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Support for simulation, automated testing and adaptation of idle game logics

goeddekgoeddek Posts: 29Member ✭✭
edited February 2018 in Developer's Lounge

Based on articles about idle game creation like (i am not allowed to post links, you can google the title and i do the links as soon as i am allowed to):
  • Numbers Getting Bigger: The Design and Math of Incremental Games
  • The Math of Idle Games and following articles
I started to write a simulation engine for idle game logics, so that you can jump forward and backward in time and test / simulate different player behaviors and their progress through time and evaluate whether the logic is playable or not and of cause ultimately to adapt the values to improve the logic. At the moment the player behaviors are hard coded into the source code but i am building a script interface to script the behavior. Also the program is console based and reads its logic from a simple text file. The next three steps i am planning are:
  1. Improve the logic input
  2. Visualize the game and simulation history
  3. Make the logic human testable
By browsing through the net i found IGM and had an idea. Instead of reprogramming what is essentially a really poor version of IGM I could instead build converter to:
  • Read the game logic from an IGM game file
  • Use my tool to test and simulate the game logic for different player behavior to evaluate and adapt the game logic values
  • Output the adjusted logic back into the game file for human / automated testing via browser
That is basically my idea. My Question is whether there is interest in using such a simulation tool. Because it would require quite a bit of work to build these converters etc. If there is enough interest i would like to build these tool for you to use. Of cause there are many open questions and i would start to plan it in more detail if there is enough interest. Of cause would this project be open source.

A little bit about me:

I am a 29 year old professional software developer with more than 7 years experience in software design (mainly c++, c#, sql) and more than 15 years experience in programming. I am mainly interested in numerical simulation, intelligent systems and online algorithms. My love for browser games started in the early internet days with some of the first browser games and my love for idle games started a few years back with clicker heroes.

I hope the presented idea is of interest to you, feel free to ask any questions :-)
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. (George Bernard Shaw)
Post edited by goeddek on


  • Frank_3everestFrank_3everest Posts: 1,519Member ✭✭✭
    The very idea of this is really awesome, and it will help a lot of devs. Support!
    You can't make a joke with my own language and expect me to get it. I'm not that smart!-@Dasbloody
    "I took things to fart"-@KhantStopButtnugget
    Pantaloons are pretty much man skirts. Even though they aren't. -@MiningcookiesVIII
    Congratules! Your reward is this paper cup. -@DoomlordKravoka

    Dragon cave profile up in here-
  • goeddekgoeddek Posts: 29Member ✭✭
    Somehow i deleted my last entry... oO

    Again. So I started to design a prototype web application to demonstrate how the simulation engine can be used to balance idle game logics. Since web application are not my natural habitat it slowed me down a bit. Because I have not yet installed a server i cant give you a link yet. But here are a few first impressions:

    The main idea is to extract a scenario from the IGM file. A scenario consists of:

    - Resources
    - Generators (Buildings)
    - Multiplier (Upgrades)
    - Prestiege
    - Global options (like ticks per sec - simulation resolution)

    This scenario will than run via simulation engine. A value based decision algorithm (this one shall be free scriptable later - one can dream^^) will choose which generator and upgrades will be bought. With that data you get a good idea how balanced your game is. The simulation gives a lot of informations like

    - How long is a player forced too idle
    - Are the generators sufficiently balanced so that there is enough variation
    - etc.

    At the moment I develop a prototype on the basis of "Bunny Clicker" to show how a idle game simulation can benefit the balance of the game. As soon as is installed a new server i will give you access to the test application. The source code will also be available soon. I just have to do some evil things like documentation and clean up etc.

    I hope to get some creative support from you in the meantime especially in this 2 points:

    1) I need a real name for the application idle simulation explorer is just bad. It should be non offensive and easy to abbreviate.

    2) Its time to dream / wish / require features you want / need / have to have. Just post what you want from a simulator and how do you think it should work. I am in the design phase at the moment, so now i am open for suggestions. As soon as the work on the real app starts it will be every day more difficult to think what features would be useful.

    At last here the feature list at the moment:

    1) Import an IGM file / start a new scenario from scratch
    2) Test your designed scenario against predefined player logics (like idler, active player, optimal player etc) and evaluate how balanced your game logic really is
    3) adapt your game logic and simulate again
    4) compare different configurations of the same scenario to get it balanced
    5) export the Scenario back into an IGM file

    Of course is this list noz complete and much too rough. But thats the plan so far. And as always feel free to ask, comment, complain about anything :-)
    Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. (George Bernard Shaw)
  • gneratororgneratoror Posts: 145Member ✭✭
    It looks like it could be something great and help a lot of people
    "First off, you should read my name again." -Uiomanca[n]t
    I am no way profesional
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