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 Microbe Stage Final Draft

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Tenebrarum
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PostSubject: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:53 pm

Stickied by ADMIN

Okay people, we're almost done here, but we don't have a go-to thread for Microbe Stage. Please correct any issues with the original post and point out missing peices. OP will be edited as needed.

~scio wrote:
We'll have to play in 3rd person without sensory overlay, because bacterium only really have chemical senses. Your world will look like it is being viewed through a microscope. You should have the ability to move around at a fixed speed and absorb nutrients. We can determine what things you can assimilate by their size. Until you're big enough, you can't consume them.

RedStar wrote:
This is a working document, not a final draft! Please read it and suggest changes!
Many aspects of this concept are still too vague to be considered finalized; those areas will be highlighted in another post.

Cell Stage Gameplay
=================

At the beginning of the game, the player will take control of a single-celled, prokaryotic organism. It will be in one of the following shapes, at random:
*Sphere
*Rod
*Comma
*Spiral

The shape of the cell will not initially affect movement.

The player's environment is the "organic soup", a murky screen populated by floating proto-cellular structures. AI proto-cells may include:
1) Wrigglers - Worm-like creatures that move quickly around the screen; assimilating them grants the player a flagellum
2) Writhers - Small globular creatures that move quickly around the screen by rippling cilia on their body; assimilating them grants the player cilia
3) Squirmers - Crescent-shaped creatures that move by undulating themselves up and down like a pair of wings; assimilating them grants the player lamellipodes
4) Squishers - Glob-shaped creatures that move in an amoeba-like fashion, by wriggling their cytoplasm; assimilating them grants the player the ability to move in this way and engulf other cells.
5) Shiners - Small spherical creatures that drift and emit a pale colored light whenever they absorb amino acids; assimilating them grants the player a bioluminescent dot that shines when they feed
6) Clone-Stickers - Tiny globs with a hollow spike (like a hypodermic) that inject their reproductive material into other cells, causing them to die and be replaced by another sticker. Assimilating them grants the player a pilus (hypodermic spike) that can create clones of the player cell in this manner.
7) Poison-stickers - Tiny globs with a hollow spike (like a hypodermic) that inject toxic material into other cells, causing them to die and dissolve into edible material. Assimilating them grants the player a pilus (hypodermic spike) that injects poison.
8 ) Defenders - Tiny capsules that resist being absorbed by cells; assimilating them grants the player an antiphagocytic capsule which defends them from being absorbed by other cells by producing an outer coating of enzyme "slime"
9) Producers - Blobs that cluster around rich regions of the soup, transforming the amino acids into proteins. Assimilating them grants the player double nourishment from absorbing Amino Acids, and allows damaged cell components to be replaced.
10) Dissolvers - Blobs that cluster around proteins and reduce them to amino acids. Assimilating them grants the player double nourishment from absorbing Protein, and allows cells with Walls to be consumed.
11) Eaters - Small globes that absorb proteins and other cells, converting them to energy for reproduction; assimilating them grants the player Mitochondria, which allows them to "eat" carbohydrates.
12) Light-eaters - Small discs that reproduce automatically while exposed to light; assimilating them grants the player Chloroplasts, which transform light into nourishment (carbohydrates)
13) Heat-eaters - Small blobs that reproduce automatically when exposed to heat; assimilating them grants the the player Thermoplasts, which transform heat into nourishment (carbohydrates)
14) Cookers - Small spheres that release enzymes which break down proteins and cells into amino acids; assimilating them grants the player Lysosomes, which give double nourishment from consuming Cells
15) Holders - Hollow membranes that encase whatever molecules they come in contact with; assimilating them grants the player Vacuoles, which can store material to be digested, or compartmentalize harmful substances (like poison or injected reproductive material).
16) Platers - Solid "plates" that reproduce by absorbing proteins; assimilation grants the player Cell Walls, which form a protective barrier around the cell. In silicone-rich environments, these may be 1.5x as hard to puncture/engulf (as they utilize silicate crystals).
17) Gluers - Globs that create a sticky enzyme that can glue cells together. Assimilating them grants the ability to bond with other cells of your type.

Camera angle is locked at a top-down angle on the Z axis; the player can move freely in the X and Y axes. For the first few moments of the game, cell movement will be limited to drifting, with player able to choose direction by clicking. At this point, the objective for the player is to absorb other cells' structures by engulfing certain numbers of them.

Initially, the "soup" is populated with random variants of the AI proto-cells. There should be several different models of every proto-cell for the game to choose from; these will then have their color palette randomly shifted in every new game to create many different-looking proto-cells.

The player's GUI will include a "Nourishment Meter" which will empty at a given rate, and fill as the player consumes proto-cells and other cells. AI cells in the environment will be absorbing proto-cells as well, causing them to become increasingly complex. The player may engulf them by approaching them, provided they are large enough and have the appropriate structures. Initially, they only yield nourishment based on their size, and any structures within them will break down into globs of protein, which are rejected by the player's cell. As the player gains new cell parts, they may gain the ability to digest proteins or carbohydrates produced by other cells.

Every cell, including AI cells, has a Nourishment Meter. Whenever a cell's Nourishment Meter remains filled for a given amount of time, that cell will reproduce. Its offspring will be exactly identical to the parent. If the player cell reproduces, it will release an AI cell of the same type into the environment; cells of similar type to the player's cell will not attack it. If this cell assimilates any new cell structures, it is considered a different species, and will become hostile to the player.

After a given number of organelles are assimilated (exact number TBD), the player will have to assimilate more and more of a given type of proto-cell in order to assimilate it.

When a player's cell absorbs a certain type of proto-cell, it gains the ability to "stick" to other cells of its kind, forming cellular colonies. At this point, the player can become a multicellular organism by bonding with as many cells of its type as possible.

Once a cellular colony has reached a given number of cells (exact number TBD), they will begin to specialize. Outer cells will begin to toughen and become skin membranes; inner cells will become digestion organs. How exactly this process will take place still needs to be determined.


Last edited by Tenebrarum on Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:13 pm

Ok, so we start as a prokaryote (eubacterium) and begin to assimilate other bacteria. This is pretty good.

We should run other species of regular bacteria (anything you can't assimilate will be a eubacterium) that are also going around trying to assimilate powers. These are your competition.

We also should have a hierarchy- for instance, you can't assimilate X until you have assimilated Y. Then we can divide up everything into assimilation stages.

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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:58 pm

What abilities/senses/physical attributes will the player start with?
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:37 pm

Tenebrarum wrote:
What abilities/senses/physical attributes will the player start with?
We'll have to play in 3rd person without sensory overlay, because bacterium only really have chemical senses. Your world will look like it is being viewed through a microscope. You should have the ability to move around at a fixed speed and absorb nutrients. We can determine what things you can assimilate by their size. Until you're big enough, you can't consume them.

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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:22 pm

~sciocont wrote:
Tenebrarum wrote:
What abilities/senses/physical attributes will the player start with?
We'll have to play in 3rd person without sensory overlay, because bacterium only really have chemical senses. Your world will look like it is being viewed through a microscope. You should have the ability to move around at a fixed speed and absorb nutrients. We can determine what things you can assimilate by their size. Until you're big enough, you can't consume them.

As long as there are no "mouths." I second this notion. Basically, you bump into things and attempt to engulf them, and if you can't you give it up as a bad idea. Are we differentiating between methods of engulfment here (ex. that of an amoeba which really can stretch to any shape, and that of a more constricted cell,) or am I being too picky?

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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:00 pm

Mysterious_Calligrapher wrote:
~sciocont wrote:
Tenebrarum wrote:
What abilities/senses/physical attributes will the player start with?
We'll have to play in 3rd person without sensory overlay, because bacterium only really have chemical senses. Your world will look like it is being viewed through a microscope. You should have the ability to move around at a fixed speed and absorb nutrients. We can determine what things you can assimilate by their size. Until you're big enough, you can't consume them.

As long as there are no "mouths." I second this notion. Basically, you bump into things and attempt to engulf them, and if you can't you give it up as a bad idea. Are we differentiating between methods of engulfment here (ex. that of an amoeba which really can stretch to any shape, and that of a more constricted cell,) or am I being too picky?
It depends on what kind of cell you are.

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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:16 pm

I believe engulfmeant should be fairly easy to depict in a both ways, amoeboid and standard.

I think it would be fun if mistaken identity could have the player end up trying to engulf things they can't digest, rock particulates and the like, once they get large enough.

How will shape be handled?
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:30 am

Tenebrarum wrote:
How will shape be handled?

Good point. How will shape be handled? That depends on what exactly the computer is rendering. Is your sell a see-through transparent image, or is it a 2D mesh of sorts?
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:02 am

roadkillguy wrote:
Tenebrarum wrote:
How will shape be handled?

Good point. How will shape be handled? That depends on what exactly the computer is rendering. Is your sell a see-through transparent image, or is it a 2D mesh of sorts?
I imagined it as a 3D mesh with a mostly transparent texture.

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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:03 pm

Good. I want to watch as my amoeba tries valiantly to digest dirt particles. XD

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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:20 pm

Will there be biomes too?
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:16 pm

Mysterious_Calligrapher wrote:
Good. I want to watch as my amoeba tries valiantly to digest dirt particles. XD
I was actually about to suggest that.

roadkillguy wrote:
Will there be biomes too?
Good question. For now I'd say no. We haven't designed any and most of our biome work is exclusively designed for multicellulars.
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:38 pm

Tenebrarum wrote:
Mysterious_Calligrapher wrote:
Good. I want to watch as my amoeba tries valiantly to digest dirt particles. XD
I was actually about to suggest that.

roadkillguy wrote:
Will there be biomes too?
Good question. For now I'd say no. We haven't designed any and most of our biome work is exclusively designed for multicellulars.
No, no biomes for single-cell. You're really not big enough to move in between them.

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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:55 pm

Hmm, cellular biomes.

From the perspektive of a bacterai the biomes would only have certian differences. like temperature, moisture and what chemicals come up most often. But here the goal is to sim evolutin from start to "end" so it would also fit if we just made one hot biome with alot of amino acids. We could also make it more complex and add all biomes from volcanic pools to open water. Or we can just start with one and leave space to add more in the code. (yes listing options is my hobby)

Please hold on and remember what i just said.


I know this is kinda of place but i didnt find a better place to add it but i dodnt find any other place and it kinda fits to the current direction:

Now that we have made the decision to complete one part of the game as fast as possible we also have to discuss how the main menu and intro and stuff like that will be like. One of the goals of this is to make a Demo to show off and ensure this projects isnt dieing.

Are we just going to keep this a a beta intro http://www.youtube.com/embed/gmZBJHCIfcQ ?!?!?
And we also need a concept for a main menu, i remeber seeing one somewhere in a concept music vid. As an include to that, how exactly will Menu --> Game start as a cell be.
The concept music until now dosent fit that much to the cell stage, but what kind of music fits and are our artists available?

We just need a thread to discuss the whole "cosmetical" for the "Demo" project from Launcher to Cell stage with all aspects. Our growing programmer team (which i will also be joining as soon as i know enough) will need to know exactly what want the end version of this has to be like. If we dont know that we dont know what the funtions the programm will have to include and so on.


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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:30 pm

I'm working on the main menu layout. we should soon have more music, our composer says he's busy but working on it.
I can probably create a video with a bit more recent images. I'll also see where Gotrol (the one who did most of those sketches) has gone off to.

If you look in the music section, there should still be a link to some cell-stage ambiance.

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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:24 am

I do recall a discussion about multicellular biomes.
It was based on planktic ecosystems (organisms classified by niche rather than taxonomy).
That way later versions could theoretically implement larger species like giant filter-feeders whilst you are a tiny shrimpy thing. Also biomes would be a very relevant determining factor of species evolution in single celled stage. Is there enough light for photosynthetics? Heat for thermosynthesis?

We could have a variable set which will influence these things in single celled stage but only implement more dynamic things such as complex organisms in later stages.

Also there was an additional cell (or maybe two) added to RedStars list, one was a sharer cell that could exchange DNA with other cells. That cell essentially became the gametes for multicellular organisms and was essential for the transition

EDIT - Biomes for microscopic stages:
Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:52 am

God, don't make me do biomes for plankton...
Wait, you already have? *Hugs Pezz*

Right, our plankton basically have a range of temperatures. We also have sunlight availability. Thermosynthesis zones would also be good to add in right here. Maybe 10 starting spots? (Thermosynthesis zones = always hot. Other zones would be by temperature and sunlight availability. Someone will have to look up whether it makes a difference to single cells whether their environment is saline or not.)

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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:58 pm

Mysterious_Calligrapher wrote:
Someone will have to look up whether it makes a difference to single cells whether their environment is saline or not.)

It's pretty important actually, and acts similairly to how it does for multicellulars (inc. fish). Unless a cell has a cell wall (and I'm not sure what happens then), salts, and other dissolved compounds, will diffuse accross a cell membrane if there are open channels. Additionally, whether there are open channels or not, water will travel accross the cell membrane via osmosis. In effect, a cell in a highly saline environment will shrivel up unless it uses energy to pump water back in (and I'm not sure how feasible that is), a cell in a very low salinity environment will lose soluble compounds unless it either has no open channels, or pumps them back in.

I know how this works for fish far better than I do for single cellular organisms, but there will definately be issues with both high and low salinity, I'll see if I can find something more concrete. Also, it doesn't necessarily have to be salt, a sugar solution will have largely the same effect.
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:45 am

Seregon wrote:
Mysterious_Calligrapher wrote:
Someone will have to look up whether it makes a difference to single cells whether their environment is saline or not.)

It's pretty important actually, and acts similairly to how it does for multicellulars (inc. fish). Unless a cell has a cell wall (and I'm not sure what happens then), salts, and other dissolved compounds, will diffuse accross a cell membrane if there are open channels. Additionally, whether there are open channels or not, water will travel accross the cell membrane via osmosis. In effect, a cell in a highly saline environment will shrivel up unless it uses energy to pump water back in (and I'm not sure how feasible that is), a cell in a very low salinity environment will lose soluble compounds unless it either has no open channels, or pumps them back in.

I know how this works for fish far better than I do for single cellular organisms, but there will definately be issues with both high and low salinity, I'll see if I can find something more concrete. Also, it doesn't necessarily have to be salt, a sugar solution will have largely the same effect.

Are you referring to cell pumps? (Ie proton pumps, sodium/potassium pumps, glucose/hydrogen pumps)

Cells can generate a concentration gradient using ATP to drive substances in/out of the cell, then use the concentration gradient to force other things in/out of the cell. (IE to stop them shriveling up)
To simplify things we could just have a greater energy cost to cells in a above/below average saline environment?
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:53 am

Thats pretty much what I was getting at, it would cost energy to survive in an environment with a different osmotic pressure (potential? not sure of the term) to your internal osmotic pressure/potential, and be very difficult to survive in hyper-saline environments.

I actually meant protein channels accross the membrane, which allow a free flow (or sometimes regulated, but never forced or pumped) of water and solutes through the membrane. They're something I vaguely remember learning about in cell science classes, though I'm not sure if all cells would have them, in a hostile environment I'd guess probably not. These are in addition to the pumps which would be used to actively regulate the cell contents. (I'm an ecologist, not a cell scientist, so if you know more about this than I do please correct me!)
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:03 am

Quote :
Right, our plankton basically have a range of temperatures. We also have sunlight availability. Thermosynthesis zones would also be good to add in right here. Maybe 10 starting spots? (Thermosynthesis zones = always hot. Other zones would be by temperature and sunlight availability.

Limiting the amount of starting biomes is a good idea. Then we can setup a menu where you can choose which biome you want to start out in. Only the few in which complex life can evolve in.

Some biomes include bacteria but in them no more complex organisims can evolve : see the Dead Sea in jordan with 33% Salt, or the hot pools in yelowstone national park which only include bacteria and algs. Do we just pick these back up as very rare "Dead biomes" later up in the game? (sorry, im going offtopic again)

So we need biome something like a "biome difficultys" that simulates how hard it is for a bacteria to survie under the local conditions?? How exactly these would effect the gameplay can differ from type to type.
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:46 pm

WHile it would be lovely, I'm going to say that for now there will be no cellular biomes. They can be added later.
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:23 am

Okay. So we're cracking down and working. Problem is all i can do is model and texture, so that's what i'll be doing. But before i can do that, i want to know that what i'm building is the right stuff. So i'm going to try to hunt for images of each proto-cell to start with. Note that these proto-cells don't all have IRL equivalents, so i am taking a bit of creative license here. Please, science people tell me if i am getting it completely wrong.

1) Wrigglers (non-bound flaggelum)
pic

So yeah, don't be kids, we all know that sperm is the best example of a "wriggler".

2) Writhers (cilia-covered sphere)
pic1pic2

3) Squirmers (non-bound lamellipodes)
Can't find any pictures of these lamelli-majigies, but the description is pretty good. I should be able to come up with something.

4) Squishers (amoeba)
pic

5) Shiners - (bioluminescent)shitty pic

6) Clone-Stickers - (virus)
pic1pic2pic3

7) Poison-stickers - (virus?)
We'll just slightly change the clone sticker ones, hey?

8 ) Defenders - (?)
HELP

9) Producers - (?)
HELP

10) Dissolvers - (?)
HELP

11) Eaters - (non-bound Mitochondria)
pic

I think i'll make this a bit more recognisable as a mitachondria. We'll see what i can come up with.

12) Light-eaters - (non-bound Chloroplasts)
pic

This is sort of the thing i meant. Make a representation of the proto cell rather than a replica.

13) Heat-eaters - (non-bound Thermoplasts)
Change the colour and shape of a light-eater, i reckon.

14) Cookers - (non-bound Lysosomes)
pic

Great. A circle. Why must all cells look so similar?!?

15) Holders - (non-bound Vacuoles)
... Google images returns shapeless blobs...

16) Platers - (Cell walls?)
pic

I like this picture. I'll just make platers one of these cell thingies, deal?

17) Gluers - (?)
HELP
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Tenebrarum
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:23 am

As much as I appriciate the work Alaska, aren't we going to have to model these in the editor once it's made?

Although you're right, we need to find a good way to texture things.
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:16 pm

Have we EVER decided how to render these things? How on earth am I going to render an amoeba?

Let's think about it from a programming standpoint. We can draw triangles --As many as we want. We can put images on the triangles. We can make the triangles transparent. How can we put together a cell from that? What do we want this to look like?
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PostSubject: Re: Microbe Stage Final Draft   Today at 11:02 pm

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