pengwing colony and the food chain

BoffBoff SwedenMembers Join Date: 2018-08-12 Member: 242804Posts: 48 Advanced user
edited October 2019 in Ideas and Suggestions
Open world biomes do well as they are governed by little biome food-chain logic and the guiding hand of the developer isn't seen that often.
But as we move onto land and not have the "explanation" of the open ocean, to have loosely diverse biomes.

We start to see the level design in the glacier being pushed more in the gameplay department more than survival/crafting biome.
They biomes feel like gaming arenas (because well....duh it's a piece of entertainment.)
The glacial basin is platform-labyrinth exploration.
and the artic spires are stealth-gameplay.
So as I was getting gang mauled by the ice worm and a stalker at the same time as I entered the final artic spires "arena", I was annoyed by such an obvious bottleneck ambush of the high ravine walls on my way towards the downward sloping "v" cleft ravine, which the player is obviously herded towards to avoid enemy placements.

I was frustrated by *you* the designers by such contrived level design that it did take me out out the game.

I started to wonder what does the ice-worm and stalkers eat when the player isn't around.
Where do the stalkers go pee and poop, or do there just hang out patrolling their assigned node points as hermits?

Now don't take offence, this isn't too unusual for my cynical brain to start thinking about.
As a kid growing up in the 80's I often wondered where and how the stormtroopers went to the toilet. Then it was where do Starfleet officers go to the toilet on the Enterprise, when they are on duty and can't return to their quarters. At least the Earth Alliance had toilets on babylon5.

Okay do take offence....but go easy I'm weird :D

So my mind had been wandering down these paths since the introduction of the beautiful glaciers.

The Glacial basin can't support itself as a biome.

This is where the logic of the glacial basin reasons for existing falls apart. We took a journey long through tunnels of ice to get there to the basin, with nothing for life to get a foothold on.
Then we appear up in the glacial basin which has walls of even more thicker ice.
It has an Alterra base dug into the ice
And in entire leviathan stored in ice and yet we have an eco system of Ice-worms, stalkers, and pengwings (with random fish materialising in the water?)

There is no logical explanation as why the Ice-worm isn't all over that place but just limits itself to two small chunks of real-estate at the back.

]So back to core concept design stuff.

The Moutain
The mountain is the anchor to the artic world, visually and metaphorically. It's where we start, and where the precursor base is and were we assume we are trying to return to.
The glacier clings to it, and the ice-sheet protrudes out into ocean currents moves around and breaks apart from the ocean currents.
The ice closer to the mountain is the most stable area for building habits (for all).
The ocean is teeming with fish life.

Where does the ice-worm live, eat, poop and sleep?
The ice-worm lives in the more solid stable thick glacier bunched up closer to the base of the mountain.
The ice-worn ventures into the ice-shelf protruding out into the sea to hunt but will stay clear hunting in the rocky areas near the mountain and ice-too thin for it near the edge of the water.

So where do the stalkers go pee, poop, eat and sleep?
Sadly the stalkers can't live in the glorious ice-caves (as they do in the basin) as the ice-worm would eat them, they must live on solid rocky ground for their safety.
Kudos to the caves where the mamma Stalker looks after the baby stalkers, now make it cosier with fur-lined dens with carcases and excrement! ;)

They have thick fur to manage to be out and exposed in the arctic air (and probably could swim if needs be).
So they live near the mountain peak, and can venture ontop of the glacier and patrolling the canyons, and crevises of thin ice and rock near the mountain.

So as you are pretty much there just make it rockier.

And I assume the stalkers eat the pengwings but there are too few pengwings in the basin to survive off.
the penguings aren't scattered around the rest of this icey biome either.

so where do the pengwings live pee, poop, eat and sleep?

It makes sense that the pengwings live rocky islands or on the thin floating ice near the fish, where the stalkers and ice-worms can't get too them.
But if we take the earth analogy, these are summer accommodations and weather conditions (as we have seen with the lightning strikes) can tear apart anything that lives on the surface.

The pengwings must migrate and with the glacier moving and breaking apart with ocean currents, most creatures on earth don't live in the,
This glacier has an ice-worm living in it NO ONE WANTS TO LIVE THERE!

So again the artic basin makes no sense.
The pengwings barely have any fish to live on. There is no obvious nesting sites that aren't exposed to the elements.
Assuming the Stalkers eat the pengwings (unless they are herbivores/omnivores) - there are too few pengwings in the area to survive on.

The Solution - a pengwing colony near the precursor base where we start the game

It would also make sense that the pengwings have a more permanent, larger colony, on land, in impregnable rocky caves, that neither stalker or ice-worms can breach.
Maybe they have found refuge near or in one of the precursor facilities.
This makes sense for Alterra to have built a the spy-drone to infiltrate the pengwings ranks to find a way into the precursor facilities from pengwing habitats.

The pengwings migrate down from the mountain over and down through the canyons of the ice-sheets to get to the water to feed on the fish.
It's like a watering hole in the Savanah. The Zebras full on their foliage break the safety of the herd to go and drink at the edge of the water.
The predators lie in wait. The zebra must drink in order to survive and walks into certain death all the same.

The Stalkers live above them and patrol the mountain top, the tops of the glaciers, and canyons of the glaciers near the rocky mountain.
The Ice-worm, in turn, attacks the stalkers.

So the player not only has the visual and emotional cue of the Mountain peak to aim for as we do already, to return to our own base and discover the secrets of the precursor base.

We the player can follow the migratory path of the pengwings. From their water-based colonies on the islands to the safety pf the precursor base at the start of the game.

There is a lot of game material already focused on them as they are cute, and they are one of the first creatures we meet in the water so we are already bonding with them.
Cementing the bond even more as we follow their journey to our shared destination.

This can give the artists, more leniency with visual clues, cues and guides of where to go.
As there should be footprints, temporary shelters and dead creatures that line this gauntlet guiding the players back to "home".
The pengwings might have a clear straight line but obviously they can go places you can't, small caves and tunnels filled with water or even past the ice-worms nest.
Forcing the player to go around making alternative routes, though the places, they wouldn't naturally choose to go.
The Artic spires are "upper" levels of a glacier almost resting on the flat top of the glacier so they shouldn't have "walls around" them, but instead, climb up and out, and then we come back down from the tops, into "gated" areas. This gives more credence to the stalker and ice-worm arenas as those are their kill-boxes to take advantage of the migratory paths.

Cheaply you just spray some more rocky textures and assets into the current "Basin" biome and since you got some placeholder "white blocks" lying around in the distance you can add some unreachable stalker and pengwing assets in the distance. Make sure we can usually see the mountain top as visual reference point.

And lead the way to go with poop and carcases, and troops of itty bitty penglings being demonstratively mauled by stalkers. or a Mamma stalker calling back it's young as it demonstrative gets killed by the ice-worm.
Now sing with me, "It's the circle of life"

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