When we first showed you Big Boy Archibald you were delighted to hear about procedurally generated animals. We were a little surprised to hear that though, as we didn't say we planned procedurally generated animals. But ever since then we couldn't stop thinking about the options...
In Search of the Best Animal Pipeline
Before we start creating more animals we need to figure out how to best make them. At first we wanted to model each one, but the potential of having more variety by using procedural generation is intriguing.
Creating animal generators that would spit out believable and good looking animals is no easy task. It requires a huge amount of rules to define their shape and anatomy. The moving parts are especially challenging. We are still experimenting and don't have a definite answer yet, but we will probably meet half-way. Model the basic shapes and have the procedural generation take care of the smaller details.
Small Steps to a Big Goal
On our path to more variety we discovered one tool that allows us to easily change the animal's colors and add patterns to its skin. It's a pretty nifty thing. Once we explore it in more detail, we'll start adding more patterns and have the variety grow exponentially.
Each animal will have its own skin tone and unique details just the way nature intended. So when you see a herd of alien beasts in Planet Nomads, you can be sure no two creatures look alike.
For now, you can check the threesome army of Archibald trying to be sneaky, Archibald the Fashionable and My-Father-Fell-in-Love-with-Zebra Archibald.