Originally posted by TDM/JM:
No, I'm using literary personification to augment the aesthetic value of programming, poor or otherwise. That's one of the reasons why game creation is an art.
No, you're explaining away a well known fact: Computers can't simulate living things with current technology. Wingman/enemy AI is inferior to the player's own organic reactions. This isn't part of the art of game design, its a limiting factor.
It's in the eye of the beholder, I'm afraid. There's no reason I can see why a Mara should look like a frightening beetle complete with (useless)legs, or a Sathanas like tarantula ready to strike. These earthly denizens would not exist in the Shivan milieu, nor would the Shivans recognize their shock value to humans (to say nothing of their irrelevance to Vasudan allies). Shivan vessels appear to be organic in character, "grown" and not mechanically engineered. As such, they appear quite "natural". Maras and Sathanas aside, they are one of the few artifacts that can give clues to Shivan character.
Shivan vessels, as already discussed in this thread, are not grown, and show no evidence of being so. They are in fact, on close inspection distinctly artificial. I refer you to the texture files for FS1 and FS2. Further, by assuming that there are no arthropoda in a natural Shivan environment, you set up a circular arguement. To whit, they are not natural, so they have no natural environment, so they don't have bugs, so their ship designs are artificial, so they must be artificial. I will counter with my own viewpoint: they are arboreal arthopods from a low gravity world. Such a world would have other arthropods, such as beetle- and spider-like organisms.
"I see no proof of instictual behavior. You give no supporting evidence for this conclusion, and then move on as if it were fait accompli."
I defer to the V-people, who have implied as such.
You've got me there. I've not seen
say anything for or against 'instinctual behavior' for the Shivans. As I don't see any
people weighing in, I'm going to have to stick with my own assesment. Shivan behavior is intelligent. It is too complex and planned to be 'instinctual.
Well, of course you've characterized my Shivans for me, in a way that best suits your argument. It's a tactic, not a conclusion. And it's really not relevant. Personally -- again, *personally* -- I think the idea of a mysterious element capable of constructing and manipulating biological species to function as "defense grids", without their knowledge, is a horrifying and fascinating concept.
Last I checked, dog breeding is not a "horrifying and fascinating concept". Its old hat. Humans have been doing this to dogs without their knowledge or permission for millenia.
Conceiving the Shivans in the same way as the aliens were conceived in "Independence Day" -- destruction according to some "territorial imperative", be it resources or ritual preference -- lacks originality; frankly it's been done to death.
Did I miss the scene in Independence Day where Will Smith sat down and asked the invading aliens about their motivations? Is that some DVD extra? I don't think the Shivans are interested in territory (they don't seem to conquer, only secure nodes, preventing transit), resources (again, they leave resources behind) and we don't know anything about them socially to even consider ritual. In short, I dont' see your link between the characterization of Shivans and the aliens in ID4. My take on Shivan motivation has a very simple parallel in modern medicine. When you cut out a tumor, you take some healthy tissue with it to insure that no unhealthy cells remain.
As for the question of originality: if its scifi, its been done to death. We've had five limbed aliens, we've had insect like ships, we've had unknown aliens interceding in an ongoing war between species, we've had ancient civilizations destroyed by an unknown enemy destined to come back... so where was the originality again? Every story, plot thread, twist, MacGuffin and red herring has already been used at least once somewhere. Let us not talk of originality, please.
Shivans can remain mysterious and deadly, but they don't have to be unbelieveable.
ruhkferret on ICQ/AIM"Your guy was a little SQUARE! You had to use your IMAGINATION! There were no multiple levels or screens. There was just one screen forever and you could never win the game. It just kept getting harder and faster until you died. JUST LIKE LIFE." --Ernie Cline