Flora/Fauna/Nature -Ideas and Concepts Thread

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Flora/Fauna/Nature -Ideas and Concepts Thread

Postby MoPed » 07 Feb 2013 16:17

If you have ideas for plants, animals and natural phenomena that you think would be exciting to find on Tau Ceti b, we would like to see them. You can post anything from names to full descriptions of anatomy and behavior and their place in the ecosystem. It would also be interesting to see ideas for resources that can be extracted from these plants and creatures, and what kind of items they can be used for.

Note: If you post an idea in this thread it means you allow us to put part of it or all of it in the game Unclaimed World. If you've been inspired by an existing concept made up by someone else or seen in another film/game/book, please tell us and if possible include a link to the source.

Some of our ideas for your inspiration (as always, our plans may change depending on what's fun/realizable)

The orange grass covering many parts of the planet is called firegrass and competes with the blue/green muckroot which is a sort of moss. Muckroot can transport water over large distances through its fleshy web of veins, which means that it can spread into arid areas. Wherever muckroot is, there's a host of fungus-like or spungy growths called greentubs and goblin sprouts. It is preyed on by a parasitic circular plant called demon ring. Animals appearing here include the territorial patrician (seen fighting with a competitor in teaser video#2). This exoskeletal animal kills by stabbing with powerful poisonous limbs. It is slow moving and lords jealously over its territory where it has its prey - slugs and fish that swim inside the muckroot water canals. It stabs them through the canal wall, dissolving their insides and sucking up their juices.


The sanctuary tree (top left) can keep muckroot at bay, often creating islands of firegrass biomes within "seas" of muckroot. The firegrass biome is much more agreeable to humans, and is characterized by a tree called the spoak (=spiral oak) and the other yellowleaved plants, wingweed and shadeleaf. Here you'll find the turnip, a lumbering, plated grazer with sensory tentacles on the top. It was given that name because it leaves an egg buried in the ground, which somewhat resembles a turnip once it emerges.

Other creatures you see in the video are the pack-hunting "twinklers" (named for their communication organs that glow and flicker in the dark) often preying on flocks of "thunder chicken", a tasty herbivore which picks food from the ground with two grabbing tentacles while its third, sensory tentacle keeps watch.
There is also the slow-moving bush dragon, which defends itself and its calves by confusing predators with its extendable, reflective wings, and if necessary, by excreting a powerful spray of chemicals.
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Re: Flora/Fauna/Nature -Ideas and Concepts Thread

Postby Visionhunter » 07 Feb 2013 17:44

Waterbloom - Can be harvested and replanted. Will suck groundwater closer to the surface. Makes it easier to find enough clean water for your survivors.

Firebloom - A dangerous plant. Can cause bushfires if stirred, but can also be used as an efficient heat source/fuel.

Earthbloom - This relatively fast-growing, strong, deep-rooted plant can be used to grow a natural wall to keep predators at bay.

Windbloom - This flower harvests energy whenever stirred by the wind. Can be used a an (relatively inefficient) perpetual source of energy.

Raptorstalk - A huge carnivorous plant, uses scent/hormone glands to lure unsuspecting prey closer. Extremely dangerous, but could be used as a lure for wild animals to make for easier hunting on wildlife. Also attracts predators however, so best used well away from your base.

Bluemoss - Edible moss. Disgusting, but nutritious.

Hollowbark - Tree that's naturally hollow. Often used by wildlife as shelter/nest.

Necros - Pitch-black creatures. Hunt alone and only at night. Fast and ferocious. Blinded/confused when exposed to light. Best not to fight these fearsome creatures, it's easier to simply keep them at bay by staying close to a light source at night. Often seek shelter in Hollowbark during the day. It's recommended to look for these creatures during the day (in Hollowbarks) since they will be weak and may overrun you at night if they become to numerous in the surrounding area.

Torris - Small rat-like vermin that's only after your food supplies. More an annoyance than a threat. Large packs should be avoided though, they might be bold enough to risk an attack in large numbers.

I might edit this post later if I get some more ideas. I'm not aware of any copyright on the above, they're all my own ideas.

EDIT: I'm curious though, what have you thought of yourself so far? Some examples might be a nice source of inspiration.
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Re: Flora/Fauna/Nature -Ideas and Concepts Thread

Postby MoPed » 07 Feb 2013 19:38

There's some good stuff there - keep it coming. I've edited the top post to present some of our ideas, you can use it as inspiration, or come up with something better!
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Re: Flora/Fauna/Nature -Ideas and Concepts Thread

Postby Viken » 08 Feb 2013 21:17

I don't have any specific ideas at the moment; although I'll edit this post should any come to me. Instead, I have a view on the details that might make it a bit easier. Ecosystems are a balance between plant and animal life, and even down to the micro-level, is based on rather or not things eat other living things, or get their energy from an outside source (aka, photosynthesis, thermosynthesis). At the macro level, this influences on rather or not the vast majority of creatures are herbivores or carnivores. On Earth, the vast majority are of the former, instead of the later, and this shows in everything from feeding patterns to the viable numbers of a given species.

On an alien world, though, this may be flipped completely on its head. Plant life may run rampant, and either have carnivorous aspects (aka, venus flytrap-like), or more jungle like due to there being very few animal species that consume them in order to live. Probably a quirk of their biology. This also means that there would be alot more carnivorous animal species; but with cyclical feeding patterns, due to the lack of food otherwise. Say, many of the animal species hibernate for extended periods of time in order to keep from hunting themselves into extinction. An example would be the night-dwellers in the Pitch Black movie.

Several of the plant species could reproduce via spores, alot like fungi; and could possibly even consume living animal life/humans unless treated with antibiotics. in fat, some animal species may have similiar properties, as well, infecting anyone they injure that has to be treated or it could kill them.

I will add more as I think of it.
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Re: Flora/Fauna/Nature -Ideas and Concepts Thread

Postby Gen Havok » 09 Feb 2013 11:07

Not sure if you ever had seen the movie but there was a carnivorous plant called the Audrey 2.Would be perfect for your game.

Audrey 2 (Flesh eating Plant)
It pretty much starts off very small needing to feed on blood,then grows a bit needing to feed on bits of flesh.It becomes even bigger needing to feed on whole animals. Once it get to its largest size its vines begin to spawn baby Audreys that start the cycle all over again. It could be made that the original is the sort of "Queen" and that the others just grow to a certain size but cannot spawn more.So killing the queen would stop new ones from sprouting.Unless a new "Queen" appears anyway.

Baby Audrey 2

Kid Audrey 2

Full Grown Audrey 2

Full Grown Audrey 2 with sproutlings

Now even though the name Audrey 2 could not be used since its from the movie Little Shop of Horrors ,I stil think it would be a lovely flora eddition.

Tiberium like rock-plant hybrid

Not sure if you played it but Command & Conquer had something called Tiberium which was a alien crstyal that had organic properties.Like weeds it would grow roots and spread itself.Any flora in the area became mutated and eventually a Tiberium plant (flora) would grow that would maintain the concentration of the tiberium in a area. something like this could be in the game that is a rock/plant hybrid that acts as a weed.However like a weed is dependant on other flora or ripe conditions suitable for sustainability.Of course it is toxic to organic entities,but would be harvestable for energy use. The areas it can grow in could be restricted so that instead you would have a vast area full of it and the flora it took over and mutated. A different name and look for the item would be needed,but I think it would be great in the game since it could be used as a mineable energy source.Also it illuminates at night so could be used in glass to make for a sort of lantern or something.
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Re: Flora/Fauna/Nature -Ideas and Concepts Thread

Postby Rowanas » 10 Feb 2013 01:58

I've tried to come at this from a resource/tool perspective, so if they seem rather... functional, sorry.

Shiftroot: Wild shiftroot occurs seemingly as the root system for a non-existent plant. It takes mineral and chemical deposits found in it's reach and spreads them evenly across it's whole area. While an inconvenient patch of wild shiftroot can ruin an entire mining operation (given that the normal deep seams have been thinly spread across too large an area to effectively dig up) -and- simultaneously render fertile arable land into useless dirt, careful cultivation of shiftroot can draw precious minerals away from hazardous areas into more easily accessible mining spots, or turn harmful poisonous or radioactive substances into a mere background annoyance, clearing the way for habitation. Some might feel that the proper cultivation, care and eventual destruction of shiftroot is too great for the minor benefits, but it has the advantage of being a passive means of achieving your goal, requiring little more than an occasional check-up to ensure that it doesn't grow recklessly, while your valuable time is spent engaging in more active projects. It can also be taken as a medical herb, to promote the uptake of crucial vitamins in people with deficiencies, or to aid in the control of various diseases and ailments, such as diabetes (where it helps keep a moderate level of sugar in the blood and muscles at all times, an imperfect but better-than-nothing solution).

Sprengstoffbehylter: The sprengstoffbehylter, or "bomb-seedcase" was originally used to refer to the seedcases of a native bush, although in the absence of a better name, it has become the name of the bush itself as well. The seed of the sprengstoffbehylter takes it's name from it's strange vacuum-sealed construction. The hard seedcase contains dozens of tiny seeds, although they take up barely a tenth of the volume of the case. A chemical rection takes place within the seedcase, drawing oxygen and other naturally occurring gases out through the casing. If the process is allowed to run it's course, the seedcase will eventually drop off the bush, where it sits until something steps on it, breaking the casing and causing air to rush into the newly opened vacuum in much the same way that thunder is created during a lightning strike. This influx of air spreads the seeds over the immediate suroundings, and hopefully onto the bodies and fur of the creature, who, now terrified by the explosive rumble,flees the area, taking the sprengstoffbehylter seeds to new grounds. Of course, if the seed is not allowed to peacefully fall to earth, but is instead eaten while unripe, it will burst with less force (seeing as the process was incomplete) inside the gut of the swallowing creature. This is tremendously painful, but does not always result in the growth of the seeds. These seeds are useful both as toys and also a potent cure for gastric parasites, which are almost invariably killed by the concussive force. It should be noted that this does cause intestinal rupturing and as such, should be considered a last ditch remedy. Once cracked, the seeds make for a nutritious, although not very filling food source, and it is generally agreed that while they aren't worth the effort by themselves, the sodium chloride that makes up part of the air-reduction process makes them useful as an easy means of obtaining salty flavours for dishes. The young seed cases can be pressed and turned into a pulp from which can be made satchels and bags which remove the oxygen from the environment, helping to preserve food contained within for a time.

Lungmoss: Lungmoss is a horribly pulsing, bitter white moss found wherever the local flora and fauna aren't using up their share of the trace elements found in air. It inflates and deflates constantly, keeping a healthy flow of air passing through it at all times, from which it extracts the necessary minerals and moisture it needs to survive. The constant through-flow grants the lungmoss several uses to colonists, although it also poses a serious threat to other plant life, as it voraciously devours many of the necessary minerals used to survive in the harsh environment. Humans, however, use it for a wide variety of things, including, but not limited to:

Makeshift bellows: It provides a constant flow of oxygen to a fire, if properly oriented.
Rebreathers: Although it quickly dehydrates anyone using it, stuffing a small patch of the bitter moss in one's mouth can help prevent poisonous levels of various toxins and minerals from entering the lungs, allowing exploration into otherwise inaccessible lands.
Food: While it is bitter and mostly composed of thin alveoli, when blown into and placed in soup, it creates a colonist dish known as froth broth, caused by the lungmoss expelling bubbles of air into the liquid soup, a favourite of children. Lungmoss dumplings prepared in this way can be stored for many days, providing a source of both food and water.
Cleaning: Crushed lungmoss makes a decent sponge for cleaning with.

Copycat: Copycat is derived from a local tree, whose bark takes on an impression of anything pressed against it. In the wild, the bark reveals the location of damaging grubs to predators, providing the tree with a degree of protection from herbivores and also preventing the onset of any particularly damaging insect infestations. If you can defeat the guardians of such a tree, the bark can be easily peeled off, scraped flat and stretched thin to produce copycat, an anologue to paper. Copycat manuscrips are carefully created, as any pressure on any page can leave a mark throughout the entire book. As such, it is more often used to makes copies of interesting discoveries, much like foilwork or graphite sketches. Properly treated with resins, copycat can be used as the basis for casting metals. Also, it's a lot of fun to play with.

This is all I could come up with for now. i'm not even sure any of it is relevant in a game about futuristic colonists.
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Re: Flora/Fauna/Nature -Ideas and Concepts Thread

Postby Ribes » 12 Feb 2013 18:18

A thick blue vine that grows among muckroot. It has a similar color to muckroot making it very hard to spot for the untrained eye. What's special about this plant is that it produces a transparent substance that covers most parts of the vine. The substance acts like a sort of super strong glue so that any animal (or colonist) that steps on it gets stuck to the plant. After an organic has been caught by it the vine slowly begins to curl around it's prey trying to cover as much as possible of the creature. It then begins to suck the nutrients out of the organic. This is a relatively slow process however (depending on the size of the creature it traps.) so it would be more likely that the animal would die of starvation first.

If the colonists are lucky they might stumble upon an animal trapped by the plant and if they're able to retrieve it they'll get an easy meal. If the colonists are unlucky they themselves might get caught by the plant and loose precious equipment trying to get loose. Through research of the plant the colonists might be able to produce a substance of their own to dissolve the glue or they might even be able to use the plant for their own benefit.

I'm terrible with names so I'll let somebody else name it if they want to. I got inspiration from this real life plant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drosera_capensis
I used to own one of these for a few months until the winter came and killed it of. (There were no flies for it to eat.)
Picture of the real life plant I found on google images. The plant I'm imagining is much thicker and not so bush like.
640px-Drosera_capensis_001.JPG (174.69 KiB) Viewed 50009 times
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Re: Flora/Fauna/Nature -Ideas and Concepts Thread

Postby Trappin » 13 Feb 2013 02:29

Multiple use flora with an alien appearance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agave#Imag ... _cultivars

Each agave plant will produce several pounds of edible flowers during its final season. The stalks, which are ready during the summer, before the blossom, weigh several pounds each. Roasted, they are sweet and can be chewed to extract the aguamiel, like sugarcane. When dried out, the stalks can be used to make didgeridoos. The leaves may be collected in winter and spring, when the plants are rich in sap, for eating. The leaves of several species also yield fiber: for instance, Agave rigida var. sisalana, sisal hemp, Agave decipiens, false sisal hemp. Agave americana is the source of pita fiber, and is used as a fiber plant in Mexico, the West Indies and southern Europe.

Agave tequilana, commonly called blue agave (agave azul) or tequila agave is an agave plant that is an important economic product of Jalisco, Mexico, due to its role as the base ingredient of tequila, a popular distilled spirit. The high production of sugars, mostly in the form of fructose, in the core of the plant is its most important characteristic, making it suitable for the preparation of alcoholic beverages.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... _whole.jpg


Native Americans used the dried leaves of this plant as a herbal tea, and Europeans used the plant as a substitute for black tea. Miwok Indians of California made baskets from ceanothus branches. C. integerrimus has been used by North American tribes to ease childbirth. The purple flowers can be used as a soap (I picked a few flowers then wet my hands and it works!) - excellent surfactant properties. Surfactants may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants.
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Re: Flora/Fauna/Nature -Ideas and Concepts Thread

Postby Ribes » 26 Jun 2013 17:49

This plant grows among muckroot and its most distinct feture is its large and tall flower that blooms all year long. As a part of its reprodction process it releases a large amont of big orange spores. A side effect of these spores are that they drastically increase the fertility of nearby plants, thus increasing the amount of crops they produce. Unfortunatly these spores have a much more nasty effect on humans. After being inhaled by humans they begin to clog the airways meaning that prolonged exposure to these spores will make humans fall unconsious and eventually suffocate to death if they are not saved. These plants are quite easy to spot and avoid once the humans know about them and the spores won't affect humans who are merely passing through the area. But the abundance of crops that the spores contribute to makes it quite tempting to take a quick venture into the spore cloud. The humans will have to wheigh risk versus reward when it comes to this plant.

A gas mask would protect humans from these spores and after having studied the plant enough they might even be able to use these plants for an agricultural purpose. They might be able to repurpose the spores as a kind of fertilizer or maybe they could even genetically engineer the plant so that the spores would no longer be harmful to humans.

Can't really come up with a good name for this plant. Anyone else have something that would fit?
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Re: Flora/Fauna/Nature -Ideas and Concepts Thread

Postby dasblargh » 21 Nov 2013 07:18

Perhaps some pollen than blows in from outside/above the map and make the survivors sedate or antsy. They will require more sleep/food/supervision or maybe you can also research, build and administer an innoculation which you can craft then administer. That item again has its side effects too based upon what ingredients you choose to base it upon during the particular crafting session. Like say a psychotropic plant, fugu or bacteria. A process to be refined to become safer to be sure. :)

I'm sure plants that glow in the dark will be suggested wheter they are edible fungi or strange silicon trees and i think i want to see those in the game as well so just an honorable mention to the ideas of those who posted some up with a fun description.
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