Cosmic Horrors a la H.P. Lovecraft/Stephen King

Imagine if there was a species like The Q from All Tomorrows (or even Star Trek) that likes to mess with other species for the hell of it - driving them to madness or servitude, or both!
We could make sacrifices to them/it or try to fight back and face further subjugation.


I am sure malignant alien civilizations would be implemented in the game. It would be too big of an opportunity to miss.

However, Cosmic Horror is more than just “evil”. It is the incomprehensible. Which brings up an interesting point about the game, regarding the way evolution of “alien” spaces occurs. It seems well within the realm of possibility for the auto-evolver, given the right conditions, to create something, which the player finds hardly disturbing. Now, it definitely will not be incomprehensible, nor scary, due to the medium it will use. But it will be interesting to see the most blizzare of life forms, toeing the line between what is biologically possible and what isn’t.


I agree with everything you said. You’re right, it wouldn’t be scary at all given the playfulness of Thrive, no problem. But I don’t think we would be able to play as a giant cosmic mass the size of a planet or small moon - even though it’s technically possible for such a life form to exist. But a portion of the game where we encounter it would suffice. The fascinating part comes in to play when the life form is huge and possesses intelligence, and to add fuel to the fire, a demanding presence with rivals similar to itself. Or even better, have it be mindless and we extract resources from it. :rofl:

Or maybe we can play as a cosmic hive mind at a stage of the game that’s a combination of microbe stage (by devouring planets/civilizations) and a multi-planet colony simulator (by “sparing” our potential victim civilizations and just enslave them instead)

I think “cosmic horrors” are kind of a really fantastical concept, so I don’t really feel like they fit in Thrive.

This is actually a bit related to these threads:

What about planet sized life forms?

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While I personally think that organisms that large would be awesome, is there a way to do them without breaking the square cube law?

And also at the same time if they are planet sized, unless they are like a plant covering the entirety of a plants surface one would have to prove ‘space whales’ as well

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Well the game already has options outside of “Life As We Know It” so I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to have a life form not need an atmosphere atleast in this stage of its evolution, and make its own pseudoatmosphere from gases it collects or produces. It’s theoretically possible and not more far fetched than alien civilizations that can communicate with one another.
Besides, one civilization could create such a life as a form of “biotech” that can defend its atmosphere. Heck why can’t they make multiple?

well they could use volcanoes or analogous structures to expel hot matter out of their mantles and have an active support system stopping them from collapsing into a molten iron core that they use to store heat and iron for when they don’t get enough energy or when a sapient species evolves from their surface and blocks off light from it. based on LAWK and current scientific knowledge it is probably more realistic than space whales as most people imagine them.

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I am not really sure if Cosmic Horror is fantastical. While some examples of it, such as Lovecraft, definitely could fit into that category, I think that it can be defined with a better word: “Scale”.

The vast emptiness of Space and its loneliness could be used to amplify the feeling that you - and your species - are alone. Just tiny little things, on a little blue rock, floating around in the cast empty and dead darkness of space. Only occasionally is that infinite black ocean pierced by the light, only to reveal more emptiness. In all of that vastness, we are alone, with the grandeur of the nothingness well beyond our capabilities to grasp.

And I think that the nature of the game, being a simulation, and not a story teller, would make the exploration of Space even more lonely, but also intriguing. You do not have a guide, you truly are all alone amidst the black. And how you react to that - with fear or wonder - is entirely up to you. Whether you will fall into an existential fear, or be filed with an adventurer’s lust, depends only on you as the player.

And with regards to life, I suppose we probably will not see Cthulhu or anything made of Star Matter that is infinitely old and undying.
But grotesnquess can still exist. While I do not think that Cosmic Horror should be identified with just “physically abhorrent creatures”, I think that having something unpleasant to the eye, in combinations with the loneliness of Space, could create some feeling of dread. Perhaps even an existential one - after all, would not an alien start questioning its beliefs, if it were to find something cosmically appalling? What God would allow such a sight to behold? How can something toeing the line between physics and magic exist? And so on and so on.

P.s. - I don’t think Space Whales are Cosmic Horror. That sounds pretty magic and wonderful to me. Wouldn’t make me question the significance of my being.

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That’s actually wrong. Even with LAWK off, everything has to follow the known laws of physics and be plausible to have evolved. It’s not a free pass to add magic to the game.

You are falling into the trap of underwater and sentient plants, claiming something is theoretically possible without proving it.

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if you gave a diatom perfect O2/CO2 balance and made it’s frustule be completely closed off(assuming nothing damaged it) it could survive for the maximum time a diatom can with no atmosphere or atleast until it overheated if it didn’t have fin like structures on it’s frustule to radiate away heat. reproduction however is an entirely different problem with no atmosphere but i’m pretty sure i stated how that would work in the latest rendition of my essay on space whales.

the psuedoatmosphere part however would be impossible without the player designing it or something that it could be made from like a glass swim bladder which would not be useful in space and it would be easier to get rid of it unless it had the DNA for a frustule

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Can diatoms be planet-sized? If not, it’s not relevant to this discussion…

i was just talking about the “surviving with no atmosphere” part there

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K fine :joy: what about living ships like All Tomorrows or SCORN?

Take that talk to the bioships thread.

Then its basically the same thing then, and totally possible

Read the other thread please. Bioships were not proven. Any talk trying to prove them should go in that other thread.

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