Dynamic Creature Personality

Discussion in 'NPCs and Creatures' started by Gwelaine, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Gwelaine

    Gwelaine Aquatic Astronaut

    If I read the Wiki correctly, the game's wildlife currently consists of animals that attack and animals that ignore-this is a fairly standard set of creature gameplay, but in a game like this I see a great potential. As you read, I will place categories regarding different creature type personalities. These will be randomized and creatures can have any number of quirks or traits making them all the more unique.

    First to be covered will be their social behavior, there are some animals that like to have their own company-others will be completely alone.
    Second will be levels of aggression-now this is to illustrate the diversity of wildlife, there's only certain creatures that will outright attack a person on sight.
    Last will be "Quirks" which, a creature can have any number of these from just one or a few to most if not all of them.

    Social - Every generated species will have one primary social behavior-rare individuals in the race can deviate from the primary behavior.
    Herd: This is a very specific kind of social behavior, sometimes multiple creatures(typically herbivores) will congregate with packs and families of other species to establish their numbers and ward off most predators. While all together like this, a predator may be less likely to attack them, and the aggressive members of their herd may defend others joined to them-whether part of their own species or not.
    Pack: A pack is a quantity of a single species, whether directly related or not, that form together to hunt, socialize, and live together. These creatures will interact with one another almost exclusively, and other species will generally not be welcome.
    Family: A related family of creatures accept none but those of their own blood, they leave orphans to fend for themselves and keep to siblings, parents, and children. Sometimes, they may regard orphans of their own race as prey
    Couple: These two are typically only together to produce offspring; protect one another, guard their nest, but they do bond with one another, they can be territorial in keeping others of any race from their dorm.
    Loner: Left to fend for themselves at an early age, perhaps even birth, these creatures almost never socialize with one another. Their behavior is usually mistrusting as they're more likely a target than any previously mentioned types of social types.

    Aggression - All members of the race have one set level of aggression, it is very rare for a member of the same race to deviate from this behavior, and when they do they only deviate by one step either up or down.
    Predator: These creatures are very aggressive; they will kill anything they see that they deem weaker or sporting, they don't have to be hungry to go for a kill; they are savages at the most destructive level.
    Hunter: These creatures typically hunt only during a need; they will wait until hungry before they go out of their way to make a kill. When they are properly fed, they may exhibit any of the aggressive traits down below;
    Dominant: These creatures will travel the world with a chip on their shoulder, waiting for any excuse to kill anything in their path. While many creatures of a weaker stature will escape the wrath of this mob by running away, it is possible to avoid offending it by remaining completely still-so long as no movement is made, it will stop it's travel in front of the present audience, posture a warning growl/squeak/roar/blaart, and then move on with it's journey. If at any time the audience moves towards or makes action while being postured towards, the dominant will see this as a challenge and proceed to attack.
    Territorial: These creatures claim specific ground to protect for themselves. When an unwelcome creature approaches, they will posture at the edge of their territory, giving fair warning to any that dare to approach what is theirs. Invaders will be attacked by the defenders of this territory.
    Defensive:These creatures are generally quite passive, and they will only turn to violence on those who attack them or a nearby member of their social group. Defensive creatures usually have a reason to be so confident as to be this passive; whether that be their numbers or significant strength in defensive combat.
    Prey:These creatures are the cowards of the world, they exist to reproduce and get eaten. When confronted with violence, they will turn and run, never fight. It is these creatures that most predators will feel comfortable tackling even when they outnumber the predator.

    Quirks - Creatures can have none, some, or all of the following traits.
    Stalker: Approaches the player or other creatures only when their backs are turned. Could intend to attack at a set distance, could be curious about the examined being.
    Scavenger: These creatures (generally vermin) will pick up any drops they can from the ground and flee with them. They will take these items with them as they either run away to play with it, or place it in their nest. If chased, they could be made to drop the item in question.
    Protector: A rare trait to find in wildlife, the Protectors will come to the aid of a random set of sentient races, be it one or all of the playable races. When selected on a "Prey" aggression creature, they will only run when attacked-but undamaged members of the race will come to the aid of listed players and members of their own pack so long as they are not harmed.
    Narcissist: These creatures will posture to the player until they are provided a Gift. As dominant aggression level, this will be a method to be released from their attentions prematurely. As territorial creatures, this will allow the player temporary passage through their lands. Hunters may be thrown food in order to end their prowl early, and Predators may be distracted for a few moments while they destroy the gift before continuing their attack.
    Mimic: These creatures will follow the player right on their heel, jumping when they do, running where they run, and digging when they dig. They don't travel too far from their own homes, but they can be amusing to come across for a time.
    Pouncer: These creatures will randomly jump on-top of their prey, pinning them to the floor and either assaulting them, or merely getting a closer look. Dominant aggression creatures will perform this whilst they posture at the pinned player. The player can free themselves with the jump key, though this may be seen as provocation by some creatures.

    I would also like to see various types of dwellings for creatures as well, be they the natural terrain with a few eggs, a well-worn patch of ground, a cave dug into the floor or a wall, or perhaps even a perch raised up high for them to jump into and sleep in. This way we can have Diurnal and Nocturnal schedules on the mobs
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  2. Gwelaine

    Gwelaine Aquatic Astronaut

    I'm... not sure you read the post completely...
    What I am suggesting is based on creature behavior, not difficulty... Some creatures may want to eat your face off like a tiger, but there's others that could just want to play games with you while taking your stuff like a monkey, and some that may even come to your aid like a dolphin.
    Animals are very dynamic, they don't come in two categories, they come in several. Randomizing the options I have listed here can make a giant scary looking creature into, let's say, a creature that travels in Pairs, claims territory and keeps people out of it, but can be bribed with a piece of meat or anything else you throw at them (couple, territorial, with narcissist quirk)
    while another creature could travel in a pack, hunt when necessary, but like to stalk and mimic a player that comes by.

    It's not about difficulty so much as flavor. A gorilla can be a Family animal by default, act territorial by default with a chance to go up into dominant(needing to throw it's weight around at everyone) or defensive (watchful, but not overly aggressive) and have quirks like Narcissist, Mimic, maybe even Pouncer.

    On the other hand, a Fox could be a loner or a couple, act as a hunter yet have the Stalker and Scavenger quirks.

    One of them would keep everyone out of their home until they're given a gift, while the other doesn't so much claim much of a home as it does keep on the move and look for scraps or prey. This'll make the world seem that much more interesting to people who go to a planet to learn about it rather than just check-marking who eats you and who ignores you.
  3. Zephyrys

    Zephyrys Void-Bound Voyager

    It's the little touches like this that makes games so much more interesting from generically-behaviored mobs. I hope this is fairly considered by the devs, as I imagine it'd be a highlight for reviewers.
  4. F-ranko

    F-ranko Heliosphere

    This is a fantastic suggestion that would really bring a lot more life into the creatures of Starbound.
    +1 Wow doing my little +1 really seems worthless now that Suggestion Bot is gone
  5. GameQB11

    GameQB11 Phantasmal Quasar

    even if they implement only half of your idea, the game will be much better for it.
  6. Gwelaine

    Gwelaine Aquatic Astronaut

    Well honestly this would make the creatures even more diverse than they were back in Spore if they made these steps real. This would be what I was -hoping- spore was going to be, and really that's why I am asking for it.
    Playing starbound myself now, I gotta say, I'd love to see some of these traits take place, maybe a more complex nest idea can be implemented later on to enhance it all the more, raid stockpiles of creature's food (edible or not) and catch an egg to try to raise the little tykes for yourself.

    I'll keep dreaming, but in the meantime, one suggestion at a time. I wanna learn these creatures from planet to planet
  7. Doc Asmodeus

    Doc Asmodeus Void-Bound Voyager

    I agree with this post 100% I'd love to see any and all of these implemented, would make planet exploration much more dynamic and amazing. I'd also like to see major predators similar to something Riddick-esque, where horrifying creatures show up only underground or after dark or during the rain, etc. I'd like to see creatures enhanced in both behavior and the graphical department, there are some rather cutesy and strange looking creatures, but nothing I'd consider scary or creepy. I think there should be the potential for also larger creature species or smaller. Equivalent of mice and elephants basically.
  8. Gwelaine

    Gwelaine Aquatic Astronaut

    It's been a year now, I would like to resurrect this thread from the dead because I want to see this game improve into its potential. I did put a great deal of thought into this idea, and I apologize for any lack of proper structuring, but considering the diversity of the worlds at large, it would be wonderful to see it produce a higher complexity with unique creatures such as this.
  9. Khuur

    Khuur Pangalactic Porcupine

    This kind of thing would work very well with a suggestion thread I made a while back on tying in monster attack types with the specific body parts they are constructed from, which are in turn tied to specific types of planets and biomes and whatnot. It makes the overall game feel more logical, as well as the different kinds of monsters that can be produced feel more unique. Everything would have a better defined identity, while still remaining varied within the procedural generation system (assuming there is a large enough stock of parts to draw from).

    If their higher order behaviours as you lay out in this thread were also nonrandomly distributed among monster parts, then the different kinds of monsters you can encounter would feel much more alive in that they would have reasonable behavioural patterns based on their construction. Though the quirks could by nature of being quirks be randomly distributed at generation for extra quirkiness.

    Furthermore, if NPCs and mobs are assigned factions that interact in different ways. Some are passive with respect to each other. Some like to be together (for instance NPC and their domesticated animals). Some are aggressive (loyalists and rebels, colonists and bandits, predator monsters and prey monsters)...

    Having three levels of logical generation creates very interesting and intuitive randomly generated monsters and NPCs that feel more alive and interesting to interact with.
  10. Caldera3

    Caldera3 Void-Bound Voyager

    Because I believe this idea would breathe some life into the already existing creature AI, I am bumping this. Even if the random monster generation was scrapped, this would be a useful system for fine tuning creatures into being a more dynamic and living part of the environment and less of a hassle/obstacle that you can choose to farm for pixels or skip.

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