Boards < BeastEon Development Forum < Gameplay Previews < Breeding system revamp

Boards

« Prev | 1 | Next »

  • Angel
  • Game Developer
  • Posts: 2,826

Posted at 2017-06-13 22:09:15 — Link

This is one of those “throw out and forget” times.

We went through a lot of overnights and pen-and-paper testing just to find out that our current breeding system is a complete trash and in a desperate need to be reworked. The mass breeding approach produces gazillions of junk pets, which are discarded at birth or right after giving birth a couple of offsprings. In the reality of BeastEon, each pet is a character with its unique personality and free will. Now, judge for yourself: 

  • Players are forced to repeat only one action: browse through profiles of potential parents and compare their genetics, spend all resources to make the chosen pets a couple, wait until a baby appears, repeat. Everything else doesn’t matter and becomes unnecessary. The personality of each pet will be lost behind the mass breeding. This is definitely not how we imagined the game to look like.
  • Processing a lot of such free-willed unwanted entities will devour the majority of server resources and time with no use at all.
  • Players won’t want to interact with unneeded pets, but pets will want to interact with the players and interfere with the personal game goals, distracting attention and spoiling the game experience.
  • Lore holes. Mass breeding the sentient beings for the genetically perfect offsprings while discarding “unwanted” babies doesn’t look good or acceptable at all. Why do Beasts tolerate this? What moral qualities such mass breeding lords have? Why people allow such attitude to the intelligent living beings? Why Sentinels of the Wyld remain silent?

So we want to center on the personalities and root out the idea of “junk pets” at the concept level. Although at the same time we don’t want to remove the genetics as it is a fun and variable gameplay layer when it’s not exploited. Obviously, we can’t introduce such in-depth mechanic and disallow players to use it to reach their game goals; what’s the point in adding it then? When players get their starting pets with random genes, it’s obvious that they will want to get pets with better or just different genes. Putting as many obstacles as possible here is not a solution but a certain way to frustration. How can we keep genetics, breeding goals and not destroy our whole concept?

The solution is to place a possibility to get a certain genetic makeup outside the breeding process.

Here’s how it works from the game mechanic point of view.

We already mentioned that there will be such a resource as fame. A Beast earns fame points for each significant deed: creating a masterpiece, fulfilling challenges in the explore mode (like chasing away a strong monster, conquer a mountain peak, repair an ancient device, winning a sports competition, etc.) The same number of points gets to the Beastlord’s fertility pool. Spending fertility points is the only way to give birth to a new Beast, and also a possibility to customize it before birth. For example, just giving birth to a baby costs 100 FP, and each additional 200 FP allow to choose one desired gene.

The personal fame of a Beast will be taken into account as well. For example, a Beast provides +1 gene choice if it has more than 1000 fame. This makes diligent pets with not-so-ideal genes as attractive for breeding as those who have good genes from birth.

See how a player gets a desired baby for the regular gameplay process and not for the “generation switching”?

Other related changes: 

  • There’s no more “manor breeding”. A player doesn’t have a generic genetic pool anymore, and the manor doesn’t produce babies automatically. Only pets themselves can breed.
  • A player can’t discard unwanted pets to the manor anymore to enrich its genetic pool. If you hate a certain Beast, you can chase it away, and it will continue living its life somewhere else, roaming in the wilderness or knocking on the doors of other manors. Though be sure that it will see you as a traitor from that moment.
  • Genetics system doesn’t suppose good and bad genes. Everything depends on the circumstances. Genes are a potential which may or may not appear in the phenotype if the conditions for expression were or weren’t met. On the other hand, traits may be useful in one situaion but harmful in another.

What’s more, there’s also a few moral problems solved by this system: 

  • Allowing same sex breeding with no balance and lore holes. We want to make same-sex couples have no difference with opposite-sex ones, so we chose a solution which allows any couple to have kids naturally. The conception and maturing of a baby happen outside of the parents’ organisms, so their biological sexes don’t matter.
  • Removing the need to buy and sell pets for genes. This looks a lot like slave trading considering that Beasts are sentient.
  • Not encouraging the mass breeding as an idea. There’s a major problem with unscrupulous pet breeders in the real world who breed their stock nonstop to get as much profit as possible. Actually, we want to avoid any associations with this process which produces thousands of ill animals of all forms and sizes.
  • Nurturing the responsible attitude to pets. When a player gets rid of a Beast, it doesn’t just disappear happily but continues to live as a homeless one and interact with other Beasts and players until it finds a new home. Each deed has consequences, especially when other living creatures are involved.

Fertility Shrine

For those who are interested in the lore, here’s a quick preview!

The Sterilization Catastrophe happened somewhere in between the ages of BeastKeeper and BeastEon settings. As a result, all Beasts lost the possibility to reproduce themselves. Now the only way to get a baby is through a Fertility Shrine which you may have met in the deserts of Europa. In the new age they are placed all over the planet. A couple may come to the Shrine and ask it for a baby. They also may wish for a baby to have some specific traits, like great strength or keen mind. If the Shrine finds the couple worthy (in other words, having enough fame), they will return home with a newborn sharing the genes of its parents and optionally improved by the Shrine.

Why did the Sterilization Catastrophe happen? How do Fertility Shrines know if a couple is worthy or not? Who spread the Shrines all over Europa? Is it true that Shrines in the wilderness can give birth to monsters? All these questions will be answered in the game.


We would love to hear your questions, concerns, and suggestions!


  • Poe
  • User
  • Posts: 111

Posted at 2017-06-16 15:53:30 — Link

You seem to compare two different things, because you want both games to be played from two different points of view.

BeastEon will have a different purpose. That does not mean (any part of) Beastkeeper (in itself) is "a complete trash". It only means its parts may not be readily usable for BeastEon, nothing more.

Genetics can only be more or less well understood and used, according to that understanding, not "exploited", because it works well in environments both beneficial as well as detrimental to those, carrying those genes, whatever they may be.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.The label of "junk" is exchangeable. Those, breeding for genes will discard unwanted ones for their "inferior genes". Those, focusing on character traits will discard unwanted ones for personalities not being to their liking.

So the cause for "junk" will remain.

2."...problems solved by this system:"

a) In regards to same/different-sex breeding: Why not add a couple -less option by means of parthenogenesis?

b) "...no buying/selling animals for genes". This will be replaced with buying/selling animals for (un)wanted character traits. The old effect solved, the cause remains and a new effect of the same consequences appears.

c) "...not encouraging mass breeding...": The unnecessary multiplication may continue, encouraged by possible outcome not related to genes, but personalities. Characters are not inherited, genes are, yet an offspring, once born, gets both.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If a game contain gene-related challenges (strength, flexibility), with careful breeding there may be gradually less and less "junk".

If it contains challenges anything can face regardless of its genetics, there may be more or less junk, depending on implementation.


  • Angel
  • Game Developer
  • Posts: 2,826

Posted at 2017-06-17 01:43:13 — Link

Poe, thank you for your input! I'll try to explain all unclear moments.

Poe (#8618) wrote:

1.The label of "junk" is exchangeable. Those, breeding for genes will discard unwanted ones for their "inferior genes". Those, focusing on character traits will discard unwanted ones for personalities not being to their liking.

So the cause for "junk" will remain.

Traits and genes are not exchangeable. Genotype and phenotype work in synergy. Genes are just a possibility - they can increase or decrease the probability of getting certain traits, but they don’t guarantee any. Talking of the character traits, most of them can be obtained without the genetic predisposition, and a lot of other traits can be earned without genes as well. Some traits are easier to get through training or certain events than through genetics.

Sure, breeding for a certain gene combination by giving birth to a number of interim Beasts that own only a part of the desired characteristics is possible. It’s also possible to roll kids one by one and throw them out when they won't obtain a desired trait after maturing (a probable scenario when a player doesn't do anything specific to increase chances for that trait to appear). But this is very unprofitable and ineffective. Each breeding, even with no custom parameters in it, costs points. Besides that, for each step in a long breeding chain, a player needs to make two very specific pets fall in love with each other. This takes time and not always possible. Setting the desired genes and getting the desired predispositions at once using the couple that you have already is a lot faster and cheaper.

Yes, it’s still possible to “fail” a child which has all the potential that a player needs, and raise it as an almost useless “junk” creature. The new system doesn’t have a purpose of saving players from wrong decisions and their consequences. But players won’t have to deliberately produce single use “junk” pets because they are needed to progress from starters to the desired result, and there are no other ways to do that. 

Poe (#8618) wrote:

a) In regards to same/different-sex breeding: Why not add a couple -less option by means of parthenogenesis?

We were thinking of cloning as well :) It’s an interesting thing to see how Beasts with exactly same genetics will develop their personalities and how similar or different they will be. Though this won’t be something ordinary like regular breeding. Most likely it will be possible only through very rare challenges like repairing an ancient mechanism which in fact is a clone chamber or something like that. The lore for this part isn’t developed yet, but the idea itself is very much in the spirit of the setting.  

Poe (#8618) wrote:

b) "...no buying/selling animals for genes". This will be replaced with buying/selling animals for (un)wanted character traits. The old effect solved, the cause remains and a new effect of the same consequences appears.

Yes, it’s possible that a player sees a Beast with certain traits and decides to invite it to move. But in this case, the player does this to benefit from this Beast itself and not to breed a lot of kids hoping that they will inherit the same traits, and then discard babies which failed to inherit the desired trait combination. Here the Beast itself is a purpose and not just a mean to get to that purpose. The number of Beasts won’t increase from such exchange, and new unwanted ones won’t appear. This is closer to exchanging specialists between different countries than to selling future broodmares and studs to breeders.

Poe (#8618) wrote:

c) "...not encouraging mass breading...": The unnecessary multiplication may continue, encouraged by possible outcome not related to genes, but personalities. Characters are not inherited, genes are, yet an offspring, once born, gets both.

Not exactly. Newborns often don’t have any traits at all. A newborn may get a few traits at birth because birth itself is an event which triggers obtaining of traits (just like any other remarkable event in the Beast’s life). But most of the traits are obtained during the lifetime. Some of them come and some go depending on what happens with a Beast. 



« Prev | 1 | Next »

Xsolla is an authorized global distributor of BeastKeeper
Xsolla