There is quite a bit of reading ahead, outlining the four environments in which players can choose. If you have your mind set on a specific area to play, you can skip to outline for it and ignore the rest...for now at least.
Off the Eatern coast of Australia lies an island never before discovered by humans...Nor any animals for that matter. In the same way that it's parent continent is dominated by marsupials, this island is in fact dominated by Saurians; the reptiles and the birds. Recently, however, the island was struck by a massive cyclone, wiping out many of the species endemic to the island, and yet introducing others. Recently, Komodo dragons have been said to be seen prowling around, feasting on whatever they might be able to capture.
A distant relative of the Frilled Lizard, named Achlamydosaurus primii has inhabited the island for almost one hundred thousand years, surviving volcanic and climatic turmoil. They are small, reaching roughly a foot in length, and lack the frill that make their mainland relatives so famous. A rather plain example of a lizard. They are insectivorous, and colored a mottled brown and dark green to hide in their forest home. However, in recent years the forest has become reduced, leaving only a relatively small portion left to the Frilless Lizards and the other animals that call it home.
After the Cyclone passed, the Frilless Lizards, tossed both by winds and fleeing across even crocodile infested rivers to new areas in an attempt to flee, became scattered all across the island, often finding themselves in environments very different to their home. The forest population may very well be extinct, as none have been seen since the cyclone passed. All that remain now are four depleted groups of lizards in landscapes completely alien to them.
Saurian Island has seen much strife in the past few thousand years. Though the volcano in the center lies dormant now, it has long been both the destroyer and lifeblood for many of the island's environments.
The island was once dominated by forest, but now less than half of the island still has trees growing in great quantity. Here the animals are secretive, and spend their days foraging above or weaving between the trunks in search of their food. The Frilless lizard apparently died out here during the last Cyclone, as none have been seen since.
The Jungle grows around a river delta that is fed by ash from the volcano's many eruptions in the island's past. While it is the smallest environment thanks to lack of nutrients, life flourishes here. Birds and insects cry out in a cacophony of sound, joined by the few species of amphibian that inhabit the jungle as well. Some have even attributed some of the strange songs heard from within the dense jungle to reptiles, but it's quickly brushed off. Reptiles don't have a larynx or a syrinx, after all. Still, this dense jungle houses predators. Monitor lizards and snakes dominate the treetops and the land, and any animal unlucky enough to fall into the water is snatched up by the small Delta Crocodiles that patrol the waterways. The Frilless Lizards may find this area the homiest of all the other populations, but they still lack many of the necessary adaptations to call this place home.
The Rockfall is a permanent scar on the island after the volcano's last eruption nearly thirty thousand years ago. The northwestern face of the volcano collapsed and proceeded to bury the land underneath in miles of rock and ash. This unforgiving environment acts as a barrier between the north and the south, as many animals lack the ability to climb the sheer rock faces, or cannot find enough food to survive. Only the hardiest plants grow here, and most of the animal life is in the form of insects and birds. The birds often come to nest on the rocky cliff faces and outcroppings, and one species, known as the Stonehopper, makes a permanent home here. These birds are actually very distant cousins to the Kookaburra, and though they are still capable of flight, they have developed rather long and muscular legs, and their toes have grown longer to help them grip onto the loose rocks of their home as they pluck insects from the ground. The Frilless Lizards here will struggle. Even though food is there for the taking, even they are not adept enough climbers to deal with the jagged terrain easily, and predatory birds still patrol the sky above, waiting for a meal to present itself.
The Scrubland is a relatively recent environment for the animals of Saurian Island to adapt to. After the Rockfall blocked off the North, less and less rain managed to make it to this area. Now only sparse pockets of forest grow here, surrounded by thickets of brush and open spaces exposed to the harsh sun. Water here is relatively scarce, especially in the dry season when the river which divides the Scrubland from the Savanna all but dries up. Animals here have adapted to find water from every source they can get. Recently, an invader has been spotted in the Scrublands. Komodo dragons arrived after the Cyclone had passed, presumably tossed out to see on dead trees by the wind and the massive waves. While the climate is a little dry than what they are used to, the massive lizards persevere, and have quickly established themselves as the dominant predators. Frilless lizards are exposed here, and not as adapted to the harsh elements as the native fauna. They must be careful if they are to survive.
The Savanna was a biome thousands of years in the making. Massive flocks of emu used to run free through the southern part of the island, eating away the seeds and brush of the forest. In their wake they left only grass and the few trees that managed to establish themselves. But there's no place to hide in the grasslands when you're the world's second largest flightless bird. The Cyclone almost completely destroyed the Saurian emu population. Only a single flock numbering around a hundred individuals remains, hardly the plant busting force that created the massive stretch of grass. Crocodiles also live here, preying on whatever animals attempt to cross the river in search of food. The Frilless Lizards are completely out of their element here, no where to hide and not big or fast enough to fight or run. Yet the cyclone opened many opportunities; most of the species endemic to the savannah are extinct, and the emus are struggling to survive. Major niches both for predator and prey are available now, but time will tell if the Frilless Lizards can take advantage.
Like most forum games, you will get two votes per turn as a total per team. You may have three people per team, however there shall only remain two votes per round. It is up to you as a team to discuss (OUTSIDE OF THIS THREAD, to avoid clogging it up) what you want these votes to be. To avoid drama and confusion, one person will be designated to tell me what the votes for the round are, and at least one other person in the team must message me to say that these votes are correct, because I will only accept votes based on the rule of majority or unanimity. If the designated voter tries to force their own votes against the wishes of the other two, one or both may feel free to contact me. The designated voter will be changed to someone else and the offender will be given a warning to not impede the game again.
Or, you can play alone. You have the right to play by yourself or with certain people and can reject anyone whom you do not want on your team.
Shamelessly, I am going to steal most of JoshtheHawk's trait generation system from his forum game "Life on Geffuh" which he seemed to steal from Alpha, to influence randomness in the game that will keep everyone on their toes and may have to force new plans for survival.
Voting Rules (Again, stolen shamelessly because I like the system):
Votes will be given a score of 1 - 100 based on this random number generator: https://www.random.org/
If supporting another team members vote, the result obtained by the generator will be modified by 1.5, or 50% more than the original. It will be 2 times as much if both other members support the vote.
1 - 20 is the reverse of what was intended.
21 - 40 is no change.
41 - 60 is slight change towards what was intended.
61 - 80 is evolving the desired trait.
81 - 100 is becoming specialised and extremely good at whatever is being evovled.
Votes have to be mostly realistic or at least plausible. You must be able to provide a valid reason as to why something should be evolved if asked.
They also have to follow a linear progression, aka you can't just vote for "wings" as its too far of an evolutionary step, rather you'd have to vote for climbing of trees/other structures, then methods of gliding, and then finally powered flight.
Also votes have to be specific and not vague, for example you cant just vote for "a better heart", you have to explain exactly what it is you want to be changed.
Not too hard. It's how close your species is to dying. If you do end up going extinct, your team will be assigned a related animal. It will have traits that make it resilient to the last cause of death, but something else will be given up to make up for the 'free trait'.
LC, Least Concern: Your species is thriving, and not at risk of extinction.
NT, Near Threatened: Your species is capable of surviving, but its numbers are beginning to drop at an abnormal rate or aren't what they should be for its niche.
VU, Vulnerable: Your species is struggling to survive in its home, and risks Endangerment.
EN, Endangered: Your species has become rather rare, and is at risk for extinction if things do not change.
CR, Critically Endangered: Your species is on the brink of extinction. Without corrective action, they will die out.
EX, Extinct: Your species has died out completely, or has so few individuals that they cannot feasibly produce a viable population in the future.
No evolution game would be complete without these, and I have what I feel to be an interesting system in place.
1-2 will be no event 3-4 will be a minor event, such as a population boom in local prey populations, or a population bust. A 5 will be a localized event. This means that one specific area will suffer an event while the rest are unaffected. A 6 is an island wide disaster, affecting all regions at once. Some are even permanent. After the roll determining the kind of event, another roll will determine the event that occurs from a list.
A MAJOR DISASTER WILL NOT OCCUR FOR THE FIRST FIVE ROUNDS OF THE GAME, AND THERE IS A THREE ROUND COOLDOWN MINIMUM BETWEEN MAJOR DISASTERS.
Minor Event list:
1. Extra rains
2. Dry spell
5. Predator population grows
6. Predator population shrinks
7. Player species populations grow (Extra vote for any/all players who get this event next round!)
8. Player species populations shrink (Only one vote this round, and moving down a level of conservation status)
9. Animal pest infestation (can be good or bad depending on where it happens and the diets of the player species)
10. Plant pest infestation
11. Predator migration
12. Prey migration
13. New species of prey appears
14. New species of predator appears
Major Disaster List:
11. Earthquake (Is always islandwide)
13. Minor Volcanic Eruption (Takes two turns)
14. Major Volcanic Eruption (Takes two turns, is always an islandwide event)
15. Minor Lava Flow
16. Major Lava Flow
17. Mammalians (Permanent, can however be stopped)
18. Human settlement (Permanent, can however be stopped)
19. Cyclone (Is always islandwide)
This is experimental and may not work, but if your team feels as though your species may be better off somewhere else, such as in an attempt to flee a minor eruption, you are allowed to migrate your species to a new biome directly adjacent to yours. However, you must be ready to deal with the consequences of a new land, it's like starting a brand new life. This will also help to influence competition between players. Species can also begin interacting with neighboring biomes if they evolve certain traits. For example, if a species from the Rockfall evolves flight, they are able to venture into the Scrubland to forage for food, but are subject to predation by the animals there, which will influence how the players must vote.
That should about wrap it up, sorry for the long read. If you're all still among the living then we can get to setting up teams!
Team 1 Welcome to the (Jungle): Prudentia
Species Name: Achlamydosaurus primii
Team Eggy Bonnet (Rockfall): Burger Cat
Species Name: Achlamydosaurus primii
Team EXCELLENT GENTLEMEN (e_e) (Scrubland): DehEvil
Species Name: Achlamydosaurus primii
Team BOREDASEFF (Savanna): Alexcat989
Species Name: Achlamydosaurus primii
Edit: Now with all teams filled, I will begin the first round.