Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Flocks by L Wennerstrom, D. Johnson.
©1992-93 Berkeley Systems Inc.
Part of the More After Dark collection.
I have always loved this module. This was released back when the idea of AI on your home computer was still new. It felt like the module was actually doing something other than placing random images or animations on the screen. The idea that these object on the screen were following some sort of behavior pattern and "thinking" about where to move was fascinating to me.
Looking back, the model being used, isn't the most intelligent and many of the choices do not behave like their real life counterparts. And I always wished there were behavior options like being able to change the sensitivity areas or the randomness of movement changes. But this can all be forgiven. This saver brought randomness to new heights. Not only was every running of the module slightly different, where creatures moved was controlled by the creatures themselves.
Oh and yeah, sure, those are "polliwogs". Yeah, right.
This module attempts to simulate the flocking of birds, or the schooling of fish, or other "group movement" behaviors. It's based on an algorithm developed by Craig Reynolds and outlined in his paper "Flocks, Herds, and Schools: A Distributed Behavioral Model" in the SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Proceedings, 1987.
Concept and original Mac version by Dave Johnson.
Windows version by:
SAPIEN Technologies, Inc.
Works under Windows XP & Vista in greater than 256 colors.