Non-humanoid Aliens

By on April 29, 2014 9:24:02 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

econundrum1

Join Date 04/2007
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I would like to see one or two non-humanoid alien species added to GalCiv3, why I appreciate that the lore gives an explanation of why most species are humanoid is it impossible for any non-humanoid to be sentient in the GalCiv universe.

I don’t count Thalan’s as non-humanoid by the way as just doing a humanoid with funny backwards looking arms doesn’t really count in my opinion. I seem to remember them being less humanoid in GC2 or am I wrong?

However how about adding a few more exotic species?

What about a Mollusc like life form that evolved on a low G world? As one example after all we know Mollusc’s can be highly intelligent as Cephalopods show. This is just one example.

Why four limbs? Why Bilateral Symmetry? There are so many possibilities that could be explored.

Sadly I think Stardock have always preferred the man in the rubber suit style of aliens, the one thing I didn’t like about GC2.

Regardless of what Stardock decide I intend to start work on a non-humanoid species mod for GC3 as it’s something I have lots of ideas for and I really think would be refreshing.

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April 29, 2014 2:27:51 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I wouldn't put your odds any higher than zero. I thought their could be non-humanoid life and thought long and hard on it. The problem is that every "humanoid" in the game and in reality is designed near perfectly for advanced functions.

you just can't get far enough away from what's been working and still have it work. The only viable alternative is scorpions they are close to perfect AND are unique AND beautiful IMO. But or ant or spiders, but they can't be a original race in anyone's universe sadly.

But I would like to see a scorpion like race here because they would be very diverse...along with a custom race I once created on the forums...

 

DARCA

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April 29, 2014 2:30:32 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I await your next post!

 

DARCA.

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April 29, 2014 3:38:02 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

There are many species of octopus that have the manual dexterity and intelligence to recognise food in a jar work out how to unscrew the lid of a jar and extract the food.

To assume that because the humanoid form is the only possible form for technologicaly advanced life because we are the only example we have is extremely narrow minded.

 

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April 29, 2014 5:32:33 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting econundrum1,

There are many species of octopus that have the manual dexterity and intelligence to recognise food in a jar work out how to unscrew the lid of a jar and extract the food.

To assume that because the humanoid form is the only possible form for technologicaly advanced life because we are the only example we have is extremely narrow minded.

 

 

Not to mention the fact that this is science-fiction and not the Discovery Channel.  I say throw in a few wierdos to fancy things up.

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April 29, 2014 6:02:58 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting DARCA1213,



if you try to touch any part of your body you can. If you try holding something heavy while running you can, or try to find a creative solution with our complex brains. We don't have to mate in awkward positions. Humanoids can look over their shoulders! That was really handy in ancient times. We have versatile limbs that can kick, punch, climb, run, grab, and jump. Fingers are also a must for ANY intelligent life form. Symmetry is critical for life to form right, there is no other option...not one that's alive today anyhow.
 

 

Yeah starfishes are wonder of nature.

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April 29, 2014 6:03:10 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I am telling you from experience.

non-humanoids reflect animals because its hard as humans to imagine something we haven't seen. Not to mention how hard it is to make a serious race.

But hey, if you want it make it happen. Make the modd and I promise I'll play it, we player don't have to follow the rules, just have have fun.

 

DARCA

 

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April 29, 2014 6:11:10 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Torians are water based. Their ships are full of water.

 

Ants are capable of agriculture and can build bridges. Technology isnt specific to humanoid apes.

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April 29, 2014 6:45:38 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

 

DARCA

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April 29, 2014 7:09:50 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting DARCA1213,

  What is narrow minded is to base races off the ones of earth. Making octopus people, fish people, ape people, lizard people, blue people, snake people, or bird people is narrow minded.
 

Says the guy who thinks all advanced sentient aliens must be humanoid. 

 

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April 29, 2014 7:55:58 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

knowing when to stop is important.

 

DARCA

 

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April 29, 2014 8:41:37 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting DARCA1213,

Open your eyes Max, EVERY single race in galciv is humanoid and is based off one of the creatures I listed. Drengin are evil apes, torians are fish people. Its a fact.

And PLEASE max give a reason to your condescending sarcasm. Tell me how you can be a advanced technological race and NOT have the perquisites of being a humanoid? I say its impossible.

The examples of opening jars and chewing on leaves, makes me think I know what I'm talking about.

This isn't me, this is life. I can't think of a MAJOR sifi race anywhere that isn't humanoid. Karma for those that can. (starship troopers doesn't count because they can't build and only the queen has intelligence.)

 

DARCA

 

The Puppeteers from Known Space. The Outsiders, Jotoki, Thrint, and Gw'oth from the same universe. All developed space travel independently, even if they aren't "major" races.

The Hutts from Star Wars.

Part of the problem is that most people's exposure to science fiction is TV and movies - and the races in those media need to be played by a human. Or maybe CGI, but that's expensive and we tend to relate to humanoids more than anything else. We're just hardwired that way.

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April 29, 2014 9:40:29 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

That's my point, its not that the idea is necessarily bad its that people aren't very receptive to the idea. I don't recognize any of the names listed off the top of my head to be honest, maybe because they aren't major.

The hutts are non-humanoidish but they have arms on their left and right because its necessary. They look like slugs to. Not very creative.

but I still love star wars.

 

DARCA

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April 29, 2014 10:29:30 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting DARCA1213,



in reality non-humanoid=animal, not a equil.

 

DARCA

I hadn't seen it that way before, thanks.

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April 29, 2014 10:46:38 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting DARCA1213,

Open your eyes Max, EVERY single race in galciv is humanoid and is based off one of the creatures I listed. Drengin are evil apes, torians are fish people. Its a fact.

 

You forget the Yor. They are machine people.

Also, this discussion is very weird as you constantly mix Sci-fi culture with what you speculate could truly exist in our universe. There is plenty of sci-fi with non humanoid sentient aliens btw. 

 


And PLEASE max give a reason to your condescending sarcasm.

 

Because it is equally silly to picture sentient beings as exclusively humanoid as it is to make them analogs of other earth creatures.

 

Tell me how you can be a advanced technological race and NOT have the perquisites of being a humanoid? I say its impossible.

 

You not seeing how it is possible does not mean it is impossible. It is quite arrogant to think like that.  We cannot even imagine how weird and adaptive life is elsewhere. Just here on earth life does things that are so insanely weird most people would not believe it if it was not proven as fact.

Did you know that dolphins only sleep with half or their brain? They alternate what part is sleeping so they are never really fully asleep.  They also have a weird capacity to 'see' electromagnetic fluctuations in their brain. It is kind of a 3d vision of electrical activity. So they can sort of ''see'' all around.

Elephants can hear through their feet. They also manipulate objects with their boneless overgrown nose and have 'two fingers' at the tip of it.

 Billion years ago a primitive amoeba type Cell and bacteria fused. Probably the former ate the later and by an extremely weird feat of nature that bacteria, instead of being digested kept on living inside the other cell and they started reproducing together. This made the host cell better by allowing it to use Oxygen. This is how modern eukaryote cells came to be like they are ( This is a theory but the most widely accepted one ) . The tiny atrophied bacterias that live inside each of your cells are called a mitochondria.  

  Life on earth does so many crazy things and exists in so many different forms that I find the concept of limiting advanced sentient life to one anthropomorphic model because we cannot imagine anything else to be ridiculous.


 

This isn't me, this is life. I can't think of a MAJOR sifi race anywhere that isn't humanoid. Karma for those that can. (starship troopers doesn't count because they can't build and only the queen has intelligence.)
 

Here you go again talking about nature and sci-fi as if it was a single concept.

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April 29, 2014 11:29:32 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

The old Star Control races had the perfect mixture of humanoid and non-humanoid races. I loved all of them! I would like to see GalCiv3 get some variety and weirdness like those classics. Some were truly alien. Great ship designs too.

 

The Mycons were creepy.

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April 29, 2014 11:42:17 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

lol DARCA, arguing non-Humans can't be sapient, even though there are several terrestrial animals which are sapient.

Dolphins, Elephants and Great Apes are sapient, and they have been considered "Non-Human Persons" in Europe for many years. They talk to each other with language, paint, pass the mirror test and have many hallmarks of intelligence and self-awareness. Bottlenose Dolphins, in fact, may be smarter than 10-year old Humans. It's probable that if they lived on land and had graspers, they would know things at least to the extent of Homo Erectus.

Just because those animals I listed have not invented electricity or built fires, doesn't mean it's beyond their abilities. And if many animals on Earth have the potential, it is not unreasonable to propose that certain non-humanoid aliens on other planets will have this ability as well.

 

That being said, the Human form is quite good for sapient beings. It's awful for unintelligent animals in that it is massively inefficient and weak, but for animals capable of using tools and reason, it kicks a bunch of ass.

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April 29, 2014 11:52:05 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Don't you love how all the life forms In the movies look just like humans with just a mark on their necks or whatever, and that makes them aliens?

 

As for a major non-humanoid race, here's my answer:  Gonzo the Great, from "Muppets from Space."   When all his alien friends contacted him through his breakfast cereal, that was a pivotal moment in scifi literature.  As it says in Wikipedia, "Gonzo is the only character other than Kermit the frog to feature as the main protagonist in a Muppet film."   So there, Gonzo is a major race.

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April 30, 2014 2:56:42 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Its like a spell has came over everyone making illogic seem logical. Lol.

 

DARCA.

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April 30, 2014 3:42:30 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting DARCA1213,

Open your eyes Max, EVERY single race in galciv is humanoid and is based off one of the creatures I listed. Drengin are evil apes, torians are fish people. Its a fact.

 

The Thalans are not Humanoid, neither are the Snathi and Scottlingas.

 

NAME THREE SINCE THERE ARE "PLENTY" MAX I bet none will be serious though, like in one half baked episode or chapter.

 

Species 8472 in Star Trek.

The Hutts in Star Wars.

The Puppeteers in Known Space.


Tell me how you can be a advanced technological race and NOT have the perquisites of being a humanoid? I say its impossible.

All you need to use/create technology is a suitable grasper (like our hands) and intelligence. We know it's possible for animals to have intelligence (We're animals, and we're intelligent), and there are many varied graspers across the animal, plant and bacterial kingdoms capable of tool use (Tentacles, noses. hands... etc) 

WHATS YOUR POINT? TELL ME HOW CAN A RACE NOT HAVE THE PERQUISITES OF BEING A HUMANOID MAX? LIFE ON EARTH IS DIVERSE AND CRAZY AND THAT PROVES MY POINT AGAIN THAT OVER BILLIONS OF YEARS LOOK WHAT SINGULAR LIFE FORM IS SMART ENOUGH TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION.

 

Many animals over hundreds of millions of years have evolved the ability to converse and talk with others of their species. Today, Great Apes, Dolphins, Elephants, Whales and Humans are capable of carrying on a conversation with each other.

IRRELEVANT MAX, THIS FITS NOWHERE AND ANSWERS NOTHING. I KNOW ALL THIS, AND IT JUST SHOWS HOW EVERYTHING SIMI-INTELLIGENT FROM DOLPHINS TO ELEPHANTS RESEMBLES/ IS A ANCESTOR OF HUMANOID LIFE.

Humans have never had an ancestor that looks like an elephant or Dolphin.

 

YOUR KILLING ME WITH YOUR DRY RANTING WORDS. PARROTS CAN TALK BUT THEY ARE MISSING THE BODIES.

 

Some parrots actually have a basic understanding of the words they mimic.

INTELLIGENCE DOES NOT HELP THE PARROT EVOLVE THUMBS FROM WINGS. IT EVOLVED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.

Dinosaurs (birds) often had hands suitable for grasping before they were re-purposed for flight, and it has been shown that had they not gone extinct, the Saurian dinosaurs would likely have continued to diversify into beings capable of tool use. 

I NEVER MENTIONED NATURE THERE, ONLY SIFI.

I mentioned three above. 

Max your ignorant on this topic. You danced around everything I said minced words and contributed no real facts that stated how non human life could look or function. I've spent years fucking with this shit and even with my imagination I couldn't find anything that worked seriously. And here you are playing with dreams. The FACT is Max that sifi culture depicts reality and our imaginations. I did not make my OP up this shit is real.

No it isn't. Here's a picture of a hypothetical alien I pulled of the internet in five seconds, capable of using its forward mandibles to manipulate objects.

 

 

It more resembles an alien mix between a fish and an insect.

 

 

This is the intelligent alien race from the book Expedition , and it uses air sacs to float around.



There are no non-humanoids that don't copy existing creatures to a extent in sifi that I have ever seen. Every animal that is turned into a sifi race walks on legs and has a head. Every non-humanoid looks like a earth creature. So out of the past fifty years and billions of people there has been little creativity and its because all there is is all there is. Give your planet some credit

 

Look at the above. They have no terrestrial equivalents. 

PR. They have the same amount of time on earth that we have

 

So? Aliens on other planets could potential have been around for up to possibly 11 billion years.

and look at the dolphins and elephants. They are just smart food. Dolphins still get caught in nets and end up as the special tasty ingredient in tuna, and elephants...well i actually like elephants they are smart idiots .

Nets are invisible under water, and elephants know how to paint impressionistic pictures.

But they can't be more because they didn't discover pottery and electronics or evolved in the right direction like us. You can't make rudimentary electronics in water either, especially when your stupid and being hunted constantly to the point where half your brain is constantly awake! So you would have to be on land evolve to have versatile limbs.

You're using an argument from ignorance; "I don't know how it could happen differently, therefore it cannot"

Also many sea-based living things regularly visit the land, so it's possible for alien aquatic life to develop tools. Any living thing capable of using graspers would be able to crawl onto land and experience life there.


Here's a fun fact for you guys. if I would burn all the heathen planets, put a bullet in the head of every ape and domesticate every viable species for consumption and turn there environment into useful cities with towering skyscrapers, not a damn one could stop our march to their habitat mach less the stars, because they're stupid inferiors.

Just because we're smarter, and have leverage over them, doesn't mean we're innately better than them. Importance and relevance is granted by people, so obviously we're going to place Humans above them, but we're not objectively better than them.


To not go extinct or thrive you need to constantly evolve and end up with the attributes i stated humanoids have. In the end I've heard of octopus dolphins elephants ants and a fucking Muppet as non-humanoid intelligent species and all of them lack even the potential to become anything more than prey. (I have the heart of a drengin. Lol.)

 

No you don't as I've shown above; there are many forms which are objectively vastly superior to the Human body plan in nearly every way.

Almost any extant multicellular animal could theoretically develop into an intelligent creature

i hope this post compiles good enough to read. ^In My Strong Opinion.

 

DARCA.

You need better opinions :3

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April 30, 2014 5:32:16 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting DARCA1213,
torians are fish people. Its a fact.

Frogs are fish now, eh?

Quoting DARCA1213,
I can't think of a MAJOR sifi race anywhere that isn't humanoid.

The Shadows and Vorlons from Babylon 5.

The Liir, Hivers, and Morrigi from the Sword of the Stars games.

The races from the game Ascendancy.

The Antarans from Master of Orion 2.

Most races from the Space Empires series of games.

The Zerg from StarCraft.

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April 30, 2014 5:47:06 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting DARCA1213,
The only examples we have are the millions upon millions of species of extremely diverse life, not counting the extinct ones or the ones discovered every year. So I am not narrow minded to see what works and notice a consistent pattern. What is narrow minded is to base races off the ones of earth. Making octopus people, fish people, ape people, lizard people, blue people, snake people, or bird people is narrow minded. I have created some cool stuff but I am guilty of this as well.

 

Those millions of species of diverse life all have a common root and ancestral heritage so share common characteristics.

For example why are mammals including ourselves pentadactyl? Why do they all have four limbs as do same with reptiles (although snakes have devolved theirs? Answer they all have a common ancestor.

Evolution doesn’t design new life forms from scratch it makes slight alterations to existing entities. However even earth life shows a high degree of diversity. All life on earth has a single common ancestor if you go back far enough on a cellular level all those species and individuals are really one example of life.

As to why we design alien life forms by looking at earth life, that’s simply because we have to start somewhere and no human can imagine something entirely outside their experience. When we imagine things that don’t exist in our experience the only way we can is by piecing together ideas and thoughts on things that do. You seem to be arguing that it is less narrow minded to say all intelligent technological species must be humanoid than it is to try and imaging alternatives by looking at non-humanoid earth life and extrapolating ideas, that stance seems strange to me.

The reason Cephalopods are often used in sci-fi they are an example of truly alien intelligence here on earth. Because why scientists all agree they show a high degree of dexterity and intelligence on par with primates in some cases their central nervous system is wired nothing like ours or any other vertebrate. It’s far more distributed for one thing.

As to intelligence and sentience, what do you believe sentience is? Are intelligence and sentience the same thing? Do you consider other primates to be sentient? How intelligent do you have to be to be sentient? Technology wise living in water is a big disadvantage as you can’t start fires. Many scientists would put some octopus species on par with primates but the liquid environment makes it unlikely they would develop technological society at least following the same path as ours.

Why have Cephalopods not made it onto land, well they can travel short distances over land but their lack of a skeleton for support and is a real disadvantage less so if our world had lower gravity.

Intelligent life could exist in far more exotic forms with entirely different frames of reference than our own all you really need for life to evolve is a slightly imperfect replicator of some sort. If such life evolved intelligence or not would depend on how complex it’s environment was. However for this game we probably want life forms that at least have a similar frame of reference otherwise they would be unlikely to interact or recognise each other as intelligent life.

"What do Martians look like" is a great book that takes this idea further arguing that intelligent life could exist in forms so different from ours that we would never recognise each other as life yet alone as intelligent, existing in radically different environments and having totally different perceptions of time.

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April 30, 2014 5:49:13 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting DARCA1213,
Ants however use their mouths to cut leaves and twigs, and the "agriculture" you speak of is no more that chewed up leaves and bacteria IIRC.

And effectivley keeping heards of Aphids to milk don't forget that.

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April 30, 2014 6:00:05 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting DARCA1213,
This isn't me, this is life. I can't think of a MAJOR sifi race anywhere that isn't humanoid. Karma for those that can

 

The "Shadows" in  Babylon5 for one.

The "Primes", and "Riel" in "Pandora's star" and "Judas unchained", "Daleks", "The great old ones" in lovecraft literature. I could probably come up with more given a bit longer.

They tend to be more common in litarary sci-fi and modern sci-fi series and movies though since special effects used to be limited to putting a man in a suit or sticking a crinckly forehead on him in pre CGI sci-fi.

 

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April 30, 2014 6:38:56 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting DARCA1213,
There are no non-humanoids that don't copy existing creatures to a extent in sifi that I have ever seen.

 

There are also no humanoid sci-fi creatures that don't copy humans to a great extent either; while both those statements are true  to some extent (although not all non-humaoid species in scifi do actually have an earth equivalent directly), they aren't particularly meaningful. When imagining an alien species, we can only do so by extrapolating form the appearnce or aspects of the biology or life cycle of species that we know or in some cases speculate based on physics interestingly enough.

In your case you can only extrapolate from humans and specificly form the humanoid form, anything else is beyond your imagining is what you are telling us.

Other writers of both hard and soft sci-fi have extrapolated more widley and combined different aspects both physiological and life cycle wise of earth life and then taken things further. Your argument that they are showing a more narrow view of Xenobiology then you doesn't therefore hold true.

 

For truly alien, aliens look to the "Prime" aliens from "Pandora's Star", not only their form but their whole life cycle is truly alien. However if you know enough about biology you will recognise that the speculation that leads to their alien form and physiology reflects some aspects of known biology.

 

The best sci-fi writers create whole speculative evolutionary histories for their sentient species as backgrounds and have a good grasp of biology and the theory of evolution.

 

 

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April 30, 2014 10:38:31 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Im out of this thread guys, I do not think you will be able to convince DARCA that his line of thought is flawed. He is obstinate.

And he might be using us as a stress reliever for a dentist appointment or something.

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