Nerdolo - new theory team member, self-proclaimed anti idea-girl

Hi everyone!
My name is Aleksandra (short - Ola) Draszewska, I’m 23 years old Master Degree Cognitive Science student from Poznań Poland, part time big-data analitic. I dream about moving to Berlin. I have ADHD so I’m either very hyper, info-dumpy and helpful, or tired/busy and inactive. If you catch me - use all my time and attention, please!

I’d say I’m antithesis of an idea-person. I am an idea person who has very wide scientific/IT background, I can help to verify and implement ideas you already have, and I know what ideas of mine can be implemented with resources available.

I speak C1 english, C2 for IT/science, I either have my own big knowledge base or can summarise/translate from english and polish into “understandable” almost any scientific paper: intelligence (including artificial intelligence), linguistics and cognitive science in general, formal logic, mathematics, algorithmics, data analysis and statistics, biology (including some medical fields), evolution, paleontology, simulations (including AI, machine learning, brain functions, thinking and reasoning), neural anatomy and anything related to brain, conscioussness, thinking, reasoning and perception.

Currently working as part time data analitic/statistician/researcher in medical field, I work on big (1-9BG of pure rumbers) data of DNA and gene expression, esp.related to immune system and auto-immunological diseases. I use all the tools available for current problem (manual statistics, python, R, statistical tools) I have a cheap laptop which only strength is 32GB of RAM, so I’m extremely good with optimising processor and memory use.

My IT competences are:
beginner/mid: C++, python, R, machine learning, AI
Professional: data analysis, statistics, simulations, resource menagement

I also can help with concept art and icon/merch design, including crotcheting proof-of-concept plushies (feel free to order customs for low prices lol)

What I would want back from you?
Throw topics and ideas at me, everyhing related to anything I wrote about. I want to learn C# on mid/junior level and make a master (or even further!) degree using my work here on Thrive. I’d like to become lead designer for stuff related to simulating a nervous systems - from single neurons and perception, brains and thinkining, to the evolution of conscioussness, language and culture.

What I like: meeting new people, food, science, video games, books, video essays (I got into team and game because of one!), writing essays and scientific papers, true AI, interesting IT/programming problems

What I dislike: the current state of discussion around AI. Call Chat GPT anything more than machine learning linguistic tool and you’re up for a rant of your life.

telegram: @OloDraszewska (if you’re from Poznań/Berlin and would like to meet me)
discord: @nerdolo (anything, only team members)
mail: (write here if you want to hire me/get help with scientific papers)
uni mail: (write here if you want to read my thesis or something i co-authored)
I’ll add researchgate here in the future probably lol.


Welcome to the team, Nerdolo!

I’ll gladly meet your request to throw topics at you! As Thrive is such a huge and multifaceted project there are always a thousand things which would be great to do/think about, but it’s always a matter of setting priorities and approaching things more or less in the order of their planned implementation.
Combining this first descending list of priorities with your descending list of personal focal points, I’ll try to give you a list of things which might interest you and which are being discussed in some manner atm (hopefully to the satisfaction of the priorities of the team).

Given your background in cognitive science, and your main competences in, among others, simulation, I’m thinking that the auto-eco system might be one thing which could be particularly up your alley. @Thim has recently posted a fascinating video about an auto-evo algorithm he has been developing as a possible alternative to our current one:
Main story short, our current auto-eco system is based solely on how well which microbe can obtain which food. Thims prototype is asking the broader question of how well which microbe is adapted to which niche. Atm both algorithms don’t really account for how much a microbe is being predated upon, which should be the other big question asked of them next to “how well can it get which food”.
Now atm Thims prototype (if I understand correctly) has somewhat predefined niches. An important question for the future which Thim and others have discussed on Discord is how a niche is determined and how new niches can emerge from existing niches. I’m sure this discussion could benefit from your perspective!

Another important issue which isn’t really being actively discussed atm but which I reckon needs to be investigated sooner rather than later is how the microbes AI works and how it can utilize new organelles as they are added. If I remember correctly there are some organelles (definitely the binding agent, possibly the chemoreceptor and others?) which the AI doesn’t know how to use at all. Others (like the toxins) are used by the AI but not with an adequate proficiency (see this issue for example: AI shoots toxin too early (while still turning) · Issue #3938 · Revolutionary-Games/Thrive · GitHub). Right now the AI consists of five value sliders like aggression vs docilness, curiosity vs carefulness etc). Is this system enough to account for all the organelles which we have implemented and are planning to implement? If no, what do we do about it without overloading the roadmap (a general AI rework for the microbe stage isn’t planned atm).

You mentioned on Discord that you’re exited about the interactions between microbes and geology, so the planet generation system as well as the dynamic environmental compounds could interest you. While this is also one of my main interests, it’s a bit further down the line I’d say.

If I missed any discussions/plans where a theorist with your main interests/skills is needed which are more urgent/immediate, other devs can surely correct me!

edit: I just realized that Buckly specifically stated that auto-evo and microbe AI are some things he’d like to work on for the next release, so this might actually be an opportune moment to contribute to these topics:)

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Welcome to the team. We already had the chance to talk quite a lot on Discord, so I’ll just reply to a few parts of your post with some specific info I think should be on the forums.

Simulating more complex species thinking is definitely in the grand plan for Thrive. So there is a lot of potential in these topics for Thrive.

This is definitely an important topic. However due to performance concerns with having to simulate life a lot in auto-evo modelling cognitive behaviour might not fit. Though, I won’t say for certain before anyone tries this and does a proof-of-concept regarding the performance.

This is definitely an excellent topic, and one we already discussed on Discord that could fit a mind simulation model (if it takes us too long to reach the stage where macroscopic creatures need an AI).

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I was thinking less about modeling the cognitive behaviour of the species involved in auto-evo and more about the possibility of creating a more flexible “”“cognitive”“” model for auto-evo itself. Like determining which kind of niches there are and which create fits which niche best etc.
But maybe that’s the way you understood it anyways:)

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Yeah, I definitely didn’t understand it like that. I maybe see what your point was now, and it didn’t even cross my mind that such an application area could exist.

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As I’m not a programmer I’m maybe mixing up some areas of focus which don’t overlap as much as I thought they would. In general I guess that portion of my suggestions was more more tailored towards

than towards the cognitive modeling part.

Generally speaking - I could be your scientific consultant on simulations, my current job is part-time big-data scientist
But then I couldn’t be able to do anything for every team member, that would be a full-time job. “Thrive” from my point of view isn’t a video game, it’s evolution simulator. I’d be able to redesign/balance the whole game, I think, at minimal theory/programming loss and getting scientific interest from my co-workers, because they would contribute out of curiosity of their fields.

Can thrive complex animal behavious in a week?
Yeah, if we focused on one thing.

Welcome to the team!

Given your capabilities at in data management, I will say that Thrive is at its core meant to be a video game. We oftentimes have reduced complex topics and systems into simplistic yet more intuitive and manageable mechanics, especially for the Microbe Stage (a lot of recent gameplay discussion on these forums is predicated on this). This isn’t meant to say that there is no room for complexity, it’s just saying that your help would be really valuable in figuring out ways to demonstrate data to players in a simple way.

If you are interested in simulations underlying the core microbe experience, maybe check out some discussions regarding dynamic compound movement/generation. Maxonovien did a lot of work there in the past.

Glad to have your expertise here!

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Hey, I just want to clarify:
As a theory team member offer you my already existing SCIENTIFIC skills for free as a consultant, and I don’t need any more experience in science - and I won’t read threads on knowledge/ideas/tech I already have familirized myself with during my 4 years of academic studies. Doing biological research for IT projects is my paid by hour job and I can’t do that for free on every complexity level your game possesses

My skills that I offer you for free include senior level knowledge of data science as a whole - maths, theory, python (including machine learning libraries), R, tools, statistics and optimisation. I cannot contribute by reading all your ideas, because I don’t learn anything new then. What I want is for you to use me as theory expert in any of my fields, but in return need typical IT experience - so someone teaching me a C#, editing a code for me to test my algorythmic ideas, project management, game design skills etc…

It absolutely isn’t mandated that you read through everything on these forums, but if you wish to contribute to ideas or discussions regarding gameplay design it can be helpful to read posts on these forums as you please. For example, right now environmental tolerances are getting a lot of gameplay design energy right now. It takes a lot to create agreement on a lot of concepts so it can be helpful to understand where the discussions are currently.

And just to clarify, discussions on these forums aren’t really of a scholarly context, they’re more focused on discussions regarding the gameplay, programming, and graphics of Thrive. You definitely don’t need background knowledge besides that of which you have to engage with Thrive.

You can definitely ask questions from other people, but it might be hard to, say, have an idea prototyped or have a tutor available all the time. We’re a small organization of basically volunteer work, so it’s hard to predict when people are available. Nevertheless, don’t be afraid to reach out to any of us if you have any curiosities! Though I don’t have a heavy technical background in game design, you can reach out to me (and Buckly if he is available) whenever if you have questions about the gameplay loop/visions.

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I also want to touch on the same points as @Deus brought up.

As Thrive is a very long running project, there are a ton of game designs for various parts that have been discussed a lot and some ideas have been basically fully formed. Ignoring all the history and opinions of (some still active) members is not going to be viewed very favourably. Even I make sure I’m not trying to force all of my ideas through and bulldoze over any other ideas I didn’t come up with or fully agree with. Thrive is a collaborative project based on volunteer participation by people who are passionate enough to see the grand vision of Thrive come to life.

I understand that new team members cannot be required to read all historical discussions, but that’s where current team members come in with suggestions on very specific discussions to read regarding areas important to that new team member. This is because not knowing what has been talked about and the direction the team wants to take Thrive will make the chance of making a change that no one else wants much higher. That’s a bad situation to be in as the new person will be frustrated that their idea, or even worse done work, is not accepted and the existing team will be annoyed with an accepted design they partook in creating being thrown in the trash.

So to be a useful Thrive team member a new person should ask around people working on features or ideas close to the area of Thrive they want to work on. And then based on that they should read at least the most important discussions to know roughly how those things are wanted to be added to Thrive. This also helps avoid the situation where each new person requires someone explain the same concepts to them again and again (as we get quite many new people who end up leaving relatively soon after joining) instead of that new person taking the initiative to read the relevant discussions.

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I can take initiative as either game dev, programmer or theorist, offering quite some of my time, including full time.

I’m currently moving to Germany during next month/year and I can negotiate mid/senior positions for Google there, Poland is just very poor and expensive. I could probably seek out refugee status in any European country and get one.

For me what’s important is my CV. As theorist - you can’t give me anything, so you can’t afford my time. As game dev/designer if people doing code actually listened to me, as I said, I believe in a year I could move you out of microbe stage and I believe that’s worth much for the project.

Expecting me to do useful work for free when my current wage is 400 euro monthly is just stealing my time and money. If you value your job - value mine.