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Soup-searching as a video game (ethicacha/apgacha)

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Soup-searching as a video game (ethicacha/apgacha)

Postby 77topaz » January 22nd, 2019, 9:22 pm

I recently had an interesting idea for how we could make CGoL soup-searching more popular: create a video game to be the GUI. Apgsearch is actually surprisingly suitable for this, specifically for a gacha game. I just proposed it an hour ago on the Conwaylife Discord, but I thought I'd copy-paste the discussion to this forum, so more Lifenthusiasts could see it and it'd also be preserved more permanently.

[1:18 PM] 77topaz: I just had a simultaneously terrible and brilliant idea for improving the popularity (i.e. number of contributors) of Catagolue: namely, apgsearch would actually work perfectly as the generator of a gacha game. :o Instead of using microtransactions and RNG, users would devote CPU time (really a sort of microtransaction anyway, since CPU time requires electricity) to find rare objects with apgsearch, which would then correspond to drops in the gacha game. And since gacha games are (somehow) so popular (particularly in Japan), this could bring in a lot of users who would otherwise be uninterested in CGoL. We'd even know the approximate drop rates if it was necessary to disclose them, from the existing statistics of Catagolue.
[1:21 PM] 77topaz: To do this, we'd need someone to code an RPG-style combat game for units corresponding to objects, and someone to create storylines and art for the units/objects (popular gacha games tend to use storylines from existing video game franchises and/or have cute anime artwork). But apgsearch itself would work perfectly as the underlying RNG.
[1:35 PM] 77topaz: Of course, someone playing this game would get millions of blocks and blinkers before they got something rare, so we could have something like an exponential level-up for the units, e.g. if you have 10^N blinkers, your blinker unit becomes level N.(edited)
[1:41 PM] dani, lord of crepes &statortots: interesting
[1:41 PM] m: maybe more like 1.2^n, so level up is a bit faster
[1:49 PM] 77topaz: Yeah, 1.2^n would probably be better, you'd have level 75 with 10^6 of the object and level 113 with 10^9 of it, those are not-exorbitantly-large numbers.
[1:49 PM] 77topaz: I myself could contribute the storylines and character concepts, though not as much the artwork and the actual coding.
[1:52 PM] 77topaz: (Then again, for a free-to-play game without microtransactions, the coding/programming wouldn't need to be to be as detailed as a pay-to-play game, and the game could simply be updated with extra features if it actually becomes popular. Still, I'm not sure if any of the free or cheap game engines work for this genre of game.)(edited)
[1:55 PM] m: that reminds me i need to start up apgsearch again
[1:56 PM] m: well actually
[1:56 PM] m: a single haul of 10000060 contains 67451377 blocks(edited)
[1:56 PM] m: so we might want to offset the scoring function a bit
[1:57 PM] m: or actually maybe discovering spaceships or something makes your hauls bigger
[1:57 PM] m: so you have to start with single soups, and then you can work your way up to million soup hauls
[1:57 PM] 77topaz: Yeah, 1.2^n may be a bit too low for the most common objects like blinkers and blocks.
[1:58 PM] m: although it's not too bad with the level up haul size mechanic
[1:58 PM] 77topaz: Hmm... of course we don't want too many small hauls, because those would a) barely contribute to the census and b) strain the Catagolue server, but maybe we could use some sort of mechanic along those lines.
[1:58 PM] m: maybe it could be like 1.2^n - average block count in starting haul size
[1:58 PM] m: well it could pool a bunch of small hauls into a big haul for submission
[1:59 PM] 77topaz: Yeah, that could work, since apgsearch can also save data locally.
[1:59 PM] m: like in the beginning it would be exciting to find a LWSS
[2:00 PM] m: but then you'd have to move on to rarer stuff
[2:01 PM] 77topaz: Yeah, that would work to "hook" the players onto the game. :P And then, once they've completed those beginner goals, they can eventually move on to searching with large hauls like we normally would, and still find new semi-rare or rare objects.
[2:01 PM] m: yeah
[2:01 PM] m: discoveries can be like extra shiny objects
[2:01 PM] 77topaz: It took me weeks of apgsearching to find my first real "discovery", so we definitely want to have smaller goals before that point.
[2:01 PM] m: yeah
[2:04 PM] 77topaz: And obviously we couldn't create unique artwork etc. for all of the 100k+ unique objects in b3s23/C1, but we could have e.g. mid-sized still lifes have a sort of generic artwork and generic or randomly-generated, and then add new characters on a regular basis like existing gacha games do. And rare objects and discoveries would obviously give extra-powerful units.
[2:04 PM] m: definitely
[2:05 PM] m: according to the monthly chart, i've contributed 268G objects, and have 12 t20 discoveries
[2:05 PM] m: so they'd definitely be just really special things
[2:05 PM] m: and only four of them were the first
[2:06 PM] 77topaz: The most common objects, as well as particularly unique ones like semi-common oscillators would have unique characteristics and artwork.
[2:07 PM] m: and we could reuse parts from each one
[2:07 PM] 77topaz: Yeah, definitely. And we could also tie the objects' properties in with the units, such as having still lifes, oscillators and spaceships be different RPG classes.
[2:07 PM] m: like if something has a beacon rotor, it would be a variation on the beacon artwork
[2:08 PM] 77topaz: Hm, that actually sounds really cool. :o
[2:09 PM] m: i'd play this


For reference, "m" is Milo Jacquet ("mjacquet" on this forum).

EDIT: More discussion from the Discord:
[2:11 PM] 77topaz: Is it okay if I copy-paste this conversation to the forums? Then the Lifenthusiasts who don't use Discord could also see it, and it'd be a more permanent place to store these ideas anyway. Then again, I think most of the Discord users haven't yet seen this conversation either, since apart from you Dani is the only one who has said anything about it.
[2:12 PM] m: yeah that's fine i just want to see it made some way or other
[2:13 PM] 77topaz: Great! :)
[2:16 PM] m: maybe i should actually join the forum
[2:18 PM] m: it's getting dangerously close to 66666 posts
[2:19 PM] 77topaz: You should join, it's a great site! :)
[2:20 PM] m: just did
[2:20 PM] 77topaz: Here's the thread I just posted about this: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3760
[2:22 PM] 77topaz: Games in this genre can be really popular (many of them have millions of downloads), so it could potentially be very useful for Catagolue.
[2:22 PM] m: this seems even better than lifecoin/whatever it's called now
[2:22 PM] m: since you actually get to see what you discover
[2:23 PM] 77topaz: Yeah, and it's probably more accessible to the general public as well.
[2:23 PM] m: crypto is just too abstract
[2:23 PM] 77topaz: If the game is actually made, it could be worthwhile to have someone translate the game to Japanese as well, as this genre of games is especially popular in that country.
[2:25 PM] m: maybe by the time the game's finished i'll know enough(edited)
[2:27 PM] 77topaz: I feel like a game in this genre wouldn't be too difficult for indie developers. We also don't need to have all the features we've thought of in the game as soon as we launch it - like Catagolue itself or many indie games, we could add features over time in updates.
[2:27 PM] m: yes
[2:27 PM] m: ok so we have the general structure of the search mechanic
[2:27 PM] m: but how exactly would you use the objects you get
[2:29 PM] 77topaz: Most of the popular gacha games contain a sort of RPG in which you can face other users or AI in combat with your units.
[2:29 PM] m: that would make sense
[2:29 PM] m: but we wouldn't want real cgol combat because then they just become junk
[2:29 PM] m: actually that might be interesting
[2:29 PM] m: have traditional combat or cgol combat as options
[2:30 PM] m: and if you do cgol combat, you throw the objects at each other and you get to collect the junk they make
[2:30 PM] m: it could be like a coop thing
[2:30 PM] m: if you know colliding X and Y (which the opponent has) makes rare object Z, you could talk to them to convince them to do it
[2:31 PM] 77topaz: Yeah, that's possible. But we want to make sure that the players keep contributing to apgsearch as well.
[2:31 PM] 77topaz: We could associate different classes of CGoL objects (e.g. WSSes or barge extensions or beacon-rotors or symmetric still lifes) with different RPG classes.
[2:31 PM] m: yeah
[2:32 PM] m: and of course cgol battling would only get you a few objects
[2:32 PM] m: you'd only want to use it if you know something rare will come out
[2:32 PM] m: otherwise just do traditional battle
[2:34 PM] 77topaz: Hypothetically, we could have something similar to Catagolue's slow-salvo census (b3s23/SS), but it would make the most sense to focus on b3s23/C1 at first. Some gacha games also have occasional special events in which you can get exclusive units - these could be analogous to the game switching to b3s23/D8_1 or another symmetry for a while, allowing users to get rare objects they otherwise couldn't.
[2:35 PM] m: yeah but we would probably want to nerf them a bit, in case they get one of those 100 cell monstrosities which would be insanely rare in D1
[2:36 PM] 77topaz: That makes sense.
[2:38 PM] CopperheadSpawn: how would searching work?
[2:41 PM] 77topaz: The searching would just be the regular apgsearch. In effect, this game would actually be a (complicated) GUI for apgsearch.
[2:42 PM] m: there would probably be something in game that's like "search at 1 soup/minute", and you could boost stats in game
[2:43 PM] 77topaz: Yeah, we could have the users start out slowly so they can see the common patterns appear, and then eventually have them apgsearch at normal speeds.
[2:43 PM] angel mom: As a gacha game player (super evolution specifically) i can slightly help
[2:44 PM] angel mom: Also logo go

[2:44 PM] ᵈᵘᶦ ᵐᵃᵘʳᶦˢ ᶠᵒᵒᵗᵇᵃˡˡ: what on earth
[2:44 PM] angel mom: My smw hack
[2:45 PM] ᵈᵘᶦ ᵐᵃᵘʳᶦˢ ᶠᵒᵒᵗᵇᵃˡˡ: oh
[2:48 PM] 77topaz: At the core of this game would be the regular apgsearch, and then a script which scans the hauls and object counts, which are then fed into the RPG portion. That section of the game I know less about how to code, but there are probably game engines that could be used to simply the process of designing it.
[2:48 PM] angel mom: We're calling this apgacha right
[2:49 PM] AforAmpere: Maybe low size hauls could be stored and combined somehow, and then uploaded.
[2:51 PM] 77topaz: @AforAmpere Yeah, that's one of the ideas Milo and I had.
[2:51 PM] 77topaz: @angel mom LOL, it's definitely a possibility. :P It even sounds a bit like "Goucher". :o
[2:51 PM] AforAmpere: Oh
[2:52 PM] VampireAlienHybridSpawn: wait so what exactly is the difference between a gacha game and an incremental game
[2:52 PM] CopperheadSpawn: basically a lootbox game
[2:52 PM] angel mom: Incrementals don't let you p2w?
[2:52 PM] 77topaz: @AforAmpere Apgsearch can store data locally, so it should be possible.
[2:52 PM] angel mom: idk
[2:52 PM] m: oh my god apgacha
[2:53 PM] 77topaz: It's not really a gacha game, because it's being fed by apgsearch rather than microtransaction-based RNG, but it's close enough that it could fit into that genre.
[2:53 PM] AforAmpere: So people would complain less, and it still does what we want. Awesome.
[2:55 PM] 77topaz: Yeah, exactly.
[2:56 PM] 77topaz: In a sense, there's still a sort of microtransaction going on because CPU time costs electricity which costs money, but it's not as obvious or obnoxious as those of existing gacha games.
[2:59 PM] 77topaz: We could also tie in apgacha's login system with the payosha256 keys apgsearch already uses, so hauls made by apgacha are attributed to users the same way as existing apgsearch hauls.
Last edited by 77topaz on January 26th, 2019, 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Soup-searching as a video game

Postby 77topaz » January 23rd, 2019, 5:19 pm

Aside from the Conwaylife Lounge, Cognaso has now created a specialised Discord server for this topic, which can be found here.

Here's more discussion from the general Discord, including apgoucher discussing the technical aspects:
[3:09 PM] Blinkerspawn: >apgacha
the one gacha I would consider getting
[3:10 PM] AforAmpere: We have to have a really slow character called Loaf(er)
[3:10 PM] m: loaf and loafer are different though
[3:10 PM] 77topaz: @Blinkerspawn Yeah, existing gachas are quite scammy because of the lootbox mechanic, but we'd be entirely avoiding that.
[3:10 PM] angel mom: I play mine because it's Pokémon and it's cute
[3:10 PM] Blinkerspawn: only velcocrex has Loafer
[3:11 PM] 77topaz: @angel mom Yeah, if we make apgacha, we should definitely get someone to make cute artwork for objects, that would certainly help the game's popularity. :P
[3:11 PM] Blinkerspawn: why did I strike that? idk
[3:11 PM] Blinkerspawn: beehive with anime eyes oh no
[3:11 PM] angel mom: uwu
[3:11 PM] VampireAlienHybridSpawn: is calling it a gacha game even a good idea in that case
[3:12 PM] VampireAlienHybridSpawn: people might be turned off from it because of that
[3:12 PM] 77topaz: @VampireAlienHybridSpawn What would you suggest as an alternative, then?
[3:12 PM] VampireAlienHybridSpawn: not sure
[3:13 PM] VampireAlienHybridSpawn: it does of course have elements of an incremental game
[3:13 PM] AforAmpere: Make any game, and have a side process be apgsearch
[3:13 PM] m: no apgsearch has to be the core
[3:13 PM] AforAmpere: I'm joking
[3:13 PM] m: but i mean apgacha is such a great name
[3:13 PM] VampireAlienHybridSpawn: malware that runs apgsearch in the background
[3:14 PM] 77topaz: But the sort of mechanic of obtaining rare drops that gacha games have corresponds nicely with finding rare objects with apgsearch, which gave me the idea in the first place.
[3:15 PM] 77topaz: We could maybe use the name "apgacha" while not otherwise strictly defining the game as a gacha game.
[3:18 PM] AforAmpere: With permission from calcyman.
[3:20 PM] 77topaz: Of course. Even if we don't use that name (maybe it's a bit too obscure for mainstream audiences), I think it would be good to have his approval anyway, since the game would be using apgsearch and contributing to Catagolue.
[3:21 PM] AforAmpere: Definitely
[3:26 PM] 77topaz: @apgoucher What do you think?
The first part of the conversation is copy-pasted here in case you want to avoid having to scroll all the way up: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3760
[3:28 PM] dani, lord of crepes &statortots: ethicacha
[3:28 PM] dani, lord of crepes &statortots: rpgoucher
[3:29 PM] dani, lord of crepes &statortots: can we man pen_mouth an emoji
[3:32 PM] 77topaz: Oh, I didn't notice that. I'll edit those emojis into a forum-friendly format.
[3:34 PM] 77topaz: @dani, lord of crepes &statortots "Ethicacha" also sounds nice. We could also brand it as something like "the scientific gacha game" or "the gacha game that lets you contribute to science!".
[3:35 PM] dani, lord of crepes &statortots: apgacha sounds better imo
[3:36 PM] 77topaz: Sure.
[3:50 PM] Beaconspawn: what happened here
[3:55 PM] 77topaz: @Beaconspawn A discussion about creating a video game as a GUI for apgsearch! :smiley: The first part of the discussion can also be found here, in case you want to avoid scrolling all the way up: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3760
[4:20 PM] Beaconspawn: so a gacha was an interesting choice
[4:24 PM] 77topaz: As I said earlier, it's because I noticed a similarity between the hunting for rare drops of gachas and the hunting for rare objects of apgsearch. Except apgsearch (and consequently apgacha) is more ethical. ;)
[4:27 PM] Beaconspawn: i see what you did there
[4:28 PM] Beaconspawn: i was thinking it could be extended though to the crate-drop/rarity system in (too) many other games.
[4:30 PM] 77topaz: APG himself proposed a similar rarity system with the still-hypothetical Lifecoin (based on Bitcoin and its blockchain-mining), but this may be more accessible to a mainstream audience.
[4:30 PM] Beaconspawn: mhm
[4:31 PM] Beaconspawn: aha the loot box system
[4:31 PM] Beaconspawn: even better
[4:32 PM] Beaconspawn: wait for it
[4:32 PM] Beaconspawn: we could integrate this directly into a CA 1v1 game
[4:35 PM] 77topaz: Gacha games do typically have RPG-style 1v1 battles.
[4:35 PM] dani, lord of crepes &statortots: >seeds of destruction as a battle system
[4:35 PM] dani, lord of crepes &statortots: now this is epic
[4:38 PM] 77topaz: Hmm... we do want a player getting bonuses from having rare objects or lots of one object (since that encourages players to search more), which may be difficult to implement in a SoD-based system compared to a more traditional RPG system.
[4:39 PM] 77topaz: Plus, it'd probably be less accessible to those new to CGoL. Still, eventually we could implement both modes of combat, to please both Lifenthusiasts and casual players.
[4:43 PM] m: i think there should be bonuses for getting a lot of one object, like leveling up, but those wouldn't be as strong as just finding a rare object
[5:37 PM] 77topaz: Miscellaneous RPG-ideas for apgacha:
[5:38 PM] 77topaz: -Boats, ships, tubs, barges, aircraft carriers and their extensions can move across water, while other units can't.
[5:38 PM] 77topaz: -They also receive stats boosts if there is a beacon in their party.
[5:38 PM] 77topaz: -Eaters can insta-kill gliders.
[5:38 PM] 77topaz: -Snakes and their extensions can become invisible in grassy areas.
[5:39 PM] m: maybe loaves feed the other members of the party
[5:40 PM] 77topaz: That's definitely a possibility.
[5:40 PM] 77topaz: -Switch engines can revive dead units, but only if they are objects that would be output by that switch engine in CGoL (so a BLSE could only revive blocks, etc.)
[5:41 PM] 77topaz: I'm not entirely sure yet how to make spaceships unique. Maybe give them a movement bonus? Having them be the only units that can move would probably make them too overpowered.
[5:42 PM] 77topaz: Anyway, these sorts of abilities would serve to make the various object-units feel distinct from each other and keep them interesting.
[5:44 PM] m: also we need some way to speed up the search speed in game
[5:45 PM] m: so like maybe you can assign spaceships back at base on search duty and they search
[5:45 PM] m: although there aren't really that many different spaceships
[5:46 PM] 77topaz: Or rather, to slow it down for beginning players, since we can't actually make the game search faster than the player's computer can. We want to encourage the players to use more cores/computers too, since that helps apgsearch more.
[5:47 PM] m: well i mean in game speeding up
[5:47 PM] m: since new players start slow, they need some way to bring it up to full speed
[5:48 PM] 77topaz: I see what you mean. Some kind of milestone that allows the user to upgrade their searching speed. LWSS to HWSS could work, but only in the early stages.
[5:49 PM] 77topaz: Maybe some semi-common patterns like unixes or mazings (small p3+ oscillators)?
[6:04 PM] m: unix definitely just because of the name
[6:05 PM] m: and then other things which just appear fast
[6:45 PM] SuperSupermario24: i have nothing to contribute to this discussion but this definitely sounds like it could be quite interesting
[6:47 PM] BlockSpawn: ^(edited)
January 24, 2019
[12:26 AM] apgoucher: I agree this certainly sounds interesting!
[12:31 AM] apgoucher: One early design decision would be the choice of programming language -- it's essentially unrestricted, provided the language supports subprocess creation. (In Python this is really easy; Java is also quite easy; C/C++ is a nightmare because you need to deal with differences between operating systems.)
[12:34 AM] apgoucher: Subprocess creation is necessary for the program to:
-- run apgsearch;
-- recompile apgsearch for different symmetries;
-- initially run the Cygwin64 installer so that the end user doesn't need to do this manually.
[12:37 AM] AforAmpere: So we are doing different symmetries then?
[12:38 AM] AforAmpere: Would it be possible to have it already compiled when it downloads?
[12:38 AM] AforAmpere: Apgsearch, I mean
[12:44 AM] apgoucher: Not ideally -- for efficiency reasons, apgsearch really needs to be compiled for the architecture on which it's running.
[12:44 AM] apgoucher: (And of course different OSes have incompatible binaries anyway.)
[12:46 AM] apgoucher: But the Cygwin installation and apgsearch compilation can happen in the background whilst the game is running, so it shouldn't detract too much.
[12:48 AM] apgoucher: It does raise the question, though -- are most users (in Japan) likely to be using Windows or Mac OS X? Annoyingly I think Mac's compiler tools require some awkward download process (I'll check with Tom Rokicki).
[1:13 AM] apgoucher: Alternatively, it looks like the game could be a regular 'gacha game', but where there is zero cost associated with reaping objects from hauls that you've submitted yourself. (This would involve the idea suggested by @77topaz of linking payosha256 keys to user accounts.)
[1:14 AM] apgoucher: The rationale for this is that it allows the game to run on (for instance) mobile devices, even though apgsearch can only run on x86_64 machines. So people could leave apgsearch running on their desktop computers to generate hauls which they can utilise in the (mobile) game.
[1:51 AM] apgoucher: I'll add another Catagolue endpoint, based on https://catagolue.appspot.com/difficulty/b3s23/C1 , to retrieve the rarest object sampled from a 'synthetic random haul' of a certain size. The fact that Catagolue is open-source and the textcensuses are available for download means that the 'drop frequencies' are fully transparent.
[2:01 AM] Beaconspawn: I made another server in case anybody wants to move discussion of CA+CA search games to there
[2:02 AM] Beaconspawn: https://discord.gg/NAAJzFW
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[2:09 AM] RIP Sakagolue: is there a TL;DR for this discussion?
[2:11 AM] Beaconspawn: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3760
[2:13 AM] RIP Sakagolue: and that too
[2:16 AM] Beaconspawn: we're gamifying apgsearch
[2:19 AM] RIP Sakagolue: fine ill read the full text
[2:19 AM] Beaconspawn: in a gacha game probably
[2:26 AM] RIP Sakagolue: lol anime-style drawing of dvgrn and apg when
[2:28 AM] BlockSpawn: https://gitlab.com/apgoucher/apgmera/bl ... ulties.inc
GitLab
includes/difficulties.inc · lifecoin · Adam P. Goucher / apgmera
Program for searching random initial configurations in cellular automata and reporting to a centralised server (Catagolue).

[2:28 AM] BlockSpawn: This might be helpful for the milestones
[2:40 AM] apgoucher: ^^ The dynamic version is https://catagolue.appspot.com/difficulty/b3s23/C1
[4:18 AM] VampireAlienHybridSpawn: oh nice it works for all censuses too


This discussion also documents the introduction of the /difficulty feature on Catagolue.
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Re: Soup-searching as a video game

Postby calcyman » January 23rd, 2019, 5:35 pm

I've added a new endpoint, so you can run (for example):

/randobj/b3s23/C1/480

to report the most interesting/rare non-p1 object out of a synthetic random haul of 480 'units' (where 1 unit := 1 million non-p1 objects). It uses the /difficulty table as its definition of interestingness.

Also, for b3s23/C1, a unit corresponds roughly to one CPU-minute on a machine running 2000 soups/sec. So this is an 8-hour synthetic random haul. To convert these into approximate AWS price equivalent (if you want in-app purchases), it's about 2500 units = one dollar.

(N.B. randobj is an abbreviation of 'random object', rather than 'Randian Objectivism'.)
What do you do with ill crystallographers? Take them to the mono-clinic!
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Re: Soup-searching as a video game

Postby 77topaz » January 26th, 2019, 9:16 pm

Some more feature discussion, this from the dedicated "ethicacha" Discord:
[2:01 PM] Goldtiger997: What kind of things are "on your side"? From that we can probably determine things that could be enemies.
[2:02 PM] waffledoctor87: 0E-0P metacell as final boss
[2:02 PM] AforAmpere: Takes thousands of hours to kill
[2:02 PM] 77topaz: @AforAmpere We could have player-vs.-player combat, so the enemies are other players' patterns.
[2:03 PM] 77topaz: For AI enemies, I think they should also be patterns - maybe bosses could be large patterns that wouldn't occur naturally, like e.g. the spaghetti monster.
[2:03 PM] 77topaz: Alternatively, AI enemies could be patterns from other Life-like CA - e.g. HighLife replicators threatening to take over the world.
[2:04 PM] AforAmpere: The replicators from B1357/S1357
[2:04 PM] waffledoctor87: super Evo has pvp has a special arena
[2:04 PM] 77topaz: But, as Goldtiger pointed out, it also would depend on what we decide the player's units to be, and the general style/genre we choose for the setting (as mentioned in #ethicacha-art).(edited)
[2:04 PM] waffledoctor87: Also: the super boss in that game is Mewtwo but that makes sense
[2:14 PM] Goldtiger997: Would it make sense for the player's "units" to be spaceships? Then the AI enemies could be things that destroy spaceships like eaters, guns, and rakes.
[2:14 PM] Goldtiger997: Maybe if you get a HWSS, it can no longer be destroyed by an eater 1.
[2:15 PM] waffledoctor87: Hey that works
[2:29 PM] dani the EPIC programmer: i had an idea, you could turn really common objects into 'coins'
[2:29 PM] dani the EPIC programmer: like 1 trillion blocks or something
[2:30 PM] dani the EPIC programmer: idk how common blocks would be
[2:31 PM] waffledoctor87: Yeah
[2:31 PM] 77topaz: @Goldtiger997 I think having the player's units only being spaceships would be too restrictive, because only a few types of spaceships occur naturally. Remember, the game is being fed by apgsearch.
[2:32 PM] 77topaz: I think the basic principle should be that objects translate to units. A currency is only necessary for players that aren't apgsearching (see the apgoucher quote above).
[2:35 PM] Goldtiger997: Yes you are probably right. There are still lots of other flotilla, but they are probably too similar to the basic spaceships to seem interesting.
[2:37 PM] Milo Jacquet: maybe the flotillae can just be like a combination of their constituent spaceships with a minor boost
[4:46 PM] AxiomaticSystem: slashes you with a pseudo-barberpole
[9:05 PM] 77topaz: Barberpoles and their relatives could certainly have a sword theme. :o
[11:21 PM] -4 Heavpoot: yeah patterns can be turned into coins
[11:21 PM] -4 Heavpoot: that sounds good
[11:21 PM] -4 Heavpoot: let me see the rates of blocks being detected on apgsearch
[11:22 PM] -4 Heavpoot: oh wait we already have a general idea of the difficulty of everything i forgot lol
[11:22 PM] -4 Heavpoot: https://catagolue.appspot.com/difficulty/b3s23/C1
[11:22 PM] -4 Heavpoot: ok not everything but still
[11:23 PM] -4 Heavpoot: rliston@gmail.com submitted a 200000000 haul just now
[11:23 PM] -4 Heavpoot: with 1349609065 blocks
[11:25 PM] -4 Heavpoot: also idea: mold can poison the enemy
[11:26 PM] My High Waistcoat: Beacon and Pulsar can protect against elemental (air poison etc) attacks
[11:27 PM] -4 Heavpoot: i suppose a glider is an air attack then right
[11:27 PM] My High Waistcoat: Yeah
[11:28 PM] -4 Heavpoot: 77topaz: Barberpoles and their relatives could certainly have a sword theme. :o
[11:28 PM] My High Waistcoat: Makes sense
[11:28 PM] -4 Heavpoot: maybe barberpoles are immune to the protection of Beacon and Pulsar in that case
[11:28 PM] My High Waistcoat: Yes
[11:29 PM] My High Waistcoat: Swords are not elemental damage
[11:29 PM] -4 Heavpoot: 77topaz: -Boats, ships, tubs, barges, aircraft carriers and their extensions can move across water, while other units can't.
[11:29 PM] -4 Heavpoot: how about these units are way slower on land
[11:29 PM] -4 Heavpoot: but toad can go on both land and water (not very powerful attack though, for balance)
[11:30 PM] My High Waistcoat: ^
[11:30 PM] My High Waistcoat: Blocks might act like a wall
[11:30 PM] -4 Heavpoot: blocks are generic defensive structures that slow enemies down
[11:30 PM] -4 Heavpoot: spark coil can zap nearby enemies
[11:31 PM] My High Waistcoat: Beehives can act like turrets that send "bee"s as projectiles
[11:31 PM] -4 Heavpoot: oh that sounds good
[11:32 PM] -4 Heavpoot: bees should be super low damage and health, but slow enemies down, inflict a weak poison and are very abundant
[11:32 PM] My High Waistcoat: Queen bee oscillator can create bee hives
[11:32 PM] -4 Heavpoot: qbs should- yeah
[11:32 PM] -4 Heavpoot: actually no that would lead to way too much exponential growth
[11:32 PM] -4 Heavpoot: qbs are like beehives but output 10x bees
[11:32 PM] -4 Heavpoot: i cant think of a use for pentadecathlon
[11:33 PM] My High Waistcoat: qbs can output queen bees which are stronger than normal bees but created more slowly
[11:33 PM] -4 Heavpoot: ok good idea
[11:33 PM] -4 Heavpoot: queen bees split into 3 bees on death
[11:34 PM] My High Waistcoat: Makes sense
[11:34 PM] -4 Heavpoot: Caterer will heal anything nearby that isnt an enemy
[11:35 PM] My High Waistcoat: Snake can poison enemies
[11:35 PM] My High Waistcoat: Python and longer variants can be slower but deal more poison(edited)
[11:36 PM] -4 Heavpoot: longhook_eating_tub and trans-boat-down will spawn a B9WADUFI which kills half of all enemies
[11:36 PM] -4 Heavpoot: good idea
[11:38 PM] -4 Heavpoot: lmao while looking through catagolue i found these 2 oscs with great names
[11:38 PM] -4 Heavpoot: https://catagolue.appspot.com/census/b3s23/C1/xp24
[11:39 PM] My High Waistcoat: Eaters can be strong against gliders, blinkers, lightweight spaceships, loaves, middleweight spaceships
[11:40 PM] My High Waistcoat: (stuff that eater can eat)
[11:42 PM] -4 Heavpoot: mango is a mango
[11:42 PM] -4 Heavpoot: it does nothing
[11:42 PM] My High Waistcoat: ^
[11:43 PM] My High Waistcoat: Canoe's can only move on water
[11:44 PM] -4 Heavpoot: i cant think of much else
[11:45 PM] My High Waistcoat: Pond can create water
[11:45 PM] -4 Heavpoot: ok
[11:45 PM] -4 Heavpoot: very long barges and extensions, etc can travel faster
[11:46 PM] -4 Heavpoot: and carry other units possibly?
[11:47 PM] My High Waistcoat: Making longer stuff stronger but slower makes more sense
[11:47 PM] -4 Heavpoot: i think a bigger water veichle should make it faster
[11:49 PM] My High Waistcoat: We can decide later
[11:50 PM] -4 Heavpoot: gosper glider gun will kill every single enemy instantly and give you infinite currency
[11:52 PM] My High Waistcoat: What can we do with shillelagh?
[11:53 PM] My High Waistcoat: integral sign would deal math damage
January 26, 2019
[12:09 AM] -4 Heavpoot: seems kinda derivative
[2:03 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: an important part of this is going to be making rarer objects more unique and/or powerful
[2:03 AM] My High Waistcoat: ^
[2:04 AM] My High Waistcoat: Unique is better than powerful
[2:04 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: also there's the problem of too many objects
[2:04 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: @My High Waistcoat I agree, balances better
[2:05 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: so as to that issue we need to make some generic/shared classes for rare but non-unique objects
[2:07 AM] My High Waistcoat: or we can manually do 142688 unique objects
[2:07 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: great idea
[9:33 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: what if combat in ethicacha was governed by actual cgol interactions
[9:34 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: for example you could have effects that are based on them (specific block+glider collision causes pi explosion which damages nearby units)
[9:47 AM] AxiomaticSystem: sure
[9:48 AM] AxiomaticSystem: do a Mr-Game-and-Watch gas attack but it's a B heptomino
[9:58 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: longboat shield spam when
[9:26 PM] 77topaz: @cognaso the EPIC uh um Yeah, we could have say a shared class for n-bit still lifes that don't already have unique descriptions. We could also periodically "promote" interesting objects into unique classes, similar to gachas adding new drops.
[9:27 PM] 77topaz: @-4 Heavpoot Longer barges being faster seems like a good idea, considering they also get rarer.
[9:28 PM] 77topaz: In general, I think units' HP/base states would be proportional to the objects' cell count, though we'd have to make exceptions for unusually-common-for-their-size objects like pulsars.
[11:17 PM] -4 Heavpoot: these things arent very rare with a small haul size though
[11:17 PM] -4 Heavpoot: so we should definitley force the haul size to be small initially
January 27, 2019
[7:25 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: what if somebody just finds a natural ggg somehow and absolutely destroys everyone with glider spam
[7:28 AM] cvojan: what if the ggg only generates a maximum of 3 gliders per turn
[7:28 AM] cvojan: so that the gun won't spam gliders constantly
[7:45 AM] -4 Heavpoot: if someone finds a natural ggg they deserve to destroy everyone
[7:45 AM] -4 Heavpoot: it should be OP since its so rare we havent found one
[7:46 AM] My High Waistcoat: Sir robin would win any game instantly
[7:47 AM] cvojan: since there's no synthesis for sir robin, it wouldn't even matter
[7:48 AM] My High Waistcoat: If they found sir robin, that would make us be able to construct sir robin
[7:48 AM] cvojan: which will lead to knightguns
[7:49 AM] My High Waistcoat: ^
[7:49 AM] My High Waistcoat: Knight rakes
[7:49 AM] My High Waistcoat: Knight breeders
[7:49 AM] My High Waistcoat: See the possibilities
[7:53 AM] -4 Heavpoot: yep
[7:53 AM] cvojan: possibly sir robin could be a in-game boss
[7:53 AM] -4 Heavpoot: so super rare wanted patterns such as sir robin, GGG, etc
[7:53 AM] -4 Heavpoot: are OP
[7:54 AM] -4 Heavpoot: GGG shoots 20 gliders towards enemies each turn
[7:54 AM] -4 Heavpoot: like 20 per enemy (with 20 degrees of randomness)
[7:54 AM] -4 Heavpoot: very high velocity
[7:54 AM] -4 Heavpoot: it is op
[8:05 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: what should loafer do
[8:06 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: all I can think of is spawns a loaf on death
[8:07 AM] Milo Jacquet: maybe it could be like a bulldozer
[8:07 AM] Milo Jacquet: since it's slow
[8:08 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: cordership is an absolute unit (lots of health) and has a small chance to non-destructively interact with spaceships
[8:08 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: hm
[8:08 AM] Milo Jacquet: because it should definitely be very powerful for how rare it is
[8:08 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: wait
[8:08 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: since it's slow and small maybe it could be granted a high dodge chance
[8:11 AM] My High Waistcoat: block producing Switch engine can act like a spaceship that turns to a block whaeen it dies
[8:12 AM] My High Waistcoat: Glider producing Switch engine can act like a spaceship that turns to a glider whaeioen it dies
[8:16 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: well more like they both spawn objects from the actual ash periodically
[8:16 AM] My High Waistcoat: ^
[8:16 AM] My High Waistcoat: Every 10 turns or sth
[8:17 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: yes
[8:18 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: Reeeeeeeee
[9:03 AM] -4 Heavpoot: @cognaso the EPIC uh um since loafer hasnt been found via apgsearch, sprays loaves at an insane rate
[9:04 AM] -4 Heavpoot: didnt we agree about switch engine revival
[9:37 AM] PC101: Call me stupid but what is a ggg
[9:37 AM] My High Waistcoat: gospers glider gun
[10:31 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: i think insane dodge rate would be more realistic and balanced
[1:26 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: another thing: longboats can reflect enemy gliders back
[2:00 PM] 77topaz: @-4 Heavpoot Switch engines being able to revive objects which would be naturally output by that puffer was an idea I'd suggested, yes.


And a discussion about possible artwork:
[1:34 PM] 77topaz: At some point, the game should get artwork. We could either organise crowdfunding to commission a professional artist, or create artwork ourselves. @waffledoctor87, you're one of the few Lifenthusiasts who are also artists - would you be interested? (Anyone else can also volunteer, of course.)
[1:35 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: kai also is capable of doing art
[1:35 PM] waffledoctor87: I can kinda draw lol, yeah
[1:35 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: that's why I invited her
[1:35 PM] 77topaz: @cognaso the EPIC uh um Nice, that's a good idea.
[1:36 PM] waffledoctor87: If I get design ideas I can make things yeah
[1:37 PM] 77topaz: Of course, we need to agree on what art style we want for the game. Most existing gacha games have a sort of fantasy RPG style, for example.
[1:37 PM] 77topaz: And that, correspondingly, also goes for the storylines of the game.
[1:38 PM] waffledoctor87: I'm a life enthusiast artist who already plays a gacha game haha
[1:38 PM] waffledoctor87: Triple whammy
[1:39 PM] 77topaz: I can probably come up with the storylines and character concepts, but we need to agree on what kind of genre/style we want to use.
[1:40 PM] AforAmpere: I can help with the above two. What are they normally based on?
[1:40 PM] waffledoctor87: Is sharing gacha screenshots a good idea here
[1:41 PM] Milo Jacquet: i don't see what's wrong with it
[1:41 PM] AforAmpere: Is there something weird in them or something?
[1:42 PM] waffledoctor87: I mean occasionally
[1:42 PM] 77topaz: Are you asking for copyright reasons? I don't think companies are particularly going to care about screenshots posted in a Discord server (not a particularly public place).
[1:43 PM] Milo Jacquet: it's not like we're selling their art
[1:45 PM] waffledoctor87:
[1:46 PM] Milo Jacquet: anime blinker
[1:47 PM] 77topaz: Yeah, a lot of gacha games are Japanese and so tend towards anime-style artwork.
[1:47 PM] AforAmpere: Just put a pair of eyes on a glider, and boom.
[1:47 PM] waffledoctor87: maybe the blinker always has one eye closed and the other eye has a vertical pupil
[1:47 PM] Milo Jacquet: can the blinker actually blink in game
[1:47 PM] AforAmpere: But seriously, how can we translate Life stuff to this style?
[1:48 PM] AforAmpere: Or are we going to have it unrelated to Life
[1:48 PM] Milo Jacquet: they'll kinda look like the life things
[1:48 PM] Milo Jacquet: i suppose
[1:48 PM] waffledoctor87: glider can just have wings that match the shape of the glider
[1:48 PM] Milo Jacquet: like the beacon should be beacon shaped
[1:48 PM] cvojan: why not the blinker be a traffic light
[1:49 PM] Milo Jacquet: because it's a blinker
[1:49 PM] 77topaz: Objects with marine names like boat and ship could have a marine theme in their artwork, for example.
[1:49 PM] AforAmpere: Or a traffic light be a traffic light
[1:49 PM] Milo Jacquet: yeah except traffic light isn't found by apgsearch
[1:49 PM] waffledoctor87:
[1:49 PM] 77topaz: Yeah, because it's not a single objct.
[1:49 PM] waffledoctor87: or reverse them, idk
[1:50 PM] 77topaz: A pulsar could be a person surrounded by something like a halo or magic circle in the shape of a pulsar.
[1:51 PM] waffledoctor87: oo
[1:52 PM] 77topaz: The same could work for other highly symmetrical oscillators, though most of those wouldn't appear in C1.
[1:54 PM] 77topaz: This earlier bit from the main CL server may be relevant:
[5:37 PM] 77topaz: Miscellaneous RPG-ideas for apgacha:
[5:38 PM] 77topaz: -Boats, ships, tubs, barges, aircraft carriers and their extensions can move across water, while other units can't.
[5:38 PM] 77topaz: -They also receive stats boosts if there is a beacon in their party.
[5:38 PM] 77topaz: -Eaters can insta-kill gliders.
[5:38 PM] 77topaz: -Snakes and their extensions can become invisible in grassy areas.
[5:39 PM] m: maybe loaves feed the other members of the party
[5:40 PM] 77topaz: That's definitely a possibility.
[5:40 PM] 77topaz: -Switch engines can revive dead units, but only if they are objects that would be output by that switch engine in CGoL (so a BLSE could only revive blocks, etc.)
[5:41 PM] 77topaz: I'm not entirely sure yet how to make spaceships unique. Maybe give them a movement bonus? Having them be the only units that can move would probably make them too overpowered.
[1:54 PM] waffledoctor87: hmm, yea
[2:01 PM] cvojan: how about spaceships like xwss make small electric sparks that can do certain damage opponents based on the spaceship's size
[2:06 PM] 77topaz: @cvojan That's a possibility. Though, those kinds of suggestions are probably better for another channel (e.g. one of the "ideas" channels) - I merely posted that quote as it could give ideas for the style/setting for the art and story.
[4:43 PM] kai: for the art style of the game maybe pixel art could be considered
January 26, 2019
[8:04 AM] waffledoctor87: Doodles to
[8:04 AM] waffledoctor87: Go*
[11:27 AM] -4 Heavpoot: we should have some male chars too
[11:46 AM] cvojan: I think that xwss should be fish-based
[11:47 AM] cvojan: since they're sometimes called fishes
[11:48 AM] Milo Jacquet: i like that idea
[11:48 AM] Milo Jacquet: they really do look like fish
[11:48 AM] waffledoctor87: add fish fins to the side of their faces
[11:48 AM] waffledoctor87: lol
[11:48 AM] waffledoctor87: and tails
[11:48 AM] waffledoctor87: vap
[3:41 PM] dani the EPIC programmer: fish gijinka
[3:41 PM] waffledoctor87:
[3:42 PM] dani the EPIC programmer: owo
[5:41 PM] Cass of Sass: That sure is a design


And a discussion about the connection between apgsearch and the game:
[1:20 PM] 77topaz: Continuing a discussion that started in the main Conwaylife Lounge: @apgoucher mentioned that apgsearch could not be run on mobile devices, so it might be a good idea to have a separate mode of the game for mobile devices that would function more like a traditional gacha game, but it would require the player to also be using the desktop version that actually apgsearches. I think it would definitely be good to have a way to play the game on mobile devices, since many popular gacha games are mobile apps, but I was wondering how exactly we would connect the desktop and mobile versions.
[1:20 PM] 77topaz: Also, @-4 Heavpoot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gacha_game
Gacha game
Gacha games are video games that use the "gacha" ("capsule toy") mechanic, which is similar to loot boxes, to induce players to spend money. Most of these games are free-to-play mobile games. In Gacha games, players spend virtual currency, which can be from a machine. The Gac...
[1:20 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: maybe we could actually mod apgsearch to run on mobile
[1:20 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: wishful thinking though
[1:21 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: I have another issue
[1:21 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: where will we get game art
[1:28 PM] 77topaz: There's a few Lifenthusiasts who also like to draw (waffledoctor is the one that comes to mind, but I think there are others too). If none of them want to, maybe we could set up a Kickstarter (or some other crowdfunding site, there are so many of them now I can't quite keep up) and commission a more professional artist to do it.
[1:28 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: ok
[1:29 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: another issue: would it be better to do
- multiple games being developed at a time until a decision could be made on the best one
- decide on a game from the start
[1:30 PM] 77topaz: Why would we have multiple games? What would the difference between them be?
[1:30 PM] #FixThePerms: trying out a few ideas to see which one works i guess?
[1:30 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: yeah
[1:31 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: we have the gacha idea, we have ian's glider collision combat idea, we have my proprietary and trade secret idea
[1:33 PM] 77topaz: The thing is that I'm not sure how the glider collision combat concept would actually connect to apgsearch/Catagolue - unlike the apgacha concept, where the connection is clear.
[1:33 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: here's the plot twist
[1:33 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: it probably won't
[1:33 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: it will probably rely on catagolue though
[1:34 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: (and maybe apgsearch's separation alg?)
[1:35 PM] 77topaz: In that case, I think the regular apgacha should be the first priority - though I suppose we could work on Ian's idea after that.
[1:35 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: ok
[1:36 PM] Milo Jacquet: also what's the proprietary and trade secret idea
[1:37 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: ca game using some old ideas of mine
[1:37 PM] Milo Jacquet: ah
[1:37 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: not sure where apgsearch comes in but probably chests
[1:37 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: tm
[1:44 PM] #FixThePerms: to clarify what i meant by the combat idea was to kinda combine with the gacha system, because from what i understand it seems to be a pretty broad genre of games which use loot boxes as a primary mechanic
[1:45 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: you would be right
[1:45 PM] #FixThePerms: and it also wouldn't necessarily be glider syntheses, i was basically just expanding on someone else's idea from the conwaylife lounge
[1:46 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: in theory we could implement more searches into the game
[1:47 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: they just need some randomized input
[1:47 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: for example glider synths could fit since they are also random and produce a random result
[1:47 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: we could cram that into the loot boxes too
[1:48 PM] 77topaz: @#FixThePerms Okay, I understand your suggestion now, it's a combat mechanic for the gacha game to use, right? The way Cognaso phrased made me think the glider collisions were supposed to do the searching instead of apgsearch.
[1:49 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: oops yes
[1:49 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: was just throwing my own ideas
[1:51 PM] #FixThePerms: and yes, the combat idea wasn't meant to be a completely separate suggestion, just another part of the gacha idea
[1:52 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: oh ok
[1:52 PM] #FixThePerms: and like cognaso said glider collisions could be a search method used though not necessarily the only one(edited)
[1:53 PM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: we can use anything satisfying some unspecified conditions
[11:51 PM] apgoucher: @77topaz Maybe I was unclear: the game itself doesn't need to do the searching; apgsearch already does that. What I was suggesting is more like:

1. When you create an account for ethicacha, a corresponding immutable payosha256 key is generated.
2. You can then separately run b3s23/C1 apgsearch instances (any quantity, any version, anywhere in the world) with that payosha256 key. The instances do what they always do, which is upload hauls to Catagolue.
3. When you want to 'roll the roulette wheel' (or whatever it's called) in the game, you can either:
* (a) Use an existing confirmed haul uploaded under your payosha256 key (completely for free!);
* (b) Use the /randobj endpoint to emulate this effect (with an in-app purchase, like a regular gacha).

Of course, I imagine many people -- especially the existing Lifenthusiast community who have prior familiarity with apgsearch -- will prefer (a), because there isn't any direct transfer of money. This is great, because it should increase the searching volume of b3s23/C1 on Catagolue. The people who choose (bost) also end up supporting the project by subsidising Catagolue server costs.

Obviously option (a) needs to be supported for this to qualify as 'ethicacha'. If (b) were included, it would lower the 'barrier to entry' for existing players of gacha games (who don't already have apgsearch) to play ethicacha, at which point they'll hopefully eventually switch to (a) and realise how much better this is.

This idea can obviously be generalised to higher symmetries if we can think of how that can be incorporated into the game mechanics.
January 25, 2019
[12:19 AM] 77topaz: That makes a lot of sense. That both makes the game both more accessible to regular gacha players, but gives them an incentive to start apgsearching as it is cheaper for them. And it can even subside server costs! Great! :smiley:
[12:22 AM] 77topaz: Coupled with this, a GUI for apgsearch itself would also be useful, as it would be less "intimidating" to non-technical people, but that would be second priority behind the game itself.
[12:23 AM] -4 Heavpoot: what if the game itself had literally no connection to cgol other than the apgsearching (i dont think many normal people actually care about cgol)
[12:26 AM] 77topaz: Well, that's why I was suggesting having e.g. unit artwork and storylines similar to regular gachas. But I still want there to be some connection between the gacha units and the objects they represent (hence my RPG-CGoL suggestions I posted back in the other server/forum thread).
January 26, 2019
[1:58 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: there is still the alternate choice of running apgsearch using ethicacha
[1:59 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: but in the end probably a user-freindly GUI would work best
[9:22 PM] 77topaz: I suppose it doesn't really matter whether we call the GUI part of ethicacha or as something separate, as long as they're connected to each other properly.
January 27, 2019
[6:41 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: ok
[6:42 AM] cognaso the EPIC uh um: a GUI imo will be necessary since it seems nobody could get through the old google docs apgsearch tutorial (or really bothered to read it at all)
[1:56 PM] 77topaz: I feel like the gitlab tutorial is sufficiently straightforward, but a GUI would still be useful.


I'm just putting these here so that a) Lifenthusiasts who don't use Discord can also see them and b) so that these discussions are preserved in a place more permanent than a Discord server which at the time of writing has flawed permissions management.
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Re: Soup-searching as a video game (ethicacha/apgacha)

Postby tod222 » January 31st, 2019, 3:38 am

You can really lower the barrier to entry for non-mobile (i.e. computer) players by making it a browser game.

The soup search could also run in the browser by compiling it to a WebAssembly target. It appears that Webassembly has the necessary instructions to handle 64-bit Lifelib (yes, it's not 256-bit AVX2 but it's something).

So what if the webassembly version runs 10-50 times slower if there are 100-1000 times more soup searchers! (For normal code the performance is decent, according to a paper published this week.)

Assorted ideas about the game:

Handle common patterns the same way games do with common loot drops, by ranking them up. Pulsars are common, but after finding N pulsars, the player's copper-colored pulsar becomes silver, etc. There can be many ranks, each with corresponding color/appearance (blue, diamond, shiny green with pink polka dots, etc). When a player spends a pattern it resets to the bottom and starts gaining ranks again with the player's searching.

Tune the ranks for each common pattern to its frequency of occurrence such that if the player's search speed doesn't change then the pattern ranks up at (relatively) consistent intervals of time. Incremental games do this sort of scaling well. There's always something to do when you return to the game after being away. Cookie Clicker and AdVenture Capitalist are two examples.

If there is a multi-player aspect to the game (co-op or PVP), consider upscaling and downscaling the players to match each other in cases where their search rates vary.
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Re: Soup-searching as a video game (ethicacha/apgacha)

Postby 77topaz » January 31st, 2019, 5:28 am

Hmm... I'm not sure about some of the suggestions in the latter half of your post (for example, I feel like autoscaling players may disencourage players from increasing their search speed and thus their individual usefulness to Catagolue itself), but I find the suggestion in the first half of a browser game particularly interesting. I wonder what calcyman/apgoucher thinks of the feasibility of compiling apgsearch to WebAssembly (I've also messaged him about this on the ethicacha Discord server).
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Re: Soup-searching as a video game (ethicacha/apgacha)

Postby calcyman » January 31st, 2019, 7:38 am

tod222 wrote:You can really lower the barrier to entry for non-mobile (i.e. computer) players by making it a browser game.


Making the game maximally cross-platform is certainly a good idea. As a browser game, would that mean the player's progress is stored remotely on a server (instead of on their device)?

The soup search could also run in the browser


I'm somewhat less enthusiastic about porting the soup search code to WebAssembly, because it would cause people to get trapped in the 'local optimum' of running the browser version instead of the 'global optimum' of running the native version. (And there's invariably going to be a huge difference, at least a factor of 10, because the majority of the time is spent in the SIMD-intensive GoL calculations.)

In terms of lowering the barrier, there's already the /randobj Catagolue endpoint to allow users to play the game without needing to run any soup searcher. To recap:

On the discord, I wrote:[11:51 PM] apgoucher: @77topaz Maybe I was unclear: the game itself doesn't need to do the searching; apgsearch already does that. What I was suggesting is more like:

1. When you create an account for ethicacha, a corresponding immutable payosha256 key is generated.
2. You can then separately run b3s23/C1 apgsearch instances (any quantity, any version, anywhere in the world) with that payosha256 key. The instances do what they always do, which is upload hauls to Catagolue.
3. When you want to 'roll the roulette wheel' (or whatever it's called) in the game, you can either:
* (a) Use an existing confirmed haul uploaded under your payosha256 key (completely for free!);
* (b) Use the /randobj endpoint to emulate this effect (with an in-app purchase, like a regular gacha).

Of course, I imagine many people -- especially the existing Lifenthusiast community who have prior familiarity with apgsearch -- will prefer (a), because there isn't any direct transfer of money. This is great, because it should increase the searching volume of b3s23/C1 on Catagolue. The people who choose (b) also end up supporting the project by subsidising Catagolue server costs.

Obviously option (a) needs to be supported for this to qualify as 'ethicacha'. If (b) were included, it would lower the 'barrier to entry' for existing players of gacha games (who don't already have apgsearch) to play ethicacha, at which point they'll hopefully eventually switch to (a) and realise how much better this is.


To lower the barrier to entry even further, I suggest a rate-limited free alternative to (b):

(c) You can roll /randobj/b3s23/C1/1 for free (which emulates the rarest object in a 120000-soup haul) at most once every 5 minutes. This is an effective soup searching speed of 400 soups/second, which is much slower than native apgsearch but faster than a WebAssembly port.

The price list for different-sized rolls of (b) would then look something like:

  • /10 = $0.01 (1200 Ksoup haul equivalent)
  • /30 = $0.02 (3600 Ksoup haul equivalent)
  • /50 = $0.03 (6 Msoup haul equivalent)
  • /75 = $0.04 (9 Msoup haul equivalent)
  • /100 = $0.05 (12 Msoup haul equivalent)
  • /250 = $0.10 (30 Msoup haul equivalent)
  • /600 = $0.20 (72 Msoup haul equivalent)
  • /1000 = $0.30 (120 Msoup haul equivalent)
  • /1500 = $0.40 (180 Msoup haul equivalent)
  • /2000 = $0.50 (240 Msoup haul equivalent)

with the minimum cost being roughly the same price as renting AWS and running apgsearch on it. Running apgsearch on your own computer will, of course, be even more cost-effective, because you only have to worry about electricity (whereas AWS prices in the cost of the hardware).

I've checked GAE's billing history, and Catagolue currently costs about $45 per month to run. So ethicacha won't need too many people opting for (b) in order to make Catagolue cost-neutral.

Assorted ideas about the game:

Handle common patterns the same way games do with common loot drops, by ranking them up. Pulsars are common, but after finding N pulsars, the player's copper-colored pulsar becomes silver, etc. There can be many ranks, each with corresponding color/appearance (blue, diamond, shiny green with pink polka dots, etc). When a player spends a pattern it resets to the bottom and starts gaining ranks again with the player's searching.


Great idea!
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Re: Soup-searching as a video game (ethicacha/apgacha)

Postby Hdjensofjfnen » February 14th, 2019, 8:40 pm

Great idea, but I'm concerned on the parts of apgsearch outside of the proposed game. Would ordinary apgsearchers like us be stuck searching at 400 soups per second, or maybe worse? :shock:
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Re: Soup-searching as a video game (ethicacha/apgacha)

Postby 77topaz » February 14th, 2019, 9:26 pm

Hdjensofjfnen wrote:Great idea, but I'm concerned on the parts of apgsearch outside of the proposed game. Would ordinary apgsearchers like us be stuck searching at 400 soups per second, or maybe worse? :shock:


No, people using apgsearch outside of the game wouldn't be affected, the game is a separate application.
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