Author Topic: Question of Mobility  (Read 4487 times)

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Offline GrrrArrgh

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Question of Mobility
« on: June 26, 2005, 08:12:33 pm »
First off I just have to say this game sounds and looks like it will be absolutely amazing to play and the possibilities are mindblowing. I've already got several different ideas for creatures/worlds that I'll want to try and make and I'll be lucky if my brain doesn't simutaneously implode and explode by the time the game actually comes out from all the speculation and massive potential. I've only looked over the boards for a short period of time so this may or may not have been mentioned already but I had a thought. Would it be possible to alter a creature's structure to create one of evolution's greatest improbabilities, a functional biological wheel? Not to where it's body is round or resembles one but just the legs, or whatever part could be shaped in such a manner I suppose. Although an actual wheel shaped creature would be interesting too. A species of ravenous feral tires?


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Offline Satryghen

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2005, 08:23:43 pm »
I doubt a biological wheel will be possible, it's kind of hard to come up with how to make a biological wheel really function except to have some sort of external ball and socket similar to how our shoulders worked, not to mention that only moving on wheels makes it hard to get certain places.  There will, however, be robot parts once you reach the galaxy stage so you could always just start slapping robotic wheels on every creature that is unfourtunate to enough to cross pathes with your tractor beam.

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Offline Deep Lee

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2005, 10:54:21 pm »


These are a couple of designs I'm gonna try, because I had that same idea and think it would be awesome if they could roll around. Though probably procedurally, these creatures would just hop around, if they got knocked over they might just roll.

Offline LadyM

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2005, 04:26:19 am »
That would be cool to try. Hope it works. Great idea.

Offline Legodragonxp

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2005, 06:03:56 am »
Note to self, invest in Nike.

Offline Jaleho

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2005, 06:33:34 am »
The concept of a wheel requires a strong structure capable of carrying the creature's weight, but to turn, has to be DETACHED from the creature... otherwise anything connecting to it would eventually twist and rip. Piers Anthony's "Cluster" refers to aliens called Polarians which use specialized adhesive muscles to rotate  external balls in sockets, for comminication, locomotion and reproductive purposes.

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Offline happydan20

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2005, 06:55:00 am »
What if the wheel was nothing more then a base cicle and the momentum is provided by thrust not in a twisting rotation but a muscular push like snakes do? simply have the part connected to the ground pushing and relaxing as it is relegated to a non contact position.
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Offline LobsterMobster

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2005, 07:52:19 am »
There are actually species that roll.  There's a type of caterpillar that will curl itself up and roll around when it needs to move quickly.  I believe it sort of flicks itself into motion.  I think there's a lizard that does it too.

Offline Orne

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2005, 07:54:56 am »
Well, it would be the strangest evolution I've ever heard of, but...

Suppose you have your baby critter, who at birth was born with an exposed bone growth as the "wheel" bone.  It would be like a -+- shape, with an axle bone and a disk-like bone aligned vertically.  The creature would grow muscles around the axle, then at some point early in life, the bone would break from the rest of the skeletal structure, and rotate freely in the muscle's sockets.  Over time, the flesh where it touches the axle would form callouses, or maybe you'd want the body to grow another bone that would form a permanent shell around the wheel...

Next, the creature would need to have some way to repair the "wheel" as it rotated around in its daily travel, since anything grinding against the ground would wear down the bone.  If the creature had glands like a molusk around the "wheel well" (some cavity where the wheel rests) in its body, the critter would slowly deposit minerals on top of the wheel to build it up... because the wheel would also have to grow in size to support the growing mass of the creature.  Maybe part of the night-time rest is to spin the wheel in some mineral goop that it's body makes to re-coat in and grow it...  Oyster shells are used in making a old type of concrete wall called "Tabby", and they have great compressive strength.

For motion, you'd need a big muscle in the "wheel well" area almost like a snail's body muscle... the muscle could descend down onto the wheel, and give it a little push to get going, like how you can rev up a top by giving it one quick spin.  You'd then want some sort of counterbalance above the wheel for steering...  The critter could behave like the "Segway" machine, where the creature would stay upright above the wheel by creating a center-of-gravity imbalance ahead of the axle...  http://www.tlb.org/scooter.html

You would probably want the main body above the wheel (the brain, some grasping limbs, etc) for the above-mentioned counterbalance, with possibly a tail to act as a "kick stand" to maintain stability while the critter is not in motion. 

Evolutionary benefits of such a creature would be quick retreats from predators (downhill), as well as the ability to coast across long stretches of plains.  I imagine that such a creature would breed in dry rocky climates, like the central-western USA, where the ground is dry but not sandy.  Anywhere where traction is difficult would be a problem for these critters.


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Offline Jaleho

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2005, 08:32:15 am »
Besides the biological issues, there's environmental ones: Wheels are good on flat surfaces, but not always so good in areas with boulders and logs and rivers. If the world was evolved to have lots of flat, smooth surfaces (Ice sheets, fields of exposed flat river stone like slate, deserts melted into sheets of glass, plant life which grows wide smooth leaves parallel to the ground) then it might be good, otherwise, the creatures are going to get trapped pretty easily. Now, wheels with a deep "tread" of sorts (maybe hundreds of little fingers/suction cups) and on the end of a bendable "leg" might help it climb over things, but at that point, you might as well just give them feet.

Offline Oviraptor

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2005, 11:09:04 am »
For a rolling creature I would have a ring shaped creature. It would contort it's body shape to move. The faster it rolled, the easier it would be to balance.

As for wheeled creatures, I think having detatched body parts is a bad idea. Not being attatched would mean that it would have to be dead tissue, like hair or fingernails. That means it would not be able to feel the grond as it moved.

Rolling creatues seem more logical to me.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2005, 11:14:27 am by Oviraptor »

Offline Golgrig

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2005, 11:14:17 am »
I want to build a civilization of echer lizards http://www.bushroots.com/art/esher/roll%20mcesher.htm
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Offline itit2

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2005, 09:07:35 am »
Nice lizards, doubt they would include rolling in the procedural (sp?) movement code, unless it is an 'upgrade'....rolling care bears..... :o
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Offline Golgrig

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2005, 09:51:15 am »
love your avatar... the echer rolling lizard is a fav fantasy creature of mine it bushes itself along and it can unroll itself very quickly
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Offline Deep Lee

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Re: Question of Mobility
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2005, 12:56:22 am »
Yes, I know the mouth and arms will have spin around, but I don't think that is impossible.  but maybe instead of feet have something more like millipede legs, or maybe just use the arms to push, if the wheels were just like tires. not sure about the eyes, I wonder if eye placement is going to make a difference to our creatures behavior? I guess eyes that spin around might not be able to see that well, but its interesting to speculate about possible creations.
this is the only pic of a rolling lizard I could find, I know there is a salamander that rolls up and rolls down hills or something, also there is a shrimp-like creature that rolls across the ocean floor.