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Subject: I love this game, but... rss

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Wulf Corbett
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I decided there's nothing useful I can add to the reviews already posted on this game, but something keeps sticking in my mind...

Does anyone else feel strange about a game which is so heavily, deliberately, and pretty accurately dedicated to evolution and scientific accuracy, and yet... relies as it's primary, central game mechanic on... Intelligent Design?

Not, I hasten to add, the same Intelligent Design being presented as 'science' in some educational establishments in the US (and possibly elsewhere), but the deliberate choices made by the player to maximise their creature's survival, and their game win. I've always found that both amusing and awkward. A lot of the game relies on twisting around scientific reality - in the game, expressing a Genotype causes a Milankovich event - in reality, it's the changes brought about by the Milankovich event that force the evolution of a new Genotype.

And given that evolution is based on the random changes of genes by whatever external forces (and the 'survival of the fittest' thereafter), isn't it strange that this game has no dice nor any other randomiser (OK, random selection of cards, which is certainly pretty damn random!) ?

Bloody marvellous game, and we'll be starting another next weekend, having just finished one today, but there are some strange aspects to it's design...
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upandawaygames.com
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The last words in the book of instructions are

"In any non-self-running simulation, there must be Lamarckian appeals." Mike Wasson
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Darrell Pavitt
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I much prefer one of the variants (with no bidding) on Rick's site, for exactly that reason.
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nyhotep wrote:
I much prefer one of the variants (with no bidding) on Rick's site, for exactly that reason.


You probably mean the one at
http://spotlightongames.com/variant/amf.html

Good to hear you found it useful.
 
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Donald Cleary
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It wouldn't be much of a game if it evolved all by itself. It would also be longer than 480 minutes.
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darksurtur
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Evolutionary changes are random. Games are (presumably) meant not to be random, or it isn't a game, it's some sort of noninteractive show. That's why they're will never be a good game in which accurate evolution is the key mechanic and you control the evolving group. I suppose you could make a game where you control only external forces - fitness variables - but that would be an entirely different kind of game.
 
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Hmm, I suppose one could make a game where the evolutionary changes are completely random. You just receive (or lose) some trait and the only player decisions would be what kind of food to eat and where to live, but rather doubt that that would be sufficiently interesting.
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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ou would also need a couple of million years to play it, so you can go through all the possibilities.
 
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Donald Cleary
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nyhotep wrote:
You would also need a couple of million years to play it, so you can go through all the possibilities.


and all the dead ends and all the continuing evolutions of the survivors. The species that have been on this planet the longest are 'relatively' unchanged, but they too have been evolving as conditions change and food chains change. A game needs to simplify the system and allow player/game and maybe some player/player interaction.
 
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Steve Bachman
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darksurtur wrote:
I suppose you could make a game where you control only external forces - fitness variables - but that would be an entirely different kind of game.

Tyranno Ex! is like that, but not nearly as in depth and comprehensive (deals primarily with dinosaurs) as American Megafauna.
 
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Mr Cricket
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heli wrote:
nyhotep wrote:
I much prefer one of the variants (with no bidding) on Rick's site, for exactly that reason.


You probably mean the one at
http://spotlightongames.com/variant/amf.html

Good to hear you found it useful.

I can't quite understand the following rule in the Individual Deck Variant described in spotlightongames:
"Now combine all of the left over cards and shuffle them together.
From this deck deal out 3 cards to each player."

What do the players do with these 3 cards?

Thanks
 
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It's trying to say that these cards are combined with the ones previously dealt to the players so that now each player has a complete individual player deck.
 
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Paul Heron
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An old thread, but I'd argue that a truly scientific evolutionary theory would have nothing to say about whether the process is intelligently directed or not.

After all, it's not a question that can truly be resolved one way or the other, whatever arguments currently fashionable thinkers like Dawkins or Harris may put forward.

I would say that today's scientific establishment seems to no longer be capable of accepting the idea that there are limits to what it (indeed, humanity in general) can know.

'Intelligent Design' might not be scientific, but is the orthodox view that opposes it any better in this regard? The evolutionary orthodoxy that assumes our universe to be driven entirely by mindless mechanical processes is just another kind of faith.
I wonder if it's because science, like religion, is deep down a grandiose, fundamentalist, ideological enterprise, not a modest and pragmatic one?


Oh, and I agree that if AMF's simulation were driven entirely by random chance it would cease to be a game and become just a rather eccentric way to pass the time.
 
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