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SpaceSpade
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

25 Jan 2019 05:49

I think we need to to start with flora on habitable planets, then think about fauna.
 
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

26 Jan 2019 00:09

SpaceSpade wrote:
I think we need to to start with flora on habitable planets, then think about fauna.

From a scientific perspective, there is no difference between portraying a stationary autotroph like a clump of moss or a mobile heterotroph like a bug realistically. Careful thought must be applied to the coding so that it generates realistically. We don't really know what 'realistic' is of course in this context, but as close as we can get is good enough. The barrier between plant and animal is hazy, and hazier still if speculative biology is considered, wherein trophic ecological levels and biochemical basis' are variable in context.

In addition, the code for generating life on really exotic worlds will require greater research to fabricate something beyond simple analogs of Earth life and ecosystems on those exoplanets, though of course similarities may exist between the environments.

But as far as game graphics go, rendering plants would be simpler and a great first step, though as I said, it would be a mistake to dig right in with pregenerated 3d models.
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A-L-E-X
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

26 Jan 2019 04:31

But there is something peaceful and beautiful about wandering through lush forests and seeing birds flutter by with their reflections visible in a calm lake along with seeing fireflies at night.  We could at least generate environments similar to Earth for earthlike planets?
 
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

26 Jan 2019 08:28

Stellarator wrote:
Source of the post the code for generating life on really exotic worlds will require greater research to fabricate something beyond simple analogs of Earth life and ecosystems on those exoplanets

Or one could just start with something simple and slowly make it more complex over time. After all we don't what life looks like on other planets (or even if it exists for that matter). *Any* choice will be speculative anyway. "Analogs of Earth life and ecosystems" might be reality for all we know. And actually, the odds are that those analogs are the most common type in the Universe, there are no reasons to think that Earth is "special".
So why not start with something we do know? Why not start with implementing life on Earth itself and duplicating it on other Earth-like planets? Then expand from there to make other interesting life or until we do discover other life forms?
 
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

26 Jan 2019 11:21

I meant on marine terras like Earth.
And of course frozen aquarias like Titan is another business.
Also, if jupiters and neptunes have life in Space Engine then it is needed to create floating helium breathing carnivores and hydrogen synthesing plant-like organisms (which will float too).
I don't know anything about programming. I can probably imagine how it may look like. Many of us can.
Anyways what about carbon dioxide atmosphere planets? Walking plants? Possible!
And one more question: Why not to try creating life on ultracold brown dwarfs (Y-brown dwarfs) starting from Y4.3 V spectral class.
All in all why also not to show atmospheric composition on lower T (T7 V - T9.9 V) classes and all Y classes of brown dwarfs?
I know that may be a lot of work for the versions of Space Engine after the 0.9.9.0 but that's my opinion.
 
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

27 Jan 2019 05:32

Why not let the AI in SE develop life as it wants according to evolutionary biology and let it evolve over time?
 
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

28 Jan 2019 00:16

Nahor wrote:
Source of the post Or one could just start with something simple and slowly make it more complex over time.

Exactly! That would be the smart way to implement it in-game. Per edition of release, 'evolve' the code itself within the game so that each version would have more advanced life-forms pre-generated. It would give the devs some time to properly work out the bugs and and correct absurdities in procedural generation. There still be titles in the details of the planet wiki stating that such and such planet would have x type life of y type complexity, but at first only the 'simpler' life-forms would be generated in-detail, dependent on the planet's biochemical compository bias and of course if life can even develop on it due to planet age/type. 

As the game progresses in development more advanced life-form generations would be introduced. This wouldn't impact the concept of the game itself, because SE exists without a time reference - it's universe is static. That may change in the future, but for now simulating the universe in the scale at which evolution would need to be simulated real time in order to accurately depict ET is beyond the limitations of the game and indeed, the computers on which it plays. The code only needs to simulate the evolution of organisms independent of reference, and this can happen as per release of the game.

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Why not let the AI in SE develop life as it wants according to evolutionary biology and let it evolve over time?

Certainly AI would be useful in the development of the process I described above. It is a 'ground-up' way of generating life-forms, whereas many sci-fi creatures are 'top-down' designs wherein an appearance is proposed, and evolutionary catalysts and factors are extrapolated thereof.
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

29 Jan 2019 04:45

Yes I like your method FAR better as that is how nature works.  The amazing thing would be what if the AI causes evolution to branch off in unexpected directions?!

We could have a different evolution for both organic and inorganic life and based on the system's physical and chemical characteristics evolution may evolve differently on each world!
 
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

29 Jan 2019 20:06

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post The amazing thing would be what if the AI causes evolution to branch off in unexpected directions?!

That's exactly what we would want, though many planets will probably host only single-cell organisms, even when the code for generation is fully developed in-game.
 
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post We could have a different evolution for both organic and inorganic life and based on the system's physical and chemical characteristics evolution may evolve differently on each world!

Yes, this would be realistic, though certain constants may apply - like the need for a thallasogen, and bondable element as a base for biochemistry (we have carbon) and almost endless variation in biology and chemistry thereof. But yes, no other life-form generated will have an identical chemical profile to a Earth life-form. Some detail of the organisms biological profile will differ, even in the obscure chance they are otherwise identical (chemically, not physically of course). And lets not forget about panspermia or terra-forming - when a planet's biosphere shares genetic data or traits from another planet due to natural or artificial migration.

Ah! My mind is afire with all the beautiful possibilities and variations! It would be a stupendous task of coding, but awesome.
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

31 Jan 2019 04:30

Is there any way that we can make even planets with single celled life fun?  I am invisioning a miniaturization technique when we are scaled down to single cell level and can see the microbes interact with each other and even glow in different colors.  I would love to see interactions on the molecular and even atomic and subatomic level!

We could spread microbes between planets or even from planet to moon if they share the same atmosphere!
  I would like to simulate such a journey by piggybacking on a tektite in real time!

We could even simulate mass extinctions and perhaps even have planets that have very active suns where life never reaches beyond the microbe level before the planet is sterilized only to begin again!
 
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

31 Jan 2019 20:33

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Is there any way that we can make even planets with single celled life fun?  I am invisioning a miniaturization technique when we are scaled down to single cell level and can see the microbes interact with each other and even glow in different colors.  I would love to see interactions on the molecular and even atomic and subatomic level!

There is an indie game called Thrive that revolves around that concept.
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post We could spread microbes between planets or even from planet to moon if they share the same atmosphere!
 I would like to simulate such a journey by piggybacking on a tektite in real time!

We could even simulate mass extinctions and perhaps even have planets that have very active suns where life never reaches beyond the microbe level before the planet is sterilized only to begin again!

That would be beyond cool :). Very CPU intensive though, but cool and even useful for astrobiological experiments if properly coded.

That does remind me - you should really read the 'book' Xenology. I've looked long and far for a comprehensive text addressing all concepts of astrobiology and astrosociology and this one was the best I've found. It's available only online via the link I provided due to it's highly technical nature and sadly limited audience. Lots of people apparently are content to read about extraterrestrials, but not the hard scientific theories behind them. It is an essential part of the armchair astrobiologist's library ;).
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

02 Feb 2019 03:47

I am definitely going to start on that this weekend :)  I hope it also includes exotic life possibilities!

I have a question maybe you can help me with.  A few years ago I read about a series of books (sci fi but realistic) that went from the birth of the universe through our species exploring the universe, but I was never able to find the name of the series or where I can find them.  Do you know what series it could be?  It was basically a cosmic history of everything from the Big Bang through us achieving interstellar travel.  It covered billions of years!
 
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

02 Feb 2019 23:27

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I hope it also includes exotic life possibilities!

It does! The Author (Robert Freitas) explores all possibilities for life as we know or don't know. I learned some interesting facts about the characteristics of silicone life naturally evolving, for example. That was precisely why I so highly recommend this book to anyone interested in astrobiology - it's very comprehensive. It is a wee bit out of date though - the last editorial update was made in 2005, I think. However, Freitas sources all the research he did for the chapters (as any scientific work should), so it is very easy to do your own research and branch out from there.

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I have a question maybe you can help me with.  A few years ago I read about a series of books (sci fi but realistic) that went from the birth of the universe through our species exploring the universe, but I was never able to find the name of the series or where I can find them.  Do you know what series it could be?  It was basically a cosmic history of everything from the Big Bang through us achieving interstellar travel.  It covered billions of years!

This sound like quite the series - but I'm afraid I've never heard of such (or maybe I did and just forgot). When was it published? In which country? Who was the author? There are some very good modern hard sci-fi series like those by Iain M Banks, or Alastair Reynolds - was it well known or obscure?
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

13 Feb 2019 04:28

I think it was ranked pretty high on the sci fi lists, and it's by an American author, but the series is fairly dated- from the 1930s I think?
 
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Astrobiology in Space Engine

13 Feb 2019 11:15

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I think it was ranked pretty high on the sci fi lists, and it's by an American author, but the series is fairly dated- from the 1930s I think?

I hope you do not mean the 'Lensmen' series by E.E Smith. It begins about 2 billion years before our time.
But realistically, this series is not at all.
(The first volume was published in 1934 in four installments in a journal.)
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