Self-reproducing Organic Hulls and more

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.
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afwbkbc
Pupating Mass
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:47 am

Self-reproducing Organic Hulls and more

#1 Post by afwbkbc » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:23 pm

Tech: Artificial Mega-fauna
Prerequisites: Xenarchaelogy, Lifecycle Manipulation
Unlocks Mega-fauna Cloning Chamber building

Building: Mega-fauna Cloning Chamber
Allows to build Small Snowflake, Small Juggernaut and Small Kraken if planet also has shipyard.
To build Small Kraken this system must also have Gas Giant
To build Small Juggernaut this system must also have Asteroid Belt
To build Small Snowflake this system must also have Small Planet

Tech: Mega-fauna Reproduction
Prerequisites: Mono-Cellular Expansion, Artificial Mega-fauna
Unlocks Mega-fauna Growth Chamber building
Unlocks Amoeboid Hull

Building: Mega-fauna Growth Chamber
Allows to build self-reproducing hulls on this planet if it also has Basic Shipyard

Hull: Amoeboid Hull
Basically, overgrown amoeba. Its simple structure allows it to reproduce asexually in broad range of conditions.
Starts with 1 structure, grows additional 4 structure over 4 turns.
Once reached full structure, can occasionally create a new Amoeboid Hull ship with same components as self but with 1 structure.
Chance of reproduction (on every turn) depends on brightness of star:
Black hole, Deep space: -
Yellow star: 5%
Red star: 10%
White star: 15%
Blue star: 25%
Neutron star: 35%
Speed: 50
Stealth: 45
2 Internal Slots, 2 External Slots

Tech: Hardened Self-reproducing Hulls
Prerequisites: Mega-fauna Reproduction, Asteroid Reformation
Unlocks Hardened Amoeboid Hull

Hull: Hardened Amoeboid Hull
Amoeba that learned to consume asteroids to make it's body harder and more resilient, and also increases stealth by using asteroids as disguise
Reproduction is the same as in Amoeboid Hull
Starts with 1 structure, grows additional 24 structure over 12 turns.
Speed: 75
Stealth: 65
4 Internal Slots, 3 External Slots

Tech: Military Self-Reproduction Refining
Prerequisites: Mega-fauna Reproduction, Xenological Genetics, N-Dimensional Engine Matrix
Unlocks Worm Hull

Hull: Worm Hull
Starts with 1 structure, grows additional 14 structure over 14 turns
Speed: 160
Stealth: 55
2 Internal Slots, 1 External Slot
Once reaching 5 structure, has 25% chance to reproduce on any turn, even if in deep space or moving in lane.
During combat has 10% chance to reproduce on every round, new copies are spawned with 1 structure.

TBC

Telos
Space Floater
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu May 09, 2013 4:46 am

Re: Self-reproducing Organic Hulls and more

#2 Post by Telos » Sat May 12, 2018 11:08 pm

This is an interesting idea, but I think it would be extremely hard to balance, especially if the copies can reproduce themselves too.

Ignoring compounding for a moment, at a neutron star, a fully grown ship will produce a copy once every 3 turns. Suppose $P is a fair price for that ship, ignoring its ability to reproduce. This basically ends up meaning that, after you wait 4 turns for the ship to mature, you then get a free income of $P/3 per turn, for the rest of the game. That can be a huge amount of free production. E.g., wouldn't it be great to just make one of these with an outpost module on it, and thereby get a free outpost ship every 3 turns for the rest of the game? A fair price for that would have to be somewhere in the ballpark of 10 times the cost of an outpost module.

Things get even worse if, as you seem to imply, the offspring can themselves produce further offspring when mature. You do build a delay in, waiting for the ship to mature, but still this will compound in an insane fashion. Just to give you a sense, here's a rough estimate how bad it would be, starting with N self-reproducing ships at a neutron star, using the numbers you suggest.

After 5 turns: 1.35N adults + 2.4N juveniles
After 6 turns: 1.70N adults + 2.5N juveniles
After 7 turns: 2.05N adults + 2.6N juveniles
After 8 turns: 2.40N adults + 2.7N juveniles
After 9 turns: 2.75N adults + 2.8N juveniles
After 10 turns: 3.10N adults + 3.0N juveniles

Even if the stats on this hull were completely underwhelming (the stats you proposed weren't) just being able to make extra copies of your best weapons and armor for free at this rate would be insanely good.

To get this to be balanced, you would probably need (a) to greatly slow the rate of reproduction, (b) greatly slow the rate of maturation, (c) greatly increase the cost of the hull, (d) greatly reduce the slot availability on the hull, and/or (e) introduce some sort of upkeep cost on the hull to make players effectively pay for all the free offspring they're getting.

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Nutster
Krill Swarm
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:41 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada area

Re: Self-reproducing Organic Hulls and more

#3 Post by Nutster » Sun May 13, 2018 9:00 pm

Another thought that comes to mind is that the hull replicates, but not all the add-ons, like non-living weapons, additional propulsion, trooper pods (they independently reproduce using a different method), non-living armour, etc. There are a few living systems that become one with the ship that reproduce with the living hull, like that spinal spike. Everything else gets left in one child ship or the other; to make it more interesting, some of the add-ons go to one child and the rest go to the other (randomly allocated). Both child ships start out from 1 for building up structure again. You then have to get the children to a planet with the appropriate shipyard, orbital incubator, etc. to upgrade this maturing hull into a living weapons platform (or intelligence gathering platform, or whatever) you want it to be.
Last edited by Nutster on Wed May 16, 2018 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Krikkitone
Creative Contributor
Posts: 1414
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 6:52 pm

Re: Self-reproducing Organic Hulls and more

#4 Post by Krikkitone » Tue May 15, 2018 7:17 pm

Another thought is only "empty" hulls can reproduce. Once you add weapons/equipment they are unable to devote resources to reproductive functions.

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