The great post of Dinosaur Artificial Intelligence

Your Feature Request / Idea
Hi folks,
Well, since it’s seems the most requested feature and, in my opinion, the most needed feature of the game now, I’ll try to summarize everything that was requested, plus adding my own points.

All behavior stems from a certain need or needs and, given the current dinosaur “needs” in game (which I think are good enough to implement some good, realistic behavior), we have some good ground to begin with; although, we still would need some kind of hierarchy within any given group of animals for certain patterns.

I think that, initially, this hierarchy would come pre-set as the order in which they came out of the hatchery (as in JPOG) but eventually, when reunited and having displayed the first interactions, said order could and should change to a more stable, logical one.
I think we can separate all behaviors for the sake of order so, first, some definitions:

Common behaviors (displayed by all animals):


Resting. I forgot this, but indeed is some of the most important behaviors that all dinosaurs should have. Not necessarily "sleeping", but just lying on the ground and rest. It would help a long way towards immersion for they currently look too mechanic, too robot-like, without ever getting tired. This would definitively require new animations.

Socializing, which should include at least:


Play; something most gregarious animals do: mostly chasing each other, bickering, chirping, biting. Could likely require new animations.

Grooming; something some gregarious animals do, when able to establish some kind of bonding, de-parasyting each other mainly; some of the more intelligent could have some other affection displays as rubbing their muzzles. Would surely require new animations.

Dominance; typical social behavior of most gregarious and non-gregarious animals, mainly the way to establish some hierarchy within the group. This wouldn’t necessarily be the non-lethal fights we have now. Fighting systems needs to be reworked, but that’s maybe for another post; here, let’s suffice it to say that a dominance display could as well consist on a “roaring contest”, and leave it at that. For gameplay, useful to establish an “alpha”.

Calling/Rejoinning; whenever an individual gets too far away from the rest of its kind, it usually calls out for its pack/herd (if high enough in the hierarchy) or go running to rejoin them (if low in the hierarchy). The “calling” would also work among a proper herd, just to make oneself acknowledge by the rest; and this, in turn, could replace the gruesome chatting circles currently displayed, specially, by ornithomimids. This “calling” would be different in sound to the “alarm cry/call” refered to in “herding” and “stampeding” points (see below).

Panick, which should be “reseted” while in forest cover and express in either two ways, as in nature:


Fight; should the animal is big enough, naturally defended enough (armoured) or made more aggressive (here could have some influence the gene splicing) and the “threat” is not overwhelming (no human intervention, no bigger animal, no outnumbering).

Flight; “default” and natural response for most herbivores and small animals, specially when outnumbered. Just g out and run for life.

Hunger/Thirst: This should impel the animal to always tend to go towards the nearest source (feeder, water source) available, although not implying it should left the pack or abandon its own/entering another’s territory unless reaching a certain hunger/thirst level.

Stress; typical behavior from caged animals on zoos. This should be apparent when the comfort levels drop from a certain point. It makes all animals look downhearted and nervous, wandering aimlessly, restlessly, crying a lot and growing weaker or more prone to diseases, not necessarily and immediately going to fence-attacking but could go for attacking other dinosaurs instead (in fact, some dinosaurs like ornithomimids should never attack fences, but could just run around aimlessly and alone). Since this would exhibit some “illness syntoms”, I think it’s already portrayed nicely enough currently.

Carnivore behavior only:


Scavenging. Hunting is a most demanding behavior not all animals are willing to do. Tracking, stalking and chasing a prey is so hard that most carnivores, specially sick and old ones, would be happy to take a chance to eat off a carcass instead of go on any lottery-try to get fresh meat. Hungrier and weaker carnivores should always go for carcasses first, unless a proper feeder (which supposedly has fresher meat) is nearer and active.

Hunting. Carnivores should, ideally, not try to openly go for any kind of prey, but try to approach them from the nearest forest area instead. Maybe this could be done with some map coordinates, as the maps are always the same. Otherwise, if hungry/interested enough to try and openly go for a prey, it should dynamically change target to the nearest prey available once their flight begins (although I admit I don’t know how they select a prey currently). Also, they should not have a 100% rate of success: healthier preys could prove fastest, and they are running for their lives. Key point is, whenever a hunt is made, the death dinosaur keeps “linked” to its slayer until totally decaying, thus impelling it to feed from it, stay near and protect it from other oportunistic carnivores/scavengers. It would also be nice if the bigger carnivores could drag smaller preys to within the limits of their territories too (see below).


Pack-Hunting. This is one of the key points. I think it should start somewhat similarly to the stated above, but with individual needs calculated in a “social” way: the higher the individual is on the hierarchy, the most relative importance would have it’s hunger need; so, when the alpha wants to eat, it would call for the pack to move; if the beta is hungry, but the rest of the pack is not, perhaps it would need for any of them to reach a certain hunger level, for the alpha to call the pack-hunting, and so on. That would also mean that, if the lowest on the hierarchy reaches a certain critical-minimum hunger level, alpha should call immediately for pack-hunting, as it would reach the “social” hunger level, even if the others aren’t hungry. Not sure if I explained myself, but will gladly elaborate. Only exception: should the weight difference between individual predator and prey is not that high, then individual hunt could trigger there for an individual hunting need. Yet, that could (and should) also trigger dominance displays and territorial behavior (see below) over the carcass, during the aftermath.
Pack-Hunting dynamics would highly feed on social limits (thus a “pack” already “complete” wouldn’t accept any new member) but would also share territorial behavior (see below), so that, given enough space, two established packs could also coexists and clash on occasion (although I think that, lore-wise, Raptors alone should not tolerate this).
A note about the "Thirst" need: this would be the only one totally "individual", although it would be limited to the "herding/flocking" dynamics (see below) properly applied to such a hunting-pack and the only one to make the whole group move, regardless of who calls for it, aside from the "panic" state.
Also a note on feeding, as pointed out by AcroCarnoRex: the hierarchy of the pack would also determine a "pecking order" so that, when hungry, the "alpha" eats first, whatever the food source (carcarss, feeder, prey), and only when he is full, allows the "beta" to eat. Huge discomfort levels from lesser members of the pack could and should lead to dominance fights which could or could not win, depending of their health, hunger level, aggression, etc

Territorial behavior. This would mean two things, somewhat intertwined with the above: first, according to the animal’s space needs, and once it has roamed/(scanned) the whole paddock area (and established a pack, if it can), it should define some small portion of it (that still, more accurately, meets its needs, particularly the “water source” things) as it’s “territory”, thus keeping mostly within its limits. I am not sure it this is doable, but I think it could be, by attaching some “unseen” coordinates of the island to the animal: territories became usually inherent and unchangeable, and most animals would stay within their known limits for safety, unless severely drawn out (usually by hunger, easy hunt, etc) True, “territories” wouldn’t be regular circles or geometrical figures, thus making said coordinates difficult to establish, but I don’t think it needs to really be that strict: just a “space within space” big enough to be comfortable in and mostly staying within; it could even “contain” some area “outside” the fence, thus making it more likely that, should the fence suffers any damage, the animal escapes towards it.
This could easily mean that, if the paddock is twice the size needed for a Tyrannosaurus, it could actually house two of them, with a random chance of both clashing while establishing territories (thus displaying Dominance behavior/fighting) and/or, having the loser stressed should his part does not meet its needs (for instance, if his area doesn’t have enough forest or has no feeder/water source within it) or if it just happens to be more aggressive than the first. Any attempt from other dinosaurs to entering it, should lead to dominance displays, chases and fights depending on the attack/defense stats of said dinosaurs.
Second, this would also mean some kind of “marking behavior” (peeing, brushing oneself over the ground or against trees, roaring…) to keep stating/claiming that territory’s property. That would need, of course, some new animations. And I think it even plausible that herbivores and smaller animals keep themselves well away from the bigger carnivores territories too thus, when not properly fed, big carnivores should venture out of their limits to hunt.

Herbivore behavior only: I’ll describe mainly three, similar yet different behaviors I’d love to see: Herding, Flocking, Packing.


Herding/Packing: I link them both because they would work in the most similar way, making all animals stay close to their kind. I think there needs to be a minimum distance between animals of the same species (even as an “unseen” stat) aside from the social/population limits. That distance would vary according to the size and social needs of each species and would slightly differ between “herding” and “packing”: while it would tend to keep animals of the same species close in both cases, “herding” animals would tolerate animals from other species among them, while “packing” species would not, thus making them more prone to gather themselves and separate from other species. That would effectively show those lonely families of Ankylosaurs, Trikes and other unconcerned armored herbivores wandering somewhat separated from the true herds of Hadrosaurs.

Flocking. This, I think, would be a particular instance of “herding” which would differ in that all animals should move together (in the same direction), specially while “panicked”. Thus, while resting, socializing, eating, etc. the flock would behave quite like a tight herd, but turning to a “pack” while in panic state. Which leads us to the last one.

Grazing. (Thanks to AcroCarnoRex for pointing this out) Grazing is a huge part of the daily doings of many herbivores and, specially the biggest ones, would need huge amounts of plant material just to keep going alive. So, the fact that many Sauropods, for instance, can afford to wander far away from trees and feeders is a bit odd. What I think should the done to improve the current system: herbivores should be eating almost constantly, while not playing, resting or grooming, thus all veggetables within their enclosure should be susceptible of becoming "food". Now, there's also the JP/JW canon of the Lysine dependency so, and even while this (almost) constant grazing would indeed decrease their hunger, it wouldn't even be enough for it to keep from lowering so, eventually, they would starve without the proper assistance of their respective feeder. That would also function as a nice way to make the feeders' timing longer, as they wouldn't need them so often. Also, should some kind of new flora is implemented at some point, it can be "marked" as "favorite" by certain species, thus luring them towards the patches of it; this areas would have some inner cool down, that would render them useless after the herbivores have eaten over them, making them "free" to move to another patch or try find a feeder if they are still hungry, all the while faking some nice "migratory behavior".

Stampeding. This should be something all social herbivores should do, specially Hadrosaurs: whenever one of them feels “threatened” (be it by spotting a carnivore, the noise of an helicopter or some other stimuli), it should cry a “warning call”, more or less immediately (fastest in “flocks”, slowest in “herds” and “packs”) moving the group into action: fleeing. Now, “herds” would scatter away from the danger “source”, preferably toward forest cover all the while trampling and destroying everything in their course (be it feeders, lighter unelectrifyed fences or smaller animals), while flocks would just keep running away, changing direction almost at the same time, and “packs” would tighten themselves into a defensive group stance should forest cover lies too far away.
 
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Great summary, pretty much covers everything! Hope Frontier are able to implement a good number of these, obvs herding & pack hunting have their own threads so hope they will definitely make it into the game as the priorities.

I really like the one about the high social dinos calling to each other when one gets to far away...... paras and stegos immediately spring to mind!!
 
Thanks :) Although I didn't try to actually cover everything, just make a summary of the more basic behaviors that should be in-game for immersion, to much the realistic graphics... but, yeah, pack-hunting and herding would be definitively top of them, should they need to implement the above step by step. I admit that maybe is a huge naïve wishlist, but I really hope it's not.

And the social calling is just something most animals do; in fact, when reading about the Hadrosaur genus, it seems to me they do not just "rely on high numbers" to protect themselves, but they would also keep doing their different calls all the while foraging: just look at the resonance chambers within the paras' skulls. Also, no social animal wanders that far away from it's social group, however hungry or bored, and if they do, they quickly begin calling for them (or the other way around), thus tending to rejoin.

That also made me think on some other, more advanced behaviors like "migration" patterns: this is cannon too, since in the novel it is stated that, stegos at least, "describe a slow circuit around their paddock while foraging" and it would be great to see something like this for herds (when they actually herd), moving around their "territory" (=their paddock). But possibly that would need herbivores to not depend so much of herbivore feeders?
 
This is a great post indeed! (If not the greatest)

Frontier please make this the gold standard reference for Dino AI. Things here are comprehensive and well-thought out.

I have to reread this over and over to comment further but at the mean time I have a few ones.

For dominance encounters, the winning party should depends on a number of factors (not randomly as it seems now). Namely, combat infamy, stats, health, lifetime satisfaction meter (something I proposed earlier - the average of comfort level throughout its lifespan). After all, a random function must also be incorporated in – for unpredictability.

Yes, the social callings for Hadrosaur and within herding are crucial touches.

Your pack hunting mechanism is eye-opening and the balance between individual and group AI is perfect.

For territorial behaviors, I have a lot to add. At the moment, I merely repeat what I already suggested:-

- There should be individual scouting/exploring behaviors. Occasionally, some of them goes out of their territory to explore. They come back, socialize as a way to communicate, exchange and updating gathered information. They have a database to remember where they have been and migration can happens when a better place is found. For instance, Struthi A finds that place A has a better living condition rating (more resources, protected by armored herbivores, further away from predators etc) than the original territory, all the other Struthis, and the previous historical exploration database, a migration is planned. In this way, a more dynamic and updated system that changes from time to time can be established.
- During exploration, it is time when territorial disputes might happen, but such dispute shouldn’t be lethal unless the herd has no way to retreat. The loser simply retreat to its own territory or migrate further away from its opponent if the dispute happens within its territory.
- For armored herbivores against large carnivores, group touting is more appropriate. The calling mechanism can be used here for help. If it is a hunting, group fighting must take place where the fights can be lethal depending on the carnivore’s desperate level.
- I think it is legitimate for Sauropods to go without territorial behaviors as they migrate from time to time. They just need to keep calling and sticking together.​

For flocking behavior, coding wise, while I like the individual AI priority system by the Devs, a flexible group AI is more logical to take control here. They move in formation and think like a group unless circumstances breaks them back to individual AI system.

Overall, I must say I will buy like a 100 DLCs from Frontier in the future if this thread is realized to its full potential. [up]
 
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Well I pretty much assumed the "scouting" behavior would be the "default" behavior there, that's why I didn't post it; anyway, territoriality wouldn't begin in gregarious animals until a "pack" had been established, so during the process of "bonding"/choosing-the-alpha, that scouting would also occur.

Once a territory has been established, however, it doesn't have that much sense to have the scouting all over again, unless the animal/s suffer severe stress within it (lack of food, water mainly). But I agree that, should the comfort level drops low enough, the "territory" should be reset/deleted, and the seek for another territory begin again.

I also think you have a point with the ornithomimid flocking dynamics; maybe their "alpha" should be dynamic too: since flocking would only happen while in panic state, the "alpha" could easily be the one freaked out first, then moving onto the member which is closest to the threatening stimuli, forcing all members within the flock to change direction according it's own movement, possibly vector-wise.

About the calling mechanism used for help among armored herbivores I'm not sure: it seems much more realistic to think that, once grouped for defense, they would all fight off the threat since the very beginning but, should the carnivore seems to be winning over some individual (maybe after having knocked it off) I doubt very much the rest would answer that call, since the main instinct there would be "flight", not "fight".

Also, note I've only proposed Territorial behavior for carnivores: although I know some herbivore species might be considered territorial (and, in fact, Trikes were, in the novels, so it's "canon"), I think that would be something really rare, specially on bigger herbivores with a far bigger need of vegetable mass to eat. Actually, the trikes behavior in the novel I think was misunderstood as territorial behavior when, in fact, it was more like dominance displays (possibly as part of mating behavior). Anyway, I don't think sauropods would display such behavior because their size making their hunger need so great would make them need a huge area to stay. Considering that trees would need recovering after they fed from them, I think much more likely sauropods were of the foraging/migrating type, and that would mean they wouldn't have any "stable" territory (unless provided by feeders) but would, more likely, keep wandering from forest mass to forest mass (near water) to eat.

Edit: I agree with the DLC thing too =) Let's wait and see what Frontier is capable of.
 
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Well, I think my points for scouting/exploring, memory system are three-fold:-

- For the memory system, it bothers me the Dinos simply forget where they had been. They should know the surroundings well, remember it, and take full advantage of it (using forest for ambush hunting and hiding as you also said). For instance, flock of Gallimimus won’t run into Raptor territory they had previously escaped.

- Exploration (distance, numbers, frequency are debatable variables) is the way to account for the ever changing dynamic environment. Players might changes its enclosure from time to time and territorial disputes shifting the dynamic from time to time also. Just like in TLW, TRex expanding its territory as a result of human interference. Without continuous scouting and exploring, and possibly migration, the system is pretty static and dull. Furthermore, chances of symbiotic living is reduced as they simply don’t know the existence of the others. Through constant minor shifting of territorial from time to time, a fully dynamic system can be achieved. The reasoning is it's weird to see a newly released herbivore running randomly all over the enclosure like a goat to first establish a territory. I believe minor progression is the way to go.

Edit:- I missed your point of non-territorial behavior of herbivores. But still, since the environment has endless possibilities from time to time. Exploration, memory still play their roles to account for changes.

- It creates chances for carnivores picking off lone wolfs, making things interesting. This is what I meant for armored herbivores calling for help. I believe even in herding, some may wander a bit further away for some reasons, probably can be classified as some sort of exploration.​
 
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Yeah, I was trying to take into account the huge amount of memory and processing it would require adding so many extra layers to each individual dino, so I went for tryng to link territories to the map itself, with a certain tag to which they belong so as no herbivore tries to enter a carnivore's territory. Of course there could always be some random factor to moderate it, but I supposed it would be better that way considering the devs are working on such a tight schedule with consoles and everything. But I know what you mean.

About human interference... well, I think the obliteration of some established territory because of human hand should be precisely that: the total delete of it and the instant start of a new establishing process but, also, imply moment of "panic behavior" and, above all, a huge decrease in comfort level. That would work, I think, because animals forced out of their territory usually display great levels of stress and that would also add a new layer of gameplay, as the management to rebuilt a given, occupied enclosure would require you attend the animals first (which, btw, is how it should be, specially with carnivores). But that would work only while "reducing" the enclosure size, not the other way around, so I'm not sure how to work that out but I'll think about it.

About a newly hatches herbivore... well, they do cry right after exiting the hatchery, don't they? What if that cry causes the others of it's kind to answer? That, and smell, would be enough to reunite it with the rest of the herd, I think. Otherwise, it should be up the player to transport the new animal to the herd; after all, that's what would have been done at the real JW, JP.

What I meant about the non-territorial herbivores is just that I don't see that kind of behavior as typical of them: some herbivores could have territories, but they would tend to be so huge it wouldn't make sense in-game. So, for instance, and according to it's space and forest/grassland needs, a Tyrannosaurus could get herself a portion of the island (assuming a proper SIte B existed) and live happy there, provided it had enough water and food sources (either herds of herbivores attracted to the water source or feeders), but it wouldn't make sense for a group of Brachiosaurs to get linked to a portion of the island "selected" the same way, because the trees from which, ideally, they would feed, would be eventually naked of leaves with their constant eating. So, I think it makes more sense for them to have Migration behavior, thus wandering from a place to another to get themselves food.

But, maybe, this kind of behavior could be too advanced for that very "memory" system you point out, and the interaction of the carnivore territories, so I didn't list it as basic above.
 
First off, whomever else is reading this, please give your support. This is a very good thread. The ongoing lengthy discussions is just a refinement process trying to make this even better.

After thinking for a bit, I guess what I’m trying to do is to replace or fill in the gap on your process of territorial establishment. There are quite some questionable concerns and I think it can be solved by incorporating some of my ideas into yours.

Questionable concerns and solutions:-

1) Your mechanism said that the carnivores will first run through the entire enclosure, establish an alpha and then only comes up with a fixed territory. My question is what if during the run through, another rivalry territorial carnivore is being released? The perceived environment of the older carnivore is not the same as the newer. You may say we must wait for them to face each other to determine the final product. The problem is another carnivore might be as well released when they are fighting. If this process is to continue forever, doesn’t it mean that for an extended, indefinite period of time, all the carnivores will have no established territory at all? Stuck in a perpetuated step of establishment?

My method of exploration and progressive territory establishment is precisely the solution for yours. With carefully planned coding having appropriate parameters, I believe at the end, through time and progressive changes, a fixed stable territory ecosystem will be established. In a metaphor, it’s like a stable potential energy curve, wherever the starting point is, they will eventually reach a stable energy state. Once it is reached, I guess things are quite similar between your concept and mine. They will continue to explore to a certain extent and ready for changes.

Edit:- The trick is to get them settled down as soon as they form a pack (as you suggested) and found the required resources. Changes are bound to happen anyway so it is better to work on progressive changing mechanism instead of ignoring it.

2) Regarding human intervention of reducing/increasing space, removing/addition of feeders, you proposed that in the event of reducing space, it should triggers panic and re-establishment of territory. It sounds about right but what about the detailed mechanisms? Do all of the carnivores have to re-run the entire enclosure again and proceed to possibly endless fighting and chaos all over the herbivores territories as well, just for some minor size adjustments?

Again, my proposed memory system precisely solve the problem. Through constant exploration, they are well-aware of their immediate surroundings (slightly beyond their territory) and remember the previous exploration (before a territory is established) as well. In the event of changes, they might just have to relocate slightly. Even if the change of spaces is dramatic, the progressive territory establishment system will ensure the transition can be smoothly done instead of leading to a total chaos.

Yes, maybe you will say no need for running the entire enclosure (causing total chaos) as they can pick up scents from miles and know the locations of others, and feeders. That is true. But that leads me to the following concern.

3) Your proposed selection of territory location sounds quite mysterious to me. It seems like there is an advanced human AI that determines the territory of each species. I got no problem with it except that I believe any artificial configuration will eventually ended up with lack of variations, spontaneity, realism, looking rigid, dull, and static.

I believe by focusing on the relationship between species, taking into account of randomized exploration, a more vibrant, dynamic system can be achieved. Even with everything in the environment remains the same, timing and luck will result in endless randomization of territories (high number of degenerate stable states in potential energy curve, in metaphor). Moreover, it is pure fun to see constant fightings, territory disputes, and changes happening progressively all the time until a stabilized state is reached. This is essentially how all things are built up, isn’t it? Through constant struggle for survival, refining the packing order, as Vic Hoskins infamously said.​

For sauropods, medium and small herbivores migration system, exploration is second to none I believe. After thinking about it for a while, I find that the line between territory and exploration becomes blur when it applies to herbivores.

- If you argue that they have no territory, by definition, it is true. But if you think about it carefully, even if they are friendly and flexible with spaces, they have to safeguard their needs as well. By that, they need to have “temporary homes” from time to time. They need to know when to abandon them, where to look for new one in a journey, and remember where to find the old one if there is nothing else left.

- Since they are kind of like in a “continuous exploration state,” they really need to remember things they see. It is a dangerous world out there. As said earlier, they must avoid predatory territories they previously encountered as much as possible, and can’t forget where to find the food source they previously abandoned (might due to predators walked by). Even if feeders are made irrelevant, Sauropods still need to find water source quick. For example, many of my sauropods are starving when they wander off too far, after getting scared by carnivores in my Sorna. In sum, a simple memory system will do a long way in this concern.

- Your proposed mechanism of newly released herbivore is perfect (btw, it was not what I meant. I brought it out as a bad example as I didn’t realize you said there is no territory behavior of the herbivores), the thing I want to add is – while it runs to the herd, responding to the call, it is a good chance for it to remember things it sees as it provides a good update on the herd awareness of the surrounding.

- I think you are more inclined to propose that exploration to be led by the alpha. I'm okay with it. I’m not an animal behaviorist but logically, it might be an advantage if the alpha somehow can listen to its members. Ideally, it must gathers data from them to decide the best for the herd. Perhaps, playing plays as the mechanism here? A Struthi plays with the alpha, running around and communicating the data it retrieved?​

Finally, please do let me know your thoughts of the migration system and the fighting rework that you mentioned. I’m thrilled to know them all!
 
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Hey, thank you for your support! I’m glad the whole AI idea thrilled someone else out there :) And it’s true, the more ideas we post here, the better to the devs.

So, I’ll answer to the best of my ability, forgive me if I can’t explain myself properly:

1) I proposed territorial behaviour as carnivore only not only because of the eating patterns and needs of herbivores, but also because it is some typical behaviour of theirs, and also of omnivore species. I stated that they should run the entire enclosure first because that would be the exploration phase logically needed before claiming any area, I think that fits your views too?

Secondly, the “packing” phase and “alpha-choosing” being first before territory claiming just feels equally right to me: since gregarious animals would feel stressed and vulnerable out of a pack environment, I doubt any of them would try to claim any given area for good, just out of fear of run into a bigger, stronger animal or an alien pack. In fact, should a new animal is released onto an established pack, the very pack-dynamics could pose a threat to the newcomer, as it should be faced with a fully established hierarchy, thus facing challenges and dominance displays from each and every member of the group, which could easily mean death to it, should the group is large enough. That would be something for the player to watch out too, maybe.

On the other hand, I do not think the releasing of another carnivore (speaking of those “non-social”) would mean any difference; territorial behaviour would be something conceptually different from hierarchy/pack dynamics. So, for instance, let’s take two Tyrannosaurus, which are currently know to not tolerate any more members of its kind within the same enclosure. If the first one is currently “scanning” the paddock, it would be “on another phase” (%) than the younger one. Thus, if they randomly meet while doing their respective “scouting”, that could trigger a dominance display which eventually led either to death (should they are both of the high level of aggresion and hungry) or to the flight of the loser. In that case, with a (hidden) hierarchy already settled, the winner would just continue the territory claiming, and the loser would have the other animal’s coordinates into account to stay away from him (until fully recoved), at least until it’s territory is settled (that’s when the territory’s coordinates would be taken into consideration).

A third animal wouldn’t make any difference, but would act the same: if he fights the older one and wins, he would then took the top of the hierarchy, thus gaining priority on territorial claimings; if he challenges the previous “loser” and wins, he would be second in the hierarchy and then both he and/or the older one would have to seek each other for dominance display fighting. Still, the more animals you realease in this way would make their comfort levels lower, since they aren’t gregarious animals so, I think their stress level should increase accordingly their chance to death fights.

In summary, the process would be more of a exploring/wandering/scouting – dominance display (should needed) – territorial claiming. Anyway, the time to claim a territory would also vary from animal to animal, perhaps randomly within a certain limits, so if you release another animal when the first already gots his territory, then the dominance display would grant him a bonus (because he would be fighting for his home).

I think I understand your view of scout-memory but I’m not sure it could be doable with current hardware limits. I know little to no programming, and technically nothing about game developing so that would be something for the devs to clarify us…

Still, I think the hidden hierarchy regulating dominance displays along current statistics, and territories linked to map coordinates would work fine, but that’s also a wild guess.


2) Here, again, we have the problem of what could be doable in terms of programming and I’m afraid only devs could answer us… still, given the limits impossed by console-hardware, I really doubt a memory-system should be implemented.

So, while I agree that the ideal thing would be for each dino to “remember it’s surroundings”, I think much more doable to just “fake it” in a suitable, realistic way.

The removing of territory bounds by human intervention should only work when they severly affect, and reduce, the movility within a given territory. The animal to which it belongs would then becaume “homeless”; entering panic-mode during human presence and activity, forcing it to flee beyond his lines and, then, begin again the process of scanning/roaming/scouting, possibly with his place in the hierarchy also restarted, which would imply not only the roaming, but also the fights for dominance to happen whenever he enters another’s territory (and considering his opponents would then be “bonused” because of being fighting for their homes).

Severe human intervention would indeed cause chaos by, perhaps, resetting too many territories at a time and causing severe distress on the animals: that’s what would make it fun because just imagine you want to place a new building, but have to move your deinonychus. If you have two coexisting, established packs, you’d better think it twice or carefully the way you’re going to do it, less you want them all g out against the fences or killing each other right away. (In this case, it should be solved by first moving one pack to a new enclosure and the second pack to another, so they first “re-pack”, before freeing them into a bigger paddock to claim new territories; Raptors should be trickier, not tolerating any more packs). Also, I think this “total chaos” would be something desirable to a certain extent, just in case of bad decisions, but that’s my view.

I also do not think this system is fundamentally opposed to the “constant exploration” one, because they would still roam from one place to another, but keeping mostly within the limits of their choosen area, so I don’t fully understand that part.


3) Well, obviously, all this would be human AI, because it would be human-programmed, but I don’t think it that mysterious. Each species already have a set of “need” values, which can or cannot be further precised for each invididual (via gene-splicing); thus, I think it’s just logical the space, forest, grassland and water needs play a role in determining map coords. within the paddock to claim as territory, although I’m at a loss about how precisely this could be done.

Linking territories to (hidden) map coords. has many vantages, in my opinion, mainly to make this all doable, although that’s ultimately something for the devs to tell.

Since I have no idea how they currently scan their surroundings to say, for instance, when they have less buddies than the minimum they require or how much forest they can perceive, I couldn’t really answer that, but I guess there could be some similar way to, after a certain period of wandering/scouting, “tag” (unseen) some map coordinates (which encase enough space, forest, grassland, water) as the most desirable ones: the territory.

Also, some inner (either predetermined or random) value would influence how much the animal keeps to it’s limits, also considering water and food sources available there: maybe that could account for the “randomized exploration” you mention?

I can also find any problem with them being somewhat flexible: why if, say, a Tyrannosaur’s living alone within an enclosure bigger than the size he needs, wouldn’t he be claiming the whole of it? It would be only when you add a second animal that the hierarchy would have to be decided, and the parting of the territory settled. That’s where problems could, and should begin. Adding more animals or limiting the food/water sources would be the main triggers of all these cycles, of course.

I also agree with you on the sauropod/herbivore case, and that’s why I didn’t extend territorial behaviours to them. Herbivores should always be (however “slowly”) constantly “on the move” through all available space in search for food, specially bigger ones.

I cannot see they having “temporary homes” nor even, in some cases, actual “memory” (in human sense), but I think they likely would be naturally drawn to water sources and feeders or other terrain highmarks (should they ever add more terrain tools) which could somehow “tag” those areas as attractive to herbivores. I think at least water pools are currently marked as such, since most herbivores already run towards them when they leave the hatchery; so, if they, for instance, add different types of forests, shrubs, water sources, etc, they could also act as lures to certain species. That would make herbivores to migrate from one point to another and, also, give the player some control over their movements, to a certain extent.

The predator territory avoiding is easily done by the “tagged” coordinates system I proposed for territories: all space within said coordinates would be somehow (unseen to the player) marked as “carnivore/threat” to them (as well as “propierty” of it’s owner), thus they would avoid it even it the carnivore living there eventually abandons it to chase those who randomly wander near enough or some young/sick animal (those with a cold, for instance, could ignore the warning, having no sense of smell at the time) ventures in. A note, here, would be that I think territories only would work this way after being long-established: since the predator would have to mark it with it’s smell, they would scare other animals (both herbs and carnis) off the longer the territory had been in his claws.

Anyway, carnivore/herbivore interaction would be secured by water sources as that’s the only resource they both need and, even in nature, no herbivore would wander too far away from a water source (thus why most predators also hunt around them, and why most territories should include some portion of watersource, even if not totally “ocuppying” it).

So, again, while memory system would be desirable, all the above I think would “fake” it nicely enough, while making use of most things already implemented, thus making it all the more doable. But it would be nice to have some dev insight about this all.

Regarding the alpa, well, in pack dynamics it should be the one leading but, yeah, maybe the system needs to differentiate somehow between “hierarchic alpha” and “leading alpha” (at any given moment) much the way my proposed flocking system in order to allow a more dynamic, realistic feeling. But perhaps the “moving-alpha” for pack-hunting could be selected in a similar way to the “flocking” one, but focusing on the nearest, possible prey instead of in the closest threat? Of course, that should requiere the “new alpha” to call a hunting cry upon being selected, so a to change the whole pack’s target and, in that case, the hunting call could just be echoed by the actual alpha before taking effect.

For herbivores, “alphas” are usually the eldest individuals which, among some animals, also happen to be oldest females and I guess their role is just serving of “grouping point” towards all other individuals tend to stick (thus actually herding) and at some point “order” moving to another place. This is what I thought of to get it implemented for herbivores but I’m not that sure such a system could work for all herbivores.
 
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I too agree with many of these.

I think one of the main behavioural traits that need implimenting is when it comes to eating, or kills.

1. When a one dinosaur from the pack kills a different single species then there should be a dominace over that kill. Eg If you have for Raptor in an enclosure, and a Edmontosaurus gets in some how, then if your 2nd raptor makes the final kill, you second raptor will snap at the other to keep them away from the kill, but on other occaustions, the second raptor might share with the leader, other raptors will eat the killer once the main raptor finishes.

So what you have is a pecking order and a full eat and kill display from all carnivores.

2. Same basis as first but for feeders, If you have two hungry suchomimus's or Baryonyx then, they will snap and stand off against each other until one backs down and other finishes eating. This is a behavioural trait in all animals, and should be implimented into the game as a basis.

3. Herbivores I think, especially ones such as Triceratops, Dracorex, Stygimoloch, Pachycephalosaurus. Should clash and stand off against each other not just for dominance, but also as a way of playing and socializing with each other.

4. As a trainee Paleontologist, and after doing extensive reasearch, myself and other paleontologist found that, Allosaurus may of been an ambush predator in groups of 2 or 3 as fossils of allosaurus were found together. In Jurassic World Evolution, you can't even have an enclosure with two so it would be good to see this improved to two or maximum 3, inside the same enclosure without conflict.

5. Grazing. This is a highly talked about topic. Many of us agree that herbivores should be seen grazing, to improve hunger, however have feeders to boost this higher, Eg the feeder is a shrub. The larger herbivores such as Brachiosaurus, should eat from the top of the tree's and not the tall feeders, the tall feeders should be turned into a tree instead of a caged plant like a bird feeder.

These are just a few of the behavior issues I have found and need to be worked on but I certainly agree with many of what you have wrote down.
 
I guess we’re pretty much on the same page after reading your recent post! Thank you for taking time to go into details.

Earlier, I misunderstood and thought you proposed that:-

- Territory is fairly rigid – not subjected to changes (etc. losing to an intruder means fighting to death)
- A territory will not be established without taking into account the encounter with the rivalry (etc. the oldest released Dino will keep moving around without a territory until it meets the newer)
- All territories are reset entirely whenever there is changes (human intervention or addition of a new Dino)
- There will be no tagging of fixed coordinates of the winner territory (since it has yet to be established as it is waiting for the encounter with the third).
- Location of all territories are determined simultaneously only after all parties have finished facing each other off. (That’s what I meant by a mysterious advanced human AI is taking control)​

After reading this, I think your system is just what I meant as the progressive system, with a bit of differences of course.

Regarding exploration (and thus a memory system), I still think it is necessary (at least the immediate surrounding beyond their territory). It seems to be logical and effective when it comes to territory re-establishment. It gives them room for flexibility as they know immediately where to retreat without having to roam all over places to cause unnecessary chaos to the entire enclosure. Moreover, it seems to be fun having non-lethal fighting or at least a “roaring contest” (that you mentioned) during explorations.

I like your proposed marking system of the carnivores. First, it is fun to watch. Second, it gives players some idea where their boundaries are. But since territory is subjected to changes (due to intruders and serious circumstances), these markings should only be made after it has been established for a while (to reach a stable state).

For herbivores, as you mentioned, I like that they will be able to ‘tag’ or “attracted to” the food source. That is what I meant by a “temporary home,” they must know to go back to it (even well beyond their scanning range) whenever they are starving.

For carnivore-herbivore encounter, I’m not so sure. What if the player design in such they have separate water sources? I think exploration/hunting is more appropriate in this case.

For inter-species symbiotic living as proposed by David Blac, I wish armored herbivores will have a flexible territory behavior game-wise. . As David Blac suggested, Hadrosaur use them as shields from carnivores while the armored herbivore uses the hadrosaur calling as the warning alarm in return. Since they have to stay far away (due to their low population limit), through having a flexible fixed coordinate, medium-small herbivores can ‘tag’ them and use them as shields from the carnivores. So, what I mean by flexible territory is they are more prone to relocate than the carnivores, depending on the flight or fight mechanism you proposed. I’m not so sure about this, maybe not. Maybe a longer distance herding mechanism is needed? For Hadrosaur with Ornithomimidae, maybe an inter-species herding mechanism is needed? Any thoughts?

While I was waiting your reply, I was thinking about 3 other relevant subjects. I’m still thinking about them and will post the details the other time. Apparently, you did touches some of them as well:-

- How to make the memory system computationally efficient and reducing redundant scanning since now they behave as herds.
- Surplus factors when fighting at home, has nowhere else to go, or in desperate conditions.
- Slight genetic variations (Up to +/- 5% In stats) during incubation as a natural way for alpha selection.​
 
1. When a one dinosaur from the pack kills a different single species then there should be a dominace over that kill. Eg If you have for Raptor in an enclosure, and a Edmontosaurus gets in some how, then if your 2nd raptor makes the final kill, you second raptor will snap at the other to keep them away from the kill, but on other occaustions, the second raptor might share with the leader, other raptors will eat the killer once the main raptor finishes.
Totally agree, and I already thought about it as part of the pack-behavior, although maybe I forgot to add this; I'll edit the original post, thanks for reminding me!

3. Herbivores I think, especially ones such as Triceratops, Dracorex, Stygimoloch, Pachycephalosaurus. Should clash and stand off against each other not just for dominance, but also as a way of playing and socializing with each other.
I can easily see this behaviour as part of the Pachycephalosaurids but not so much on the Trike family. Anyway, I think herbivores are fundamentally peaceful and, while some of their "playing" behaviour could indeed be "battling" in these cases, most of the time they would just rest and eat. In fact, the social aspect of trikes I pictured as noozing or rubbing each other, specially since the novel fights were mostly due to mating behavior.

Allosaurus may of been an ambush predator in groups of 2 or 3 as fossils of allosaurus were found together. In Jurassic World Evolution, you can't even have an enclosure with two so it would be good to see this improved to two or maximum 3, inside the same enclosure without conflict.
Agree

Grazing. This is a highly talked about topic. Many of us agree that herbivores should be seen grazing, to improve hunger, however have feeders to boost this higher.
Also agree on this and will add it in my original post edit for further explanation on my views.

I guess we’re pretty much on the same page after reading your recent post!
I suspected that, you’re welcome =)

Regarding exploration (and thus a memory system), I still think it is necessary (at least the immediate surrounding beyond their territory). It seems to be logical and effective when it comes to territory re-establishment. It gives them room for flexibility as they know immediately where to retreat without having to roam all over places to cause unnecessary chaos to the entire enclosure. Moreover, it seems to be fun having non-lethal fighting or at least a “roaring contest” (that you mentioned) during explorations.
But the point is, since only the severely disrupted territories are reset, an animal having to left it’s own would still know where another’s territory is, since it would be “tagged” to it’s respective owner, so the homeless animal could still have that algorithm triggered to decide whether he wants to risk entering it to challenge it’s owner or if he’d rather keep going on the search for any other space. So, in effect, that would mean exploration, right?

But since territory is subjected to changes (due to intruders and serious circumstances), these markings should only be made after it has been established for a while (to reach a stable state).
That’s also what I’ve said ;)

For herbivores, as you mentioned, I like that they will be able to ‘tag’ or “attracted to” the food source. That is what I meant by a “temporary home,” they must know to go back to it (even well beyond their scanning range) whenever they are starving.
Well, herbivores wouldn’t actually “tag” anything; more likely, certain enviromental objects (herbivore feeders, water pools, forests, certain types of grass, bushes or trees, should they ever add them) could came already “tagged” to draw herbivores towards them. At least, that’s what I think water sources do currently, since most animals seem drawn towards them and, in fact, I use water pools to “control” were my herbivores will be gathering.

I just thought that, since people are asking for more decorations and terrain tools, why not also made them “useful” that way? If, say, trikes “love” eating ferns, why not placing some fern patch near a viewing gallery and the water pool near another? They would naturally be moving from one to the other according to the level which is higher at the time (hunger/thirst). Ideally, those “fern patches” would have some “inner cooldown” so that, when the trikes spend some time grazing there, they do not feel drawn towards that place for another X time. That would also make that, if they are still more hungry than thirsty, continue moving to the next “fern patch” available, thus effectively displaying some kind of migration behavior.

For carnivore-herbivore encounter, I’m not so sure. What if the player design in such they have separate water sources? I think exploration/hunting is more appropriate in this case.
Here you have a point, but I guess that according to this system the carnivore wouldn’t have chosen that place as territory in the first place since it had water, but not food source (no feeders either?), otherwise, he would be just drawn to his feeder and refuse hunting (which, as I said, is something most carnivores would do anyway).
And, if the carnivore in question was indeed “forced” to claim that territory after loosing all dominance displays and get the lowest place in the hierarchy, then he would be seriously , with high levels of stress and became something the player should watch. Otherwise, the low confort level would eventually force him to leave his territory (thus re-starting the process).
Territories should be also flexible that way, they are just “homes” the animals choose for themselves but, if by any chance they cease to fulfill their needs, their comfort there drops, eventually erasing the territory. That severe comfort drop is the same which would occur by human hand, although in a much less drastic way.

For inter-species symbiotic living as proposed by David Blac, I wish armored herbivores will have a flexible territory behavior game-wise. . As David Blac suggested, Hadrosaur use them as shields from carnivores while the armored herbivore uses the hadrosaur calling as the warning alarm in return. Since they have to stay far away (due to their low population limit), through having a flexible fixed coordinate, medium-small herbivores can ‘tag’ them and use them as shields from the carnivores. So, what I mean by flexible territory is they are more prone to relocate than the carnivores, depending on the flight or fight mechanism you proposed. I’m not so sure about this, maybe not. Maybe a longer distance herding mechanism is needed? For Hadrosaur with Ornithomimidae, maybe an inter-species herding mechanism is needed? Any thoughts?
Agree, and this is why I suggested the difference between “Herding” and “Packing” in the first place, based on a “proximity need” value that would vary from species to species. Thus, armored herbivores like Ankylosaurs would have a lower “proximity value”, effectively making them staying closer to one another, clustering, and moving away whenever animals from other species interfere with said values. Hadrosaurs, on the other hand, would have bigger values on “proximity”, allowing them to scatter a little, but still herd.
That proximity value would help managing herding dynamics, I think, but wouldn’t keep both species from interacting: since another part of the herding/packing dynamic would be the “alpha”, which would always stay close to the center of the cluster, both alphas would try to stay away from one another, thus the Ankylosaur group wouldn’t walk across a whole herd of Hadrosaurs, but around is radious, to reach water, for instance. But I’m not sure about this.

Btw, thanks a lot for your ideas! Let’s give Frontier all the feedback we can!
 
But the point is, since only the severely disrupted territories are reset, an animal having to left it’s own would still know where another’s territory is, since it would be “tagged” to it’s respective owner, so the homeless animal could still have that algorithm triggered to decide whether he wants to risk entering it to challenge it’s owner or if he’d rather keep going on the search for any other space. So, in effect, that would mean exploration, right?
Well, while one of your assumption is incorrect, the end result works as intended. If you too agree on the following logics, I think you’ve nailed the final reality!!

First, I ‘m not sure how your tagging memory system works. In reality, the tagging shouldn’t be global. It is kept only by the losing party. For instance, an Allosaurus wins a territory fight against Baryonyx, only the Baryonyx knows and tags the location of Allosaurus (since the Allosaurus is likely to stay there as it claims the territory). Not the other way around simply because the Baryonyx will wonder away, and keep staying away, out of sight from the Allosaurus to find its new home.

Without exploration, the Allosaurus will NEVER know the location of Baryonyx. This is where your assumption is incorrect. No worries, it is precisely this incorrect piece that leads to the correct final answer. Please bear with me.

When more carnivores are introduced, always the losing party knows where the winners are. So, if you introduce a bulked up TRex, I suppose your proposed mechanism requires it to explore the entire enclosure and fight with both the Baryonyx and Allosaurus to determine the hierarchy, right? If that is the case, it will eventually ended up kicking the Allosaurus out from its home. The homeless Allosaurus, who doesn’t know where the Baryonyx lives has a chance of bumping onto it (unless there is spaces). This is precisely the magical moment! Do you realize whether you like it or not, it ends up agreeing the theory of JP3 film!? The largest predator will always be at the center. How? Simply because it is a rippling chaos process to constantly displace the losers. Geometrically, losers expands outward eventually since the outer rim is the only surface that can expand.

If the above logics are true, you have nailed it! Thank you for the discussion. At least it teaches me a new ecosystem theory!

Edit:- But still, I think it may not necessarily be true that the a Dino will only establish its territory after facing off with all the others.

It may as well be that it establishes its territory as soon as it can, settle down, explore again in a step-wise process.

In fact, I think it is a must.

First, it doesn't even know the existence of the others without further exploration.

Second, as long as there are resources available, it makes better sense to safeguard them instead of going on non-stop indefinite exploration.

Third, at least it will serve as a temporary territory for it to heal itself after winning a territory fight.

Finally, regarding of tagging a location to avoid, I start to agree that it shouldn't be the only mean. They should also be susceptible to territory marking as sometimes the owner might leave temporarily for exploration. In other cases, the owner might have even abandon the place as it gets a new one or die in the quest. So, location tagging and marking should only serve as a guideline/temporary deterrent.

- The location to avoid tagging is not the decisive factor, loser might want to challenge the owner again if there is no where else to go.

- The territorial markings have expiration time.

- Likewise, exploration time and hence distance should be limited.

- There is a territory capturing time in cases where there is no owner presence on the spot.​
 
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For my claim of exploration is crucial as to be aware of the surrounding in case of emergency, I still hold my position. As said, the winner is not aware of the loser’s position. When it suddenly loses its territory (might be losing to a stronger intruder), it is likely to be seriously wounded. In extreme conditions, it might as well be hungry and thirsty; it needs to resettle down quick to heal. If it doesn’t prepare itself beforehand, the random exploration may lead it to the loser territory. You may say the loser will flee in such case but it is not fair. Now, the situation is different from the past. This might be the only place the loser can stay. So, it is logical for it to gamble, wait and see the condition of the winner to decide further. If the winner appears weak and wounded, it ends up as the grave for the poor homeless soul. On the other case, even if the loser decides not to gamble, it is likely that its territory is a further, poorer choice. It is likely that another food source is in another direction closer to the homeless Dino original territory. Distance, unwise travel might as well lead to death for the wounded ones.

In sum, Exploration beyond territory is needed for:-

- A way to detect an even better new territory.
- A step-wise process is more logical as needs have to be safe-guarded for survival.
- Well aware of the surrounding, preparing for emergency retrieval.
- Better chance to see territorial disputes (mere roaring) to spice things up.
- To create flexible buffering zones to ensure rivalry territories won’t be in direct contacts – no side by side roaming allowed.
- For hunting (Even if feeder is provided, it’s nice to see occasion hunting!)​

I will propose the detailed mechanisms for the memory system at a later time.
 
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I ‘m not sure how your tagging memory system works. In reality, the tagging shouldn’t be global. It is kept only by the losing party.
Actually, the territory tagging is global in as much territories are map-bound coordinates that mark a map space which “belongs” (= is tagged) to a certain animal/s. I’ll try to add some image to illustrate this below:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/uv39dg7anumc65w/TERRITORY_SAMPLE01.png?dl=0

Here, the red dot would be the “coordinates” point which would mark the precise spot on the map around which the territory (yellow circle) would be placed; this yellow circle (the territory) would be of an area of the exact size of the species needs, so a Tyrannosaurus’ would be far bigger than, say, a Ceratosaurus’, and should contain some water source, some food source, and enough grassland and forest to hold comfort.

So, this point/coords. will always be the spot of maximum comfort for (and found by) the animal, flexible (thus placeable anywhere on the map) provided he’s high enough in the hierarchy to claim it in the first place. On the other hand, the green ring would be of varying length, and would represent the distance of the territory itself to which other animals could risk to venture before getting the panic/stress behavior triggered.

So, when a herbivore reaches the limit of the green ring (which would be getting bigger and bigger, to a certain top, the longer the territory belongs to its owner), he would “smell” the carnivore there and enter a panic mode that would drive him away from that place, thus avoiding entering the carnivores territory. Same would happen to another carnivore.

Still, if the animal is desperate enough, sick enough, hungry/thirsty enough, it could still have a chance to trespass the territory limit, thus being spotted by it’s owner with the appropriate consequences.

Without exploration, the Allosaurus will NEVER know the location of Baryonyx.
That’s both correct and intended, I can’t understand where my assumption is incorrect: an animal who already “owns” a territory wouldn’t mind about external areas or animals as long as his needs are covered: while he has water, food, enough grassland and forest, he wouldn’t be bothered to the location of the Baryonix unless it decided to trespass again into his territory.

On the other hand, the Baryonix would know where the Allosaurus’ territory is and, after loosing, would stay well away from it, keeping the scouting for a new area to try and claim.

always the losing party knows where the winners are. So, if you introduce a bulked up TRex, I suppose your proposed mechanism requires it to explore the entire enclosure and fight with both the Baryonyx and Allosaurus to determine the hierarchy, right?
Actually, all animals that wander near enough the territory would know to whom it belongs (because of the marking habits), that distance getting higher and higher the more time that territory belongs to the same animal (see above the green ring explanation).

Also, and while you’re right the system I suggested means that a new animal explores “the entire enclosure” (technically, just wander enough to find a spot were his needs are met to the highest; territory claiming should happen as soon as possible, providing such a spot exists and is not already claimed by some other animal).

But you do have a point regarding the hierarchy system: while that would work nicely on pack-dynamics, where all animals are “linked” together, on a greater scale it cannot ultimately work.

So, I’m suggesting the following: initially, global hierarchy is determined by the dinosaur stats and age instead, so bigger, more aggressive, older dinosaurs always are “first” (top on the feeding chain) unless challenged and defeated (something that could still happen with the territory bonus, and other “modulating” variables as age, health, hunger/thirst, etc).

I think this makes much more sense because, in a broader sense, the “hierarchy” among all possible carnivores within the map wouldn’t be a “true” hierarchy, but most likely the “food chain”, but not exactly the “pecking order” found within a proper group of pack-hunters.

Edit:- But still, I think it may not necessarily be true that the a Dino will only establish its territory after facing off with all the others.
It may as well be that it establishes its territory as soon as it can, settle down, explore again in a step-wise process.
In fact, I think it is a must.
You’re right, so I’ve explained further above.

Second, as long as there are resources available, it makes better sense to safeguard them instead of going on non-stop indefinite exploration.
Right again, that’s why I propose a “territory bonus” for the animal which is fighting to protect his territory.

Finally, regarding tagging a location to avoid, I start to agree that it shouldn't be the sole mean. They should also be susceptible to territory marking as sometimes the owner might leave temporary for exploration. In other cases, the owner might have even abondant the place as it gets a new one or die in the quest. So, location tagging and marking should only serve as a guideline/temporary deterrent.
Here, I disagree slightly. As I said, markings (odors, steps, bits of claws, teeth or scales on the ground, carcasses, etc) would work all the time, and get stronger the more the owner inhabits the place. Most of them wouldn’t even go away that easily, although I agree that the presence of the animal within the territory should somehow make the “repelling tag” stronger.

Also, the more the owner stays within the territory, the more stronger these marks become.

loser might want to challenge the owner again if there is no where else to go.
Maybe not: this all comes down to the stress behavior suggested above and the algorithm to choose between the two expressions, fight or flight. While it is true that desperate, hungry or cornered animals could ultimately resort to “fight”, some of them could still choose to “flight” (depending on their gene-traits, their current health, stress level, thirst/hunger level, etc)

There is a territory capturing time in cases where there is no owner presence on the spot.
Actually, I think it best if it triggers dominance behavior: the newcomer goes to the core of the territory (the red dot explained above) and roars, thus “calling” the owner there to fight, wherever it may be (hopefully, according to how the territories should work, not so far away). Then, both would clash on an average dominance fight, which would have also the result to change the territories property (or not).

For my claim of exploration is crucial as to be aware of the surrounding in case of emergency, I still hold my position. As said, the winner is not aware of the loser’s position. When it suddenly loses its territory (might be losing to a stronger intruder), it is likely to be seriously wounded. In extreme conditions, it might be as well hungry and thirsty; it needs to resettle down quick to heal. If it doesn’t prepare itself beforehand, the random exploration may lead it to the loser territory. You may say the loser will flee in such case but it is not fair.
I think I’ve already answered this, but will elaborate further, even thought we will likely agree to disagree: first, I think you’re putting too much intelligence on animals in general. Planning is, as far as I know, human-only. The most cunning animals could indeed work out an escape, quite some impressive flee under certain circumstances, but I doubt those could be considered “planned” as in “planned beforehand”. They are most likely examples of quick thinking and improvising and, sometimes, trial and error. In summary, I don’t think any animal (aside from human beings; and, possibly, lore-wise, raptors, to a certain extent) drive themselves by “logic”, but by pure instinct instead.

Second, the fact that the previous winner-now-turned-to-loser-and-wounded meets his previous challenger is intended and desirable: nature is indeed some hard place to live, never fair, but dangerous and soulless most of the time (check out predator behavior in Africa: most felines will go for sick, young animals; would you call that “fair”?). A wounded animal could well go avoiding all possible confrontation until fully healed, guiding himself by smell, and indeed I think he’s most urgent need would be eating, drinking and resting to heal, not go looking for any territory: a wounded animal would just run away to safety, this being a place far away from any threat, where he can find what he needs to heal (food, drink and rest).

Should a Tyrannosaur, for instance, was forced out of his territory by a bigger carnivore or another, more aggressive and young Rex, his territory would then pass to be property of his conqueror and he would be forced to flee (just flee, run away to put as much distance as possible to his defeater).
If, while running, or later on after having eaten and enjoyed some quick rest, he meets an Allosaurus whom he previously had defeated, but that is now on his own territory, healthy and well-fed, then chances should be that he had a higher chance to lose this duel too, thus dropping another step in the “chain food” hierarchy. That’s how nature works: rogue lions, for instance, when too old to win against younger ones are often driven out of their packs, forced to try hunting alone to survive, daring less and less to challenge any other lion or claim any territory.
That’s also the way nature purges the environment, from the sick and the old, in an evolutionary context. Hard, but that’s how things seem to work in the wild. I also stress this point: in the wild; we are talking about a zoo (ideally, at some point, a park), where human hand and management could and should have something to say.
On the other case, even if the loser decides not to gamble, it is likely that its territory is a further, poorer choice. It is likely that another food source is in another direction closer to the homeless Dino original territory. Distance, unwise travel might as well lead to death for the wounded ones.
That’s also intended, because that’s how things are in the wild. We might think it “unfair” that most preys, food or even water sources lie within the winner’s territory lines, but that’s how it is in nature. Still, an animal desperate enough to still try and reach some of those sources could still have luck if, say, the territory owner is sleeping, hunting, feeding or fighting somewhere else; so, he wouldn’t be able to trigger a “roar” to challenge him, but would meet his needs, although to a constant sense of fear/stress/discomfort.
A way to detect an even better new territory.
Why would they want a new territory if the current one already fulfills their needs?

A territory is not a “home”, and dinosaurs (and animals) are not humans beings who might want to change airs from time to time. They think “I need to eat, I need to hunt, I need to… (you know)”, and that’s pretty much all.

A step-wise process is more logical as needs have to be safe-guarded for survival.
This is precisely what dominance fights for territory do, and also the reason of the “territory bonus”.

Better chance to see territorial disputes (mere roaring) to spice things up.
In my opinion, that would be something you could cause or avoid, depending on how you build your enclosures, where you place your fences, which animals you choose to be paddock-mates. Space and environmental resources should determine that, not dinosaurs “choosing” to randomly abandon the comfort of their territories to go scouting.
For hunting (Even if feeder is provided, it’s nice to see occasion hunting!).
I could agree with that too, but the thing is: that would also depend on your decisions while designing the paddock. If you’re securing the carnivores with appropriate feeders, they wouldn't actively go for hunting unless an “easy prey” crosses their path; no animal that I know off would waste valuable physical resources in any kind of stalking, chasing and fighting which could have a hight chance to fail when they already have free, easy food sources available.
And, if you’re not placing feeders in the paddock, then the water source would probably act as his “feeder” by attracting herds of herbivores towards it anyway. Should it does not, then it’s likely an issue with your terrain/population design, and the carnivore would starve to death anyway.

On the other hand, and since most animals have a different “metabolism rate”/hunger levels, something could also be implemented for the carnivores that matches my views for herbivores: that, depending of the weight of a potential prey, said prey poses a certain amount of food, for a certain period of time. So, should the food source is plentiful, the carnivore won’t hunt (unless an easy prey -a young, sick, lonely animal- runs into him), otherwise, it would be driven to find more food, either emptying the feeder, or go hunting.
 
Why would they want a new territory if the current one already fulfills their needs?

A territory is not a “home”, and dinosaurs (and animals) are not humans beings who might want to change airs from time to time. They think “I need to eat, I need to hunt, I need to… (you know)”, and that’s pretty much all.
I haven’t read your other comments. A little busy lately. I’ll surely get back to them in details, perhaps next week. Thank You for the discussion. Appreciate it.

The reason is the logic I mentioned earlier – without exploration, the winners don’t know where the losers are. When the winners first established their territories, those are done without taking into knowledge the location of the others – the Losers’ territories that are yet to be established. When things are getting tight, finer re-adjustments (etc. moving slightly to east/west/north/south, certainly not replacing) of territories are necessary. For instance, assuming the determined hierarchy is A>B>C. When B and C are getting closed to A (simply because total space available is reaching its limit), A should tolerates C better than B because B is stronger. Hence, A might want to move slightly, pushing towards C instead of replacing it via exploration, minor disputes.

Edit: - Better yet, there might be a small place opening somewhere. For instance, for the example above, B is at west; A is at center; C is at east, there might be a small space opening at the top. You may say if that is so, why not the C/B takes the north at the first place? The problem is – it is only a slight space available, not enough to fit the entire territory but works best with slight re-adjustment of A to form a triangle geometry. You may argue, why bother of spaces out of its territory? By ignoring, it means the space is completely wasted for no reason. As you know, when you try to pack something when you travel, sometimes it requires you to move the “fixed” part slightly to accommodate all of them as a whole. Sometimes, you need a complete relocation of all. I guess the former is precisely what I argue about. Back to territory concern, another problem for total relocation is – it is a risky business to go wild. Sometimes, if little adjustment works, it is logical, and it makes total sense to go for it.

In another more important example, you may assume that since the loser always recognize the location of the winner; its territory must have already taken into account of the winner. That is not necessarily true all the time. Due to luck factors, the loser might have established its territory before the winner does or that something even stronger has forced the winner to relocate. So, speaking in terms of finer re-adjustments (etc. moving slightly to west), not replacements, it makes better sense if they know their immediate surroundings well to decide the proper adjustments. While your mechanism of forcing it to re-establish its territory works, it is very extreme and it is very random in its nature – because the re-establishment mechanism is built to include dramatic changes and not specialized to finer, subtle changes. The way I see territorial behaviors/disputes is like a war zone/battle, you don’t win the war in a battle; finer, subtle, continuous movement of spaces (rather than radical changes) sounds more natural to me.

Finally, my finer-readjustment mechanism works for addition of new areas. That’s why they want to move. It makes sense for them to move toward open spaces rather than sticking to the old crowded space that filled with struggles and dangers.

I want to withhold my memory system concept a little longer but it is worth mentioning that in one of its form, the perceived immediate surrounding outer rim is divided into 4 to 8 quadrants, each quadrant has a rating number associated with it that takes into account various living factors.
 
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without exploration, the winners don’t know where the losers are.
And they don't need too; also, it's against logic to think they should, because no animal on Earth (not even human beings) are omniscient.

For instance, assuming the determined hierarchy is A>B>C. When B and C are getting closed to A (simply because total space available is reaching its limit), A should tolerates C better than B because B is stronger. Hence, A might want to move slightly, pushing towards C instead of replacing it via exploration, minor disputes.
A wouldn't "tolerate" any of them while they are within the limits of his territory, and that's all. He will scared off any intruder, regardless it's status on the "food chain" (hierarchy) and, if he can, and the other's keep challenging him, he will kill try and kill them just because due to the "territory bonus" I mentioned earlier, he would "feel" stronger and more inclined to fight, than to flight. That, unless the invader is far bigger and stronger than he, that is (say, a second Tyrannosaur genetically modified to be stronger: this would "feel" he's the best and would be naturally driven to the best spot he can find, ignoring the owner of the territory and the territory's bounds and properties, just to challenge the owner).

And no, should the feel comfortable within their territories, they wouldn't want to move. Maybe you are willing to lend some room in your house for a stranger (jocking) but I can assure you no lion or tiger would do that, unless the "stranger" is a particularly "beautiful" lioness or tigress lol And, since we're talking about animals of the same sex here, I really doubt they would give up an inch of their territories if they are not of the "social" type (deinonychus, raptors, ceratosaurus, etc) and that wouldn't even mean changing territories limits, but just "admitting" another within it.

there might be a small place opening somewhere. For instance, for the example above, B is at west; A is at center; C is at east, there might be a small space opening at the top. You may say if that is so, why not the C/B takes the north at the first place? The problem is – it is only a slight space available, not enough to fit the entire territory but works best with slight re-adjustment of A to form a triangle geometry. You may argue, why bother of spaces out of its territory? By ignoring, it means the space is completely wasted for no reason.
No, it shouldn't, sorry. It is a big, bad, soulless world out there in the wild. If an area is already claimed by a bigger dude, you just need to decided whether you'll stick out and away from it, or try entering it for whatever reason. If, after loosing repeated duels, you end up stack in a corner of the paddock, "blocked" by the territories of two "bigger buddies", that would suck, but that's how things are: eventually, hunger will move you to either challenge them or, more likely, try to enter these zones for food/drink (and flee if you are discovered) or starve to death. That's how things work, unless in the wild.

the loser might have established its territory before the winner does or that something even stronger has forced the winner to relocate.
That would NEVER happen, sorry: in my view, the loser would never have established a territory before the winner, because that would mean he would have had a territory to stick comfortably to, so he wouldn't have met the "winner" in the first place unless this "winner" came invading to challenge him and, if that were the case, then, by loosing the fight, he would have been driven out of the place, and the territory would them pass to the winner's ownership.

On the other hand, if the winner had to relocate (let's say, for instance, because of human redesign of the paddock), then his territory would have been erased and he would re-start his "exploring" to find himself a new one. Should he reached the territory of the previous "looser", chances are he may well win again, thus casting the looser out and claiming the territory for himself. The "looser" then having no territory of its own would start the "exploring" in turn, to find himself a new place.

But mind the "territory bonus" because, if the previous looser is younger, healthier, better-fed and is fighting for his territory, he may as well win; in that case, the previous winner would drop below the previous looser in the chain food hierarchy, having to flee for his life and continuing the search for another territory. That's all.

So, speaking in terms of finer re-adjustments (etc. moving slightly to west), not replacements, it makes better sense if they know their immediate surroundings well to decide the proper adjustments. While your mechanism of forcing it to re-establish its territory works, it is very extreme and it is very random in its nature – because the re-establishment mechanism is built to include dramatic changes and not specialized to finer, subtle changes. The way I see territorial behaviors/disputes is like a war zone/battle, you don’t win the war in a battle; finer, subtle, continuous movement of spaces (rather than radical changes) sounds more natural to me.
While I could agree with you on the first part, I really don't think it is doable, specially with all processing limitations imposed by consoles so, unless a dev wanted to enlighten us, I think we'll just agree to disagree.

On the other hand, I don't see how the mechanism I suggested is "random in nature", as it would be still a regular math between the dinosaurs' stats; just most of them, plus one or two extras. And I really think it makes sense: currently, dinosaurs fight in an illogical way sometimes (for instance, Dilos challenging Tyrannosaurus, or Deinos facing Spinos); in my view, however, the Fighting behavior would be decided by taking into account the difference in size and weight of both animals, their hunger, comfort and health levels, plus a "territory bonus" (which would work both moving the owner to fight AND boosting it a bit) mostly. And I really think it's much more dynamic and, because of that, fun. But it would be nice to hear more people's views.

Finally, my finer-readjustment mechanism works for addition of new areas. That’s why they want to move. It makes sense for them to move toward open spaces rather than sticking to the old crowded space that filled with struggles and dangers.
I admit I also thought of that but eventually considered it was something much more advance that what I would consider basic AI as stated above. In particular, I thought of this "adding new areas" for Raptors:

Since they are pack-hunters, and would ruthlessly chase a prey, they are more likely to going out of the limits of their territory. If they are challenged, they would surely chase the invader so, a territory would either not be as important for them or they would claim as many areas as they can.

The problem is, the bigger the area, the harder it would be for them to protect and, while it is true that eventually they could just scatter, with any of them calling for the help of the rest of the pack, wherever they might be, moving times could make an issue. Ultimately, I think all animals would fiercely stick to their chosen areas just fine and not even the establishment of two territories together would pose a great problem, since the central coordinate would be decided both according to the highest comfort level the surrounding area poses to the animal and the distance to the nearest established territory core. Should, eventually, two tiny parts of territories were to overlap a little, chances are their respective owners would meet, thus triggering a dominance battle which would decided which of them claims both areas which, with time, would "merge" on a slightly bigger territory among them.

But, as I said, I consider this more advanced AI, and I would gladly settle with half the behaviors stated above, to begin with.

I want to withhold my memory system concept a little longer but it is worth mentioning that in one of its form, the perceived immediate surrounding outer rim is divided into 4 to 8 quadrants, each quadrant has a rating number associated with it that takes into account various living factors.
Please, do explain further. Can you make some graphics to illustrate?
 
I'm sorry for the double post but, do you guys think I should split this one into separate behaviors just to explore and debate each one separatedly?
 
I don’t know….I’m kind of worried of it too, of long discussion will scare people away, maybe even the Devs away….Hope it is not, cause I intend to go back on it at a later time.

As I said from the beginning, I’m 100% for this post but just wanted to add my view on it. This is an extremely good one. I’m very excited to see if any of these can be made into the game!!
 
I don’t know….I’m kind of worried of it too, of long discussion will scare people away, maybe even the Devs away….Hope it is not, cause I intend to go back on it at a later time.
:S I don't know why. Long discussion is good to further improve the idea, ain't it? Anyway, maybe short "AI packages" would be better for voting...

I could try and resume everything discussed, also illustrating it with images if I can... although not sure how to divide it all, or if I can. Moderators?
 
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