Homing pigeons - unofficial announcement
Many details are not yet decided and it will be done by RD, but I can explain the general mechanics.
1. getting a homing pigeon
To get a homing pigeon you need a normal domesticated pigeon. Then you need to adopt it, and then click on a button to turn a pigeon into a homing pigeon.
2. traits and abilities of homing pigeons
Every homing pigeon can carry notes and envelopes, which means a relatively safe transport of long messages.
As you probably know homing pigeons in real-life know how to come back to home. Cantrian pigeons are similar.
But transporting a pigeon using a ship, just to let it fly to home, and then coming back home to travel with it again wouldn't be very convenient.
That's why every pigeon can remember not one, but two homes. It means that after transporting the pigeon from Klojt to Blojt it'll be able to remember both homes. It means the pigeon can fly between these two towns, but also be sent to any of these homes from any other place in the world (if it's not too far).
3. How does it work?
It's a normal pigeon
Clicking on a flying pigeon button will turn it into a homing pigeon (if your character is the owner of the pigeon)
This action will make the pigeon look a bit different:
There are some additional options, which means the list of pigeon's actions is almost as long as the one visible for lockets.
Homing pigeon allows performing the following actions:
- crossed pigeon - turning the homing pigeon into a normal pigeon, which means losing information about remembered homes (can be done only by the owner)
- home - select a dovecote that will be the first or the second pigeon's home (can be done only by the owner)
- paper airplane - dispatch the pigeon to the dovecote being the first or the second home
- label - save additional info about the pigeon e.g. what's the name of the first and the second home of the pigeon
A homing pigeon loses ability of being pet
After attaching a note or an envelope to the pigeon (it's like a storage) it's possible to send it to one of the homes. Pigeon flies with the constant speed and the shortest path possible. After reaching the destination the pigeon lands in the dovecote. People outside and people in the same room as a dovecote are notified from which direction did the pigeon come. After that people can take the pigeon from the dovecote, take and read the note delivered by the pigeon.
When a pigeon reaches the destination, but the dovecote ceased to exist in the mean time (e.g. it was destroyed) then the pigeon lands in a central area of location.
When pigeon doesn't reach the destination, because it dies of starvation during the flight, then notes land in a location which is closest to the pigeon at the moment of death. So don't forget feeding them.
The exact parameters of the pigeons and dovecotes are yet undecided, but there are some things that are very unlikely to change:
- a dovecote is a special storage, where the pigeons can be kept. It's also possible to put animal feed there. It'll most likely be lockable
- a dovecote can be built only in a building (not in a central area) and this building cannot move (so it cannot be on a ship or in a vehicle). It means the sea expedition will be able to dispatch pigeons back home, but will not be able to get response
- a pigeon will be able to reach the dovecote being the home even if it's located in an extension of an extension of a building. You can assume that a hole in the roof is part of the dovecote, which makes them possible to fly there freely
4. How to communicate using a homing pigeon?
- tame a pigeon and adopt it
- turn it into a homing pigeon
- build a dovecote in your town and remember it as home #1
- travel to the city with which you want to talk
- make pigeon remember a dovecote in this town as home #2
- send pigeon back to home #1 and come back to your town
- when you want to send something, then you attach a note to a pigeon and dispatch it
- hope somebody on the other side will send the pigeon back
As you see, it means that you need two pigeons - one in every town to be able to send the message immediately.
The things I've explained above are already done and work quite well, but some parameters are still undecided. I didn't yet manage to write a summary for RD, so I don't know when the pigeons will become available.
‘Never! Run before you walk! Fly before you crawl! Keep moving forward! You think we should try to get a decent mail service in the city. I think we should try to send letters anywhere in the world! Because if we fail, I’d rather fail really hugely’