Friday, 13 August 2010

Escaped Experiments

I made a funny experiment.

STEP 1 - find the cross-section of all strategy games, the core features that are present in every strategy up to date

Each strategy has:
- economic model (base building included)
- military model
- world topology model

Each player has resources that he has to manage:
- time
- space / distance
- people
- money
- elements in chains from raw materials to products
- information
- tools among the 3 models above, that allow him to trade one resource for another at a cost.

STEP 2 - simplify all of those features untill any further detail removed will make some of the interactions between features impossible

STEP 3 - iterate untill you get fast minimalistic strategy - the game events equivalent of 1 week session of any 4X title compressed in 20 minutes.

STEP 4 - allow the experiment to escape in the wild jungle of the internet:

Core Values

Themes I am interested in and want to see modeled in the core rules of mine and others’ games


Strive to be cooperative

Dishonesty, Manipulation, Betrayal
Threats, Unprovoked Violence and Murder

Public Medias are often subjective, biased and so - lying
Politicians are more likely to be loyal to the financiers of their multi-billion campaigns, rather that their voters, fuck expensive campaigns
Badmouthing people, anti-advertising

Power and Control, restricting others, taking their freedom for yourself WITHOUT their will
Blind Obedience
Egoism, “I am better than others”, down-talking somebody
Fear of the different is not always justified
Examples of how the above combines – anti-feminism and racism, communism, feudalism, religious power, fascism, slavery

Monopoly – competition is made impossible
Any form of monopoly is evil
Patents, as long as they promote monopoly, are evil

Justice is a human concept, it is absent in the inanimate world. It is still valuable, though often not objective enough (police is NOT on your side)

We live by double standards – one rule of me and another for the rest
Treat other the way you'd like to be treated

Bravery and Sacrifice
Martyrdom is usually not cost-effective
Extreme materialism is usually not cost-effective

Fakeness everywhere - pleasing and impressing others, surrounding the self with weaklings because of the superiority feeling

Information is a valuable resource, it has its cost, but should be as available as possible - no censorship or secrecy or lies

Evil Language:
- words that conceal what things really are
- words that make things seem more important that they really are
Example: “shellshock” turned into “post-traumatic stress disorder”, “yoke” instead of “slavery”
Conclusion: fuck political correctness, it is a form of lie

Inanimate world doesn’t care about pain and humanity

Arts matter


Strive to be objective

People believe in what is more beneficial for them, in what they like most (god, reincarnation, immortality), rather that in what has the greatest chances of being true.

All men are equal – bullshit, they aren’t. Some people (intelligent, moral, initiative) are clearly more valuable that others. And some people deserve to die (rapists, torture psychopaths, child murderers, etc)

Weak must be protected – wrong, if they have nothing that makes them valuable to society, they mustn’t. Stephen Hawking is a cripple who proved to be more valuable that most of us.

In economics advertising is more important that the quality of the product. It makes bad products sell and good – don’t. We need better information model

Stereotypes are often wrong / restrictive. Find and try to solve the reason for the stereotype

Repetitive tasks make you stop thinking

Escapism - anything that makes your human brain shut down and your animal brain boot up, self degrading, evil

Escapism and harmful funs (even if harm is in waste of precious time):
Fast Junk Food, eating too much sugar
Bulgarian chalga and other brainless music (house techno?)
Comedy movies without actual value or meaning, but only about the fun (sex and fart jokes)
Neverending series of Emilio or Esmeralda or Naruto or another 500+ series show
Fake rewards in games
Sadism and Masochism
Comfort of the herd even if the herd is wrong (any fanaticism)

Cooperation and Competition are 2 valuable phenomenons. Killing either creates tons of problems

Surface Appearance (even the most beautiful girl) is of little value

First impression is rarely accurate

Think in perspective

Bureaucracy is rarely optimal

Everything can be explained with stupidity:
Last breath visible in the cold is considered “the escaping soul”
A dream about the recently deceased is considered “a visit”.

Society depends on diversity of talents, NOT on a single ability. We should learn and do different things, standardizing people kills us

Good guys sometimes lose
Sometimes you will inevitably lose, no best or desired solution but still you have to do what minimizes damage
You are not special. You CAN be, but chances are, you are not yet

Natural human selection is often valuable
Artificial human selection is often not (reason – biased, not objective)

Deluding, lying yourself, be aware of how your brain actually lies to you:
Generally your thoughts conflict with objective reality. And you determine how happy you are relative to other people around you.

Middle man in economics – necessity, not optimal unless minimized

A rule is NEVER binary - black and white. It is balance on a grayscale.
Rules are always conflicting and have different weights
Best action is a function of current and ever-changing circumstances.
This applies to everything in this list, too
Consequence - any moral / value system that does not take circumstances into account, is insufficient.

Generally people cannot distinguish between truly important stuff and pure waste of time/energy/resource

Actual results of my actions can differ from initial intention. In life it is never only about “what I want to happen” but also “how to make it happen”.

Sciences matter


Strive to learn, self-improvement, make progress and achieve goals

Laziness, apathy, passiveness, nihilism is death

Share thoughts/ideas and ask questions

Your actions have consequences that are your responsibility

Time is precious

Moaning and complaining solves nothing
Blaming and regret is a waste of time, study the mistakes and eliminate the personal faults that caused them (if possible) or watch for them (if not possible)

Any type of success requires hard work, skills and serious risk

Perfectionism is usually not cost-efficient
Nothing is perfect (humans and laws included)
Nothing lasts
Nothing is completely finished

Aggression is a last resort tool, but still a tool better than apathy

Suicide means you give up – weakling

Maximize personal production/output VS consumption ratio

Life Cycle: learn and self improve, then use that to achieve goals, then rest / recharge, then repeat
If any of those 3 processes takes dominance or disappears, you are doing something wrong
Payoff of time/energy invested is low at bad estimation

If I’m initiator if a social interaction, I should start on working the trust (assurance game)

Born from the ashes

Here is a link to my first serious and meaningful attempt at coding a game:

Be gentle, she is still a baby :)

First Blood


My name is Nikola Shekerev. I have dedicated my life to playing, thinking about and making meaningful games. I got a degree in CS, currently studying psychology and arts (amateur at home) and interested in high-level game AI.

I have a tendency to analize, compress, classify information about games and the world in general (why these things are not so different - in another post) and record it all for personal convenience and use.

Why write a blog? People tend to disagree on subjective interpretations of objective reality so I need:
- agreed system of terms for remote reference
- tools to determine what is right and wrong in a game

In case you read this blog, please note that article order is important, this being the first post and the rest arranged chronologically

Conslusions are mine or derived from other people's studues. If I failed to provide an adequate reference, feel free to point me in the right direction. Credit goes where credit is due.

Here are some places you may find me as well: