The role of consiousness


(Radical Revolutionary) #1

So i thought of this idea about the role of consiousness in the game.
You can possibly progress threw the game without consiousness but it would be harder.Anger and Fear will have a high chance because of it role and happiness will only be a thing for sex,food,… but with things like enjoying food,watching things,… won’t benefit you in the stages where you are a creature but in stages of civilization it is needed for culture,religion and goverment types giving you support threw the game.


#2

Well, you obviously can’t get to the industrial stage without science and I’d say that basically requires consciousness. Additionally I’d like to block moving to the awakening stage without increasing your creature’s brain power (and consciousness) as that is the whole point of the stage.

Maybe it’s possible to get away with some of your ideas if there is much dimorphism between the castes of your species…


(Lord Nerd) #3

how will measuring the “brain power” and “consciousness” turn out in the end. I get the concept but how will it be implemented?


#4

Probably just as the absolute brain size and/or brain to body size ratio. And requiring you to unlock social traits or something.


(Lord Nerd) #5

If the absolute brain size mattered in real life, then blue whales would be our overlords. There has to be a better way to show it then just a ratio…


(He who abuses the search function) #6

I remember a documentary once where it said it was brain to body ratio, so not absolute brain size.
I don’t think we can know a better way to have a brain other than just ratio, since we don’t know any creatures that have “different” brains, the closest thing we know are octopuses, which are still pretty human-like. This would mean anything would be speculation, for which we just don’t have enough data.


#7

Intelligence is a very complex topic when it comes to the brain.
It is believed that it is a very specific combination of traits that determine intelligence. One is brain size, too small a brain and you just don’t have enough matter to develop intelligence. We will likely never see a sentient species of rats, or anything of a similar size. The second thing is brain to mass ration as others have mentioned. Its great to have a big brain, but if you have a giant mass, your brain is going to spend a lot of its neurons on getting all that mass to move, sensations of that mass, and so on. As someone mentioned this is why blue wales are not very intelligent. Brain size, and ratio are very important together as the brain requires a lot of energy to use, in humans this is about 20%. The larger the brain, the more energy you need, get too big, and the amount of energy you need wont allow further development of the brain. The third major feature is surface area. The brain needs surface area, this allows more gray matter, which allows more connections, which leads to more work. In mammals, we have developed a cerebral cortex, the part of the brain we know as the brain, to solve the problem of generating more surface area. In humans and most mammals, this cortex is wrinkled. This creates a large increase in surface area for the same amount of volume. Gray matter is where a majority of our interconnected neurons are, and it only exists in the top layer of the brain. By wrinkling the brain we have increased the amount of gray matter in the volume. An example of the opposite of this are koalas, an animal people love. The problem with koalas is, is that they have a smooth brain. We think they are so cute, but it is a flat out miracle that they survive. They are so dumb that the only way they know how to eat is off of the tree. If you put them on a table with their only source of food, they will literally starve to death. An mammal of similar size will likely be far smarter then them.

For gameplay revolving around the brain, i could see these 3 things as being key. You need a large enough brain to have enough, not to much body to allow excess brainpower, and more surface area to allow a more efficient brain.


#8

I think we might need to abstract the efficiency of the brain slightly, since we don’t really know all the things makes it more or less efficient.
It’s also interesting to note, that not everything the brain does is necessarily associated with intelligence. For example, a species with lots of different senses might need a large brain just to process all the information that’s coming in. In game, this might be represented by having the player allocate different areas of the brain to different purposes.


#9

This is true, but that could complicate things a bit. Maybe a better gamplay mechanic would be to have certain parts use a specific amount of brain power. The more size and the more complexity a part has the more brainpower you’d need. For example, a tentacle likely wouldn’t need much brain power to control, but as you add smaller appendages, you start to need more fine motor control and put more brain power.
Maybe an easy way to mesaure that, is total surface area, plus a set number for specific organs scaling with size?


#10

Also, we do know that wrinkles improve efficiency by allowing more complex connections fpr the same surface area. Not sure it it improves resource efficiency, but it does improve volume efficiency.


#11

Your comment is valid but we are not going to have placed parts (like in some other games):

Just trying to clear something up in case someone didn’t know.


#12

Sorry, I ment parts as more of parts of a whole as opposed to drag and drop parts. For example, if you make an appendage, it will use a lot more brain power to manipulate it then the part of the pain body that would stay still.


#13

Everything suggested so far focuses on brain power, but we should also consider the different regions.
For example, an animal with a large brain/body ratio but which lacks something like a frontal cortex would not be very good at planning or problem-solving.

So by default you would be able to mutate every brain’s volume and its number of neurons, which has a minimum and maximum determined by the volume.
Now we can compare these values to the volume and density required to support the organism’s mass and complexity.
We can also determine energy consumption based on these two values.

Aside from that, a brain could be “upgraded”.
For example, adding wrinkles on the surface (at MP cost) would increase brain power at a low energy cost. Or you could add “planning/problem-solving”.
Most of these upgrades would require a minimum of available brain power, and can themselves be improved/upgraded over time.
Some of them could also influence eachother (closely related brain functions).