On Sat, Mar 25, 2006 at 09:27:25PM +0900, Gerben van de Wiel wrote:
I have been following the Thread about Ruby quiz number 71, with great
I have a few question about the effort to develop some basic functionality
of a space merchant game.
Well… I found the quiz very interesting. I’m at the moment a little
bit frustrated about a game called X3 The Reunion. It’s also a space
game, but well… it has some ‘more advanced’ abilities compared to the
Space-Merchants (like 3d graphics, a story, ability to fight, etc…
a full game :)). But there are some interesting similarities: What’s
the easiest way to get money. In X3 you can either fly your space crafts
(little fast ships, big slow transporters etc) by yourself or you can
use (if you have enough (in-game) money to buy the needed extension) a
computer which trades for you. The computer looks for interesting trade
routes, tries to find the best balance between the available money,
transporter-cargo-capacity, needed time (length of the route) and of
course the profit :). Well, the game is extremely buggy, slow and so it
isn’t as funny as I first thought.
But, X3 & S::M brought me to a whole new idea:
We could improve the Space-Merchants and then give the people here the
opportunity to ‘program’ (of course in ruby) their own merchant AI.
There would be a whole predefined world (planets, stations, goods,
whatever), perhaps other predefined stupid trades (so that there would
be a big ecosystem), a limited amount of credits, a limited amount of
(so that people would have to think twice about the algorithms) etc. The
aim would be to to create a good AI which tries to get most out of the
The server would run on a central server (so that everybody could
compete against each other). Perhaps it would make sense
to have regular cycles: for instance the players could upload their
scripts/libs by the beginning of a week, and then the whole simulation
would run for 24-48 hours (I don’t know how much in-game time this
should/would be). After this time the game would stop and the current
situation would be saved (which player has how much money, which ships,
etc). We could download the logs, improve our scripts etc. etc. And the
whole thing would start again next week. Perhaps after some time we
could ‘reset’ the whole universe and start from the beginning :).
Welll… to be honest, it sounds like a lot of fun, but also like a lot
of work :). Kind of on-line game, but for programmers :). And, The
learnt and trained could also be useful in our every-day work (or
Well… what do you think? Interesting? Too much work :)?
1: It isn’t that bad either, so if you like the idea and a 3d space
game, take a look at the demo: www.egosoft.com