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Community Questions #15 - September 2019

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September is here, which means summer is nearly over, but Community Questions isn't! This month's episode features the environmental impact of Seedlings, food production, and CCTV - straight from the minds of Seed's Discord community.

Slaanesh: Is cannibalism going to be in the game?

Mundi: "Haha! That's quite the question! We want to keep more-macabre things like this on the table, but we're not promising anything. It's one of those things, where it's obviously a gray area, but it would be odd if it were simply not possible. Technically, a Seedling should also be able to eat nuclear waste if they had to. But, if it were to theoretically be in the game, it would, of course, have terrible effects on the Seedling's mental health."

[AF] ProblematicMan: If someone new joins the game and groups up with a larger group, how quickly will their Seedlings become relatively self-sufficient in case the new player decides the game isn't right for them?

M: "It's something that we're looking into. Obviously, if a player quits the game, their Seedlings will slowly drift away from the routines that have previously been set up for them and slowly they will become tired of the repetitiveness. The player needs to ensure that their Seedlings stay happy, so there is progress in their lives, which they won't necessarily have without the player. Then they will slowly become aggressive and feel like outcasts within that community. And so we imagine that in a community where there's a lot of churn, there's going to be an issue with abandoned and neglected Seedlings, where they could possibly turn to crime to survive on their own. So communities must act on this issue. For example, one solution could be allowing other players to take over or adopt Seedlings from other players."

Nova: Will the game account for the environmental impact of the Seedlings, if so to what extent?

M: "We have started experimenting with pollution and stuff like that. We'll definitely be exploring that more. The design will very much be oriented around the ideas of sustainability and the issues that production has on the environment - its environmental footprint.

Players can produce fast and cheap to make a lot of money which has a more significant impact on the environment, or produce slower with more conscientious methods and have a lower impact. But you know, it's far away. There's a vast system to simulate pollution on a global scale."

Nova: How expansive will the various ecosystems of the planet be?

M: "We don't know the limits of the planet yet. We aim to make one of the biggest gaming environments created. So that goes hand-in-hand with the biomes being quite vast."

AnnieGYG: If Seedlings' attitudes towards other Seedlings around the area (regardless of those Seedling's owners) is automated and then war is declared between two settlements who have been close in relations, will the Seedlings be reluctant to fight their Seedling "friends" from the other settlement? Or will they be loyal to their owner (the player)?

M: "That's an excellent point. To be honest, I haven't thought about it too much. But if you make your Seedling kill someone they know, is friends with, or related to, this will cause the Seedling to be extremely traumatized. A Seedling will be more loyal to a player but will be more affected mentally."

Omega Symbol: How will injuries work? Will stuff like an obscure distal femoral epiphyseal injury show up or would it be simplified to "Cassandra broke her leg?" for example.

M: "Only time will tell. Personally, I don't think we will go to those extremes. But, what we will probably do is to continue to introduce new diseases and conditions because it's a live game, and the system allows us to introduce pretty much anything, for example, a "sand in the eye" injury. And with that, the Seedling will have some trauma to the eye that will have a direct impact on how the Seedling feels."

Spotty: How will things like food production scale from small villages to mega-cities?

M: "That is a huge question! We are now entering into farming and are making a pretty deep farming system. So I would imagine that you have dedicated farming experts living on the outskirts of big cities, producing food that then gets shipped into the city from the farms. What we aim to do here is to give players the tools. They might want to do farming inside the city, on rooftops, or the city is built around a farm. Farming will probably be the main source of food, and how players distribute that is up to them."

[FDS] Staticsprite: Are there any seasonal changes on the planet? Like winter, summer, etc. If so, how does that affect the Seedlings?

M: "We are doing full-blown seasons. Obviously, a Seedling in a summer-appropriate outfit in a snowstorm will freeze to death. These are symptoms of different temperatures which will fluctuate during the seasons. Some areas will be more affected than others depending on their location."

AnnieGYG: I wonder if there can be CCTV cameras so you can monitor your citizens' lives while you are offline?

M: "We tested that out the other day, and it worked really well, so probably, yes. This is something we'd like to do with the mobile app, which will allow you to monitor your Seedlings."

[FDS] Staticsprite: Are expeditions possible? Sending a few Seedlings on an expedition to find new possibilities (with that I mean ancient techs, tradable goods, etc.)

M: "Yes, the planet will be incredibly vast and there will be areas with lush resources and tons of things lying around to discover. The journey is everything. There will be complications and it's a challenge to travel. Seedlings will get hungry and they will have to set up camp along the way. They might also become homesick. 

Additionally, Seedlings will have a way more realistic volume of things they can carry on their person. So you have to be very strategic about that."

Spotty: Will there be ceremonial burials in Seed? And graveyards? And tombstones where seedlings can place flowers?

M: "That's a good idea with the flowers! We will have tombstones, so when a Seedling dies, another Seedling will dig their grave. Later we will look into burial ceremonies and all that stuff."

Batbo307: Will there be cars and metros and other modern/futuristic forms of transportation?

M: "Yes, but we don't know when we'll get to it. It's a massive system, and we're working more on farming and manufacturing at the moment. There needs to be a long chain of manufacturing before you can create a vehicle. So a lot of content needs to be created for us to start designing that. We want to make sure that our foundation is absolutely rock solid."

[AR]Dylan75015 Will there be places that are inaccessible at first? Will there be virgin territories where players will not be able to choose to start their colony?

M: We are still designing how the roll-out of the planet will be, but we have ideas!

Be sure to let us know in the comments below your thoughts, or join the Seed Discord server and post your questions there!

- Dev Jonathan