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MiniWorld SimDelux 3000. Fire!
6 points by MichaelMcQuirk 1644 days ago | 4 comments
Have you ever tried the experiment of taking a glass jar, filling it with water,soil,plant etc and then closing the lid and leaving it out in the sun? ___ What happens is really cool, water is constantly evaporating and trickling back down. It's like a mini ecosystem.

This is an amazing way to show children how certain thins work (such as the water cycle). The problem is that it takes time, and children are generally impatient. So lately I've been thinking of making a mobile "game" in which you take control of your very own Virtual World (like a snow-globe with a forest inside it). It will allow you to do many of the things you could do in real life (add more water, open the lid, throw a towel over it) but most importantly, it will allow you to speed up the "simulation" to really see how your actions affect the environment.

Possible features I'm considering are: - Ability to control simulation speed - Ability to add water to the system (a tap) - Ability to open a hatch and release water vapor - Ability to "close the curtains" and see what would happen if there was no more sunlight coming in. - Option to add multiple "worlds"/"snow-globes" and connect them via short tunnels. Creatures could move between worlds. - Option to add new objects to the world (seeds,bacteria,birds, ants, worms etc). This would be a nice way to show how removing a single species (ie worms) can have catastrophic consequences on the entire environment. - Option to add fences in tunnels and hatches to prevent animals from escaping.

I'm not sure if it will be worth the effort, would children "want" to play such a game? Any comments/suggestions would be very much appreciated, thanks.



3 points by rickc1987 1630 days ago | link

Wow. I already built this and open sourced it today. It's still under work, but it's mostly there. The idea of a plant in a jar was the inspiration for a simulation engine I'm writing right now. It's focused on 0 or 1 player games as an engine. https://github.com/rickcarlino/Terrarium-Engine

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1 point by rifler 1624 days ago | link

too complicated - simplification and extraction of this idea into it's core components so that it resonates on a logical and emotional level may be useful next steps

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1 point by MichaelMcQuirk 1630 days ago | link

Awesome, will keep an eye on your progress. I'm interested to see where this goes. I assume that since you're using coffee script, it's gonna be an online game? (nice idea)

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1 point by rickc1987 1630 days ago | link

Well, I chose Coffeescript because it could be used on the backend for controlling a game server if it was a multiplayer, or it could be used in the browser independantly of a server. Im going to write some examples in the /examples/ folder eventually. Some of the ideas I had were

- The plant-in-a-jar idea you noted above - Testing the efficacy of a strategy for turn based games by running them against each other.

I'm trying to not make the engine too specific to any one purpose so people can find their own uses for it. It's basically just a really stripped down discrete event simulator.

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