Because the player’s microbe is steered by a 21st-century ape, it exhibits directed behavior atypical for microbes. The player can see nutrient patches and navigate toward them, while a real microbe would just bumble around and incidentally encounter nutrients.
Maybe the player should have to evolve methods of perception to be allowed to see things beyond the cell membrane of his microbe. In other words, I want the information available to the player to be limited like it is for microbes. Maybe the screen could be black at first, with only the player in the center. The player would move around aimlessly and incidentally encounter something to metabolize. The player would then stay in that area and continue to metabolize whatever it is. Eventually, the player would develop methods of sensing the world, and there might be blobby colored patches on the black background to indicate nutrients or heat or light or something. That way the player would evolve his organism to match its environment, just as real organisms evolve. A real microbe wouldn’t know what organelles will be useful in a few billion years; it just keeps doing what it does, either living or dying.
Yeah we talked about this sort of thing. My concern is that it really wouldn’t feel like much of a game to most people. “Realism” is a bit of a double edged sword because a slug taking two hours to cross a garden path isn’t going to be good gameplay for most people.
If anyone wants to make a prototype I’d be happy to take a look.
(the one who spent 4 hours writing a single post)
An interesting way to tackle this might be to enable zooming out only after the player evolves a light spot or whatever it’s called. So rather than impairing the player’s vision you could just limit the area you can see by disabling zooming out, either fully, or at least partially (ie. before getting the light spot you could zoom out let’s say just 30% of what you can zoom out now and after evolving it you would be able to zoom out 100%)
I think limiting zoom is one viable option with regard to the microbe’s “vision” (so to speak), but I would like there to be other representations based on what senses the microbe has. Maybe it could be blind but sense temperature, for example. I understand the concern about realism limiting fun, but as long as the player has interesting things to do, then the realism won’t limit fun, I think. Also, this would allow for more interesting biological experiments.