नीडϠ (Nidats: 900 Nests) and Monetization

You may have noticed a recent drought of content for this blog. There’s a number of reasons for that, but the most pressing is that no one is paying us to do this, so we do it whenever we feel like.

So, how do we get paid to work on Fledgeling? We could just take donations, but they don’t work well. Patronage is just regular donations, and this model hasn’t worked well for us either. At least, not so far.

The classic approach is to charge for copies of the software, Continue reading

Informed Action

In the case of the people talking, it seems that the surrounding nodes would need to broadcast their shatter conditions so that the node’s currently being simulated know what factors to calculate… Perhaps even, the only factors that need to be simulated are those that relate to shatter points of surrounding nodes… Like sarcasm, its not even thought about (thus not simulated) amongst those who don’t care. Has this been thought about already?

-Excerpt from a comment by Luke

You raise an interesting point, and one I think bears examination.The idea of simulating only the bare minimum required by circumstances is a sound one. It avoids many of the problems of creating masses of extraneous information, and transmitting this information between characters. On the other hand, one of the core ideas in Fledgeling is that of imperfect perception, either by way of being incomplete, incorrect, or deluded. And, in real life, one of the characteristics of shatter points is that you rarely know where they are until you reach them. In other words, they are very difficult to perceive. Continue reading

while(True): Experience and Expression

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I love a beautiful expression. Many others prefer a beautiful experience. Both are necessary.

Expression is moving something inside outward, pouring out what is already in the soul. Experience is drawing something outside inward, lapping up the un-self into the self.

Of course, rarely does one exist without the other. We experience our own expressions, and modify them even as they are pronounced. We respond to our own experiences, and express our reactions even during the event. Experience and expression each chase the other. One leads, and then doubles back, chasing the first; This recursive cycle feeds on both the other and the self, and can quickly lead to surprising places.
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Games and Open Source Development

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I’m an avid open source software user and would-be contributor and a Linux user. Software patents seem completely backwards to me, and I’m a strong proponent of open source licensing.

That said, I think open source is generally wrong for games.

First, let’s do a simple exercise: make a list of the open source games that you really think are great games. I suspect most of you will have trouble putting one game on that list. Now, cross out any games that are really just clones of commercial titles. How long is your list? Continue reading

Your Mind

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Your mind is a complicated set of interconnected ideas, which are themselves interconnected ideas. As far as you know these ideas are insulated from “reality” and have no direct bearing on anything that “actually exists”.

Your mind gets new ideas through experiences, either internal (reflection, thinking, intuition, etc) or external (sensations, sight, smell, pain, etc). Most of the internal experiences seem to have to do with the brain somehow, and nearly all of the external ones appear to be additionally mediated by the rest of your body. Continue reading

What is a GM?

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A Game Master, in a free-form role playing game, fulfills a variety of roles. The players in such a game “play the role” of variously limited creatures, usually individuals. One could sum up the GM’s role as “the Game Master plays the role of God”… but that’s too easy! What does God do? What are God’s duties?

Authority and agency, consistency and novelty, growth and challenge. These three pairs of attributes form the core of God’s being and thus the focus of a GM’s efforts. Continue reading

Design Hubris

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Everyone thinks that their ideas are the best. No one thinks they are crazy. Yes, we can all admit we were wrong from time to time, but people don’t actively hold beliefs they know are false. We have (and must have) a confidence in our own ability to reliably perceive and interpret the universe.

Despite this, everyone is wrong all the time anyway. Continue reading

Linguistic De-coupling

Aside

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Do not abuse language. If you try to bend language too much, it will just delaminate from the hearer’s consciousness, and inhabit a separate space from their perception of reality. You won’t be talking about anything your audience knows or cares about. You’ll just be talking to yourself. Continue reading

On how minds turn

Aside

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Fledgeling is, at its core, a game about your mind.

No, not the character’s mind, the player’s mind.

The mind that is reading this sentence right now.

Your mind is dumb. I want to build you a better one. Construct something new with the rubble that is left, once you have seen what I have seen.

Oh? Your “sanity” is strong? Perhaps it is. Perhaps it will withstand the blows, the rocking shift beneath your feet, as the soil turns to sea. Can your philosophy survive at twenty thousand feet underwater? Perhaps it will.

You may be blind to the implications. Perhaps, both unseeing and unhearing (or lashed upon the mast) you will sail past the sirens. You could come, unaltered, to familiar soil, and eat the same bread you ate before.

But then, if Fledgeling does not change you, why would you play at all?

Power Density Ad Absurdum, or Ignorance is Bliss

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Hey all, I’m Dru.  I’m a father, an engineer, and an all-around nerd.  I play role playing games on computers and around tables and enjoy reading and writing good and terrible sci-fi, respectively.  Among the things that may be relevant to know about me is that I tend think way too much about a lot of things.  So, naturally, I’ve applied principles from rocket science, engineering, and economics to the implications of starship design and power generation in Star Wars.

In general, most of the numbers that I present here are induced from data presented by Brian Young in his Turbolaser Commentaries.  I’ve assumed the Star Destroyer (and similarly classed ships) to be a baseline for median power generation technology, as they are a mass-produced technology and the books and movies present examples both more and less powerful with consistency.  Another point of clarification: the numbers I present are “big order of magnitude” numbers.  Densities are calculated based on order of magnitude power and order of magnitude volumes, which in turn are calculated from order of magnitude data or length, etc.

A Star Destroyer maintains a power density on the order of petawatts per cubic meter.  For comparison: Star Trek: The Next Generation presents the Enterprise-D around gigawatts per cubic meter, modern tanks and sports cars generate a few kilowatts per cubic meter, and the average human body generates about 27 watts per cubic meter. Continue reading

AI Assist

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If the AI is better at this game than I am, why don’t I just let the AI play on my team? Oh, right, because it’s supposed to be “fun” to do this myself. The thing is, I’d love to delegate stuff to the computer. Maybe not everything, but, well, here are some examples.

Minecraft: All about mining and crafting right? Okay, so I know the computer can do pathfinding (the mobs do it) so why can’t I just tell my character to “go home”? I know the computer can do combat too, so I should be able to tell my character to “go fight”. This is super easy stuff, why doesn’t the game help me out? The AI exists, all I want is access to it. I want my character to be at least as smart as the zombies. But no, it’s all manual. Continue reading

An Ode to The Glorious

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Some credits up front, most of the ideas that Fledgeling was drawn from are not my own. Many have been drawn from other computer games, or things other people have said. Mostly, however, the ideas have come from God’s creation (which is to say, from experience of the world) or from God’s word (which is to say, the Bible). In recognition, here’s a short psalm.

in his name, from the seat of his personality
for what you have known, the things proceeding from your understanding
right things, the firm knowledge
give glory to the origin, ascribe to Him the just Honor!
when doubt assails you, when your hope grows dim
then make your foundations firm, search out the sound basis
with Him is the right way, in Him can be found the sure path
though you may have good ideas, your reasoning understandable and convincing
all good things come from His hand, the free gifts flow without bounds
take from the Glorious One, receive the good things without shame
rejoice in firmness and health, and make good use of your powers
without Him we are nothing, lacking the Source all streams dry up
continue in His mercies, make sport in the good paths

It doesn’t do Him justice, but I hope it does Him proud. Thanks to all of you who have helped through the years. I really appreciate it.

What does this have to do with Fledgeling? Well, the philosophy of the designer works its way into everything that a game is. It affects what is put in and (more subtle) what is left out. I believe that God made the world good, and understandable. It’s going to come out in anything I do, and especially an everything-sim like Fledgeling. If you want to make a nihilistic ode to destruction, go visit some other series. I serve a different spirit, one that has blessed creation.

Computer Toys

Aside

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I’m going to say up front that I can be sloppy with terminology. I re-define words mid-argument and occasionally use words as their antonyms. It should therefore come to no surprise that, on a blog almost entirely focused on computer games, I use the term “computer games” with a bit of latitude.

There is a real and useful distinction between games and toys, and I intend to ignore it. The term “game” is used to denote an activity with a clear win condition. A toy is just something you play with. One could hardly call Minecraft a game; It’s more of a toy really. Yet, no one refers to Minecraft as a “computer toy”. That makes it sound like a pink plastic fake laptop that plays children’s songs when you press any one of the six oversize keys. But, “computer toys” (like Minecraft) are important, and employ many of the same design principles as games. So, throughout this website, I’ll be using the term “game” in all its permutations (computer game, game design, etc) to refer both to computerized games, and computerized toys.

Please forgive me.

Press Start to Begin

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Greetings fellow people-persons!

Here is where you can start learning about what Fledgeling is, and how it has driven me partially crazy. I trust these ideas about what games (and computer games in particular) can be (and will become) shall so astound you that you will become a bit crazy as well. Don’t be afraid, “crazy” is what normal people call genius before they understand it. Of course, it’s also what you call someone who has lost touch with reality. You’ll have to judge between those yourself (you always do).

Okay, what am I talking about? I’m talking about the Metaverse, the Ultimate Game, the first Simulated Intelligence. Too abstract? Well, browse some of our articles. There are articles about games, and philosophy, and even a few about Fledgeling itself. If you don’t find what you are looking for, leave comments right here on this post. I’ll be happy to write new articles explaining things. Totally confused? Questions are good too. There’s just so much to say!

Enjoy!

Dudecon AKA Ziggy

Getting Started

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Project Fledgeling has a blog!  I’m super excited to see this project get off the ground, and to be working with dudecon, a real visionary. -drukargin

Hey Everyone! Dudecon here! Here’s where we get started telling you how to get started thinking about what we’re thinking about, about the new game we’re thinking about.

Woah, that got complicated fast.

Um, maybe this overview will help. Or maybe looking at the stars and the cells in your body and pondering how they are connected. How they are similar, and different. Perhaps thinking about thinking, or figuring out how a string of ants and a road look the same, but act very differently.

Take your time. We’ll be here.