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Giant Insects or Humanoid Insects

  1. Giant Insects

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  1. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Insect race: humanoid or not?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Daemon Wolf, Jul 21, 2015.

    So I find myself wanting to add an insect race to my universe and I don't know whether to make them humanoid or just giant scary bugs. If they are giant scary bugs then it gives a more creepy vibe to them and more of a "how do they work/talk/etc" feel. But as humanoids I'd be able to more integrate them into a major society that is being born from the unwanted's of the other races.

    Also depending how I write them will change how they effect my universe's timeline. It's been something I've been stuck on for a while and just can't figure it out.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Firstly, standard answer: do what you want.

    Now that we have that out of the way....

    There's no reason I can think of for an exoskeletal creature to come to resemble an upright, tetrapod, endoskeletal, vertebrate (us) that spent the better part of its evolutionary history brachiating through trees. Why would they look like us even in rough sketch? And that's just shape. Insects in the real world are limited in size by two factors: 1) composition of the exoskeleton, and 2) availability of free oxygen. They have been much in bigger in the past when free oxygen was more plentiful. Oxygen is currently at about 21%, but it's been as high as the very low 30's. Exoskeleton construction is poorly suited for the kind of bellows lung setup that flexible endoskeletons allow. And if you're to have something approaching us in size, then chitin (what real bugs use) is not going to cut it as a construction material. Not strong enough.
     
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  3. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    There are insects that stand somewhat upright (praying mantis), what's to stop evolution from making them more upright? And for the why would they look like us answer: A lot of species of insects mimic their predators or mimic something able to scare their predators away (Like in the movie "Mimic"). And as for oxygen, what's to say an alien race of insects couldn't develop some form of lungs or just plain live on an oxygen enrich planet. And with a little research I'm sure that I can figure something out about the chitin.
     
  4. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    District 9 immediately comes to mind.

    There is insufficient backstory to assist you further, other than to say my insectoids will be giant scary bugs, so make yours humnaoid so mine are more unique :D
     
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  5. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Lol yeah, when "Giant scary bugs" comes to mind I think of the Starship Trooper movies/animated show and the Ender's Game movie.
     
  6. Song
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    Song Active Member

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    Insectoids offer more choices in terms of complicated technology and social structures.
    Giant bugs will seem more savage and primal, you can still have religions and languages etc, but given they are giant bugs they lend themselves better to a more instinct driven type structure.
    It depends how you write it, you could use peoples perceptions of the bugs to suprise people.
     
  7. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Yeah but written the right way a humanoid insect could seem even more viscous than just a giant one.
     
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  8. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would recommend making the insects non-humanoid to showcase that humanoid and non-humanoid heroes couldn't work together, as opposed to the standard "two legs good, four/six/eight... legs bad".

    ... except that the insects in my SciFi WIP are humanoid, so I'm obviously not going to complain if you do the same ;)
     
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  9. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Yeah I was leaning towards Non-humanoid insects but more of a "scary-looking but actually kind and beautiful" type of thing. I mean most space ships have large enough corridors to accommodate large bugs (due to them having to accommodate mech suits).

    Talking about giant bugs reminds me of Elder's Game the movie which had a REALLY sad ending.
     
  10. Song
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    Song Active Member

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    True, depending on the angle you take when you write it.
     
  11. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Yeah and giant bugs can be kind and gentle if written right too. But I am still stuck.
     
  12. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Why are you stuck? Or how?
     
  13. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    I honestly don't know, I haven't written anything over the weekend (and I usually write everyday all day from waking up to going to bed) so Idk if it's a writer's block thing but I just can't figure this whole thing out. I feel like having an alien insect race would tie up my whole universe together I just don't know what kind. The thought has came to me of creating different types of insects that evolved (1 being humanoid and the other not) but that seemed like a cheat.
     
  14. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    IDEA:

    Xenobiologists worry a lot about the parts of alien cultures that are physically impossible for humans to understand:

    *Sight "feels" a certain way to us while hearing "feels" a different way, but echolocating species would treat sound the way we treat light, so we would have to learn to treat sensory information differently than we're used to in order to understand each other

    *Electrosensory species could develop systems of language that, even if we developed the technology to recognize the electrical signals themselves, would still be based on patterns of logic that we might not recognize as being linguistic

    ...

    What if one species, either the humans or the insects, genetically engineered test-tube hybrid insectoid-humanoids that could better understand both species' perspectives?

    A human might be able to understand 80-90% of human culture but only 10-20% of insect culture - and vice versa - but a test-tube hybrid might be able to understand 50% of each.
     
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  15. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    That's actually a really fantastic idea. It would definitely work, now "when" to make the Terrans come across these bugs. Thanks :)
     
  16. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    First as to why an insectoid race might have a roughly human body plan - parallel evolution. It's a body plan that works well for certain environments.

    As to which you should choose, my thought would be that the more "alien" your insectoid race is, the more difficult communications / interactions with humans will be. That could affect your plot.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  17. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Giant alien bugs has it.
    And as for communications 'Simpson' put it best with having one race (I decided to go with the Insect Race since when they meet the Terran race the "Golden Age" for Terrans is over) make a hybrid race of humanoid insects in order to communicate better.

    Although the draw back in my universe is that the bugs stole humans in order to turn them into these hybrids. I am thinking of having the bugs be a Hive like how bees have a hive and such (How if the queen dies then the colony doesn't know what to do) except for the Hybrids being created with an attachment to the hive (via 'Hive Mind' like the giant bugs) and a human type brain where they can think for themselves.
     
  18. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Now the only thing to think of is what species of insect to make into giant 'monsters'. I was thinking of making them look kind of beetle-like but I don't know if that's scary enough. I have also thought of having some of the hive be able to fly and look like Scorpion-Fly's. Any thought on a scary/creepy insect to base my hive on?
     
  19. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Always spiders! They give me the creeps! And even though they aren't insects, what if insects think the same thing about them that I do - they have too damned many legs!

    As for your hive, it leads to some strange perspectives. For example what would a hive minded insect think about an individual human? Probably not a lot. One human alone is nothing. It would not be the same for them as communicating with a hive or even a queen and infact they might think nothing of killing individuals having no true concept of individuality.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  20. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Idk, spiders seem so over done, especially with eight legged freaks.

    And as for the hive, the idea is that they communicate through thought (Think about it, it's the best way to get information throughout the hive, one of the gatherers/hunters finds something strange, he just has to think "Strange!" and then the nearest bugs send that message back to the queen and then the queen gives orders.). I don't want to make them a terrible race just look really scary whilst being peaceful (for the most part).

    The way I have them written into the timeline at the moment is that they showed up out of nowhere and started to colonize habitable worlds without really knowing anything about humanity or that they were sentient. But after a while the queen decided to look into it more (as best she could from the safety of her "castle" (or wherever bugs keep their queens) and hence forth creates quite a few hybrids from the Terrans, Drakel, and Thi'Ka'Mik that weren't eaten yet. Then deciding to use them to communicate with us and then figuring out "oh, maybe we shouldn't eat this.".

    It is also quite possible that the Terrans then gave the Hive access to a few of the closest "hunting planets" that they could use to feed their hive.
     
  21. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    There's a bit of Hunter x Hunter in your queen making hybrids from species not yet eaten.
     
  22. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Hunter X Hunter?
     
  23. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    So as I figure out the look of the aliens here are the parts of the colony:
    • Queen: The Queen is obviously the Queen
    • Workers: The workers work around the nest and never leave the nest.
    • Soldiers: Soldiers fight off enemies and help to colonize worlds. When not doing either of those activities they act as Hunters.
    • Hunters: The hunters gather food for the queen and colony.
    • Fliers: Fliers are used the way we use jets, they are also used whenever there is something high up that can't be reached by the soldiers or hunters.
    • Humanoid: Created to speak for the Hive to the other races.
    • Gigantors: Insect Ships that help to get the insects across the universe.
    All the names are crappy I know, and they will be replaced once I figure out the look for the bugs and the name for them after that. Then I can work on the actual "class" names.
     
  24. Revilo87
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    Revilo87 Member

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    Personally I'm down with the humanoid. If you want your aliens to have humanlike intelligence, emotions, motivations, a humanoid appearance could help convey that. If you want them to be mindless killing machines, you can still depict that with humanoid creatures. The Alien(s) from the "Alien" franchise is a great example of a terrifying humaniod insect type creature
     
  25. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Yeah I am currently looking up different type of bugs figuring out which is best to base them off of. And the aliens from the Alien franchise are called Xenomorphs (Lol sorry a big fan and I always find the need to correct the smallest things).

    Also thinking of adding a planet defense bug of sorts
     

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