Polynucleation and its role as "the stage after the microbe stage"

So, I’m not shy about the fact that I’d love to play as a race of macroscopic unicellular people, and to that end, I seriously think that it would be an intereting avenue to allow the player to form unicellular organisms into aware, awoken, and even civilized organisms. Intelligent Unicellular life to this degree is a bit of science fiction, however, it isn’t unprecedented; unicellular, polynucleate lifeforms such as Xenophyophores are capable of constructing nests out of deep-sea marine debris, which one could argue is intelligent behaviour (the shells are formed from pieces of marine degree stuck together with organic adhesive, not grown as a cell wall or membrane).

That said, being unicellular would most likely have some major disadvantages; for example, it would take a lot of membrane for a unicellular species to stay properly together outside of deep, pressurized water, and evolving intelligence beyond basic tool use would be quite difficult. On the flipside, however, unicellular organisms would thrive (heh heh) in water, where they can freely absorb nutrients they need. I’d imagine they’d also have limited senses except for chemo- and electroreception.

Ultimately, this is just food for thought. I hope you have a great day, and thanks for reading all the way though to the end.


I sooooooooo want the devs to let polynucleation in the game, also you forgot the slime molds, which are AWESOME, by the way. Also do you think a single called critter could do anything more than instinctual behaviour?

Why couldn’t a large cell have all the same structures as an animal?

Umm, no way. There are huge differences in the abilities of cells verses multicellular critters.

Why couldn’t we replace the cell membranes of an animal with some other support and transport structures, to create a massive cell that works like an animal?

Maybe? But how woupd it think?

It could have communication systems that work as nervous tissues

I dont see how that would work

Brains are made of nodes connected together with connections. There is no good reason I know why this system needs to be split up amongst multiple cells

The main problem is that multicellular organisms have many specialized cell types to perform different functions. For a single cell to be able to create extremely specialized regions, it would require such a degree of compartmentalisation/subdivision of the cell, I’d say it becomes unclear whether you can still call it single celled.

As for the nervous system (as we know it), it specifically depends on the cell membrane to propagate an electric potential. It’s not the kind of system that can just run in the cytosol. So, you’d get a pretty interesting structure doing something like that with a single cell (could probably use something like a weird really streched out vacuole as well). Also, the system relies on junctions between different neuron cells (synapses) to allow signals to jump from cell to cell, but not under all conditions. That’s also difficult to do with a single cell.


Exactly my point, to become truly single celled and large, you really can’t have a nervous system. You can be kinda single celled, sure, but it’s not the same.