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Author Topic: Chenjesu  (Read 20302 times)
Arne
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2008, 06:38:02 am »

Here's the ref. I don't have UQM on my mac here, but according to some youtube vid the chenjesu are blue in UQM, can anyone confirm? They are green in the official UQM screenshots. With the StarTrek ships they decided to go for white because then they can cast moody colored lights onto the hull. Since the Chenjesu don't have faces, colors can be used to convey mood (for theatrical purposes) if they have a neutral colored body.

I think my latest shape feels pretty close. As for the pot, I'm not sure. It would make sense for them to augment themselves, they are the most technologically advanced species in the alliance after all. While I can understand the idea of them just floating around, communicating via radio 'telepathy' having lightning bolts for arms, I still think it feels too magical unless there's a tech gizmo there to support it.



Spider legs doesn't feel quite right, but I like the idea of a white color.
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2008, 08:18:32 pm »



That's a Chenjesu imho, the bit that you've been drawing into a nice looking alien seems more like a control panel to me. But hey, they can both be Chenjesu, humans come in different shapes, sizes and colors too... Why they keep zapping each other to control their ship is a mystery to me though...
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2008, 09:51:02 pm »

The SC2 DOS manual shows them as:
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Arne
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2008, 09:07:28 am »

I'm familiar with these two images, but choose to ignore them because:

* Manual art: People are more likely to have seen the in-game version the most, especially considering that most people who have played this game never had a manual for various reasons.
* Chmmr Comm: That is a Chmmr. I don't think the Chmmr are just Chenjesu with some sticky bits on them.


I've never thought of the purple crystals as Chenjesu, because:

* The SC1 alliance victory image.
* Maybe it's read order (L->R) or me being left handed.
* I think the Purple crystals are the control panel because of Superman's fortress. He has these crystal data/control rods there, so the image of using those as a control panel got ingrained in me when I was  kid.

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Draxas
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2008, 08:25:05 pm »

Here's my rather bizarre take: Both of the crystals in the pilot pic are Chenjesu. There's no reason two different Chenjesu couldn't grow into two very different crystalline configurations (if they are, say, from different regions of their planet). The bolts that arc between them are simply an artistic rendering of the communication between the two individuals (or perhaps that is their only means of communication, and they arc "lightning" into translation devices in order to communicate with other races), and they pilot the ship using control devices that they are "seated" on top of (which can be seen underneath the on at right). I like to think this is both plausible, and takes into account all of the existing canon art as well.
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2008, 12:48:35 am »

I'm a stranger to these forums, but I don't think they need a non-technological means of transport based on their "lore." I always thought of Star Control as being somewhat of a "hard" sci-fi universe, with more plausible science than others, and for some reason the idea of floating crystals doesn't jive with that. I thought of the chenjensu as being a collective, with their "civilization" consisting of data stored in the crystalline structure of the surface of their homeworld, with some of this "data" being downloaded into their spacefaring vessals to seed new chenjesu colonies.

Just thought I'd add my two cents, since I'm a fan of Arne's artwork and ideas for a star control game  Grin.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 12:52:22 am by MuadDib » Logged
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2008, 09:06:51 am »

Hmm... that's an interesting idea. Not the Chenjesu moving, but just their minds. But they still need a way to build their ships.
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2008, 12:58:17 pm »

To the starter of the thread: I generally very much like your art but I really dislike the plain interpretation of the chenjesu. I think that the art from the SC2 manual should be taken seriously as far as a representation of what the chenjesu look like. It resembles the chmmr (as it should, IMHO) and isn't just the ghetto-ized graphic shown in SC1.
   Your depictions make the chenjesu look like blocks and cylinders, whereas I think they should resemble some sort of fractal crystallization pattern, as per the representation in the manual.
   Here's a sketch of what I thought it should roughly look like. These are sketches I made for a comic strip I made once of chenjesu:



« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 01:17:20 pm by PsyDev » Logged
Arne
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2008, 06:42:39 pm »

Thanks! Yeah, with so little to go on there can be so many personal interpretations. I generally prefer to stick to the in-game art, but in some cases I feel the manual art works better. Kid Icarus had a great manual, but that is another story.

Although I could easily just paint something which is kind of crystally and cool, I want to stay faithful to some of the source material. It's fun to play within boundaries sometimes. I briefly had the idea of making the Chenjesu varied in appearance, but decided against it because it seems... nonchalant. I'm not sure how to explain it. It'd be like some exobiologist on some other world speculates that humans could vary in shape from Tribble, pool of slime to T-rex because it's all 'organic stuff'. I wanted a static Chenjesu shape, something monumental (Albert Speer style).

---

Here's an illustration of the idea I presented earlier.



The Chenjesu's evolution is primarily memetic and not a hunt for genetic adaptation to the environment. Their planet is a rather dull place.

(1) Crystals can form without being intelligent here on earth, I think it's because of how atoms likes to arrange themselves. The Chenjesu type is more complex. It forms by accumulating sunlight, then releasing a burst of electricity. By a chance of nature, this gave the Crystal the ability to attract ambient minerals to build and repair the body. Its a system with 'stabilization feedback' which ultimately results in the body shape known as the Chenjesu. Also by chance, parts of the crystal structure was similar to a neural network of some sort. In the beginning it merely contained a rudimentary clock for emitting the electrical pulses, a bit like a solar powered CPU clock.

Early in their evolution the Chenjesu were more plant-like, only able to manipulate the ground below them in a very structured way. Perhaps by using Electricity and chemistry they can indirectly make things grow/corrode/fossilize. At first they only used this ability to 'feed'.

(2) Because of the potential for intelligence that was inherent in their physiology, some eventually figured out how to use their power from more advanced things. They formed little granules to slide on (perhaps spun by electromagnetic stimuli). As they slide across the sterile plains, they leave a characteristic 'sliding rock' trail behind them.

Since they left traces of their activities in the ground, it was possible for any Chenjesu to study these. A culture of sharing information was established, out of intellectual curiosity. With the planet being a huge monotonous wasteland there was nothing to fight about on a physical level at least.

(3) The Chenjesu started to build little databank hubs, and eventually devised ways to construct little factories and automated stations. If a Chenjesu needed to be augmented, it could be outfitted with legs, or some device which offered the required mobility, although some just preferred to sit around and ponder.

Their spaceships are built in large shipyards consisting of a crater with robotic construction arms sliding along the rim. Mobile Chenjesu can then board the ship and fly off into space.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 07:40:43 pm by Arne » Logged
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2008, 07:52:51 pm »

"Sterile featureless planet" is awesome.  Shocked
A high-res version of that could definitively be my wallpaper until Holographic displays make wallpapers ugly..

EDIT: Am I the only one who sees some charm in a version of the Chenjesu where they are sessile, yet able to communicate with eachother through a network of crystals laid in the surface of their world, and only the brightest of the brightest are allowed (mobility and) access to starships?  (Perhaps because it takes them a relatively long time to fabricate starships due to their physiology?)

Kind of makes you look at the Internet, IRC and perhaps our own sessile lifestyle a little differently, eh? Smiley
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 08:32:07 pm by Megagun » Logged
Arne
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2008, 09:11:46 pm »

I think my current idea would allow that kind of sessile behavior.  I don't think the Chenjesu would be impractical though, not inventing useful stuff because it doesn't go with their 'crystal image'.


The illustration of the barren planet is only twice as big on my original, and a bit rough. I think the horizon or figure silhouette placement is wrong too :/
I have a wallpaper in similar color tone here.

I think a barren planet surface like that, with abstract long straight lines drawn in the sand, might be interesting to set the mood for the Chenjesu. It points out that everything they are  is on the inside.
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2008, 01:08:07 am »

wow, awesome shipyard pic.
Just thought I'd say that.
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Alvarin
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2008, 10:18:13 am »

Indeed . Really liked the scenery and the shipyard . Still can't really agree on the Chenjesu look , but as said before - personal preferences .
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2008, 11:17:03 pm »

I love reading the different ideas here. I don't really have anything original to contribute (I know I suck) but I'm pretty good at remembering the "lore" and reading this thread reminded me of a few things.

For one, the Chenjesu transmit and receive hyperwaves naturally so this would probably play an important role in communication.

I also came across the following in the IRC chat from long ago, fwiw:

<_Stilgar> <zenir> Q: how did the chmmr/taalo evolve.. especially to sentients?
<Fwiffo> Adaptation and evolution require the ability to change in response to the environment.  The Taalo and Chenjesu must either be the product of a previous culture, or they must be mostly software with some kind of field maniulation ability.

I wonder if any of the ideas presented in this thread would change that opinion?
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Re: Chenjesu
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2008, 11:55:50 pm »

"or they must be mostly software with some kind of field maniulation ability."

This seems to be what I'm proposing. Memetic evolution, and some kind of ability to manipulate the earth on a micro level.

Sorry I left this thread, I got distracted and started coding some games out of the blue.
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