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 Manifesto of Simplicity

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~sciocont
Overall Team Lead


Posts : 3406
Reputation : 138
Join date : 2010-07-06

20110116
PostManifesto of Simplicity

I've come up with a general statement for how we need to handle things in the development of this game, which I like to call the "Manifesto of Simplicity"

Manifesto of Simplicity wrote:
If the player does not fully understand how a system works, we can simplify how the system works in the game.

This basically means that we can use people's general lack of encyclopedic knowledge to our advantage. If the average person playing Thrive doesn't understand, say, how continental drift works, they cannot get angry at us for not simulating it accurately. If the player doesn't know exactly how something would evolve in the real world, they can't tell us we did game evolution wrong.

On top of this, we're going to save more time and processing power by having observer-based processes. This is something I like to call quantum game management.

Quote :
If something is not direcly affecting what the player sees, it is either
A) run in the background
B) disregarded
C) handled arbitrarily

Basically, if you're not looking at the lizard, the lizard isn't actually there. Turn back to it, and it becomes a lizard again. Turn away, and he game isn't dealing with it, it's just a tagged mesh in your vicinity.

When we're discussing anything, try to heep these two things in mind. Our goals are simplicity, science, and playability, and we shouldn't sacrifice any one of them for another one.

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Manifesto of Simplicity :: Comments

Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:52 am by bill2505
~sciocont wrote:
I've come up with a general statement for how we need to handle things in the development of this game, which I like to call the "Manifesto of Simplicity"

Manifesto of Simplicity wrote:
If the player does not fully understand how a system works, we can simplify how the system works in the game.

This basically means that we can use people's general lack of encyclopedic knowledge to our advantage. If the average person playing Thrive doesn't understand, say, how continental drift works, they cannot get angry at us for not simulating it accurately. If the player doesn't know exactly how something would evolve in the real world, they can't tell us we did game evolution wrong.

On top of this, we're going to save more time and processing power by having observer-based processes. This is something I like to call quantum game management.

Quote :
If something is not direcly affecting what the player sees, it is either
A) run in the background
B) disregarded
C) handled arbitrarily

Basically, if you're not looking at the lizard, the lizard isn't actually there. Turn back to it, and it becomes a lizard again. Turn away, and he game isn't dealing with it, it's just a tagged mesh in your vicinity.

When we're discussing anything, try to heep these two things in mind. Our goals are simplicity, science, and playability, and we shouldn't sacrifice any one of them for another one.
i agree but in some parts.simplicity is good unless you simplify thing much so there is no reason for this mod to exist.many game creators use this logic and we end with games like rtw where we have the romans to use ninjas and lorica segmentata (?spell) years before they actually had,egypt on the period after alexander the great uses mummy return troops instead ob being a hellenistic state. my opinion. use this system only for the most cmplicated things
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:04 am by Commander Keen
I agree mostly, except one thing:

Quote :
Basically, if you're not looking at the lizard, the lizard isn't actually there. Turn back to it, and it becomes a lizard again. Turn away, and he game isn't dealing with it, it's just a tagged mesh in your vicinity.

You can't actually base what is and what isn't simulated based on player's field of vision (unless it's utterly unimportant process). Basing it on distance would be a way better solution. To clarify, the coding page wouldn't be that hard (just modified Frustrum algorithm), but if you don't simulate what's right behind you, you'll end either with behaviour so weird everyone will notice, or huge heaps of nearly useless code. It's way easier in all ways to simulate everything in 360 degrees radius.




@Bill: You have forgot one rule:

Quote :
If the player does not fully understand how a system works, we can simplify how the system works in the game.

If you notice inconsistencies in the game, you are either well educated about the matter, or the developers did it wrong. We have to simplify the system to the point where it's doable in terms of programming, but the player still looks at it like true science.
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:47 am by bill2505
Commander Keen wrote:
I agree mostly, except one thing:

Quote :
Basically, if you're not looking at the lizard, the lizard isn't actually there. Turn back to it, and it becomes a lizard again. Turn away, and he game isn't dealing with it, it's just a tagged mesh in your vicinity.

You can't actually base what is and what isn't simulated based on player's field of vision (unless it's utterly unimportant process). Basing it on distance would be a way better solution. To clarify, the coding page wouldn't be that hard (just modified Frustrum algorithm), but if you don't simulate what's right behind you, you'll end either with behaviour so weird everyone will notice, or huge heaps of nearly useless code. It's way easier in all ways to simulate everything in 360 degrees radius.




@Bill: You have forgot one rule:

Quote :
If the player does not fully understand how a system works, we can simplify how the system works in the game.

If you notice inconsistencies in the game, you are either well educated about the matter, or the developers did it wrong. We have to simplify the system to the point where it's doable in terms of programming, but the player still looks at it like true science.
ok then
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:48 am by ~sciocont
Quote :
You can't actually base what is and what isn't simulated based on player's field of vision (unless it's utterly unimportant process). Basing it on distance would be a way better solution. To clarify, the coding page wouldn't be that hard (just modified Frustrum algorithm), but if you don't simulate what's right behind you, you'll end either with behaviour so weird everyone will notice, or huge heaps of nearly useless code. It's way easier in all ways to simulate everything in 360 degrees radius.
I realize we can't use FOV, I was just giving an example. Sorry for the confusion.
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:25 pm by Commander Keen
Ah, ok then. Maybe the OP should be edited?
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:11 pm by Mysterious_Calligrapher
Out of sight, out of mind.
... the mechanics for continental drift were going to be belgium for us to figure out anyway.
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:53 pm by Gotrol
agree with this, =)
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:43 am by eumesmo
i agree as long as the game looks scientific... if we over simplify we'll end up with spore..
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:27 pm by bill2505
eumesmo wrote:
i agree as long as the game looks scientific... if we over simplify we'll end up with spore..
i agree
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:17 am by roadkillguy
When you say the lizard isn't there... do you mean render-wise? That's the basics of view-frustrum culling.
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:36 pm by Redstar
Mysterious_Calligrapher wrote:
Out of sight, out of mind.
... the mechanics for continental drift were going to be belgium for us to figure out anyway.
Especially considering that Earth's planetary geologists don't 100% understand the actual process. Although I don't think this means we shouldn't figure out SOME acceptable mechanic to simulate continental drift.

I've pretty much always held this idea fundamentally, Scio. Glad to see it in writing.
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
Post on Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:26 pm by ~sciocont
Redstar wrote:
Mysterious_Calligrapher wrote:
Out of sight, out of mind.
... the mechanics for continental drift were going to be belgium for us to figure out anyway.
Especially considering that Earth's planetary geologists don't 100% understand the actual process. Although I don't think this means we shouldn't figure out SOME acceptable mechanic to simulate continental drift.

I've pretty much always held this idea fundamentally, Scio. Glad to see it in writing.
Thank you. Plate tectonics are a good example of something we can 100% BS and nobody will notice.
Re: Manifesto of Simplicity
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