Did you know that there is an entirely separate formula to calculate the distance between two points on the surface of a sphere? I mean…it kind of makes sense when you think about it. The shortest distance between two points without accounting for the curvature of the sphere would go right through the sphere itself, making it pretty useless when calculating physical distance on, for example, the surface of the Earth.

I’ve been working on creating some variation in the attributes of wild snails you might catch in different parts of the world. It’s not perfect, but the snails you find in Mobile, Alabama now look generally different from the snails you might find in Stockholm, Sweden.

So far the general testing rules are thus:

  • The snail shells get less red and more blue in them as you travel away from the equator
  • Snail shells get more green in them as you travel East
  • Snail pattern colors are the opposite of the above
  • Snail eye colors are always randomized
  • Snail pattern shapes and sizes also remin random for now, but will definitely change with the region at some later stage

I have added an idealTemp column to the snail table. The ideal temperature of snails you find in the wild in various regions tends to change (warmer toward equator and colder toward the poles). This means you will need to be quite careful when trading with others or buying other people’s snails (or even sending your snail overseas for a race on a foreign track). You’d need to closely control temperature and evaluate how your snail might perform on a track where it is currently 40C when it is used to a temperature of 20C. Temperature conditioning will need to be a thing.

Admittedly with these rules the snails you tend to find end up being a little more boring. Instead of a totally random mishmash of colors you end up with something more constrained. But I think this is ok. Wild snails are not meant to be beautiful or exciting - users are supposed to breed for those traits. If you regularly find unique, amazing snails in the wild there won’t be as much incentive or excitement in learning about your snail’s genetic traits and breeding for a desired result.

As I mentioned before, it takes a couple of seconds for HTML5 geolocation to get your coordinates (and then a few more seconds to get city/country name via the Geoname API). If you for some reason click to search for a wild snail before your location is loaded the coordinates of the search default to the coordinates of your stable.

In addition users will eventually be able to release their snails into the wild. At first it will just mean that someone else can find them. Down the line maybe the wild snails will be able to breed amongst themselves and change the attributes of wild snails in that region.

I have taken some screenshots of wild snails you may find in different places. Here they are:

Mobile, Alabama, US

Setauket, New York, US

San Francisco, California, US

Perth, Western Australia

Stockholm, Sweden

Kyoto, Japan

The North Pole