Do be aware of the technical limitations of the request.Ringu wrote:Similarly, as you say if different systems or regions have different scales for the clock rate, that would be a relatively easy way to create variations in development/evolution naturally - some systems may be in the stone age while others discover warp drive.
Either the simulation is limited to single star systems, or you have to simulate the entire galaxy at once. If limited to single star systems you get odd results, like a stone age system next to an advanced one. If you simulate the entire galaxy then it's difficult to get different regions to be different ages (as well as being hellishly slow to simulate.
Instead, a more efficient and effective method is that used in Minecraft. You create a multidimensional 'field'. In Minecraft, it's like the terrain height. Minecraft uses a pre-computed function with a seed value (http://bukkit.org/threads/how-does-mc-g ... ks.134901/) and if you give it a location, that function will return a height. The height varies smoothly, but you can jump to any location and calculate the height... you don't need to calculate the neighbors first.
LT can use a noise function to generate system values like population... tech level... aggressiveness... mineral availability. When you get near a system it gets generated... until you do, it doesn't even have to exist at all. While in a system, nearby systems (within two or three hops) would be simulated at a high level, so that they 'grow' naturally.
The result of this is that you have large mountains (big, high tech civilizations), low mesas (large low-tech civilizations), small hills (tiny low-tech civilizations), and tall narrow spikes of rock (small high tech civs). Multiple overlapping functions provides the different civilizations with different features (minecraft biomes).
The end result is that pre-computing a field function reduces the need to 'simulate' time, and ensures continuous variation without weird cliffs (stone age next to diamond age). It usually provides better results with less CPU than simulation.