Evolvable blocks

I think it would be cool if there were decorative blocks that would “upgrade” their beauty by placing them into specific situations and letting them evolve.

For example imagine a Hedge Block that’s crafted out of foliage and we’re able to stack kinda nicely like Marge Simpson’s hair. If you put this block outside and it receives 5 planetary-days of sun without any snow, it will upgrade to a Flowered Hedge Block which is mostly the same look but now it has some pretty white flowers dotting through the leaves.

It’s like an alternative form of crafting that takes location, elevation, weather, etc into the mix to upgrade the blocks. The evolutionary tree can even branch. Your Flowered Hedge Block will bloom further into a Mountain Flower Hedge Block if you get it even more sun but at high elevation. Or an Arctic Flower Hedge Block if you leave it in a cold biome. But you’ll have to surround it with glass to protect it from the snow and cold!

I love block-to-block interactions like how coils and machines behave, or spark links, and that was the inspiration for this. Here’s a list of all the requirements that could influence whether or not a block will evolve.

Types of interactions

  • Requires specific elevation
  • Must receive sunlight / must not receive sunlight
  • Only evolves near/in lava, water
  • Only evolves indoors (uses same system that detects whether precipitation reaches the block or not)
  • Must be adjacent to a specific block (compact gem, refined silver, etc)

Once you start combining these recipe-like requirements together it might be pretty hard to find a location where you can evolve these blocks! That will give something for explorers to do. A new reason and a new way to think about the planets we traverse. “Wait a minute, is this a snow biome at low elevation? That means I can grow Winter-root Tangle blocks here!” And you plop down your beacon and start up your block evolution business.

I guess this could be themed as farming, where you’re farming blocks instead of materials. But the devs already seem to have a plan for farming so I’ve tried to avoid that analogy.