Slightly more dynamic, less "annoying" fungus?

The fungus often reminds me of the weed in War of the Worlds. It’s an interesting mechanic, with some balance, and a real “flavour” to the world. It could also be an “end game” to the player, where the world is taken over (by ants/triffids/blob as well), and watching it grow would make even a stocked NPC camp quiver at times.

So could some slight tweaks add to this? Such as making it progress more root like, than a plain circular spread?

Also, making it, lore and mechanics, prefer wet over dry? It is already susceptible to fire. So in lore, would it’s prefered habitat (or planet), be damp, and it not have a resistance against dry areas or fire.

Thus, making it grow faster in rain/damp conditions, and slower in dry conditions would give the player times to focus on the fungus, and times to raid around it (mid summer? just raid the town. rainy spring? gotta try and avoid it, it spreads too fast).

Perhaps even limiting the fungus spread to root systems and spore buds and walking mobs, and less to the blanket. The blanket would still cause landscape changes, but the spread would be focused on nodes and creatures.

Sorry I’ve not got much ability to actually code that… other than pseudio code brainstorming.

[Edit] PS, I just had a thought on if restricting growth to a node/network system would speed up processing too, as the game would not be checking every tile for growth, just around each “node” (spore source) of the fungus spread.

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I love your idea of node/network based fungus spread model but it doesn’t help much in terms of not making it an absolute annoyance to stop/remove if it spreads even a little.

About it being adjusted to Earth climate, while it would require a large lore modification, how about making it dependent on some kind of exotic substance… delivered via its network nodes… from a central node… and making it die off if disconnected from it? You probably can see where I am going with this idea.

If we assume it now requires a constant supply chain from a central node, and it spreads expanding its network it would make it feasible to control its growth by attacking nodes, and would make going all-in for a central node attack able to even eliminate fungus network, unless it connected to another central node, or maybe, grew some kind of auxiliary supply nodes that would need to be taken down too.

As said. The option of limiting spread to nodes or roots would possibly help. Right now, every form must be destroyed. This also means a lot of game processing power.

It could possibly changed to 3 types of spread only. “Node” tiles (could be fungus eggs/towers/bulbs/flowers/ etc), “root” tiles (these would spread out from the nodes, and grow in shapes similar to a root system), and “mobs” (these would be the current mobs and spores that move around and drop fungus tiles).

Fungus tiles would still appear, and change the landscape, but these do not grow by themselves, they would need 1 of the types of growth tile/mob to do that.

If a player wanted to destroy the fungus spread, they would only have to destroy the tiles that spread it (nodes/roots/mobs), and not every fungus tile on the map. Likewise the game would not have to calculate every fungus tile, just nodes/roots/mobs on the map (though it would still need to place fungus tiles, this I hope would be less computationally intensive as it’s not also checking spread on each fungus tile).

That can apply too. The idea of damp/vs dry was for varying the speed of the progress (not nerfing it, as it would still bounce around the current base speed) during a playthrough/year.

To differentiate it from triffids and blobs (IMO the blob should instead spread without restriction as the fungus currently does), having the fungus require a type of root/nutrient system to “feed” it could apply. It also follows some natural systems. Mold/rot does progress, but buds/roots/mushrooms depending on density and nutrients available.

unfortunately spores don’t grow by roots. they’d just be zombie plants by then.
However I would like it if there was some way to use fungicide to erect a permanent moat around an area I want to protect.

I’m thinking for flavour and computational speed. Plus fungus does have a root like system at times. It would track the shape/size of the spread better. The normal tiles could even grow too, but update less often, so as to again save on some computational power.