How will nests work? Will they be made as tools are in the awakening stage, or will they be ‘evolved’ as part of the creatures behaviour? And if it is part of behaviour, what will happen to nests in later stages?
First, I believe that nests should be an aware stage thing, here’s why, birds build nests, sure, they are smart but nowhere near the intelligence of monkeys, which are starting their awakening stage.
Second, maybe they should help the player unlock houses in awakening, perhaps.
I think nests and things like them should be slowly evolvable as a behaviour, with a limited form of the tech editor. In later stages, the nest would be incorporated into houses as a bed/bedroom (depending on the nest’s complexity).
I rather like the idea of having a sort of proto-technology in the aware stage, afterall we often see many animals on earth using various tools from their environment. It makes sense that your species could develop a habit of doing the same. So a nice question you have asked here.
That being said I would think it will likely be a sort of evolved behavior. Your species might not deviate from the behaviors it has evolved (It uses rocks to smash open shells but does not recognize any other equally hard thing as the same tool) unless it has also evolved a method of thinking that could lead to deviations in behavior. (Your species would recognize alternative substitutes in the absence of traditional methods).
I think it would make more sense for evolved behaviour to be fixed, and creative tool use as something seperate (So it would invent technology, but always make a nest, no matter how advanced). This could lead to interesting scenarios, such as needing to get nesting materials to space colonies in order for reproduction to happen.
Are reusable structures plausible? (for example, a cocoon that is reused as a nest after the creature emerges)
Why wouldn’t they? That would be a great way for a species to conserve energy.
But the thing they are reusing might not work for both uses, for example, larvae might need more protection or space for food, compared with pupae
Well, it could hold both, for example a large nest with a smaller cocoon that the pupae goes into, then emerges and uses the cocoon as storage and the rest of the nest for protection.
Isn’t that more like two things built together?
I guess, but the pupae is reusing the cocoon. Maybe the cocoon would split apart into a wider area
() -> / -> .
This would help to require less building because the larvae has a base from which to build the nest.
My take is you just gather materials and place them in places. I’d imagine a dynamic (soft-body?) mesh collider and you just pick up, maybe alter, and place. Soon enough, you picked up and placed until you have a nest sorta thing going on. Load that memory of instructions in the behavior tab, and then all your species does the same. Boom, nesting.