Re: SOFTWARE: Do you play computer games?

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 11:41:41 MST

On Tue, Feb 26, 2002 at 10:09:25AM -0500, Dickey, Michael F wrote:

> My idea, in case there are any programmers
> out there with a lot of free time would be an RTS, like star craft / alpha
> centauri. It starts in a similiar way that some other games out there
> start, at the beginning of technological evolution, say early in the
> agricultural age. The whole game is logorithmically based, at first you
> control individual units (your village people) the game progresses through
> the ages and technological changes. Not a whole lot different then what
> some other games do. But here is the difference, the game progresses far
> into the future from Type I to Type II onto Type III galactic civilizations.
> Your map starts out as, say, a 1km x 1km grid, a town or village. You
> control individual units, they are all to scale and 3D models. But, as
> technology and scale progresses, your map gets bigger and you can scale in
> and out.

Yes. This is exactly what I have been thinking of. It requires a
somewhat trustworthy AI to run your units, but could really get away
from the problem in SMAC that when you have a planet-spanning empire,
you are still micromanaging formers planting forest.

> The flow of time would not be linear as well, as you progress further, time
> passes more rapidly (just as kurzweil speaks of the diminishing time between
> salient events) At the basic level, time passes 1 sec for every second
> played, then moves to a 10:1, 100:1, etc. etc.

This is good, but it also introduces a limitation in multiplayer games.
Everybody needs to run at roughly the same speed, otherwise things will
not work. If player A is running at 100:1 and player B at 1:1, then we
have problems. For a single player game this is no problem.

> The main measurement in the game will be energy, how much energy is your
> society producing how much can it control / harness (for transporation,
> weapons, etc)

I would use energy, information and control over matter as main
measurements. Information deals with how much information can be stored,
transmitted and controlled, matter control deals with the scale of
control (macrotech, microtech, nanotech, femtotech, plancktech...).

> I would like to model algorithms that make up the names for the
> technological breakthroughs, so they will not be limited or predifined, and
> different civiliazations may have different means of accomplishing these
> things (different size devices, different levels of effeciency, etc)

And advances should not always have predictable or wholly good effects -
inventing AI should open a huge can of worms, as would methods of
motivation control.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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