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Topics - jov

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Portable Games / electroplankton
« on: June 18, 2006, 02:42:05 am »
i'm tempted to get this game, only because it seems so odd. but i'm reluctant to as it's avaliable online only.
why does nintendo do this? (<---rhetorical, that's not what this post is about).

what i want to know is: has anyone played it? is it fun or entertaining? is it boring and not worth my time? is it replayable, or different everytime?
please, end my curiosity with some reviews!


PC Games / AoE:Warcheifs?
« on: May 26, 2006, 09:58:03 pm »
ok, so i'm not totally attentive. i bought aoe3 a while back, played it and got frustrated. why? i don't like rushing in these games. i love to build giant armies of little itsy bitsy people and watch them go at each other. but that's just my play style.

in any case, it came out and i immediatley wondered what the expansion would be like. i had hoped that instead of just the america, you could venture into africa or india. i mean, europe didn't only try to colonize the new world... this would have given way to entire new tribes to ally with, the zulu, the xhosa, the hindi... i mean the possibilities were endless!

what do they do? the break the spirit of the game (colonization) and give three new races that are native. ok, that's cool and i can live with that. but i really liked my idea better... any thoughts on this?

PC Games / lotro beta signups
« on: May 11, 2006, 10:21:56 am »
it has kinda' perked my interest, so i figured why not?

lord of the rings online (put out by turbine) has a beta sign up on their main page. all you have to do is sign up for their forum service, if you aren't already. plus give out your actual info (name and address). i imagine the latter is only because they have prizes you can win. that's inconsequential to me, getting in the beta should proove fun enough.

Spore: General / brains! more brains!
« on: May 10, 2006, 12:33:38 pm »
ok, so i noticed in the video with the vulturebeaked skek creature that it had some more options on the right than the battlefish. at first this was thought the battlefish image was out-dated.

but i think if you look at the two you will notice something peculiar: the battlefish has less brain spots lit up. it doesn't even have a cerebellum yet. the vulture thing has it's full brain lit up and two more options.

i squinted my eyes and am taking a guess that the first option under herbivore is "social" the second is "tribal."  could this mean that these aspects are only unlocked as they brain is bigger? i think so.

on a totally other note, i'm sure you've all noticed this but no one's made real mention of it. the parts cost genetic points. the G4 episode shows this quite well, some eyes cost more than others. perhaps they are more advanced, developed? we can presume this. the bottom right of the screen shows you how many genetic points you have left to spend on your creature.  i presume this will mesh well with the monetary cost of items for the tribal, city, and galactic empire phase.

so, here's my new creature:

pardon the sketchiness, i'm not used to drawing on the computer. could have drawn it by hand, but the scanner is rather dead...
i do not truley intend to make this creature, the game might not permit it. but i kinda' dreamt it this morning, and felt it should at least be fleshed out a little.

i call it the ponopono. it's mouth is something of a long hollow probiscus, much like an anteater has. a tongue will emerge from this mouth to lap up the liquid it's native "flowering" plants have.  basically, it's a nectavore, that disperses pollen from plants as it moves about.  the "feelers" on the end help it smell and taste to see if the flower has nectar within. it really is quite small, no bigger than say a sparrow or a finch. maybe only mouse sized, i haven't narrowed it down.

it's hind legs are much like a grasshoppers. it moves about springing around. unlike a grasshopper or cricket it has no wings to assist in it's movement.  instead, it has an active bacteria on it's three fingers and two toes. this bacteria is beneficial, and permits the creature to "stick" to things. it's legs, very much like a cricket, have ears. those little antennae like things on it's heels pick up sound vibrations.

the two sets of eyes look at different things. the smaller frontal eyes look down it's snout, to help it look into the flowers it pollinates. the larger eyes permit it to see the world around it, these are used to watch each other, and any approaching predators.

the tail is used both for balance on windy days, as well as grabbing. the tail is prehensile, and can twist about the stalk of a plant to help hold the ponopono in place.

you may notice it's skin coloration, that was sorta' done quickly and not a true representation of the creature. why? because it doesn't usually use sound to communicate. sure, it makes a few clicks, and can even make the sound it's named after, a louder "pono pono" calling sound to find fellow ponoponos.  but once nearby they "speak" to each other by changing the colors of their skin. yes, they are chameleonic. and much like a cuttlefish, they can chatter between each other with their skin which has many layers of color cells permitting rapid and varied changes. they also use this ability to help hide them from predators, again, much like a cuttlefish. it's entirely possible that you may hear the small clicks and pono pono calling, and never see these creatures. they will quiet down when any larger creature approaches, until they are certain the being means no harm.
once they feel it's clear, they will quickly begin chattering away again which will easily make them visible. sadly, this works against them, as some of the smaller predators hide among larger herbivores until the ponoponos start up their chatter.

luckily, the ponoponos have a healthy degree of sentience. nothing amazing, i doubt these will even make cities or tribal states. no, at most they form communes and build houses they weave from various plant parts. often you can come across a tree the ponopono's live among, and see the odd shaped structures. they are quite smart too, harvesting slimey funguses across the branches of the trees to ensure predators can't attack their homes. they are even smart enough to use funguses and other plants that do not harm the host tree... no sense killing the thing you want to live in.

-- as an aisde, you can see why i don't think these will come to fruition in the game. talking by skin color changing? a city that would take up a tree, instead of a plot of land? imagine their micro spaceships if they ever made them... hah! --

i do not think they will ever actually get to space travel. when you are small, an entire planet is pretty impressive in and of itself. i can imagine teams of these attempting to subdue a cow sized herbivore to move them around the planet.  heh heh.

i must say, i really like this idea. no fangs, no strange claws, it's not a predator, it works with it's environment knowingly... and it's tiny, as opposed to the healthy amount of creatures two times larger than humans.  i can't wait to get this game. i'm gonna' make all the small hopping, flapping, floundering seemingly pathetic creatures, and make them sentient beings of supreme power!

Spore: General / some things to think about for creature design.
« on: March 12, 2006, 01:14:40 am »
you'll have to pardon me, i've watched info on spore for a year now, and with the new hullabaloo about it i've decided to feast on any infomation even more so.  in so, i felt i should make this post, a post everyone is free to add to.

i noticed a variety of things coming up in people's creatures.  some are very, very fantastical and i adore this fact. in fact, the more fantastical and other from earthly things the better! and kudos to those of you who have entire cultures worked out through ever age.  i hope this game permits you to reflect that in some way!

so first off: i caution you to not develop your creatures or their cultures too thouroghly. why? we still can't be one-hundred percent certain all this will make it to the game.  we might also see things while playing the game that could significantly deviate our original idea.  that being said, there is no harm in making these wonderful creatures up, if only to spark the imagination in others.

some other things i felt like mentioning deal more with biology and energy consumption.
for example: sexual dimorphism does exsist in this world. we see it in cows, peacocks, spiders, and yes, even humans. but even if the size of one is very different, they typically have a similar structure.  i.e. three legs for male and female, not four on one, three on the other.  why is this?  because such a difference in bone structure would truely effect the species.  now, this isn't to say it can't happen. but frankly, it would be a waste of energy in one of the genders or the other to have more legs than their partner.  on the other hand, things like horns, ridges, or even overall forms can differ greatly between males and females.  but they still have a very similar bone structure.  the only earthly differences are in very small species.  again, this deals with energy consumption.  large species (megafauna) just won't exhibit drastic differences in leg count, let alone designs.  in fact, as we saw with the "tweety-bird" design, that creature is a failure of evolution. it would be devoured by all kinds of species because it's lack of mobility or defense. sadly, such a silly looking animal is doomed.
predatory species (and i do hope the game takes this into consideration) do waste more energy to acquire food. this isn't to say their food isn't wonderfully rich, but i would imagine most creatures (if carniverous) will not be hunters in as much as scavengers.  why?  you all saw that spiderbeast come when will's tripod was eating.  that spider beast may have been designed to show up for the sake of the show, but that's something that would happen in the wild.  go to the african savannah and watch as one specie (lion/hyena) makes the kill, and then watch all the jackals, vultures, crows, and microbes come to steal parts of it away, let alone the other top predators!
on our planet, grasses evolved long after flowering plants. only some recent finds suggest that there were ancestors to grasses in the cretaceous.  think about that: dinosaurs did not eat grass, there were not grass browsers in the dinosaur world. grazers developed in the mammilian take over of this planet.  mainly because grasses are awesome at finding a niche. heck, we humans propogate grasses in a huge form, cereals. it could even be construed that these grasses have co-evolved with humans to take over the trees?  hah, read "botany of desire" to learn more on that subject, it's a good book! i digress... again though, perhaps on distant worlds (read: spore planets) grasses started off far earlier as a terrestrial plant.

i'm certain i could come up with more limitations based on our world. but sadly, those are based on our world. so much of how this world works is based on power struggles. visit any jungle and you will see the plants actually vying for sunlight.  you will see vines strangle trees to death over time to get that light. you will see plants, like orchids, growing as parasites to a tree to get higher up for light. these plants alone have evolved with each other, in competition with each other for millenia!  there's a reason ferns are no longer the dominant plant on this planet.  because this world is a far faster world in the sense of energy movement between living organisms.

i do not intend to disuade anyone's ideas.  in fact, the more varied the idea the better chance you will enjoy the game! feel free, fellow thinkers, to add your own thoughts on limitaitions or unbound concepts to this thread.  let us help everyone be aware why certain forms are prevalent (fast carnivores, large armored herbivores, small insignificant in size(meal) yet giant in population species), and why others aren't.  As well as how these societies work due to their shapes and sizes.

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