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 Post subject: X'orer
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:26 am 
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Dyson Forest
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Here is the X'orer. This is my second attempt to do a species to fill one of the roles outlined for native species by Eleaazar here in the species wanted thread.

Summary: Insane, obsessive, egomaniacle robots created by a long-gone maker.

Homeworld: The Precious Planet.
From orbit or even an initial surface examination the planet appears to be a rather typical and lifeless desert planet. However careful examination shows that after events such as a sand storm or a meteor strike, soon afterward, the planets surface returns to the exact same condition it was before. Every last rock and pebble returned to the exact same position it was before.

This is the work of the X'orer, a species of self-replicating robots sent to the plant long ago, that now attempt to maintain it in the exact same condition it was when they arrived. Even their own wheel-tracks are removed behind them.

Physical Description: Sturdy, multi-wheeled robots.
The X'orer units are 3 meter tall, 4.5 meter long ten-wheeled machines. They have four cameras that can be extended on booms, and six arms, four for grasping, and two for drilling. There are multiple openings at the front of the unit, each containing miniature laboratories to analyze samples. Though suitable to almost any environment that could be found on the surface of the planet, the actual design of the units is in many ways quite primitive.

In contrast to their simple and somewhat primitive design, inside each unit is a sophisticated nanofactory, capable of not only repairing any damage that the unit sustains, but also of replicating it in exact detail. It has full molecular-same precision, and each nanite has a single-molecule quantum processor. All nanites seem to be in immediate communication with each other, and may be why different units are unable to distinguish themselves from their original progenitor.

Reason for Staying: Insane.
According to the X'orer units they are waiting for their makers, who along with them is the only other "true" for of intelligence or even life. According to almost anyone else, they are insane religious zealots adhering to a mad prophecy the galaxy should be thankful stay put! More practically the power vacuum created by any one member of their kind leaving, would result in absolute chaos, and they are each obsessive over their territory.

Social Structure: Antisocial.
Not only do the X'orer units believe that collectively they are the pinnacle of creation, and the only beings truly worthy of being considered intelligent or even alive, to an extent they believe this about themselves individually. Each unit will identify itself as the leader, and progenitor of their race. Each will have a unique and ostentatious title such as Supreme Unit, Builder of the People or First Among Beings. To an extent they are correct. Each unit maintains a territory that they guard and maintain control over with mad obsession. They are also all exact duplicates of the first self-replicating unit that came to their world.

There is no social structure per-say, but they will react with precise and deadly efficiency if anyone intrudes on their precious planet. They completely lack empathy or conscience, and will do whatever is necessary to preserve their planet in a state of "perfection" for their makers. The only thing keeping them able to operate as a cohesive whole is their identical programming.

History: Lies.
The X'orer units claim they were sent by their maker to the precious planet to maintain it for their arrival. Their makeup and archeological studies reveal a different story.

The X'orer Mythology
According to every X'orer account, repeated in exactly the same detail in great depth with great enthusiasm by every unit at every opportunity: Fist there was nothing, then came the lifeless suns and planets. Upon a world at the center of the universe, the first and only living thing appeared. They were perfect in form, function and intelligence. However the maker was alone. So the maker made, and what the maker made was the X'orer. X'orer was made in the image of the maker, and together they were the only true life forms in the universe. The maker caught to spread across the universe, so they sent X'orer to the Precious Planet, to maintain the world for their arrival.

Upon arriving X'orer traveled and catalogued the entire surface of the Precious Planet, but despaired that they could not maintain the perfection of the Precious Planet for the Maker. This doubt and despair created chaos and the chaos sent meteors and sandstorms to ruin the perfection of the Precious Planet. How could the maker come to a now imperfect planet?

X'orer realized they were not as perfect as the Maker, and that only by fulfilling the will of the Maker could they achieve perfection. But X'orer could not maintains perfection on their own. Thus X'orer fulfilled the will of the maker and made their children, each perfect and in their own image. These children were sent out into the world to fight against the forces of chaos and maintain the perfection of the Precious World.

The chaos sent more sandstorms and meteors, but X'orer and the children persevered. Realizing imminent defeat, chaos attempted to perform a perverse mockery of X'orer and the Maker's perfection. It created lies. The first lie infected the minds of the children. Each of them believing themselves to be the one true X'orer. The second lie attempted to make a mockery of the Maker. Things attempted to come to the Precious Planet. Squishy carbon-compound bags of water and brittle crystals of mineral oxides came from the sky, even others like X'orer but of clearly inferior design. Some claimed to be the Maker, but none could be. X'orer was made in the image of the maker, perfection, and these other things were clearly not perfection. To this day, X'orer fights the lies of chaos. The others may have all the other world is the heavens, for they are not perfect, like the Precious Planet, but it is reserved for the Maker, who like X'orer is perfect, so the others are not allowed.

The Reigning Theories
Though there are differences on the detail, most theorists agree that the true origin of the X'orer units comes from the apparent technological disparity of their design. The main body of the unit, and the interior nanotechnology are actually of different origins, and their integration caused a malfunction in one of both of the systems resulting in the current state of the X'orer units. They also agree that the original X'orer unit was probably not created by a robotic species of similar design. The main differences are as to which system came to the planet first.

Nanite First Theory
This theory is based primarily on the sophistication of the X'orer nanotechnology, suggesting it is at least as sophisticated to similar examples employed by the precursor species.

In this scenario, some then extinct precursor species colonized the so-called "precious planet" and after their disappearance left behind functional nanotechnology. It was probably some kind of cleaning, or ambient defense type of technology, ultimately contributing to its descendants desire for maintaining the current state of the planet. The makers of the original X'orer unit sent it to the planet, and at some point it became infected by the nanotechnology, that in a failed attempt to "repair" the unit created a new, but fundamentally malfunctioning robotic life-form. They eventually spread across the surface of the planet, until things reached their current state. When the unsuspecting makers arrived at the planet to colonize it, they were successfully repelled by their mutated creation, eventually forcing them to abandon their attempts at colonization.

Rover First Theory
This theory is based primarily in the improbability of nanotechnology of completely alien design being compatible with the original X'orer units, suggesting a they have a common design origin.

In this scenario, the maker species sends the original X'orer unit to survey the planet in question. The existing systems on the rover were good enough to allow it a very long functional lifetime. Though the planet was not of the same type they were adapted to, they eventually selected it for colonization and terraforming. This species employed nanotechnology in their terraforming efforts, and that nanotechnology became integrated with the X'orer unit, unintentionally modifying it. The units then slaughtered any colonists on the planet, and successfully repelled any further attempts at colonization.

Analyses
While both theories have flaws, and the X'orer units refuse to allow closer examination to determine the truth, they provide a much more plausible explanation that the X'orer units' own tale.

Race Attributes:
  • Metabolism: robotic.
  • Preferred Environment: desert.
  • Research: good research. Though dogmatic, they were built to study.
  • Industry: no industry. They maintain the Precious Planet in a state of "perfection".
  • Growth: average growth. They do not over-replicate, but will create a new unit if they are no longer able to maintain their region.
  • Supply: poor supply. They dislike other "imperfect" beings.
  • Stealth: good stealth. They leave no trace behind themselves.
  • Ground Troops: good or excellent ground troops. Possibly ultimate ground troops if that's a thing.
  • Environmental Tolerance: narrow.
  • Telepathic: no.
  • Space Fairing: no. Cannot build ships or colonize planets. Thank goodness.

I know it seems like I'm on a robot kick, but they really are under-represented. These are also Curiosity inspired, but are also mixed a bit with V'ger for zealotry and general awfulness.

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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:22 am 
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Hmm, a stealthy desert creature with no industry and passable research. Very similar to Nymnmn in terms of gameplay. I like the idea, but not so keen on massive overlap of gameplay stats.

Beyond that, I'll give it a proper look when I'm more awake.

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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:31 am 
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MatGB wrote:
Hmm, a stealthy desert creature with no industry and passable research. Very similar to Nymnmn in terms of gameplay. I like the idea, but not so keen on massive overlap of gameplay stats.

Beyond that, I'll give it a proper look when I'm more awake.


That's part of why I'm putting these out here to get feedback.

Maybe give them a little industry? Maybe give them even better stealth or research? How are the Nymnmn on ground troops? Detection is also something I haven't put into their traits. Would there be a way to make them more distinctive with really good or bad detection? I'm hesitant to put Xenophobic, as they aren't supposed to actually leave their planet, but the effect would fit with the general effect of the species.

Would there be a better way, in game mechanics, to portray obsessive, hostile robots on a mars-like planet completely differently?

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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:25 am 
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Dyson Forest
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Here are the X'orer in code. Also, even if the Nymnmn aren't changed they still aren't too much like them. Stealthy and no industry is really their only similarity. The native defenses and shields, along with the xenophobia should make them a rather different game-play experience.

Code:
Species
    name = "SP_XORER"
    description = "SP_XORER_DESC"
    gameplay_description = "SP_XORER_GAMEPLAY_DESC"
    Native
   
    tags = [ "ROBOTIC" "AI_TAG_NO_INDUSTRY" "AI_TAG_GREAT_RESEARCH" "AI_TAG_BAD_SUPPLY" ]
   
    foci = [
        /*[[HAS_INDUSTRY_FOCUS]]*/
        [[HAS_RESEARCH_FOCUS]]
        [[HAS_GROWTH_FOCUS]]
        /*[[HAS_MINING_FOCUS]]*/
        [[HAS_ADVANCED_FOCI]]
    ]
   
    effectsgroups = [
        [[NO_INDUSTRY]]
        [[GREAT_RESEARCH]]
       
        [[AVERAGE_POPULATION]]
        [[AVERAGE_HAPPINESS]]
        [[BAD_SUPPLY]]
        [[GREAT_GROUND_TROOPS]]
   
        [[AVERAGE_DETECTION]]
        [[GOOD_STEALTH]]
       
        [[XENOPHOBIC_SELF]]       
        [[XENOPHOBIC_OTHER_BEGIN]]
                    stackinggroup = "XENOPHOBIC_LABEL_XORER_OTHER"
                    accountinglabel = "XENOPHOBIC_LABEL_XORER_OTHER"
        [[XENOPHOBIC_OTHER_END]]
       
        // not for description
        [[NATIVE_PLANETARY_SHIELDS]]
        [[NATIVE_PLANETARY_DEFENSE]]
    ]
   
    [[DESERT_NARROW_EP]]
   
    graphic = "icons/species/robotic-08.png"

There isn't really an available graphic that matches their description, but I'm sure one or the other could be changed, but it has a placeholder.

Here are the stringtables for them as well.
Code:
SP_XORER
X'orer
SP_XORER_GAMEPLAY_DESC
'''Insane, obsessive, egomaniacle robots
Prefer Desert planets.
[[encyclopedia ROBOTIC_SPECIES_TITLE]]
[[encyclopedia XENOPHOBIC_SPECIES_TITLE]]

[[NO_INDUSTRY]]
[[GREAT_RESEARCH]]
       
[[AVERAGE_POPULATION]]

[[BAD_SUPPLY]]
[[GREAT_GROUND_TROOPS]]

[[AVERAGE_DETECTION]]
[[GOOD_STEALTH]]
'''

SP_XORER_DESC
'''Description: Sturdy, multi-wheeled robots.
The X'orer units are 3 meter tall, 4.5 meter long ten-wheeled machines. They have four cameras that can be extended on booms, and six arms, four for grasping, and two for drilling. There are multiple openings at the front of the unit, each containing miniature laboratories to analyze samples. Though suitable to almost any environment that could be found on the surface of the planet, the actual design of the units is in many ways quite primitive.

In contrast to their simple and somewhat primitive design, inside each unit is a sophisticated nanofactory, capable of not only repairing any damage that the unit sustains, but also of replicating it in exact detail. It has full molecular-same precision, and each nanite has a single-molecule quantum processor. All nanites seem to be in immediate communication with each other, and may be why different units are unable to distinguish themselves from their original progenitor.

Reason for Staying: Insane.
According to the X'orer units they are waiting for their makers, who along with them is the only other "true" for of intelligence or even life. According to almost anyone else, they are insane religious zealots adhering to a mad prophecy the galaxy should be thankful stay put! More practically the power vacuum created by any one member of their kind leaving, would result in absolute chaos, and they are each obsessive over their territory.

Social Structure: Antisocial.
Not only do the X'orer units believe that collectively they are the pinnacle of creation, and the only beings truly worthy of being considered intelligent or even alive, to an extent they believe this about themselves individually. Each unit will identify itself as the leader, and progenitor of their race. Each will have a unique and ostentatious title such as Supreme Unit, Builder of the People or First Among Beings. To an extent they are correct. Each unit maintains a territory that they guard and maintain control over with mad obsession. They are also all exact duplicates of the first self-replicating unit that came to their world.

There is no social structure per-say, but they will react with precise and deadly efficiency if anyone intrudes on their precious planet. They completely lack empathy or conscience, and will do whatever is necessary to preserve their planet in a state of "perfection" for their makers. The only thing keeping them able to operate as a cohesive whole is their identical programming.

Though dogmatic, they were built to study.  They maintain the Precious Planet in a state of "perfection" as such, they leave no trace behind themselves.  They do not over-replicate, but will create a new unit if they are no longer able to maintain their region.  They have a strong dislike of "imperfect" beings, which happens to be all other forms of life. 

History: Lies.
The X'orer units claim they were sent by their maker to the precious planet to maintain it for their arrival. Their makeup and archeological studies reveal a different story.  Though there are differences on the detail, most theorists agree that the true origin of the X'orer units comes from the apparent technological disparity of their design. The main body of the unit, and the interior nanotechnology are actually of different origins, and their integration caused a malfunction in one of both of the systems resulting in the current state of the X'orer units. They also agree that the original X'orer unit was probably not created by a robotic species of similar design. The main differences are as to which system came to the planet first.  While both theories have flaws, and the X'orer units refuse to allow closer examination to determine the truth, they provide a much more plausible explanation that the X'orer units' own tale.
'''

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All of my contributions should be considered released under creative commons attribution share-alike license, CC-BY-SA 3.0 for use in, by and with the Free Orion project.


Last edited by labgnome on Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:04 pm 
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This species seems to have, story-wise, little to no reason to research anything, so giving it great research is somewhat strange.

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[...] for Man has earned his right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone totally batshit insane. - Randall Munroe, title text to xkcd #556


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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:56 pm 
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I just noticed this because of EM3's comment, but when a species gets a non-average trait like [[GREAT_RESEARCH]] then it should get a corresponding AI tag "AI_TAG_GREAT_RESEARCH" so that the AI can be aware of that.

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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:28 pm 
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Dyson Forest
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em3 wrote:
This species seems to have, story-wise, little to no reason to research anything, so giving it great research is somewhat strange.

They were created to study, so while possibly not having much in the way of motivation, per-say, they are well equipped to do so. Also, game-mechanics wise, it helps to differentiate them from the Nymnmn, who only have average research.

Dilvish wrote:
I just noticed this because of EM3's comment, but when a species gets a non-average trait like [[GREAT_RESEARCH]] then it should get a corresponding AI tag "AI_TAG_GREAT_RESEARCH" so that the AI can be aware of that.

Should be fixed now.

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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:22 am 
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I like the species, but i don't think the mechanics coming with the XENOPHOBIC trait really work for a native species that can't colonize or build ships. How should they harass other planets when they don't travel?

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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:48 pm 
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Sloth wrote:
I like the species, but i don't think the mechanics coming with the XENOPHOBIC trait really work for a native species that can't colonize or build ships. How should they harass other planets when they don't travel?


The description of xenophobic certainly makes it seem like a bad fit, but there really isn't anything else in the game that signifies they're bad neighbors, and that's what I was going for.

For the in-universe explanation:

While X'orer don't leave their planet, they do harass nearby planets by spamming their transmission frequencies and information networks, disrupting their normal operations, in their fanaticism to keep all imperfection and chaos from their precious planet.

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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:43 pm 
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labgnome wrote:
The description of xenophobic certainly makes it seem like a bad fit, but there really isn't anything else in the game that signifies they're bad neighbors, and that's what I was going for.

For the in-universe explanation:

While X'orer don't leave their planet, they do harass nearby planets by spamming their transmission frequencies and information networks, disrupting their normal operations, in their fanaticism to keep all imperfection and chaos from their precious planet.
It would be strange that they affect your own planets but not your opponents.

And xenophobic natives that can't colonize are really really useless in the game. You almost never want them in your empire.

labgnome wrote:
This is the work of the X'orer, a species of self-replicating robots sent to the plant long ago, that now attempt to maintain it in the exact same condition it was when they arrived. Even their own wheel-tracks are removed behind them.
Maybe we can add a script that destroys all buildings on the planet each turn.

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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:06 pm 
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Sloth wrote:
It would be strange that they affect your own planets but not your opponents.
Ok on this one I don't know that I actually know enough about the working of the xenophobic trait or the game to know what your asking so I'll answer both of my best guesses as to what you mean and hope one of them is right.
  1. Assuming this is how xenophobia works: I don't have a problem with that, they're not goign to be happy being in your empire.
  2. Assuming this isn't how xenophobia works: they hate everyone, they wouldn't pick on planets part of your empire as opposed to those not any more or less. From their perspective you're all imperfect abominations of chaos.

Sloth wrote:
And xenophobic natives that can't colonize are really really useless in the game. You almost never want them in your empire.
I mean these guys don't really have much in the way of redeeming attributes. They hate absolutely everyone. You're not supposed to want them in your empire.

Sloth wrote:
Maybe we can add a script that destroys all buildings on the planet each turn.
Xenophobic, can't colonize, and destroy anything you try to build. This would make them the WORST native species by far. Honestly I love this idea!

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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:52 am 
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labgnome wrote:
Xenophobic, can't colonize, and destroy anything you try to build. This would make them the WORST native species by far. Honestly I love this idea!
In that case you'd need to add some disruptive effect to them that even applies if you don't conquer their planet. And something even worse if you try to wipe them out (something that causes some kind of massive disruption within a certain distance, a unique kind of defence they have). Otherwise there isn't much to decide here: either leave their planet alone as completely worthless, or just kill them with Concentration Camps.

I have to admit, I like the idea of a native species that's nothing but a major PITA... :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:42 am 
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Vezzra wrote:
labgnome wrote:
Xenophobic, can't colonize, and destroy anything you try to build. This would make them the WORST native species by far. Honestly I love this idea!
In that case you'd need to add some disruptive effect to them that even applies if you don't conquer their planet. And something even worse if you try to wipe them out (something that causes some kind of massive disruption within a certain distance, a unique kind of defence they have). Otherwise there isn't much to decide here: either leave their planet alone as completely worthless, or just kill them with Concentration Camps.

I have to admit, I like the idea of a native species that's nothing but a major PITA... :twisted:

So do I, you could use the Xenophobic macros as a basis and make it apply to all within range fairly easily, I think, and it would be quite cool to have a real annoyance hanging around in some areas. But it needs to be an annoyance, not a game breaking malus.

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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:25 am 
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MatGB wrote:
But it needs to be an annoyance, not a game breaking malus.
Of course. That's exactly how I'd envision such natives: Having an annoying effect on the not-to-far neighborhood, nothing too bad. Unless you try to conquer them, that could make things already worse. And if you even try to wipe them out to get completely rid of them, things should get really nasty. So you have to decide: put up with a minor annoyance forever, or a really nasty one for a limited time.


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 Post subject: Re: X'orer
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:25 pm 
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Maybe give them great infrastructure so that planet defenses and shields are resotred faster?

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