One thing we wish to achieve in Paleo Playground is to let players have choice of both flying and aquatic creatures as well as terrestrial animals to choose from. A flying creature can reach any location that a land-based creature can reach, so the topic of creating relevant gameplay for these is not such a tricky problem. For aquatic creatures, however, keeping them relevant and involved in our game will prove to be a challenge due to being restricted primarily to water-based gameplay. Here I will discuss how we plan to allow sea-based creatures to prove a relevant threat and enjoyable experience despite the majority of players being on land for most of the time.
As a developer, I feel my strongest means to achieve this is by clever map design. Our map should help the Mosasaurus in a few different ways.
First, we have a heavily fragmented map composed of many islands. These islands all contain potentially exhaustible resources, being both edible foliage and drinkable water. Should all the water be consumed on an island, players may find the need to migrate to other islands, crossing stretches of ocean under the potential watch of a deadly sea-based predator.
The storm surge system further exaggerates the threat of sea-based predation, as during very intense storms the water will rise. Hurricane-force storms can raise the level of the ocean way past the high-tide mark, flooding the majority of low-lying areas on the map. A player caught in the storm and stranded by an intense storm surge may find themself at the mercy of more than just the elements, as this proves advantageous to those who call the sea home.
Last and most importantly, however, all bodies of water may potentially harbor aquatic predators.
You may be thinking how did a Mosasaurus get into this lake? We want to create a system on our map that allows sea-based animals passage to any large body of water such as this lake. All land animals must regularly visit fresh water in order to drink. If these bodies of water connect to the ocean in some way, this means aquatic predators may find their way into these bodies of water. This is exactly how I will be designing our current map, and likely future maps. Caves. Sea caves!
The Mosasaurus is still very much in development, and I’ll be working hard to bring this creature to life and give it fun mechanics to attack and eat other players as well as move around and explore the game world. The map is a very key piece to making our Mosasaurus (and Elasmosaurus) fun and enjoyable creatures that will pose threats to land-bound animals.