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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsOld CompetitionsProcedural GenerationConway's Game of Bigotry [FINISHED]
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Author Topic: Conway's Game of Bigotry [FINISHED]  (Read 25373 times)
Dacke
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« on: May 28, 2008, 12:36:27 AM »

I bring you:
Conway’s Game of Bigotry                            Download version 1.2 now!
                                     "Racism has come to the world of Life."              Source code.

Quote
There are cells that.. look different from us normal cells. Sure, they are born just like we are, live just like we do and die just like any ordinary cell. But: They have a different colour, they look different! They must die!

Take charge over cells of one of the six primary or secondary colours, or even the all-time racist favourite: white! Using your magical NecroWarp™, you can bring life to dead cells, without them even having exactly three neighbours, defying the natural laws!

The other cells can not be allowed be different anymore, you must stop them at any cost – even if it means sending your fellow cells on suicide attack missions against your enemies’ HealthBars™.

But beware, your brave cells risk facing a destiny far worse than death: interracial blending!

It is regrettable that it has come to this, but it has to be done!
In the name of everything that is [INSERT_YOUR_COLOUR]!


A picture showing our glorious conquest over the different-lookers!
(Actually me playing myself. The game is quite intense to play against yourself,
making it a challenge to get good screenshots.)



The procedural part.
One of the first thing I thought about after hearing about the PGC (after thinking about and doing trees) was:

Conway's Game of Life!

I have been fascinated by the Game of Life for a long time, it is based on such incredible simplicity and yet holds infinite complexity. It’s beautiful in a way that (almost) only math-based things can be.

The problem is that I’ve never been able to figure out how to turn Conway’s “game”  into an actual game. But, a few days ago, I finally came up with a concept for a multiplayer Life-based game, a game that I so badly needed to play I simply had to make it.

If you don't know what the Game of Life is, you can read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_Game_of_Life

The game is set on a grid and the rules applied are:
   1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if by loneliness.
   2. Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding.
   3. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives, unchanged, to the next generation.           
   4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours comes to life.

A glider in Life.

Cell are created by the players and after that complex patterns are generated, all through the power Life.

The background also changes in beautiful shades of blackish, using randomly phase-shifted sine-waves. All in-game colours are randomly generated, mostly by setting the red, green and blue to 0% or 100% - resulting in the prime and secondary colours, as well as white and black. Black is however currently excluded and blue modified, as it was too hard to distinguish placed patterns while playing as those colours.



Creating your own patterns.


Through creating or editing simple text files you can create patterns that are loaded into the game. The current version contains a number of demonstrative patterns but they are not optimized for competitive play. I would really appreciate any help I can get with creating a good set of patterns and any tips on interesting patterns to add!

A good program for fooling around with life-patterns, including a big library of patterns, is Golly: http://golly.sourceforge.net/



Conway's Game of Bigotry can be described as a mix-up of some classics:
  • Conway's game of life. Once created, every cell is subject to the laws of Life. The players have the ability to continuously create live cells within their starting-area, but the actual magic happens when the cells are set loose. They start generating patterns of their own, resulting in a procedurally generated playing field, that the players keep adding to.
  • Pong. Two sides. Send stuff over a top-down area, past the other player’s side to win.
  • Siege. Just like the “Multiplayer on One Keyboard 5: Siege”, you create patterns is real time, that turn in to something that hopefully will get to – and destroy – your enemy. The difference is that while Siege only has a limited number of pre-defined patterns, the Game of Bigotry is entirely open; always allowing the invention of new and deadly patterns.



Current status:
  • The game is written from scratch in C (with some C++ thrown in) using OpenGL, GLUT and SOIL. It should compile for MacOS or Linux, if anyone would prefer that.
  • Version 1.2 is released! All core game play elements are in place and the game is working great! Originally it was version 1.1 that was for the contest, but 1.2 only holds improvments to make the game nicer to the player so I think I'll get away with it. I will keep working, so expect to see an even slicker version in the future!
  • In the future I will add a key remap option, for all those poor non-WASD-people out there. Until then, I'm happy to recompile versions for those who need another setup.




Yellow uses Gosper's Glider Gun to create a constant stream of gliders,
but green easily absorb them using a glider eater.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 09:52:30 AM by Dacke » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2008, 01:11:18 AM »

This is a well formatted topic.

I also like the looks of this.
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2008, 01:47:22 AM »

This is a well formatted topic.

I also like the looks of this.
Thanks! It's starting to look like the actual programming and topic-formatting is going to be two equal time-consumers! :D

I also changed the name of the game from "Conway's Game of Suicide Attacks" to "Conway's Game of Bigotry." It just sounds like a game I would like to make. I would appreciate some input on what name, looks and general features a game like this should have!
« Last Edit: May 28, 2008, 02:01:09 AM by Dacke » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2008, 03:07:16 AM »

Looks neat. I'm guessing that two overlapping cells kill each other, and a cell activated by cells of different colors becomes a blend of those shades?

Do the patterns have a velocity apart from their growth patterns? i.e. can any pattern be shot at the enemy, or do you need self-propelled ones like the glider?

If you're going for the bigotry aspect, do the mixed-color cells behave any differently from the original cells? (maybe they can attack either side's health, while a player color can't attack his own healthbar)

Looking forward to the game. Smiley

By the way, if you're interested check out Kenta Cho's shmup L.A.2 for an example of a fast-paced game that uses the life rules in a fun way that doesn't require much initial knowledge, though I realize you're going in a more strategic direction with a longer learning curve.
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2008, 03:42:46 AM »

Looks like it might be fun!
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2008, 06:47:54 AM »

The demo is released! It's in the attachment to the first post. I've gotten rid of all known bugs and it's ready for some beta-testing if anyone wants to try it out. Read the readme.txt for instructions, tips and a list of things to come. The game still lacks some core functionality, but it is a fully playable game and it should offer a good challange if you can find someone to play with!

Looks neat. I'm guessing that two overlapping cells kill each other, and a cell activated by cells of different colors becomes a blend of those shades?

Do the patterns have a velocity apart from their growth patterns? i.e. can any pattern be shot at the enemy, or do you need self-propelled ones like the glider?
Nope, no outright killing of cells! All cells are treated equal and the colour is game-play-wise only cosmetic, but you are right in that the new cells inherits their colour from their three parents.

If you're going for the bigotry aspect, do the mixed-color cells behave any differently from the original cells? (maybe they can attack either side's health, while a player color can't attack his own healthbar)
The bigotry aspect is actually a possibly-too-subtle-or-stupid joke about the whole real-life-rasism-ordeal. I kind of like the idea of the cells fighting over colour, when they infact are exactly the same beneath the surface. That's bigotry for ya! I did actually consider making damage depend on cell colour, but some testing showed that it too strongly favoured uncontroled spamming on your own playfield. I might sneak it in as a subtle effect, though! But for now, all cells are armed, dangerous and completely insane!

By the way, if you're interested check out Kenta Cho's shmup L.A.2 for an example of a fast-paced game that uses the life rules in a fun way that doesn't require much initial knowledge, though I realize you're going in a more strategic direction with a longer learning curve.
I saw your tip in the other thread, and it sure is a tight and nice game. Luckily enough, my game is pretty far away from LA2. It would be really hard to compete with that game in terms of polish, if I was making a shmup!

Looking forward to the game. Smiley
Looks like it might be fun!
I hope you will like it! I still have no idea if I will myself, but I'm still hoping it will bloom in proper multiplayer!
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2008, 07:01:34 PM »

Haven't played with another person, but trying it out alone was fun. Didn't see any bugs, and there's definitely room for strategy and experimentation. If preset patterns would take too much dev time to balance, you could probably just get away with a static row of example patterns under the game field.
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2008, 07:14:22 PM »

Cool concept, but the little dots ran super-fast for me.  Like, unplayably fast.  I would tap a direction and move 6 spaces over.  It took me forever just to set up a glider.
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2008, 05:50:35 AM »

Haven't played with another person, but trying it out alone was fun. Didn't see any bugs, and there's definitely room for strategy and experimentation. If preset patterns would take too much dev time to balance, you could probably just get away with a static row of example patterns under the game field.
That's could be a great thing to have, even if I load patterns, it could be nice with some kind of display cycling thruogh the ones you can use.

Cool concept, but the little dots ran super-fast for me.  Like, unplayably fast.  I would tap a direction and move 6 spaces over.  It took me forever just to set up a glider.
Heh, I congratulate you on your fast computer!  Smiley
I realized this could/should happen, but haven't really decided on how to fix it the best way. Your "bug-report" is of great help, it'll be the first thing I fix today!

« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 06:02:59 AM by Dacke » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2008, 09:18:21 PM »

Now this is an interesting concept. Don't think I've ever seen a game that used Conway's Game of Life in such a way. I like it, though I lack a buddy to play and the 'glider' is the only offensive formation I know how to create. And I killed myself. Tongue

The controls are a bit awkward, though. Not sure how you could improve them.
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2008, 09:41:09 PM »

Great title, or greatest title?
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2008, 10:26:48 PM »

The new demo is out, with many improvements!

  • You can create your own pre-made patterns that are loaded into the game. Read more in first post!
  • The game should run on the same speed on all computers.
  • Controls have been improved.
  • "Mana" has been added to limit premade pattern spamming.
  • The game has been generally tweaked and improved, though more tweaking has to be done before final release.
  • The name of the game is still just as great!
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 12:34:49 AM by Dacke » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2008, 11:24:01 PM »

You awesome guy! We LOVE Conway's Game of Life. Fascinating. And now, it is Two Player! Instead of, well, Zero Player. Astounding.

Me and my Bromide played for about an hour, experimenting and yelling at each other. With the power of MATHS. Glidering and Spaceshipping each other. He figured out how to make a glider with no prior knowledge, merely observation. That was cool. Experimenting is fun, but this takes it to a new level. Though, uh, not too many successes, per se.

We shall give the new version a spin! For enjoy.


God I love this competition. So many cool... THINGS.
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2008, 04:42:20 PM »

You awesome guy! We LOVE Conway's Game of Life. Fascinating. And now, it is Two Player! Instead of, well, Zero Player. Astounding.

Me and my Bromide played for about an hour, experimenting and yelling at each other. With the power of MATHS. Glidering and Spaceshipping each other. He figured out how to make a glider with no prior knowledge, merely observation. That was cool. Experimenting is fun, but this takes it to a new level. Though, uh, not too many successes, per se.

We shall give the new version a spin! For enjoy.


God I love this competition. So many cool... THINGS.
I know! I've been wanting to play a proper multiplayer Life-thingie forever, but this saturday was the first time I realized how one could actually be made to work! The programmer in me is kind of proud, but the gamer in me is loving the programmer who finally made such a game - now I only need to find a friend to play with!  Tongue
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2008, 07:53:48 PM »

Argh, the race/colour thing is extremely similar to my idea.
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2008, 09:47:55 AM »

Version 1.1 is released! All core gameplay elements are in place and the game is working great! The game is not as slick as it could be, and I will keep working on it, but I'm very happy with result! I do believe I am presenting a multiplayer game with great potential for complex tactics as well as fun and fast gameplay.

Check the first post for your informational benefit!


A very intense game of Bigotry.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 12:20:54 AM by Dacke » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2008, 02:23:46 PM »

This is much better now. Smiley Maybe an odd-feeling music track would help improve the feel. Love the preset patterns. Somebody played a LOT with Conway's. Tongue
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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2008, 02:52:45 AM »

This is much better now. Smiley Maybe an odd-feeling music track would help improve the feel. Love the preset patterns. Somebody played a LOT with Conway's. Tongue
I'm glad you think so! I've put quite a lot of effort into making this game so that it makes Life accessible for those without any prior knowledge of it, while at the same time making it so that "the more you understand the better you'll be". Like a good RTS is supposed to be. Also remember that you can add up to 100 custom patterns!

I didn't really have time to put in sound until the deadline. But personally I almost always play games with the sound turned off, so even if I want to add some I don't really know what would be fitting. Any suggestions would be great!
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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2008, 06:54:29 PM »

Version 1.2 is released! I've fixed some bugs and added some extra text to make the ingame experience more understandable. The game is essentially the same but it is now easier to understand when you are hit and who wins. It also features improved patterns, including a "puffer"! One important fix is that it's now possible to get a draw!

Please check the first post for your informational benefit!


Blue and Green come to a draw after running out of lives during the same Life-generation.
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« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2008, 05:33:29 PM »

What am I supposed to do?
I add tiles with 9 (playing right) then click 0 but nothing happens (the cursor flashes)
What now?
>
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