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Uploaded
Nov 11, 2011 | 9:06 PM EST

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Author Comments

This is some old thing I made which I recently decided to revive. It's really not a game with an objective, but it is interactive, so I thought I'd submit it.

Also, please don't tell me I fail biology forever. I know it's not accurate.

WARNING: This is a sandbox/simulator, not a game where anyone wins.

Basically, click anywhere on the screen to place bacterial cells. Bacterial come in all sorts of flavors with different behaviors. (Note: There are 4 species, colors are purely decorative.)

Also, the options and graph buttons let you view the options and the graph. They're kinda interesting.

Reviews


manofwar447manofwar447

Rated 5 / 5 stars

But i actually achieved stability where plants drop and the herbivores drop then the plants rise and so on it stayed normal


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kmmcutiekmmcutie

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Great game! Very addicting.



noob3r64noob3r64

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

I had a fun time with this "game". It was very addictive and fun, but it was lacking a little bit more types of bacteria, and overall, I gave a 4.5 for this awesome game.



TBONEflex135TBONEflex135

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Really Fun Simulation, Satisfied Me For A Good 25 Minutes :P



GerontiusGerontius

Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

Predator/prey relationship need balancing

A good start, but there needs to be a way to illustrate the classic cyclical behaviour of oscillating but relatively stable populations of predator and prey. It doesn't appear possible to do that however you arrange the settings.

1. The rate at which the predators consume the herbivores and/or
2. The rate at which unfed cells die and/or
3. The rate at which cells multiply

These need careful balancing to achieve stable cyclical behaviour. What happens in the game is the predators eat until the prey population crashes totally, then the predator population crashes. It only cycles if the game values are set to have a minimum population of at least 1 cell, so the predators cannot eat the final prey, making extinction impossible. But that is a cheat in the programming to overcome a failure in the simulation. In reality, extinction is perfectly possible - but not the ONLY outcome.

I got close to a long term stable cycle by putting the plant growth at the minimum necessary for the small herbivores to survive. This meant that the predator population didn't explode, leading to immediate extinction of the herbivores. But, right on the bread-line like that, the system didn't remain stable for very long and the end result was still extinction.

If you leave out the predators, the herbivores and plants achieve a nice oscillating cyclical pattern, so well done there. Although the herbivore population rockets off the top of the graph if the plant growth is more than about 50% - should be easy enough to fix that so it doesn't happen.

Then you just need to fix the simulation for the predators, or give players control over the three aspects I mention above and make it a goal of the game to find the correct values to achieve a stable cycle.

My guess is that what you need to do is make sure predators multiply more slowly. Also, they shouldn't need to eat constantly, unlike herbivores (that's the benefit of a carnivore diet) but that might need more extensive modifications to the simulation code.


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TehCybernerd responds:

thank you for your insightful review. yes, i'm aware that i was cheating by making the last one immortal. the system never actually reaches stability, and it only appears cyclical because i cheated.

you're right, i should have added more options for other rates. it wouldn't even have been difficult. i could have substituted variables for the constants of growth and starvation, then used the same sliders to control them. ah, what was i thinking.

if i ever do this again, i'll be sure to listen to your advice. maybe i'll even make it an actual game where the objective is to balance out a population. thank you again for your time.