Without access to the inner workings of the code, it definitely does seem 
like starvation is the only regulator.  In the original design, before I 
released the first beta, there were 2 major factors that limited species 
besides food.  Oxygen consumption forced your dome population to stay at a 
level matching the vegetation, so if you made more trees you would be able to 
support more living animals.  Since predators are larger, they required more 
oxygen and would begin dying out sooner than smaller animals should the 
population reach the O2 limit.  This became a nightmare to balance, so I 
completely removed it to make the game more entertaining.  It is a case of 
bending reality to improve game play.

    The second regulator is animal age.  The game simulated the fact that 
animals would become slower and weaker with age, plus they should hit a 
species-specific maximum age and die no matter how much food was around.  Once 
again, while it mimicked real life really well, it was just too complicated to 
balance in the game.  I was already sad about removing all my oxygen related 
code, so instead of simply tearing out all of the aging code, I heavily 
modified it to relax its impact up on the game.  The way it stands now, animals 
do age and become weaker, but there is no true maximum that would force them to 
die regardless of food.  Weaker animals are simulated by having them burn 
through calories faster than their younger counterparts, meaning they can't 
survive as long while they wait for their next meal.  When food begins to get 
scarce, the old animals are the very first to die out.  This code change was 
another alteration on how things really work, but
 it made the game more entertaining.

    I suppose the point to explaining these changes is just to let you know how 
the regulations had been removed or changed before the game released.  I really 
wanted to have Lunimals simulate real life as close as possible, but as you can 
see, I desperately tried but ended up having to twist things to improve game 
play.  Oh well, that's just how games work I suppose.  It may set your mind at 
ease to know, there were! sweet spots in the original design, lol.  Of course I 
only had 4 species at the time, but they could reach a perfect balance where 
their numbers remained fairly steady without any regulation needed by the user.

I loved your description of mission 9, a cast iron female dog.  ROFL!  I'm 
anxious to hear your thoughts on the final mission, once you reach it.

Gamers mailing list __
If you want to leave the list, send E-mail to
You can make changes or update your subscription via the web, at
All messages are archived and can be searched and read at
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the management of the list,
please send E-mail to

Reply via email to