Universe tuning

I've been prototyping some stuff for the ambient cellular automata game, and it never ceases to amaze me how much like alchemy messing with cellular automata is. Too much CREATE_THRESHOLD and everything explodes in brilliant white. Too much DESTROY_THRESHOLD and it all disappears.

It reminds me a lot of the precarious nature of our own universe, where the various phyiscal constants would prevent us from existing at all if they were only a little bit different. After messing around for a while, I got the above parameters to make something fairly lifelike and aesthetically appealing. It certainly wasn't easy, though!

From a game design perspective, I think a big challenge is going to be minimising the amount of arbitrary fiddling while still allowing for a lot of flexibility in changing the automata behaviour and eventual results. I can now fairly reliably explain why gods are so capricious in all our mythology: they're irritated that they spent so long tuning physical constants and the universe still doesn't work like they want.

Also, if you're the cellular automata I just made and you're sentient and coming to this page for answers, I'm really sorry.