Underwater Civilizations Take 3

Hehehe. You underestimate how stupid of a disign can work. So you can’t get into space without advanced smelting? Why not? Gimme a second. I’ll find a way to get into space in the stone age. Industrial stage, you are no longer needed. (And yeah society stage is totally doable in the stone age, most earthly civs got their before they got metal, if they got there in the first place.)

What if there simultaneously exists a terrestrial species which is sapient and it could conduct trade with the underwater civs trading metal tools for whatever is under the sea

They didn’t have a secret space program, right?

Exactly. This is the entire point of the thread as people want to prove that they can in fact reach the rest of the game.

Please go ahead so that this topic can get back on track.

Not an underwater civilization.

This thread is for 100% purely in water species trying to reach high tech required to access the rest of the game.
All kind of random events like space aliens giving the underwater species high tech, has been suggested to death and it won’t be a thing in the game, as then Thrive would be just a RNG waiting simulator.

And this is why underwater civilizations is a meme.

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Okay but the stuff i suggested is plausible right?Cuz it would make an interesting scenario

I mean probably, but it will be perhaps a bit unlikely, because you need to have 2 species develop into sapients at the same time, which to me seems a bit unlikely, because the sapient phase lasts for a few hundred thousand years (during which the species will probably make any species close to sapience extinct due to tribalism). But not entirely impossible to imagine the timescales working out.

Found these links (which need to be also argued if the domestication approach to high tech is to be taken seriously):

And maybe:


I dont think a stone age civilization limited to the ocean could really affect an ecosystem on land.Plus there are lots of near sapient species on earth like whales,dolphins,octopuses and chimpanzees

Hmm, yeah. I was thinking that the land based civ formed first. They would then industrialize and pollute the oceans / hunt the aquatic species into extinction before they can become sapients, if the time scales don’t line up just right.

You dont need a purely biotech approach.Some basic biotech WILL help with discovering metalworking.If you want it mandatory that metalworking to be part of your techweb .
A pure biotech tree will need more thought tho.

Wait, what. I was legit going to say something about domestication a few days ago but didn’t gain the confidence to say it after getting inspired by the book all tomorrows. Did you just beat me to bioengineering species to create an advanced civilisation???

Looms are a stone age technology (probably Neolithic).
Wooden gears work equally well as metal gears, for machinery.
Mechanical looms are a key element of the industrial age, and do not need metal, given other forms of machinery can exist.
Punchcard looms are a key precursor of the information age, and do not need metal for the same reasons (and while they do need machinery, it is different machinery from mechanical looms - you can put a head on a hand loom).

I’d be a little confused about calling a civilization that lacks metal but makes widespread use of machinery and perhaps mechanical data processing to still be in the Neolithic, even if they haven’t made space ships. The pre/proto-historical ‘ages’ ended with historians rather than technological advancements, and historians are easier to implement than smelting.

For deep underwater civilizations in particular I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of technical challenges involved in just reaching and/or colonizing the surface (air, ice or otherwise) that would make that a stage on its own.

We also might lock ourselves out of growing in space through our own space programs, just by filling up orbit with debris … so a civilization being locked out of space growth in particular may not be too uncommon. There’s still plenty of room for innovation without it, I hope.

I just use “stuck in the stone age” as a shorthand for, has no way to progress technologically in the direction (space ships, scifi tech) that are needed to complete the game.

Highly unlikely,the first space program flights will be low latitude where orbital decay takes days.

EDIT:Oh youre refering to OURSELVES haha i dont really think that tbh.

Reading up on it further it looks like Kessler syndrome isn’t that terrible a barrier to space travel, mostly wrecking satellite zones instead, so hard locking your civ out via space debris might be relatively challenging yeah.

You can propose all the theoretically and physically plausible underwater analogues to terrestrial technology as you want, but it’s all meaningless unless you take the time to actually make your ideas coherent by stitching them together and justifying them.
They are analogues not homologues.
Yes; these Aqua-sapients could hypothetically speaking use X to do Y.
But why would they though? In what circumstances would these events happen?

To our distant ancestors fire was a precious commodity. A big light would come crashing through the heavens every now and again and set a tree or the ground a blaze. The fire would not only scare predators away, but also provide light, and warmth, and in some rare instances maybe some food.
Originally we were (presumably) also scared of the fire. But It takes only 1 adventurously stupid Ape to start poking at the bright red monster with a stick and 1-2 million years later you’ll have a society full of pyromaniacs making fire breathing metal rods to fly out into space.

Now obviously I’m paraphrasing for the sake of convenience. Our ancestors relationship with fire was far more complex than that. But the overarching question trying to be established is:
[Could you provide a similarly complex timeline (in respect to humans and our relationship with Fire, Metal. and all of our other major technological advancements) for the advancement of technology with what examples you have provided, and are you able to justify some of its cruder details]

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I think this all boils down to creativity and any possible tech/tech discovery would be able to have a story around them.Your example said something about being adventurous,which i think could be applied to anything.
Also :

Then let’s just make them discover quantum physics while on stone age.

I dont know if you consider 500bce close to stone age, but leucippus says hi. I dont know if any tools from that time helped them with coming to this conclusion. But it shows what human level intelligemce can achieve. Remember i said 160Iq average. Which is higher than average human level of intelligence.

Anyhow i never said they should discover that lol.Its not a requierment for domestication or lava vent smelting.

Didn’t find that these had already been posted so here goes.

I recommend giving these two a listen.

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I love SFIA, happy someone else is pointing out his stuff.

(and i kinda gave up on making spaceships without metal and decided you should just live on an Enceladus/Europa type moon and shoot extremophiles out of the geysers until you learn pottery, at which point you can make pottery space ships, and the extremophiles will start up there own ecoology up there for you to study.)