Some new ideas about cell locomotion

Hi there! So as the title implies i will propose 3 (I think) brand new ways of moving your microbe around. All of these ideas are based on actual science and I will provide examples to them, but I think they also could be interesting from a gameplay perpective. Oh, and one thing: English is not my main language, so I’m sorry if some things I write have weird structures or if I use the wrong words for some things.

1- Reptating flagella

Let’s start simple: Tired of always having your flagella at the back of your microbe like a sperm cell? tired of watching every species doing the same? Look no further! Forward-looking flagella, known as “tractor flagella” or “reptating flagella” are very common, specially in protozoans such as euglenids and chromista organisms. They work by reptating and using traction to pull the cell forward and/or by moving in an helicoildal motion to generate forward thrust.

In game they could be “hairy” to distinguish them visually from normal flagella. I know these are more aesthetic than an actual improvement or change, but I think they could add some fresh looks and biodiversity to microbes.

2-Haptoneme

¿Ever heard of haptophytes? they are a phylum of chromista unicellular algae that have two cool characteristic structures: Cocolites (defensive structures that could be mistaken for a cell wall) and haptonemas. A haptonema is a modified flagellum that these individuals use to aid in their movement by grapling to things and, most interestingly, to aid in predation and general feeding. The haptoneme will “shoot” out of the haptophye, wrap around their prey or yummy debry and either inmovilice it or drag it to the hungry cell (most of the time they do both).

In-game I see haptonemas as an external structure that you can place on your cell (probably eukaryote-exclusive) and that, in exchange for a sustantial amount of ATP, it will shooty out a rope-like structure that you could use either to grapple into thing bigger than you (mostly big iron chunks and bigger cells) and move fast thowards them or to catch small things (smaller cells and small iron pieces mostly) and bring them closer to you so you can gobble them up easily.

3-Pseudopods
I’m absolutely sure that pseudopods and amoeboid locomotion have been proposed a million times and that the devs already are planning to add them or at least know that people want them, but still. We all now what a pseudopod is, so I will no bother explaining them. In-game I imagine them as an special cytoplasm block that you can only place in cells with a simple membrane that has less than 25% rigidity (or maybe they could be restricted to a special kind of cell membrane, an ameboid membrane). When you have them in your organism you can shoot out a pseudopd, wich will grapple to the medium or to wathever it touches, and then it will retract, moving your cell in the direction the pseudopod extended

And, of course, you could use them to engulf smaller organisms.

So yeah, those are my ideas. I don’t know if someone will appreciate them or not, but I thought I should share them. I just love microbiology and I thought some of these structures I study in biology could be nice aditions to the game.

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Haptoneme seems very cool.

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I like all of them, pseudopods especially.

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Those are some cool ideas!

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