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 Design clarification for programmers

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crovea
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PostSubject: Design clarification for programmers   Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:28 pm

Design clarification for programmers

This thread is meant for programmers to post questions for clarification about design while implementing or preparing to implement a certain part of the game.

Often these questions will be small aspects that have not previously been discussed and the programmers will need a quick definitive answer, which may be a temporary solution until a proper discussion can be had.

Programmers are allowed to ask questions that may have been answered before and to which there may be answer buried in design threads, but for the sake of productivity call upon the forum to quickly find an answer.

Anyone can answer the questions if they know the answer for sure (typically by having found it on the forums), but it is not the place to post your ideas or opinions unless you are qualified to make decisions for thrive.

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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:31 pm

Small question about undo-redo feature that HariboTer is currently working on: Should it be possible to undo a microbe load from file and/or a creation of a new microbe (and thereby a discarding of the old one)?

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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:37 pm

Do you mean loading a microbe into the editor, and then undoing that action?

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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:43 pm

Yes! Does that feature hold any value? It'd make the code a tiny bit more complicated (nothing to worry about) but if it's completely irrelevant it'd be easier to skip.

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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:51 pm

I think it should be possible to undo either loading in a new microbe, to go back to what you had before, and also clearing the editor to make a new microbe, to go back to the microbe you were working on previously.

EDIT: It's because I'm sure players will run into instances where they either accidentally did the second one, or did either and then changed their mind, and did not want to lose their unsaved progress.

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Last edited by NickTheNick on Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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crovea
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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:06 pm

very well!

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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:14 pm

NickTheNick wrote:
I think it should be possible to undo either loading in a new microbe, to go back to what you had before, and also clearing the editor to make a new microbe, to go back to the microbe you were working on previously.

Theoretically, this could indeed come in quite handy. However, I'm not sure if it bears a desirable result when a user 1. loads a microbe from file X, 2. makes a change, 3. saves into the same file X, then undoes 1-3 and then redoes 1-3 (producing unexpected behavior at best or a crash at worst). How would we handle this?
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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:17 pm

How about when loading a new microbe, the player gets a confirmation popup warning of losing unsaved progress. If the player clicks yes, then it loads the new microbe and the undo history is reset. Also, saving a microbe shouldn't be undo-able, since it's not a direct alteration of the microbe.

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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:30 pm

By loading a new microbe, I suppose you mean loading a microbe from a file? Creating a new microbe shouldn't be a problem to un/redo, as it's not entangled with altering any files.
About saving, you're right. Enumerating "Saving" as step 3 was accidental though, fortunately I have never been intending to make saving "compatible" with un/redo, as that would have made negative zero sense at best^^
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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:39 pm

If you're in microbe stage, and then enter the editor, and then return to microbe stage, would you expect to be playing the same microbe, or a descendant?

That is, should your health, compound levels, etc stay the same, or should they change?

And if so, how?

I think they should change. Given the timescales of the game, you'll always be a few million/thousand years down the line every time you evolve, so you should expect to end up playing some random descendant of your previous organism.

Health should definitely be filled (unless on some higher difficulty). Compounds are a little more complicated. I'm currently working on some species stuff; adding data about the average amount of compound a microbe of that species has, and so on. I'm thinking we could use that data to set compound levels in new microbes, whether an AI that despawns soon or the microbe the player controls after evolving. Then, based on measures of player/AI success, we raise or lower the species-amounts of each compound.
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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:47 pm

moopli wrote:
If you're in microbe stage, and then enter the editor, and then return to microbe stage, would you expect to be playing the same microbe, or a descendant?

That is, should your health, compound levels, etc stay the same, or should they change?

And if so, how?

I think they should change. Given the timescales of the game, you'll always be a few million/thousand years down the line every time you evolve, so you should expect to end up playing some random descendant of your previous organism.

Health should definitely be filled (unless on some higher difficulty). Compounds are a little more complicated. I'm currently working on some species stuff; adding data about the average amount of compound a microbe of that species has, and so on. I'm thinking we could use that data to set compound levels in new microbes, whether an AI that despawns soon or the microbe the player controls after evolving. Then, based on measures of player/AI success, we raise or lower the species-amounts of each compound.

Interesting question.

I have been helping Seregon work towards a compound / population dynamics system and the question of how that relates to your individual organism is discussed a bit here.

A couple of good quotes of his

seregon wrote:
This looks like a good discussion so far, and is on a key game mechanic we haven't really discussed before now - how what the player does ingame influences auto-evo, and vice versa.

seregon wrote:
I suggest that population dynamic feeds back into individual dynamics, always pushing it to accurately represent the bigger picture.  Whether or not we have feedback from the individual to the population isn't decided.

So where we got to with it is that when you exit the editor your organism should be pushed towards your species averages for compounds. (As you say health could be on a slider + maybe be influenced by the state of your species).

Seregon is currently writing a big post and then hopefully a lot of things will become clear / be open for discussion.

I wouldn't make a lot of effort working on species stuff until that post comes out, we should coordinate out efforts!

Hope this is helpful.
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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:08 am

Actually the original concept is that when you evolve you get to choose to play as the parents or the offspring, however that conflicts with the fact that entering and exiting the editor cause the world to get altered to match the millenia of evolution that are passing, so I think we ought to decide whether it's better to return to the game as the offspring of who you were in the last game (who just happens to have mutated wildly), or as a very distant descendant living in a totally new world.

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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:40 am

NickTheNick wrote:
Actually the original concept is that when you evolve you get to choose to play as the parents or the offspring, however that conflicts with the fact that entering and exiting the editor cause the world to get altered to match the millenia of evolution that are passing, so I think we ought to decide whether it's better to return to the game as the offspring of who you were in the last game (who just happens to have mutated wildly), or as a very distant descendant living in a totally new world.

This question ties in with a discussion we've been having about timescales in the population dynamics / compound system. We have 3 elements,

1) Individual microbe and compound simulation (which takes place over minutes / hours)

2) The total play time of the microbe stage (maybe 1-2 hours? More? Less? I don't know what you would like)

3) The total amount of time simulated (maybe 1-2 billion years? I'm no expert).

and these need to be meshed together in a way that is reasonable from a scientific point of view and feels smooth in the gameplay.
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HariboTer
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PostSubject: Re: Design clarification for programmers   Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:22 am

moopli wrote:
Health should definitely be filled (unless on some higher difficulty). Compounds are a little more complicated.
Now I'm a bit confused; wasn't it decided upon that health should, instead of an abstract health point value, represent the overall well-being of a microbe, which is in turn mainly a result of the microbe's compound-"richness"?
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