For reference, "m" is Milo Jacquet ("mjacquet" on this forum).[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. 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. 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.
[2:09 PM] m: i'd play this
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. It even sounds a bit like "Goucher".
[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.