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Brainstorming

This page contains a list of goals, features, and other things I am thinking of doing for MyKaryotes v1.5 "Archean". This will definitely change over time as development proceeds.

(Last updated 4/15/2012.)

Main goals

  • Archean will be licensed under the GNU GPLv3 and become true FOSS.
  • This release will also have an emphasis on cross-platform compatibility. Specifically, MyKaryotes should run on Ubuntu (and possibly other Linux distros), Windows, and Mac OSX.
    • There will be no Android/iOS version since it would likely give your phone/tablet a heart attack. :)
  • Archean will focus mostly on being a port of Abiogenesis, with additional features and improvements coming second (hence why it will be version 1.5 and not v2.0). This is because I want to ensure everything works properly on the new platform first and to maintain some level of backwards compatibility with the older release. Archaen's successor will be the one which will get a complete revamp of how everything works.

Planned changes

  • Archean will be based on Pygame.
  • The Options screen will be moved into an overlay on top of the main game window's arena.
    • The Options button, similarly, will be replaced with a smaller button with a cog icon and located in the upper-right button bar. The placement in Abiogenesis was simply for the transition effect.
  • The title screen and arenas will likely all become different "modes" of the same screen, seamlessly transitioning from one to the other. Pygame does not appear to have Game Maker's "rooms" mechanism, and I have no desire to re-implement it.
  • Nicer-looking popup messages.
  • Nicer-looking right-click menu.
  • Half the vertical size of the top panel.
    • The logo above the top-left button bar is redundant with the titlebar caption, so there's no issue with removing it completely. It could be relocated to an About popup, though.
    • The text indicating selected species could be moved to the bottom panel in the center, in place of the old Options button.
    • The appearance of the end buttons will be no different than the other buttons, since a rounded corner would just look weird against the window titlebar.
    • Button tooltips in the top panel will need to be repositioned, whether to the side of the hovered button towards the center of the window, or just staying in the center of the window between the two button bars. Depends on how tightly-packed the end result will be.
  • A new font will be used for the logo and the interface.
    • The font the game uses will be whatever the standard Pygame font is for now, until I can find or make something else.
  • The cell sprites received another update, thanks to my practice with Inkscape.

Possible changes

  • The graphics should be largely the same as Abiogenesis', but may get some updating.
    • Lessen / remove the grid-like look the current walls have and make wall clusters seem more uniform (i.e. one big blob versus lots of little blocks).
  • Allow the user to load their own sprites/backgrounds/sounds.
    • Of course, this could be easily done if the user knows which directory the game stores these in and swaps them out manually, but it'd be nice if the mechanism provided a friendlier way to do it.
  • Add support for new genes/gene arguments.
    • Add an explicit "eat" gene?
    • Add some sort of gene allowing multiple following genes to be executed simultaneously?
  • Photons may be eliminated in favor of equations calculating energy gains.
  • Add an option to allow terrain to change by itself over time (by erosion, natural disasters, etc.).
  • Don't stop the simulation while showing information about a MyKaryote.
  • Get rid of the annoying "Would you like your settings saved?" dialog window which shows up every time the user quits the game. Have the settings automatically save themselves anyway as they're set, and if the user truly messes anything up then put a "Restore default settings" button on the main screen.
  • Add some sort of graph showing the species populations present and how they changed over time.
  • Add an evolutionary tree graph for organisms (thanks to Raviews for the suggestion on Abiogenesis' YoYo Games page).
  • Allow the user to give different sections of walls different colors.
  • Drop changing transparencies of membranes/cytoplasm to save drawing time? (May need a slight HUD modification to show health/energy in a new way then.)