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Narwhal Simulator 18: Creature Ideas

Hi everyone! The day before yesterday was my birthday (yay) so I’ve been quite busy this week. I haven’t made any actual programming this week, but I’ve still got a bit for you.

My plans for Narwhal Simulator is to have it be lively. I want it to be filled with undersea creatures and I want them to be able to, not only interact with the player, but also interact with each other. I want the creatures to also be able to have interesting behaviours that are cool to watch and also exploitable. 

First, an explanation of how creatures are going to work. Creatures should be a lot easier than blocks because creatures don’t need to be heavily optimised. While there may be tens or even hundreds of thousands of blocks loaded in at any given time, there probably won’t be more than 100 loaded at any given time. Unity is good at handling small (small is relative, but by small I mean less than around 1000) and complex objects, so I can program the creatures in the way that looks the best and is the easiest to modify without worrying about it being efficient code. Lovely.

To make it easier to implement, I’ll have a set of behaviours and give each creature behaviours that fit that creature. Each behaviour should be basic and only be 1 actual behaviour. For example, instead of a “swim around randomly until you see the player, then swim away” behaviour, that would be divided into “swim around randomly” and “if you see the player, swim away”. Behaviours will be able to override each other or combine depending on how urgent they are.

Finally, here are some designs for creatures you may come across in the water:

The Fish

I haven’t decided on the exact species or style for this fish, so for now it’s just The Fish. These fish stay in schools with other fish. They don’t eat other creatures. They will have the following behaviours:

  • The fish will intelligently stick together with other fish in “schools”. This could use an algorithm like the flocking algorithm
  • The fish will move slightly randomly to add a bit of interestingness
  • The fish will swim away from the player or other carnivorous creatures it deems a threat when it is within a certain radius of the player and has a proper line of sight

The Shork

The shork is a generic shark/whale for now. It is carnivorous but not very smart. They will have the following behaviours:

  • Move randomly to make them interesting
  • Seek out and eat nearby creatures (including the player, excluding creatures that are more powerful than it)

The Lazy Fish

The lazy fish is a lazy fish. It likes to swim slowly and sleep. It doesn’t like being eaten.

  • The lazy fish will move around randomly
  • The lazy fish will periodically go to sleep
  • The lazy fish will swim away from the player or other carnivorous creatures it deems a threat when it is within a certain radius of the player and has a proper line of sight
  • While asleep, the lazy fish will not be able to see threats and must rely on them moving quickly. This will allow the player to sneak up on it without waking it up. The dumber predators won’t do this because they’re stupid, so the lazy fish will usually be able to get away.

Those are the 3 I have come up with so far. These are in no way final but they are a wide enough array of creatures for me to get the creature system working. Next week, I’ll set up the creatures and maybe even get them all working! Soon, school is going to start again and I’ll have less time to work on Narwhal Simulator. I’ll try to keep up the weekly Tuesday posts, but they might start getting a little shorter and lower quality. Sorry. If you have any feedback on the creatures or ideas about other creatures I could add when the time comes, I’d be delighted to read about them in the comments! See you next week.

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2 thoughts on “Narwhal Simulator 18: Creature Ideas”

    1. That’s a good idea! I plan on adding some more interestingly shaped creatures like squids and stuff. I love the idea of corals and I think that a coral reef area would look super cool. Jellyfish, water snakes, and seals would be cool too. Thanks for the ideas!

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