n- and K-lifestyles found in nature. Things that would cause great exertion of energy in such a flight: reduced lifespan. From a gameplay perspective, I think either solution would be interesting. If Not decided by upvotes, I suggest simply doing the one thats easier to implement.
  17. That's what I meant with "excluding those". Should perhaps made that clearer. Wait. Does "excluding" not mean the same as "apart from" in English?
  18. The Crocolotl, part Crocodile, part Axolotl, is a predator which waits in lakes for inattentive prey and would drown and eat any being that comes close to its maws. Pretty similar to our crocodiles in behaviour. The Rhinopotamus, a Hippopotamus with a horn and thick plates of skin, is both a herbivore and the most fearsome being you could encounter due to its powerful maws, nearly impenetrable hide, and impressive speed despite its enormous size. Very aggressive and territorial, it will attack anything that tries to enter its lake uninvited, especially if it has young. If a nicheling looks and behaves non-threatening, it may be tolerated nearby, but any obvious predator should better try to run and hide. You know, like a normal hippopotamus on our world.
  19. I'm not that convinced by this. Sharks can't properly digest land mammals and as such don't really prey on them. At most, they are dangerously curious. So perhaps they only attack a nicheling if it gets too close? Apart from that, though, this is a pretty good idea.
  20. Definitely supporting this. Delphirtles are an amazing idea!
  21. A combination of Large Ears and certain snouts should also allow this.
  22. While the male/female binary is rather common among mammals, Nichelings are not exactly mammals, right? Especially now that they could have amphibian, avian and even arthropoid features! Just like there is an mind-boggingly large number of lifeforms, there are dozens of ways sexes can work. There are fish that change sexes when there are not enough individuals of a certain sex, tapeworms that are male in young modules and female in older modules (or was it the other way around?), a wide range of hermaphroditic lifestyles, especially among plants and gastropods, and fungi with literally thousands of sexes. The diversity in sexes is ruefully underfeatured in Niche. (This moon wrasse is a protogynous sequential hermaphrodite. Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequential_hermaphroditism#/media/File:Thalassoma_lunare_1.jpg) So, I suggest a new gene slot for sexes, with these genes: Binary: As it is now. This individual can be either male or female its whole life. Sequential: This individual changes its sex at one point in their life. Perhaps the halfway point? Or a random point? Or due to external factors, such as hunger? For the devs to decide. Could be seperated into protandry (male at first), protogyny (female at first), and bidirectional (either). Parthenogenetic: Female only. Reproduces asexually, that is, produces clones of itself. Might work better as a rare fertility gene. Hermaphroditic: A new sex . Can reproduce with anyone, excluding infertile individuals. Can also impregnate itself, which is not recommended. Scientifically called "simultanous hermaphrodity", but that's a bit long. Trinary: Can be either male, female, or hermaphroditic, with the latter being rarer than the former two. Perhaps a 40:40:20 ratio? Gynomonoecious: Can be either female or hermaphroditic. Andromonoecious: Can be either male or hermaphroditic. So, what do you think?
  23. Oh, I'm so sorry, looks like missed that bit!
  24. Sounds like an amazing idea! Not sure about hybrids though, nichelings and glaucopti seem a bit too far on the alien side to breed with each other.
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