Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Artificial Life tip

This question has come up several times regarding the recent updates to the Artificial Life app.

Why do I no longer see population explosions like I did with earlier versions of the app?

The reproduction rate of the protozoa is tied directly to their "desire" meter. Two protozoa are only allowed to mate if their desire is 50% or higher. The default timer controlling the protozoa's life meters was adjusted to allow an individual protozoa's life span to be somewhat longer. As a result, the desire meter now increases at a slower rate.

If you would prefer to have the earlier behavior of fairly rapid population explosions, you can achieve this by adjusting the protozoa's "Max Energy" setting. Choosing a value of 100, rather than the default 200 will achieve the desired effect. Protozoa will be able to reproduce at twice the normal rate, although any one protozoa will have half the normal life span if it does not eat anything and will get hungry at twice the default rate.

In a future update I will add a slider so you can choose the desire level at which a protozoa will be able to reproduce. This way you will have a finer level of control over what is occurring without having to also adjust the life-span of a creature.

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