Sunday 23 February 2014

Spaceship Crew (WIP)

The exact composition of a ship's crew should vary depending on the ship's mission, such as military, scientific, diplomatic, privateer, armed merchantman, and so on. On a small ship:
  • Pilot steers the ship, activates weapons and defenses, and acts as Captain.
  • Co-Pilot handles navigation, sensors, and communications.
  • Engineer keeps the ship together, does routine maintenance, and manages specialized engineering parts and tools.
  • Steward manages finances and general supplies, and takes care of cooking and cleaning for the crew and any passengers, and also acts as medic.
On a big ship:
  • Command
    • Captain makes the important decisions.
    • Executive Officer assists the captain, manages duty rosters and crew discipline.
    • Boatswain?
  • Flight Control Department
    • Pilot steers the ship.
    • Gunner activates weapons and defenses.
    • Navigator plots the best course based on star charts and other information.
    • Sensors officer monitors sensors, probes, and other devices and analyzes incoming data.
    • Communications officer handles incoming and outgoing communications, encryption/decryption, and possibly translate alien languages.
  • Engineering Department
    • Chief Engineer keeps the ship together, does routine maintenance, and manages specialized engineering parts and tools.
    • (Other Engineers - WIP)
  • Steward Department
    • Steward is responsible for finances and general supplies, and manages cooks and housekeeping staff.
    • Chief of Security is responsible for internal ship security, including passengers and the brig.
    • Medic looks after any sick or injured, and manages any specialized medical supplies.
    • (Other Crew - WIP)

Saturday 22 February 2014

Designing Plausible Aliens (WIP)

interbreedable hominid = no
eldritch horror = no

chimeras = yes

uplifted animals = yes
genetic engineering = yes

+ bilateral symmetry
+ internal skeleton

. head with brain, mouth, most sensory organs
. 2+ eyes capable of facing forward
. limbs attached to one or more additional segments
. 2+ arms, 2+ legs
. upright posture

. senses: eyes (possible ), ears or antennas, nose or antennas, mouth w/tongue
. mouth: teeth, beak, maybe mandibles
. skin: slimy, smooth/thin, leathery, hair, downy feathers, scales
. locomotion: bipedal, centauroid, part-arboral, amphibious
. head/face: eyestalks, antennas, horns, tusks, crests, etc
. body: armor plates or shell, extra limbs and/or wings, tail

* hearing might be distributed

. interbreedable with creatures evolved on other worlds
. exoskeleton
. tentacle walkers
. fully aquatic


. Tits = possible (some non-mammals also feed secretions to their young)
. Butt = likely if bipedal and tailless

Thursday 25 April 2013

Alien Design: Technological Aliens (WIP)

defining technological aliens as having:
  1. the ability to make and use fire, thus must operate on land
  2. the ability to make and use tools and carry them over large distances
  3. a large enough brain to understand and use technology
  4. a culture conducive to forming societies with technical specializations

one can then expect:
  1. carbon-based (silicon doesn't cut it), probably with water or ammonia as solvent and thalassogen
  2. bilateral symmetry quickly becomes advantageous in a chase-and-evade ecosystem
  3. a head with mouth, nostrils and a brain near forward-facing senses such as taste and vision are advantageous as well...
  4. lungs and an internal skeleton would be needed by any reasonably large land creature
  5. at least 4 limbs (2 for tools, 2 for locomotion)
  6. hands with 3-7 fingers and opposable thumb and forward-facing eyes (for depth perception), probably formed by arboreal ancestry
  7. ability to communicate with others of its species quickly and easily

However, this doesn't mean they should look exactly like humans!

There are still plenty of options for variety:
1. biochemistry could be ammonia-based instead of water-based, on a planet with oceans and rivers also made of ammonia

2. aside from bilateral symmetry, general body shape could vary somewhat in terms of length, bulk, segmentation, etc

2. limbs: at least 2 hands and 2 feet, but possibly extra pairs, and maybe extras like wings, tail, ... feet and tail possibly prehensile... hands and feet could have claws so long as they don't get in the way

2.1. locomotion: comfortable on land, but could be partly amphibious or arboreal, maybe be able to switch easily between biped and quadruped, etc

3. skin could be slimy, smooth, leathery, thin or thick, and may be covered with hair, feathers or down, scales (pangolin), armored plates (armadillo), or even a shell (turtle)

4. head: should have forward-facing eyes, a mouth, and probably nostrils somewhere... other senses may be located elsewhere on the body... may have horns, tusks, antennas, eyestalks

4.1. mouth: jaw with teeth, mandibles, beak, straw-like appendage, no jaw (swallows food whole)

4.2. sensory organs: touch, taste, smell, vision, sound/vibration, other (infrared, ultraviolet, magnetic, etc)

4.2.1. vision could be colorblind, or cover different parts of EM spectrum such as infrared and/or ultraviolet

4.2.2. smell and sound/vibration are more flexible, and could be via antennas or distributed throughout the body

5. reproduction and lifecycle could vary a lot, with possibly very distinct phases not all of which have to be technologically capable or even sentient!

more to come

Sunday 3 March 2013

Planets (WIP)

A bit about planets, work in progress.

Gas giants (like jupiter, saturn, neptune, uranus)
. Ice Giants
* Hot Neptunes
* Hot Jupiters
* Super-Jupiters
* Mini-Neptunes
* Chthonian planets (atmosphere-less former gas giant)
* Carbon Giants (Brown Dwarfs)

Terrestrial planets (like earth, mars, venus, mercury)
. Super-Earth = very large, but still solid
. Carbon planets = mostly carbon (methane, CO2, oil, graphite, diamond)
. Coreless planets = mostly silicates
. Iron planets = mostly metals (such as iron)
. Habitable Planets
  . Desert planets = habitable, but low water
  . Earthlike planets = like Earth!
  . Ocean planets = habitable, but mostly covered with water

* Moons, Rings
. Dwarf Planets
. C-Type Asteroids = hydrocarbons?
. S-Type Asteroids = iron-silicates, magnesium-silicates
. M-Type Asteroids = nickel-iron
. Comets = Ice

. Silicates = quartz, feldspars, pyroxenes, and olivines
. Metals = kamacite, faenite, ...
. Carbon = graphite, ...
. Ice = methane, ammonia, water
. Gas = hydrogen, helium