After years in cryogenic stasis, you finally arrive on an unfamiliar planet. The hatch unlocks with a loud click and the pressure releases with a satisfying hiss. What does it look like? We discussed our thought process behind plantlife and environmental aspects of World Building, but our approach to developing animals is different.
We thought that starting with a single-cell organism, while an effective method, would take too long so we opted for artificial selection instead. First, we discussed what types of animals we wanted in the game. The planet has a huge variety of life but, what would be fun to interact with? We developed archetypes and behaviors and used those as a jumping off point.
After the creatures had some personality, it was easier to imagine where they might live, what they might eat, and what might eat them. Does the animal have camouflage or a hard shell to defend itself from predators? Does the predator have a claw or beak to penetrate the shell? Thinking about how the creatures may interact with one another gives more depth to the character and creates a more immersive world. Using those answers we create a story and a creature.
The Immanis Herbalacerta is an enormous herbivore. It has large tusks on either side of it's snout that it uses to knock down trees and crack the FRUIT to eat. It's tough skin and massive tusks provide enough protection for this gentle beast however, the Immanis Herbalacerta can be incredibly dangerous when aggravated. When rampaging, the Immanis Herbalacerta can cause extensive damage to FA property such as buildings, equipment, and explorers. The FA does not recommend aggravating creatures.
Each creature will be a unique and explorers will have to figure out the best way to interact with. Perhaps, it's a Matellum Aprum about to burrow below your Computing Core or an Ursa Stella wandering too close. Do you wait and hope it passes peacefully or approach and risk startling it?