[MUD-Dev] Simulated Populations

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Tue Feb 1 21:07:48 CET 2000

On Wed, 19 Jan 2000 18:06:10 -0500 
phlUID  <phluid at mindless.com> wrote:

> My question to the MUD community is what a population engine
> should include for checks, balances, and possible algorithms for
> resets. The end result is a game where single people can make
> small impacts on entire populations, and the world is constantly
> moving around you as different races conflict, each trying to
> achieve their own private goals.

Algorithmically I'd say:

  A system whose deviation dynamics when graphed resemble a cup.

What's this mean?  

Most games have some sort of balance point where all the composite
forces of the game are in balance, even if some of those forces are
"potentials" as versus being realised.  I'll call this middle point
the "mean", as in terms of averages.

The players then, thru their actions, start moving the current state
of the game away from that balance point.  You need and want this to
be easy so that there is reward and feedback for successful action.
However you also want increasing deviation from the mean to be
increasingly difficult, and the tendency for the system to return to
the mean to be be increasingly strong the greater the deviation from 
the mean is.

  ie the more they change the game, the more difficult it is, and
  the more the game tries to go back the way it was.

The problem with this is that you need a delay in the feedback loop.
You can't have the return force be too strong too fast or the
system, will tend to occupy a small locus around the median point.
However, if you put a delay in the feedback loops such that the
return force grows slowly to its appropriate value once the
deviation had been reached will allow for an encourage more extreme
deviations and swings of the "pendulmn".

J C Lawrence                                 Home: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                              Other: coder at kanga.nu
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--

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