[PC version] Musings

We like few-celled organisms, not bugs!
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utilitas
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:59 pm

[PC version] Musings

Post by utilitas »

Consider this a collection of ideas pertaining to the PC version in development.

  My first impressions of UV light and its mechanics diverge a little -- as far as I'm aware, UV light does not have mutation-promoting effects, but outright destructive effects on DNA and various molecules, especially long polymers. The various components of UV cause sun-bleaching and direct-light wear. It might be more difficult expressing genetic damage without an intracellular metabolism, but I propose UV light:
  • Wanes with distance from the surface of the water (if such an option is enabled). This lowers the probability of damage occurring.
  • Does not promote mutation nor does it outright kill every cell- rather, it has a chance to "sever" inheritance, preventing a cell from making an adhesin connection when it splits or erasing its descendant modes, forcing one or both of its successor cells to be the same mode as their parent. It means cells can still survive in the presence of UV even without protection, but will be forced to remain fairly simple if not uni-cellular.
  • As an abstraction of the cell's effort to repair genetic damage, direct UV exposure consumes additional energy. Alternatively, UV light exposure slows down the spread of signals, nutrients, nitrogen, etc. across adhesin bonds.
  • Further, melanin cells should allow light into adjacent or connected cells whilst blocking UV, to advantage melanin-protected photocytes while also simulating a form of foliage competition.
  • As a bonus, UV light could bleach the cell's actual colors over time, gradually inching them towards a white color.
  The Entry 9 blog post –- specifically the water level -- reminded me of aerobic/anaerobic differentiation, which may be a better substitute for UV lighting. With there being no real aerobic/anaerobic analogue in the game, perhaps a descending salinity gradient would serve a better example? Similarly, UV light could have a limited range –- after a certain threshold, the light becomes bening enough for even completely exposed organisms to incur no damage. A combination of the two could replicate the diverse environment as would be present in the thioglycollate broth.

  Oh, and one mode suggestion for the road: (Hemo)Lymph node.
    A glandular cell that secretes resource-transporting hemolymph in its front-facing direction. The hemolymph travels along adjacent cells –- not through adhesin connections, but parallel to them, as if adhering to the cell walls themselves –- Every lymph node produces a set "volume" of hemolymph, advantaging cellular arrangements with closer adhesin connections where the hemolymph may flow- but not where cells outright touch; the distance between adhesin connections is what determines the "range" of the hemolymph flow. The lymph node "pushes" nutrients and signals out to all cells it touches with its hemolymph, including other lymph nodes, though it may be set to only produce hemolymph which conducts one or the other- giving potential for separated vascular/neural systems. (A bidirectional flow of resources would probably be less interesting than a one-way flow, as determined by the lymph node and its connections.)

    The inspiration for the lymph node, or equivalent, is that of a primitive internal body cavity and a shared vascular system, as is present in all organisms more complex than multi-cellular colonies. It'd be a fairly important distinction, especially when melanin and other dermal cells are concerned, but it'd shine most in the case of additional resources being implemented (cellular waste, toxins, cellular products, and others.)
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Petter
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Re: [PC version] Musings

Post by Petter »

Hey,
Interesting ideas. I though want to keep things as simple as possible and would prefer to not add complicated penalties from UV. It makes it tedious ot program and hard to for users to comprehend the mechanic.
I'm just killing them for now, but I might change it to mutations. UV for sure causes mutations in real life, thats how you get melanoma. Even double strand breaks get fixed, and sometimes that causes mutations.

The hemolymph is also interesting. I don't really want to add too many "hidden-variables" like concentrations of stuff in the cells since it is hard to visualize. I have been thinking of simply a cell that transports nutrients in one direction. Kind of like it had different nutrient priority settings in front and rear directions so it can more efficiently transport nutrients a long distance.
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