Plant Race In FreeOrion

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utilae
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Plant Race In FreeOrion

#1 Post by utilae » Fri Jul 29, 2005 2:31 am

I've been thinking lately, how can a plant race exist so that it is sentient and able to compete against empires who have spaceships and such?

How would a plant race evolve to such a stage?

A plant is described as follows:
multicellular
*have nuclei
*do not move
*autotrophic
*examples - multicellular algae, mosses, ferns, flowering plants (dandelions, roses, etc.), trees, etc

From the five kingdoms:
http://www.usoe.k12.ut.us/curr/science/ ... 5king2.htm

In order for a plant race to stay within this description (mainly the bit about 'do not move') how would a plant race produce ships, research, etc without having to 'move'?

Would producing ships break the 'do not move' rule?

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Bastian-Bux
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#2 Post by Bastian-Bux » Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:19 am

Almost all plants do actually move, or better: parts of them move during reproduction.

Also some plants ain't sessile, certain desert shrubs live on while travelling with the wind.

The most important part about a plant IMO is their autotrophicy. So I'd define a plant (for our purpose only):

a living organism that uses photsynthesis or a similar mechanism to fill its energy needs. It produces more "organic" matter from anorganic matter then it does reduce.

This way we can clearly show them to be different from sessile animals (like polyphs) but also from mushrooms and yeasts.
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#3 Post by Impaler » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:51 am

I agree with Bux's definition. I used thinking along much the same lines wiith my race the Cynos (see bottom of Story Page). They are semi-mobile consisting of a immobile mother planet and "seed" units which are mobile. They act as reproductive vectors and defend the main plant much like ants.
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Zanzibar
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#4 Post by Zanzibar » Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:44 pm

What about plants like the venus fly trap?? It moves quite well, actually...
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yaromir
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#5 Post by yaromir » Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:06 pm

Bah, immobile plants can still shot out seeds/spores into space.

In fact, the other Species could just regard them as weeds
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#6 Post by Dreamer » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:09 pm

Well, I find more interesting a race that can actually move. Like ents (lord of tyhe rings). A sort of plant but more important: a race wich tech depends on plants, photosysntesis, etc.

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#7 Post by utilae » Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:37 pm

I think that in order to keep things interesting, a plant race in FreeOrion cannot physically move like an ent can (walking). Such a race has to spread by flinging seeds, seeds that travel in the air, sea, whatever other method. I read that a planet called the Canadian Dwarf Cornel can fling a pollen so that it experiences "800 times the force that the space shuttle does during liftoff". So imagine a larger plant, it could no doubt launch into space.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Dwarf_Cornel


Of course we could still have a plant race that can walk or move along the ground like a vine. Perhaps temporarily move, uproot itself, move so far then root itself into the ground.

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#8 Post by Impaler » Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:52 am

Considering that we already have several plant based life forms subimted that do have some movment and everyone else has suported moving plants I dont think we need any kind of rule saying they can't.

I'm all for policing race designs that break basic rules of physics or evolution but I see no reason why we need to create such artificial rules.

Further more I am begining to doupt that we should even have race catagories at all. If you think about it ALL races should be so utterly unique and Alien to each other that their are no meaningfull catagories that they would group each other under and if they did each race would certanly use a differnt system to do so (using itself as the meashure).

Thus races should simply have atributes that do a very specific and isolated thing to that race. Environmental Preference being a required atribute, everything else optional. Plant type races simply having a "Solar-voric" atribute meaning they eat sunlight. A robotic race could easily have the same thing.
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#9 Post by haravikk » Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:56 pm

Couldn't a plant happily grow into the shape of a ship (perhaps several plant creatures growing to combine in the different parts). Plants have various different defensive mechanisms, so weapons become possible, and one of these could be fire or gravitic manipulation, which can (with intelligence) be adapted to provide propulsion.

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#10 Post by utilae » Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:19 am

Impaler wrote: Considering that we already have several plant based life forms subimted that do have some movment and everyone else has suported moving plants I dont think we need any kind of rule saying they can't.

I'm all for policing race designs that break basic rules of physics or evolution but I see no reason why we need to create such artificial rules.
I never intended to restrict races to rules. I was just wondering out of curiosity. I was thinking from an RTS point of view. If a plant race was in an RTS game and they had to stay close to plant like movement (ie little or no movement) then it would be more interesting then a race that could just get up and walk around. My biggest problem was that I would want a plant race to compete against space age races, so plants would need to travel in space.
Impaler wrote: Further more I am begining to doupt that we should even have race catagories at all. If you think about it ALL races should be so utterly unique and Alien to each other that their are no meaningfull catagories that they would group each other under and if they did each race would certanly use a differnt system to do so (using itself as the meashure).

Thus races should simply have atributes that do a very specific and isolated thing to that race. Environmental Preference being a required atribute, everything else optional. Plant type races simply having a "Solar-voric" atribute meaning they eat sunlight. A robotic race could easily have the same thing.
While what you say is true, I think categories help the user to see each race fitting into a group. If there were 100 races and you wanted a machine race, you would look for the category 'machines'. This would be easier then looking through 100 races. You would just have to look in the machine category, which has only 10 or something.

I think that a plant race could spread seeds easily, meaning that they don't need to move so much, just continue spreading seeds, growing new plants and increasing their territory size. They would be better suited at defense in this way. I think they could conduct attacks by sending some seeds to enemy bases and those seeds would quickly grow and intend to stay, so they would fight.

Movement could be acheived by 'uprooting' temporarily. They could uproot and have their roots move the plant and anchor to a new area. Maybe some plants could lighten themselves enough to float higher and higher after uprooting. They could drop seed bombs and go lower by producing a weighty liquid. Maybe this liquid is always in the plant, but its weight can be changed by the plant to allow for rise and fall, etc.
haravikk wrote: Couldn't a plant happily grow into the shape of a ship (perhaps several plant creatures growing to combine in the different parts). Plants have various different defensive mechanisms, so weapons become possible, and one of these could be fire or gravitic manipulation, which can (with intelligence) be adapted to provide propulsion.
I think that if a plant could launch a seed into space, then the seed could grow into a ship. All it needs is a method of moving itself through space, some natural organic armor and some weapons.

I think poison weapons and seed/pollen related weapons would be likely, as well as teeth, spikes, etc.

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PLant like race

#11 Post by guiguibaah » Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:08 pm

I don't think speed or reaction time would be a factor if they can develop tools to deal with these issues. We humans have created computers as tools to process billions of calculations a second... We would be at a huge disadvantage if we were up against a race that had reaction times a billion times a second... So a plant race, which might have a much slower through process, would probably develop some tool to allow them to cope with faster beings.

Of course, when it would come to straight-out one-on-one combat, the plants could be at a severe disadvantage due to mobility.

So (and here's something funny) perhaps they have developed cybernetic implants... I don't think I've read about a cybernetic plant race before :).
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#12 Post by Dreamer » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:42 pm

What begins to worry me is that several races so distinct from each other would develop completely different tech and maybe should have their own tech categories and tree. Espionage also becomes irrelevant when whatever you can stole from the other race is useless to you. Diplomacy is also a pain in the ass.

These are the reasons why most sci-fi have humanoid or very similar races, so they can share the same enviroment, comunication, can handle the same tools and have similar goals / desires.

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utilae
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Re: PLant like race

#13 Post by utilae » Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:53 pm

guiguibaah wrote: Of course, when it would come to straight-out one-on-one combat, the plants could be at a severe disadvantage due to mobility.
I think that mobility would not be an issue, as they would spread like weeds. They'd be so many of them that it would be tough to fight through them.
guiguibaah wrote: So (and here's something funny) perhaps they have developed cybernetic implants... I don't think I've read about a cybernetic plant race before :).
I think it's more likely that they have natural organic things, like organic armor, and organic weapons.

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