[MUD-Dev] Player Manipulation of Environment

rayzam rayzam at home.com
Wed Dec 5 17:48:48 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ling Lo" <ling at slimy.com>
> On Tue, 4 Dec 2001, Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt wrote:
>> On Mon, 3 Dec 2001, Paul Schwanz wrote:
>>> Jasper McChesney wrote:
>>>> Paul Schwanz wrote:

>> I think that you simply need more genes to make your point better.

>>    A damage gene.
>>    A extra attack gene (bite, etc).
>>    A speed gene.
>>    An agressive gene.
>>    A flee gene.
>>    A size gene.
>>    A magic gene for spell XX.
>>    A weaponuser gene.
>>    A item gene (example; carries a sword).
>>    A magic resistance gene.
>>    A good hide gene (armor+price).

>> I would say that for this to work, they should not be excluding
>> eachother (at least not all).

> There ought to be associated development and maintenance cost for
> each of these.  Developing an extra head to bite costs time and
> energy and more again to maintain that extra chunk of biomass.
> Just look at certain high maintenance crops.  In ALife simulations
> where ants have some traits that can be increased without any
> costs, it's hardly surprising to discover that the ants have
> optimal genes at the end of the simulation run.  (I mean, if the
> ant could either see 2 squares, 3 square or 4 squares then at the
> end of it all the ants can see 4 squares...  that's not precisely
> earthshattering.)

> If the aim is to have a large population, less than "optimal"
> genes for food foraging is actually better since the agents won't
> gorge themselves needlessly.

In all this talk of modelling the population via genes, it ignores a
large motivating factor for evolution: procreation. A lot of traits
get expressed that aren't positive towards survival, but are
positive towards mating. Or are self-destructive, but after passing
on the genes.

Bright plumage, bright fish. These are the antithesis of not be
noticed in many animals. The more energy one has to spend on things
like this, the more likely one is to have solid genes and getting a
good food supply. Of course, drawing more attention can draw more

Is this important in this discussion? Well I think so to the extent
that many traits have positive and negative aspects. Take sickle
cell anemia.  It's not a positive for the person who has
it. However, being a carrier protects against malaria. And thus it
became prevalent in places where malaria was endemic. This system in
discussion seems to only view traits as binary entities.

Maybe that's all that is necessary to get the system working in a
game.  But maybe that'll also lead to the instabilities and/or lack
of return to diversity, when pressures are added or removed.

What about taking that list of genes above and adding a positive and
negative aspect to each:

>>    A damage gene.

Does more damage, needs X percent more food per day to survive, or
else becomes weak.

>>    A extra attack gene (bite, etc).

neg- increased aggression. More likely to start fights with things
it shouldn't.

>>    A speed gene.

neg - needs more food again. Or, low endurance, lots of short term
energy stores [biochemically], more fast-twitch muscle fibers, not
good at carrying, doing repetitive activity, needs more rest.  >> An
agressive gene.

Less likely to remain placid through courtship rituals, resulting in
a lower chance of mating.

>>    A flee gene.

More timid for mating. Often leaves food supply areas due to even
innocuous others being present.

>>    A size gene.

Lots of possibilities, including a number of the above.

>>    A magic gene for spell XX.

Special diet required to power it. Limits the creature to an area
with that diet, or limits the total numbers.

etc, etc.

When an element has a positive and negative effect, it can in fact
carry twice as much information, or double it's vectors.



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