Hey friends!

Hi guys, I found this game through a friend online and I think you guys have some really cool stuff going. I would say very excited for the next stages release and would love to contribute to the content coming out. I actually did a BSc in molecular bio and genetics and wouldnt mind giving input if you guys had any questions. I specialized in stem cell development but if theres any help you need let me know.
Cheers and hopefully theres some cool content i can help with XD


Hi, welcome to the forums :slightly_smiling_face:
If you want to be in the development team you can go to the Get Involved tab in the website


Also hello! If you don’t want to help right now you are more than welcome to help the majority of us twiddle our thumbs a little faster and play fun games. Anyway stick around and I hope you enjoy the forums!


Welcome to the forums pal!


Hello. On our forums we have many problems and that will be very good, if you can help with solving :wink:


Ya super excited to help - if you want to direct me towardds a problem i will try to solve it!

Cool! Can you suggest a game for me to start with?

Welcome. I typically only make posts to give feedback for the game or discuss game concepts, so you probably won’t see me around much. I hope you can help with the game’s development.

@J1Sun in the future if you want to make two posts back to back, edit the first one instead, you’ll thank me later

Do you mean the name under ours? For example “spore devs quake before me”?

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he said game @Magic8Ball04

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I’m really not that smart.

Ok so anyway some of my favorite games are rain world, dead cells, and spore.

well, hes talking about forum games lol.

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Jesus fucking Christ

Well the fallout game just got (kind of) closed but I think it’s getting rebooted.
Uuuh… just go to https://community.revolutionarygamesstudio.com/c/forum-games
and find one that’s not filled up.
The rules are mainly self explanatory and the GMs usually know what they’re doing.


Hi @J1Sun, welcome to the forums :slight_smile:

One molecular bio discussion we were having the other day is about radiotrophy. The question is do microbes use regular melanin to make sugars from ionising radiation or is there some kind of special “radioplast” involved?

If you have any input it would be interesting to know what you think.


Hey Mr TJ!
So ya, i took a look over at your post there, read the papers, did some very light background research, and I’ll give you my two cents.

  • I think its very clear from the papers you cite that melanin is a key contributor to the absorption of energy emitted from radiation. To be specific, it seems to peak at visible light, when concerned to electron transfer capacity. The plos one paper was a bit on the weaker side in my opinion, as the experiments were only touching the surface of melanins actual role. To me it seems it does help with survivability of the fungi moreso than any energy based explanations. Figure 6-7 especially has some clear experimental flaws in my opinion, as fungi were VERY selectively chosen! Of course, after irridiating the fungi with gamma rays and the like, youll have selectively bred for the ones that can survive said radiation! Also, you’ll notice non-melanized cells still have a very decent incorporation rate of C14 isotopes.
  • Just looking at the enzyme kinetics of actually using this energy, which is what your question is asking: “Does melanin ALONE have the capacity to make sugars from ionizing radation?” To be blunt, not in any practical way if youre speaking realistically (especially from an evolutionary standpoint). The reason why organelles exist is to make enzyme kinetics favorable for reactions to occur. If you even want to consider using melanin as a photoreceptor to catch that sweet sweet energy you’ll need some supporting machinery to make that possible. Dont expect free NAD and FADH to hook up with an excited melanin molecule. So yes, you will need a radioplast if you even want to consider this.
  • So to conclude, I want to just point out the evolutionary aspect that radioplasts would involve. Yes, its possible from an evolutionary standpoint, but it seems extremeeeeelllllyyy unlikely for it to occur before any prior melanin containing special appear. Its more likely melanin evolves to capture UV and Regular light to create energy…but that would just be a knock off chloroplast. Any molecules that would stray too close to a radioactive source would honestly just get slammed and die very quickly, with a very minimal portion staying alive. Considering melanin containing species would be more favored working their way towards the surface, rather than towards radioactive rocks, it would be practical to have a radioplast after you evolve species that use melanin as a protective molecule against the suns rays. It just seems like a gimmicky organelle to add at this point, when you could be doing so much more with the game. You could definetly introduce melanin into the game in other forms, and then introduce the radioplast, and it would make more sense rather than a random gimmick you pick up from happening to not die to a radioactive source.

Hope this reply helped, and i did enjoy reading the papers :slight_smile:


Nice to meet you Solitarian, if you need me anywhere you know where to find me. Look forward to discussing things in the future with you XD

I suppose a radioplast would be useful on a world which received no (or very little) visible light. In that case, a chloroplast would be useless. Perhaps this “dark” world orbits a black hole instead of a star, which would explain the prevalence of ionizing radition instead of visible light. That still doesn’t eliminate the problem of the radiation just killing the cells before they can use the energy.


Thanks for the reply.

I’m a bit confused, I guess I can see several possibilities.

  1. Radiotrophy isn’t real, but it seems there is reasonable evidence.

  2. Radiotrophy is real and can be done just with melanin. But, as you say, it seems unlikely melanin has enough molecular machinery to do it.

  3. Radiotrophy is real and it requires radioplasts and those evolved recenlty. But how then did they find so many species possibly able to do it? Wouldn’t these all need a common ancestor, maybe horizontal gene transfer or something? Also why has no one seen the radioplasts in the cells?

Beginning in the 1990s, researchers at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant uncovered some 200 species of apparently radiotrophic fungi containing the pigment melanin on the walls of the reactor room and in the surrounding soil.[2][3] Such “melanized” fungi have also been discovered in nutrient-poor, high-altitude areas which are exposed to high levels of ultraviolet radiation.[4]

  1. Radiotrophy is real and radioplasts evolved a long time ago. But then why haven’t they been described before? Wouldn’t we be able to see them in many organisms?

I can’t really get on board with any of these explanations ha ha


Hey Mr TJ!
So I think you may be a bit confused as to the role of melanin here. Its just a pigment. It cannot ‘perform’ radiotropy, but rather is one of the available tools (among many others) that a possible ‘radioplast’ could use to capture high energy waves. Honestly melanin would be a fairly bad choice, since it caps its electron capture at visible-UV light.
As to your statements, I think you need to be very careful of your wording when you’re speaking with scientifically inclined persons:

  1. Radiotropy isn’t real? --> Should be: “There is not significant evidence at the current time to imply that radriotropy is an efficient and plausible method used by organisms on earth.” , since the concept does in fact certainly exist, and can be done - its just not something that is occuring naturally at a significant rate.
  2. Radiotropy exists and is employed by organisms in a plausible and sustained manner, using melanin as a pigment. Honestly my take on this would be that if you really needed to do radiotropy - youd evolve a different type of amino acid based polymer pigment that would be effective in capturing UV and stronger waves. Just to be clear Im going to attach a picture of eumelanin, a type of melanin. This is all it is. Its a straight up molecule that does not perform any crazy function. Like any other molecule, it will resonate with specific energy sources (ie. light) and capture that energy before shooting it back out in the most stable way possible. Its an elongated chain.
  3. This is basically point 2. Since performing radiotropy in an organism would elicit the need for a organelle that is appropriately named. You also said ‘why has no one seen the radioplasts’ , well sorry but science isnt that easy. Its going to take scientists a lot more guessing and experiments to even begin to understand how its done. It could possibly be something along the lines of a thin layer attached to the inside of the cell wall of fungi that roots itself to melanin and does the job. Think of a chloroplast that strayed too far possibly, and joined its thylakoid membrane so that melanin molecules that were already a part of the cell wall could be used instead of regular chlorophyll. Im not saying thats it but it has to have some sort of evolutionary basis, and needs a lot of research (cough cough, funding) to glean more information on the topic.
  4. Ummm ok?

The correct explanation for this topic , in light of your 4 honorable attempts would be:
"Radiotrophy is phenomena that is hypothesized to exist within certain organisms that survive in environments with high radiation. These organisms were characterized by their high(er) concentration of melanin, leading us to believe that melanin could play a key role in the raditrophy process. Although no key organelle or biochemical mechanisms have been identified, it is also very plausible that there exists a specific organelle/proteins, termed radioplast, that serves to compartmentalize and keep the process kinetically favorable within the cell environment.

So, do you implement a radioplast in game? Well… you could as long as you have a reason to… as the game stands right now, it would just end up becoming some weird gimmick in my opinion.


I support the addition of radioplasts, but not because there is detailed scientific support for them. Rather, I think it would make fun gameplay and allow for more versatile organisms (I am very attracted to this darkworld idea). Perhaps the player’s planet would not have radiotrophs, but in the space stage the player could find a planet with extensive radiotrophy. The game does not need to specifically explain the speculative chemistry of radiotrophy.

The threat of it being a gimmick is real, though. It would need to be based on the attributes of the planet. On some planets photosynthesis is the best option, while on others raditrophy or siderotrophy would be the best option. I mention siderotrophy because I think rusticyanin was such a great addition to Thive. Perhaps a planet could orbit a particularly dim star or be so distant that the energy from photosynthesis would be too meager. Hypothetical methane-based life on Titan would not have much use for photosynthesis, as Titan’s thick atmosphere and distance from Sol would reduce the yield too much.

First, radiation would need to be added to the game. I think this is important anyway, as the player can currently just rush to the surface and use the tide pool’s 200% lux value with no penalties. At the beginning of the game, the surface should be too dangerous and irradiated for simple organisms to survive. Perhaps an atmosphere would develop to block the radiation, or perhaps radiation-resistant radiotrophs would evolve to utilize it.