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Life in space

#1
Hi Josh,

Have you ever considered to add life in your empty universe ? I'm not talking about living organisms on planets, but really in the black, cold void of outa-space.
I'm biologist and I know that it's more or less impossible to have life appearing in space (even if some organisms, like Tardigrades, do not seem aware that they can't survive a trip in space, and they never miss an occasion to survive anyway), but your outer-space is quite different than the real space : it is cloudier, denser, there is more particles and matter on which a life could start.

"And so, what ? Floating whales in outer space ?"
Well that could be great, and strange, but great nonetheless, because whales are great. But I don't think that you plan to have complex whale behaviour and animation in your game, and I can respect this choice (even if, you know, whales, they are great).
But life on Earth is found under many shapes, and most of them don't move at all : one could imagine huge strings of a living "something" in an asteroid field, attached on every end to a rock ; or crusts of lichen-like organisms on ships or floating blocks of ice, etc.

It all depends on the feel you want to achieve with your game, but both from the science and the Rule of Cool point of views, a simple life in a dense outer space like yours seems plausible. :shh:
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Re: Life in space

#7
Thanks for the warm welcome guys :ghost:

Well tardigrades or bipedal aliens are not really relevant when it comes to living in a zero gravity environment. Why would they have this bilateral symmetry, with limbs on only one side on the body ? This "organization" of the body is a pure response to an environment like Earth.
I guess that the most successful shape, in space, would be the blob : no specific direction, so it can go everywhere. And I would expect to have fixed organisms with a slow growth, because energy is hardly available and resources are scarce, even in a cloudy asteroid field.
If we follow this logic, we would have a space ecosystem looking like the very beginnings of life on Earth, but in 3d.
For example, rocks made by organisms : Image Image And the equivalent to cyanobacteria (long strings of cells), but in 3d : Image (I shamelessly borrowed an image of the cosmic structure itself)

Well eventually it all depends on the desired look of the universe : having a floating whale in front of your spaceship changes everything about your perception of what the game universe is. But, non-moving (or just drifting like tumbleweeds of space) structures that look like a rock without really being one can give you a feel of "strange" without destroying the overall empty-space-atmosphere which is, I think, awesomely executed thanks to Josh's talent.
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Re: Life in space

#8
Oh and another source of inspiration for strange-but-pretty life in space might be pollen grains, as seen under a microscope. Most of them are weird enough to nail the "alien" feeling.
Try to imagine those things floating away in an asteroid field. Maybe emitting some glowing light. Sticking to you ship.
DAMN IT'S DIGESTING THE HULL, KILL THEM WITH FIRE :) Image Image Image
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Re: Life in space

#10
Yup sure. Again, in the "floating non-moving" category, there is also the ctenophora(not exactly jellyfish, but close) like Venus girdle
Image you might also like diatoms, for their rocky look, and symmetrical shapes : Image Image Again, I assume that something not moving too much is a better fit for the whole cosmic ambience of LT but there is room (at least from the scientific point of view) for moving organisms in zero gravity. :shh:
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Re: Life in space

#11
ThymineC wrote:
Zook wrote:[...]
Along with rocks and ice, I'd be quite interested in exploring the idea of organic pod-like things that aggregate in fields as well. They could perhaps be mined for organic matter, water or other essential commodities.
How about some asteroids instead of having ore, have organic matter that is a very useful component in food, clothing, medicine, or some other production? Or maybe instead of them being on asteroids, they are found in some other shape or form in space without being flying swarms of jellyfish or something that just doesn't look...normal (not that many things in this are considered 'normal')

If we are going to have 'life in space' we need to have a purpose for it besides just for the heck of it. It could be 'it looks pretty' or 'it has a use in the macro economy' or 'because Josh said so'
Image "Everyone needs to have their avatar's edited to have afros." -Charley Deallus
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Re: Life in space

#12
Charley_Deallus wrote: If we are going to have 'life in space' we need to have a purpose for it besides just for the heck of it. It could be 'it looks pretty' or 'it has a use in the macro economy' or 'because Josh said so'
Why would we need a purpose?
Because game feeling^^
Im totally for up-scaled microorganisms floating around in asteroid fields, slowly munching small asteroid parts
Last edited by Cornflakes_91 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Life in space

#13
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Charley_Deallus wrote: If we are going to have 'life in space' we need to have a purpose for it besides just for the heck of it. It could be 'it looks pretty' or 'it has a use in the macro economy' or 'because Josh said so'
Why would we need a purpose?
Because game feeling^^
Im totally for up-scaled microorganisms floating around in asteroid fields, slowly munching small asteroid parts
__________________
Or they are the reason why depleted asteroids or small chunks of things disappear over time?

I like having purposes because it means something wasn't just thrown in for the heck of it. Josh might not do something for no reason, he does stuff because: a) It has been used in others games and worked out well. b) It looks cool. c) It adds a great dimension to gameplay. d) he woke up after a late night binge on junk food and decided he wants mutant space life that eats random stuff in his game (mostly because he wished it could eat the junk in his room to keep it clean?!)

And Thymine says he usually likes things to have a logical reason, not just because 'game feeling' :P but I like option d.
Image "Everyone needs to have their avatar's edited to have afros." -Charley Deallus
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Re: Life in space

#14
I've already stated that organic life in space could be mined for useful commodities, so there's your purpose. I also like the idea that they consume depleted asteroids.

In fact, I like living organisms as a plausible in-game way to justify all necessary garbage collection, which can include wrecks, for instance.
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Re: Life in space

#15
Well there is plenty of good reasons : 1- because in dense / cloudy outter space, life is plausible, 2- because it's a good way to give the impression of non-humain life, without going into the classic alien stuff, 3- because it brings several gameplay possibilities (mining, research on biomimicry, quests, can add some danger or challenge, etc), 4- because of the graphical addition. If done successfully, a field of symmetrical not-really-organic-but-not-rocky-either could generate a feeling of exotism.

Some patterns of Ediacara fauna could also be well suited for fixed organisms on asteroids...
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