[sugar] Ideas about SimCity gui, turtle graphics, and cellular automata

Andrew Clunis orospakr
Wed Mar 14 15:19:31 EDT 2007

Hash: SHA1

Hey Don!

Don Hopkins wrote:
> SimCity in Python will be totally programmable in Python, so what should
> we program it to do?  And how can we refactor it into general purpose,
> reusable components?

Will SimCity itself be implemented in Python, or will there just be some
kind of scripting interface to SimCity?

btw, Develop (or pieces of it) might provide the code editing
functionality.  In fact, Develop (possibly not until gen2) might also
provide a visual code editor (flow chart-ish, or similar)

> Here is an outline (at the end of this message) of some ideas I've had
> about simplifying the SimCity user interface and making it more fun and
> educational. It should be easy and fun for little kids to use, work well
> in book mode with the game controller, support the mouse but not require
> it, and enable collaboration over the network with other players.
> Instead of (or in addition to) using the mouse to paint with a palette
> of editing tools like Photoshop, the interface could be based on agents
> like logo turtles that represent the user on the map, which carry around
> SimCity editing tools that they can draw with. When you throw in a
> visual programming language, it leads the way to a Robot-Odyssey-esque
> version of SimCity!

That is pretty cool!  However, it might be desirable to leave in classic
SimCity mouse-based editing as an option, in case someone wants to build
a large map by hand with the mouse.
> This is one reason I want to have a nice plug-in visual programming
> language!
> Just for fun, and for the enjoyment of cellular automata freaks and von
> Neumann fans, here is a nerd toy I wrote in OpenLaszlo (a von Neumann 29
> State CA editor and simulator), with a cellular automata grid editing
> tool that you can move around over the grid and edit the map like an
> agent or logo turtle, using the keyboard or mouse. It's a half-baked
> experimental user interface, so I'm not claiming that it isn't bizarre
> or doesn't suck, but it does demonstrate some ideas that might be
> applied to the SimCity user interface.

My understanding of cellular automata does not go much beyond the Game
of Life (I played with Microsoft's implementation as a kid).  That all
sounds very cool, though!

- --
Andrew Clunis

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