Since Amaikokonut got me to thinking about the ecological interactions in C3/DS I’ve been tinkering with my agents to make them more ecologically participative. One of the frustrating things about this, though, is that there are no real standards or guidelines out there for any of it. So as a beginning CAOS coder, I’m constantly running into questions there are no ready answers to:
- How long should it take for a seed to sprout / plant to grow?
- How long should it live once it’s grown?
- How many offspring should it produce? How often?
- How close together / far apart should they be allowed to grow?
- How many dormant seeds should I leave lying about for norns to snack on?
- What’s a reasonable amount of Cellular Automata (CA), or resources, to expect to find in a given room?
- How much of which CAs should be present for a plant to grow?
- How much of which CAs should the plant consume while it grows and lives?
- How much should it return to the environment when it dies?
And on, and on…
Since I’ve had to make arbitrary decisions about these things as I go, I thought I’d start writing down the standards I’m setting for my own agents, not only for myself, but maybe to start some collaboration going, so that more new agents will use the amazing environmental interplays, and maybe in more consistent ways, to make the game more interesting.
So this post will be the beginning of a set of guidelines for me to follow in my own coding, and I hope others will jump in and contribute their thoughts about the questions I’ve listed, and maybe more that I haven’t thought of yet. Because the more people participate, the more the resulting agents will make sense to everyone, and the more interest and fun we can add to the ecological side of the game.
Meanwhile, I have to go to work, so the rest of the thoughts bouncing around in my head will have to stay there for another day. 🙂