Here are some talks about Modelica: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mvEUuc-sWE&t=153 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39F___xyI0k
Here is a complete course if you want to dig in:
And if you're wondering "Will it emscripten and run in the browser?", the answer is yes, of course: http://tshort.github.io/mdpad/mdpad.html?Modelica.Electrical...
Context: I'm researching a new book on ordinary differential equations through various real-world simulations, so like an ODEs theory book, but actually applying the concepts to real world systems. Get in touch by email if you're interested in seeing advanced preview of some of the projects that will be developed this summer. Contact info in profile.
Ivan - Since I regularly recommend your maths and physics books (and use and do research with Modelica)- very very interested in this. Good luck and please let us know when it can be pre-ordered.
Ah no, I'm very far from the "book draft" phase — I'm more at the "Hello world" stage ;) I've been scoping out the hands-on projects first (e.g. simulate electric motor, heater, AC unit, heatpump, etc). I think adding the ODE theory will be the easy part, so I'm focussing first on the real-world projects/applications, which might be interesting to release as standalone blog posts to make the company blog look alive https://minireference.com/blog/ ;)
If you are looking for a direct open source causal modeling alternative to Simulink, then SciCos (www.scicos.org) is worth a look. I would recommed playing with both Open Modelica and SciCos to see which is the best fit for you.
> I came up and said, “How about, these concepts, principles, and their relation?” and they say, “Oh, John, you screwed up, look at – this is wrong.” And I say, “Okay. Help me understand what to do about that.” They did, and they taught me. And all I was doing was field work. I was asking questions and listening carefully. And I’d say, “What about this?” I’d look at a photograph of their oil refinery, and I’d say, “What’s this big pile of sulfur doing here?” “Oh, well you weren’t paying attention to the chemistry, John.”
Of course Maxis and its biz-sim division were relatively new, and the value of games and digital simulation much different than today, but I can't imagine that kind of corporate project today being agreed to for anything less than $300K (in 2020 dollars)
You're right, a similar project these days would probably going into the millions. You'd have all kinds of project managers and 'scrum leaders' and QA and who knows what else. And people probably billed out at $60/hr back then rather than $300.
Smaller teams, simpler products, it was a different time.
The easiest way to play it seems to be this website  but some Linux distributions actually have packages for it.
Cost of making misstakes in games is low you can play again experiment and learn new behaviors with lower cost.
Cow Clicker + Fart Simulator
Combined you're just converting methane into CO2 and H2O as if you burnt it? Is it actually the case that this ends up needing less hydrocarbons than other routes for some reason?
I think typical plants steam reform natural gas to CO and H2 and use that to reduce iron ore below the melting temperature of iron. Which makes it energy efficient.
 I think == don't quote me
More generally, Systems Dynamics folks call these kinds of simulation "management flight simulators". The underlying simulation approach is distinct from agent-base modelling but still useful for constructing mental models.
Including SimCity and Cities Skylines. See:
"...through a survey of gameplay features and online discussions, I argue that CBGs present a biased urban imaginary whose underlying rules and assumptions often run contrary to contemporary best practices in urban planning and policy. Working within these constraints however, players wield considerable power to sculpt their own unique urban visions, which come to embody the ideologies of both player and developer."
In particular around automobile-centricity:
"The illusion that additional capacity solves all transit ills is compounded by the fact that no CBG to date has accurately portrayed the resultant demand for parking spaces. In C: S, vehicles may park parallel along streets and in surface parking lots adjacent to buildings. These surface parking lots are unrealistically small, however, with 10+ story buildings often having no more than a half-dozen (and often no) parking spaces. While it isn’t uncommon for dense urban environments to feature subsurface parking garages, it takes a substantial leap of faith to assume that every building in the game is equipped in this way. So what if a CBG dared to adopt a more realistic parking model? Steve Librande, a lead designer on SimCity 2013, is said to have remarked, “so much of the screen would be dedicated to asphalt that it’d be too boring to play”"
I mean, it's also not uncommon to have surface parking garages. You can have 15 times the parking in the same land area that way, and that's what people do even in very thinly populated cities. Or suburban malls. It's not a choice between "all of the parking is underground" and "all of the parking is on the ground".
Parking is just taken for granted as plentiful and invisible, which is why SimCity and C:S let you make a city that looks like NYC or Barcelona, but functions under the hood like San Jose.
This is problematic because non-car tranportation modes have enough trouble competing in the real world where these costs _are_ paid. How much harder is it in a fantasy where they aren't?
I'm still baffled this hasn't been re-issued in a modern form or at least copied by someone else or inspiring another game.
Would love to make my trichordates sentient again!
Of course (see above comments about modern project bloat) the art team for a modern version would probably exceed the count of everyone involved in the original, there'd probably be 3-5x as many developers even if the gameplay and physics and such weren't more complicated, and so on. The credits roll would take up more disk space than the original game did.
It is very hard! As it should be?
This reminded me of the book "Business Engineering with Object Technology" by David A Taylor. In one chapter he goes about identifying "objects" in a manufacturing business and goes down to the level of modeling employees and the machines that they'd be using on the production line. I've never found the need to model things that granular, but it's definitely an interesting concept of "reifying" _everything_.
[Keith Schlesinger] criticized the "not well developed" victory conditions, reporting that he got a high score in one game by "sacrific[ing] nearly all of the big and small business firms in the country to achieve the win! What kind of a victory is that?" Schlesinger found that adopting an extreme libertarian ideology including ending Medicare and many other government services resulted in almost hands-off victory although "the entire private insurance industry goes bankrupt in the first three months.
Factorio and Minecraft both let you take direct control over every buildable thing, but city sims make you just lay down simplified infrastructure and...wait.
At least that's how it is for me. Especially in a game like Cities:Skylines where getting more stuff to do is gated behind population counts, which you can only increase by sitting around.
I bet if I played these games for an hour at a time this sensation would not occur.
In the first simulation, I take a look at single/dual shopper households and explore how choice affects viral spread on a societal level, and then on am individual household level.
You can check them out at https://coronavirus.simrnd.com/shopping_solo/
One of the hardest challenges is "How do we choose realistic parameters for how the virus spreads? Infection duration? Mortality?"
But if we can incorporate the latest research and Monte Carlo simulate with ranges for the above parameters and find policies that are robust against those parameters, I think it would be an enormously powerful policy tool. Additionally, I think it could bring transparency into the decision process, something the public lacks.
If you want to contribute to the effort I started, the simulation code is open source at https://github.com/jinpan/covid-simulations. The engine is in Rust, which is then compiled to wasm.
There is (or was, I suppose) a vibrant and diverse community of SC4 modders. Really cool stuff to be found there.
I mean, just look into the level of detail he puts into his writeup on the pathfinding algos . SC4 is a whole region simulator with multi-city economics in play. Runs in Linux on Wine. Best damned $20 I ever spent.
It's fairly early on, but it's a multiplayer SimCity like game. One of the express goals is to simulate individual people/families on up to markets and such. I think the project's ideals will resonate with you; the developer wanted a game where people could cooperate to manage a complex system, and learn about system dynamics through play, which is (I presume) the role SimCity played in their life.
Demo video: https://youtu.be/rJpTulYwAZc
It's architecture is also pretty interesting. tl;dr they use an actor architecture to seamless transitions between single and multiplayer.
Its like part of my brain lives in an alternate universe where some entire field of dynamic programming has flourished that we don't (or categorically couldn't) have here.
When I think of the fan spinning in Skylines I am transported to a memory of staring at an empty chunk of ground, watching the trees blow in the wind, and wondering if they really needed to be calculating this just right now.
There are tricks you can do with animation cycles where if all cycles are relatively prime, then the pattern only repeats every few minutes, hours, centuries. It's part of why we have 13 and 17 year cicadas. They align on a frequency of over 2 centuries, and they have near misses (appearing in successive years) around every 50 years (with a conspicuous 118 year respite in the middle that has me wondering about how public policy and cicadas work...)
You didn't explain how this observation fit into the rest of your comment, but if you're saying that putting two things on simple cycles is good enough to look acyclic to players, I don't think that's true. If you have an oak tree and a fir tree next to each other, animated in 13 second and 17 second cycles, and it takes four full minutes for the oak+fir system to repeat itself... people will still notice that the oak tree is on a 13 second cycle, and the fir tree is on a 17-second cycle. There's no rule that says you can only consider things in the context of everything else that might happen to be nearby.
Because, dunno about SimCity, but Theme Hospital, RCT and TTD prepared me for running a business about as much as Q3 prepared me for commanding a SWAT team. And modern ‘business simulators’ that I see around look like shovelware variations on those three.
Either no one wants to out their trade secret sauce; or there really isn't anyone that knows how.
Now I bet you could maybe stealth it by pitching a business "failure" simulator. Even then Though you may run into the same issues.
I'd also play the hell out of it. No MBA, but I absolutely love unintuitive optimization problems, and playing with hypotheticals.
I just have the feeling that if we knew enough to convincingly gamify it, it may not necessarily be a game worth playing when you could be doing the real thing instead.
I'm laughing at the mental image of contests wherein people bring their pet company in for evaluation for entry into a business program or something.
For a real life vs simulation example: there isn't much practical use in knowing how to be successful in building the first rail lines for instance - they have been there for centuries now the conditions aren't the same at all.
It was called "Executive Suite" by the amusingly named "Armonk Corporation" :)
"Executive Suite is a text-based business social simulation game" ... "The game is a prototypically self-aware humor-driven (yet with serious aspects)"
EDIT: It appears you can play it directly from Archive.org. Click the link and press the power button.
EDIT2: I forgot how funny it was:
As a new engineer, you are subject to the whims of
unorganized project managers.
A last minute assignment conflicts with a special
seminar MMC has enrolled you in.
Your project manager, Harriet Nance, tells you to
handle the situation.
What do you do?
1 - Delay the work
2 - Skip the seminar
3 - Take the work to the seminar
Press the number of your choice and press the Enter Key:
My other favourite time waster on the Amiga was Theme Park - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_Park_(video_game)
>This was even the main takeaway for some people. [...] SimCity 2000 [...]
Nooo! I didn't like the disasters in SC2000. If your city becomes too bad a delegation of citizens gently escorts you from your mayor's office (game over). Also, getting disasters under control takes work and there is no progress in the city during disasters.
If there is a fire, I had to place firefighters around the fire. Sometimes it made sense to take the bulldozer and remove structures, which would have been fuel for the fire. I hope people didn't miss their houses :^). After I had successfully learned how to always get the different disasters under control, I disabled them in a menu.
BTW I wish a Windows emulator with SimCity2000 for Windows would be sold. Right now only the DOS version is sold.
He lead the Spore project shortly after the EA buyout didn't he? I wouldn't be surprised if that gave him some burnout.
Are there any business sims that offer graphical models? (Don't those seem more fun -- and thus more effective -- for employees to play and learn?)
Oxygen Not Included is my simulation game of choice atm. It really punishes you if you don’t realize how quickly you’ll deplete some finite resource.
OPenBooK went on to develop Yoot Tower ("The Tower II" in Japan), a sequel to the original game, in 1998.
Looking at their Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivarium_Inc.), seems Seaman and Seaman 2 were also theirs - interesting.
Why does the IRS care how one organizes their company?
This is not the anecdote I'm familiar with. My understanding was that Will (or someone else) noticed that people were having a little too much fun farting around in a content creation tool they had written in-house and they decided to make it into a game of its own.
Your inspiration for the love song you just wrote is the special someone you have your eye on. The lyrics are informed by every other case of New Relationship Energy you have ever had, with bits borrowed from friends, books, and movies.
Was Will really studying urban planning for giggles, put 2 and 2 together and got 5? Or was he working on a hunch about a city planning game and what he found cemented his hunch?