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FortKnox's Journal: Terrarium Update 18

Journal by FortKnox
Wow, terrarium is quite some fun (but I kinda specialized in AI programming at school, which is why I am facinated by it). Anyway, if any of you decide to run it, be wary of 'Nitro Hamster', which is my carnivore creation (yet to be released), or 'tribble', my herbivore super-reproducer (he'll be released tonight in hopes of multiplying and just outnumbering everything else).

Anyway, seems like a cool way to learn C# (or any other .NET language), but I'm using it as a cool way to mess with some AI techniques...
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Terrarium Update

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  • How does this compare to IBM's RobotWars( not really sure what it's called)? Does it expand on that concept or is it similar? Do I need to use VS.Net or is their some way a poor Mac user can participate?
    • I've messed with robowars (or whatever the official name is), and terrarium is much bigger. Robowars is only a single-player game which you put robots against one another.

      Terrarium is a giant p2p world where your creatures and plants live, reproduce, and try to not go extinct. Also, the attributes of the creatures are a lot more complex than robowars (which is just "move forward, turn turret, turn tank, and fire").

      VS.NET isn't needed (I don't have it), but you need to d/l the .NET Framework SDK (like 135MB). There are instructions on how to compile and stuff without VS.NET (but can you run .NET on the mac, yet?).

      BTW - I've included the link to terrarium in the story.
      • uuuuugh.

        I can feel the disturbance in the Force.

        • Must play geeky AI game.
        • Must not download .NET SDK.
        • Must make cute little herbivore.
        • Must not get a Microsoft passport.
        • Must make adorable little carnivore named Nibbler that eats dark matter...
        • There are like 8 stats, that you get to distribute 100 points in it how you wish, but once you release the creature, it can't change (at least, not that I've found). I'm trying to write a suggestion that will allow you to change the stats of the creatures offspring, so I can use neural networks to breed an evolutionary creature that will be the ultimate power in the universe... and beverley hills!!
          • There are like 8 stats, that you get to distribute 100 points in it how you wish

            Sucky, I want super death raw claws and uber night vision, no go? Heh. I want to design the little buggers from the ground up to be big huge goliaths kicking massive ass. :)

            Which reminds me of that genetic engineering game a friend and I where kicking around ideas for awhile back. . . . take different sequences of genetic code and build up a creature with them, game balance would be achieved by limiting which genetic strands could go together at times.

            The only main issue is that we insisted on makintg creature tree charts showing all the various possible combinations, and of course the advantage of the genetic system that I had thought up of was the virtually unlimited number of combinations, and, err, well, heh. after the first few dozen pages of that we got a bit worn out. ^_^
        • The dark side of the force is strong, young padaoine. You must give in to your emotions and join us! :)

          Seriously though. The .NET SDK is a painless download, and compiling code is as easy as typing in "csc filename.cs". There are some free open source editors out there that are really good as well.
          • I repeat. uuuuuuuuuugh.

            I have started down the path.
            I downloaded the SDK.
            I have a *Passport* so I can read the sample code.

            I fear it is only a weekend before I am consumed by creating little greeblies.

            p.s. padaoine -- dude, that rocks!

      • but can you run .NET on the mac, yet?

        Not that I know of. I know Rotor was the .Net framework for FreeBSD, but there are problems with threading in the Mach kernel and the CLI dependency on the x86 platform. If anyone knows of anything else, google searches just turned up a lot of weblogs from O'Reilly wishing for a Microsoft port to OS X.
  • *fwooosh*

    Hear that? It's the sound of my social life going down the tubes.

    I made plants, using the other plant skins for variety. They grew. Then I made herbivores. My herbivores are stupid -- they are still pretty much, well, dying. (Got 'em to 3rd generation, but that was it so far) It's not too bad, considering that I've only spent maybe a total of 6 hours playing with it so far.

    Now, in my utter geek state, I'm writing the herbivore_utils class for all my herbivores, since most of the utilitarian functions are something that I'll want to keep. I'm sure that I'll later abstract that to an organism_utils class and....

    Did I mention the *fwooooosh*?

    • I'm still a little peeved that you can't slightly change the creatures stats with each generation, only the genetic code thingy. I had this neural net code all setup to make my evolutionary 'nitro hamster'. Oh well, off to the tribbles idea I go...
      • Yeah, I actually find that incredibly frustrating -- so if you noticed your food supply going low you can't really go into survival mode.

        So far, all I've got are really stupid inchworms. They randomly crawl until they see a plant, they eat, they reproduce, they kick the bucket... I fear what would happen if I introduced a carnivore, since they can't even live in Eden right now.

        • The best herbivore I've seen (BTW - there is such a thing as an attacking herbivore, it just can't eat the corpse of the creature it kills), isn't an attacking herbivore (although they are popular), but a really fast and really dumb one. It doesn't grow to a big size, and it is really fast. It finds a plants, eats, reproduces, repeat. If attacked, it runs like hell for like 6 spots, then finds another plant.

          I call it the 'tribbles' effect. Run a terrarium in the p2p world. Mine gets filled up with piggy (the one I just explained) and an ant carnivore. Nothing else really survives beyond those two. And piggy EASILY outnumbers everything (including plants). It gets to the point where almost half the world is covered with them, and they just sit there, cause they've eaten all the plants.
          • Yeah, my ecosystem is already overrun with those two. I'll figure out how to beat it...

            But as for right now, my inchworms are having survival issues. I'm looking forward to a good rainy day to play with it though...

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