In another thread, Sphenocorona wrote:I'd like some input on this thought I had regarding SoD: should I add the honeyfarm constellation as a bait object? It's completely impractical in the current version, and yet they're one of the cheapest stable patterns to produce. Naturally, fixing the save game issues is important, but I had just been thinking that we could miss a cheaper method involving an HF.
It probably wouldn't hurt to have a honeyfarm as a bait object. On the other hand, they're fairly big and there won't always be room for them.
It might be worth writing an objects.txt file when the application closes, and reading from it at startup, similar to the savegame file. Then people could edit the file to add whatever objects they might want -- useful splitter/edge-shooter constellations or whatever.
It may not be obvious from the current GUI, but honeyfarms can be added quite easily already. Create a honeyfarm in Golly, with regular state-1 cells. Copy it to the clipboard, and in the SoDGame, roll the mouse on "Puzzle" to turn it to "Seed". Click on the "Seed" button and you can paste in any object you want to use as a bait.
This was a last-minute addition to the alpha before Paul stopped working on it, so it's not well advertised, and it doesn't work quite like other seeds -- there's no option to rotate or reorient or rephase an asymmetric bait, so you have to paste it in in the right orientation.
Other possible improvements include access to all four phases of gliders, or multiple phases of a pasted-in blinker or other oscillator seed. I'd rather the Demonoid cleanup circuits had only stable patterns in it, but it certainly seems to be true that blinkers are very cheap and efficient when you need to extend a reaction -- blocks are more implosive than explosive.
While I'm wishing, it would be really nice to have keyboard shortcuts to cycle through the baits, and to cycle through the different orientations/phases of a bait. That would make the SoDGame usable on a laptop, and would also make it much more efficient to test different baits while keeping the mouse centered in a key area.
The only thing better than that would be an option to try all possible baits automatically inside a small selected area, showing results in order of smallest final population... but that's a much bigger feature request!