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Critter consolidation mod


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I like having large numbers of critters in my bases.  My current base has over 500 slicksters confined to a single tile.  After a while, my critters start thinking very slowly, and I fear my critter systems will start falling apart due to drowning and what-not.

I have no idea if this is possible using the modding tools, but is it possible to consolidate critters of the same age so the game treats them as 1 critter, but they consume the food of the consolidated critters, lay the right number of eggs, and move together and, consequently, take longer to groom?

Or could multiple critters operate with the same AI?

I would like it if the work associated with calculating critter actions was significantly reduced.  Are there any mods of this kind?

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Another possible solution could be to have a building that the dupes put the critters and eggs in.  For example, with slicksters, it eats the amount of CO2 the contained slicksters eat so all that has to happen is handle when the slicksters lay eggs, when they die, and when the eggs hatch.  If there isn't enough CO2, the slicksters die. 

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I like that idea. You could have a den for each critter type (probably ignoring subtype regarding animation stuff). You can put in critters by bagging them and get them out with a side menu. Probably need a chore for grooming them without micro-management. Of course that project has quite some challenges. New animations, a custom side menu (which I tried and failed on before, UI isn't my expertise), and of course routines to handle the pseudo-critters.

 

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I wouldn't mind a set of "megacritters" that behave like the originals but have all values multiplied by 8 and sprites doubled in size. 

Maybe as a late-game thing with a space age super-incubator that takes eight eggs and hatches one mega?

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15 hours ago, Candide said:

I like that idea. You could have a den for each critter type (probably ignoring subtype regarding animation stuff). You can put in critters by bagging them and get them out with a side menu. Probably need a chore for grooming them without micro-management. Of course that project has quite some challenges. New animations, a custom side menu (which I tried and failed on before, UI isn't my expertise), and of course routines to handle the pseudo-critters.

 

I think that it could be hosted within the grooming station.  Perhaps a 3x3 building that includes the critter feeder (which I know isn't really necessary).  That way, the dupes just go up to it, groom, and the slickster is now groomed.  Or, you could choose to disable this behavior and not groom them.  Ideally, I would want a fair number of behaviors:

  1. Animals within essentially have their AI's turned off.
  2. Eggs are ejected from the den and still have to be dealt with (to avoid cramped).
  3. Food can either be provided or not.
  4. Grooming can be tuned off.
  5. Animals automatically enter the den if one is available.
  6. Animals in the den count towards the total number of critters in the room (so that it is fair), and the state of the room effects them (e.g. overcrowded, cramped).
  7. Dens have a max critter number so that excess critters are wrangled by dupes and removed from the room.
  8. Slickster and puft dens can consume resources straight from the atmosphere.  They also do not require a foundation to be used by the animals, but the dupes need a foundation to groom them.

Of course, this is an ideal, so I in no way expect to get a series of buildings that does all this.  I just think that stating the ideal behavior can help guide decisions if the building is made.

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Mega critters would be challenging. Having a creature wider than 1 tile means to rewrite all the movement behaviour. It wouldn't fit in the grooming station either. Also you would need to redo ever single animation for every critter including subspecies.

Having a den, where the dupes can go "in" (or rather pretend to go in, like other buildings) would be simpler. Just have their head peak out, so you know they are there.

Regarding the critter AI... just delete them altogether. Have a list of parameter, respawn the critter if you need to release them. Parameters could be things like combined hunger total, average age (or individual, if you think it's important enough), happiness, whatever...

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