organic ships

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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pd
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#31 Post by pd » Sat Apr 29, 2006 1:00 pm

Once Aquitaine has put them into the design document.

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marhawkman
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#32 Post by marhawkman » Sun Apr 30, 2006 8:02 pm

What year? :lol:
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Skaro
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#33 Post by Skaro » Mon May 22, 2006 12:25 pm

I want to get back on this subject, organic ships shouldn't be too different from normal ships in a number of ways.

Bascily, it would only get a number of different upgrades but in the end it wouldn't be any better. Let's look at this in stages:

Early game
- Organic ships only have 50% to70% of a normal ship's armor.
- Organic ships have a regenerate feature that works very slow.
- Mutation/upgrades can only happen at special spacedocks.

Mid game
- Organic ships have 80% of the armor of a normal ship.
- Normal ships have automated repair systems, but the organic regeneration is slightly faster.
- A limited mutation system gets added, normal ships get a fast refit option.

Late game
- Organic and normal ships can self repair at the same rate
- The armor/shields on both types is equal.
- Both ships can adapt/mutate.


Alternately, you can give normal ships a repair option where the crew repairs it. This should balance it a bit more.
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utilae
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#34 Post by utilae » Mon May 22, 2006 7:45 pm

The problem with that is that the end up the same in the end game.

Maybe something like this:

Organic:
Armour Strength = 50%
Repair/Regen Rate = Fast (100%), Included
Refit Cost = High (100%)
Build/Refit Time = Slow (100%)
Cost = 50%
Resources Required For Stronger Armour = None, just DNA manip.

Metal:
Armour Strength = 100%
Repair/Regen Rate = Normal (50%), Excluded Initially
Refit Cost = Normal (50%)
Build/Refit Time = Normal (50%)
Cost = 100%
Resources Required For Stronger Armour = Various, eg Nuetronium

Crystal:
Armour Strength = 75%
Repair/Regen Rate = Low(10%), Included
Refit Cost = Low (25%)
Build/Refit Time = High (75%)
Cost = 150%
Resources Required For Stronger Armour = Various, eg Cystaliam
Bonus: Free Energy Absorbtion/Emission Ability

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marhawkman
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#35 Post by marhawkman » Mon May 22, 2006 10:08 pm

utilae wrote:The problem with that is that the end up the same in the end game.

Maybe something like this:
Hmmm.... I like the idea of having regen be something that can be improved by research.
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#36 Post by grandpotato » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:27 pm

EDIT: Just read the race tree thread. I guess this post can be ignored now :(

Hi I'm new to these forums, so if there's strict rules stated about resurrecting/bumping old topics forgive me.

Anyway I think the idea of organics ships is great. It doesn't have to be balanced in combat (ie fast regen but lower hulls), they can be all round crapper, but then they could be flexible for other purposes ie you could use them to colonise planets by sacrificing them.

-----------------
*The Faunian battle cruiser crashes down onto the barren rocksurface and explodes into a splat of primordial ooze
*20 turns pass
*primordial ooze has completed construction of a granary
-------------------

and since they're all colony ships they'll require pop-sacrificing to make.
Also maybe they can't assimilate other races...they just eat them.

Further thought, make them repulsive like silicoids and make money n/a for them. But building and upkeep takes a drain on nutrients instead. Maybe allow them to population-sac to buy buildings etc.

I think I could keep ranting....so I'll leave it here for now.

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Strategyman
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Re: organic ships

#37 Post by Strategyman » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:22 am

heres a quick question if you just grew a ship how the hell would you fly to outer space? first of all organic ships are living breathing things 2nd of all how the hell are you gonna make a organic ship grow a hull space for you also after they eat how the heck are you gonna know where the crap gonna go you might be sleeping on a hammock then all of a sudden crap is all over your face and lastly how are you gonna make a organic ship grow a damn latrine.
This totally makes organic ships impossible to be the backbone of a fleet and could be used as reconnaissance/suicide bombing ships.

i like the suicide bombing part :D

edit:
also how the hell are you gonna make a organic ship that doesn't breathe.

There you go but of course this is science fiction anything can happen just wanted to be smarty pants ehhhh don't get mad. :lol: Also i edited the fowl language out. :wink:
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Pasi
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Re: organic ships

#38 Post by Pasi » Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:38 am

How did they build spaceships in the first place, when just 5000 years they were using sticks and rocks to fight over a cave... :roll:

Anyway, a crew repair system in non-organic ship should disable the ship ... eg. make it repair something like 200% faster but it couldn't be used during repairs.

Also, an idea for the weapons... maybe they could use semi-organic "spores" covered in plasma, like in starship troopers ;)


P.S. I remember an episode of babylon 5 crusader (or something like that) where an organic space monster tried to have sex with a spaceship ... maybe a thing (not) to include in freeorion :lol:
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utilae
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Re: organic ships

#39 Post by utilae » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:38 am

Strategyman wrote: heres a quick question if you just grew a ship how the hell would you fly to outer space?
Get in the ship you just grew and tell it to fly there.
Strategyman wrote: first of all organic ships are living breathing things
They may not breathe.
Strategyman wrote: 2nd of all how the hell are you gonna make a organic ship grow a hull space for you
By design.
Strategyman wrote: also after they eat how the heck are you gonna know where the crap gonna go you might be sleeping on a hammock then all of a sudden crap is all over your face
The crap will go into the propulsion system, but on the way will go through internal pipes, ignoring the 'crew' pipes.
Strategyman wrote: and lastly how are you gonna make a organic ship grow a damn latrine.
Since I don't know what a 'latrine' is, the ship doesn't need one.
Strategyman wrote: also how the hell are you gonna make a organic ship that doesn't breathe.
Yeah, so it might not need to breathe to begin with, so um, we just will.

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Re: organic ships

#40 Post by Rho » Sun Aug 26, 2007 12:00 pm

latrine |ləˌtrin|
noun
a toilet, esp. a communal one in a camp or barracks.
Why do you need a latrine. All you need is some potties. The human waste can be incinerated, dumped into space, or used as fertilizer for our friggin' bioship. I'm saying, the details of a latrine is irrelevant. It's like saying the player must build toilets on every single planet colonized. That's more micro-managing than even I have suggested, so far.

The idea of organic ships require something other than a planetary origin. Meaning: it breathes internally, or not at all. Assuming space life was created with/developed means to protect itself from radiation, cold, heat, and all things related to space, we would expect to find such creatures in asteroid belts or planetary rings, where there's matter to consume. I'm all for the idea of organic ships, but you'd either need some really advanced (as in half-way through the game) biology research, or you'd need to get your hands on a space dragon or other space lifeform to tweak to suit your purposes.

In the game, this means that when a space lifeform is found (and presumably killed), the remains are studied, and organic ships could be developed, given a lot of research. They would likely be hybrid ships, containing starlane-survival technology, and a number of technologies to keep the crew from being consumed by whatever processes the creature originally used to consume space rocks.

Diamonds are among the hardest masterials (I dare not say _the_ hardest material) known to mankind. Carbon steel is a compound known for being very resilient. Both carbon steel and diamonds contain carbon, the elements life as we know it is made of. Who's to say carbon couldn't form materials that allows for life to exist in the cold darkness that is space?

The thing is, it's not easily growing a ship. Even with space dragon DNA, you'd have to spend numerous turns researching just to get the compounds right. Then you need to tweak the genes to regenerate the ship's hull but not fill up the cavities the crew is supposed to be in. Numerous other details require a living ship to be far from the early accessible technologies.

Utilae did a good job responding to Strategyman's criticism of a living ship, I just filled in some blanks.

--

I say it's possible for a living ship to be built in the real world, just not in a very long time. It is certainly possible in FO. But it shouldn't be easy.
--
.rho

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Pasi
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Re: organic ships

#41 Post by Pasi » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:43 am

Rho wrote:
latrine |ləˌtrin|
noun
a toilet, esp. a communal one in a camp or barracks.
Why do you need a latrine. All you need is some potties. The human waste can be incinerated, dumped into space, or used as fertilizer for our friggin' bioship. I'm saying, the details of a latrine is irrelevant. It's like saying the player must build toilets on every single planet colonized. That's more micro-managing than even I have suggested, so far.
You've done your research haven't you :D

but why get into the realism part at all with this subject?
500 years ago they would of laughed their latrine-needing-body-parts off if they would of heard we (humans) would build a tin can and fly it to the big dot in the sky that appears at night.
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Re: organic ships

#42 Post by spottboy » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:23 pm

Not that this should influence game design at all, but some backstory:

1. Breathing.

This assumes that the ship is animal. it would be much more efficient if it was plant in origin. If so, the ship's need for carbon dioxide would offset our own need for oxygen, making the crew an essential part of the ship. Furthermore, unless the ship died the crew wouldn't have to worry about life support.

2. Waste reduction.

This assumes that the ship wouldn't need those very waste products of ours to maintain itself. Again, if the ship is plant in origin it would make use of those waste products to feed itself. Don't think latrine (since on a ship it's a head anyway), think mouth. Gross, but effective, and you don't have to leave a trail of poo all over the universe.
Come to think of it, a similar recycling system would be necessary on a mechanical ship.

3. Resistance.

It doesn't necessarily go without saying that an organic ship would be less resistant to damage than a mechanical ship. It DOES go without saying that the organic ship would be more vulnerable to hull breaches when they occurred, since this exposes body parts not designed to resist the vacuum of space to the, um, vacuum of space. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, right?
LucasArts covered the resistance issue with their Yorik Coral ships. Organic ships could be covered in a dense shell composed of a rocky substance, making them similar in appearance and durability to asteroids and other rocky bodies. Still tough, but not very suvivable once breached.

4. Upgrading.

To upgrade a purpose-built ship, you remove and replace the components in question. To upgrade a purpose-grown ship, you could either genetically modify the ship or perform surgery. You could graft mechanical components into an organic ship, but you would have to be able to provide the same sort of interface as you would attaching organic parts to a mechanical ship.

5. Longevity.

Nothing lives forever. How long does a bioengineered ship live before it dies of old age? What effect does aging have on the bioship? How does the aging effect compare with metal fatigue in a mechanical ship? Hmmm.

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Re: organic ships

#43 Post by Rho » Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:01 pm

Sorry boy... Plants breathe. But hypothetical space critters, such as MoO's space dragons, don't. Also, a symbiotic relationship (however it may have arisen) between plant and animal could also solve the breathing issue. Yet this has no effect on gameplay.

Everyone, let's stop discussing the latrine! The only difference between a mechanical ship and a living ship is that the living ship can consume the human waste. Both ship types need to dispose of it somehow. Plus the sh*t has no impact on gameplay.

On resistance, we find that ceramic plates are so far the most cost-effective way of preventing our shuttles from burning up upon re-entry into the atmosphere. Metal doesn't stand a chance. A living ship would have developed or been designed with the means to survive space, including the radiation, cold, and high-velocity impact of space rocks and junk. Besides, a living thing heals. Sure, humans lose blood, but humans regenerate blood. Humans cut their skin, but the skin heals. An engineered bioship could do this much faster; it could also seal off breaches sections in ways mechanical ships can't dream about.

On upgrading, you still need an interface to fly the thing. Why not control the mechanical parts directly from this interface? As for surgery and genetic engineering, why not leave areas where new organs can be grown, or parts installed. Upgrading a living ship isn't a problem, it's just more copmplicated than upgrading a mechanical ship.

And as for longevity, living ships can be engineered to grow a more resilient hull once discovered how. Mechanical ships can't, they have to be refitted. The computers become obsolete, the weapons get outdated, the shields have long since revealed their weaknesses, and the engines... A living ship would likely be easier to upgrade to not become obsolete, and when you look at aging from a genetic perspective, it's just processes in the body. Replace those processes with others, and you have a ship that could live way longer than its' crew. We'd expect space dragons and other space critters to outlive the average person by far anyway.

--

I'd say that the gameplay aspect of living ships lies with how advanced we decide it is. Humans haven't gotten that far in understanding our own genome, we've only found there's more functions to it that meets the eye. DNA, RNA, and whatever else is involved make any explanation for its origin seem religious, it's among the most advanced computer systems that we are aware of, and it's ridiculously small.

The technology and know-how to engineer a living ship from scratch is absurd at this point, and that of the re-engineering the DNA of a space critter of anykind to become a ship is almost as far out. However, FO is quite far out as it is. I'd say, by the time the computer and biology research has gotten half way, living ships can be built from carcasses of space critters, and given some time, research, and whatever else required, living ships can be designed from scratch.

They do, however, require to be balanced with the mechanical and whatever other kinds of ships we can build in FO. They can regenerate, be built to withstand most of what space can throw at them, adapt, be refitted faster than mechanical ships... Maybe it's just a matter of cost, they might be superior to mechanical ships. But that's something I'll leave to the programmers.
--
.rho

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Re: organic ships

#44 Post by spottboy » Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:39 am

I didn't say they don't breathe. I said that they would work in a symbiotic relationship with the crew. Read my post again.

otherwise, I like what you said.

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Re: organic ships

#45 Post by Bigjoe5 » Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:02 pm

Why is anyone even talking about realism? The question at hand is whether it can make the game more fun. And as far as that's concerned, I think it would definitely make the game more fun. Utilae's idea of crystal ships in addition to organic and metal was a particularly good one. However, organic ships should only appear in the late mid-game (right before the early end-game) unless a race has devoted a lot of their research to biology. They shouldn't be just the kind of thing that shows up all the time. Otherwise, there's nothing special or fun about it.

Crystal type ships like utilae proposed should be even more advanced, not showing up until the mid or late end-game, possibly even being a special tech like Damper Field and Reflector Field in MoO2 and being totally pwnsome.
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