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Old 03-04-2010, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default Programming a virtual world

Curious if this has been done or if it is feasible with programming/processor power.

The idea is to create a world engine. This engine would simulate the environment of a world, everything from the weather, flora, fauna, and even the sunlight.

Ideally this would simulate rain drops falling from the leaves of a tree to the ground below and would determine the ground cover on the forest floor. In reality this is insanely too hard to program a world full of forests with a mixture of leaf types that live in a variety of climates from alpine to rain forest to temperate. But wouldn’t that be amazing? To walk through a virtual world where you can watch single rain drops falling slowly through the canopy, though you’re protected from the onslaught of the storm…

The realistic approach, perhaps this is even too hard and needs to be scaled back, would be to have each forest act as a single organic entity, simulating seed/animal planting with spreading the forest x distance in y time. It would grow at a rate determined by the weather, impacting the animals in the environment by the health of the forest.

Obviously this can get a lot more in depth…

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Old 03-05-2010, 02:04 AM   #2
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It is doable (theoretically). How much power you need for real time is a complete different matter.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:53 AM   #3
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If your up for the challenge I would say start by working on developing a script that would grow plants. Use something like a neural network that would encourage exploration of different "growth patterns" and have the plant evolve at an increased rate. Take that information from the database and take all the final tiers (5 million years of high speed evolution or something) and you have a working library of plants.

Have the collision bodies act as a type of evolutionary hurdle. If the frame rate drops below a cretin rate that species is deemed a failure and is eliminated. You could do it all manually but getting the computer to do it for you could get better results.

You would have to do a lot of research into how plants work and what makes them survive. Why do they grow in the way they do and put the same restrictions on the plants that you are growing. I would simulate insects and cross pollination without graphically representing them.

Best of luck to you.
~Justin Dooley

C, C++, C#, Objective-C, Java, PHP, SQL, Javascript, Actionscript, HTML, CSS
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:58 PM   #4
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What a complicated, interesting problem! Actual rendering would only display a portion of the world and so I would think the most processor-intensive operations would be computing interactions of the different systems. This could be a good application for parallel programming on a network cluster.
Jeromie L. Walters
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:12 AM   #5
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Some day this will be a reality. Just liek 20-30 years ago when they just made Pac-Man they were thinking..."What if we could make a game with a huge storyline!?".
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