Good God? Find Out In Simpians

By Craig Pearson on September 5th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

Phew! All clothed.
There are science peeps out there attempting to discover if our universe is just a simulation. We could be part of a more advanced civilisation’s free-to-play Sims knock-off and we might not even know it. Don’t guffaw at the notion. When you consider how many games we have that attempt to simulate things, the frightening potential becomes all too real. Look at Simpians, an upcoming game of mind-boggling scope: “a persistent browser-based hunter-gatherer multigenerational evolutionary simulation fantasy strategy game with the objective to survive, adapt, discover, and evolve.” You can look at the world’s first MMOPBBHGMESFSG* below.

How is all that a game? You’re the tribe’s match-maker, meddling with their genetic destiny like the god of dating, and hoping that your choices improves their strength, agility, and intelligence. You’ll decide their roles, and help them survive in the procedurally generated world. It’s multigenerational, so you’ll see how your decisions play out over time. Your choices will affect the moving speed, gathering rate, even field of vision of the subjects. Neat.

It’ll be free and paid-for, with the cost being directly related to your cloud computing usage. That probably means it’ll be cheaper if you lead your people off a cliff.

Via this Reddit post. Or was it? Be vigilant, fellow drones.

*John thought that up, but I am riding the glory for all its worth.

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  1. Gravy100 says:

    Interesting, sounds like crusader kings online, the character art has me creeped out though…

  2. Contrafibularity says:

    Surely this should instead be qualified as MMOCSSS*?

    *Massively multiplayer online Cupid sexual selection simulator

    PS. I consider the ancestor simulation hypothesis to be as absurd as religion, if it truly can’t be falsified. I respect that may be the case and that scientists are nevertheless trying to (dis)prove it, but the underlying fundamental logic of “there must be more simulations of the universe than there are universes therefore it is statistically improbably that we are real” to be a finely absurd example of logical positivism. But I’m not a physicist so I may very well be wrong, stupid and dumb (but I don’t let that get in the way of me discussing cutting edge physics, blame pop science for that).

    • Spoon Of Doom says:

      Interestingly enough, on a quantum level, there are a couple of things like some particles passing through solid walls, which sounds like a typical physics engine bug, or particles that behave differently depending on whether they are being watched, which happens in some engines as well (entities not in view or further away use cheaper algorithms instead of normal movements to save processing power).

      I don’t think that “we are all just a simulation” hypothesis is true, but I find it somewhat amusing that nature does sometimes act in a way vaguely similar to a game engine. But yes, it’s not much better than the whole bearded man in the sky stories out there.
      Which makes me think, when will Assassin’s Creed finally incorporate this all into their insane conspiracy backstory?

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        DeVadder says:

        There is more than that!
        If you wanted to simulate an entire universe, youd have to simplify the universes rules for that. The simulated universe needs to have less possible states than the simulating one.
        And behold, there are limitations in our universe that appear like such simplifications.
        There is an arbitrary maximum velocity. A smallest distance. A smallest amount of energy.

        Not to mention that it would be completely unnecessary to fully simulate all the universe. Youd just have to simulate reasonable incoming rays towards earth.

      • KirbyEvan says:

        “particles that behave differently depending on whether they are being watched”


        The Heisenburg uncertainty principle is not a miracle of perception based physics that everyone thinks it is, it just simply states you cannot know a particle’s exact position and momentum simultaneously. It’s laughable that a sizable population has turned this into some weird pseudo-scientific spirituality of some sort.

        Besides, anything can be an observer, something’s existence doesn’t depend on a rare organic being to stare at it for it to exist.

        • Asdfreak says:

          I don’t think he specificaly means Heisenberg, there are actually experiments that have a diffrent outcome if a human or something else observes them.

          Easy Example: Double Slit Experiment. The interferrence pattern shows us that the photons behave like a wave, but if you observe exactly which slit the photon passes through, it behaves like a particle. Of course a human eye can’t observe a singel photon, so if you do the plain experiment, it only shows the interference

          But you are right, it is actually just a misconception, since the “waves” are just the propability of finding that photon in that place. It does not depend on having an observer, it is just perceived differently whether you look at a single photon or at the overall picture.
          I don’t think it’s sad, it is really hard to understand for a lot of people, and it’s technically not really incorrect what they are thinking.

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          xao says:

          You’re the only one talking about the HUP. I’m pretty sure everyone else is referring to the observer effect, which is a real thing in both particle and quantum physics.

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          xao says:

          In a more useful response than my previous bit of snark, take the problem of electron observation. We can detect electrons via their interactions with photons. These interactions change the behavior of the electron.

          The observer effect gets really weird in quantum physics because of course it does. It’s an integral part of wave function collapse, which I won’t bother trying to explain for the very simple reason that I don’t really understand it! Then there’s the quantum Zeno effect…

        • Spoon Of Doom says:

          Oh man, the internet is serious business.

          Thanks, Asdfreak and xao, that was what I was actually referring to. Especially the double slit experiment was on my mind.
          I’ve heard about the HUP, but I’m neither turning it or anything else into some sprititual fairytale shit (real science is far more interesting anyway), nor did I even mention it, because I don’t know how to fit this into my “the world is a game engine” post. And I certainly did not say that anything ceases to exist if no human stares at it. No need to get on the “everyone’s so stupid” horse.

          I made a vaguely humourus comment saying that some vastly simplified physical processes look somewhat like typical engine behaviour or glitches. I wasn’t aware I had to write a full disclaimer about what specific experiments or phenomenons I’m talking about, that I’m simplifying and that this is not meant to be taken as accurate scientific fact or be taken too seriously for a ten line internet comment.

      • The Random One says:

        Under the Not This Crap Again Internet Act of 1986, I am forced by law to post a link to a relevant SMBC comic. There you go.

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    Screwie says:

    I like how there are purple-skinned ant-people in the mix, just to keep the evolution simulator extra interesting. :)

  4. tehsorrow says:

    Good to see none of them have evolved away from the shame of being naked

    Edit: Just saw the alt text haha, guess I’m not the only one that occurred to

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    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    As any fule kno, the so-called “real world” is nothing more than a massively complex simulation run by a precocious computer science student who spent six months implementing the Algorithm That Ate Calcutta in Dwarf Fortress with intricate banks of pistons, gears, switches, and valves in a hollowed-out mountain surrounded by undead elk, running on a Pentium III in Finland.

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      Harlander says:

      The real world is a simulation, inside the real world a simulation is running, this simulation is the real world.

      It’s simulations all the way down, and up, and they’re all the same one.

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      DrScuttles says:

      And like any complex simulation cobbled together by time-short (if well-intentioned) coders, the real world is full of horrifying bugs and glitches. Things like Dyatlov Pass, Schrödinger’s cat, the Kentucky Meat Shower, the cancellation of Firefly and Uri Gellar.

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        Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        Schrödinger’s cat is because DF pumps have trouble with high precision floating point calculations. The cancellation of Firefly was due to a really unfortunate dead kitten induced tantrum spiral. The Kentucky Meat Shower is, according to Toady, a feature, not a bug.

      • hjd_uk says:

        Also, that Dyatlov Pass story sounds eerily like business as usual in Dwarf Fortress.

      • The Random One says:

        Dyatlov Pass was just hypothermia. Which of course is just holdover code from a temporary fix to the old bug where humans could not tell that they were on fire.

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      quietone says:

      Say, was that Mayan patch due in 2012 finally released?

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        Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        The Mayan Apocalypse feature has been deferred while coding time is devoted to more accurate simulation of the micro-ecologies of bee digestive flora and fauna.

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    Harlander says:

    Sounds a bit like a god-game to Faery Tale Online‘s RPG

  7. sinister agent says:

    This does sound novel! I think I’d have fun toying with this, breeding the most outlandishly useless tribe possible without ever quite letting them get wiped out by their environment. A lot like running an HR department.

    • Asdfreak says:

      Would be fun to find out how much incest you can do before the fate of Darwins family gets you.
      (That being that they thought, if they just breeded inside their family and two others who joined them, they could create genuius superhumans in just a few gererations, dying out after about 2 two 4 rather shortlived generations)

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        LTK says:

        I don’t know where you got that, but Darwin still has living descendants. One of them is in the documentary The Beagle, where they re-tread Darwin’s voyages.

  8. squareking says:

    Evolution! Civilization! Spreadsheets!

  9. RevEng says:

    This sounds awesome! Although I can see why some people are a bit weirded out by the characters. But honestly people? It’s an early alpha. Graphics can be fixed later. The gameplay has serious promise — I’ve seen very few games try to use evolution as a core mechanic, and most did it merely by letting you spend points and select new traits. The idea of actually cross-breeding to find optimal characters is very interesting. Looking forward to it!