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Thread: Non-playable Life-sim *CONCEPT STAGE

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2003

    Non-playable Life-sim *CONCEPT STAGE

    Hello all Actionscript Gamemakers
    I want to tell you all about my program.
    I have been programming little crazy-ass programs in MMF and I'm currently getting into FLASH MX

    "What I want to make."


    - A virtual world , seen on 2 monitors ( 2 beamers eventually)
    resolution 800x600 so that makes 1600x600 pixels.

    - The world is inhabited by +- 250 little men/woman/children
    (mostly they look the same , 1 man 1 woman 1 girl 1 boy 2 babys

    - There is some sort of time system -the sun comes up in the east down in west. 1 second of our time = 1 minute game time
    24 minutes of our time = 24 hours game time

    "What are these little people gonna do ?"


    - their world revolves around their work, In the morning 6:00 everybody wakes up and goes to work.

    all the characters are 16 px wide and 32 px high

    -its gonna be a sideseen 2d platform-like non-scrolling TBW

    -Their work is all over the map, but it is important that every one has his/her specific task , and keeps having this task.

    -i am designing the map at this moment, slow but sure and here im getting in my question..
    ITS about PATHFINDING , i just read another article about pre-defined paths & realtime computed paths the link doesn't work though...
    excuse me for my shattered talk.

    Anyways, what is the best way for moving around 250 NPC's all at once ?

    there will be walkable areas and non walkables , each npc has its own place - tile where he sleeps , they eat all at one place , so they have to wait in line there.

    they will all move when it is time to go to their work. lets say 6:00 game-time, there they will randomley walk a few tiles around, then the timer reaches lunch and all of them have to move to one place, the feeding place, then they all go back to their work, via ladders stairs elevators .later on they all move to their livingplace, and their some of them will reproduce and others will die , they goto sleep and another day starts,

    So I could create a few pre defined paths i guess but please

  2. #2
    Thats a pretty cool idea, like Little Computer People by Activison (1980's)? But you do realise that with 250 NPC's on 1600*600 each character will have only 15 tiles each? That is very cramped. I suggest you begin small. Make one person, get him to walk and talk, then add more to it. ITs like evolution; it starts small.

    As for your pathfinding, I would have a look at gotoAndPlay()'s articles. (gotoandplay.it )

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2003
    yes its gonna be small , their house is gonna be like 5 tiles wide 5x16 pixels and most of their work or pleasure is standing in line.

  4. #4
    Feeling adventurous? T1ger's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    So you are saying that 250 +- peeps is going to walk is this "city", and they all need pathfinding?

    impossible in flash

  5. #5
    -= phil =- d3s_inc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Sorry, but I do not believe it is impossible. I think this would be a crazy (cool) idea. (The hardest part in my mind would be getting it on two screens... but again, dual monitors would be it)

    Making this a possibility would make it manditory to use "pre-calculated" paths. I can't remember who posted it (i think it was Webgeek from electrotank) but it was system to pre-calculate all the different paths and store them somehow. That way you just give a start location and an end and it would return the path.

    Finally, once FAST "pathfinding" is implemented you would need to limit the "thinking" of each person to a MINIMUM. The problem I see is tiles being filled. This would mean the little people would need to have checks and so forth.

    In short, I think it would be way cool! However, while I do not think it to be impossible, I believe it is only possible in Flash with limitations.

    Perhaps a smaller city, sa 25-50 people, would be a better idea.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TeroLebe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Lahti, Finland
    Nice Idea.
    It think to keep up the frame rate You should make little randomness on waking up time. Some of the people would get up at 5:00-10:00 o'clock, some even later. I think it would keep too many moving movieClips out of the screen.

    Hmm... I think also that about 250 moving little fellows are way too much, even if You had a super-computer it would be impossible to see that there is actually pathFinding. I think it would look morely like ants in the business. Everybody's just walking randomly.

    I think "city" like this (screen is from Finnish tv-mobile-show) would be more interesting to watch.

    Last edited by TeroLebe; 07-02-2004 at 01:07 AM.

  7. #7
    Flash hates me. crashlanding's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    if you did do this, it would have to be smaller, and i wouldnt make it like a platformer. I'd make it iso or top down...
    "wen i found my gerbil dead my other gerbil was eating it i just cried and screamed"

    Last edited by some moderator : Today at 9:01 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    I really think you're going to come up against a technology wall, which is probably the most frusterating thing that can happen in Flash: all your code is going well, objects are moving the way they're supposed to, but as soon as you start getting any significant number of objects, the sheer number of calculations bogs down the player. And eventually, you'll have to admit that such a program is simply not possible in Flash. I don't know, it might be. But I highly doubt it.

    If I was doing this project, I'd probably opt to do it in an environment like Processing, rather than Flash; probably harder to code, but ultimately much less lag. That's the only way you're going to get hundreds of objects making decisions every frame without completely bogging down.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2004
    I've recently wondered if hosting the flash ocx in a vb program would allow for faster calculations (let the host do the calcs and let the flash do the drawing)

  10. #10
    Senior Member random10122's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Sheffield, UK
    Possibly, but why bother? If your taking flash out of the internet environment and embedding it in a VB program, why not just program the whole thing in a much more efficient language like C?

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  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    But most of the paths the little people walk, could be a pre/given path, and I don´t want the guys to calculate a new path when their way is temporary blocked, they should just wait,

    So i guess its more about the pregiven paths then..
    And what is like a good number to keep myself focused on ?
    I believe 250 is (way) too much ?

    Is 150 better or still highly impossible ?

  12. #12
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2003
    Oh and something else,
    Because i will use dual monitors there's no need for a downloadable version/streaming version.
    because most people wouldnt be able to run it anyway,

    So loading time isnt a problem (even if it took an hour, hehe)

  13. #13
    Participant jide's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    What I would suggest is to start with one, and then add in one at a time, and see how many you can handle. Then readjust the gameplay for that number of characters.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    Do you think I could get the map from you? I am thinking if I sclaed it down to 1 monitor and set fewer (much fewer) people in it would make a hell of a screen savor. My problem is Mr. Me is the worst artist ever (poor graphics would make this the dumbest screensavor ever). soooo......

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