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New Critter ideas - The Ooze and the Electric Leech


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I know we probably have a few new critters on the horizon, but still, the more the merrier, right?

Electric Leech

Similar to the leeches found in the depths of survival game Subnautica, these can latch onto power supplies/batteries/power consumers and drain power. They are drawn to nearby power emanations. Removing them could require certain tools or technology, or maybe certain liquids/gases/temperatures they dislike (or just kill them). Perhaps you don't get alerted to their presence and must keep an eye on your power production. Maybe they are invisible to the naked eye and only show up in the electric overlay? That would be kinda cool.

One idea is to let them move through solid tiles as though they are burrowing to reach their goal, or maybe have nests of them but they move very fast once you uncover the nest. 

Perhaps electric leeches have beneficial qualities that you can exploit too - like emitting a certain gas, or providing a useful resource when pooping or slain. Maybe they even generate their own electricity under certain conditions? Then as well as a hinderance, they could be used as a resource if you're careful, or even farmed if you can imprison them.

One way to deal with leeches could be to lure them with a power hungry device (say an 800W+ building) and then kill them all in one go. 

As mentioned in my disease suggestion thread, an alternative idea for this critter would be that instead of draining power it could transmit a nasty disease via power lines or power consumers. 

 

The Ooze

The Ooze is your classic sci-fi oozing terror. It can come in different sizes, but once unleashed, it slowly multiplies and spreads until you can stop it. Perhaps it has similar properties to thick liquids in the game and assimilates dropped resources. Or maybe it spreads by "covering" and corrupting tiles, and growing into a solid mass in air (For ground tiles it would temporarily replace them with itself - the original tile returns once the ooze has been destroyed to avoid it being too fatal). If the Ooze "ate" tiles completely it would probably be way too powerful and world-breaking, unless it only ate certain minerals/metals.

The Ooze would probably begin contained in some way so it can't spread too much in the early game. Maybe it lives in tiles and is dug out by accident. Or maybe it is an unwelcome guardian for high technology found in ruins like the AETN - you get the prize but now you have to deal with the ooze you've unleashed.

The Ooze could have any number of effects depending on how invasive/scary you want it to be. Perhaps it can slowly take over your base, tile by tile. Perhaps it absorbs water or gas - only releasing it when killed? - letting it get close to your oxygen production or water tanks could be terrifying. Dupes touching it could be hurt, or maybe contract a disease. Maybe it causes dupes stress, or terror, or hallucinations when close. Or maybe it's more benign, an encroaching solid that you can't dig through, very slowly growing and moving towards your base with purpose - obstructing your expansions and giving you time to come up with a solution or barricade. It's scary, it's almost unstoppable, what are you going to do about it?

My main reasoning behind the idea of the Ooze was to break the comfort zone you have once you have established a base perimeter. I want an entity that can break through and infiltrate - whether that's the ooze or some other presence. I also love this sci-fi trope of the ever-expanding alien force that eventually will take over everything if not stopped - whether its Aliens, Zerg creep in Starcraft, Corruption in Terraria, nano goop apocalypse, or whatever.

So how to stop the Ooze? Maybe you don't, maybe you can only contain it. Perhaps it hates a particular liquid or gas, or mineral, and you can use that substance to barricade your base from it, to kill it, or imprison it. Maybe this is just a way to slow it down until you have a final, more difficult to reach solution. 

Perhaps you can freeze or melt parts of the Ooze, or maybe the only way to completely kill it is to superheat it. Maybe dupes can kill it, but only tile by tile - and in the centre is a core which requires sustained attack or possibly a certain technology or material to destroy. Perhaps you need a certain weapon/tool to remove it, and you need to stave off its advance long enough to research and build that technology. Heck, maybe you can even hurt it with a liquid pump by breaking it down over time! Or does it survive even that, reconstituting at the other end :D

If the Ooze would be too OP by its nature of consuming everything or taking over the whole map, it could have a maximum size. Or it could only expand into certain minerals/gases/liquids, similar to how slimelung spreads - but I think it should always be able to "invade" your base or it wouldn't be threatening, just annoying. If its size was fixed instead of expanding, maybe it starts out at the edge of the map but slowly moves towards your Fabricator or power supplies - so it still has that invasive, incoming terror aspect to it.

Maybe as a reward for killing or hurting the Ooze you get a special resource needed for very late-game technology. Or if you find a way to permenantly contain it (which should be difficult), you could even "farm" it by killing it off whenever it attempts to expand out of its confines, allowing you to very slowly harvest the resource its made of. 

If the Ooze idea is too ambitious, maybe on a smaller scale you could have large ooze-like monsters with liquid properties which don't spread, but still have their own dangers. Or the classic splitting ooze like in RPGs.

Either way, I would really like to see an entity like the Ooze which breaks the standard critter mold with a bigger, slower presence that is both scary and requires thought and planning to eventually contain or destroy. This could also be a great end-game hazard to introduce, you could even vary its properties (weaknesses, behaviour) to prevent players from futureproofing their base against it.

 

 

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