Fish count display

Some time ago I was reworking fishing mechanics. Biggest flaw that had to be fixed – unnatural fish depletion. Now fish slowly regenerates. To make it work, waterbodies had to be made to keep track of their fish reserves. One additional benefit is that building a dozen of fisherman’s houses would not increase overall catch amount, but only affect speed at which fish gets caught.

Having this mechanics for a while, made me realize that I’m not entirely happy with it, but can not put a finger on what exactly feels wrong. From game mechanics point of view, it works as it should – providing good starting nutrition source that is slowly depleting, but never too much to cause Fishermans houses demolition to be a good move. Mechanic itself is a bit less clear, fish count increments are a bit vague, but still on par with old approach. UI display – that’s what requires the most attention and work!

Current display (numbers on terrain) was totally unnatural for the games visual style and has to be reworked. But how? The idea is to mix a heatmap with a fluid. Let it be a bit vague and flow-like.

These are work-in-progress shots. First attempts at visualizing fish-count with a very blurred texture sharply cut at certain value and filled uniformly red. Done in special preview-tool dedicated to water effects:

Checking that all the tiles align well between texture and the terrain:

Two separate layers, to indicate higher fish density:

First in-game shot:

Tweaking transparency and density:

Fish can not be caught anywhere nut the shoreline, so it makes sense to show the effect only there. Also trying out different scale – looks interesting, but too noisy. The water should be calm:

Applying Fog of War effect

Trying out fish-count effect without blur – looks good for a Minecraft clone:

Again more tweaking:

Forgot to disable texture tiling:

This is how the final effect looks:

You can check this and other new features in the wip versions of Knights Province available at

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5 Responses to Fish count display

  1. Lautaro Zualet says:

    pop quiz: how many fishes does it take for the whole village to be fed?

  2. Wychor says:

    If you want realistic fish regeneration then I’d suggest you make fish regenerate based on the current amount of fish proportional to the lake size. Imagine a gaussian distribution with the Y-axis representing regeneration, or “growth rate”, and the X-axis representing current density of fish.
    This way players would be motivated to keep their fishing rate at or below the growth rate of the fish population.

    Additionally you could have the rate at which a single fisherman catches fish depend on the density of fish in the lake, meaning that you’ll have a lower catch rate with multiple fishermen, but not as low as the regeneration rate.

    • Krom says:

      Thanks for advice!

      I was looking for less realistic but more game-like mechanic. Main points are for regeneration to occur, but also to discourage multiple fishermen and also to take into account the shoreline length, not the waterbody size.

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