About the Author

simulatoraliveI'm Richard Owen Lewis, the creator of Islands of War, better known as Simulatoralive.

There isn't much more to tell, because this is the internet, folks! You're not getting any more personal information than that.

Oh, fine! I like to program in Java (but more recently, Bash scripts) and I love role-playing games, especially GURPS. (You could have figured that out on your own by Googling me and/or my projects)

I'm also a science fiction writer, but more recently I've started to prefer fantasy.

My avatar (the picture of a bowl of soup) is a reference to primordial soup and refers to the project described in the next section.

Simulator Alive!

My choice of user name (simulatoralive) is rather unusual, but it's actually a reference to the name of a project I worked on in college. I would have used PrimordialSoup, but this is almost always taken no matter where I go.

The intent of my project was to produce a simulated space-like environment with digital life. Eventually, I would have added the ability to move around in the environment using a hi-jacked body rigged to respond to user input. I got as far as implementing a primitive simulation of the physics of spheres without rotation.

The life forms would have been collections of physical bodies with a genetic code, a processor for a simple brain and a protein-like glue layer to connect the two.

Component Purpose Notes
Body Carries everything else Shape determined by genetic code
Requires certain physical resources to maintain, based on body parts
Genetic Code Provides specific form of everything else
Provides initial contents of processor RAM
Codes for body parts
Codes for proteins
Subject to various sources of mutation
Proteins Connects body to processor
Provides the functions of the high 128 processor instructions
Not sure how I was going to implement this
Processor Brain Simplistic Turing-complete instruction set
64K of RAM, with initial contents determined by Genetic Code
256 total instructions, each coded by a single byte, possibly with an instruction pointer of two bytes (calls, jumps, loads, etc.)
The first 128 instructions would be the basic stuff required for any processor
The last 128 instructions would call out to Proteins for their functions
There would have to be a few meta instructions to reorganize the body; these would be expensive, having very high resource costs
The processor stack would probably have a separate memory space

Currently, this little project is abandoned. I enjoy thinking about it, but it will likely never exist. I just keep getting hung up on the physics part. This is the toughest, unfortunately. The rest would be relatively easy to implement and quite fun to work on. Though building the first few functional life-forms would be quite a challenge. I could probably manage plants and then let the simulation mutate the rest into existence.

I should look into a good Java library for physics, instead of building it myself. Unfortunately, none of the ones I've looked at are even remotely easy to use. It's all a bunch of over-complex bits, when all I really need is a bunch of spheres floating in space that are capable of colliding (the bit I could never get right), being acted on by forces like gravity, electromagnetism, etc. Other shapes would be nice, but aren't strictly necessary.

If anyone knows of such a Java library, E-Mail me at simulatoralive at yahoo dot com.

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