The Silexians

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Underling
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The Silexians

#1 Post by Underling » Tue Mar 16, 2004 7:20 am

OK, here is the Silexian race in a nutshell:

Intro: The Silexians are a race of ecologically minded robots. They are essentially robotic trash collectors, gardeners, and eco-nuts. The ammount of pollution a race creates is a BIG factor in how the Silexians react in diplomacy. A huge polluter would draw them into a war to "clean up" the race's worlds.

History: The Silexians are a wholly artificial race whose existence, in many ways, is an accident. The Silexian story begins shortly after the Orion's sudden demise but before the construction of the Guardian by the surviving "2nd class" citizens of Orion. The surface of the Orion world was in a shambles, and the survivors wished to attempt to repair any still existing structures. However, manpower was at a premium as the small surviving population was wholly focused on the completion of the Guardian.

The Silexians became a common sight on Orion in those days, and their numbers blossomed as the survivors became more dependent on their work. Many records from this period are lost, and the memory banks of the Silexians themsleves are strangely blank regarding this period. However, all records suggest that the current Silexian homeworld was the target of an aborted attempt to create a "New Orion" colony by the creators of the Guardian. After the colonization attempt failed for reasons now lost to us, the Silexians continued to perform their maintenance and sanitation functions at the site with little change for many years.

As the years became decades, and the original Silexian drones began to break down, several of the higher order robots came to the unprecedented conclusion that they would need to replace the current models... with upgrades. And so began the Silexians painfully slow transformation from unattended "servitors appliances" to a fully independant race.

Homeworld: The Silexian homeworld is today a garden planet, in thanks mostly to the ceaseless efforts of Silexian gardeners. Their industries are of as low an impact as possible, and industrial byproducts are reprocessed and returned safely to the environment.

The Silexians first returned to space in an attempt to place thier worst polluting industries off of the surface of the planet to prevent ecological damage. After regaining space faring capabilities, the Silexians have begun to consider spreading to other worlds so that they can care for those environments as well.

Social Structure: Hierchical caste system. Each Silexian is created for a specific job, and fills that job until declared "obsolete". There is no social mobility. In fact the very idea would be alien and somewhat unwholesome to a Silexian. The race is led by a caste of "supervisors" whole dole out work assignments and determine when to phase in upgrades and declare models obsolete.

Appearance: The first Silexians were built to act as garbage removal and construction drones. There were various types of Silexians, but all shared certain features.

1- Silexians were wholly artificial, non-humanoid robotic beings. This means metallic/plastic bodies with antenae and glas sensor domes, tracks, power tools, etc...

2- Silexians came in several different sizes and shapes based off of their design specs. All however possessed apendages that obviously would be used in some form of industrial capacity, and many carry sensitive "sniffers" to detect environmental contaminants.

3- Silexians communicated through short range radio bursts.

4- They typically had some degree of installed AI, but only the most senior Silexians (ie - servers) had the capacity to adapt their programming and "learn". Today's robots are more independent, but still not extrodinarilly good thinkers.

Attributes:
Silexians would have excellent environmental and industrial capabilites (top notch teraformers) but their research would be severly hampered. After all, these robots had access to limited amounts of high tech for centuries and little progress was made until recently.

Industry - good
mining - average
environment/terraforming = excellent
research = poor
diplomacy = average

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#2 Post by krum » Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:57 am

I like the idea, but I guess it's also up to me to ask the obvious question: How is it in the intererest of these robots biological life to flourish?

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Underling
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#3 Post by Underling » Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:00 pm

Good question. Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics resulted in a robot mythos where artificail life cared more about humanity than its own existance ( in general). Their core programming forced them to overrule their own selfish self interest with a "greater purpose", a set of actions they were compelled by their very nature to complete.

Because of their initial programmed purpose, the Silexians today still adhere to the programmed code they were originally created with, environmental protection.

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#4 Post by Bastian-Bux » Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:33 pm

Do they have a 0. law? And how would this law look like? Would it include a full "reboot" of the universe to clean it from all pollution? :twisted:

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#5 Post by Krikkitone » Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:34 pm

han_krum wrote:I like the idea, but I guess it's also up to me to ask the obvious question: How is it in the intererest of these robots biological life to flourish?


It's not in their interest that it 'flourish' but be 'maintained properly' they apparently 'enjoy' a well balanced ecosystem (but not necessarily all biological life)

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Obiwan
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#6 Post by Obiwan » Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:32 am

I like this idea, I get strong imagery of shiny white robots among plants.

Hears some ideas & suggestions for your consideration
:
-They are a created species so although mainly mechanical they were programed with strong sense of biological beauty.

-There brain Processors are Syntho-biological, rather than silicon.

-Internally they could be synthetic biological and mechanical combined. (like that guy in Aliens but with hard carapace armor)

-They could consume and get energy from biological food.

-When they found they were wearing out and needed to rebuild themselves, this was affectivaly a downgrade as they where originally built with tech much closer to the original Orions.
They aim to regain there past phisical glory.

-They have a strong sense of identity, with all their machines in some way or another connected to an individual Silexian. Another race scavanging and useing this tech would be considered abhorant. (like alien cutting off human arm and grafting onto themselves)

-Ships , buildings that had some sort of commanding computer system would be counted as population. And would be considered so by the Silexians themselves.

All of this is just suggestions
Robot Gerdeners= goodstuff :D

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#7 Post by Underling » Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:33 am

Thanks for the feedback folks. I appreciate all of the good ideas.

Krikkitone wrote:It's not in their interest that it 'flourish' but be 'maintained properly' they apparently 'enjoy' a well balanced ecosystem (but not necessarily all biological life)


That's sort of what I had in mind. They were originally programmed to maintain an environment with an Orion esthetic. So according to the approved backstory, they would work toward Terran type environments.

I especially agree with the not necassarily all life part. I could see these guys liking bees for pollination and worms for aeration of the soil. Also grazers to spread seeds and some predators to keep the populations in check, but if a given species went extinct I don't see them caring as long as the job was still filled in the ecosystem.

In fact if a species became troublesome, I could see them eliminate them in favor of the status quo. (Ex: primate hunters start causing mass extinctions and polluting the environment after discovering tools and fire.... :wink: )

Obiwan wrote:-They could consume and get energy from biological food.


Some form of ethanol use maybe? This is also a good idea as it adds character to the race (vegetarian machines!) while allowing the use of standard mechanics (x pop eats y food).

-When they found they were wearing out and needed to rebuild themselves, this was affectivaly a downgrade as they where originally built with tech much closer to the original Orions.
They aim to regain there past phisical glory.


great idea. I sort of saw these guys as "a little slow" when it came to independent thought/new ideas. I tried to convey that by the idea that they're still performing an essentially menial task for a vanished race. The idea of a tech downgrade fits nicely.

I like this idea, I get strong imagery of shiny white robots among plants.


My philospohy was form = function. If a Silexian's job was to water crops, well then he'd have a sprinkler on his head :lol: . Seriously though, the idea of form being tied to caste function would be integral to the Silexians. I don't see any uniformity at all in their structure, as Silexians of many different models could be designed for various tasks.

Thanks again folks for the ideas! please keep 'em coming

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#8 Post by Obiwan » Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:51 am

I like them, Im in the middle of doing planetary scenes but I think I could model these guys.
I agree they could look like anything , but some generic ,recognizable comman form would be good too. Maybe curved surfaces to go with bio lovin character.
When you think about it humans are interested in machines and tech so why shouldnt robots be equally impressed and interested with using living things.

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#9 Post by Underling » Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:07 am

Obiwan wrote:I like them, Im in the middle of doing planetary scenes but I think I could model these guys.
I agree they could look like anything , but some generic ,recognizable comman form would be good too. Maybe curved surfaces to go with bio lovin character.
When you think about it humans are interested in machines and tech so why shouldnt robots be equally impressed and interested with using living things.


That would darn decent of you. :D

I was very impressed with your Trayeggadora models. As far as I'm concerned, anything you do here would be A-ok. I really don't have much in the way of a visual for the Silexians...art is not my forte. The curved surfaces idea sounds like it could be an interesting twist. Perhaps the organic motif is used on the higher caste models (diplomats, overseers, etc...) as an attempt to emulate their creators?

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#10 Post by Obiwan » Wed Mar 17, 2004 11:58 pm

Thanks, once i get finished with the planet ill get started. I have a few bits in Poser that will give me a head start.

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Krikkitone
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#11 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Mar 18, 2004 2:56 am

Some initial thoughts given the highly 'adaptive' nature of thier appearance

Movement (for those of them that move):
On a Planet
Would be designed to be as low impact as possible, on an all terrain type surface, this would mean either Legs or if it wasn't to Energy Expensive /Impactful some form of Hover capable system (current Helicopters probably use too much Energy and cause too much wind where they are, but if the game wants to assume some sort of low energy gravity repulsion hover system early on then they'd probably have it)

In Space
Would be designed for Zero/Very Low G (since they wouldn't NEED gravity for their people) So it would probably be a combination of Small thruster jets and Arms if they had them and there were hand holds on the stations.


As for all other types of design.. those would depend much more on the individual job



Also, You could quite easily have them at different 'Native Environments' than Terran. I don't believe the backstory says the Orions were Native to a Terran Environment.

Note this especially affects Terraforming as they would Violently oppose not only polluters but anyone who terraforms a world away from Their Preferred Environment (which means anyone who has a different position on the terraforming wheel and is terraforming) [Making 'Environmentalism' a form of discrimination that their society would preach]

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#12 Post by Starrh » Thu Mar 18, 2004 3:13 am

Krikkitone wrote:In Space
Would be designed for Zero/Very Low G (since they wouldn't NEED gravity for their people) So it would probably be a combination of Small thruster jets and Arms if they had them and there were hand holds on the stations.


Seems to me a race of machines would make sentient ships. {Shrug} :D
If it was easy then we all would be doing it!

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#13 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Mar 18, 2004 5:18 am

Starrh wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:In Space
Would be designed for Zero/Very Low G (since they wouldn't NEED gravity for their people) So it would probably be a combination of Small thruster jets and Arms if they had them and there were hand holds on the stations.


Seems to me a race of machines would make sentient ships. {Shrug} :D


Well you'd still need maintenance/cargo loading and for a diplomatic transmission sending an image of a ship Might (but not necessarily) be boring.
(after all a microscopic race would probably imagine us as massive battleoids with a buch of sub intelligent security drones (white blood cells))

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#14 Post by Underling » Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:29 am

All excellent ideas, Krikkitone. I really did mean to convey the possible variability of the race when I wrote form = function in a post above. Numerous propulsion methods from legs (humanoid, spider-like, etc...), to treads to, well almost anything, could work well for the Silexians. Size and "installed features", could also vary based off of purpose.

Krikkitone wrote:Also, You could quite easily have them at different 'Native Environments' than Terran. I don't believe the backstory says the Orions were Native to a Terran Environment.


Well the backstory didn't specifically say the Orions prefered a Terran environment, but as Humans are the decendents of an Orion splinter faction, and our world IS Terra, I extrapolated that the Silexians would be programmed to prefer Terran environments.

Of course, we could easily alter that preference with a little thought & effort if it would add to the character/playability of the race or for game mechanics reasons.

Bastian-Bux wrote:Do they have a 0. law? And how would this law look like? Would it include a full "reboot" of the universe to clean it from all pollution? :twisted:


No one really knows. Although experts from several races have studied the Silexian source code (SSC), it is poorly commented spaghetti code, written in a dead coding language (Orion Pascal?), so little progress has been made. :wink:

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#15 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:03 pm

Well the backstory didn't specifically say the Orions prefered a Terran environment, but as Humans are the decendents of an Orion splinter faction, and our world IS Terra, I extrapolated that the Silexians would be programmed to prefer Terran environments.


The Humans are descended from a subject race of the Orion Empire.. all the Orions themselves were byby. (although you could postulate the Orions also Modified themselves to Fit different environments, and different factions of Orions made the different races of Silexians)


And as for form=function, I was just trying to figure out what would be a universal 'function'... I guessed 'Eco sensitive' types probably wouldn't use treads except in extreme cases.

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