Aliens. How do you use them in your sci-fi games?Which games or settings do the best job at presenting diverse and exotic aliens that aren't just rubber faced humans?
>>49846384I subscribe to the "Kirk Method" of extraterrestrial use.
GURPS space has a great alien generator, with everything from what key substance it is composed of to what its natural psychology is. I personally try to make them as alien as possible by attempting to create them from scratch, with as little as possible based on earth life.
>>49846384>how do i use them?one of two ways, since i have difficulty getting groups of humans to be distinct enough to hold up to casual scrutitny>plot devices with them being dead and long gone and humans just finding random doomsday weapons and giant space wonders kicking around around. it's so common that there is a nominal spacer code for whenever they find one>somewhere between rubber faced aliens and wtf aliens is where i like them, and if i have them, then i adjust to the blanket catch all statement
>>49846422Kirk uses the best interpretation of "make love not war".
>>49846384>rubber faced humanshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUuvHPr4BGkThought about that for no apparent reason.
>>49846384As alien as possible. In one respect if they're meant to be playable, fuck if you can even comprehend how they think if they aren't. I usually try to make a point with the difference. X has a completely different type of sensory perception than humans, so they don't integrate well into human areas. Or Y has a completely different means of communication than sound. It is much more inefficient than talking and thus they take a much longer time to convey information, their day to day reflects this heavily with much less getting done culture wise. Z eats rocks, humans need them for strategic control over some place, but they fucking destroy human areas they inhabit causing extreme tensions. Maybe that swarm of bacteria slowly becomes more intelligent the more it infects and eventually causes all of the things to clump together into a mass death ball to create some highly pressurized spray in hopes of shooting samples of themselves into orbit. The closest thing to a cure is restraining and sedating someone so that they avoid death ball. Most of the time they don't spread to new systems, instead lying dormant in the upper atmosphere of the planet for decades or centuries and reemerging. The local religion considers this a socialist slap in the face by the god world.
My fantasy setting has an alien in the form of a terraforming/forced evolutionary device in the form of a huge obelisk that is manipulating a part of the world. It colonizes the world by seeding it and forcing its seed to grow into what it wishes. The plan failed, however, and the planets original inhabitants rose up and drove the aliens seeded race from the crade of its evolution.The obelisk entered a dormant state after altering a large area around it, keeping most others out. Now, however, the unwitting successors of the "seeded" race is returning to the area and they are going to awaken it.Everyone assume godly shenanigans, but there are no gods.
>>49847157that's a penis
>"realistic" aliens>always some obtuse shit that could never function in reality
>>49847764that was a good campaign
>>49848447Human like aliens could be realistic.But then you would need to write for a realistic human
>>49849589Thanks. I'm happy people keep post it.
>>49846384I'd probably adopt a model similar to Mass Effect's, where there's a couple races that are of the "Rubber Forehead" model, a bunch that are distinctly non-human in appearance but still follow the standard body plan of being humanoid, upright, and at least 4 limbs and a distinct head, and then lastly some races that follow other body plans but generally still have a human compatible mindset(although I'd probably have more races in this category than Mass Effect did)this doesn't take into account non-biological races though, or various "Transhuman" or "Uplifted Animal" concepts, though there'd probably be examples of those present as well
I like to do the method of coming up with a neat planet concept first then thinking about how the Species could look if it evolved on that planet.
I honestly like them so weird that humanity has even problem registering them as sentient or intelligent. I just like to use them as an encounter with something that just exists outside of our understanding. I'm quite fascinated by the problem of communication too. If they communicate, it's usually on a very small scale, in a very complicated manner, and their own needs and interests usually barely intersect with human ones at all.I'm not fond of the "aliens are just different people" approach. Just as I don't like traditional fantasy races like elves and dwarves.
>>49847764>Noetic realized that, if he filled a spare space suit with cabbages, the parra/ferro and diamagnetic forces acting on the suit could cancel eachother out, in theory.How enjoyable it must be to GM for players that smart. Of course the risk is that they'd be smarter than the GM, which doesn't seem to be a problem for that guy.
>>49850923We had 2 computer scientists, 2 research chemists (3 if you count me), and an honest-to-god professor of planetary geology. We also had a biologist available for between-game consultations.The scene where the two AIs came up with a plan to de-hack themselves still gives me goosebumps. The players were so damn good.
>>49850696I enjoy a mix, a couple of truly inhuman species some species that are recognizable as sentient, tool using technological species, and one or two species that can work alongside humanity
>>49851075This is the sort of roleplaying I fucken live for. Great read, good ideas. Have you read the Three Body Problem and subsequent novels yet? Cixin Liu maybe solves the Drake equation. I'm not scientifically trained so I like playing with high-concept nonsense such as asking what a narrative means, experimental storytelling and mytho-historical stories. That's just for the 'highbrow' games tho. I like a hack and slash as much as anyone.I tend to not use aliens, or have them uncontactable or otherwise unavailable. Or they're humans who have diverted so much over thousands or hundreds of thousands of years they may as well be aliens. Think House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds.
>>49851985Thanks. The reading list for that game was about... well, 3' of fiction and 4'5" of nonfiction.The game wasn't about the science of magnetism or of computers or of spaceships, although those things were cool and provided neat set dressing. The real high concept of the game was about consciousness and alien-ness. What it meant to think, and what the different ways different things could think. What it means to have a conversation with something that doesn't have a mind like yours. Something that can relate to you on an emotional level... but only because it sees emotions as tools (if it "sees" anything at all).No punching your way out a problem. No lying to god. No "love triumphing over physics" or "hope being more important than hard work".
>>49846384I do then in horror. That and comedy are the only two places where you can throw can really disturbing and inhuman aliens at people.
>>49848447Fucking this. I mentioned this before, but I spent literally fucking MONTHS working out a "realistic" sentient alien for my (never-to-be-played) scifi setting. I traveled all the way around my fucking campus, I talked to the bio nerds, the astronomy geeks, the botanists, the physiologists, nutritionists, I probably learned more than I did in those few months than I did in my actual classes. Hell, I even talked to some of the computer graphics people to see if the anatomy was somewhat feasible. The result I came up with was surprisingly terrestrial.The CG guys wouldn't model it for me, for obvious reasons (they ain't got time for my bullshit), but I drew a whole bunch of pics, and it literally just looks like a cross between an oviraptor and a tortoise with a head plumed with feather-like quills. CONVERGENT EVOLUTION IS THE KEY WORD. Goddamn mosses evolved independently of each other TWO TO THREE TIMES on just our planet alone. On any given Earth-like planet, do you honestly think a sentient species would arise that would, for no fucking reason, NOT resemble anything a creature from Earth would have? You think their version of fish would have fucking...I don't know, propellers or some shit instead of fins? Hey, buddy, I got a hot news flash for you; FINS ARE EFFICIENT AND BIO-MECHANICALLY SIMPLE. THE ODDS OF FINS DEVELOPING ON AN EARTH-LIKE PLANET AND OUR WORLD ARE FUCKING MASSIVE. WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY WOULD ANY REASONABLE ALIEN LOOK LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF A GIGER GALLERY? IT DOESN'T FUCKING MAKE SENSE. I'm sorry, I know I sound REALLY fucking autistic, but for half of last year, theoretical alien botany and biology took up pretty much my entire life. SERIOUSLY. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?(>>49847157)Is it...Is it supposed to be an Australian artists depiction of a creature designed to survive shipwrecks?Jesus fuck, I need to stop typing or else I'll give myself a heartattack. I'm done.
>>49846463Neat anon, where can I find this generator?
>>49853873Just read the pasta. The aquatic insects creating a self referential and eventually self modifying database is amazing. also>that 2001 a space odyssey referenceStellar, just stellar.
>>49851985>Cixin Liu maybe solves the Drake equation.Meh. Far from the first one to suggest this, it has been debated countless of times. How did you find the book? I read only the first one but have a good idea of how he developped his ideas in the following ones. I found his writing terribly arid (i guess it may come from the translation from chinese, it's awfully descriptive), the characters unrelatables (and borderline psychopathic) and his SF alternating between abstrusely hard and and autitsticaly-precise-but-soft-at-the-core depending on what suited him. So, far from a great read.
>>49853873Mate you need to turn that campaign into a book.
>>49855445The only real excuse for extremely inefficient and bizarre aliens is the idea of life on radically different worlds. Always wondered how life could evolve on a gas giant, for example.
>>49846384I'd hit it.
>>49847764Do we have a link for this in the archives? I would love to scoop the images
>>49856157I wish i had. We can bump the thread, bitch and moan until >>49849986>>49851075>>49853873comes back and posts them. I wish I also had the reading list.
>>49856227I can't wait that long
>>49846384Sparingly.When men first left their homeworlds in jump ships they found few habitable worlds, a number of planets inhabited with incompatible life forms that never really amounted to more than bacteria, simple worms and moss-like plants.When they found worlds with sapient life or worlds that humans could live on, they found other humans in varying states of technological development. Sometimes you'd get an aberration where the humans clearly evolved from reptiles and had scales and hard plates instead of hair or where they grew up on a low-G world with little sunlight so they're tall, gangly and bug-eyed, but mostly they were all similar enough that one species could resemble another with little to no makeup work. The fauna and flora of these worlds might be exotic, but rarely is so bizarre that it doesn't look possible.When an actual alien of note comes up it's based on a player who wants to play an alien, or wants their character to have spent significant time with aliens. In this respect I'm more an editor than a developer.
>>49855631>GURPS spacetry PDF share thread or /gurpsgen/
>>49855631You have good taste in ayylmaos
>>49857265Pls share interesting and truly alien ayylmaos; what else is there other than Ocean from Solaris and Scramblers from Blindsight?
>>49855445I like you and I would love to learn more about this project of yours. Please if you can show us what you were working on, kind, smart gentleanon.
>>49855445I think convergent evolution is a valid arguement, though other shapes are conceivable for sapient tool using species, a humanoid shape is viable. The problem is the convergent evolution is often a bit stretched.
>>49858118Convergent evolution is the most logical approach, I agree, but we must take into account the fact that even small differences in environment, starting conditions and biome interactions could on a long enough evolutionary timescale lead to quite unexpected results
>>49858389Of course, just because they are a tool using species from arboreal roots doesn't mean they are going to have boobs and facial expressions that map to ours
>>49857454Seconded; show us what passes for truly extraterrestrial in your campaigns anons
The best truly alien shit occurs after several iterations of civilization/apocalypse.These semi-octopi were custom made for distributing condiments and have since expanded outside of their role to become the dominant species.Shit like that.
>>49860132Don't you start.
>>49846384>copulating with xenosalright
>>49862073he's absolutely about to pull the pin on that grenade.
>>49862073>copulating with xenosDon't fight it anon
>>49855445>CONVERGENT EVOLUTION IS THE KEY WORDThis is important but temper it by learning about previous forms of life on Earth. Pic related is the Anomalocaris, a Cambrian Era sea predator. It has plenty of similarities to cuttlefish, but see those front gripping appendages? Those are covered in teeth. These things have tentacle mouths. And that was an incredibly common feature in the Cambrian Era. The hinged, bipartite jaw that most predators use to ensnare prey today came later. Convergent evolution is great but make sure you learn about the fucking ridiculous variety of life Earth has had in its entire history first.
>>49858389That book is great, by the way.
>Which games or settings do the best job at presenting diverse and exotic aliens that aren't just rubber faced humans?Star Control.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag50ct3EBxQhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIbVYXHnaBUhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3OB7Kjfm0A
>>49856227>>49856157Sorry dudes, I just got back. Any images in particular you need? I can dump for days. My reference image folder for this game is over a thousand files.>>49855939Peter Watts and Greg Egan do a better job than I ever will.>>49855751Which one in particular?
>>49863366Okay, you got me there. But I didn't forget about it entirely. Back when I was doing my research, my fellow associates got into a LOT of arguments with each other over prehistoric creatures (especially about mollusks with cilia), but the overall consensus that everyone seemed to agree on was that as long as the traits were consistent throughout ALL life on the planet, then it was generally considered okay, give or take a handful of exceptionally bizarre creatures. For example, taxonomically speaking, mammals and birds have four limbs, or rarely, two limbs. But you don't seen very many mammals with 1 limb or 6 limbs (barring truly exceptional cases), because all mammals fall into the category of 2 limbs or 4 limbs, no matter where on the planet you go. In your case, feeling tentacles with teeth on the end existed, but between all the cephalopods on Earth, it was either that, or a simple mouth. There may have been other rare exceptions, but the choice was either A or B, meaning all life on Earth was certainly bizarre by our standards, but still consistent. Similarly, those plate-like gills aren't so common in today's animals, but back then, the option was either plate-like gills or simple, rudimentary fins. You didn't see an explosion of bizarre, alien biology like, for example, a handful of creatures having propulsion jets, and a handful of creatures having propellers, and another handful of creatures having fins, and another handful having plate-gills. It was all very consistent and constrained within the realms of a biological purpose. You are right though; even animals that we recognize as "terrestrial" are still very strange to us, even now. That is why I allow a little leeway for certain appearances that may not be immediately apparent (ie. someone comes up with an alien that's pretty much a monkey with its eyes on its forehead and a nose so large it completely replaces the mouth. I would try to be more lenient and not tell them to gtfo).
>>49864290Your description of ancient life is... very wrong. Very limited, certainly. I mean, a clam and an octopus are both molluscs. They share a common ancestor! But just look at how differently and bizarrely they ended up! Look at cobalt blood in horseshoe crabs! And there were creatures in the Burgess shale that swum upside-down or crawled or catapulted or even tunneled using the same basic limb-forms... But saying "two eyes and four limbs makes sense for terrestrial animals" is insanely narrow-minded.For all your research, you never read "Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History" by Stephen Jay Gould?
>>49857673I'm very lazy, and I don't want to hook up my phone to my laptop to upload all the pics, but I'll try to draw it on MSpaint as best as I can. (Fuck it, MSPaint is too hard. I'm just gonna take a pic of my drawings with my shitty, built-in webcam).I added a few footnotes to explain a few things. I'm sorry my ability to draw is so shitty. What I REALLY should have done is taken a goddamn art class, it seems. >>49864439I will not pretend I was not wrong. After doing a little reading, I must admit I was rather ignorant in regards to Earth's diverse biology (prehistoric or otherwise); however, what I meant by saying terrestrial mammals "only having two eyes and four limbs" is NOT that I was trying to say two eyes and four limbs are the ONLY possible outcome for terrestrial-based land mammals (alien or otherwise). What I meant was that two eyes and four limbs tends to be consistent among life on Earth, and thus, this same consistency should be kept in examples of other alien lifeforms. For example, if I were creating an alien ecosystem, and if 2 eyes and 2 limbs were the norm among their version of land mammals, then surely, the vast majority of land mammals on that planet should also have two eyes and two limbs. I did not mean to say "all land mammals should only have 2 eyes and 4 limbs because it 'makes sense'". Taxonomically speaking, if alien land mammals came in varieties of either "two eyes, two limbs" and another variety of "two eyes, four limbs", then my idea of "realistic" would be that there would be no land mammal that would exist on that planet with, say "four eyes, two limbs", or "four eyes, four limbs", give or take a few very exceptional animals, similar to how our planet has the handful of exceptions as well. I hope I'm making some sense. I'm not very good with words.
>>49855916Sorry for the late reply.I really enjoyed the book. I think Chinese writing is inherently very descriptive due to how the language works. I think his writing is similar to William Gibson, in that the (translation) is all about scene setting and making (culturally Chinese) observations as to the situation.The characters is a sound criticism. However, given the wider scope of current Chinese writing, having psychopathic, unrelatable, borderline evil characters as protagonists is currently in vogue. The Chinese have a lot to say about institutional power structures and how that impacts the little person. I personally think that improved the novel, but I completely get your critique.And... well, Peter Watts also has some super hard sci-fi, and also some stuff which is precise but soft in closer examination.I mean, YMMV for sure. I will continue to recommend the Three Body Problem and subsequent novels but the novel does have its flaws.
>>49864266>My reference image folder for this game is over a thousand files.Then we should be done in less than ten threads. Start dumping.More seriously, whatever you like the most, anon.
If I have to have aliens in my sci-fi, I prefer them to either:1. Allow me to say something about the current state of humanity that would be uncomfortable to confront if I were using humans instead of aliens.2. Be starfish to the point where whether or not they are intelligent in any way, shape, or form is rendered unobservable. They're just too different from us to even communicate with them, much less understand them.
>>49865130I instead try to produce a variety of races from human to starfish gascloud, and try to make them in such a way that each race will be interesting to play if possible.Political statement comes after interesting race setup and composition.
Anyone have any postbiological aliens.
>>49866782Is that supposed to look like its made out of legos?
>>49864951What's funny about convergent evolution and just how bodies develop also applies to such things as consciousness and sapience too.When it comes to intelligent species and how they work across the planet, and more than likely across space, there are some basic universal systems that apply.Large social grouping, tool use, language, emotions, play/pretend, and several others are extent in every intelligent species on Earth.Emotion is the big one for many, as if aliens aren't going to feel anger or love or fear. In many ways, human thought isn't that unique. It's basically just a slightly more complex version of already extant things within other species. Dogs feel the same love for use as we do for them, and we know this from brain scanning experiments. We know that elephants grieve their dead, along with dogs, and some birds.Language, or protolanguage, is pretty evident in multiple species across the world, from ravens, to whales, to elephants.Tool use is a given among any creature with fine manipulators and the need for food, with increasing complexity of tool use among the more intelligent species.Lying, trickery, and other such activities are fairly common among all kinds of highly social species.At the base of it, human thought is only special in that it's more complex than other animals. And they way we think would very much be fairly common for any species that evolved into the same level of intelligence as us.
>>49846780Is that Wormface?
>>49867496Bloop bloop http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=5875
>>49867763Well, there's the difference between a fictional story that tries to showcase some interesting new viewpoint, and the reality of the situation. Besides, octopi aren't that intelligent. Sure they are pretty good at picking up mechanical systems, but that's to be expected of a species of creature which has to regularly interact with food that tries to keep them out of their shells.But thank you for linking a story that's pretty interesting ad that others should read too, though I had already read it a long time ago.
>>49867496>What's funny about convergent evolution and just how bodies develop also applies to such things as consciousness and sapience too.This. Not just any type of creature is gonna evolve brain that functions on the same level as that of a human's. For most animals there's no evolutionary advantage to be gained from it.The human brain is the result of several very specific evolutionary steps, and if we had diverged significantly from them there's good reason to assume that brains like the ones we have today would have been a complete waste for us as well..
>>49867496Couldn't have put it better myself, monica. I must mention, however, that I am NOT NoFunAllowed man. If a player were to come up to me with a strange, almost contradictory psychological or physical trait, as long as he explained it away as a bizarre exception of nature, or as long as he gave me a perfectly valid reason (ie. "they evolved from prey animals or some shit"), I would be perfectly content with allowing them the creativity to field their invention. Other things I've considered about sentient life hailing from Earth-like planets: digitigrade versus plantigrade skeletal structures in bipedal organisms, the evolution of hoofs in sentient species, the number of digits at the the end of a limb, and whether or not herbivorous prey species could realistically be entitled with sentience. While discussing these things with my colleagues, we've come across the decision that sentient, bipedal life hailing from an Earth-like planet COULD have digitigrade legs, could NOT have hooves (unless it were a case of that "bizarre exception" I won't shut up about), would have as little as 3 digits and as many as it wanted as long as it was mechanically efficient, and that herbivorous prey species would most likely NOT become sentient, though if they did, it would similarly be a case of a "bizarre exception".Lots of discussion on the herbivore part, though. To be fair, we never even really came to a conclusion. We all just gave up and went about our lives without truly coming upon a final consensus.
>>49864951Fundamentally, what you're doing is "comfortable" alien design. For all the research you did, the end result is a parrot person. I could plonk that thing onto an "undiscovered island" on Earth in a story and nobody would bat an eye.>two eyes and four limbs tends to be consistent among life on EarthIt's not. At all. At /best/ it's a common plan among terrestrial vertebrae, but Kangaroos effectively walk on 3 legs (look it up) and there are lizards with photosensitive eye-dots. And that's just the start...Look at arachnids vs crabs vs sea scorpions, and how the same ancestor had legs that moved and formed all sorts of different body parts. If you want to say something like>en surely, the vast majority of land mammals on that planet should also have two eyes and two limbs.you have to back it up with evolutionary theory. What you're really saying is "if ancestor organism had X, there's a decent chance that its descendants will have variants of X, some minor, some major"BUT YOU ARE STILL MISSING THE BIG THING HEREI'm going to list all the human- or earth- centric ideas in your image.>Hair band used to tie down plumageWhy? Did they evolve a lot of inconvenient feathers? Can they not flex their skin to move the relatively rigid feathers out of their eyes? Or did you just want to give them "hair"... to make them more human?>Invented many timesImplies consciousness, memory, and forgetfulness>HistoryImplies some record keeping >JewelleryImplies a value system. Implies a standard of beauty not directly tied to biological fitness. Implies a non-equal social structure (why show off when everyone has equal wealth/ability/needs?)>Raptor-like eyesEyes. Implies vision based on our visible spectrum of light. Somewhat implies the ability to turn the eye or close the eye. Front facing, equidistant, and proportionately about the same as most earth creatures (they don't look "too big" or "too small" or "too weird".
>>49846384here's all tommarows. Takes a bit to get to the really weird shit, but it's interesting none the less!
>>49869009>>49864951>Eyes cont'dEyes are also placed above the mouth and what could be a nose. Implies the rest of the head contains the "brain".>MouthJaw is hinged like a fair number of earth jaws. Lower part moves, upper part is fixed. Bands of muscle from jaw attach to the rest of the head.>Small scales act as teethWhy? What are the breaking down? Why have a huge, prying beak and then tiny mashing burrs inside of it? How does it "chew", and why?>Cooking is a relatively modern conceptCOOKING HELPED TURN HUMANS FROM APES TO APEX CREATURES. Using tools (fire) to break down food sources to make them more digestible is revolutionary to an almost indescribable degree. I mean, it implies these creatures gain nutrition from outside sources, that this nutrition is internalized and requires chemical processes to break down, which is a very Earth-like thing.>Naturally occurring calciumIs generally water or acid soluble, just FYI.>Pubic boneYou juvenile sperglordBack to the top>Black, brown, or green quillsImplies differentiation in the human-visible spectrum of light. Why? Also, what were these quills used for originally, and why are they now vestigial? If warmth, implies creature cannot internally thermo-regulate.>sexual displayImplies sexual reproduction. It doesn't imply more than one sex, but if displays exist, there is clearly some non-equal method of ranking mates.>Weak arms and weaker handsWhy use subjective terms here? Weak compared to what? They might be perfectly suited for the creature's environment and needs.Back to the top again>Warm bloodedImplies blood. Implies creature sheds heat to environment. It's a very specific term.>metal and stone toolsWe have stone tools from 3.3 million years ago on Earth. They might predate humanity. If we're being generous, metalworking started about 9,000 years ago. We didn't make bronze for another 5,000 years. We only solved iron forging 3,500 years ago.THREE. MILLION. YEARS.
>>49869148>>49864951metal and stone tools cont'dSo saying that they were "just beginning to use metal and stone tools" is like saying they were "just beginning to use metal tools and quantum computers". Actually, it's orders of magnitudes more foolish.(This does imply a similar development curve to humans, etc, etc, but the author seems to be going for a very human-ish creature anyway). >lays eggsMissed this one. Ok. Implies reproduction where one organism carries a smaller version of itself, with some variation, and then excretes it in a protective shell to finish developing. This is just... it's just a lazy bird person. With a penis bone.Jesus Christ, anon, this is some lazy shit.>right handedImplies a fuck ton about their brains. Two hemispheres, each tasked with controlling half the body, with one being "dominant". Now, we see a "handed-ness" in almost every bilaterally symmetrical creature on Earth... but that's because they have hemispherical brains to some degree or another. In this case, it might be an upper body/lower body split which makes no goddamn sense at all. They aren't symetric along that axis. Why would the brain have an upper/lower half that mirror each other if the body has a left/right half? That's not even getting into questions like "why this symmetry?" or "why a brain?">GangstersImplies way too much about the social structure to really be worth tearing down. Just... ugh.>human makeup and dyesOk, so human makeup isn't dangerous to them? It stays on in the atmosphere? It's not full of compounds that have other associations for them? I mean, plants use ethylene (ethylene! It's among the simplest carbon-hydrogen molecules available! And plants use it to determine how to age and ripen!)>appear more "human"Implies both self-awareness and the awareness of humans as things like them, and as things to be emulated for some reason.>the new thing nowImplies social trends, a social structure, fads... god knows what else.
>>49846384Rare. Scary. Weird. Humans, subhumans, Machines, the enviroment and 'animals' are the Common threats. If an sapient alien shows up, the characters and players are going to be frightened.
>>49869255>>49864951>breathes oxygen just like usWe breathe air. The only major component we use out of air is oxygen. We use it for cellular respiration. What do they use it for? Is it an oxidizing agent to break down complex molecules to release energy to fuel other chemical processes? Oxygen is a decent choice for that... but that's not the only way to get life.>Speaks [...] whistle [...] pitch and tone [...] consonants and vowelsOK FUCK YOUImplies moving air via the vibration of some structure is used to transfer concepts from one mind to another mind. Implies receptors (ears). Implies human frequencies of pitch and tone, enough that we can actually "learn" the "sounds". WHY? This is just lazy biology! WH THE FUCK WOULD THEY SING SO WE CAN HEAR THEM? What kind of cosmic coincidence is that? You've heard people speak with helium in their lungs, right? Imagine what changing atmospheric density, at all, does to sound.And don't even get me started on "consonants" and "vowels". You clearly aren't good at xenobiology. You're somehow even worse at linguistics.>unusual cute appearanceAnon, furry shit isn't allowed on this board. Take your penis bones and your bird waifu and get the fuck out of here.SO ENDETH THE LESSONI hope this rant was useful to other people. Don't take anything for granted when designing. Deconstruct everything. Don't take lazy shortcuts like this guy did.
>>49869284I'm just angry that this anon went from>I mentioned this before, but I spent literally fucking MONTHS working out a "realistic" sentient alien for my (never-to-be-played) scifi setting. I traveled all the way around my fucking campus, I talked to the bio nerds, the astronomy geeks, the botanists, the physiologists, nutritionists, I probably learned more than I did in those few months than I did in my actual classes. Hell, I even talked to some of the computer graphics people to see if the anatomy was somewhat feasible. To making a bird waifu.I've never seen someone try so hard to understand something and then fuck it up so completely, and this is 4chan. The combination of preachy "I talked to smart people so I know what I'm doing" and "this took up my entire life for half a year..."To get to a bird waifu.A futa bird waifu.It deserved to be torn apart, so the anon could actually learn something.
>>49869009>>49869148>>49869255>>49869349>>49869382Forgive the "You have autism". Contrary to what you might think, that WASN'T me. Anyways, your gripe seems to be "they're too much like any other animal from Earth", which is EXACTLY WHAT I'M GOING FOR. The whole point of its biology, inception, and eventual discovery by humans is that given a very Earth-like environment, a sentient creature has arisen that parallels humanity in both superficial and comprehensive lengths. The planet is Earth-sized, with an iron core. it has monocotonous plants and dicotonous plants (WHICH ALSO EVOLVED INDEPENDENTLY FROM EACH OTHER DUE TO THEIR EFFICIENT MAKEUP), as well as mosses, ferns, bacteria, fungi. The "mammals" of this planet are 2 legged or 4 legged, due to the energy:efficiency ratio of operating anything more than 4 (though I did mention before that I do not think it's impossible for mammals to have 6 legs, or 8 legs, or any number of legs as long as there is great precedence for it). Pretty much, you're mad at me because my animals are TOO terrestrial, while my point, and the other anon I was talking with, and the OTHER anon I was talking with all seemed to agree that certain traits are most prevalent among creature design due to their implied usefulness (ie. fins would evolve on two totally different planets simply because they work so goddamn well). I didn't design this alien alone. This was a joint effort by at least 5 consistent students who were, admittedly, much more knowledgeable in their sciences than I was in theirs. I admit I took some small liberties to fit a better narrative. I wanted these aliens to be communicable, especially in ways that humans could appropriate their language. I wanted them to be approachable and easy to empathize with. I wanted them to look oddly similar to creatures from Earth so that the scientists of my setting would specifically make a point of how Earth-like they were.
>>49869382But convergent evolution is based on what we know. What about everything that we don't know and/or understand ?Maybe there's a way to make energy out of the angle a shadow is cast. Maybe they don't have a single protein in their system and our science would call them rocks. Maybe there's a way to eat fire or make babies using uranium and zinc and WE DON'T FUCKING GET IT BUT THEY DO. And they look like this.
>>49869009>>49869621>but Kangaroos effectively walk on 3 legsYes, thank you for the reminder. I appreciate your concern, but I literally meant "2 or 4 limbs", as in literally 2 or 4 limbs (hands, and feet). To me, a tail is not a limb, even if it serves the purpose of one, otherwise I would mention it in specifics. Land mammals have 2 eyes and 2 to 4 limbs. Nearly all of them do. Those that don't are notable exceptions that we consider "not of the norm". Similarly, arachnids have 8 legs and many eyes. Those that do not are ALSO considered "not of the norm". There must be consistency in design, and my creature does not break that consistency that I placed upon it. >Hair bandsCultures are not monogamous. One culture from one continent used to tie down their "hair" so as not to attack attention to themselves either as a sign of humility, or for more practical reasons such as hunting and fighting. Others would shave them off entirely. Still, others simply adopted it to seem fashionable, because, as mentioned in these posts (>>49867496, >>49868645), it would not be farfetched to assume any sentient life evolving on a planet much like ours would also act much like us, think much like us, and behave much like us. >Invented many timesNot out of forgetfulness, but simply because their cultures, like ours, are not homogenous. Some societies discover them, others do not, sometimes they fall out of favor, and with the introduction of humans and human fashion, it has begun to gain a recent surge in popularity among many of the more "civilized" societies. >HistoryI did not specifically mean "recorded history", similar to how when one mentions "human history", they do not always mean "recorded human history". >Jewelry Implies social status. Implies wealth. Implies grooming habits and self-expression. You forget these are sentient beings with individual personalities. Why does one girl wear earrings and the other does not?
>>49869148>>49869700>EyesYes. Very useful appendages. You seem surprised to see other creatures using it. You also seem surprised to see a brain resting atop a spine, within the structure of what appears to be a skull. Do you deny the importance of a spine? Do you deny the logic behind a skull? >MouthI must admit, there was no real reason to give them a mouth, other than the fact that it is a very efficient orifice, with a very reasonable application beyond just making them appear approachable. >TeethNot literal "teeth". Near-vestigial "scales" that was once used to nab prey and disallow their escape. Does not chew anymore than a crocodile or a tortoise does, which is to say, very rarely. >CookingTheir guts are much more efficient than ours, capable of processing harmful bacteria and germs that would make most humans sick. They feed on carrion, plants, flesh; they are opportunistic feeders. The "taste" that comes from cooking did not recently appeal to their palate until they could afford the leisure time to do so, which was roughly a couple thousand years ago. And "yes", it IS a very Earth-like thing. >Is generally water or acid soluble, just FYI.Thank you for the reminder. >Pubic bone...You juvenile sperglordDo you deny the usefulness of the pubic bone? It is a structure which guarantees excellent forward locomotion that can be seen in modern and past birds of prey, as well as lizards; which they DID evolve from.
>>49869148>>49869800>sexual displayWell, yes. My species is very sexually oriented, much like ourselves. Some cultures celebrate sex in massive holidays, and one culture even has an entire period of the year dedicated to celebrating their sexuality. This does not surprise. >Weak compared to what?Compared to a human's. They ARE perfectly suited for the creature's environment and needs. Their feet "pick up" the slack that their arms cannot carry. Pun intended. >Warm bloodedThis was kinda-sorta a shot in the dark. We assumed any creature that laid eggs, had "hair", and was operational in a variety of climates would obviously be "warm-blooded", and we also assumed warm-bloodedness and cold-bloodedness would be existent on alien planets as well as ours. If you have any actual arguments against it, I would be very interested to hear them; and I think my colleagues might be as well. That is not, by the way, sarcasm. I would genuinely like to hear your opinion on this matter. >metal and stone toolsA broad statement meant to cover their entire species. Clearly, one culture might not yet have invented, say, the wheel, while another might have. One culture might still be using stone-tipped spears to hunt and fight, while halfway around the world, another culture would be using iron trinkets for gaudy jewelry of all things. One culture (the most "civilized", whatever "civilized" means) has learned to craft armor from iron, and are beginning to understand the importance of metallurgy and alchemy. In the forests, another culture has just begun to invent the bow and arrow, which they're quite capable at, due to their sharp, binocular vision and steady feet (as well as excellent muscle and eidetic memory).
>>49869255>>49869895>lays eggs...lazyMother nature is inherently lazy. If a design works, and if it takes very little energy, the design sticks. Eggs do not require too much energy to maintain, and the execution is very satisfactory; why would nature choose anything else? This is my argument FOR convergent evolution. >right handednessYes, a brain with two hemispheres, left and right, suspended on a spine and surrounded by a thick skull, because it is an efficient and logical design. I could have gave it two spines, but I decided it seemed impractical. I could have given it three brains, but I decided it would consume too much energy. I could have given it no brain, but I assumed that was not an option worth exploring. A brain seems to work, and a brain I gave it. They are right-handed, but when I meant their feet act as their "right hands", I was not being literal. I simply meant that they are much more adept and stronger with their feet than they are with their hands. >GangsYou would assume crime would be nonexistent in an intelligent species capable of forming vast societies? These organisms have a sense of justice and injustice, similar to you or I. They decry murder, rape, theft, and any other crime you might consider untoward. It is only logical to assume a small percentage of their populace would feel unwelcome in their society, and thus, turn to career criminalism and offhanded tribalism.>human makeupI did not mean "makeup obtained from humans", though they DO do that. I meant "makeup to make them appear more human". Delinquents might wear lipstick to simulate having human lips, rebels might denounce their species and choose to wear nail polish or to wear human foundation to announce their solidarity with the human foreigners instead of their own kind. They think like humans, so often times, they act surprisingly human. This is, as I mentioned, a plot point, where Earth scientists make a great deal to emphasize how Earth-like this species acts.
>>49869009>>49869148>>49869255>>49869349>>49869382I love you SO much anon. Be aware that you have at least one fan out there.
Leaving aside the wisdom of spending a year to make bird person, I've run into some interesting speculative stuff on "Hey, what if evolution doesn't normally play out with the implications we think it has".As someone with a fairly robust grasp of terrestrial biochemistry, molecular biology and therefore evolution, it was actually a pretty interesting notion to have this setting where it was all "Woah, this planet has thousands of years of evolutionary history? How the hell did they go that long without discovering space travel?", and that typically speaking pretty much every life-bearing planet has its self-replicators blanket and fully colonise the place within a million years, develop strategies to coordinate larger lifeforms within a few hundred million years, which then basically without detours experience evolutionary selection for greater and greater intelligence until they develop space travel, exhaust their native resources, and fuck off.The setting also featured some interesting notions which are hardly far-fetched at first glance but have some more nuanced implications that are harder to see, namely that a 'typical' extraterrestrial in the universe at large subscribed to fewer than half of the definitions of 'life' in common parlance,- No Homeostasis: Most organisms simply initially evolved with broad environmental tolerances.- No organisation: "Cells" as we understand them are rare and possibly responsible for our evolution being a factor of 10 slower than everyone else. Their usefulness was recognised, but usually implemented on a macro-scale by networking individuals into more potent hives.- No Metabolism: While the use of matter for anabolic purposes is useful and necessary, reliable use of chemicals as a primary energy source requires fine tolerances and so rarely ever evolves. Most directly transfer energy from the source as domino chains of electromagnetic interactions to minimise transfer loss and ensure steady and reliable power output.
>>49869349>>49869979>breathes oxygen just like usFirstly, I wanted to make the planet exploitable by humans. Secondly, oxygen is efficient, and there is no reason to assume a creature would NOT evolve to breathe oxygen. If it isn't broken, I did not assume I needed to fix it. I figured using oxygen was my best bet for designing a species and for setting a narrative within my story. >OK FUCK YOUThey don't have vocal chords. Though they DO have tongues, and they DO have strong muscles lining their throats (originally designed for swallowing food). They contract these muscles and they position the tongue to pique air out of a bony "crop" within their throats that acts as an amplifier, much like a modern bird. The "crop" was originally intended for greater intake of oxygen during strenuous exercise, but has become very useful for vocalization. I reasoned sentience could not have been likely without vocal communication or a literal language. Language was the key to sentience in humanity, and logically, we decided language must be the key to sentience for these creatures as well. Also, not literally consonants and vowels, but there DO exist certain pitches and tones which cannot be avoided in their language while speaking, which functions as what we would classify as a "vowel". >unusual cute appearanceShe's literally a genetic abnormality within their species. She was born and became very popular with humanity due to her unusually "cute" appearance. Not all of them appear as she does, and that is why she has become so popular with humans. I wanted to use her as an ambassador of sorts that my players would feel comfortable interacting with. I did not, contrary to what you might believe, think with my penis. Hand on my heart, I swear to God, I did not design her for sex. I'm unironically being as honest as I possibly can when I say that. I designed her to be "cute", not to be fuckable.
>>49869979>human makeup yadda-yaddaI wouldn't be as harsh as Totally-Not-Peter-Watts-I-Swear anon up there (seriously, just admit it's you), but I agree with him that's seems a whole lot of mental wankering and wasted time just to end with angsty bird-looking teenagers
>>49864951>What I meant was that two eyes and four limbs tends to be consistent among life on Earth, and thus, this same consistency should be kept in examples of other alien lifeforms. There are any number of reasons for this, though. The anomalocaris is a good example again - the teeth-tentacles were great. They're a fantastic way of snagging prey. The Anomalocaris and other Cambrian Era animals with similar jaw structures flourished for millions of years before a mass extinction. The reason no animals alive today have a similar jaw structure is simply because the species that survived the mass extinction at the end of the Cambrian didn't use it. Later life on Earth evolved from them.
>>49870027- No Growth: While not true for the 'primordial' creatures of a given make, most of the spacefaring races in the setting (Keeping in mind that 'slow evolving' races tend to be destroyed by the spacefaring ones before they ever discover spacefaring themselves) construct their offspring at full size, near flawlessly, and then their offspring deteriorate with age as wear and tear slowly overcomes their ability to self-repair.- No Adaptation: Admittedly this is nearly impossible to envision. They usually direct their own self-improvement with their own intellect, but still. Because of cultural stasis, radical shifts in form never happen after spacefaring.- No Response to Stimuli: In the absence of a need for homeostasis, creatures can evolve to fruition without ever paying any attention to their environment. They just blindly expand. If they expand into an area that destroys them, they continue to try and do so but since they're also expanding elsewhere, they eventually saturate all available biomes. Typically a feature of early life as understood in the universe.- No reproduction: From terrestrial examples this is an awful strategy, since no matter how great the starting advantage that comes with being the oldest organism with the most resources invested in it, the competitive advantage of more evolved creatures will eventually be enough to topple you from your throne, at which point there are no second chances.But some sufficiently unusual creature might be able to self-modify at a rate comparable to evolution, and thus avoid ever reproducing on the basis that doing so would compromise its stranglehold on planetary resources. When it moves to space, it moves its entire mass, because why let go of what it has accumulated?
>>49869382>>49870051It is NOT a bird waifu, as I have previously stated. I did NOT think with my dick when I made these motherfuckers, and I sincerely do apologize for coming off as preachy. I think I may have been a little heavy handed when I first introduced my proof-of-concept, and I'm sorry. That's not sarcasm either; I know when I'm being an asshole, and I do not wish to be one. But I must say, I do not believe you "tore me apart". I think you MAY have made me reevaluate my original design, and I believe you bring up some interesting points, but nothing you bought up was especially powerful, except for when you started calling me a furfaggot double nigger. That hurt, anon. I'm not a furfaggot double nigger. Either way, despite how it may seem, I'm actually having a lot of fun discussing this with you guys. It's been a long time since I've looked at my notes, and it brings back a lot of good times. I want to further clarify that my design is NOT completed. The sketch is rough and elementary, and I admit that without the guidance of my fellow students and professors, I am rather landlocked in its finished design. If you have any questions, or if you want to fight me IRL, I'll be here for the next 5 hours until I gotta go to work. >>49870084Also, yeah, you're right. I hadn't put too much thought into that angle, and in that regard, I do not have much of a defense. Without my partners, I cannot answer you with absolute certainty without coming off as even more ignorant than I already am. >>49870053Don't know who Peter Watts is, I'll look him up; but the whole angsty, teenagery vibe is entirely intentional. They're very similar to OUR angsty, emo teens in that they love Starbucks and don't like "the man", man.
>>49870123Anyway, in summary, what is your opinion on life that 'breaks the rules' so to speak?"A RACE OF ENERGY BEINGS" is a pretty common variety of scifi bullshittery, but it was interesting to me that honestly for all that the RNA-DNA interaction is a useful means of archiving data for self-replicators, it is unlikely to be the most useful simply as a consequence of the possibilities available.Your 'ooga booga, we are as gods to you fleshbags' shit actually has a role in relatively hard-scifi, and not just sci-fantasy!And yes, I have read the Eaters of the Cold Protons story and love the shit out of Peter Watts, but even those leave open the notion that the Scramblers or Eaters might once have been DNA-based life eons ago before they modified themselves.I find the notion that even life at very comparable tech levels to humans would be wholly orthogonal to what we think of as life interesting.
>>49870129>someone admitting they were wrong and then apologising>on 4chanW-what? That's not supposed to happen...
>>49847764that's pretty damn awesome
OP the main problem I have with your designs is that they are just so...bland? I mean for all their "alien-ish traits" your bird people just come of as a byproduct of future evolution on Earth or some genetic experiment by humans, a "simple" uplift. Though that doesn't have to be a bad thing in on itself, and you could make a good and interesting story out of that idea too, IMHO you lose a lot of story potential by going the "conformist" route.Why make the alien planet (biome) so similar to our own? Just so we can exploit it? Is that so crucial to the story? This just makes things way to easy and as you and others pointed out, plane lazy. You can circumvent that in a number of ways and by going with a more difficult approach open all sorts of new interesting sf venues to explore. Not to mention how small the chances are for the exact same evolutionary and environmental prerequisites occurring.Just by tilting the conditions a little bit and investing in exploration of "less ordinary" venues of possible evolution you can get awesome results while keeping the aliens “usable to humans” in terms of what humans consider meaningful interaction (though I must say I don’t find that angle important at all). The Birrin are a prime example of that (pic related) and if you’re not acquinted with the work of abiogenesis on deviantart, do check him out.And you should definitely read Blindsight by Peter Watts, it's probably one if not THE best hard sf novels in the last 20 years or so. Probably tied for the lead or in top 5 of best extraterrestrial designs in the history of the genre. The bibliography from which he drew his inspiration is also more than worth a look. I would talk at length about his books but I don't want to spoil the surprise. Mind you, his writing is quite technical and he struggles a bit with proper character presentation/development/exposition at times but the ideas are well worth the occasional drag.
>Eaters of the Cold Protons anonI really liked your story, could you please elaborate a bit on the FTL method you conceived for your setting? The Darkspace intrigues me.
>aliens are so alien that we may never even understand they are thereI wholeheartedly disagree with this as one of the most idiotic sf bullshits ever conceived. No matter how radically different some "life form" might be from our notion of what "life" is, unless it's entire life cycle and environmental impact is somehow concealed or nullified, we will, time given, discover it. Whatever it is, if it affects the world around it, in whatever way, it can and will be detected in time unless purposefully avoiding detection (aka Shrouders from Revelation Space); but even that only buys you time, not immunity.Communicating and relating with extraterrestrials is a whole different matter and IMHO that is close to impossible simply because our perspectives would be too alien to each other, except for basic motives/needs like energy consumption, expansion or reproduction (but even those are moot).>muh empathy muh intelligence muh consciousnessPeter Watts deconstructed this meme well. Unfortunately I think that unless we create intelligent life ourselves, be it mechanical or uplifted, we will be stuck in a chinese room with aliens with our AIs doing all the "diplomacy" if there even will be anything akin to that in our interactions. We give ourselves too much credit for claiming that we understand what other creatures on our own planet might "feel" or "think" let alone those of alien origin.
>>49851075>carbon fiber hullDo you really think carbon fiber can survive reentry or shield against gamma radiation? You should have had either an engineer or a physicist to consult as well.
>>49873373cont.>muh domesticated cute fuzzy pets must have the same feelings we understand each otherThat's just a consequence of us redirecting their evolution and them either evolving to be more emphatic like us or evolving to APPEAR to be more emphatic (aka philosophical zombies fml).On an unrelated note, I must say that I find quite interesting how some species on our planet have hit the jackpot with nothing else than sheer luck and coincidence. Consider for example dogs, cats, dolphins or even octopi. Instead of wasting their time evolving over hundreds or even thousands of millions of years to achieve human-like intelligence (not that I'm saying that was their goal, but hey the benefits are real) they just, by chance, evolved to be interesting or cute enough to us, and now they can piggyback to sentience parasitically through our own success. Talking about taking shortcuts.
>>49873453>sentienceIf you're going to try to get into an intellectual dick-waving competition, you should make sure you know the terms in use.
>>49873569not dick waving just discussing; contribute and pls no triggered bullshit
>>49870129I just want you to know, Anon, that I think you're wonderful. And funny. And cute.Please keep it up.
>>49873409Your hull is thankfuly not necessarily your sacrificial armor.
>>49873453>evolved to be interesting or cute enough to usDomestic animals were usually domesticated because they served a practical purpose, not because they were interesting and cute. Purposes many of them still fulfill to this day, almost unchanged.
I always keep my aliens bipedal, but I care a lot more about their culture than what they look like. By the way, what do you think is a good number for playable races in a sci-fi game?I'm making one right now and I'm playing around with the idea of having a small number of major races with lots of information and a good amount of minor races that only need a small paragraph to describe.
>>49873453>believing sentience is an biologicaly absolute objectiveYou just lost all credibility.
>>49873409What makes you think the ship doesn't have dedicated radiation shielding?
>>49873763How do you discuss with someone whose position starts with "human comprehension is limited."
I'm more interest about the side of alien psychology. Too many humans, even those with alien shapes have a mind that's simply too human. There's no reason to believe that they would have exactly the same sets of thought patterns, emotions, critical thinking as us.
>>49846384An interstellar, civilized species is almost certain to be extremely humanoid. Civilization requires large brains which require heads which require an upright figure. Tool use requires fine manipulators, and the number of limbs that humans have is extremely efficient which is why it's common for basically every upright creature, natural or artificial, that exists.The technologies of an alien species will necessarily be based on the same scientific principles that ours are based on, and therefore it is highly likely that they will be culturally and politically similar to us, barring differences that may come about because of a utopian, post-scarcity level of development.
>>49876041>An interstellar, civilized species is almost certain to be extremely humanoid.Evidence for this: sample size of oneBut what about all the relatively intelligent non-human animals on earth alone that AREN'T descended from apes...?
>>49876128>But what about all the relatively intelligent non-human animals on earth alone that AREN'T descended from apes...?So just dolphins.Incapable of tool use.
>>49876144Crows are also pretty smart, with the whole second-order tool use thing they've got going on.Still not likely candidates for a spacefaring race, but closer than dolphins at least.
There's no need for the bipedal form to sand up straight.
>>49876144Crows do use tools. Also, we have the Octopus, an intelligent creature with a completely alien nervous structure and behaviour compared to a vertebrate.
>>49876144>just dolphinsCrows, octopi, pigs, elephants, cuttlefish ( I think )It's funny how people who don't know shit about life on earth try to say they know what will be on non-earth planets.Reminder it took several mass extinction events to get mammals, mass extinction events to get apes, and a mass extinction event to get modern humans.But yeah, environments and all that uncontrollable and random extinction will be mirrored perfectly and produce human-like aliens.
>>49875903It is limited, doesn't mean that we can't push that limit further or break it altogether. And I'm just pointing out some interesting ideas that I would like to use to spark some debate not to hurr durr gtfo from me you mongrel non-transhuman neanderthal. Though I disagree with OP or some other opinions here I still very much enjoy reading and hearing them out. Have a rare Discovery
>>49876210A relatively recent study about ants challenges our viewpoints even more because it seems that they can individually pass the mirror test and are capable of self-recognition. All those poor stomped ant hills :/
The first encounter with aliens will be their robots, self-replicating craft, and other machines. Organic lifeforms are not suited for space.
>>49876041Evidence implies that there are no interstellar civilisations yet.
What the actual fuck is going on in this thread.
>>49876041I much more like the idea of a universe populated by various near/sub/post/transhuman entities and their genetic creations/uplifts or mutations, that in time become so different from the baseline humanity that they can be considered nothing but alien.As for the actual extraterrestrials, I prefer the idea of our contact either being archeological (lifeforms or cultures long gone), through machine artifacts that outlived their creators (von neuman probes, AIs, megastructers, machine cultures) or plain impossible - creatures so alien that we can't communicate with them in any for us meaningful way (Ocean from Solaris etc.)
Age-grading, antennal rites, body licking, calendar, cannibalism, caste determinism, caste laws, colony-foundation rules, colony organization, cleanliness training, communal nurseries, cooperative labor, cosmology, courtship, division of labor, drone control, education, eschatology, ethics, etiquette, euthanasia, firemaking, food taboos, gift-giving, government, greetings, grooming rituals, hospitality, hosing, hygiene, incest taboos, language, larval care, law, medicine, metamorphosis rites, mutual regurgitation, nursing castes, nuptial flights, nutrient eggs, population policy, queen obeisance, residence rules, sex determination, solder castes, sisterhoods, status differentiation, sterile workers, surgery, symbiont care, toolmaking, trade, visiting, weather control . . . and still other activities so alien as to make mere description by our language difficult.
>>49875833Because "hull" most often refers to the outermost aspect of the ship.Also, it's conspicuously missing radiators.
>>49876226>No matter how radically different some "life form" might be from our notion of what "life" is, unless it's entire life cycle and environmental impact is somehow concealed or nullified, we will, time given, discover it.>nullifiedThat already seems like a fairly limiting condition for discovering lifeBut unknowable super-science sounds about far-fetched as unknowable aliens.
What's scary about aliens is the lack of their presence. Given what we know, life emerged on Earth astonishingly fast. Of all the stages, multi-cellular life was the only one that took more time. And it was not a random event since it happened multiple times, it took a lot of time for cells to become complex enough to form organisms. Every other step along the way has been incredibly fast. For all we know, the galaxy should be populated by thousands or even millions of civilisations. So where's everybody? Either life often goes extinct, with no survivors, before it reaches intelligence due gamma burst, asteroids, etc, and we are the lucky ones...or, even worse, advanced civilisations have the tendency to self-destruct violently or destruct each other.
>>49876774Or, far more likely, the universe is at a comparatively young stage in its ability to harbor intelligent life and thus we are simply one of the oldest intelligent species.
>>49876774What if we life in the Dark Ages of our galaxy and the previous civilisation nuked itself into oblivion?
>>49870387/tg/ is a wonderful board
>>49876889Indeed, we have this memeplex of "economy" and all the burdensome discordant willfulness that goes with it obstructing development.
>>49876774I like the thought that the very first primitive life came to earth via space, if only because I still can't wrap my head around how life can just appear from nothing.
>>49876981That explains and changes nothing, life still needs to arise from nothingness, just farther away.
>>49877047Yes, it's a chicken or the egg scenario.
With a bit of a rework in terms of getting them more on the science than the paranormal side (but keeping the creepiness and mystery ofc), some of the Lovecraftian horrors fit the bill perfectly for very weird and disturbing extraterrestrials entities for use in hard sf.
>>49876475/tg/ threads discussing hard-SF, and actually science, are among the most educated and interresting we have.
>>49876981We are a Neumann machines now.
>>49876271Dude that's fucking amazing, where's the ant uplifting program? How do we harness the power of another sentient being on our planet?
>>49877013very nice read thanks anon; if anyone has more of this cool pasta, please share, am ever hungry
>>49877013I love memetic horrors so fucking much. Also, this is basically the plot of Uzumaki, and it's fantastically distressing.
>>49877266Why the need for sentient beings? what the hell is the fascination for it? You just need them to be smart and docile. Computers do the trick.
>>49877266We're not sure what sentience on an ant level would even mean, is it even sentience at all, what it actually means for them and how do they experience reality; only that they apparently know the difference between self and other. But that is a big step in on itself because many organisms orders of magnitude more complex and intelligent than ants (including some primates) fail this test. It still needs to be confirmed through further research and hammered down if it wasn't just a fluke brought by some other agent.For a glimpse of what it might mean to look through some truly alien eyes I must refer you to this short storyhttp://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=5875
>>49877367Not to harness them for labour, to to truley know that we're not the only species that acts the way we do, that other species can think and possibly create and express, everything aliens represent being literally under our feet this entire time is an idea i find fascinating and beautiful.>>49877390That was a very nice story, thank you for sharing it, i really hope that the experiment wasn't a fluke though.
>>49877367I agree; intelligence, consciousness, self-awareness and sentience are not necessarily interdependent or required for each other. We're just used to having the "full package" so we extrapolate it to everything else we consider might have "intelligent traits".
>>49877484I'm not really a biologist, what's sentience actually mean? because i thought it was the whole package
>>49877561Sentient is the ability to sense. Even a lot of plants are sentient.
>>49877561Sapience is the important one.Sentience is pretty meaningless desu.
>>49877561Sentience is the capacity to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively. It's how you, inside your head, perceive the world around you and the sensory input your senses feed you.
>>49877013Reminds me of BLIT short storyhttp://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/blit.htm
>>49877483Taking a look at the biology of insects, fish and even lizards and birds in a fascinating way to see just how alien some things we take for granted are. Fish especially. The ocean is literally an entire second world for us to explore, that's over twice the size of the one we live on and is inherently hostile to our presence. And it's filled to the brim with fascinating, horrifying alien critters with traits and biologies we could never have imagined without seeing them first. And some of them are demonstrably intelligent. There's dolphins, sure, but Humboldt squid are known to hunt humans deliberately, and use intelligent teamwork to distract, kill and devour divers and swimmers. Cuttlefish and octopi are less dangerous, to humans at least, but no less fascinating.Orcas develop special hunting techniques that use a high degree of creative problem solving and then teach these to their children, leading to packs that have discrete culture and language. They also can and do kill for sport, and exhibit signs of psychopathy when captured and put into exhibits, or raised without parents.The ocean is a fascinating, awful place that literally gives me nightmares.
>>49877787All the more reason we have to ASAP go to Europa or Enceladus or any body that possibly harbors an underground ocean and take notes/samples. Considering that the statistical likelihood of such objects occurring is probably greater than terrestrial planets like Earth, it very well may be that the dominant and most widespread biom for life is in such reclusive bodies of water, not homeworlds like ours.
>>49860458How about some extraterrestrial gaseous super-organisms that feed by cloaking the local star with their nebular mass and simply not giving a fuck ithat someone might be living on those silly tiny rocks that orbit themhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Cloud
>>49876475This entire thread is a prime example of your mother saying "if you studied as hard as you played, you would be a doctor by now".
>>49876774What the other anon said. This universe is only 14 billion years old. Planet Earth itself is 4 and a half billion years old. Life is probably relatively "new", as far as the universal scale goes.
>>49880608One of these stars man, I'm telling you. Around one of these stars there's a battle going on, right this second. A battle involving thousands of stellar constructs that defeat human imagination by simply existing in their impossibilities, a crucial conflict that will turn the tide in deciding the fate of this Cosmos...we just need to keep searching for the right one.
>>49872980Well I may not be a reputable biologist, I don't study physiology, nutrition, evolution, and heck, I'm struggling with trying to pass botany, but I don't think that disqualifies me from scientific pontification anymore than it disqualifies Michael Chricton or James Cameron. When SciFi writers draft a story, especially in traditional science-fiction, they often try to propose some sort query through their medium. Orson Welles wanted us to assume life from another planet might be deadly and implacable, Michael Chricton, for example, wanted to warn us of what form irresponsibility might take if we weren't to recognize the power of genetic engineering. All these science fiction authors had a very nonfiction question to ask of the population. What if? Could this? And if? In some small ways, I think I can mimic this approach to great scifi. I may not write as well as they may have, and I may not be as formally educated, but I still have something to give to this world, and in that regard, I ask "would evolution not appear so similar to us if it were not conceived on a different world?" Why would a planet so UN-like ours host life so UN-like ourselves? Does that not imply a flaw in design? To be a creature with no familiar psychology, to be a creature with no movable fingers, no known language, no known face; is this not flawed design? And to give him SENTIENCE too! Is this not against what Darwin has preached? I whole-heartedly believe that it is, more-or-less, impossible for any sentient creature to form that does not exist within our range of familiarity. I believe sentience is a privilege extended from a literal language, maneuverable digits, social psychology, and a robust form; not unlike ourselves.
>>49881063I believe it is highly unlikely (though not impossible), for this sentient species to have any less than 2 limbs, or anymore than 4. I believe a sentient, alien species MUST inhabit a planet much like ours in temperament; mild at times, yet harsh and unforgiving. I do not care to make my alien species anymore exotic than need be, if only to appeal to the fantasies of some reader or another. I do not care for bizarre physiology and novel psychologies. I do not care for oddness for oddness' sake. I do not care for the "less ordinary" when the ordinary itself should do me just fine. I imply that such a bizarre creature you describe MIGHT exist. I suggest that such an alien, scary creature WOULD exist, given the vast biomes of space and time; but I do not, for one second, believe these creatures would pull themselves into sentience, and if they did, I would not be able to agree with their fitness as a species. I must admit, I am slightly offended when people suggest my invention was an invention of laziness. Similar to how I must admit I am neither OP, nor a faggot.
>>49881120My original design was meant to evoke a sense of familiarity. I was trying to convey my scientific thought and explain to the audience that "sentient life, however far into the cosmos it be discovered, would reflect upon itself in its biology, the familiar influences of Earth as it would on its own planet". I did not give it feathers because I was too lazy to give it acid for skin, similar to how I did not bestow it sentience like I would for a rolling blob of flesh and brain. I honestly, with all my heart, simply believe that sentient life may only exist on a planet much like ours, giving way to sentient species much like ourselves, who, by their very existence, look much like something from Earth. I want to reiterate one final time. I did NOT create this species out of laziness. Making them appear appealing was NOT my primary interest, and I did NOT have any interest in going out of my way to draft an alien species who looked so novel I could not believe it would develop sentience independent of some wickedly devilish intelligent designer.That is all, though I thank you for you inquiry.
>>49881134I like this last picture and I like your honest approach notOP; doesn't matter that it isn't correlating with what I consider aliens might be I respect your enthusiasm and determination. And please don't be offended by the comments, I still think that you should check out the books mentioned, just for the motives they use and ideas sake if nothing else.So tell us a bit more about your creation; you got me more interested now. What's their name? What's their overall culture like? What's the layout of their solar system? And how do you imagine the first contact?
>>49869621>Right, so "an alien that's just like an animal from earth" is a lot like saying "a planet made entirely of vanilla pudding" in terms of unlikeliness. It's totally fine for Space Opera settings like Mass Effect or Star Trek... but you went to all this trouble to "research" an alien creature only to miss the point completely.>ven a very Earth-like environment, a sentient creature has arisen that parallels humanity in both superficial and comprehensive lengths. "The divine tape recorder holds a million scenarios, each perfectly sensible. Little quirks at the outset, occurring for no particular reason, unleash cascades of consequences that make a particular feature seem inevitable in retrospect. But the slightest early nudge contacts a different groove, and history veers into another plausible channel, diverging continually from its original pathway. The end results are so different, the initial perturbation so apparently trivial." - Stephen Jay Gould, 1989There's a very good chance that a few very slightly different paths in Earth's history would have lead to very, very different outcomes. The chances of an "Earth-like" world arising and then "Earth-like life" also arising are low enough to begin with. The chances that bilateral symmetry, vertical locomotion, blood, colours, social mimicry, etc. would ALSO evolve in ways similar to our own is pure wishful fantasy.>monocotonous plants and dicotonousThat's a... very odd way to divide up plant life. Like I said, plant life evolving at all in ways that we'd be able to categorize based on leaf development is... kind of silly.>st prevalent among creature design due to their implied usefulness And that's fine! I agree, if you want to move in water, symmetrical fins that move independently of the body work. So does wiggling a long structure (like sperm, or an eel) or jets (cuttlefish) or entire-body convulsions (lobsters, jellyfish) or walking (crabs) or a dozen other modes.
>>49881796>>49869621But going from "efficient means of locomotion are likely to evolve on any world where life exists" to "I have designed a bird person with eyes, arms, handedness, a penis, and a social structure" is taking things stupidly too far. You've understood /just enough/ about evolution to get it completely wrong.>This was a joint effort by at least 5 consistent students who were, admittedly, much more knowledgeable in their sciences than I was in theirs.This stuff requires thinking about, and saying "no, wait, why?" more often than "yes, sure". Five students do not equal one critical thinker.> I admit I took some small liberties to fit a better narrative. I wanted these aliens to be communicable, especially in ways that humans could appropriate their language. I wanted them to be approachable and easy to empathize with.So why not just say "I wrote a bird person for my space opera setting/wank bank?" Why go to the lengths of thinking about it and doing research if you had an end goal already - a bird waifu species?>Maybe there's a way to make energy out of the angle a shadow is cast. There are words in this sentence you think you understand, but don't. These words are>energy>angle>shadowWhat you are describing is... juvenile. You have no idea how energy works or what it is. You have no idea that a "shadow" is an arbitrary thing, a thing we defined. You've confused arbitrary, human-centric concepts for actual-world things.You're like a pagan who thinks that water and hatred are both equivalent fluids. >our science would call them rocks. No scientist worth their salt would confuse a dead rock for a living one. If you're built of matter (and everything we know is), and if you want to change, you need to move stuff around - electrons, atoms, etc. Chemistry is noticeable. Rocks don't do it, or much of it. Living not-rocks would.
>>49869700>>49882144>Land mammals have 2 eyes and 2 to 4 limbs. Right, because they all evolved from a common ancestor, and the 2 eyes 4 limbs thing (all mammals have 4 jointed limbs, though they do can very odd things with them, like fly). You have the same bones as a bat in your arms, just arranged differently. Same with a horse.>>49869700>Similarly, arachnids have 8 legs and many eyes. Those that do not are ALSO considered "not of the norm". All arachnids have 8 "legs" although there's actually a lot more to it. Arthropod evolution is weird. Arachnids really have eight "head-legs" and a bunch of legs that turned into their lungs. Yeah. "Weird" right? And yet we're the newcomers to this world. Who's "not the norm" now, endo-skeleton creature?>There must be consistency in design, and my creature does not break that consistency that I placed upon it. Because you wanted something you were attracted to. You artificially chose to limit yourself to a bird waifu and post-facto invented reason for it. >Cultures are not monogamousThat's... a weird context for "monogamous"? Also, you missed the point.You also don't understand what "forgetfulness" means. I didn't mean "forgets things like you forgot where you put your body pillow". I mean "forgets things like we forgot where Troy was". Cultural loss of memory = repeated inventions>>Implies social status. Implies wealth. Implies grooming habits and self-expression. All of these are VERY EARTH THINGS. Break them down a little - why do these things exist on earth? What caused them to become behaviors? Are those same pressures present on your world? I mean, "your world" is just "Earth, with bird people", but you know what I mean.>Eyes.So useful life on earth has evolved them many, many times... and differently each time. Being able to sense incoming photons is useful if you have photons around. But a creature on an alien world evolving 2 eyes in exactly the "human" configuration is weird.
>>49876041>Civilization requires large brains which require heads which require an upright figurewatare you retarded? are you ok anon? Why the FUCK would you need to be upright to have a brain? the rate of that being true is literally 1:ALLBEINGSWITHBRAINSMINUSHUMANS on FUCKING EARTH ALONE.Upright posture is literally the AIDS of sci-fi, it just shows that the auther knows fuck all about anthropology. Humans are literally the only species ever that did what we did. There was LITERALLY never another species that hunted it's prey by just jogging behind it and reading it's trails via visual hints so it couldn't rest long enaugh and would eventually just die of exhaustion. If there is ever one thing that could possibly distinguish humans from all other aliens, it is THAT, and yet the biggest and dumbes trope of all of sci fi stems from the one trait that makes no sense for basically every other evolutionary niche. If there is ONE thing we can be certain of, it is that the majority of sentient species in the galaxy is NOT upright or humaniodHere is a list of all species in the entire known evolutionary history of the earth that could reasonably considered upright:>Humans>KangaroosTHE END. That is a pretty insane ratioAlso, what you are TRYING to describe is cephallisation and it doesn't mean any of what you imlied here, it just means that the higher the life for and the longer its evolution the more nerves, especially specialized ones, concentrate, usually near the sensory nerves and therefore rughly in the front. Congratulations anon, aliens probably have brains if they have nerves and clearly defined boundaries, you are a fucking GENIUS man
>>49882332You forgot dinosaurs and birds; AKA the intended heir deserving of sentience before planet Earth got hit with a big, flying rock.
>>49869800>>49882293>I must admit, there was no real reason to give them a mouth, other than the fact that it is a very efficient orifice."Efficient" how? I mean, crabs and octopi and birds and mammals all evolved VERY different mouths that work just fine for them. Putting compounds you can use into one end of your body, moving them along, and then putting them out another is a basic plan most multicellular life on earth adopted pretty quickly, but it's not the only way to do things. Your bird waifu has a mouth because you wanted your bird waifu to be "familiar" to humans (i.e. to you).>Do you deny the usefulness of the pubic bone?I want to get this printed on a T-shirt. It's not like this is a race to design the perfect creature. That's not how evolution works. Pubic bones work for some mammals. They don't work for others. But it SURE AS FUCK implies you picked human-ish genitals for your bird waifu...as opposed to bird genitals, which you presumably decided weren't worth wanking over. Yes, we've all seen duck penises. But most birds don't have sex in a "human" way at all. Let's not even discuss termite queens or starfish or plants - you might lose your boner.>My species is very sexually oriented, much like ourselves.And you don't see why this is a problem in an "alien" race? It's not at all a problem for an alien race you've just made up for literature reasons, but you're trying to use /science/ here.
>>49877484More importantly, we think ourselves to actually have the full package ourselves. Just imagine the horror of living in a galaxy where the full package is actually twice as big as our own but everybody has at most as many as us but everyone has a different combination and nobody can "really" comprehend the others truly
>>49882374Those are not upright in the slightest. Show me a dinosaur that is not still a more or less vertical creature, I will wait.Tyranosaurs? Raptors? That basic body for followed by birds and dinosaurs is NOT upright, they allways fall back into a more of less vertical state as they start motion, both flying or running birds and running dinosaurs. They are LESS upright than gorillas, which aren't by common definition upright. They are less upright than Kangaroos which are in this list as a joke as even they are only upright if they are not running at max speed, but are still the most upright ones aside from humans.No other species than humans and Kangaroos are literally vertical at most or all times.
>>49869895>>49882374>This was kinda-sorta a shot in the dark. We assumed any creature that laid eggs, had "hair", and was operational in a variety of climates would obviously be "warm-blooded"Right... you assumed way too much. WHY did you assume these things? Break it down. Break it down further.Warm blooded implies blood. That implies there's a fluid circulating around your creature's body that's used to carry nutrients and oxygen (you did say they use oxygen) to and from internal components. We haven't determined if your creature has cells, but given what you've described, it seems likely. So think about this for a second. Is this the only way cells could operate? What alternative methods work here on Earth? What alternative methods can you think of that accomplish the same task?Then, "warm-blooded". It means "can generate its own heat". On Earth that's very useful - our climate is variable due to axial tilt. Our internal chemistry operates best in a narrow temperature range, so we expend energy to heat ourselves up to that range if it's too cold. Anything that can't has to operate more slowly until heat builds up, from passive internal processes or from the environment.But that raises interesting questions. Is this the only way for internal chemistry to operate? Could the effective temperature range be wider? Are there other ways to generate this heat? We oxidize carbon compounds, but that's a pretty niche thing.But the options you picked are "safe" ones for you because you're used to earth creatures. You know that some creatures are "warm blooded" and some are "cold blooded" (from elementary school biology) and you think that's it. So you picked one of the two options your narrow view contained... and ignored EVERYTHING ELSE.
>>49882384>>49881063Neither of you guys understands what a pubic bone is. What you were trying to say was "pelvis". The pubic bone is a small portion of the pelvis.
>>49882547>not still a more or less HORIZONTAL creatureis what I meant
>>49882417This is actually a really cool concept I like in scifi. There was an SMBC comic in a similar vein, where alien researchers come to observe humans because Earth is the only planet in the universe where animals evolved consciousness, but didn't evolve some equivalent of [[untranslatable organ]] which is an organ that allows creatures to sense morality.The joke centered around the idea of all these aliens joking that 'life always finds a way' because humans were capable of acting out a surprisingly good approximation of correct morals despite lacking the ability to sense them intrinsically.In a more hard scifi setting it's much harder to come up with shit for this, some fundamental intellectual capacity that even a comparably gormless creature could possess, that humans not only lack but can barely even conceive of. I usually end up having to go softer and have it be something like "See ghosts" or whatever.The closest I've really managed to crack is the whole "What if factionalism was an exclusively human thing and every single other species in the universe intrinsically knows how to align their personal axiom of good with the good of the species as a whole regardless of their level of individuality".
>>49882553>>49869895>Mother nature is inherently lazy. You had an alien bird person that lays eggs. That's very lazy design.>a brain with two hemispheres, left and right, suspended on a spine and surrounded by a thick skull, because it is an efficient and logical design. IT IS NOT. NOT AT ALL.I mean, it makes some sense on Earth because of our evolutionary background. But it's not some sort of universal "good design". We can pretend it is to make bumpy-forehead aliens on TV but it's really not. It's barely a good design on Earth - we've had to evolve all kinds of compromises in childbirth, jaw strength, and blood pressure just to stand upright. But you have just convinced yourself that this is a good design because it's comfortable. It's what you see here, so it MUST be good. > I could have given it three brains, but I decided it would consume too much energy. I could have given it no brain, but I assumed that was not an option worth exploringThose are... /those/ are the options you thought you could choose from? You didn't go with "what is a brain" or "what is a spine" or "why is a brain" or "what is symmetry". You went with "A creature that is intelligent should have a brain because I have a brain. OK. It should have a brain like mine because it works for me. OK. Not two brains. Not no brains. One brain."That's... the wrong way to think about it. Evolution doesn't have drop-down menus where you enter "number of limbs" and "number of brains" and get a creature at the end, like some weird DOS game.
>>49867496>>49868645Hopefully any intelligent life we run into or that runs into us has a similar brain chemistry to our own. Sure there would be a high likelihood they could be warlike savages, but they would still feel emotions we could identify. We might even be able to empathize with each otherThe thought of an entirely apathetic, single minded species of aliens is quite terrifying. Like, imagine if ants achieve space travel. No consideration for at least studying other life form, just a desire to conquer and spread.Needless to say, Tyranids frighten me as a concept
>>49869979>>49882657>>49870027>As someone with a fairly robust grasp of terrestrial biochemistry, molecular biology and therefore evolutionAhahaha... no. You don't. You know those people who take an Intro to Psychology course and suddenly know EVERYTHING about you and your problems and mental illness and how the brain works?That's what you're doing. You don't know enough to recognize what you don't know.>Woah, this planet has thousands of years of evolutionary history?>thousands of years>thousandsWe have thousands of years of brewing beer. We have BILLIONS of years of evolutionary history. Life turned up a mere 500 million years after the Earth was FORMED... and then stayed single celled for the next 3 billion years. That's an almost incomprehensibly long time. >- No Homeostasis: Most organisms simply initially evolved with broad environmental tolerances.Ok, "homeostasis" is a very specific term, but I understand what you mean. Broad tolerances are good and all, but creatures built on chemistry can't have unlimited tolerances. There has to be something to keep solvent inside and a useful temperature range, even if that temperature range is very wide.>No organisationOk... you'd better have a good alternative. Organization is how you do anything. Aaand... you don't.Non-cellular life is just fine and dandy, but non-/organized/ life is weird. Unless you mean "organized" like "vapourized" - made of organs. In which case, well, sure, but explain why and how.>No MetabolismOk, so your creatures don't break down complex compounds for energy. They just...>Most directly transfer energy from the source as domino chains of electromagnetic interactionswutWUTSO MUCH WUTWhat "source"? The batteries falling from the sky? Lightning? "Electromagnetic interaction?" You know that "electromagnetism" is not the same as the "electron transfer chains" in our cells, right? "Electromagnetic interaction" is like... radio. Or a heat lamp.
>>49870051>>49882863>Firstly, I wanted to make the planet exploitable by humans. Because it made your narrative easy.>Secondly, oxygen is efficientOxygen is a bit of an anomaly on Earth. Look it up. It didn't occur naturally - there were a few /major/ coincidences and extinction events involved. Those coincidences might occur twice... but that's a pretty big leap.Plus, somehow they also like the same concentration of oxygen we do... and not, say, a healthy wiff of hydrogen sulphide or carbon monoxide on the side. I assume that would ruin your narrative.>. If it isn't broken, I did not assume I needed to fix it.LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE.This is the opposite of good alien design.Shame on you.> I reasoned sentience could not have been likely without vocal communication Deaf people would like a gesture with you.Vibrating air to communicate abstract concepts is not a universal constant. > Also, not literally consonants and vowels...You are /still/ bad at linguistics. Just keep digging that hole...>>49870123>No GrowthSee, this actually shows some thought. I can't really pick this apart much, except to say that bottom-up growth is how evolution tends to make complex creatures. Evolving to the point where you can construct the next generation top-down is definitely viable.>No Adaptation. Admittedly this is nearly impossible to envision. It's also stupid. If you don't adapt, you die to something that can, assuming that something has a reason to want you dead... like you being in their way, a potential threat, or just existing at all. "Cultural shifts" is again, very human.>No Response to Stimuli.WUTMoving on...>No reproductionBut you just said in "no growth"...Did you just take a high school biology list of "traits living things have" and add "no" to the front of them, then try to design aliens around them? Kind of admirable, but also... kind of stupid.
>>49882863Listen, I'm not the person you're replying to but could you chill a bit here? I agree, it's a good idea to really break down your ideas and examine your biases and whatnot to free your inner-creativity. But stop insulting him. For fuck's sake. You could cut 60% of your series of posts and convey all the useful information. So much of it is just bullshit insults and grandstanding. Chill. For God's sake. Your ideas will get listened to even without the vitriol and aggression; it's those that are jeopardizing your message.
>>49883063>>49870129AND FINALLY>It is NOT a bird waifuLet me break this down for you.You describe the alien you drew as "cute". You gave her a gender and a happy backstory. You made her a special snowflake genetic abnormality. You gave her genitals you can appreciate, a language you can speak, jewelry you can appreciate. You gave her makeup. I bet you imagined cuddling her.Here's the thing. I do not give a solitary fuck if you have a bird waifu. Feel free to write all the fanfic you want. Draw all the furry art you want. heck, it can even post it here - it's no skin off my back. Whatever floats your boat.But when you try and justify your bird waifu by invoking "research" and "science"... I get angry. And then, you get called out.Also, your pic in post >>49870051Well, see my picture for what comes up when you google it.You might be a furry, anon. It's ok, I don't kink-shame. I just science-shame.And you have done some shameful science.
>>49870191>Anyway, in summary, what is your opinion on life that 'breaks the rules' so to speak?Well, you can't break the laws of physics, but there's a lot you can do within them.Noncellular creatures, creatures that use metal/boron/halide based catalyst chains instead of carbon/nitrogen/oxygen based proteins, symbiotic life, life with different symetries, life that isn't self aware but is still intelligent, life that is self-aware but can't express abstract concepts, life that has no memory at all...I mean, take your pick. Build something, then ask "why?" If, after careful examination, you can't justify "why" without saying "because it works on earth and I'm comfortable with it", then change it.So let's say you have a world. Say it has water. Say it exists in a temperature band where gas and liquid phases are common but solid phases are not. Say you have an atmosphere of mostly inert gas. We'll use CO2 and Argon. Rocks made of lighter elements, some heavier elements. On earth, an early collision sheared off a bunch of the lighter elements to make the Moon, leaving a nice metal-rich bit behind. That didn't happen here, so aluminum oxides are a lot more common. Silicon oxides are everywhere.So life starts up. On earth, we're not quite sure how it happened. On Htrea, the planet we've invented, it starts with a molecule that looks like:[ligands][Metal]-O-Si-O-[Si-O]n -HThese form a bilayer, but the metals can bond to each other, forming a sort of instant rigid wall. Cells look like centurions in a turtle formation. Little gaps let in water and other compounds, but rigid-ish metal plates make it difficult to eat other cells.So already this leads to all sorts of interesting questions. Do small "virus-like" cells evolve with different chemistries to slip into the cracks of the bigger cells? Do double membranes evolve? Do they use the metal "plates" as catalyst beds? As dielectric solar panels?And we haven't even gone multicellular!
>>49872993Sure, you can read about it in the attached PDF. Let me know what you think.>>49873373Good stuff, anon. Good stuff.
>>49873409>>49875833>>49875682Sorry, I'd used a bit of shorthand in that summary card.The ship design system has different "hull" material types, but only for the major structural components. In this case, carbon fibre had fuel efficiency bonuses (it's light!) but repair penalties and VERY serious consequences if it was ever exposed to reentry plasma. The players were very, very paranoid about checking the heat shield tiles on their ship. Chemists know very well that carbon fibre + air + heat = just more air.This is not good for the ship.
>>49876041No.>Civilization requires large brainDoes it? Why?Also, what's a "brain?" And what's a "civilization"? Are both required for intelligence? Do you really think aliens are going to have clusters of wet, oxygen-requiring, blood-fed, carbon-based cells specialized to send chemical and electrical impulses to each other in patterns that become "thoughts" and "ideas", like we do? Really, the only reason we have a brain on the end of our bodies is because that's where our sensory organs were - on the front end of a worm. Organs grew together. Nerves clustered. And soon, you had a little knot of them with lines of nerves going to the sense organs.>Tool use requires fine manipulatorsThat's a fairly sensible idea (if you think tool use is a requirement, which to be honest it probably is)>number of limbs that humans have is extremely efficient How so? I mean, crabs get along just fine with more. So do spiders. Donkeys can use their lips to undo knots, did you know that? Smart bastards. If they'd drifted towards sentience, I bet their lips would have become the tool-manipulating bits. >it's common for basically every upright creature, natural or artificial, that exists....Ravens... use tools... with their feet. And beaks...Wut.>he technologies of an alien species will necessarily be based on the same scientific principles that ours are based on,Well yeah. Can't break the laws of physics. That doesn't mean they won't be very different, having gone down different paths, but manipulating magnetism, electricity, photons, and chemical reactions are pretty hard to get away from.>ighly likely that they will be culturally and politically similar to usWhy? How so?>>49876475Nerds are nerding. And it's excellent.
>>49876625The radiators were pretty simple loop-type IR radiators tucked against the back of the hull, next to the nuclear lightbulb engine housing. They're folded in all the pictures I captured.
>>49880608IDK, life showed up on Earth pretty much as soon as things calmed down. It didn't do much for a loooooong time, but it did arise quickly.Also, this is a sunset on Mars. That's fucking cool.
>>49860132You serious Anon?
>>49846463>with as little as possible based on earth lifeConvergent evolution though.
>>49846384I tend to use aliens as an excuse to make odd cultures.In my homebrew setting I have a race of sentient and friendly man-sized communist spiders who are humanity's greatest ally and the first species they met after taking to the stars.I also enjoy having humans be able to reproduce with most other species. "Cultural exchange" is a lovely thing...
>>49883088I'm mostly mad because bird-anon said he did the research, and then... didn't. Like I said, I don't kink-shame. I science-shame. Imagine...Imagine you're a WWI historian, and you just finished running an alternative history RPG set in 1955, but where the Central Powers won the Great War. The game's mostly about spying and intrigue, but your friends are also history buffs (or willing to read up on things) and they love the little tidbits of historical accuracy and speculation. You've made maps and diagrams and read all the books you can to try and make it as "real" as you can for your players.And then you come onto 4chan and someone says, "Yeah, I've been working really hard on my alt-history WWI setting where the Central Powers won the war. I've talked to historians, to authors, and to collectors. I've even talked to actual politicians!"Wow, you think. Someone else tried really hard too! I wonder what they did.And then they post, "My game is set in 1950. Harry Truman just became president, and..." And then they describe 1950s America, just as it actually was. They wrote down a bunch of info, it's true, but it's all... from the real world."Uh," you ask, "how did Truman become President? Why? Wouldn't he have been killed in the War?""Oh, it was only logical," they say without explaining anything."What about the political ramifications of a failed intervention in Europe? What about the economy?""Oh, well after the Second World War...""There was a /second/ World War in your setting?""Yeah, this guy called Adolf Hitler set out to make Germany great again..."You see what I mean?
>>49882332>Humans are literally the only species ever that did what we did.Humans are also the only species we know that use out brain capacity the way we do. One might assume that you would consider the two to be connected.
>>49883751>I'm mostly mad because bird-anon said he did the research, and then... didn't. Like I said, I don't kink-shame. I science-shame.As I said before, you could cut 60% of the text from your points and all the important information would be retained. There is no point to this "science-shaming." Your example is your example, that doesn't change that you could have easily explained the problems with Anon's aliens, with a reasonable tone and calmness. There was no reason for so much of what was in your posts.
>>49883542>Are both required for intelligence?A brain is a requirement for intelligence. Intelligence is a requirement for civilization.
>>49883751>And then they describe 1950s America, just as it actually was.Well yeah. So soon after the war nothing major is likely to change. The 50s in America after the Axis powers won is most likely gonna be much like the 50s in America in our world were.
>>49883867WWI, anon. "Axis powers" were WWII. 32 years is plenty of time for all sorts of changes to occur.>>49883788>There is no point to this "science-shaming." It's... fun?Writing in hyperbolic tones is fun. All my usual work is very dry and very technical. It's cathartic to just let loose at someone who's offended you, even if the "offense" is petty and hilariously pointless. I could make my posts shorter, but then what would I get out of the experience?And people might learn something... even if all they learn is "Jeeze, I don't want to write like this guy. He seems like a jerk.">>49883830Ok.So what is "a brain" to you? A centralized cluster of specialized parts that directs the action of other specialized parts? A wet mass of electric meat? What's so special about it, that some other form couldn't do just as well?What does "civilization" mean to you? Social order? Cities? A class structure? Language? History? Leisure? Are these things required by an "intelligent" species?
>>49882863Firstly, not the same poster as birdman or cold proton. Secondly, the thousands of years of evolutionary history thing was a typo, meant to say "thousands of millions".I realise I was cheating on a few of those points, but you have to remember that the actual definitions of life with titles like "organisation" do still subscribe to things like 'cells' etc. It's a bit of a no-brainer that we would be able to recognise "unconventional" life, but these definitions are still actually defended in academic circles to this day, silly as they are to circumvent.>Did you just take a high school biology list of "traits living things have" and add "no" to the front of them, then try to design aliens around them? Kind of admirable, but also... kind of stupid.In this case, yes. There were actual creatures someone else came up with that I was keeping in mind when I came up with these though, which were only non-Homeostatic, non-cellular, some were non-metabolic chemically, and they were all non-growing.Re: Non-metabolism, an example would be a bismuth crystal array that has a sustainable and repeatable crystal domain shift triggered by the external magnetic field on their homeworld which is harnessed as a power source, providing a reliable and consistent pulse of energetic activity throughout its physical structure. This can in turn operate an ambulator such as in the simulated creatures explored here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgWQ-gPIvt4The electron transfer chains in our own bodies use several dozen intermediary steps as proxies for actually moving an electron from point A to point B, and even then the end result is ATP which is transferred at diffusion speeds, which are perfectly adequate for single cells, but represent unacceptable latency in a macro-scale organism. Especially with non-cellular life, you need to transfer potential energy as something far closer to a direct unbroken chain of mechanical (such as a driveshaft) or electrical energy.
>>49884030*silly, and easy to circumvent
>>49882820Well, physics and chemistry work the same everywhere, other than a few corner cases like close to black holes. The big question would be: intelligence, how does it work? Is there a true maximum? Are there multiple *local* optimums, which are exactly the sort of thing that evolution can drive a path towards and then get stuck in? Even the best case scenario for us isn't really that rosy. Say we're already at nature's best possible survival-bang for energy-buck intelligence and machines can't really pass that. That's nice, we don't have to worry about being killed off by our own AI (or alien AI) like some B-movie sci fi horror plotline. But we've already concieved of plausible ways to reach out and extinct someone from arbitrarily long distances (like, smack them with a ramship at a high enough percentage of the speed of light).And we're designing stuff to detect distant planets. So even if we don't have to worry about a superintelligent alien bug hivemind that doesn't like us, we still have to worry about someone exactly as smart as us not liking us. If it helps, at least it's probably too soon for anything in range of our first strong radio broadcasts to have even launched a planet killer at us yet, so it won't get here in our lifetimes.
>>49883788The other problem with his posts is that he is just plain fucking wrong about some things. Donkey's lips as fine manipulators is utterly ridiculous and he probably only posted that as a bit of uninformed contrarianism.In fact much of what he railed against on bird anon is quite clearly devil's advocate contrarianism born from his attempts to seem more informed but spouting off some seriously idiotic shit that ignores many of the differences between animals and the reasons for their shapes backed by evolutionary patterns.>>49884008A civilization is any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification, symbolic communication forms, and a perceived separation from and domination over the natural environment by a cultural elite.An intelligent species will evince all of the above to be able to be said to have civilization. Its really that simple you contrarian moron. And don't go trying to do that stupid shit where someone brings up ants or any other eusocial insect that does not have these things except as some form of weird misinterpretation brought on by ignoring significant differences.
So, to sum up this thread, basically bird anon made a being of pure energy (the only way bullshit like no organization, metabolism, or growth can exist from where I stand) and another anon called him out on being shit by trying to justify this shit as having an evolutionary/biological basis as opposed to just being space opera.Meanwhile greentext stories are being tossed around and everybody else is shouting at one of the two to not be shit in some way.How close am I?
>>49884030Cold proton here.>Secondly, the thousands of years of evolutionary history thing was a typo, meant to say "thousands of millions".No worries, I was just concerned there were young-earth evolutionists on this board.>R.e. Non-metabolismSo I'm still not sure whether the thing you've described would be classified as a creature or as "particularly rocky weather"... but damn, I'm impressed. /Good thinking/, anon. > electron transfer chainsSo the reason we use "intermediates and proxies" is to use a leeeetle bit of energy at each step.Imagine you have a rock and a ladder and some other carpentry supplies. You want to make an musical instrument... thing.So you climb up the ladder and drop the rock on a wooden lever and it goes "B-flat". You pick up the rock, adjust the note, climb the ladder, and get a "F".You keep doing this to bang out the entire song. It takes a while, and you start breaking the wooden hammer, but it's a song and its' really loud.
>>49884030>>49884153Cont'd.But you have an idea. You build a ramp with a bunch of little hammers along the side. As the rock slides down, it hits the hammers one after the other playing the entire song. Because each hammer takes only a little bit of the rock's energy, they don't break as easily. It's not as loud, but it's much more efficient, despite using the same amount of energy.That's how electron transfer chains work. Each step uses just enough of that electron's energy to form a bond or break a bond or move a bond.* And that electron's energy came from being released from a bond earlier, so it all sort of evens out.If you've got a creature that needs REALLY strong bonds internally, like silicon-oxygen bonds, then yeah, a one-step process seems efficient. But evolution says "wait, you used up /almost/ all the energy you had to do that. What if we could use that last little bit to do something useful?" And then you've got a multi-step system. And yeah, if we wanted to transfer energy around fast, direct transfer (via wires, etc.) rather than moving chemicals (like ATP) is the way to do it... but chemical storage is nice because you can hold it for later. It's not just fuel, it's also a battery. Non-cellular life will have very different mechanisms to meet the same needs.*The molecular orbital theory explanation is... more complicated. It involves a piano made of ponds.
>>49884149Not quite. Bird anon made a bird that's pretty much just an earth creature/furry, but claimed it was a well-researched alien. Got called out for it in extreme detail.Another anon went "durr hurr, aliens with no metabolism or growth" and got called out for it, but then successful defended and ended up in JOLLY COOPERATION.Meanwhile, greentext, some shouting, and occasional Space Opera alien babes.
>>49855445This is good bait.Almost lost my shit.
>>49884149Like, 20% - 30% correct.>>49884153You make a fair point about oxidative phosphorylation's overcomplicated state being easier to evolve, but I guess I'm just saying that it only really ever properly evolved once, and it's been relatively highly conserved since (By the standards of a protein/process present in all terrestrial life over the last 4 billion years), and what we have already includes energy negative steps etc.One only need look at the Rubisco conundrum to see how a highly conserved process fundamental to all life can end up lacking optimisation.We don't really know what we would end up with in place of mitochondria if evolution happened a second time, but the fundamental proposal set forth in the setting I've been referring to was that the answer is "something not even recognisably similar".
Way I see it, there's two ways to go on alien design.You can try to go as weird as possible. Just think of something absolutely crazy and run with it, coming up with the justification/backstory as you go. That can be effective, especially if you are trying for horror or mystery in your players/audience.The other option is being an extension of human traits--like birdanon was going on about, the forms of life on Earth seem fairly efficient. Now, we have no other planets to compare to, but as you'll see that won't matter.When you're making media for an audience of humans, there's not a whole lot to directly gain from making a full-on alien society that is way off the chain. You should be able to substitute early humans into your early aliens on their planet and the results should be similar. The reasoning is that your audience won't get anything out of exploring a radically alien culture. Even in the first example I gave of making horrifying or mysterious aliens, everything is still focused on the players or readers or watchers because it is meant to terrify or temporarily intrigue them.But when you focus your media on that initially mysterious alien race, you get past the initial vague misunderstandings and then there's nothing left to relate to or explore that is relevant to the audience.
I like em' everywhere. Mainly using them as foils to my human characters as of now.CEO human lady has a birdman(think ES hissho) for a head of security and defense on her board of directors. Main character has a race of robot mankind created for war as companion named V1K. V1K's whole existance is just for my love of Daneel Olivaw and Elijah bailey from caves of steel.I want them to be good characters. The race they pertain to doesn't have to be original. Guess that's a shitty answer but eh' there you go.
>>49884247As an addendum, the other part of this final statement is that the setting put forth that since the majority of planets are hostile to all known terrestrial life, rather than taking this as a reason to say that life is rare, it is taken as a reason that the majority of life does not resemble any known terrestrial life.>>49884190I know about orbitals. I wasn't kidding about my I TRAINED WITH THE NAVY SEALS pitch at the start, I'm doing a Masters of Philosophy in chemistry, having covered molecular biology and biophysics to 3rd year in undergrad.It stands to reason that one-step processes become more favorable the larger the organism, which I suppose really means if you were remodelling evolution from the start you'd look for a power source where there is an incentive and possibility to reduce the number of steps once it hits that point. Like say, a creature which bioaccumulates radioactive metals, wherein initially it stabilises single atoms inside a protein-like structure that simply waits for it to decay so it can absorb the output, then moves onto larger arrays that collect more atoms for a more consistent output and less wasted protein, until finally it starts triggering and harnessing secondary decay processes using increasingly larger reactor complexes.But its all playing the odds, a lucky enough self-replicator might just form that can run one-step decay of its substrate and immediately cache all the energy throughout its structure and operate off of that. Tremendously unlikely from what we understand, but maybe not so unlikely as to be impossible given the age and size of the universe.
>>49884247Who says phosphorous has to be involved anywhere? The basic idea is:-Break down compounds you can't use directly-Use that energy to make a battery compound-Use the battery compound to make compounds you do need, or store it for laterWe found one mechanism to do it and life took off from there, but yeah, there are a lot of ways that could work. Little bubbles of chlorine gas. Superconducting nodules in a liquid nitrogen sea. Azide bonds (oh god, imagine a creature that used azides to store energy. That's a /tall/ ladder to drop rocks from).Evolution isn't very good at stepping back and optimizing, it's true. It's like any large organization - it just.. carries on.
>>49884298The *raddest* campaign I have ever run involved trying to interact with a race of bismuth crystal people who got to space without ever really inventing chemistry as we understand it, but considered our knowledge of electromagnetic theory to be renaissance tier. They had literally never been more than one nation, from their first moment of tool use to being a ten thousand year old space nation, and lying about anything no matter how small or inane had been a capital offense for all of their civilisation's history. Those are just notable cultural differences as we understand it. The fact that they had no sense of touch, smell, or taste, but had no limit to their visible spectrum, and a culture built off of that, made a lot more problems still.The challenges of communicating with them *MADE* that game.Honestly, as long as your aliums aren't completely overwhelming or unbeatable (This can be stretched a little though. I would call the Scramblers only *slightly* too stronk to be good story aliens) you can make them as alien as you like.
>>49884008>32 years is plenty of time for all sorts of changes to occur.Not nearly as many as you think. The central powers winning WWI would certainly change the political landscape of the world, but it's unlikely to significantly change American culture or society on such a short notice.If it the deviation had happened much earlier - for example, the French winning the Spanish War of Succession -- then yes, I'd agree with you that changes should be more dramatic. But when we're talking about a timespan of less than even 50 years, then no, things wouldn't change dramatically from what we're used to.
>>49884413Yeah I suppose there is a shortage of good "battery" materials that don't start to complicate things. A flywheel is hideously lossy, and a superconducting coil would require an extremely niche environment.
>>49884376Hah, I trying to say you didn't know about orbitals. I was just joking about how the "rock/ladder/piano" metaphor was going to get... weird. And even less sensible.I love radioactive-decay-based chain mechanisms. The "bugs" in >>49847764mostly just picked up current from convenient "charge stations" made of magnetic sheaves of grass, but their internal "biology" included "walking" chains of metal/boron complexes that moved around the inside of their shells, laying down new metal and repairing damaged bits. How'd they keep warm enough to operate? Neutron-producing decay from wandering radioactive clusters.(The chemist players had a /field day/ trying to dissect the things. I made little metal and clay models, to scale, and put them in glass and teflon sample jars. The players got to actually dissect them! Well, disassemble them, but it was still neat. I also filled the jars with just a bit of ammonia for that lovely tang of immersion.)
>>49884376>it is taken as a reason that the majority of life does not resemble any known terrestrial life.All well and good, but then you also get into a lot of philosophical questions about what life is. Part of the scientific definition we use right now is that life is carbon based and dependant on water.
>>49884496Ok, but the metaphor still stands. I think you'd agree the chances of Hoover becoming President in such a scenario are ludicrous.
>>49884534>modelsNICE! I'll have to remember this. I did pick up 3D printing recently.>>49884567I'm not even sure philosophical is the right term here. That said, 'aliveness' tends to be something of a continuum thanks to things like viruses and that labmade artificial lifeform that consisted of oil emulsions decorated with DNA as feeding structures (Which amusingly isn't actually that far from terrestrial life in the broad scope of envisionable possibilities).If we have taxonomic issues defining life, then the term ceases to be meaningful or useful. Use of replication as a definition is much easier but unfortunately includes prions which we're fairly certain should be excluded from any replacement definition of life.
I don't know how the archive works, will the thread be archived? there is enough info in it to feed my readings for quite a while.
>>49884493Pretty decent. I'm not sure if I'd express "lying is a capital offense" in quite those terms if I was describing an alien species. Too many connotations. Maybe they're just removing broken nodes? You don't feel bad about error checking your hard drives, do y ou?
>>49884896They didn't become a hivemind until shortly before they hit space travel. We did eventually figure out that their thoroughly depersonalised culture had much more to do with relatively recent technological developments than it did their intrinsic nature.That said, their intrinsic nature definitely prompted them to throw an autistic shitfit any time someone lied. It took us *ages* to figure out what we were doing that would make them flip out and fire their orbital mass driver at dozens of military installations within blast range of civilian targets.They had this thing were their rules of conflict involve full disclosure. They didn't tell us this because it was never written down anywhere, it was so thoroughly intrinsic to them that they didn't see a need to mention it. So they would literally say "We are sending down 10 transport ships worth of infantry and 3 gunships to conduct a test of our terraforming device". If we responded "We don't want you to do this, so we will be scrambling 50 jet aircraft from nearby airfields to intercept your ships and bomb your infantry" everything was hunky dory, and we could have a gun battle with them.If on the other hand, we did this without messaging them first, as soon as the first wave of fighters engaged them they would send a message to the extent of "We are taking measures to reduce your combat strength", shortly before NASA monitoring detects their mass driver launching shells at every airfield on that continent.Like, there were other shitfits, but 'autistic rage' is really the only way to describe their exact aversion to lies. They were perfectly happy to abide by our rules of warfare, since they could read it off of our internet (They were totally baffled as to why any intelligent race would put all of the information on the location of their military installations on an unsecured network accessible from anywhere on the planet), but if we contravened their rules of engagement they'd go and ignore ours.
>>49864951BoringParrotMan/10 would not include in game
>>49868674Holy shit that thing is cute
>>49885530I bet your setting is infested with dorfs and knife-ears, you talentless hack!And I bet you enjoy the films of Wes Anderson as well
>>49885723Totally unrelated guy, but I do very often find myself wondering why the hell elves and dwarves, creatures which are extremely similar to humans are 'a thing'. I feel like you go hard or go home on this shit, elves and dwarves would be better suited to being "those weirdos who came from the other continent on a boat".
I'm on phone, but I wish someone would archive this thread for posterity; it's a welcome change from the greentext bait one-liners.
>>49885723woah there, I may be talentless and a hack but that's just going too far
>>49864439What in the world is that horrifying thing?
>>49846384I like to think up their entire evolutionary history and how they ended the way they did.Had some practice on /tg/ evo games few years back.Picture related.
>>49886095Some sort of cicada with some weird apparatus on the back, nine chances out of ten that's some sexual related visual thingie of the male.
>>49846384Why does that jellyfish have tits?
>>49886265Have you seen where we are? Why wouldn't you want your jellyfishes to have tits?
>>49886095Species of leafhopper
>>49861385>epix reaction image dump samefag festcool. did you get any karma for that?
When it comes to Aliens, let your imagination run wild. There's no real world anchor to ground them to so anything's possible, pretty much.Most often aliens are used as superior to human and a threat, but don't let that limit you. Equal to human could be interesting, but I personally love aliens inferior to human. Makes for some kickass scenarios.
>>49886125Reminds me of the Skedar
>>49862493Gitdang, who wouldn't a xenos?
>>49882144>You have no idea that a "shadow" is an arbitrary thing, a thing we defined. You've confused arbitrary, human-centric concepts for actual-world things.Jesus christ you're an asshole and a pretentious shithead
>>49887707Correcting people who are objectively wrong is far from being an asshole, quite the contrary.
>>49887784Half the stuff you said yourself is objectively wrong you moron.Unlike you I'm not enough of asshole to take up half the thread to explain it to you and instead just picked out the most egregious example.
>>49887830I'm not that guy, mate, no need to be all butthurt.
>>49869012I always thought that everything in this book happening because of being genetically re-engineered by aliens was such a cop out.
>>49888017Why are you defending him?Theres nothing worse than being butthurt on someone elses behalf.
>>49887707Possibly, but if you can explain how the fuck you're supposed to get energy from the angle a shadow is cast, be my guest.Some areas are struck by fewer photons than other areas because something gets in the way. That's it. It's not even "no photons" - even the darkest shadow isn't pure black across the entire spectrum of light. A "shadow" is a human-centric concept, in this sense - it means a lot to us, but it doesn't mean a darn thing to the universe. Same thing with "hope" or "ugly" - they're relative concepts, but you can't use the concept of "ugly" to generate energy.
>>49888235The science-shame anon, despite his vitriol, raises some good criticism and furthers the discussion; I don't mind what bird anon is trying to accomplish but I must say that I am too sick to death of anthropomorphic or forehead aliens bullshit. Theorycrafting on how aliens can be actually alien is awesome and much more interesting than just going the old, conformist, least effort path. Fuck Star Trek for doing that to us. In the end I don't see his rage as a problem; honest criticism can (and maybe even should) be the most cruel. If the Bird anon feels bad that people are bashing him from all sides he should interpret it as a challenge to his creation not a personal attack. An honest critique of your work will destroy it not because it wants to see you crying in tears while picking up the pieces but because you can and should do better. Fuck the things you like; if you like them so much, love them to death and give them all you've got and more than that. Just don't be a shitty SJW and focus on "hurtful words" when there is some actual substance behind that.
>>49876981There's a study which indicates life actually appeared in the universe 9.5 billion years ago and has been evolving ever since.http://phys.org/news/2013-04-law-life-began-earth.htmlThis does two interesting things at once:1) It explains why we have so much trouble creating artificial life from biochemicals in the labs, many of the starting assumptions of what the initial conditions were for the creation of life are likely radically incorrect.2) It solves the Fermi Paradox. Essentially if there was other intelligent life in the universe, they could colonize the whole galaxy in only 30,000 years (traveling at 1% the speed of light and allowing a few hundred years on a planet to build new colony ships). But we see no evidence of this, so where the hell are they?If the origin of life interpretation is true, and life is not from this planet, rather landed here in a comet or something, then the Fermi paradox is solved because it turns out that life is time-dependent. It takes AT LEAST 13 billion years for intelligent, civilization-crafting life to evolve in the universe... and we're on a pretty fucking ideal planet for it (stable solar system, single large moon stabilizing rotational axis, ect). So with that in mind, it could very will be that there is lots of life in the galaxy... just none of it has evolved the capacity to build anything yet.We're one of the first.>tfw we're an elder race.>tfw aliens will come across super structures we constructed... that are all shaped like penises.Of course this could be wrong, the recent discovery of what could be a dyson swarm around a star 1000 years ago could indicate that we are NOT the first intelligent form of life... one may have beat us to the punch by 1 to 2 thousand years... not much, but apparently enough.http://www.sciencealert.com/researchers-just-found-a-second-dyson-sphere-star
>>49888235>Why are you defending him?Are you mentaly unable to grasp the concept of defending something you deem right when under crticism?I am not butthurt, merely think that bird-waifu anon scolding wasn't undeserved. And it provided some of the most interesting information of the thread. Maybe a bit harsh, but it's 4chan here, if you can't take the banter may I highly suggest you to get the fuck back to /r/? Oh and by the way.>Half the stuff you said yourself is objectively wrong you moron.We have time, and if thread space is limited we can always take that discussion to a next one. Prove it or shut up.
>>49888438I was looking into structures that seem to indicate that RNA started building into DNA and it's just too much of a stretch for me to confidently say that life managed to evolve from nothing.We have proof of fossilized bacteria on mars, so it seems logical that life came from somewhere and landed on this planet.But damn, a second dyson sphere? I hope we either figure out cryogenics or FTL soon.
Not OP, Bird anon, Cold Proton or Science-shamer but I would like to discuss & contribute to some of these points>>49884088>donkey lips as fine manipulatiorsWhy is this so impossible? Remember these guys (pic related)? Pierson's Puppeteers are one of the most well known aliens in fiction - and quite successful in their setting - and they used their mouths as super fine manipulators. Who is to say that by some strange turn of events that gave donkeys the optimal evolutionary conditions (or some strong but not immediately lethal environmental pressure) their lips wouldn’t change into an organ capable of not only holding objects but with the help of their tongue simple internal object assembly? The mouth cavity might then change even further to accommodate larger objects, teeth configuration as well as their diet could alter, senses of smell and taste augment in a way to further help in this effort to control their environment and we would end up with something beyond our wildest imagination. It sure would be simpler than reinventing their legs into arms once the process started. Not to mention if they ever get full social what impact would such morphology have on their “society” when compared to ours.>inb4 lol anon you mad your fetishes are off the charts would fap sf/10This was just a mental exercise on what could be possible as to broaden our perspectivesOn a more real-world related note, many extant creatures in the animal kingdom don't use their appendage equivalents for object handling and other tasks - elephants use their noses (trunks), some primates use their prehensile tails, snakes constrict their entire bodies to solve problems, birds use both mouths (beaks) and legs, not to mention the tentacles and tails of some of the ocean dwellers or compound jaws and extremities of insects/arthropodes
>>49888723cont. – flatworms even FIGHT with their double dagger penises as part of their mating behavior (pic); the list goes on. Of course, none of them are on our level of object manipulation, but this just goes to show that we shouldn’t automatically ditch other options that could emerge in the evolutionary tree as nonsensical, just because our hands work so good – for us.
>>49888662>We have proof of fossilized bacteria on marsNo we don't. You are welcome to try and bring back something valuable from peer reviewed journals, but we have jack shit. Nor do we have any proof of any friggin' Dyson sphere. We have vaguely weird readings at that point. And trust me I wish they were Dyson spheres.
>>49888321>Possibly, but if you can explain how the fuck you're supposed to get energy from the angle a shadow is cast, be my guest.I never claimed you can.Learn to reading comprehension.>>49888425This has absolutely nothing to do with my post.I don't even disagree with his broad conclusion just that he backs it up with horseshit and pretensions nonsense.>>49888462You're attacking a strawman at this point.You might have the time but I don't.
>49888662>it's just too much of a stretch for me to confidently say that life managed to evolve from nothing>so it seems logical that life came from somewhere and landed on this planetSo it's illogical for life to arise from nothing here but totally fine for it to do the same elsewhere? Exogenesis is a cool idea but all it really does is push the question of how life arose back a step. It can't be turtles all the way down, anon.
>>49888741cont.>tool use & >civilizationThis one is again quite moot and in our case interdependant. Humans came about this social construct we call “civilization” out of the need to care for their young with greater success and thus ensure their species survival. Tool use, language and all that jazz come as a byproduct of our society emerging around child rearing. But what if a species doesn’t care about their children? Or the children are self-sufficent immediately after birth? Or if they aren’t social at all (solitary hunters)? Or don’t base their culture from sexual gratification or hunting? Or have no interest in expanding? Even the slightest change in these aspects give a rise to severly different motives and thus cultural artifacts that might drive an alien specie.Rocheworld aliens (the original ones) are a good example of that – they are curious and intelligent and have many interests, but other than astronomy and mathematics they find all other things quite trivial. Noon universe by Brothers Strugatskyi also explores the idea where both humans and aliens have no interest in creating galaxy spanning empires – it just doesn’t serve any actual purpose they might have interest in. Another fictional species that I like are the Burvixese from Star Control 2; they were turtle-like aliens living on a homeworld similar to ours (so no environmental obsctacles to tech) and though they were technologically quite more advanced than us, they had no interest in spaceflight. They were quite satisfied to communicate with other galactic cultures via hyperwave broadcasters without ever leaving their planet or seeing other aliens. And there is no fault in that. While we with our current ever expanding technological and consumerist progress might find this position as laughably backwards it is actually the other way around and again current-humans-centric.
>>49888897I meant to reply to >>49888662 but fucked it up
>>49888817apologies anon, I misquoted, that message was in answer to this>>49887707>>49887830
>>49888943At that point we don't know which answer goes to which post so I retain my judgement wether you're a well educated critical and rational anon or king of all morons.I'm still highly tempted to go for the later.
>>49889193It's not that hard to connect the dots. I don't mind the harshness of the outraged anon and I still think the Bird anon was, maybe not so lazy as conformist. If it suits his story purposes it is great, but are his aliens aliens? Not in the slightest; just sapient bird people - I believe he didn't intend to go full furry - at least I hope he didn't.
>>49888943I replied to 3 people.You're going to have point out which one was you.
Can we just go back to sharing information about and designing interesting extraterrestrials instead of focusing on how harsh someone's criticism is?
>>49889699>oh, sorry but not sorry, i wasn't even smart enough to quote the appropriate posts I wanted to answer>you might need to point to us which is which>Figure it yourself!Yeah, no, you're a lazy stupid whiny little cunt, which was already what i suspected from your absolutely off the mark former posts.
>>49890396Oh, you're still here, so you DID have time to back up your claim that science-shamer anon was "objectively wrong", had you the formal education and mental capabilities to do.I rest my case.
>>49890517You're here just to stroke yourself and derail the thread, aren't you?
>>49890606You're the one who started bitching and moaning that the guy wasn't nice, being too hard to bird-waifu anon, threw insults at him and i'm the one you accuse of derailing the thread? We were alright and had a fruitful conversation before you blighted us with your presence, your insults and your overall stupidity. May i suggest you shut the fuck up from now on, and I will happily do the same and let the thread steer back to its initial subject.
I, for one, think that the crazy bird creature thing looks/is plenty alien compared to most stuff in science fiction.It's easy to criticize if you've got everyone chasing an unreasonable ideal.
>>49882609>What if factionalism was an exclusively human thingFactionalism is not a uniquely human thing. Every mammal and bird on earth has it as the rule.
Fuck realismbest aliens are ones that look coolhumans with blue skins, dudes with insect exoskeletons, big hairy monster thingsanyone who tries to hard science their aliens is a fucking weenie.
>>49884008>Dude words are just made up>The only thing you need to be smart is weed lol
Some cool alien concepts I've found
>>49891133Certainly. I used 'human' as shorthand for 'terrestrial' there which is poor.Honestly our factionalism is a not quite inevitable measure to ensure effective specialisation during speciation. If we didn't grow to hate others for being different and weird, we'd constantly interbreed with the dudes who live up on the mountains, thus fucking up our gene-pool's adaptation to valley life and their gene-pool's adaptation to mountain life.But like, consider a species of individualist creatures who instinctively prioritise the survival of their species over their personal benefit. Without being taught, they just work this way. As soon as they encounter another individual even loosely similar they immediately settle into cooperation. Not impossible, certainly positive in many cases, and concievable (with difficulty) to evolutionarily select for. Now, what if it turned out that we were different and weird for not being like that.Honestly I'm not awfully fond of the one very specific factoid you picked out there.
>>49891166I dig. I make most of my ayys mostly human, but I also like throwing in some weird shit to balance it out. I usually do a pass on them to make sure they aren't completely absurd (in which case, the good old "they were genetically engineered" card comes out), but good for the story/game > scientific plausibility.>>49891315>>>>/fatasybullshit/>>>/lit/
>>49891166>tries to hard science their aliensReminder: hard science aliens do not exist.If they somehow exist, we will never meet them.Anyone who thinks that his fantasy of space freaks is in any way more scientific than green-skinned space babes is fooling himself.
>>49891427True, until we have a sample, all this is nothing but fiction.But there's a difference between trying to explore what life could be somewhere else through understanding the biological and chemical concepts of our own planet and just slapping pulp fiction purple-skinned amazon vixen space bitches from Whoria LXIX into your story. The hard sf approach is somehow rewarding and makes better material for exploration and a sense of wonder. Not that I have anything against space bitches.
What do you think of this mockup? I'm trying to put together races for a distant future scifi setting, and I want believably alien aliens.
>>49891801Shit, why is that sideways?
>>49891801Reminds me of the Ogdru Hem from the Hellboy comics, which is a good thing if you're going for vaguely cosmic horror themes
>>49890517That guy isn't me.Some of us have work and can only post on 4chan during a break.
>>49891856A bit, actually. I must have drawn inspiration from it, I've always been a big Hellboy/B.P.R.D. fan.The setting itself is supposed to resemble semi-hard scifi with a thick outer coating of mysticism, one that everyone in-universe is at least vaguely aware of.
>>49890686>that the guy wasn't niceOh yeah and this is just a straight up stawman.I never even implied such a thing or else I wouldn't have insulted him myself.All I did was point out he said something mindbogglingly stupid and you got all triggered on his behalf.Don't try to fight other peoples battles for them or you just end up looking like an ass kisser.
>>49846384>I dunno man, space vampires seem pretty wack - Chris MetzenEh. Now I kinda wanna see them in Starcraft.I really really like the aliens in Genesis Rising, how the ships themselves are either made of blood sacs, chitin, bone and cathedrals, or asteroids, or huge parasites, or big boobed ice statues that were made to seduce males of different species cause direct confrontation aint exactly their thing, and how those ships represent the races that use them. And that one book that anon told me about. Had marines and musical instruments.
>>49891930Oh, please, enlighten me and explain to me how telling that "Maybe there's a way to make energy out of the angle a shadow is cast" is nonsensical at its core and that the other anon doesn't grasp basic physics makes him pretentious. Pointing the truth is not pretentious. If you do believe some of what he said is objectively wrong, then we are between well educated gentlemen, several peer-reviewed papers were even linked in that thread at some point or another, and the rule is to either support you claim or shut the fuck up. We were not triggered. We just pointed that you, simply, are the moron here.Also, you keep repeating the term strawman ad nauseam. You are welcome to point it out, because i fail to see one. And i already know you will answer something among the line of "if you don't see it then I won't help you", which simply support my opinion that you're a clueless idiot.
>>49891987Well, know i want to now what this Genesis Rising thing is.
>>49892157>"Maybe there's a way to make energy out of the angle a shadow is cast" is nonsensical at its coreI agree.I never said it wasn't.learn to reading comprehension moron, reread my post until you understand what I was arguing and stop arguing against strawmen.
>>49892212Some obscure vidya RTS where your ships evolveYou want armor? Watch as your ship morphs to look fatter/muscular. Want more guns? Watch as tendrils/vestigial arms sprout all over your ship, and metal guns painfully appear from the tips.Wanna heal your ship? Blow someone else's and then drain the ship's blood with your ship's proboscis.The Inquisition's base? A gigantic organic church in the shape of a crucified, disemboweled man with blood running from its cleaved stomach/mouth. Note that this church is an organism, a bleeding organism.The Inquisition? Ships made of bone, shaped into cathedrals.Wanna board an enemy ship? Infest it with a tendril of yours.Wanna board the space jews' space station, which is mind you filled to the brim with enterprising civilians? Infest it.Boobies? Cold, very cold. So you'll want to infest it, then use it against enemies so they become disabled.Gigantic floating crabs thingy eating corpses of ships. You can infest them, but what would you do with space pubic lice that fire lasers when you've got more respectable ships to command?
>>49892157Here I'll even link you my post.>>49887707Read the part I quoted.Not anything else in the post I replied to just the part I quoted.Understand what your god is saying in that before you respond with more self-righteous bullshit.
>>49892250First, let me copy what you said in your initial post:>You have no idea that a "shadow" is an arbitrary thing, a thing we defined. You've confused arbitrary, human-centric concepts for actual-world things.>Jesus christ you're an asshole and a pretentious shitheadThen, read my fucking entire sentence to the end you fuckwit>Maybe there's a way to make energy out of the angle a shadow is cast" is nonsensical at its core and that the other anon doesn't grasp basic physics makes him pretentious.>makes him pretentious>MAKES HIM PRETENTIOUSAND THEN YOU START INSULTING THAT ANON, AND OTHER PEOPLE AND CALL THEM MORONS, YOU DISGUSTING PIECE OF CHROMOSE ENRICHED SHIT AND DARE TO SPEAK ABOUT READING COMPREHENSION WHEN YOUR APE BRAIN CAN'T EVEN GRASP THE VERY FIRST BASICS OF THE CONCEPT!!! AND THEN YOU USE THE WORD STRAWMAN ONCE AGAIN IN THE WRONG FUCKING CONTEXT. GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS THREAD YOU DISGUSTING COCK SUCKING MONGREL.
>>49892191>>49892212if you're interested anon, here's a magnet for a working torentmagnet:?xt=urn:btih:EDCBFC1C40795B27C5A164C2D2A2E7B750D3B644&tr=http%3A%2F%2Fbt2.t-ru.org%2Fann%3Fmagnet
>>49892426Thanks a lot
>>49892344>>Maybe there's a way to make energy out of the angle a shadow is cast" is nonsensical at its core and that the other anon doesn't grasp basic physics makes him pretentious.This part is not from my initial post.>>49887707Here it is.Do you see that part there?No?Then why do keep trying to include as if I made any reference to it?Are you just seeing things?
>>49892344>AND THEN YOU START INSULTING THAT ANON, AND OTHER PEOPLE AND CALL THEM MORONS, YOU DISGUSTING PIECE OF CHROMOSE ENRICHED SHIT AND DARE TO SPEAK ABOUT READING COMPREHENSION WHEN YOUR APE BRAIN CAN'T EVEN GRASP THE VERY FIRST BASICS OF THE CONCEPT!!! AND THEN YOU USE THE WORD STRAWMAN ONCE AGAIN IN THE WRONG FUCKING CONTEXT. GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS THREAD YOU DISGUSTING COCK SUCKING MONGREL.Holy fuck calm you autistic sperg.
>>49888926>But what if a species doesn’t care about their children? Or the children are self-sufficent immediately after birth?Then they also probably don't require brains as advanced as those possessed by humans. Simian intelligence in general, and human intelligence in particular, is largely a result of us lacking any natural defences and weapons and thus having to rely on the group to survive. Us caring about our young came about because our brains take time to fully develop, and thus our young are in need of protection for a much longer time than those of most other species.>Or if they aren’t social at all (solitary hunters)? Intelligence is a trait only required by social creatures. Solitary hunters have no reason to develop it.>Or don’t base their culture from sexual gratification or hunting? Or have no interest in expanding?Then they probably have a hard time surviving or becoming the dominant species of their planet.
>>49892604>Solitary hunters have no reason to develop it.Why then are there so many examples of solitary predators who are far more intelligent than most social animals?Bears and cephalopods are fairly intelligent and also generally solitary.
>>49888662>FTLIn my opinion, easy FTL is what the Fermi Paradox argues most strongly against. The first civilization to get easy FTL in our galaxy would so be ridiculously dominant, so ridiculously soon after. Without FTL, it's entirely reasonable to say that life is rare enough and travel is difficult enough that the light lag and inverse square law prevent us from seeing anyone else yet. Our galaxy is a hundred thousand light years across and we're near an edge, so even if there were a hundred civilizations just like ours right now, they're all reallydamnfaraway.
>>49893554Even if that were the case we would still be able to see them if they were there.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfuK8la0y6s
>>49893805Thanks for reminding me, I still haven't watched the new kardachev video.
>>49893805I'd really appreciate a timestamp link into the right part of that instead of asking me to sit through 40 minutes of speech impediment.Unless he's talking about megastructures that we definitely could see. I'll give you that. They'd be outright smoking gun proof.
>>49894087Yeah that too but it's mostly about the inevitability of dyson spheres thats the big part.
>>49894114>mostly about the inevitability of dyson spheres thats the big partYeah. Going sphere/swarm is endgame in every scenario. FTL just changes the order (and scale) you do things in.As in, if FTL were a thing, a significant fraction of the other galaxies we look at should look like someone is enclosing *all* their stars and the overall spectrum of that galaxy would be weird. Because that's what you do after you take over your entire galaxy. It's not just/even for the free power and habitats, it's also to micromanage the life cycles of the stars. In an in-between scenario where there's no FTL, but travel is marginally feasible, I'd be looking at red dwarf stars specifically. For a certain size range of those, they've got a slow, even burn that'll last a trillion years. That's where you go when you want to live forever but have limited range.
In case it hadn't been mentioned, recommend interested axons find the novel Rochford. It had some interesting space exploration using solar powered layers and kilometers wide sails, as well as examples of Non earthly, non humanoid intelligences
>>49894397I'm still waiting for the FTL meme to die. As long as we're doing the hard sci fi thing, space expansion is slow and deliberate, and completely unlike how fiction portrays it.I got to agree with you on red dwarfs, though. Naturally the best places to make spheres out of.
>>49894659>Naturally the best places to make spheres out ofYou can do one better.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qam5BkXIEhQ
>>49894580Rochworld* I meant. Fuck autocorrect in the ass.