Sexual Dimorphism

Omnires

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#1
Here is my questions.
How many sexes do the aliens have?
And if there is more than one do they have any sexual dimorphism?

For the people who know. Sexual dimorphism is main reason why in humans there are key biological differences between the sexes. Such as men tend to be taller than women and why women tend to have more body fat than men.

Also, in biology a race of beings can have way more than 2 sexes. For example some fungus has over 20000 different sexes within the same species. So if the devs wanted to make their aliens have different sexes they don't just have to stick to the whole dichotomy of there only being binary choice, as nature shows there are many different ways of reproduction.
 

Pandagnome

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#3
Just make a fun game
Definitely this yes!

and killing everything weird.
But not this one
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Here is my questions.
How many sexes do the aliens have?
And if there is more than one do they have any sexual dimorphism?

For the people who know. Sexual dimorphism is main reason why in humans there are key biological differences between the sexes. Such as men tend to be taller than women and why women tend to have more body fat than men.

Also, in biology a race of beings can have way more than 2 sexes. For example some fungus has over 20000 different sexes within the same species. So if the devs wanted to make their aliens have different sexes they don't just have to stick to the whole dichotomy of there only being binary choice, as nature shows there are many different ways of reproduction.
In the future we can be whatever we want to be a green short head long legged purple eyes winged cat who can switch shapes depending on the temperature an example become small to retain heat and be tall and leaner to spread the heat etc.

This is interesting perhaps this could be a list of various enemies and to understand this could mean to understand how to tackle them better in their prefered biome locations etc.

That makes me think a little of warframe some infested are weird looking different shapes and such but they posses different abilities and move different, some shock some debuff and some spew smelly gases.

This could add to the variety of types of enemies we could encounter even friendly npc's too instead of just all looking the same i guess!
 

Omnires

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#4
Well, yes, the main idea of this thread is talk about different enemy types and biology. Just because two or more animals are part of the same species doesn't mean that they look or even act anything alike. Because you could be out in the field and see five different lifeforms thinking they are all different species but in fact there was only two species biology of those two species could given them really different body types just based on age and sex.

Here are some examples of sexual dimorphism where if you didn't know any better you wouldn't even think the two animals was the same species.
 
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Omnires

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#7
I'm looking at this as person who likes to ground things in reality when it comes of sci-fi. After all, all the best sci-fi is based on real science and biology and straying to far outside of the realm of possibility. That is the difference between science fiction and science fantasy. I'm looking at things as if they was real beings living in a real ecosystem. How can you go about living on a planet and fighting an enemy race if you don't know the first thing about them? Realistically as Humans are trying to get a foothold on the planet to make a home and protect themselves there would be people trying to study all the new lifeforms they run across both as way to learn more about this world but also to make sure of those lifeforms pose any threat or threat or benefit to them ether actively or passively. And basic questions like how a lifeform reproduces, as well as if there is any kind of sexual dimorphism in beings that have different sexes are among the first things you ask when studying a new lifeform along with how do it grow and change over time.

If helps try to role play as a scientist or biologist who just found a new type of lifeform. How would to go about telling other people about it and how they can identify others of it's kind? And if they are noticeable differences in how their bodies look does those differences makes them any more or less of the treat than normal?

Or they could only have one sex, so they all look the same...and the aliens sexuality doesn't need to factor into the game.
Sure you can have a races of beings that at are all asexual so they are basically clones of one another. But I view that as lazy writing and world building that shows a lace of imagination on the part of the creator. For one if you are going to do that rout how to explain away one of the key problems with such beings like that, population control?

In nature the way such beings are kept in control so they don't have an overpopulation crisis are ether by predation, meaning they can't be at the top of the food chain because something else has to be able to hunt and eat them or they are at the top of the food chain but are also cannibalistic by nature and eat each other. Or by having tightly controlled life cycles influenced by things outside of their conscious control. Such as the patterns in their planet such as seasons, the gravitational effect of near by objects like moons and other bodies on their planet, as well as things like strong cosmic rays made by other near by stars and blackholes, and/or by having an internal biological clock linked to body's self destruct function as their cells are programmed to die when key conditions are met (the self destruct function or kill code as some people call it is part of the body's immune system and even Humans have it). Or do to the fact that they are all clones all it would only take is one pathogen to kill off the whole population and they would have to hope at least one of them can mutate in the right way with an immunity to it so the whole race doesn't die off. Or a mix of all those things listed and more. I'm not saying it is impossible for it to happen, only that odds are against a race of being like that becoming anything that spacefaring humans would see as threat because of easily exploitable biological weakness. Plus there would be no biological variations in such a race as they would all be clones. So if you wanted to say give one them horns or claws or anything else you have to explain why they are so different from rest of their race as one small change would not make a new complex body part from nothing.

If you want to have one race of beings where their are notable differences between individuals you need to have driving force behind such changes. Or make it so their DNA, or something else like it, has parts in that randomized but in lifeforms with such randomized parts to their genetics the things that are randomized are insignificant to their overall health and survival. Like the fur color and pattern of house cats for example, If you make a clone of a cat each clone will have different fur colors and patterns not only from the parent but from each other too because that part of a cat's DNA just naturally randomizes itself. Outside of things like that you would need to explain why in this races of beings does this group of them have stingers or spikes and this one doesn't.

Lol, I love applying real science to video games, movies, and stuff. It is so much fun. Even more so when apply it to an already ridiculous idea but think through it as if it is something serious. Hell, back when I was in my freshman year in college made a paper about the legality of suing Santa Claus for things like breaking and entering as well as for things like breach of contract. The breach of contract being for him not giving you thing you asked for even though out was good that year. Lol, power of an analytical mind used to explore humorous topics is always something to behold.
 
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EvilKitten

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#8
Sure you can have a races of beings that at are all asexual so they are basically clones of one another. But I view that as lazy writing and world building that shows a lace of imagination on the part of the creator.
I do not see it as laziness to defer dealing with alien sexuality in a wargame/shooter where it doesn't really matter. Also being monogendered doesn't have to mean cloning (They could be an hermaphroditic species as an example).

EDIT: I could see this being something included in the tabletop RPG setting maybe? But if so the discussion should probably be on that forum.
 
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Omnires

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#10
I do not see it as laziness to defer dealing with alien sexuality in a wargame/shooter where it doesn't really matter. Also being monogendered doesn't have to mean cloning (They could be an hermaphroditic species as an example).

EDIT: I could see this being something included in the tabletop RPG setting maybe? But if so the discussion should probably be on that forum.
You have good point. But I'm not so sure about hermaphroditic species because it has the same problem of there not being a driving force for them do two different from each other. The driving forces behind large changes in animals or things like competition and division of labor. Hermaphroditic species as far as I know don't really have that if they are both sexes all the time. Although it could work if the hermaphroditic specie was one sex or the other based on things around them like some fish in real life. For example if their is now males around the dominant female fish over next few days will turn into a male and it's body will change shape and origins to match so it can fight off other males who might try and take over the area. The sexual dimorphism in such a race could be as extreme as you want it going by the life style differences between male and female.
For example fish like this if you need an exmaple.

The main reason I titled this thread sexual dimorphism is because when it comes to a lot of lifeforms it is one of the first thing that pops into their mind, even if they never heard of the term "sexual dimorphism" before. For example, if I was say the word "bovine" what is the first thing that pops into your head? Odds are a cow or bull right? But what did you focus on first when the thought was forming in you mind? Was it the things that make cows or bulls different from other animals and form the members of the opposed sex of their own kind? Be horns or lack of horns, and/or udders or lack of udders, or how aggressive or docile they can be, and so on. In terms of games and game play that means you can add in more character diversity and variation without the need to make up new races. And I pointed out before the driving forces because such things can be vast and extreme when the survive of the species demands it.

A good part of world building has to do with how believable the characters are and their relationship to each other. A relationship as in how they are linked and/or influence each other both directly and indirectly. Think things like the 6 degrees of separation Human have, every human on earth can be linked to every other human through 4 to 6 connections on average (the friend of friend thing). This means that that people normally some people think of as side characters or background characters also need to be grounded in the world in a way that makes since. Just because you are not consciously about the birds in the sky or little animals running around on a map in combat game where they are not the targets. Subconsciously you are and you notice when things don't seem right. Likewise a world devoid of such things when you know that it such can also subconsciously effect how you feel about a game good or bad. Although there are whole YouTube channels out that like to focus on when things go wrong in games for laughs.

I like this like that because it helps to show people that even one of the most famous types of movie aliens in the world is partly grounded in reality. Sure the monster itself it made up, but there is not many things about the monster that is outside of the realm of possibility. Most of the things about it can be traced back to some real world lifefrom as a starting point just push to the extreme. Even the whole taking on biological traits from the host is not made up, as we call it things like lateral gene transfer and horizontal gene transfer. And it is not all that uncommon in real life, mostly on micro scale lifeforms, but it does happen in macro scale lifeforms too often with the help of a virus or bacteria moving DNA around. Hell, retroviruses rewrite the DNA of the host and the host can pass on that same edited code to their offspring. Truth is a good part of Human is viral DNA that we as Humans can't live without. Human evolution was partly shaped by viruses.
 
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Pandagnome

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#11
The main reason I titled this thread sexual dimorphism is because when it comes to a lot of lifeforms it is one of the first thing that pops into their mind, even if they never heard of the term "sexual dimorphism" before. For example, if I was say the word "bovine" what is the first thing that pops into your head? Odds are a cow or bull right?
At first glance thought it was sexual dwarfism about how the micro kaiju in another biome would continue and form attack plans like ants.
 

EvilKitten

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#14
You have good point. But I'm not so sure about hermaphroditic species because it has the same problem of there not being a driving force for them do two different from each other.
I am at work can't view those video's at the moment so perhaps this has already been said. But as long as it is impossible (or at least not viable) to self procreate, there really is no need to differentiate due to sexuality and it still gets around potential weaknesses that cloning/budding issues bring to the table.

The Tsi-hu definitely aren't mammals, they are almost certainly not going to be DNA based, at least from a lore standpoint they really shouldn't even be carbon based. So the very concept of genders might be completely foreign to them. Make them egg laying with no discernible external genitalia, they probably would not even have social clothing at that point (though armor and utilitarian protection obviously)

Given the above, one thing that could be useful from a game design perspective would be the use of body art to show differentiation. If only a single body type is needed then that saves on art/animation etc costs, but they could create a bunch of tattoo style body art that the Tsi-hu could use, either as a caste system or as a societal/role aspect. From a lore perspective it could be interesting to see the lowly soldier grunts with small dark tattoo's that become more and more intricate and brighter as they gain in rank (assuming they have a ranking system like humans do). With elaborate ceremonies surrounding adding new markings and such.
 

Omnires

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#15
Oh please don't get the Gender Wars in this Game.
Who said anything about a gender war? This is topic is about the biology, “sex” refers to the biological differences between males and females, such as the genitalia and genetic differences. “Gender” is more defined as the roles males and females play in society, known as a gender role, or an individual's concept of themselves, or gender identity. Sex is hardwired into your DNA, gender is not.

The goal here is explore the different lifeforms we might find on Em-8er and how they might work. And if the devs want to realistically give one race of beings wildly different body times and designs what is the most logical way of going about it. For example, almost all the ants you see are all female. Male ants don't work or help out with anything as their only live to mate and help start a new colony else where before dying. The reason why there are so many different types of ants in every colony is because of the division of labor as all the ants besides the queens and kings are born sterile. Warriors have different body types from workers, and workers have different types from other workers going by their roles in the colony. The more specialized their roles are the more extreme their body types can be as other members of the colony will take care of things they can't do. This is one of many outs the devs could go in making different enemy types without the need to make up new races for each one. Good sci-fi is always based on reality and just pushed to extreme ends of what is possible. If there are going to be an enemy race that has wildly different body times there needs to be a reason for such body types to evolve in the first place. And in nature the two main driving forces of such things are competition and/or the division of labor that is linked to survival.

I just assumed the natives were hermaphroditic. While "we," the humans, the freakin aliens in this case, aren't.
I never assumed the lifeforms on em-8er was one way or the other outside of there might be a mix of things within the ecosystem just like how on Earth we have a mix of things. Different lifeforms need different things to live and grow, and those things often influence how their bodies look and work. Trees grow big and tail not because they need to be tail to live, but because if they don't other trees to block their light they have to be trailer than their neighbors or use the mycelia network fungus make to trade nutrients and resources with other trees for things they need. And yes, trees and fungus do have a trading network linked by their roots that allow trees from one of the forest to trade things with a tree on the other end of the forest. Also like I pointed out before, some lifeforms well over 2 sexes as there are few types of lifefroms over 100 different sexes. And human language as it now is really able to describe lifefroms with more than 3 sexes. So if we ever run into an sentient alien life with intelligents like our own that had more than 3 sexes be ready for a lot of grammatical errors when the humans talk to them. lol
 
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#16
nah I see them more like a cross between a starfish and seahorse. Since they can transform from one form to another for different reasons. Like seahorse can when they notice there isn't enough females or males in the population or a like a starfish that is using asexual reproduction by willingly ejecting an arm with a bit of it's center pieces.

That's why I'm assuming their genders aren't that concrete. Sure this type of stuff would be cool to discuss so that later on the devs got a nice handy pool of craziness to fill up their lore sections in the game.
 

Pandagnome

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#17
Given the above, one thing that could be useful from a game design perspective would be the use of body art to show differentiation. If only a single body type is needed then that saves on art/animation etc costs, but they could create a bunch of tattoo style body art that the Tsi-hu could use, either as a caste system or as a societal/role aspect. From a lore perspective it could be interesting to see the lowly soldier grunts with small dark tattoo's that become more and more intricate and brighter as they gain in rank (assuming they have a ranking system like humans do). With elaborate ceremonies surrounding adding new markings and such.
I like this imagine when they run and suddenly their limbs energize with a glowing colour change and some strange sound.

If the kaiju's were frogs lets say this is their colours and some have better leaping than others this can be seen depending on their patterns and where the energy on their body lights up.

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arms and legs are glowing primed for movement and slashing

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Now its getting some what annoyed this is your hybrid looks like it is going to charge

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This one has gone super saiyan! now its really mad!!!!


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One of the scariest is an enemy that camouflages with their surrounding perhaps it could temporarily shapeshift to look like a friendly this reminded me of a mission in firefall where there was an npc calling for help after you helped it was a trap :O
 
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Omnires

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#19
I am at work can't view those video's at the moment so perhaps this has already been said. But as long as it is impossible (or at least not viable) to self procreate, there really is no need to differentiate due to sexuality and it still gets around potential weaknesses that cloning/budding issues bring to the table.

The Tsi-hu definitely aren't mammals, they are almost certainly not going to be DNA based, at least from a lore standpoint they really shouldn't even be carbon based. So the very concept of genders might be completely foreign to them. Make them egg laying with no discernible external genitalia, they probably would not even have social clothing at that point (though armor and utilitarian protection obviously)

Given the above, one thing that could be useful from a game design perspective would be the use of body art to show differentiation. If only a single body type is needed then that saves on art/animation etc costs, but they could create a bunch of tattoo style body art that the Tsi-hu could use, either as a caste system or as a societal/role aspect. From a lore perspective it could be interesting to see the lowly soldier grunts with small dark tattoo's that become more and more intricate and brighter as they gain in rank (assuming they have a ranking system like humans do). With elaborate ceremonies surrounding adding new markings and such.
You have some good points about their makeup being a factor. But that is also why I'm not so focused on their makeup as much as I'm about their life style and the difference forces nature puts on lifeforms to shape them as they try to survive. Although even if their makeup is different from ours there are limits on the options of what those things realistically be given that we are fighting over who can live on the planet their makeup can't be to far off from something what would be stable within the air pressure, gravity well, and radiation levels (remember heat is also a type of radiation) that Earth-based lifeforms can live in. I'm sure someone else who is why better at chemistry than myself could come up with a possible of list of things that can replace carbon and DNA that would still allow life to live on a planet that is on a cold earth-like. Although in real life we Humans did make up XNA in a lab. XNA is a synthetic polymer that can carry the same information as DNA, but with different molecular constituents. The "X" in XNA stands for "xeno," meaning stranger or alien, indicating the difference in the molecular structure as compared to DNA or RNA.

On the idea of using different colors and patterns on body art to mean different things for sentient lifeforms that is a good idea but that is what tattoos are for. We have found many human bodies with tattoos on them (tattoos being one of the oldest forms of art humans have). And tattoos was not just use for art to look good but was also used for things like a form of identification; telling other people information like who your family/tribe is, or what is you role/job/rank, and any noticeable achievements that you might have done (like how many people you have killed or that you are an protected ally of these tribes). Some tattoos was even able to tell time. Namely the tattoo that give give on their bellies when they became pregnant, the tattoo would change shape their bully grow and they could keep track of when they due date ways that way. Who is to say that sentient aliens couldn't have thought of the same things we did when it comes to marking our bodies?

As for animals that can change colors naturally, there is also the chance of animal using those colors and patterns to hypnosis other lifeforms so they can hunt them and/or escape from them. One of my favorite examples of this are cuttlefish using their color changing ability to hunt by hypnotizing prey like crabs.
This goes into a bit more detail about cuttlefish biology.
 
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Pandagnome

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#20
So these could also be indicators as warning signs or ways to communicate to others that see the changes of your colour instead of using sounds but by changing patterns/colours and even its tempo.

If they can be seen nearby lets say

Red lines that fire across the body indicates a heightened alert that the threat is nearby. (tempo faster means very close and slower further away)

Red pulses could indicate its health like the energy or even the contractions of its organs

but with many various patterns and colours and which type of enemy we could face they all have an interesting way, perhaps we will learn these and create our own system.

Lets say we could not communicate using our comms because of some storm and to resort to our patterns/colours the problem is we could draw unwanted attention but same could be for sound too.

I love to see this at night this is where the illuminating of the skins really stand out imagine that in the air as a friendly glides what are they saying some codex would automatically unlock the purpose and meaning after compiling similar patten/colour/tempo encounters to make sense of this.

Then our meks once established with this information automatically let the pilot know what it means.

Btw these brain storming stuff really opens up so much possibilities & inspire to make a quality game.
 
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