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Covenant
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Post by Covenant » Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:43 am

Gah, there you go, doin' it again! :p

Unwashed_Pleb wrote:Don't sweat it covenant, but when you think about it, growth of the ships makes just as much sense as building one when it comes to this race.


No, it really doesn't. How does this crystal growth happen? How do these crystals fly through space? What do they use as fuel? How are their computers run? What cycles the atmosphere? What stores the ammunition for their mass drivers, missiles, and antimatter cannons?

Obviously, if all they fired were big laser beams, I could see having giant crystals everywhere. But they have ballistics, missiles, bioweapons, siege drivers, energy cannons, cloaking devices, and so on and so forth. Lots of technology. It becomes hard to justify all of this being done via magical crystals.

So while you may WANT crystalships, and I can totally understand the desire to make some pretty cool lookin' crystal formations for these ships, there's no way to justify the ship being grown.

Unwashed_Pleb wrote:By only having a single consciousness running everything, losses are kept to a minimum since their growth cycle is slow, and it eliminates communication problems between other beings in the ship. For them, it works.


While it's reasonable to have a small crew, how does growing a crystal equate into a single pilot? Are you seriously saying that the ship itself is the pilot? That they grew a massive pilot crystal? That's horrific.

Plus, I think almost everyone (IE, everyone except you) really liked Erdrik's concept art for the rockbug dudes. Are you just ignoring what the rest of us have input and trying to continue saying they look like bricks of quartz, all networked with only one mind?

This is why I get mad. You act like we're all working for you, and you can just pick and choose what you like without really listening.

Unwashed_Pleb wrote:if your concerned about the durability of crystals, perhaps you should think about the incredibly stable crystalline compounds that metal makes up.


Yeah, but a steel plate is called a steel plate, not a steel crystal. It also doesn't 'grow', it's forged. In a factory.

Unwashed_Pleb wrote:Or substances like diamond or silicon. Carbon nano-tubes are technically crystalline in formation. Metals and nonmetals can form crystals people :)


As a building component, a big slab of diamond is really substandard. As a hull component... well, the armor is defined along the armor tree. It doesn't make too much sense to make the ship's armor look like crystals. We should add armor plates to it at the very least--that or make it so that the Crystal species no longer has access to the Industrial technologies that give armor advances.

Don't even ask me what a Neutronium crystal would look like.

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MaryG
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Post by MaryG » Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:16 am

hmmmmmmmmmmms..... you guys have given me an idea..... even if the ship is built of metals, or composites, i think this race might just use a form that they were familiar with..... and the beam weapons can use the crystals as barrels or generators...... ding! i'll get a idea made up :)



tho i do have a question.... does this race USE visible light to see, or do they not need windows in the normal sense?

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Yeesh... Focus...

Post by silvaril » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:53 am

Heya

Ask a physicist/metallurgist, but the last time I looked metals formed crystalline bonds when cooled from the forging.

The extreme heat of the forging breaks the initial bonds, allowing the metal to be shaped.
Steel is formed by adding impurities into iron, melding the impurities into the crystals formed when the iron is cooled and thus coming up with a composite that is stronger than either the carbon or the iron alone.

There is also some interesting work taking place with the inclusion of minerals/compounds other than carbon into metals other than iron.
An relatively recent example that springs to mind is the transparent aluminium some folks have been working towards since seeing it in some movie or other...

However, if our protaganists can manipulate the combinations of elements in crystal growth, as well as form, then it is quite likely that while the internals may not be grown/forged in that manner, the superstructure and hull plating might be, in the equivalent of a modern metal works making a nuclear sub or carrier.
(Possibly even a crystal salts bath of some kind.)

Also, I mentioned earlier the use of Crystals by the Tok'ra in Stargate to produce structures was, I thought, of some interest in this discussion.
While "magically" producing such structures from a single crystal is unlikely, and doesn't really fit our backstory, has anyone looked at the resulting textures? :)
(not that I can quickly find a decent picture of one *sigh*)


Individual Motiles might take a long time to grow to full term, but our indications on their starting planetary profile indicates that conditions are fairly harsh and that familiarity produces survivors.
Thus they are likely to tend towards the many-birthed-to-bring-one-to-adulthood path of evolution rather than the many-couples-producing-one-adult-at-a-time path.
This would also be a point of differentiation for them in story terms as well, as even the Hiver do not produce many breeders at once...
(just lots and lots of buglies with nasty attachments... ;) )

And having conquered their home environment, they are now over-populating their planet producing more impetus for offworld Jihad to convert the other worlds of the galaxy... :twisted:

And once we agree on how they actually see the world around them, with EM sensors and radio/radar senses, then Mary's question might actually be answered... ;p
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Post by Blazer » Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:53 pm

Unwashed_Pleb wrote:By only having a single consciousness running everything


We've already got a group filling the "voice of many as one" niche. I suggest we come up with something more original.

I suggested a long time ago that metals for crystalline structures and they should be easily manipulated by our creatures...

http://www.kerberos-productions.com/for ... c&start=15

Blazer wrote:As for ships, why do they have to get away from metals? Granted high heat is a problem, but metals have a crystalline structure that I think this race should easily be able to manipulate. They could extract the metal from the ore, internally manipulate the crystal structure, and then mold them. This allows a ship design to fit more into the traditional styles. These "people" should be able to create alloys that we can't even imagine, something that you can make nice and shiny so it looks like a crystal, but still get the form and function that you really need for turrets and other ship functions.


Does anyone pay attention to what I say? ;)

By saying they're able to create new alloys I think I've left the door open for their ships to be plenty strong without having a new tech associated with armor plating.
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Post by Glacialis » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:53 pm

I'm trying not to lash out, but I'm seeing a trend here that's been bugging me for a while. It didn't originate here, but it's becoming more and more noticeable. I see it mostly on science-fiction writing boards.

  • Realistic -- known facts and almost certain theories
  • Believable -- "Hey, that makes sense that that could happen even if we don't yet have all the facts." In fiction, also known as, "In the constraints of this fictitious universe, it is easy to suspend my disbelief."
  • Possible -- That step just beyond Believable where we can't rule it out and but it seems unlikely, or there are significant holes in the theory.
  • Realistic: A warrior culture
  • Realistic: Cetaceans on Earth may be much more intelligent than we give them credit for
  • Realistic: If conditions had been different on earth, another type of life such as reptiles or insects might have risen to sentience.
  • Realistic: Pacifistic cultures
  • Realistic: String theory
  • Realistic: Crystalline structures permeate our world whether we know it or not.
  • Realistic: Non-metallic crystals have industrial and technological uses.
  • Believable (or depending on who you ask, realistic): Alien life
  • Believable: An alien warrior culture
  • Believable: Cetacean-like creatures evolved on another planet with conditions similar to Earth's
  • Believable: Sentient cetacean-like creatures from another world
  • Believable: Insect-like creatures evolved on another planet with conditions similar to Earth's
  • Believable: Sentient insect-like creatures from another world
  • Believable: Reptile-like creatures evolved on another planet with conditions similar to ours
  • Believable: Sentient reptile-like creatures from another world
  • Believable: Sentient reptile-like creatures from another world with a warrior culture
  • Believable: Psychic powers
  • Believable: Aliens with psychic powers
  • Believable: Aliens with psychic powers so scary that you do not want to be near them lest they implode your brain, or dig into your mind and telling your wife you cheated on her, complete with printouts of your mental imagery. Even if it's fake, blackmail!
  • Believable: The parts of Star Trek that were not rewritten to be inconsistent with old stuff because the new stuff is "cooler". Temporal Cold Wars belong in the Stupid(tm) category.
  • Believable: The plucky humans discovering a unique form of FTL travel that gives them, the underdogs, an advantage that no other races have
  • Believable: Warp drives
  • Believable: String theory as a basis for FTL
  • Believable: Any given bit of science fiction that changes some fundamental aspect of the universe that is consistent and logical with respect to this fictional universe. David Weber's Honorverse series takes liberties with how we know gravity to work, but because the technology and science are kept consistent with the author-defined laws of physics for that universe, even the details of such imaginary tech make for great reading. An author's lack of interest in making how stuff works an important part of the story is seen by some as a bad thing, but it isn't always. A good example of this is Whedon's Firefly. The tech doesn't matter until it's part of the story, because the story is far more about characters. Technology itself can be a character -- the Enterprise isn't always getting more screen time than Kirk or Picard, but as part of the main cast it does have episodes where it gets the spotlight.
  • Believable: Aliens that grow ships because it's in character for them to do so, is not patently impossible, is neat, is not beyond the realm of possibility, has plenty of backstory, and fits in with the universe.
  • Believable: Aliens that use crystalline technology because it's in character for them to do so, is not patently impossible, is neat, is not beyond the realm of possibility, has plenty of backstory, and fits in with the universe. Stargate SG-1 did a great job with this, the Goa'uld are great bad guys. Too bad other bad guys took their place later in the series.
  • Possible: Any given bit of science fiction that changes some fundamental aspect of the universe but is either not consistent within that universe or not in line with the flavor and tone of that universe. This could be due to an in character lack of knowledge of how the universe really works, poor consistency checking by the author. An example would be any story where the laws of the universe are altered with no apparent justification besides whim or coolness. Except in Discworld, where such alterations are expected. But then that would match flavor and tone.
  • Possible: Aliens that grow ships.
  • Possible: Aliens that use crystalline technology.
  • Possible: Humans united in any planet-wide endeavor. :P


This is a science-fiction game set in a fictitious universe. I'm sorry, but all of the sci-fi games I've enjoyed have put game first, then fiction, then science.

Yes, I'm personally for a race that is crystal-based, and has ships that perpetuate that theme. I'm also rooting for a slower, more deliberate method of construction that has been described as "growing" their ships -- hey, even an industrial output penalty for tougher ships and satellites sounds groovy to me. Focusing energy, be it electrical or electromagnetic (light/laser, radio, radar, graser, xray, etc)? For defensive or communication purposes? Sure. Great! Even nifty!

But if these ideas won't work within the bounds set by Kerberos, or are superseded by something even cooler, or are proven to be totally unworkable for some other reason, I'm okay with that. I'd love it. Whatever it takes to see this project to completion. If all the suggestions I like are overturned and the project goes in another direction, awesome. So long as there's a reason. "It's not realistic enough" or "physics doesn't work like that" are NOT good reasons. If we start with the laws of this universe as we understand them in the year 2007, we won't get very far.

Things have to make sense, but with regards to the laws of physics, things have to match the SotS universe. That universe contains killer dolphins, lizard apes, non-hive mind yet still cool teleporting insectoids, and a united human nation (?!). Using those as a benchmark, I think this race and ALL of the concepts posited so far are well within the bounds of possibility.



<Tangent> I've asked Mecron for a forum for this project. The wiki is a godsend, but if we want to vote on various models or whatever, it's far easier to organize things in a forum than to set up a poll and have people register at the wiki.
nickersonm wrote:How did you get that out of Mecron saying the exact opposite!?

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Covenant
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Post by Covenant » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:25 pm

Correction--growing a ship is only 'possible' if that growth process includes all the same systems a ship would normally need. A solid mass of Crystal is unsuited for that task, so it would be impossible. Crystalline technology is not only possible but reasonable, given that crystalline lattice structures (like buckeyballs) are well within the realm of our own science. However, it's the combination of the two that is most ridiculous. Growing a massive crystalline ship makes as little sense as anything.

Creating hull components that way? Less ridiculous. But we need to make a distinction between 'crystalline hull components' and 'a crystal ship.' So yes, I can rule out an all-crystal ship that was grown. Easily. Not only can I rule it out as possible, but I can also rule it out as even efficent. A crystal ship would be slow, fragile, and physically impossible. There's no concievable benefit to a crystalline warship over a metal one.

And this isn't putting science first and game last. We're discussing what the ship should look like. This is art direction phase. Look at the ships we have already--they're all made out of roughly the same things, they have engines that move them, they have atmospheres and pressurized hulls, they're commanded by members of their species and they are computerized advanced 'space rockets' of a variety. We've overturned these ideas not only because they're ridiculously stupid science, but because they look painfully out of place. As you said, they don't match SOTS science (which is based on metal ships using computers and reactor cores, not magic crystals) but they also need to have some kind of unified art direction that's a step above 'I made a ship out of low-poly spikes'.

Seriously, a giant crystal wad? With crystal grows for turrets? It would look awful. It would not only look awful, but amateurish. It would also make it very hard to tell different hull components apart, which is bad. It would make it hard to target turrets and components because of the matte texture, which is also bad.

So the background 'fluff' of them being grown is not only groundless in terms of in-universe science, but the appearence it would lead to is similarly awful. We need these things to have a predominantly metallic or rocky appearence, with normal types of turrets (maybe with big crystals pointing out of the barrels for lasers) or else it's going to look more like a sloppy mod than a real add-on to the game.

====================

As one of the likely modellers and other art folks, this is what I feel. I don't think we can make it 'work' and look good in the 'crystal chunk' style, and I'd rather have a unified idea of the art now before we launch into modelling. We can always put this to a vote or something, and see if we can put it to rest. Right now we have entrenched camps, and that's not good.

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Post by Glacialis » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:12 pm

The main point of my post was to advise on what I thought I saw the thought processes were for agreeing or disagreeing with certain ideas.

WRT ideas, I never said the crystal chunk style was desirable. I personally think Erdrik's drawing with the long engine crystal is the best candidate because I immediately thought, "ZOMG, so that's what they look like!"

(Edited above to not say maryg's model, because it was an erdrik drawing)

You're right, growing the entire ship as one big crystal? Hard to explain, and it doesn't sound right. If we were going for a biological ship, maybe. I could see a lot of the critters standing around a giant area with easy access to pools of metal and crystalline seeds, but only for components of the ship. Engine and power cores, check. Superstructure and plating, check. Computers, check. Weapons, check. Systems integration and integrity is one area where they should have a great bonus because they don't need atmosphere and would suffer little from being exposed to space. That said, it's not like they don't want strong protective measures between them and the area outside their vessels.

I see them fusing themselves to a vessel as someone earlier in the thread suggested, providing both the control interface and a way of buckling in. I envision lots of crystalline versions of things, the kind of crystals we imagine when we think of this stuff. But metals are, according to Pleb's initial writeup, still very important to these guys. I think a human wandering around the inside of their ship could be exposed to energies that might not be safe for them, but would otherwise see mineral-based crystals and metals melding together in the oddest of ways.

Tangent: Would they have any ability to "feel" metal/crystal by touch the way Liir can sonar it? Probe it with low levels of energy (whatever kind we decide they emit) -- maybe a high-powered short-range radar?
nickersonm wrote:How did you get that out of Mecron saying the exact opposite!?

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Post by Covenant » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:24 pm

Glacialis wrote:The main point of my post was to advise on what I thought I saw the thought processes were for agreeing or disagreeing with certain ideas.


Ahh, well sorry for sounding so hot then. I wouldn't care so much if I wasn't one of the modellers. :p I agree with that. It's best to have the right reasons for doing things.

Glacialis wrote:Tangent: Would they have any ability to "feel" metal/crystal by touch the way Liir can sonar it? Probe it with low levels of energy (whatever kind we decide they emit) -- maybe a high-powered short-range radar?


Depending on what their senses are, possibly. If not, they could certainly do it mechanically. If they see or hear with radio waves (IE, current through crystal can make radio waves, so it's not unreasonable) then a Rockdude megaphone/telescope could penetrate into materials we consider to be opaque. If they have an electrosense, then a conductive material would hum and have a very visible form. Sharks have a limited electrosense. If they use something like sonar, then yeah, they could probably 'knock' on things and get some interesting info back on the structure of it on a rebound.

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Post by Sevain » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:36 pm

How about a ship that, while made of metal has about the silhuette of a crystal?

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Post by Covenant » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:39 pm

Sevain wrote:How about a ship that, while made of metal has about the silhuette of a crystal?


Sharp edges like that would be excellent against ballistics, using the in-game deflection mechanics. It'd be like the sloped armor of a modern tank.

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Post by Unwashed_Pleb » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:47 pm

Covenant, you need to separate yourself from reality and put down the big, foam, reality bat. Why do we want crystalline components interlaid with metal structures? because they look good.

The problems about science can follow later :)

Frankly, the T-mat look is a winner in my book.
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1. Of, belonging to, or characteristic of commoners.
2. Unrefined or coarse in nature or manner; common or vulgar: plebeian tastes.

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2. Plebeian: the unwashed masses.

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Post by Zabaron » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:51 pm

I don't think the T-Mat look is what Cov is arguing against, its the concept of growing ships (which I must say, I vigorously dislike as well), which would lead to a purely crystline look that lacks mechanical components.

Sorry if I spoke for you there Cov.

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Post by Unwashed_Pleb » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:56 pm

If you look in the fiction area, you would learn that the race can indeed absorb metals as nutrients, and grow them throughout their crystalline bodies as a sort of nervous system. Nothing is stopping them from growing it outside of the new bodies as structural support.
Plebeian. Adj.
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2. Unrefined or coarse in nature or manner; common or vulgar: plebeian tastes.

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Post by Covenant » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:56 pm

Zabaron wrote:I don't think the T-Mat look is what Cov is arguing against, its the concept of growing ships (which I must say, I vigorously dislike as well), which would lead to a purely crystline look that lacks mechanical components.

Sorry if I spoke for you there Cov.

-Zabaron


No, it's fine. Frankly, since I was the one who posted the T-Mat, I would think people would know I'm in favor of them. The T-Mat look like a crystalline growth out of a bulk of asteroid that's girdled and probably internally built up by normal ship components. That's a favored idea of mine. I happen to like the idea of an asteroid ship, with crystal chunks.

I'm in favor of metallic structures with crystal flair. I like asteroid ships with metal superstructure and big crystal growths. Don't strawman me, Pleb. I've said so from the beginning.

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Post by Covenant » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:02 am

Unwashed_Pleb wrote:If you look in the fiction area, you would learn that the race can indeed absorb metals as nutrients, and grow them throughout their crystalline bodies as a sort of nervous system. Nothing is stopping them from growing it outside of the new bodies as structural support.


Oh for goodness sake, Pleb. You're not listening to us. We are not beholden to your ideas. I wish you'd stop making stuff on your own and stating it as canon. You're not even trying to reach an agreement, or take ideas from other people.

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