[MUD-Dev] Player Manipulation of Environment

Adam Martin ya_hoo_com at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 4 08:49:38 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Schwanz" <paul.schwanz at east.sun.com>
> Jasper McChesney wrote:
>> Paul Schwanz wrote:

>>> Since there is a chance that even those rabbits with a high
>>> level c-gene will give birth to a rabbit with a different gene,
>>> when a particular area is not hunted heavily, the area will be
>>> repopulated with rabbits having the other genes dominant.  Soon,
>>> there may be lots of rabbits with all sorts of genes in that
>>> area again.

>> True, if no further "evolutionary pressure" is put on the
>> population, it would drift back to neutral.  However, my guess is
>> that players aren't going to entirely abandon a zone like this,
>> and that some degree of pressure will stay.  Once rabbits develop
>> the 100% invisibility, a rabbit that is visible will just get
>> butchered and never pass on its genes.  The problem I see is that
>> you're going to get stagnant populations very shortly that will
>> have no reason to change in one direction or another.  They're
>> certainly not natrually going to become less specialized.

> I'm not sure I'm understanding.  It seems to me that you are again
> overlooking the possibility that a rabbit will be fit enough even
> if it is not the fittest.  Also, provided your game area is large
> enough and your birth rate numbers are in the right balance, I
> would think that players would be more than likely to abandon a
> hunting zone where rabbits were very hard to find in favor of one
> where rabbits are much easier to find.  In fact, I'm pretty sure
> that someone posted some behavioral information a while back which
> discussed the fact that players would automatically distribute
> themselves in a manner which is very closely related to the amount
> of rabbits (cheese) available at different locations.


Please note simulated genetic populations tendency to completely
ignore the apparently sensible option. If 'no further "evolutionary
pressure" is put on the population', then it probably will NOT drift
back to normal (generally in order to create such behaviour you need
to artificially ensure there IS another evolutionary pressure to
drift back to normal). [Also note that even with an "evolutionary
pressure" not to do so, it could easily end up drifting back to
normal anyway. The tendency is that there are a lot more underlying
pressures than you first thought of which can give rise to
apparently wrong results.]

IME, the processing for the idea as originally described will be
light and easy, and add practically vanishingly little to the
loading of a system alreday running a MUD. The three things that
make evolution slow are:

  - complex data structures (require recursive processing for EVERY
  individual)

  - large data records per individual (cause unreasonably high
  overhead for memory-management)

  - huge numbers of individuals (make the two previous problems get
  worse and worse)

The scheme suggested could be encoded in just a few extra bytes; the
extra processing for controlling the rabbits seems to me to be
minute compared to if you had the rabbits without the genes. In
terms of numbers, a 1Ghz home PC ought to be able to handle creating
a whole new generation (simultaneously mating every single rabbit)
and decidiing if they live of die every few seconds for upwards of
500,000 rabbits. (Estimate based upon having used considerably more
complicated schemes before, and assumptions of how much quicker it
is with reduced memory requirements).

Adam M
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