Survival of the Flattest

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ynbniar
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Postby ynbniar » Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:51 pm

seek,strike,destroy

(from WW2 I believe, not very "digital" but describes the wee Multiwinia action vid we saw)

:?:
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Postby xander » Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:47 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:New? Never seen it before...

Image

plan(W)ar? or some variation thereof?

That is from Bit-Blot's upcoming game Aquaria.

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Postby funkywizard » Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:12 am

I think all your other games have simple single word names, that have meaning but aren't very common. This has worked well in the past and you might consider thinking along those lines for future brainstorming.

One word that comes to mind, that might be appropriate (but is a little too mainstream I think), is "Reboot". I'm sure you can come up with others.
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Postby Kuth » Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:04 pm

And when you say Reboot, I think of that CG animated cartoon from Canada.
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Postby xander » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:23 pm

Reboot!

Image

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Postby Mas Tnega » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:31 pm

lol monoboob
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Postby xander » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:45 pm

Monoboob?

Image

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Postby illustriouschin » Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:30 am

damn that woman is UUUUUGLY.
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Postby omicron1 » Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:26 pm

Game looks like a "Discordia" to me.
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Postby Recursor » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:42 am

I think that part of the problem in naming the game might stem from the lack of story. That is, what happened to make Darwinians fight each other. If you don't know what the story of the game is, then how can you name it? Here are some possible backstories, and names that were inspired by the backstories:

A virus has attacked the Darwinians causing them to fight against each other. This is pretty similar to the story in Darwinia. For this, I came up with the name Retrovirus. A retrovirus in scientific terms is a virus that actually modifies the DNA of host cells. A digital analog to that might be a computer virus that modifies the code of the thing it infects, which sounds like an interesting game scenario. I also like the "Retro" part of it, due to the retro look and feel of the Darwinia universe.

The Darwinians have discovered some new concept on their own that causes them to turn against each other. For this, I came up with the name Xor. XOR is a very common abbreviation in computer circles for the logical operator exclusive or. That is, "A XOR B" means A or B, but not both. The concept I'm getting at is that one side can exist or the other, but not both, so the Darwinians war over which side continues to exist. This title also fits if Dr. Sepulveda accidentally wrote a bug in his code somewhere.

The game could be a friendly challenge that developers have between each other. This story fits what seems to be Introversion's MO of letting the player play the role of someone just sitting at their desktop (which certainly makes the immersion seemless). I don't have such a great name for this, but Hack Wars comes to mind, the idea being that you are working on developing new coded objects, AI behaviors, etc. to outdo the other guy in real time.

The game is a new experiment by Dr. Sepulveda in Interactive Evolutionary Computation (IEC). I found this term from Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_evolutionary_computation. The idea is to use humans for evaluating whether an iteration of AI is better or worse than the previous. The battle between the Darwinians then, is just part of the evaluation process that the players use to decide which set of Darwinians is more evolved. I guess this story also fits the idea of you sitting at your computer. I think that for this, the already suggested Digital Selection and Virtual Selection are fine names. You could also call it Mass Extinction in honor of the theory that extinction accelerates evolution. Hmm, I think I'll quit now. My ideas are getting worse.
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Postby OrR » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:23 pm

Recursor wrote:A virus has attacked the Darwinians causing them to fight against each other. This is pretty similar to the story in Darwinia. For this, I came up with the name Retrovirus. A retrovirus in scientific terms is a virus that actually modifies the DNA of host cells. A digital analog to that might be a computer virus that modifies the code of the thing it infects, which sounds like an interesting game scenario. I also like the "Retro" part of it, due to the retro look and feel of the Darwinia universe.

Games with that name already exist...


Recursor wrote:The Darwinians have discovered some new concept on their own that causes them to turn against each other. For this, I came up with the name Xor. XOR is a very common abbreviation in computer circles for the logical operator exclusive or. That is, "A XOR B" means A or B, but not both. The concept I'm getting at is that one side can exist or the other, but not both, so the Darwinians war over which side continues to exist. This title also fits if Dr. Sepulveda accidentally wrote a bug in his code somewhere.

Neither can live while the other survives...

From Harry Potter... Anyway, XOR sounds weird to me but it might work with normal people who are not into logic...
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Postby brice » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:58 am

Has anyone suggested "Fighting Sprites"? Or "Sprite Fight!", or something similar? Kinda playful since this is not endorsed by sensible software... [Edit: I guess Sprite Fight is already taken :( ]

Haven't watched the vid yet since don't have codec and am lazy on linux. But reading comments it's cool you added in the burning DG effects from Demo2. [Edit] just saw it -- very cool! What was that flying garbage collector doing? gathering souls?

Can teams control non-DG units? Like placing aliance-aware spam cubes with localized range, or SDs, etc. as kind of a strategic buildup? Then xander might be able to teach everyone how to kill an SD with DGs and officers and Annihilation would no longer be a mysterious puzzle island.

Just a quick idea from Darwinia: if you place instant spiders with a spread = 0 then they start frozen. You can place a stack of frozen spiders and they will stay put and wait for enemies. When enemies come within AI range then the spiders pounce. If you have more than a few spiders stacked as a group they behave as one for a short time. Best of all, their mega-group-stomping sends DGs flying. Very funny. Would probably fit the design aesthetic for Multiwhateveria. Trap door spiders.

It would also be cool if players could lay AISpawnPoint traps during play or pre-play buildup. Sudden virri pits become tactical distractions and drain opponents forces. A little bit of DEFCON cold war strategy for Darwinia. Assuming placements can be hidden from other players for a while.

/ramble

-brice

...how 'bout "Core Wars: Evolved", although I doubt any gamers remember what memory cores were. "Quantum Core Wars"? "Entanglement"? Or "8-bit Egos: the Big Little Wars", although if you accept that name you'll probably have to pay your shrink for an extra session. Go for a name that is really retro -- pre-Tron even.

I now like "Entanglement" ... maybe "Entanglement: the Big Little Wars"

And you could name the teams out of Jonathan Swift's... Big Endians and Little Endians and other oxymorons from Comp Sci. or Quantum and quark gibberish "Up Downs" and "Strange Charms"
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Postby Kuth » Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:57 am

Heh... "Little Wars"
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Postby brice » Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:34 pm

Chris, what's the back story for Multiwhateveria? Is there one? or is this "just" an agnostic "sandbox"?

Like, why are the DGs fighting each other? And what role do the players play in this gameverse? Are we hacking into a quantum server and hijacking DGs for our own purposes, using them as fodder? Maybe our true goal is to conquer the server and DGs are our pawns. Or are the DG factions already at war and their generals recruit us to help them with our god-like super powers? Oh noes the other teams got gods too!!

What's the relationship of player to sprites? Maybe we're there to train them in the arts of war? Is there any history in this gameverse? Maybe they've always been in a multi-front war on this server, and then we as gods look in and laugh at their pathetic AI. We take over to show them how war is really done. They learn.

I think these kinds of questions might be the missing links to finding the one true name for this game. I mean, just what are we doing there? And what are they doing there? Where are they? Why are the DGs different colours? Is that natural, or something we impose when we command them? Are they all Greens underneath? Is the bloodlust all ours? Or have they evolved (devolved) races and religious wars? And we just use them like the CIA does in a larger chess match.

Or maybe this is a new recreational server and the game is really a digital paintball farm. Special arrangements have been made to reconstitute all souls so no one really dies. It's the ultimate play war, the ultimate war *game* for all involved. So the DGs are in this for the fun of it just as much as we are. A partnership. Of course they have incentives to not get killed since they will remember the burning when they're revived. Maybe some of the crispy souls refuse to go back to the front, so the player who's letting his troops get burnt will face a gradual mutiny. The DGs could even "vote" their god off their team (boot their player) -- like how officers were dropped if they tried to send DGs through laserfences in Darwinia. Not fodder at all. Paintball troops looking for god-like generals to lead them.

Dropped souls could become resources for any taker, because the DGs have watched Babylon 5 on YouTube and now revere the Drazi. Individuals are reconstituted as their selves (no one dies forever), but they respect their new team colors becasue that's what the Drazi do. WWDD? Every DG on this server has signed up for Drazi Laser Tag. The human players wear the coloured sashes and lead their rabbid followers into battle. Their twisted culture, but we participate (by their rules). You could call the game "Election Day" if the B5 people don't mind you borrowing some of their storylines. The players are trying to get elected as leaders of the entire DG population. Winner gathers all local teams into one, and maybe moves on to a bigger island to fight bigger elections and grow the army.

If DG teams can fight autonomously, and if their story says they effectively "recruit" us to lead them, then it is possible that human players could join AI battles mid game. The AI teams could advertise bonuses based on the desperation of their situations, and players could preview the battle an decide if they want the challenge of trying to turn the tide for the losing DG AI team. So a search for a game could return both unstarted and running games. If the AI is good enough, then all battles (of a certain type) might be entered already running. The human player is always entering to aid the underdog. This would add challenges for strong players who alwyas beat opponents when they start together. Player vs AI and AI starts to lose... game serever starts advertising for a strong player to aid the AI team... player gets surprised when his AI opponent suddenly acquires their own player god. Title: "Gods for Hire".

/ramble

-brice
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Postby brice » Sun Aug 05, 2007 1:25 pm

Kuth wrote:Heh... "Little Wars"


I didn't know what this was at first... I was parodying Chris' obsession with Little Big Planet above.

But "Little Wars" is very very cool and really really retro... H.G. Wells invented a toy soldier war game and played it obsessively. Some cool pics of the man in action:

http://www.littlewars.com/lw_index_history.htm
One of the newspaper clippings reads, "H.G. Wells, the English Novelist, Playing an Indoor Wargame".

http://www.littlewars.org/
This one's my favorite. "H.G.Wells on all fours, deploys his troops, unconcerned with the camera, while a visiting gentleman trys to look dignified."

What would H.G. Wells think of Darwinia? Would he approve of calling Multiwhateveria, "Little Wars"? Or "The New Little Wars", or "Little Digital Wars", or tongue in cheek, "Little Bitty Wars"? ...where the bits fly. "Itty Bitty Wars"? Or maybe "Fun Little Wars", "Funny Little Wars", although that might be hard to translate with all the nuances.

"Little Bit Wars"? That would probably fly around any copyrights on "Little Wars". Although the copyrights may have expired by now. [EDIT: it has expired. You can get the full text of Well's book at http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext03/ltwrs11.txt You can also get the companion book http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext03/flrgm10.txt and audio book readings from Project Gutenburg. Just search their site for "Little Wars".]

I think you should explore the availability of this name, just plain "Little Wars". It's timeless, and maybe even perfect.

-brice

... and if you like the ideas above about Multiwhateveria being a digital theme park *for the Darwinians*, maybe the backstory could be they found a copy of H.G. Wells Little Wars online and they set up the Multi-server for that purpose. They recruit us to help them re-enact this game of a higher god. They thank us (jump and cheer) when we help them win, and curse us (with some other DG dances) when we make them lose. The idle ones might even start to mock us when we get them into increasingly desperate situations. They trash talk us! You're a sucky god...

Each player's camera position could render a "godmask" so that DGs could orient when "talking back" to their god. Everyone involved would be on the map. It would no longer be a disembodied god-mode game. And of course players could choose or mod their godmask avatars...


...P.S. if you use H.G. Wells' "Little Wars" as inspiration, then you'd *have to* bring back the tripods!! I think he would be honoured.


...P.P.S. an excerpt from "Little Wars", that which inspired the DGs to follow and reenact in homage to this higher god:

ENDING WITH A SORT OF CHALLENGE

I COULD go on now and tell of battles, copiously. In the memory of the
one skirmish I have given I do but taste blood. I would like to go on,
to a large, thick book. It would be an agreeable task. Since I am the
chief inventor and practiser (so far) of Little Wars, there has fallen
to me a disproportionate share of victories. But let me not boast. For
the present, I have done all that I meant to do in this matter. It is
for you, dear reader, now to get a floor, a friend, some soldiers and
some guns, and show by a grovelling devotion your appreciation of this
noble and beautiful gift of a limitless game that I have given you.

And if I might for a moment trumpet! How much better is this amiable
miniature than the Real Thing! Here is a homeopathic remedy for the
imaginative strategist. Here is the premeditation, the thrill, the
strain of accumulating victory or disaster--and no smashed nor
sanguinary bodies, no shattered fine buildings nor devastated country
sides, no petty cruelties, none of that awful universal boredom and
embitterment, that tiresome delay or stoppage or embarrassment of every
gracious, bold, sweet, and charming thing, that we who are old enough to
remember a real modern war know to be the reality of belligerence. This
world is for ample living; we want security and freedom; all of us in
every country, except a few dull-witted, energetic bores, want to see
the manhood of the world at something better than apeing the little lead
toys our children buy in boxes. We want fine things made for mankind--
splendid cities, open ways, more knowledge and power, and more and more
and more--and so I offer my game, for a particular as well as a general
end; and let us put this prancing monarch and that silly scare-monger,
and these excitable "patriots," and those adventurers, and all the
practitioners of Welt Politik, into one vast Temple of War, with cork
carpets everywhere, and plenty of little trees and little houses to
knock down, and cities and fortresses, and unlimited soldiers--tons,
cellars-full--and let them lead their own lives there away from us.

My game is just as good as their game, and saner by reason of its size.
Here is War, done down to rational proportions, and yet out of the way
of mankind, even as our fathers turned human sacrifices into the eating
of little images and symbolic mouthfuls. For my own part, I am _prepared_.
I have nearly five hundred men, more than a score of guns, and I twirl
my moustache and hurl defiance eastward from my home in Essex across the
narrow seas. Not only eastward. I would conclude this little discourse
with one other disconcerting and exasperating sentence for the admirers
and practitioners of Big War. I have never yet met in little battle any
military gentleman, any captain, major, colonel, general, or eminent
commander, who did not presently get into difficulties and confusions
among even the elementary rules of the Battle. You have only to play at
Little Wars three or four times to realise just what a blundering thing
Great War must be.

Great War is at present, I am convinced, not only the most expensive
game in the universe, but it is a game out of all proportion. Not only
are the masses of men and material and suffering and inconvenience too
monstrously big for reason, but--the available heads we have for it, are
too small. That, I think, is the most pacific realisation conceivable,
and Little War brings you to it as nothing else but Great War can do.

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