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Topic: Unsutainable land wildlife

PkK
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Posted at: 2020-09-16, 11:53

Playing on the Lesser Ring map (version 1.2, which has about 6 herbivores percarnivore at start), I noticed that land)-wildlife seems unsustainable using current git:

The map is rather big, with players at some distance. I played as red. I did not build a hunter initially. After a while I noticed that the only land-based animals visible were four bears, one badger, one reindeer. By contrast, there were lots of ducks. I built a hunter near the bears, far from the reindeer, removed it once tjhere bears were gone. Still, soon there were no animals visible at all.

IMO, it would be nicer if big landmass would eb able to sustain land-based animal life, even if there is a hunter somewhere. But it looks to me as if all the herbivores just get eaten quickly (except for the ones on water).

Looking at the replay, however I'm not sure they are etting eatey. Within an hour, all 3 sheep near the red player disappeared, and while carnivores were nearby, the carnivores were not at exactly the same place as the sheep.at the time of disappearance. Still, after an hour or tow, the animal population is mostly just bears, foxes and ducks.


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PkK
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Posted at: 2020-09-16, 12:29

I tested again by running an 1-player game (so hunters shouldn't matter) on this 8-player map with me as observer. Still, 4 hours into the game, the animal population is much lower than initially. Do animals need some kind of resource the Lesser Ring map lacks?


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2020-09-16, 13:48

well, after the change to go for the reproduction of animals it was introduced a mechanism for them to die. If there are only a few of each spezies they will probably not meet in their lifetime and by this have no chance to reproduce themselves. So they are dying out. That is like in real life, so on big maps we might need to simply add some of each species to get them a good start.
in the past an animal lived forever until hunted by a hunter so it was not necessary to take these considerstions in map design. However the values for reproduction and lifetime of each spezies might need some balancing as well


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PkK
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Posted at: 2020-09-16, 14:20

Interesting. I didn't know there was sexual reproduction in the game, I assumed animals would reprouce asexually like the trees in-game.

How about warehouse workers? Do we also need two starting carriers from another warehouse (or decomissioned roads) to start carrier production?


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2020-09-16, 15:12

no this was only implemented for animals
see https://www.widelands.org/forum/topic/4778/
for the discussion


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PkK
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Posted at: 2020-09-17, 18:41

While the current implementation works somehow if maps are designed for it, IMO it should be improved:

Currently, to have sustainable wildlife, for each species-landmass pair we need a big enough population. Otherwise, individuals just disperse and never produce offspring.

A map with some sheep on one side and some deer on the opposite side will soon be empty if the animals are not confined to small spaces.

This is both problematic for gameplay and unrealistic.

The first humans didn't just die out after quickly spreading evenly over Afroeurasia and never finding any mating partners again. Instead they stayed together in small bands. A flock of sheep will try to stay together (sometimes an individual might wander off, sometimes a flock might split once big enough, but they will not just all disperse evenly over the available landmass). A wolf couple will stay together and founda pack. Individuals from that pack will wander off, but once they've found a partner, they'll stay together and found a new pack.

Could we have something similar in widelands? Where herd animals do their movement in a way that allows herds to exist? Where wolves roam the land in packs?


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Nordfriese
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Posted at: 2020-09-17, 18:53

+1

The difficulty is that each animal decides autonomously where it roams. They can't communicate. Currently animals prefer to choose a nearby place as their next destination if there are few similar animals nearby, and prefer to walk larger distances if the vicinity is getting crowded. A species-specific preference for herd size (= number of nearby animals of same species), and perhaps even coordinated pack movements, would be very nice to have. However (no feature suggestion without the word "however" ;P ) there are the two usual bottlenecks to be taken into consideration: developer time and game performance…

(edit: wow, this is my 1000th post face-grin.png )

Edited: 2020-09-17, 19:08

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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2020-09-17, 20:57

Well, I always voted against that change due to multiple reasons. So now I vote to revert the reproducible animals change. It has provided only small value to the game (if at all) and caused aus multiple problems.
If we revert this the map would look like the map designer wants it to look at least until the hunters go in. Adding another simulation feature here (simulating individual bob behaviour) would end up with the next wanted feature to make something else more realistic and simulate it more in detail, all of this adding little to the gameplay but cost time and performance.
Imho this is still a game and not a simulation of live.
Sorry but that is my true opinion.


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PkK
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Posted at: 2020-09-17, 21:08

hessenfarmer wrote:

Well, I always voted against that change due to multiple reasons. So now I vote to revert the reproducible animals change. It has provided only small value to the game (if at all) and caused aus multiple problems.
If we revert this the map would look like the map designer wants it to look at least until the hunters go in. Adding another simulation feature here (simulating individual bob behaviour) would end up with the next wanted feature to make something else more realistic and simulate it more in detail, all of this adding little to the gameplay but cost time and performance.
Imho this is still a game and not a simulation of live.
Sorry but that is my true opinion.

An alternative to this radical approach would be to simplify reproduction of wildlife: Make it asexual. Individual animals could just spawn another animal (like trees do).


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hessenfarmer
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Posted at: 2020-09-17, 21:40

PkK wrote:

hessenfarmer wrote:

Well, I always voted against that change due to multiple reasons. So now I vote to revert the reproducible animals change. It has provided only small value to the game (if at all) and caused aus multiple problems.
If we revert this the map would look like the map designer wants it to look at least until the hunters go in. Adding another simulation feature here (simulating individual bob behaviour) would end up with the next wanted feature to make something else more realistic and simulate it more in detail, all of this adding little to the gameplay but cost time and performance.
Imho this is still a game and not a simulation of live.
Sorry but that is my true opinion.

An alternative to this radical approach would be to simplify reproduction of wildlife: Make it asexual. Individual animals could just spawn another animal (like trees do).

And what would be the benefit, to the former state where animals lived forever?


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