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What Would You Do If...

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...you discovered "The Matrix"?

 

I am out of ideas, so figured I would try this... Imagine that you were a simulation designer who made the types of games and simulations that have not been made in over 20 years now.  A forgotten era of gaming when the "Big Three" hobbyist games of the era were many times larger and more complex than today's simple little "toy games" and were based on a decades old history of the forgotten era of game design that had once spawned a field of science called "scientific modeling".  The era of the "Big Three" games like Avalon Hill's Advanced Squad Leader (the product of over 50 years of evolution, begun by real life war veterans, of the same game system), Star Fleet Battles (the "next generation" of Avalon Hill, developed by over 200 designers over a period of 30 years), and Dungeons & Dragons (the one you've actually heard of before, the only one that is almost all story and no game).  Let's say that you had been one of a very few "wiz kid designers" of this industry when it collapsed, and wound up through an accident of history carrying the torch of over 50 years of continuous work starting with Avalon Hill in the late 1940's, and ending in the late 1990's with the completion of the 30-year-long project that was the design of Star Fleet Battles (the next generation of the Avalon Hill "style" of game and simulation design).  And then you, one of the new young wiz-kid designers of an industry that was more the science of "scientific modeling" than it was "game design", then picked up that same Advanced Squad Leader/Star Fleet Battles torch and spent another 25 years creating your own "next generation" of that same system.  As computer games.  Twelve of them, in an epic sci-fo gaming "Universe" that tells the story of humanity from the formation of the earth to the day that the sun explodes... and spent 25 years working on it without ever finding a way to make it.  So it just kept growing, and evolving, and growing, and evolving until... 

 

...it became "The Matrix".  Nearly 70-years of accidental continuous work starting with WWII veterans in the late 1940's, through the entire history of both Avalon Hill and the Star Fleet Universe, and another 25 years of work on my own gaming universe has wound up resulting in a simulation design that is indistinguishable from what we all know as "The Matrix", without the human/organic components of course.  I have been designing simulations for over 30 years, and through an accident of history have wound up carrying the torch of our entire forgotten industry right up until 2016.  I have been aware that I can create The Matrix for many months now, but can't figure out what to do about it.  Just try telling someone that you have invented The Matrix and see what their reaction is.  Yeah... I am stuck.  So, I thought I would try asking the people who would get the most immediate use out of it, people who make games.  Since even the few scientists that I know are at a loss to comprehend this because it is not their field.  I am in the process of making corrections to the patent application one of my scientist relatives is helping me file, but getting the patent isn't going to change my situation.  In months now I have yet to find a single person who is interested in this at all, almost certainly because everyone I try and ask about it immediately assumes that I am crazy.  Try telling someone you can make The Matrix and see what happens...  Yeah...

 

So, what would you do if you discovered how to create "The Matrix", and knew for certain it worked because you had actually been designing games that worked that were exactly that for decades and just hadn't realized it?  Who do you tell?  Who would listen to such a thing (people at Universities  don't answer back).  How do you get to make your revolutionary games where there is nobody else who realizes that they are revolutionary games?  Who do you take this too?  Who will listen, or even respond back to find out what you are talking about?  

 

It's been months and as far as I can tell, there isn't a person in the world who cares.  Who cares?  Who do I go to with this?  Please respond here or send me an e-mail if you know of anyone who would be interested in the world's first functioning scientific modeling simulation of a god.

 

kavik_kang@hotmail.com

 

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I assume you'll just dismiss this as 'another person' not realising/understanding and ignoring you, but:

1). Those games you mention are not "forgotten", but rather some notable games from an industry that is very much alive and well and has continued to produce many similarly detailed and complex (as well as simpler) games since.

2). It's extremely improbable that you have what you think you have given your means of presentation.

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Actually those games were forgotten by those who make games.  The computer game industry decided right from the beginning that "board games" were not relevant to what they did.  So they began re-inventing the wheel in the mid-1980's.  I know, I was there, right from the beginning and all along.  I had been working at one of the major hobbyist game companies when the industry collapsed (because of Magic: The Gathering and Warhammer, not computer games although they would have done us in a few years later anyway),  The modern game industry "reset" its game design knowledge in the mid-1980's.  I, as I said, through an accident of history, wound up carrying the ASL/SFB torch onward by myself because that industry and type of "Big" game (not later board games that you are talking about, the "Big Three" era was gone and nobody else ever did anything even remotely close ever again, there are no other games like ASL or SFB) was gone.  The games and many of their players are certainly still around today, but I am among the very few that has continued on designing games in that tradition for all these years.  I am a part of that community, I know these people and have seen many of them regularly my entire life at conventions.  In fact, I was even lucky enough to meet two of the original Avalon Hill guys that were still around the cons in the 1980's.

 

I really am serious about this.  The core of the ASL/SFB game design is representing real-time in a table-top game.  This "treadmill of time" is what has inadvertently been continuously worked on and designed for about 70 years now.  With this "treadmill of time", what is essentially the "3rd Generation" (ASL/SFB/My Universe), I can literally plan the future of all "living things" in the "reality" of the simulation.  Potentially for all of eternity, with a far more powerful version than what I have had functioning for years already in most of my games.  This really amounts to a new theory of how time might function based primarily on the concept of "moments of time containing reality".  It is much like The Matrix, but the accurate description is that it is the world's first functioning simulation of a god.  That is exactly what it is.  And it is not a theory, it functions and has been functioning for 20 years now.  I only recently recognized it for what it really is.  This isn't just me, this really is the result of about 70 years of continuous work done by people who had no idea that this is what they were ultimately working on.

 

If anyone knows who I should go to with something like this, I really would appreciate it.  So far it seems impossible to find anyone who cares at all, or is even willing to so much as glance at it.  It's not a theory, I know it works.  It's how I make games and how I have made games for over 20 years now.  My "next generation" method of Steve Cole's next generation method of Avalon Hill's method of representing real time within games.

 

So who do you tell when you've accidentally made a functioning scientific modeling simulation of a god?

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As it stands, you should probably not tell anyone. Seriously. People will either laugh at you for the claims you make, or they will sue you for the copyright/IP infringments (or assumed brand damage) that you do. Look at it from this side: You claim that you were involved from the very beginning, and you talk of a development process that started right after World War II. 70 years of development. Your words. This suggests you are 90+ years old, which sounds unlikely. But if you are, do you deem it realistic to start such a project at that age? Now, I'm willing to assume you really meant "since the launch of ASL, SFB, and D&D" which averages around mid-1979 (74, 79, and 85), making you an estimated 47 years old. That's better, but if you have not produced anything subtantial that someone in the industry will recognize before the age of 47, it is unlikely you will find investors or people willing to work on such a project, especially since your self-assessment of what you have invented is, well, let's say optimistic, and your description of the actual innovation/idea is rather vague. Then there's the whole IP stuff. Saying I invented "The Matrix" (capitalized) is trouble ahead, as is making claims about games like D&D or the other two, or stating that what you make builds upon what they have developed. Games, which are, by the way, not at all dead and forgotten. A quick look on Wikipedia (which is not necessarily complete) shows that SFB had some stuff released in 2011, and the other one in 2006. D&D is pretty well-known to be not-dead. But let's forget the IP stuff. So, starting from board games which are nothing like "The Matrix" in any way, you have basically invented "The Matrix", and you are filing a patent, for... for what exactly? But it's not a virtual reality sort of thing. Only just, you are able to simulate every entity in the game's universe. What's the particular innovation in that? A lot of games have been doing just that, at varying levels of detail, for decades. Simulating every detail of every entity in a game is often not even desirable because it's not interesting, but if you are so inclined, it is only a matter of throwing more compute power at the problem. You made it sound like you have invented something revolutionary. Well, unless you reveal what that may be, nobody will take you for serious.

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Well, "the matrix" includes a full quantum/atomic-scale simulation of a world... The best atomic simulations are either limited to something about the size of a molecule, and/or require more computing power than a non-government / non-multinational can afford...
"The matrix" also houses conscious beings, and we have no idea what consciousness even is, let alone the ability to recreate it. If you have created simulated consciousness, you should publish your work and usher in a new era of human achievement!

So, you're probably talking about something else. And if so, you probably shouldn't reference the matrix.

You haven't actually told us anything at all, so there's currently nothing to talk about...
What's different about your approach to simulations? What methods is it similar to? What kind of entities do you simulate? Have you actually written any software? If not, what do you have?

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"the matrix" includes a full atomic-scale simulation of a world

I'm not an expert of matrix canon, so bear with me :)
That's probably not necessary (and probably not what the makers had in mind either). It is conceivable that it is a rather coarse (well, very detailled, but coarse compared to simulating atoms) simulation where the brain fills in the gaps. Not only would that be physiologically plausible (it's how our memory works, and it's how we dream) but the presence of the "residual self-image" or how they call it in the movies suggests something the like, too.

Regardless, I'm still at loss why it would add value to a game of D&D to simulate what the goblin whom I just killed smelled right before he died, or whether it thought of his wife and children. You just don't want to simulate everything, it doesn't contribute to the experience. Indeed, "hit points" and "armour class" exist for that very reason, it's mostly good enough, and making it noticeably better is really, really hard. Nobody wants to know whether your avatar will have back pain the next day, after getting that hit by that ogre's club. People want to know what loot the ogre drops. :)

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I say show, don't tell :)
Provide a demo that proves your accomplishement, and if it lives up to what you describe, I think you'll find an entire world ready to listen to you.

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Samoth: I am 48.  I think I explained the progression of where this came from very well.  I know all about SFB, I am well-known as one of the top SFB experts in the world.  That's where my vast knowledge of the ASL/SFB lineage and system comes from.  I had "retired" from trying to make my universe several years ago, and was brought back into it about half a year ago.  I started to write a blog, which led to the discovery of what has always been in my games, the "third generation" of the ASL, then SFB, and now my version of that "treadmill of time".  And board games and computer games are the same exact thing, there is no difference.  A simulation is a simulation.  I have the clear impression that you have never played a "big three" game before.  They are not the simple "board games" that most believe they are.  I discuss much of this forgotten history in the blog that led me to going back to my game universe to finish it.  "The Matrix" is an excellent description of it, because it functions in the same way, but as I said the correct description is that it is a functioning simulation of a god.

 

Here is some forgotten history that I really don't want to repeat here... http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/MarcMichalik/787769/

 

Hodgman, it is like The Matrix is several key ways that make the comparison unavoidable, the most easy to describe being that things only exist within the simulation when they are needed to perform a task.  When a thing is not needed, it does not exist.  So if I have told the you character to sneeze three days from now, then 3 days from now you will be summoned into existence just to sneeze, and then you will cease to exist until needed again.  That is one way in which this system resembles the matrix.  But what it actually is, is a functioning scientific model of a god.

 

As for "approach to simulations"... As I said, I am a child of the ASL/SFB "grandfather of all modern game design" line of "The Big Three" era of hobbyist gaming.  There was once an emerging science called "scientific modeling" that was based on our work, that you recognize as "Will Wright's style" (the simple form he uses was known by the phrase "Needs, Wants, & Desires".  I have been at this almost non-stop since the early 1980's, there are very few people on this planet with as much experience and knowledge of simulation design as I have.  This is the whole problem, people get downright offended by this for some reason.  I really don't want to go down this road of talking about me, especially when your industry has forgotten who we were and so my background is meaningless too you.  I learned that a long time ago.

 

Really, I'd really just like to know who you go to about something like this.  Who would be interested?  You'd think it would be easy, but coming up with something like this is like some kind of curse.  You just can't get anyone to even speak about it.  They either ignore you or even become offended, for some reason, that you would dare to think that you could do such a thing.  These last few months really have been amazing!

 

I'd really just like to know who you go to with something like this?  Who would be interested and listen?  I already know I can have these pointless arguments about me all I want, all I have to do is mention the subject.  I really am not wanting to do that.  Just assume I am a lunatic and whoever I take it too will easily see that put me in my place... Who should I see for that?  Who, who also might be able to do something with it if it were real, would be willing to even look at it to put me in my place.  Show me how little I know about simulation design?  Where do I find that person?


I say show, don't tell :)
Provide a demo that proves your accomplishement, and if it lives up to what you describe, I think you'll find an entire world ready to listen to you.

 

Right now I am still hoping to find someone in a position to make something happen with it to show them.  I will actually be willing to give public examples of it in the near future if I still can't find anyone in a good position to take a look at it.  I am still in the process of filing the patent on it, they wanted two corrections that a relative is helping me resubmit.  So I am working towards this last resort of just going public with it, but for now I have a few more things like this to try until that happens.

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I have the clear impression that you have never played a "big three" game before.

Well, I've played D&D as well as D&D 2nd Ed, and I've known people who came to game sessions wearing leather stuff or chainmails, and bringing a replica sword, if that counts. Didn't play Star Fleet Wars, though we did play Star Wars (decades before all those new shitty movies were added). And yeah, we had someone coming with a Vader helm to each session, too... Knew some guys who spent entire weekends painting their little tin-cast guy with a toothpick, too.

Will read those blog posts in the evening, maybe then I'll understand better.

Meanwhile, this here:

When a thing is not needed, it does not exist. So if I have told the you character to sneeze three days from now, then 3 days from now you will be summoned into existence just to sneeze, and then you will cease to exist until needed again.


sounds a lot like Level of Detail for AI, for which dozens of publications (and I think a Game Gems chapter, too) have been written, and which has been used in a number of games. While it is a viable optimization for games dealing with large number of units, I don't see how it is something spectacularly new or groundbreaking. Every instance (and the entities within) in every WoW-like game works that way, if you want to look at it from that angle. It only comes into existence when your group enters. Well yes, what else. You don't simulate a dwarf poking his nose while he is all alone in that dungeon, waiting for you.

This is however not in any way what I would expect when someone says "invented The Matrix". What I'd expect in that context would be something that appears so real it is hard to tell (or impossible, even) that it is not real. A world where there are no easily detectable artificial limits imposed by the game mechanics or design.

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