One Hour One Life Forums

a multiplayer game of parenting and civilization building

You are not logged in.

#1 2019-02-19 17:38:48

fragilityh14
Member
Registered: 2018-03-21
Posts: 556

The Anna Karenina Principle

Tolstoy's classic novel Anna Karenina begins with the famous line, "All happy families are alike. All unhappy families are unhappy in their own way."

Historian Jared Diamond use this principle to discuss animal domestication in his book "Guns, Germs, and Steel." The reason some animals have never been domesticated is because for an animal to be domesticated several things have to be right, whereas one wrong aspect can prevent domestication. For example, North American deer are too skittish, zebras are too feisty, and elephants take too long to reach sexual maturity [note: there are "tamed" elephants not "domesticated elephants".]

Aristotle described a similar concept, much farther back in Nicomachean Ethics, writing, "Again, it is possible to fail in many ways (for evil belongs to the class of the unlimited, as the Pythagoreans conjectured, and good to that of the limited), while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficult – to miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult); for these reasons also, then, excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue; For men are good in but one way, but bad in many."





My point in bringing up this concept, is that this is how how our camps and civilizations _should_ be functioning. It should never have been easy for an Eve an Eve camp to reach the point of a sustainable food supply. For an Eve camp to turn into a thriving civilization, several aspects have to be correct.

- near soil and water with enough food to survive
- Enough milkweed to make fire and snares
- responsible players who gather from the wilds and stay alive
- Getting early agriculture going rapidly (the first carrots coming in is a big achievement, even if not much food)
- Sufficient access to clay/someone actually making bowls and plates
- finding basic clothes
- Producing iron tools before local soil is out
- Capturing a mouflon and domesticating sheep
- Continuously making compost and eating food better than berries
- Not having sudden fertility problems
- Not being hit with mass violence



i'm sure people can think of more, but a village could fail for a near infinite number of reasons.

i was in a 20th gen village i ultimately ran away from yesterday that i'm pretty sure only survived a few more generations because i made one batch of compost before running off (I literally use the last wheat and planted the carrots, and there wasn't any other soil available...and someone stole one of two wheat straws..i ran because i figured it was doomed and someone threatened me). The point is, Plenty of things had to consistently happen to allow the society to survive up to that point, but at some time, the compost had just stopped being cared for, despite that it was obvious to see the berries were drying out and there was no soil around.



This game really isn't achieving its purpose if Eve camps have that high of survival rates. It needs to be remembered, a family may have 20-30 people, and there are max like 180 on the server at a time, There doesn't need to be that many total long lineages at any given time. That people are more likely to stay alive in a city favors those lineages anyway, on top of warmth and fullness/yum

Its not a bad thing if Eve camps have low survival rates, it's actually how the game should be working. It only takes a small percentage of Eve camps surviving for most people to be born into civilization. And with the size of the player base, we actually want enough players so great civs don't die when the playerbase drops at night etc. [so a limited number of larger civilized families at a time is desirable]. However, as long as people continue to use /die, I'm sure we'll continue to have more Eve camps than we would otherwise. On the bright side, Eveing and early camps are fun and exciting.


I'll tell you what I tell all my children: Make basket, always carry food.

Listen to your mom!

Offline

#2 2019-04-18 16:25:29

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 2,049

Re: The Anna Karenina Principle

Another great thread that got buried.

It's funny.... I'm currently searching for "infinite food", but the damn fluxbb search engine doesn't support quotes.  This post had the word "infinite" in it, and also "food."

Ah... I need to install the "fulltext search" extension, it seems.

Offline

#3 2019-04-18 16:48:27

futurebird
Member
Registered: 2019-02-20
Posts: 1,197

Re: The Anna Karenina Principle

I think fragility makes great point. What is more disturbing is that towns with lots of food, or with all the needed things in place to produce food fail so often. Most Eve camps should fail. That's realistic.


---
omnem cibum costis
tantum baca, non facies opus

Offline

#4 2019-04-18 16:49:33

InSpace
Member
Registered: 2018-03-02
Posts: 385

Re: The Anna Karenina Principle

Most important steps he missed:

- Be organized
- Make infrastructure, roads, structures, storage area

Offline

#5 2019-04-18 19:59:21

pein
Member
Registered: 2018-03-31
Posts: 2,772

Offline

#6 2019-04-18 22:47:43

Glassius
Member
Registered: 2018-04-22
Posts: 287

Re: The Anna Karenina Principle

futurebird wrote:

Most Eve camps should fail. That's realistic.

I just want to put here some points.

1. The concept is, we are rebuilding the civilzation. So, game chars are modern human, usually without survival skills, dropped naked in wilderness. Than hard eveing is OK.
2. In most modern wilderness people cannot live. The best land is turned into farms, some lands not capable to farming is left for modern hunter gatherers. But all the rest of wilderness is inahbitable. So, if you managed trough modern survival camp, you woild do even better dropped in the wilderness our ancestors lived.
3. But a real hunter-gathering in rich environment is easy. Too easy actually. Overhunting is eventually leading to weakening of tribe and raid from others, most reasonable groups. This is why modern hunter-gatherers work only 2 hours a day, this is why humand as spiece is very lazy. We were well prepared to not outharvest regrowing resources.

So, from the gameplay perspective it is good eveing is hard. But I won't call it very realistic.

Offline

#7 2019-04-18 23:34:46

futurebird
Member
Registered: 2019-02-20
Posts: 1,197

Re: The Anna Karenina Principle

If you can convince your kids to be nomads and keep on the move you won't die. Wild food is abundant. Maybe stop and cook some bunnies and make some clothing but no more than that. Thing is most kids balk at this suggestion and /die and really having done it a few times it's amusing and easy and fun for roleplay, but limited. So, really the early game is fine in both ways. Getting a town started is hard, roaming is easy, but boring and unfamiliar to most players. Even the early town stages are nice, up to the point that you make a coal pump the progression is quite good.

But, around the pump stage you get what I've been calling fragile towns. They don't seem fragile but they are. I don't know if /die is the bigger issue or if it's just that people view the game as a food-getting challenge (and clothing to a degree) and once they have food they just sort of stop?

I think the temp update helped by making building matter a little more, but it's not quite there yet? (Tarr has pointed out some of the reasons why buildings are not as powerful as they should be yet.)

I do meet players in towns who want to learn things beyond food, but teaching has always gotten interrupted by some other town crisis. So, I'm showing my son how to make a stanchion kit and get iron from a vein, but I can't go with him because there is no water and no one else knows how to run the pump.  Or I've almost taught my daughter how to smelt, but I have to take over and not let her do it at her own pace (bad bad bad teaching) because there are no hoes and it's a damn emergency.


---
omnem cibum costis
tantum baca, non facies opus

Offline

#8 2019-04-19 00:06:49

BlueDiamondAvatar
Member
Registered: 2018-11-19
Posts: 260

Re: The Anna Karenina Principle

futurebird wrote:

If you can convince your kids to be nomads and keep on the move you won't die. Wild food is abundant. Maybe stop and cook some bunnies and make some clothing but no more than that. Thing is most kids balk at this suggestion and /die and really having done it a few times it's amusing and easy and fun for roleplay, but limited. So, really the early game is fine in both ways. Getting a town started is hard, roaming is easy, but boring and unfamiliar to most players. Even the early town stages are nice, up to the point that you make a coal pump the progression is quite good.

But, around the pump stage you get what I've been calling fragile towns. They don't seem fragile but they are. I don't know if /die is the bigger issue or if it's just that people view the game as a food-getting challenge (and clothing to a degree) and once they have food they just sort of stop?

I think the temp update helped by making building matter a little more, but it's not quite there yet? (Tarr has pointed out some of the reasons why buildings are not as powerful as they should be yet.)

I do meet players in towns who want to learn things beyond food, but teaching has always gotten interrupted by some other town crisis. So, I'm showing my son how to make a stanchion kit and get iron from a vein, but I can't go with him because there is no water and no one else knows how to run the pump.  Or I've almost taught my daughter how to smelt, but I have to take over and not let her do it at her own pace (bad bad bad teaching) because there are no hoes and it's a damn emergency.

Again, love your description of the fragile town, futurebird.

Jason has mentioned before that the average player time on this game is about sixteen hours.  Maybe the pump stage is the crafting skill level most people get up to in that sixteen hours?  After that, there just aren't enough people around to teach the advanced skills while also meeting the town's needs.  So you get this crises-interrupting-teaching cycle.

Enough players are baffled by what to do next, and bored by the same old tasks, that they become either disruptive (greifing) or go into a complete sponge mode (RPing) or they just quit the game, and go "learn" something else entirely.

One of the benefits of a good content update is that it gets some of the people who just like learning new crafts to come back for a few days.  Even if they don't teach others, having someone with advanced skills to make that emergency hoe while you continue teaching your daughter, will hopefully build up the overall player skill base.   Of course, this opportunity only helps if there are already plenty of forges and materials available.

It's also kind of a problem that the key tasks don't need to be done continuously.  If someone has had a good run of baking, we can afford a break for twenty minutes, but not for forty minutes.  In the meantime, the people who knew how the system was working have died off, the wheat farm has changed locations, the shepherd has focused on making wool and isn't prepared to kill off more sheep, etc. 

It seems like obvious massive surpluses are bad for "institutional knowledge" of how to produce that key material.


--Blue Diamond

Once you have the tools to make one cart, you can make one for every adult in your village.  The limiting factor is how much milkweed you have for rope.  Make more carts!

Offline

#9 2019-04-19 05:44:28

pein
Member
Registered: 2018-03-31
Posts: 2,772

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB