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Fractals

Discussion in 'The Monster Monster Contest' started by Yttsae, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Yttsae

    Yttsae Request for Urgent Business Relationship

    Fractals
    (vaguely sentient orbs of etherial goo that can aggregate into increasingly intelligent combined forms)​
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    Extrapolated from partially digested records found in a wandering Dud

    Fractals first appeared in this universe in an experiment (conducted by a now extinct race) to bring things from a different universe into this one. A single Dud was brought through from the ‘Fractal Dimension’, and it proceeded to devour its container and start replicating. From there the population expanded. Each orb is vaguely sentient, but only as they gather do they exhibit true sentience and intelligence. Because Fractals came from a perfectly ordered universe, our own seems random and chaotic to them. Seeing this chaos as a flaw, the Fractals go about our universe attempting to ‘fix’ it by turning everything fractal.

    A single orb is what we know as a Fractal, giving this name to the species and to their universe of origin.

    Key terms:
    Orb-mass is the total number of orbs on a planet; this includes orbs currently joined into larger fractals
    Unit orb-mass refers to the amount of orbs making up a single fractal

    Description
    A Fractal is a single unit of any of the classes (Dud, Worker, Soldier, Brain), the units being collections of orbs (an orb being the smallest, single Fractal unit). Single orbs are slowly-but-continually-pulsing globes that appear to be filled with a swirling ethereal substance that moves constantly (kind of like a cross between a Magic 8 Ball when the die inside is at the back and barely visible, and a stereotypical smoked-filled crystal ball).

    When a unit sustains damage, the damage is transferred to a single orb in the formation. This means that, when a Fractal takes enough damage to kill a single orb, one of the orbs within the formation dies, and the formation reconfigures instantly to a unit of the same class but with 1 less orb. If the formation falls below the minimum unit orb-mass, it will split into Duds that will act individually.

    When Duds pass or bump into each other or into another Fractal, there is a chance that (unless the other Fractal is full) the Dud will join into the Fractal and make it stronger. If two Duds collide, there is also a chance that they will randomly swap orbs (e.g., if a single-orb Dud bumped into a four-orb Dud, then they could trade no orbs, or the smaller could grow by 1,2, or 3 orbs). Once reaching a certain orb-mass, several Duds will actively attempt to join together into various other types of Fractals.

    Duds
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    Duds are the smallest kind of Fractals, made up of 1-4 orbs with a unit orb-mass of between 1 and 4 inclusive. Duds roam around and try to eat everything that isn’t Fractal, bumping into things in order to consume them. They can be blocked by shields, but otherwise upon contact they do a small amount of damage, and will follow you until you are dead or are a set distance away (not that far). Very slowly, they will attempt to eat anything living (plants, animals and so on) and, upon eating enough, they replicate, and a new orb splits from them. On rare occasions, the new orb will stay attached by a thread; in this case, both act as one Dud with as much extra health as the new orb. There is chance upon interacting with another Fractal that they will then join it.

    If the total orb-mass is above a certain bound, the chance of Duds joining up or growing increases, doing either of these causes them to gain more health in proportion to the amount of new unit orb-mass gained (they have as much health as the separate orbs that comprise them would have), as well as more defence and attack, although the amount of damage that a fractal needs to cause to produce a new orb remains the same, they tend to loosely stick together.

    Workers
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    Workers are formed when a Fractal has a unit orb-mass of between 5 and 8 inclusive. Workers have one or two basic attacks but will run if the option is available. Occasionally a passing Dud will join the Worker and meld into a ‘stronger’ version with a slightly higher carrying capacity, more health, defence, and attack (basically a level up).

    This Worker will then start building the fractal in that area, a structure that will eventually consume the planet. This fractal-building process starts with the worker digging out a cavern system (planned to be close to the size of the planet). This planned structure also includes flattening the surface of the planet and coating it with a strong hard substance. This substance will also be used to coat the walls of the fractal.

    Workers don't create tiles from scratch, instead they move tiles from around them and alter them into Dud-blocks. Starting at one of the several entrances to the fractal, Workers stay as close to the entrance as possible when above ground. Until a Brain has been formed, Workers won’t touch the surface of the planet; instead they focus entirely on building the fractal. They will attempt to stop constructing the fractal before hitting any other caves and will block up unexpected entrances when they find them with Dud-blocks. They can carry twice as many blocks as the amount of orbs they contain. After this limit is reached, they must either change it into Dud-blocks to flatten and coat the world and inside of the fractal, convert it into orbs, or use it to increase their own unit orb-mass.

    Soldiers
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    Upon reaching or surpassing a certain orb-mass, 9 orbs will join together to form a Soldier with a unit orb-mass of between 9 and 13 inclusive. Until the Brain has been formed, Soldiers will stay near the entrance of the fractal.

    Soldiers are passive and won’t start a fight, but they will turn aggressive if they (or another nearby fractal) is attacked. This tends to cause them to fight with creatures that are simply retaliating against the Dud’s ‘attacks’/mindless floating/bump damage. Soldiers have several strong attacks. After attacking an enemy a Soldier will continue to attack until they enemy dies or runs far enough away, or until the Soldier would be drawn too far away from the fractal or would die (flee on low health), at which point it will run to try to find help.

    Brain
    30 orbs will join together to form a Brain upon reaching or surpassing a certain orb-mass. Brains look like a large spherical framework of orbs with constantly changing connections. The Brain is a sentient and highly intelligent form that can control other Fractals. The Brain has instant communication with all orbs and can use and reconfigure them at will. Orbs act like limbs and senses to the brain, whereas the Brain can’t do anything itself except move. The Brain will usually be near the lowest point of the fractal (I'm not sure how the centre of planets will work but that’s where they ideally live).

    Upon the formation of a Brain, a minimum of three Soldiers will constantly protect it, while at least one guards every entrance to the fractal (although there should only be one until after the Brain forms). Due to this at least 4 Soldiers must exist before a Brain can form. If there are enough of them, several Soldiers will roam the fractal.

    Soldiers will attack anything that enters the fractal once the Brain has formed, although if the player reaches an entrance to the fractal without killing any Duds (which would trigger retaliation) and stays close to the entrance without entering, the Brain will notice and try to make contact (it is sentient after all). It will do this by first moving all nearby Duds away so as not to accidentally start a fight, then move more Soldiers in to better defend the entrance, before moving a single Dud (the largest nearby) close to the player. The Brain will then use this Dud to attempt to communicate with the player (until it has observed you for long enough, it will try odd methods of communication, such as making the Dud flash in different colours, make various noises and move in patterns).

    By this point you can talk to the Brain through these proxies and possibly recruit it into your crew (this would be by it sending pairs of a Worker/Soldier and Dud to your ship and acting through them). Although it communicates only through Duds it is possible to convince the Brain to move planet, but this is hard because Fractals need at least an entire planet to convert to their own before their need for order is sated (although this doesn't have to be the planet they are already on). On a fully converted planet, between 3 and 5 Brains usually exist, working cooperatively to make and maintain the fractal.

    If several Duds are killed in the same area/by the same enemy, a Soldier will be sent out to the area if there isn’t already one nearby. If that Soldier dies, a group of three will be sent to the area/to its killer (if it is within any Fractal’s sight) as a scouting party. If this group of Soldiers is then dying or needing to flee, a large army will be sent to destroy everything in the area, starting with whatever caused the problem for the scouting party. If this army is wiped out, the colony prepares to fight for survival (as almost all of its Soldiers were considered as being in the army, excepting the Brain’s guards and a token guard at the entrances). At this point, Workers will just produce orbs, all loose Duds will form Soldiers, and the Brain’s guard will be increased. Once the rest of the colony is made of Soldiers, most of them are sent at the attacker as another wave/army although if ¼ of the Soldiers made before this attack are killed the Brain will start fleeing. The Brain and its guard will ‘run’ to the surface, continue upwards and eventually out of the atmosphere to find another planet.

    Effect the Brain has on the other types of Fractals once it has formed
    Duds
    Duds will work in groups while still retaining their old behaviour.

    Workers
    Workers will now work faster and cooperatively (whereas before they were only working toward very similar-looking simple fractals, they will now work toward one due to the coordination of the Brain). Workers will also now venture above ground to start flattening the world and coating it with Dud-blocks.

    Soldiers
    Soldiers will do more and take less damage (this effect will amplify with the existence of more Brains) and more will run to help any in fights (even if out of the usual helping range).

    Drops
    Anything that can be dropped by a single orb is dropped when any Fractal takes an orb’s worth of damage, so all drops from the Fractals should be have a lower drop-rate.

    All orbs when killed drop loot. When you do enough damage to any Fractal to kill an orb, you will get whatever random drops that orb would drop. The more orbs there are in a formation, the more attack and defence the form gets (this would be a certain percentage increase) and any formation will have an orb’s worth of health for each orb in the Fractal.

    For example, if you had a Soldier made of 10 orbs, and you did enough damage to kill an orb, that particular orb’s loot would drop, and the Soldier would become a 9-orb soldier (and so become weaker). Killing another orb after this would drop another orb’s worth of loot, and the remaining 8 orbs would split apart, possibly forming smaller Fractals.

    Fractal-themed armour.
    Something that slightly helps research stats etc. (an equation or fractal from their origin universe that progresses your scientists research)

    Pet versions
    Any Fractal can be tamed if captured. Upon capturing a Fractal, you disconnect it from the Brain if there is one. Duds would follow you and bump into creatures you come across to attack although they could possibly be trained to avoid attacking anything non-hostile. Soldiers and Workers could be trained to use weapons and shields with their arms to complement their existing attacks. You can also capture a Brain, but there’s no point unless you could get it to help your scientists, because the Brain is very intelligent but completely unable to attack.



    All images drawn by the wonderful Yen under duress because she's my girlfriend
    All feedback appreciated


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    Tamarama, Pigsnot, Rekansen and 2 others like this.
  2. Yen

    Yen Pangalactic Porcupine

    Soldiers are jellyfishhhhhh :D
     
  3. Yen

    Yen Pangalactic Porcupine

    I couldn't resist! The Soldiers can 'stand' so....>P​
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    Yttsae likes this.
  4. Yttsae

    Yttsae Request for Urgent Business Relationship

    Thank you those little cartoons are awesome.
     
  5. thefluvirus

    thefluvirus Contributor

    Wow, this is so detailed! It would definitely fit in with starbound's sci-fi nature! Good luck!
     

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