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Duinhir    7

Hi!

after some 120 h of play, I'm still just a beginner in ksp.

Nevertheless, I believe this improvement would be :

- not difficult to implement 

- really representative of a current space question.

the way I would see it:

* at game start:

- 2 or 3 levels of life presence : rare, common, thriving

- a checkbox : "or maybe not"

a procedural determination of life presence: 

- for each planet (excepted obviously kerbin), and for each biome, test randomly for the presence of life, with probability variable depending on the planet (and maybe the biome), lets say for instance probability for life in any Duna biome is 1%, 5% and 10% depending on the option selected. Same for Laythe, 0.1/0.5/1% for Eve, even less for other planets.

- if "or maybe not" is selected, stop after one iteration

- if "or maybe not" is not ticked, retest all planets until at least one biome harbors life (more than one planet and biome  may harbor it)

- when a life presence is detected, roll for type :

   - 60% surface trace gaz emiter (TG)

   - 30% surface, non trace gaz emitter (NTG)

   - underground life (UL)

* during play:

- new science components:

   - orbital trace gaz scanner : detects TG, in the same way than ore scanner (with a overlay map) TG must be confirmed by ground  measurement.

   - surface sample tests lab : detects NTG and confirms TG. 

   - underground life drill : detects UG

it would be high science revenue, except of course for Kerbin (some science provided but not a lot for confirming life on Kerbin)

Sorry if already proposed (I haven't seen it in the list of already proposed)

any comments?

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Duinhir said:

- not difficult to implement 

- really representative of a current space question.

- it would be high science revenue

- I think you underestimate the difficulty of adding any new feature to a game. You are welcome to mod it in yourself if you think it's so easy?

- I'm not sure life on other planets is really a "question" given the infinite nature of the universe but that's besides the point. Since Kerbin would be the only planet in the "Goldilocks zone" it would be the only planet capable of supporting life, you'd have to travel out system to find any possible alien life forms.

- We have an overabundance of Science points and ways to get them as is.

Edited by Rocket In My Pocket

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Snark    6690

Hello, and welcome to the forums!  :)

Nice suggestion!

Actually, for me, "life" per se feels like a bit of a stretch.  But what I do like about the suggestion is the gameplay mechanic.

Specifically, the idea that there are certain "hot spots" for science that occur in various biomes around the system, where extra juicy results are possible, and the player doesn't know in advance where those spots might be.  I like it for two reasons:

  • It gives an additional motivation for exploring the solar system.
  • It's different on each career play-through.  Right now, science is absolutely identical on every career game (other than the absolute amount, if the player tweaks difficulty settings)-- there's no discovery to it.

It seems to me that this would be a really good feature for a mod.  Putting on my modder's hat, for a moment, here's how I imagine this could be implemented:

  • Add a new resource type to the game.  Call it, for example, "Trace Emissions" or some such.
  • Add some specific parts for locating this resource type.  There would be an orbital scanner, basically just like the M700, except that it scans for "Trace Emissions" instead of ore.  Similarly, there would be a surface scanner, like the Surface Scanning Module.
  • However, there wouldn't be any "ISRU" or "drill" equivalent, i.e. it's not a mineable resource.
  • Then add a new science instrument, "Emission Sampler" or whatever.  It would provide a big jolt of science... but it requires that one must be landed/splashed, and it also only works if the "Trace Emissions" resource is present with at least a certain concentration.

This seems like a really straightforward mod to produce, because it wouldn't require adding a huge amount of code.  The game already handles resources well, and is nicely moddable to allow adding new types (plenty of mods already do that).  It's also nicely moddable to allow adding new science instruments and experiments.  So, from a modder's perspective, all this would require to implement would be:

  • some part models (for scanners and science instruments)
  • some config (for adding the new resource type)
  • a little bit of code (for the constraint on the science instrument that it only works when the resource is present)

I like it!  :)

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Duinhir    7
16 minutes ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

- I think you underestimate the difficulty of adding any new feature to a game. You are welcome to mod it in yourself if you think it's so easy?

- I'm not sure life on other planets is really a "question" given the infinite nature of the universe but that's besides the point. Since Kerbin would be the only planet in the "Goldilocks zone" it would be the only planet capable of supporting life, you'd have to travel out system to find any possible alien life forms.

- We have an overabundance of Science points and ways to get them as is.

Thank you for the warm welcome....

Point by point:

-I don't have any modding skill, but some general coding knowledge . I was saying "simple" as in simple compared to other modes, since it does not had new mechanisms except on startup, "just" content. People able to mod have all my humble respect.

- by life, I did not meant little green or grey mens, neither rodent, not even nice tardigrades... just unicellulars, like what real life programs like Viking or Exomars are searching for.

- the science points given by search for life is just, well because it's a science experiment . If I find a mod implementing it and giving no SP, I will nevertheless play it because it add a global goal, another reason to have a space program :)

 

cheers

Thanks snark!

I love tardigrades by the way :)

if ever some modders (praise be there) deigned to implement it, I think it could make a great mod (how immodest of me) :)

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Snark    6690

Just now saw @Rocket In My Pocket's response that came in while I was typing mine.  A few comments on that:

28 minutes ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

- I think you underestimate the difficulty of adding any new feature to a game. You are welcome to mod it in yourself if you think it's so easy?

Actually... I think this is a feature that actually would be pretty easy to add to the game (see my comments above).  Mainly because I think it would be straightforward to mod.  If it's easy to mod, then it's easy to make stock.  :)

And in any case... the whole point of this sub-forum is for people to propose features to the game.  Some will be easier to add than others, and it's not always obvious to a non-programmer which ones would be easy or hard.

In this particular case, I think it wouldn't be hard, based on my experience modding in somewhat-similar areas of the game.

28 minutes ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

I'm not sure life on other planets is really a "question" given the infinite nature of the universe but that's besides the point. Since Kerbin would be the only planet in the "Goldilocks zone" it would be the only planet capable of supporting life, you'd have to travel out system to find any possible alien life forms.

I tend to agree with you on this one-- I think life's a fairly uncommon quantity, and I'd find it a bit of a credulity stretch to base the feature on "life" per se.

But what I do really like is the idea of a gameplay mechanic that allows obtaining science based on "trace emissions" or whatever, that are tied to specific biomes and need to be scanned and located before the science is obtained, the distribution of which is different per career.

30 minutes ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

- We have an overabundance of Science points and ways to get them as is.

Agreed, but the "ways to get them" are currently not super interesting, and completely identical on every career play-through.  I think it could use some improvement.

I think this proposed feature fits in quite nicely, and game-balance issues are easily solved with difficulty settings.  For example, "Scannable per-biome science" could be a difficulty slider, separate from the overall science-return slider.  This would allow for lots of play styles:

  • A player who likes the game just the way it is now, would leave the overall science difficulty slider at its current setting, and would set "scannable per-biome science" slider to zero, thus disabling this feature.
  • A player who wants to add this as a new way to gather science, in addition to the science available now, would leave the overall science difficulty slider at its current setting, and would have the "scannable per-biome science" slider at some desired value.
  • A player who likes the total amount of available science to stay as it is, but would like to shift some of the emphasis away from current "static" values and more towards the biome-scanning thing, would lower the overall science slider value, but keep a high value on the "scannable per-biome science" slider.

 

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KerikBalm    1524
31 minutes ago, Snark said:

Specifically, the idea that there are certain "hot spots" for science that occur in various biomes around the system, where extra juicy results are possible, and the player doesn't know in advance where those spots might be.  I like it for two reasons:

  • It gives an additional motivation for exploring the solar system.
  • It's different on each career play-through.  Right now, science is absolutely identical on every career game (other than the absolute amount, if the player tweaks difficulty settings)-- there's no discovery to it.

Well, its not a source of science per se, but rather a source of something that you normally spend science to unlock:

The green "randoliths" are different each game, and each one gives you a technology you don't already have (assuming there are any remaining). In my most recent career, I found one on mun and one on minmus (I recall reading that there is a randolith that gives science on Kerbin as well)

 

35 minutes ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

- I'm not sure life on other planets is really a "question" given the infinite nature of the universe but that's besides the point. Since Kerbin would be the only planet in the "Goldilocks zone" it would be the only planet capable of supporting life, you'd have to travel out system to find any possible alien life forms.

Duna would be a candidate if it were bigger with a thicker atmosphere- > just as Mars would be a candidate in real life. The problem isn't that its too far from the sun, the problem is that its not massive enough to hold on to a thick atmosphere, and an atmosphere with lower MW gasses.

Hence... my mod that gives Duna a big brother, and its quite clear from orbit that there is life there:

Spoiler

R3eC2Rx.png

ilXchM0.png

6Yp2eCz.png

 

 

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Snark    6690

One other note, for @Duinhir:  If you're on the lookout for a mod that does "more interesting than stock" things with science, this is far and away the most popular mod for that out there:

I've never actually used it myself (not because I'm opposed to it, I just haven't gotten around to it yet), but I gather that it's pretty darn cool.  :)  It adds a lot of new science instruments, which gather science in novel ways.  At least one of them is a bio-gases analyzer of some sort, I believe.  It also has some science contracts that involve investigating surface anomalies, which have to be scanned for.

However, as far as I can tell from reading the description, it doesn't actually have a mechanic like what you've described here, so there may still be room for a mod that does what I describe above, aside from DMagic's mod.

But anyway... if you're looking to jazz up science, this is one way to do it that's already available.

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paulprogart    81
5 hours ago, Snark said:

Specifically, the idea that there are certain "hot spots" for science that occur in various biomes around the system, where extra juicy results are possible, and the player doesn't know in advance where those spots might be.

Suddenly I'm having Star Control 2 flashbacks...

Spoiler

...which is not a bad thing.

 

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Duinhir    7

I did not knew for randolith, if they are the "monkey" monoliths, I believed it was just a feature, I don't remember getting techs from it.

and monoliths are not what I had in mind :)

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Pthigrivi    834

I like this idea :)  I'd love though if it came with something more visual on the ground once you found it. 

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eloquentJane    1906
On 2/12/2017 at 3:57 PM, Rocket In My Pocket said:

Since Kerbin would be the only planet in the "Goldilocks zone" it would be the only planet capable of supporting life, you'd have to travel out system to find any possible alien life forms.

The "Goldilocks Zone" is kind of a ridiculous concept really. It makes the assumption that the only life that can possibly exist in the universe is Earth-like life on Earth-like worlds. It's enormously likely that this is not the case.

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9 hours ago, eloquentJane said:

The "Goldilocks Zone" is kind of a ridiculous concept really. It makes the assumption that the only life that can possibly exist in the universe is Earth-like life on Earth-like worlds. It's enormously likely that this is not the case.

You are welcome to your opinion. However the facts available to humanity at the present; point to life, and life supporting worlds being exceedingly rare.

The only known, proven form of life is carbon, which requires (among other very rare things) some form of liquid water. While liquid water can exist outside the habitable zone, it will be found in the greatest amounts and with the greatest ease of access inside them. Making life far, far more likely to be able to develop within the "Goldilocks zone" than anywhere else.

If you have evidence to the contrary, perhaps you should be so good as to share it with the rest of the scientific world?

Edited by Rocket In My Pocket

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eloquentJane    1906

The point I'm making is that there's no reason to assume that Earth-like life is the only form of life that is possible. Humanity as a whole has wasted an enormous amount of time making no scientific progress in a given field by just assuming what appears to be obvious at the time (everything revolves around the Earth, the world is flat, eyes must've been created by intelligent design because they're so complex, etc). It's quite possible that we might miss something significant because we're simply not looking for it, based on the assumption that it's not going to be there anyway. Obviously it makes sense to prioritize searches for what we know is possible, but it's ridiculous to completely discard the idea of other possibilities.

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1 minute ago, eloquentJane said:

The point I'm making is that there's no reason to assume that Earth-like life is the only form of life that is possible. Humanity as a whole has wasted an enormous amount of time making no scientific progress in a given field by just assuming what appears to be obvious at the time (everything revolves around the Earth, the world is flat, eyes must've been created by intelligent design because they're so complex, etc). It's quite possible that we might miss something significant because we're simply not looking for it, based on the assumption that it's not going to be there anyway. Obviously it makes sense to prioritize searches for what we know is possible, but it's ridiculous to completely discard the idea of other possibilities.

The basis of all scientific discovery is a hypothesis which is then proven to be fact.

I have no problem with theories, and I never said they should be "discarded" but you can't present them as facts or even as viable alternatives to proven facts. Saying "Silicon based life is probably possible" is very, very different from saying "I have found silicone based life and thus proved it's existence."

So yes, there is reason to assume that Earth like life is the only form of life because it's the only one we've actually proven. That's how the scientific method works.

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eloquentJane    1906
1 hour ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

there is reason to assume that Earth like life is the only form of life because it's the only one we've actually proven

No. There is reason to assume that we're likely to find Earth-like life elsewhere because we know it exists. However, we can't prove that it's the only form of life without exhaustively searching the entire universe, so there is no reason to assume that it is the only form of life because there is no proof of that. Our existence serves as proof that Earth-like life is guaranteed to exist somewhere in the universe (even if that somewhere does happen to only be Earth, which is unlikely but not impossible), but it cannot prove that other forms of life absolutely do not exist. Statements like the one I quoted are not how the scientific method works at all; they take as fact something that cannot be absolutely proven with current knowledge.

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DoctorDavinci    1215
14 hours ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

I have no problem with theories, and I never said they should be "discarded" but you can't present them as facts or even as viable alternatives to proven facts.

Theory of evolution, theory of gravity, chaos theory (and the list goes on) ... Are any of these not considered fact?

Let alone it has been proven on paper that you could potentially replace the carbon in organic chemistry with silicon and have the created molecules work in essentially the same fashion ... silicon based life forms?

14 hours ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

So yes, there is reason to assume that Earth like life is the only form of life because it's the only one we've actually proven. That's how the scientific method works.

With this sort of reasoning I would expect that the human race would still be walking around with clubs whilst dragging their knuckles on the ground and living in caves ... might I suggest the following for you to read as I am sure it will clarify for you what the scientific method is https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

Also the videos in the spoiler make for an interesting watch if you can get past Issac talking like elmer fudd (he has a speech impediment which makes him unable to pronounce the letter R)

Spoiler

 

 

 

Edited by DoctorDavinci

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Ser    505

@eloquentJane, @DoctorDavinci, just my two cents to the discussion: we may state that, based of what we know, the probability of carbon life existence is 1 of 1, i.e. 100%. At least we have a proof of that. Another indirect proof is the fact that the components of carbon life were found in meteorites and also process of their spontaneous formation in Earth-like conditions has been discovered, and not a single trace of any organized silicon life components. So it's absolutely logical that the carbon life is believed to be much more probable and is prioritized together with Earth-like conditions, at least until we find a single proof of other possibilities. Otherwise it would be a search of no one knows what in the middle of no one knows where.

Edited by Ser

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eloquentJane    1906

@Ser Absolutely true. All I'm saying is that there's no reason to assume that Earth-like life is the only form of life that exists in the universe, and so searches for life, although prioritizing searching for Earth-like life makes sense for now, should be careful not to miss other forms of life which might be in the range of the search but not as obvious because they're not what's being looked for.

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KerikBalm    1524

There is a reason to prioritize the search for conditions that would allow Earth-life to flourish, because we know those conditions work.

That doesn't mean we should assume those are the only conditions that do - hence the interest in Titan and its lakes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothetical_types_of_biochemistry

Silicon based life is very unlikely to work. Carbon based life will probably be the most common form of life, if not the only form of life (excluding "machine life" built by an earlier form of carbon based "biological" life).

However, Carbon based does not necessarily also mean water based (where carbon is the building block of biomolecules, and water is the solvent for said biomolecules).

Indeed, using a hydrocarbon solvent (CH4 for example) would be even more "carbon based" than Earth life that has much of its mass in the form of Oxygen (from H2O)

However... the polarity of water is important for many bioreactions. Also for obvious reasons, a Methane based biosphere could never accumulate a reactive gas atmosphere (ie O2) as on Earth - which would limit the metabolic activity of organisms. Single cell simple life, but the biosphere wouldn't be nearly as complex as Earth's.

But there are still other solvents to consider... Ammonia for example. H2O is polar with a relatively high specific heat, and readily forms HO- and H3O+ which are important for many chemical reactions. NH2-, NH3 and NH4+ could be comparable. Ammonia is polar, dissolves organic compounds as water does, has a relatively high specific heat (limits the speed of temperature swings, a good property for life), can form hydrogen bonds (although weaker than water's).

It is flammable in O2 though, which could limit life's complexity to roughly that of Earth's before the "Great Oxygenation Event" lead to the proliferation of complex Eukaryotic life.

Also, the primary attraction of NH3 based life is that NH3 is liquid at much lower temperatures than water is, which reduces flammability. Perhaps a biosphere could accumulate Oxygen to a certain percent... not 20%, but maybe 5%? enough for some lfie forms with higher metabolisms without risking oceans of fire?

*edit* Note all the issues I mentioned for Oxygen+ these other solvents is also an issue for similar electronegative elements that could serve the role as a terminal electron acceptor... if Fluorine, Chlorine, Sulfur, etc. Indeed, some life on Earth does not respire Oxygen (Sulfur is a prime example) - but Ammonia or Methane/other hydrocarbons/ HF solvents, etc, would have the same issues with those alternative terminal electron acceptors.

Edited by KerikBalm

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7 hours ago, DoctorDavinci said:

Theory of evolution, theory of gravity, chaos theory (and the list goes on) ... Are any of these not considered fact?

Let alone it has been proven on paper that you could potentially replace the carbon in organic chemistry with silicon and have the created molecules work in essentially the same fashion ... silicon based life forms?

With this sort of reasoning I would expect that the human race would still be walking around with clubs whilst dragging their knuckles on the ground and living in caves ... might I suggest the following for you to read as I am sure it will clarify for you what the scientific method is https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

1. Yeah, those are theories, not facts. To be a scientific fact you'd have to have a complete understanding and explanation for how/why they work, which we don't.

2. Proof on paper isn't proof, it's just more theory. It can be "proven" on paper that 1=0 or that 1+1=3 but that doesn't make it true. (Google it.)

3. "The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry is commonly based on empirical or measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning."

How does this not support exactly what I said? Without evidence it can't be considered scientific fact.

 

I think we've all derailed this guys thread enough, My main point was that since KSP as a game only covers one solar system, the odds of discovering life again in a system that already has it is pretty darn slim. thus making the entire mod concept a little unreasonable. If any one would like to continue discussing what is/isn't scientific theory/fact or what forms of life are likely to exist or not I suggest you make a new thread in the "Science and Spaceflight" section.

Edited by Rocket In My Pocket

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Duinhir    7

"This guy" is happy to see all those discussions :D

nevertheless, per se, ksp isn't scientifically accurate, the reduced size of the planets is not consistent with their gravity or atmosphere...

and in the real life, there is no monolith on Mars.

Chance are that, through panspermia, life on Duna could come from Kerbin. So presence of life in Kerbol system is more probable than presence of monoliths or strange gravities.

But, again, it is nice to read all those scientific arguments :)

cheers

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DoctorDavinci    1215
3 hours ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

1. Yeah, those are theories, not facts. To be a scientific fact you'd have to have a complete understanding and explanation for how/why they work, which we don't.

So gravity isn't fact?

 

3 hours ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

2. Proof on paper isn't proof, it's just more theory. It can be "proven" on paper that 1=0 or that 1+1=3 but that doesn't make it true. (Google it.)

If there is proof on paper it shows that whatever is on said paper is a possibility ... what my response to you was trying to get across was that your assertion the only life that can be found in the universe is carbon based due to us not having discovered any other forms yet

Not accepting that there is a possibility of something being true because there hasn't been incontrovertible proof found is not how the scientific method works 

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Veeltch    1997

I don't think there should be any alien life in the game but more like hints. So for example: you take a surface sample on Laythe and check it under the microscope or sth and the results show it's life building blocks that came from other planet within the system. So you go all "To the Batmobile!" and go exploring that planet for more hints like this that lead you to even newer places.

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Clockwork13    136

No support, alien life IMO kind of ruins the theme of the game, not to mention it would probably be extremely difficult to effectively implement.

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Scoutman1121    14

This is a pretty good suggestion. Considering for all we know, there COULD be a life form that doesn't survive off water, or anything like that.

  1. Add in Scanners etc.
  2. Be able to harvest the life
  3. Be able to tame life forms and use them as Astronauts.
  4. Aggressive Lifeforms should be able to be turned on and off
  5. What if you could instead of Kerbin, start on Duna or Eve? And if so, you could be like that Alien lifeform that lives on that planet.

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