Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
What happens when we add interactions and some feedback? We could run the
simulation for all of our available actors simultaneously, and we could make
the jobs and cash change according to what the actors were doing. As soon as
the current actions of the actors change the data upon which the same actors base
their future decisions, we have created feedback. When the current actions of the
actors influence the future decisions of other actors, we have created interactions.
What would that give us? Let us look at some examples.
The money that criminals steal ought to come from somewhere. If the money
gained by each successful criminal action came from the cash on hand of others,
it would slow down or even stop the steady Eddys of our world from ever making
it to retirement as a financier. Successful rock stars, lotto winners, and criminals
who have moved on to become financiers might have to leave their comfortable
life of retirement if large amounts of their cash are stolen all at once. The richest
financiers can tolerate a certain steady level of theft if the criminal Carls of the
world have their successes spread out over time, but if some criminals got lucky
at the same time, it would take the retirees below the minimum level needed to
play the market. This still seems predictable.
If the job market itself was influenced by the actions of actors, we could expect
waves and trends of activity that would be completely unpredictable. Using
simple supply and demand, jobs where the supply of workers is less than the
demand for work to be done will see rising wages as employers compete for
workers. Jobs with an oversupply of workers will see wages drop. We already
know from Chapter 5 that many of our workers are sensitive to the relative wages
of the different jobs. The number of various jobs could shrink and grow, and the
values used to define every job could change with every tick of the simulation. For
example, entertainment jobs such as stunt show and rock star might be more
sensitive to the average level of cash on hand in the population than day job or
financier; a well-off population has discretionary money available for enter-
tainment, and a struggling population does not. The simulation might get stuck
if the interactions are heavily dampened, or it might become unstable if positive
feedback loops are not balanced by negative influences. The basic architecture
has each actor acting on four outside and one inside influences; with some
feedback it is reasonable to predict that we could get emergent behavior from the
system . We expect the job market part of the simulation to exhibit emergent
behaviors driven by the actors. As written for Chapter 5, the actors are heavily
optimized for specific behaviors. Some of the actors and some of the jobs are
''close'' in terms of how easy it is to get an actor to give up his or her expected job
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