The team is cur­rently dis­cussing the level of in­for­ma­tion to give the player when they en­counter a crea­ture. There’s par­tic­u­lar de­bate over whether or not ex­plor­ers should be in­formed if a crea­ture is hos­tile. “We had a print­out that would dis­play that in­for­ma­tion and it re­moved some of the [mys­tery],” says Mur­ray. “Maybe we’ll just do it for the crea­tures that have been dis­cov­ered al­ready, but at the mo­ment we’re think­ing that you won’t have it.”

Dun­can sug­gests that the game’s vis­ual lan­guage will be enough to in­form play­ers. “You’ll be able to look at crea­tures in the same way as you can look at a cer­tain ship and [know] that it’s go­ing to be very fast and very ma­noeu­vrable. It will come down to how we au­thor those things. If you were walk­ing around in Africa, there are cer­tain crea­tures where you’d think, ‘I’m go­ing to stay away from that,’ like a lion. But if you see a ze­bra plod­ding around, you know it’s all right.”

The likely de­ci­sion to re­move the in­for­ma­tion, says Mur­ray, is about re­spect­ing play­ers’ in­tel­li­gence. Smart play­ers nat­u­rally ex­er­cise cau­tion when en­coun­ter­ing some­thing that’s much larger than them. There may, how­ever, be the odd sur­prise. “I do re­ally want to have a lit­tle white rab­bit that kicks your arse,” laughs Dun­can.

These are all vari­ants of the same an­i­mal type, or rig, that have been gen­er­ated with a sin­gle mouse click. Out in the wild, you’ll no­tice they vary more in size. Each mu­ta­tion changes the beast’s un­der­ly­ing bone struc­ture, and the an­i­ma­tion will be ad­justed ac­cord­ingly

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