Universe Creation, Planet & Colony Dynamics, Research, High-Level AI
: Yeah, ok, that's kind of unfair. I feel like you guys, from here on out, are probably going to be mostly interested in Sean's work. Maybe I'll make him write the logs
Since Sean is still comparatively fresh with Lua, C (and programming), it seemed best to allocate him more towards using that brain for pure thought. Of course, he's not just thinking about gameplay, he's also learning Lua at the same time and getting a feel for what the high-level will look like in Lua.
I've taken several hours over the course of the week to explain some of the high-level mechanics to Sean as he has encountered the need to understand them. At this point, we've been over a lot of territory: how the high-level AI works and reasons, projects, details of the economy and the market/mission board, AI traits, colonies and their spawning of AI + culture vectors, universe generation, research mechanics, and so on. At this point I'd say he's got a pretty good handle on the big picture of LT, and his task is basically: explore it, detail it, make Lua out of it, and generally continue filling in the framework that I laid out for the LT large-scale dynamics. Ultimately I hope to have him doing large-scale, long-time-scale sims on generated universes and doing data-driven balancing and tuning to ensure that we have a dynamic-yet-stable (as in, doesn't blow up after 10 hours of game time) simulation going on in the game that affords maximal fun for players.
As the so-called 'root'/anchor of the game simulation, colonies were a natural place to start, and that's exactly where Sean started his exploration. This exploration naturally led him to the exploration of...basically everything, so it's probably easier to flat-out list the things he's been working on:
- The nature of the colony culture vector and its influence beyond just the spawning of AI
- Planet types and the way in which different types of planets modify the economic processes executed by the colony
- Star types and the way in which different types of stars influence planet generation
- Distributions and evolutions of stellar masses in a galaxy and the way in which physical formulae dictate the evolution of a galaxy / the distribution of stars (it brought me joy to see him exploring some of these things with real-time graphs he created )
- Bringing it all back to mass distributions, and going forward from there to temperature, color, planet distributions, etc.
- Colony-to-Colony interaction mechanics (something that's never been explored before!), including cultural diffusion
- The exact formulas and mechanics that dictate the creation, growth, and death of colonies
- AI spawning mechanics, especially with respect to how the birth and lifetime of an AI player affects the colony on which it was born and vice-versa
- The influence of colonies on planets (! not the other way around! I have never considered this before)
- Probably a lot of other things....