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Messages - Yossarian

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Suggestions / Solar Fun
« on: October 01, 2005, 07:41:32 PM »
I read that thread, and there are similarities, though it seems that Zelos's idea is much more fleshed out. Seasons and whatnot. I think something like that really should be implemented, as the sun and seasons and that sort of thing have a massive impact on all life!

The reason I liked Evolv-o-Matic so much was mainly because it was a hella impressive way to introduce other people to artificial life. It was always fun to watch these blind bugs go from random movements to orchestrated swarming, or nocturnal behavior, or that sort of thing. The bugs in DB do the same thing to some extent, but the moving sun (even if it's not visible) gives a very "real" feeling to a sim, and helps you feel like it's not just some cells in a petri dish. The more that is done with the sun, the better, imho.

EoM had an extremely simplistic way of dealing with the sun, but it did it in a unique way that overwhelmed its simplicity with sheer neatness. Good modeling of the sun (such as described by Zelos, or maybe not quite that complex), combined with the enormous flexibility that DB already possesses, is a really exciting prospect! Lots of potential for interesting emergent behavior.

Newbie / Oct1
« on: October 01, 2005, 07:15:43 PM »
I'm on the West Coast (the only time zone that really matters!), and I show you still have 7.75 hours. Go man, go!  :boing:

Off Topic / anyone ever played everquest??
« on: October 01, 2005, 07:03:44 PM »
The two are even interrelated.  The fun comes from always having goals you can work to attain.  The danger comes in forgetting life exists outside that little virtual world.
Very true, sir. When playing CoH I try to pace myself, both to retain some semblance of a "real life", as well as to not burn out on the game by playing too much too quickly. It's been a long time since I've been able to play any game for more than a couple of hours, though.

Some guys go crazy over MMO's. I used to be in a Medal of Honor clan (420thSS if any of you guys ever used to play MoHAA online), and one day I realized that we hadn't seen one of our members for awhile. I looked at his XFire stats and noticed that between WoW, CoH, and Star Wars: Galaxies, he had a combined 2500 hours, roughly. Madness!

I've never played Cosmic Rift, but different games lag differently. In CoH, the game will just straight up tell you "Lost connection to server" for a moment, and everything stops. That's the good way to handle lag. WoW, on the other hand, doesn't give any indication of lag. You'll be running along the road, and see a monster, and go to attack it. You'll be right next to it, but the game will say it's out of range. You slowly come to realize that the game sees you being hundreds of yards away from where you thought you were, due to lag. It's infuriating, and I died multiple times from not knowing where my dude actually was! I'm not saying it's lag that caused your problems in Cosmic Rift, but I doubt the game was deliberately messing with you. What possible reason would they have to do that? Sony might make crap electronics, but they're not evil, after all! :)

Off Topic / anyone ever played everquest??
« on: September 30, 2005, 02:44:15 PM »
I felt like that, that why would I want to pay for a game that I've already paid for? However, I know a lot of guys at work who play World of Warcraft, and that's all they talk about. WoW this, WoW that, you get the idea. So when PCGamer included a 2-week trial a couple of months ago, I checked it out, and I have to admit it was pretty fun. The world was MASSIVE compared with other computer RPG's. Plus there were several patches released in just the two weeks I played it, including a huge one that added new zones to the world. I was impressed.

Thing is, I'm not much for sword and scorcery stuff anymore (stopped playing D&D in jr. high, thank you). But I started to warm up to the idea that a huge game that is heavily supported could be worth the $15/month, at least for a few months. Fate heard me say that, and the next month in PCGamer, they included a 3-week free trial of City of Heroes. I checked it out, and now I subscribe. I can't say I'm going to stick with it for the long term, but for now it's pretty fun.

So I guess the moral of the story is I suggest you search out a free trial of whatever game interests you. MMO's are better than I thought they were. Besides, the way I figure it, I got 3 weeks free, then I bought the game for $30, which comes with 30 days free. So it seems that even at $15/month, I'll be getting 3.75 months of playtime out of the same money that would buy a normal $50 game (which sometimes lose my interest in less than 3.75 months).

Suggestions / Solar Fun
« on: September 29, 2005, 04:33:40 AM »
I once had a sim called Evolv-o-Matic that used the sun in a way I've never seen in another alife program. I think it might be cool in DB, particularly since this program already models the sun to some degree (which is rare for some reason).

The sun in EoM was actually visible on the screen as a small yellow circle that you could set to travel in various ways (or stay still), and vary the intensity. What made it so cool was that you could tie the sun to either a "garden", where the food grows faster within the range of the sun, or a "desert", which was not just food not growing, but it would actually erase the food within its range.

In EoM, the bots had no eyes whatsoever, and their movement was semi-random, based on genes that represented the various directions they could turn. The only sense they had was to be either repelled or attracted by the sun to varying degrees, and they developed a liking to have the sun coming from a certain direction.

What resulted were things like nocturnal bugs, bugs that swarmed around the sun, etc. They sometimes got so good at the swarming thing, you could tie the sun to move with the mouse pointer, shake it around as fast as you could, and some bugs would still never leave the yellow circle of the sun itself! I was amazed.

Now, I'm the first to admit that EoM's approach had no subtlety, and the way the genes were set up basically forced the the swarming, and other sun-related behavior. However, I think some variation on this idea would work nicely in a flexible sim like DB.

Newbie / Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« on: September 28, 2005, 03:56:34 AM »
Ack, again with the runtime overflow errors! Everything seemed so stable, but then I started getting the errors again (I had a sim running the whole time I wrote my last post, and it was up to about 178,000 cycles, but it crashed the moment I pulled up the "average sons" graph). I tried tweaking this and that, and I finally figured out, I think, what the problem may be, or at least one aspect of it. Like I said before, this is maybe a moot point, what with a swanky new version on the horizon, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Numsgil mentioned setting the veggie nrg to 4 or something low like that. What I didn't realize, until just a few minutes ago, is that the nrg value is overridden by pond mode. Now, pond mode is something that seems very interesting, so I like to turn it on a lot. Without it on, and with the nrg set to 4, things seems stable enough (no more graphs, though!), but with pond mode on, I get maybe 1000 cycles before things blow up.

Please to note that at this point, I'm not really asking for help or advice, as I'm hoping/praying/assuming I'll have better luck with a clean install of 2.4, but I thought I'd provide a little closure to my overflow topic. :)

Newbie / Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« on: September 28, 2005, 02:20:25 AM »
Thanks! I noticed the nrg figure before. In the older version, I remember it being some crazy-high number, then that it had been lowered significantly in the upgrade. However, after reading your post I went and looked, and it was set to 500,000. I lowered it to 4 and I have a sim going right now. The overflow seems fixed; this is by far the longest I've had it running without an error.

It wasn't until after I posted last night that I noticed elsewhere in the forum that 2.4 is going to be released in a week or so, and as a main install. Almost made all this a moot point, except how could I wait a week to use the program? :D

On that note, let me just say that this is the finest alife program I've ever used, and I'm conscious of the fact that I've barely even broken the surface of it (hell, I'd only had a sim running for seconds, and I already knew that I had struck gold). The only time I've ever been interested in learning how to program was specifically so I could combine my favorite features of all my other alife programs (notably Evolv-o-Matic for the Mac, which until this program was the only one I'd found that offered the sun as a variable). This is the program that I was looking for all that time. So kudos to everyone involved, both the coders and the people who actively use it and keep it alive. I couldn't believe my eyes when I found an honest-to-god active forum about an evolution sim!  :cheers:

Newbie / Howdy everyone! (and a question)
« on: September 27, 2005, 07:15:13 AM »
Hi, I just got DarwinBots. I've been a big fan of evolution simulators for years, but most of that was back when I was mainly a Mac user (there are a lot more alife programs out there for Mac it seems). DarwinBots has re-awakened my interest, as it seems to encapsulate everything I've wished for in an alife program, but I'm having a problem.

I downloaded the main 2.1 installer, as well as the 2.37.4 update. The main installation was self-explanatory, and although there are no install notes on the updater, I assumed you simply extract it on top of the main install, and run the new executable.

The program starts normally, and says 2.37 in the title bar, but the moment I open the New Simulation window, or click the "start" or "pause" buttons, or do pretty much anything, the title bar changes to read 2.36. My simulations invariably end with the overflow error that people are reporting, the one that is apparently fixed with 2.37.4. That further adds to my confusion, thus this forum post. What the heck am I doing wrong? I tried re-installing from scratch, but no difference.

Thanks for any help!

Oh, and I don't know if this is related, but the light intensity controls for the pond mode aren't working for me. Before applying the 2.37.4 patch, I could change those values and see the difference in the light through the pond (really cool feature I think!), but after the update the feature seems broken.

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