Re: [nbos] [AS3] Saving Fractal Terrain maps
"Cam Kirmser"
Sun Nov 4th, 2012
> Animosity? I've repeatedly said that I *like* AS, I've talked about
> things that I think are bugs, or mistakes, or could be improved, and the
> answers I've got include accusing me of belittling the betatesters,
> that I think the program is bad, or dismissing my points with the
> that I think I'm always right (that's straight from a handbook on
> tricks, BTW). Some of these comments seemed to me to be borderline ad
> hominem, to say the least.

My apologies then.

> There's also been the attempts to "educate" me about human history or
> planetary physics, obviating the fact that what I've been saying all along
> just "the random distribution of population in AS3 shows an unexpected
> profile given the habitability specs of AS3 itself".

And, yes, it does - or, seems to. When I see them, I figure it's some
setting in AS that I haven't understood properly.

But, as far as a game is concerned, such anomalies can be explained away by
the referee.

I've been refereeing Traveller since it came out in 1977. Lots of strange
things happen when following the rules with no adjudication. For example,
using the rules, one could generate a character with Vacc Suit skills on a
planet with 1940s technology. So many things of this nature happened, I was
prepared to trash Traveller as something totally incongruous. But, I took a
deep breath and became more creative on my part using the charts more as
guides, rather than rules, with the understanding that some weird things may
crop up that I either had to explain away, alter, or throw out and do it

The same is true for AS. It will require some supervision on the part of the
person running it. It will give some odd results that will need
adjudication; just the nature of random generators.

Personally, I'd like AS to generate systems only without populations and let
me decide where inhabitants are - and, could be there's a setting somewhere
to allow that; I just haven't noticed it. That's why I downloaded a sizeable
star catalog (something like 120 thousand stars), wrote a formula in Excel
to convert RA and Dec to galactic coordinates, did some guesswork on stars
that just didn't have enough data or used terminology that I wasn't, at the
time, familiar with and imported the data set into AS.

> If you were to buy a
> program to generate random texts in English and you found that the
> generated texts had long strings of "hum ho hum", more than could be
> expected by random chance, wouldn't you think that the program works in
> unexpected ways?

Unexpected, perhaps. But, how much did I pay for the generator? I have Word
generators that I wrote derived from Alien Word generator tables that I
found in supplements to Traveller; I found data to create a similar
generator for English, but the methodology really can't handle all English
phonemes, so I'll have to sacrifice reality for playability when I gin up
the English Word generator. Sometimes, unreasonable words may be generated
and I discard them, running the generator again. Same thing probably applies
to AS; some reality must be sacrificed in the interest of playability and

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