There’s been an oversight! A lot of work has been done over summer regarding Seedlings interacting with one another, an important part of the simulation - and we haven’t yet covered this it seems in the blog!
You might recall the Context article in which we looked at nurturing digital life that interacting with a ‘digital pet’ is an important part in generating long term care and investment in them. Seedlings are very similar!
This is a big topic and one we’ll no doubt be returning to as we progress in development. The goals of this feature-set touch on a lot of important aspects to our ambitions with SEED: we want to present Seedlings as social beings, with relatable and realistic social dynamics; create cool self-contained stories and mini-dramas; demonstrate how a Seedling’s personality justifies their relationships to other Seedlings as well as their current emotional state.
The interactions will occur in two formats, namely an action and a reaction. So to keep things simple, one Seedling tells a joke (action) while the other laughs (reacts). These formats, or roles, will vary between the Seedlings over the course of any one interaction. This could be extended of course to something like action-reaction-action (Seedling 1 tells a joke, Seedling 2 laughs, Seedling 1 feels proud).
The complexity grows when we factor in that the generation of any one interaction is influenced by a number of things: the Emotional States, the Relationship States as well as fixed Character Traits of the respective Seedlings. Without getting too bogged down in the details of how all these many factors interact (pun intended) you can easily imagine how those various traits would influence any social dynamic.
Work in progress showing two Seedlings interacting
The challenge is to communicate all of them to the player, so that it is clearly understandable why any one particular conversation goes in the direction that it does. To date we have experimented with icons and visual communication, Thoughts, sounds and animations.