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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsBe My Bird
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AndySchatz
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« on: August 17, 2009, 12:10:25 AM »

I've been feeling a bit burnt out on Dinosauria, so I'm taking a break to work on a concept I've been thinking about for a little while.  Here is my two day effort:

http://bemybird.com/

The basics: you are a male bowerbird building a nest to attract a mate.  To do so, bring flowers back to your nest.  Problem is, you're not so smart.  You have to be trained how to do that.  Use the plus and minus buttons to punish and reward actions.  Eventually, your bird will be able to do the job entirely on his own.

Next step is to add a shop and allow players to build their own neural network, adding nodes and connections in exchange for flowers and beetle wings and the like.  It's like an RPG only with your BRAINS.

After that I'll be adding in the actual mate bird, a competitor, and a series of levels that will ramp you up to more complex levels that require strategy, all devised and trained by you.

After that, online competitions between different player's birds, tourney style.  (you enter your bird in the tourney, he dukes it out without your input, you see the replay).

If you are interested at all in what real bowerbirds are like, here's a

.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2009, 12:26:58 AM by AndySchatz » Logged

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Goran
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2009, 08:48:37 AM »

Very nice. Successfully taught the bird to gather flowers on her own Smiley

Goran
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Montoli
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2009, 10:12:57 AM »

Very nice. Successfully taught the bird to gather flowers on her own Smiley

Goran

Actually, I think it's the male bower birds that do the bower building, so that bird you trained is probably a guy. Smiley


Crazy game concept!  I had fun, although some specific complaints:
  • If I didn't know what Neural Networks were or how they worked, I have a feeling the drawing on the upper right would confuse me mightily.
  • When the flower is close enough, it can be hard to click fast enough to train (reward or punish) the state you care about.
  • Heck, let's make that more general.  It can be hard sometimes to train because the state changes so rapidly.  However, if it went slower, then the game would take longer on the parts where you weren't training.  So maybe include either a "slow motion" mode, a "step by step" mode (where you can click the button to advance the bird by one "step" but otherwise it is paused) or possibly a confirmation box.  (You have chosen to reward/punish the bird in this state.  Is this the one you wanted?  Y/N"
Anyway, neat idea!  I look forward to seeing where it goes!
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Mipe
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2009, 10:21:50 AM »

Be careful with rewarding or punishing a subject when it is undergoing fast changes, it may not understand what it is for.

Anyway. Back to the game...

What is that "Hidden" for?  Huh?
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Zest
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2009, 10:31:06 AM »

Took me a little bit, but I finally taught the bird how to get the flower on its own. Brilliant idea!
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AndySchatz
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2009, 12:12:21 PM »

Thanks guys!  A few things:

Great idea regarding the pause/slower stepping... I also find myself wanting it to be slower at times and (just a bit) faster at times.

Hidden is the general term for neural network nodes that don't have a specific definition, their "meaning" grows over time as the neural network is trained.

As for the diagram on the right, my next big step is to portray that as an actual brain, allowing the players to "buy" new nodes and connections, that way there's a combination of design+training that goes into it.  I'm not sure what the best way to portray it during gameplay though.  During the design portion, it will be more obvious.  Right now it just displays the nodes that are currently active and the strength line between them is the strength of the connection.  A red line means it's a negative connection.
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Loren Schmidt
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2009, 01:58:11 PM »

I really like the idea of using conditioning to train characters. Actually by coincidence I've been thinking about a similar game idea recently, so I was quite pleased to see this thread.

As someone who doesn't know much about neural networks or what the bird considers a punishable / rewardable action, I'm a bit baffled by this game in its current state. What can I reward or punish? I think the idea is completely sound, but I'm not sure what's going on on a lower level so I'm finding it a bit confusing. But I'm sure that with a bit more information, I'd find this quite enjoyable.

Keep up the good work.
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AndySchatz
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2009, 05:41:55 PM »

As someone who doesn't know much about neural networks or what the bird considers a punishable / rewardable action, I'm a bit baffled by this game in its current state. What can I reward or punish?
You are rewarding/punishing teh decisions that the bird makes.  Currently, there are only four decisions he can make: up, down, left, right.  You are rewarding or punishing him for making decisions under different circumstances.

Incidentally, rev4 is up with several levels and a mate to work towards as a level goal.  Next step is the build a brain screen, probably get to it tomorrow.
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2009, 11:48:22 PM »

I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing. On the first level the bird just sat there jerking on and down in the same spot. The plus and minus keys didn't do anything. On the other two levels, there were more actions on the sidebar, but the bird just flew upwards and got stuck. Clicking on stuff didn't do anything either.

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TakeV
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2009, 03:51:07 PM »

Suggestion, bind the positive and negative buttons to keyboard keys, to make it quicker to press.

This game is very unique and awesome, I love the concept. Smiley
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Laremere
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2009, 04:09:40 PM »

There is a bit of a problem with size.  On my laptop I couldn't see the + and - buttons, so I went on a different computer with a bigger screen and saw they were on the bottom.  With my laptop I can't even scroll down the page, the only thing to make it visible is to make the window bigger, but you can't do that on a smaller screen.
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AndySchatz
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2009, 05:16:12 PM »

Ah, good to know.  SOrry for the roughness... I'm just implementing it all quickly, not cleanly!
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2009, 03:31:10 PM »

One more suggestion, is that there should be a "strong" version of the positive and negative buttons, which might be worth about 10 clicks, or so. From what I understand, most neural network training has various degrees of severity in their commands.
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AndySchatz
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2009, 08:02:02 PM »

I like the idea of strong and weak, I also have been thinking about different kinds of reinforcement, such as "i like what you did but not why you did it" and the reverse.

I had a long weekend up in san francisco for a friend's wedding, but im back at it now, I have the brain building done and now I need a simple account creation process.
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