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This is a Time Waster
July 13, 2011 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Got some free time? Looking for something mildly amusing? Predator and Prey Arrows. Click and move the mouse. Enjoy!
posted by rodmandirect (24 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
What is happening?
posted by reductiondesign at 11:47 AM on July 13, 2011


If you fill up the whole screen with predators AND prey it's like a zombie arrow apocaplypse. Multi-colored blood everywhere!
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:49 AM on July 13, 2011


I had to stop because I felt bad for the prey arrows. I thought if I created enough of them, they would mob and attack the predator, but the didn't happen.
posted by nooneyouknow at 12:04 PM on July 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah. It's one of those games where I'm somehow supposed to psychically divine what I'm supposed to do, and what the point is.

I am not good at those games.
posted by Decani at 12:04 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The color preyarrows have to run far, then the black predators will die from exhaustion.
posted by jjj606 at 12:06 PM on July 13, 2011


Ah. It's one of those games where I'm somehow supposed to psychically divine what I'm supposed to do, and what the point is.

I am not good at those games.


Not to speak for the creator, but it's not really a game as much as a diversion, and there is no point. You just run the little arrows around until you feel like stopping. There's no way to be good or bad at it.
posted by Copronymus at 12:08 PM on July 13, 2011


I don't think it's a game, it's just a simulation that leaves an interesting pattern of splotches where the predators (black arrows) intercept and kill the prey arrows (colored).

So even though I know it's just some coupled differential equations with an external driving function determined by my mouse, my brain turned it into "help the pretty colored arrows survive by guiding them away from the black arrows for long enough that the black arrows starve".
posted by benito.strauss at 12:10 PM on July 13, 2011


Not to speak for the creator, but it's not really a game as much as a diversion, and there is no point.

Ah. I usually use Metafilter for that sort of thing.
posted by Decani at 12:11 PM on July 13, 2011


Tea Party Nightmare Simulator.
posted by fullerine at 12:12 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


On submit:

But Copronymus, I was good at it. I saved all the pretty arrows! Look, there they are, happily flying around in another tab.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:13 PM on July 13, 2011


It's not a game, it's a simulation. The black arrows chase the colored arrows, which try to evade them using swarming algorithms. The colored arrows follow your mouse pointer, so you're like the shepherd leading them away from the prey. I'd prefer if there was a 'survival mode' where they just try to maximize the distance between themselves and the black arrows at all times, but hey. If you move your mouse outside the browser window the colored arrows will swirl around on their own, but without any kind of strategy to evade the black arrows.

If you can evade the black arrows long enough, they shrink, slow down, fade away and die of starvation. If you have a large herd of colored arrows, this will be difficult since the black arrows will usually be able to pick off a couple of outliers. The background is colored by the blood of the multicolored arrows, which will live forever in the absence of predatory black ones.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:15 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It'd be more fun if the black arrows would start spontaneously using some interesting strategies. You can create waves at different intervals so at least their motions are offset from each other, but eventually they'll all settle down into the same pattern and you can just lead them around in circles.
posted by gurple at 12:17 PM on July 13, 2011


There's no way to be good or bad at it.

Oh yes there is. Add one or two other elements (a timer, better AI, needs for the colored arrows to 'eat' or such), and this would be an awesome game on a console...perhaps particularly suitable for the Kinect.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:18 PM on July 13, 2011


Yeah but what does it all mean????????
posted by ian1977 at 12:18 PM on July 13, 2011


Oh yes there is. Add one or two other elements (a timer, better AI, needs for the colored arrows to 'eat' or such), and this would be an awesome game on a console...perhaps particularly suitable for the Kinect.

You're presuming that the goal is to protect the herd of prey arrows. Trying to feed a giant herd of predator arrows or even painting a picture on the background are equally valid ways to approach it.
posted by Copronymus at 12:21 PM on July 13, 2011


I am not presuming any such thing. But if you choose to set a goal, preserving the colored arrows from a decent number of predators is the most challenging goal you can set, and one that requires a degree of skill to do over a long period. As I said above, it's not a game now, but a simulation. If you choose to make a game of it, then there is indeed a way to be good at it.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:30 PM on July 13, 2011


I thought it was a lot of flocking fun. I'm easily amused, and easily distrac
posted by Elmore at 12:33 PM on July 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


The color preyarrows have to run far, then the black predators will die from exhaustion.

I just heard that in Werner Herzog's voice.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:58 PM on July 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


oh this is nice. it combines my two main interests, abstract watercolor and ravenous slaughter.
posted by Lou Stuells at 1:18 PM on July 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you choose to make a game of it, then there is indeed a way to be good at it.

Fair enough. I'd still say there's no way to be good or bad at the simulation as presented, though. It's completely non-directed and goalless.
posted by Copronymus at 2:16 PM on July 13, 2011


I think you'll find that painting something with their blood is the hardest game.
posted by garlic at 4:18 PM on July 13, 2011


Oh, great, nothing like the feeling of leading rainbow hordes to their doom with every moment of my inactivity.
posted by redsparkler at 6:11 PM on July 13, 2011


there were so many predators. seems unecological, the predators should starve much faster
posted by eustatic at 8:32 PM on July 13, 2011


I don't know if this was the point, but this made me very uncomfortable. If you don't keep moving the mouse around, the prey arrows get splatted.
posted by DU at 5:30 AM on July 14, 2011


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