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a multiplayer game of parenting and civilization building

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#1 2019-06-29 20:29:51

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 2,811

Update: Genetic Fitness

VSaGHmu.gif

The survival of your offspring, and yourself, now matters.

Before, each life was lived in isolation from the rest of your play history, with no thread tying the lives that you lived together.  This lack of over-arching meaning had a long list of consequences, contributing to long-standing problems like suicide, griefing, and general listlessness.  Furthermore, it tended to undercut some potentially interesting family survival stories.  Why would you go to great lengths to save one of your children if your child didn't really matter to you in the long run?  But such "great lengths" make for great, dramatic stories.

The Precious Life update helped with this somewhat, because lives were no longer lived in complete isolation from each other---they were all part of a pool of limited lives that you were spending.  While this helped to make each individual life you played a bit more tense and precious, it didn't do anything to increase the tension of family survival.

A great deal of discussion has focused on how much players in the game tend to care about the last viable female child born in the village.  She is really treated like royalty, and there's no role-playing necessary.  All the hard work of the living players depends on her survival.  Without her, everything they built will be lost for future generations.

That's great, and it's also kinda magic, because it emerges naturally from other unrelated game mechanics.  There aren't "last surviving girl survival points" that are motivating you to care about her.  On the other hand, you don't care for her in a way that has anything to do with her specifically.  She could be anyone's daughter.  As long as some girl survives, that's all you need.  Which is also not analogous to why you would care for a daughter in real life (be she the last surviving female or not).  Thus, "our work won't be lost" is just as orthogonal a reason to care as points or any other unrelated reason.  It's nice that it's an emergent reason in this case, though.

Why do we care so much about the survival of our family in real life?  It's apparently due to some pretty abstract underlying genetic reasons, and our actual behavior often matches the underlying genetics to a spooky degree.  We would, for example, save a sibling over a cousin, and a sister over a brother, and age would also be factored in (a younger sibling would be saved over an older one), with the results pretty closely approximating genetic relatedness and reproductive potential.  But in real life, we just feel the feelings.  We don't do this genetic math when we make these decisions.

And in the case of this game, those biological feelings will never come into play.  This in-game daughter is not your real daughter, and she never will be.  A longer game might allow for more bonding between players, but it would never be actual kinship bonding.

Games are not real.

Thus, as long as we motivate appropriate player behavior---behavior that is congruent with the thematics of the game, I don't think it matters too much how we motivate that behavior.  Emergent motivations are nice, but when they aren't possible, abstract motivations are fine.

Genes are abstract and exert a weird influence on behavior in real life.

Genes can thus be represented abstractly and allowed to exert a weird influence in the game.  They can be points.  Why not?

And thus, why do you care about the survival of your daughter in the game, even if she's not the last girl in the village?  Because of the genetic points that she represents.

And there's still some interesting emergence lurking.  If you want a high genetic score, the survival of your offspring needs to get pushed to the limit.  And what is the best strategy to achieve that?  What will be the most successful parent and grandparent strategy in the game?  I have no idea!  When push comes to shove, the very best players will figure this out.  And it's a good and thematically appropriate thing to figure out.  They've never had a reason to figure it out, until now.  Furthermore, for players who care about their genetic scores, there is never an unimportant moment.  Even if they are born to a doomed village, standing there and waiting to die won't be a viable strategy.  They will need to ensure their own and their offspring's survival at all costs, even in a doomed village.

That's the underlying design philosophy, but how does it work?

Everyone starts with a genetic score of 0.  Every time you or your offspring live a life that is longer than your current genetic score, you score goes up.  Every time you or your offspring live a shorter life, your score goes down.

Your score represents what we generally expect in terms of longevity for you and your offspring.  If someone dies young, that means our expectation was too high, and vice versa if someone dies older than we expected.

This is somewhat similar to Elo ratings that are used in competitive games like Chess, albeit applied to each player in isolation.  The actual formula is very simple, given an offspring or self that lived Y years:  newScore = oldScore + (Y - oldScore) / 10

For women, offspring are any direct descendants that were born during your lifetime (generally children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren).

For men, offspring are nieces and nephews (and great, and great great variants) that are born during your lifetime.  The so-called "gay uncle hypothesis" is alive and well.

And of course, your own lives count too.  And note that baby suicides don't count to pull their mother's scores down, but do count as short lives for those who live them.  Thus, for those who really care about their genetic score, survival in all situations is necessary.

Finally, is genetic score just a meaningless number?  No, it has a small effect inside the game.  Since it tracks family longevity, it gives you a distinct advantage in old age.  The higher your genetic score, the fewer hunger bars you lose with aging.  With a perfect genetic score of 60, you'll keep your full hunger bar all the way until your last breath.

So if you see a particularly strapping old person running around acting half their age, you'll know what's going on.  They're genetically fit.

The leaderboard can be seen here:

http://onehouronelife.com/fitnessServer … eaderboard

Everyone is assigned a randomized name for tracking on the leaderboard.  Your name can be seen on the GENES screen inside the game, along with a recent history showing changes to your genetic fitness over time.

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#2 2019-06-29 21:17:54

SirCaio
Member
Registered: 2018-04-01
Posts: 69

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

Sounds interesting, are there any plans for content updates in the near future? or are there still problems with the game's "core"?

Last edited by SirCaio (2019-06-29 23:02:13)

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#3 2019-06-29 21:38:52

Kinrany
Member
Registered: 2018-01-22
Posts: 238

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

Hahahahahahaha, I've been waiting for this for a while.

Next step: find a way to overcome the bullshit genetic programming in our heads and do something we actually want instead of doing what our genes want us to do.

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#4 2019-06-29 21:55:38

Kinrany
Member
Registered: 2018-01-22
Posts: 238

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

The specific mechanics seem to have a few problems.

They ignore descendants that will be born after you die.
They ignore relatives who are not descendants. (We do care about our aunts and uncles.)

More generally, they're pretty complex and abstract. Evolution isn't: it's just that some genes have better odds of existing in bigger number in the future.
Players shouldn't be trying to increase a number. They should have exactly the same goal as genes: make more people with the same genes. Genetically-related-people-as-spawn-points and genetic-relatedness-as-weight-of-good-thing-happening seem like good approximations.

But eh, that's details, not very important. I'm looking forward to exploring this new world of players genuinely pretending to care about each other.

Last edited by Kinrany (2019-06-29 21:57:03)

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#5 2019-06-29 22:38:43

awakenaries
Member
Registered: 2019-05-08
Posts: 2

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

Kinrany wrote:

But eh, that's details, not very important. I'm looking forward to exploring this new world of players genuinely pretending to care about each other.

I am only speaking for myself, but I do genuinely care about other players. I think most of us aren't just pretending, and this new scoring system I think will show some interesting results. It's all quite fascinating to me. I'm not a person who adopts or studies scientific theories and applies them philosophically to a computer game, but all in all, this is probably just a first step into fine-tuning the game mechanics. I too, look forward to the effects of this new in-game world. smile

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#6 2019-06-30 02:24:26

Lily
Member
Registered: 2018-03-29
Posts: 414

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

I think this is kind of interesting. One one hand it might make some people care a little more, as they want the higher score and more hunger bar. On the other hand, it is probably going to annoy people, because no matter what some losses are going to happen completely outside their control.

My gut feeling is that overall the impact isn't going to be very major. Though it is a nice reward for people who are already trying and successful at extending people's lives.

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#7 2019-06-30 05:38:07

RodneyC86
Member
Registered: 2019-05-11
Posts: 459

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

Kinrany wrote:

Hahahahahahaha, I've been waiting for this for a while.

Next step: find a way to overcome the bullshit genetic programming in our heads and do something we actually want instead of doing what our genes want us to do.

Wait what? That's the whole point of genes.

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#8 2019-06-30 10:14:17

InSpace
Member
Registered: 2018-03-02
Posts: 436

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

Almost full hungerbar when old, very nice

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#9 2019-06-30 21:35:52

robertb556
Member
Registered: 2019-01-18
Posts: 9

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

"Last surviving female".  [Needs to watch Children of Men].

Last edited by robertb556 (2019-06-30 21:51:08)

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#10 2019-06-30 21:49:30

robertb556
Member
Registered: 2019-01-18
Posts: 9

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.... wait, wait, wait. Wait.  My genetic score has nothing to do with the total quantity of progeny I have, nor the total number of generations which come from me?

Ok, how do I actually go about getting a better score?  Working theory: Take all the village pies, lock them in a room with my children and throw away the key?

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#11 2019-06-30 22:25:46

robertb556
Member
Registered: 2019-01-18
Posts: 9

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

All joking aside, having a really hard time trying to figure out how to maximize my score.

Lets say I have one child (or at least murder all the others while their still babies), just need to keep that child alive till I turn 60, and that would give me a perfect score?

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#12 2019-06-30 22:54:57

Twisted
Member
Registered: 2018-10-12
Posts: 241

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

robertb556 wrote:

All joking aside, having a really hard time trying to figure out how to maximize my score.

Lets say I have one child (or at least murder all the others while their still babies), just need to keep that child alive till I turn 60, and that would give me a perfect score?


The score goes from 0 to 60. The simplest explanation is that every time you die your score moves closer to your age of death. If your score is 40 and you die at age 20, the score will go down. If you die at age 60, your score will go up.

The same applies to your direct descendants (kids, grandkids, great grandkids) that were born while you were still alive. When they die your score is modified depending on your age - if they die at an age below your score your score goes down, and vice versa.

In case you are male it works similarly, except the fact that it looks at your nieces/nephews instead of your kids.

If you killed your babies your score would plummet very quickly since they would be dead at age 0.

If your baby uses the /die command it does not affect your score, but it affects their score.

The best way to maximize your score is to live to 60 and do your best to keep your kids/grandkids safe from harm.

Theoretically you could lock your kids in a room with pies, but it's very likely that they would starve themselves rather than live out their life in prison.

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#13 2019-07-01 03:52:41

Peaches
Member
Registered: 2019-04-04
Posts: 62

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

I love this, I feel like it's going to help, but I also wish there was some visible aspect to it once you hit the highest tiers of genetic fitness. People would go nuts for it if there was, there'd be people doing their damnedest to get what they'd see as a sort of status symbol. I know I would.

Something simple, like a few lines on a man's chest or perkier breasts on a woman. Makes more experienced players more obvious, gives you an aspect the average griefer would rarely attain.

Last edited by Peaches (2019-07-01 17:29:50)


The Frank to your Cleopatra

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#14 2019-07-01 04:35:24

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 2,811

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

Good idea with the visual associated with fitness in old age.

Hairy chests (for men) are the most obvious way.

But yeah, I will think about this.

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#15 2019-07-01 05:17:37

RodneyC86
Member
Registered: 2019-05-11
Posts: 459

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

jasonrohrer wrote:

Good idea with the visual associated with fitness in old age.

Hairy chests (for men) are the most obvious way.

But yeah, I will think about this.

Are the rumours that one can obtain perfect scores repeatedly by dying at 60 in tutorial repeatedly true?

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#16 2019-07-01 05:47:22

Tarr
Member
Registered: 2018-03-31
Posts: 1,546

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

RodneyC86 wrote:
jasonrohrer wrote:

Good idea with the visual associated with fitness in old age.

Hairy chests (for men) are the most obvious way.

But yeah, I will think about this.

Are the rumours that one can obtain perfect scores repeatedly by dying at 60 in tutorial repeatedly true?

I mean you can gain rank there. I was going to afk to see if I could reach max score but I only got six points from one life.


Days peppers/onions/tomatoes left unfixed: 103

Do your part and remind Jason to fix these damn vegetables.

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#17 2019-07-01 05:54:42

RodneyC86
Member
Registered: 2019-05-11
Posts: 459

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

Tarr wrote:
RodneyC86 wrote:
jasonrohrer wrote:

Good idea with the visual associated with fitness in old age.

Hairy chests (for men) are the most obvious way.

But yeah, I will think about this.

Are the rumours that one can obtain perfect scores repeatedly by dying at 60 in tutorial repeatedly true?

I mean you can gain rank there. I was going to afk to see if I could reach max score but I only got six points from one life.

Its ELO based, if you reach 60 another life there you will gain 5.4 points. It will take a butt load of lives idling in tutorial to reach near 60 though.

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#18 2019-07-01 16:43:23

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 2,811

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

Yes, that is a hole in the current system.  You could idle in the tutorial forever and achieve whatever score you want.

I'll fix that.

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#19 2019-07-01 19:38:05

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 1,188

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

jasonrohrer wrote:

Yes, that is a hole in the current system.  You could idle in the tutorial forever and achieve whatever score you want.

I'll fix that.

So does that mean that you're going to hunt people in other tutorial areas?  lol

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#20 2019-07-02 01:21:05

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 1,188

Re: Update: Genetic Fitness

War swords are completely incompatibile with this update.  If you have a consistent 'vision', you would remove war swords after this update, and also make cursing of people outside of one's lineage possible.  You would also make it so that young children could curse people as easily as 50 some year olds can.

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