I'm planning to build a game for me and my friends where the worlds are procedurally generated. The idea is that different and habitable planets and moons have flora and fauna that has adapted to the conditions on the surface.

So... My question is:

In what way would you say plant life would be affected if the following conditions were different (both positively and negatively) than here on Earth:

  1. Gravity
  2. Oxygen levels
  3. Humidity
  4. Temperature
  5. Wind speeds
  6. Luminosity
  7. Day / night cycle AND year duration

I have some thoughts on it myself, but would like your input.

Thanks! :)

  1. Gravity

    In higher gravity it is less profitable to build big and high. So massive redwoods are out of the question. Squat ground-hugging vegetation. The more expensive building up becomes the closer the game becomes simply about coverage. Lichens, mosses etc.

    In lower gravity you can build high (light competition) with little structure. At the extreme levels, This becomes air kelp. At lower extremes slender trees as tall as skyscrapers.

  2. Oxygen levels At high levels, there is a bigger risk of fire to plants that take advantage of that and those that are resistant to it. At very low levels the plants may need methods for getting enough $O_2$ for the dark reaction. My idea is little bulby plant lungs. Just empty pods that contract and release.

  3. Humidity Just earth-style Jungle and desert adaptations we got range on this rock. Water storage methods Tubers barrel Cactuses etc.

  4. Temperature see 3. for most of it but remember heat means energy the more of it you have the more plants (number and diversity) you can have

  5. Wind speeds. We have a range of these here as well. The rule of thumb is with high wind speed you get gnarled and twisted trees in a no wind world you could really grow em tall.

  6. Luminosity the lower it is the larger and greener the leaves too low and you don't have any at all and need to find a new autotrophic scheme or become hetero.

  7. if the cycle it too fast (strobe light worlds) you just ignore it. If it extremely long the plants treat it like a winter. Tubers etc.

  8. same as 7


Plant life will be affected by all these factors.

  • High gravity will discourage high, squishy plants. Fewer grasses and ferns, more wooden structures.
  • Plants need atmospheric oxygen for some processes.
  • Water is required for life as we know it. Too little and plants die, too much and they drown.
  • Temperature affects the availability of liquid water.
  • High winds will discourage high trees, they might help with pollination.
  • Light helps with photosynthesis.
  • Excessive day and year lengths require strategies to get through the cold of night and winter.

Programming all that into a game looks almost impossible.


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