I was about to necro an old thread in multicellular about this same thing, good that I broadened my search.
I’ve been thinking about plant gameplay, and the difficulty of allowing players to interact with growth in an intuitive way. It’s dawned on me through that process that assigning movements of an arbitrary (but fixed) body plan to player actions programmatically is related and just about as difficult.
It sounds like the plan is to make some kind of algorithm that assigns a roughly sensible swimming or walking animation to the creature, and use it for every movement. That’s a tall order on its own, but what about non-movement actions, like fighting or eating? And how will movement speed be decided? What about tolerance of of slopes for a walking gait (it could have a big impact in later stages)?
I don’t have tons of answers yet here, mostly just questions. For movement speed I suppose the base numbers would be the size of the creature and the percentage of it that’s used for locomotion, and then a factor from the stock gaits used (worm-like locomotion is slow, cheetah-like locomotion is fast).