Hi there! Welcome to the SimLife README.TXT file. This file includes additions to the manual as well as hints, a small Q&A portion, a few "cheats" to help you out, and much much more! I. UNDOCUMENTED KEYBOARD COMMANDS Shift-W opens the World Building Options Window Shift-R opens the Run Control Window Shift-P opens the Populate Window Shift-Z resets the digital clock to zero Shift-B opens the Build World Window (asking if you wish to save the game first) Holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on the left or right species scroll buttons on the dashboard will scroll the species by a page instead of scrolling by a single species. Alt-clicking on left/right species scroll buttons will move highlight one species. Holding down the Shift key while opening a graph window will not close any other graph windows open at the time. (Normally, SimLife only allows the user to have one graph window open at any time.) Pressing any of the HOME, END, PAGEUP, or PAGEDOWN keys twice will scroll the screen left, right, up, or down respectively. Pressing either key a 3rd time will stop the scrolling. Holding down the Alt key while selecting Reconverge Species in the Simulation/Technical menu will reconverge only plant species. Holding down the Ctrl key while selecting Reconverge Species in the Simulation/Technical menu will reconverge only animal species. II. SYSTEM-RELATED INFORMATION -> Video Cards SimLife will do its best to figure out what kind of video card you have and install itself appropriately, but there are some cards it just won't understand. If you install SimLife in 800x600 mode and your screen comes up a mess of graphics, or just plain blank, try running the installation program from the SimLife directory and changing the video mode to 640x480. Note that if the installer is unable to detect whether your video card will run in hi-res, it will not give you the option of installing for 800x600. -> Transferring Files Between Macintosh and PC SimLife Saved Worlds, Zoos, Plants, and Animals from the Macintosh version of SimLife are compatible with the PC version of SimLife and vice versa. When taking Macintosh files to the PC, you must transfer the files via modem. Copying the files to an MS-DOS disk with any of the popular programs that allow the Macintosh to read MS-DOS disks will not work--not even with Apple File Exchange (bummer). -> Cordless Mice We have experienced a problem with some Logitech Cordless mice displaying erratic cursor behavior when doing certain things in the Edit Window. THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM WITH YOUR MOUSE! This is a problem with the way SimLife handles the data it is receiving from the mouse. At this time, we have no fix for this. If you do have a problem, call Maxis Technical Support and as soon as a patch becomes available to us, we will make it available to you. -> Sounds SimLife supports PC Speaker (as best we could), Adlib, Covox, Soundblaster, Soundblaster Pro (and 100& compatibles), and the Roland MPU-401 interface (that means the MT-32, LAPC-1, SCC-1, and other Roland MIDI devices). If you should be lucky enough to have a Soundblaster AND Roland installed in the same machine, you should be able to hear MIDI information through the Roland and digitized sounds through the Soundblaster. Note that in the interests of your sanity, SimLife will install with all sounds turned off if you are installing for the PC Speaker. Sounds can easily be turned on in the Goodies submenu of the Simulation Menu inside SimLife. -> Fast Machines, Small Hard Disks, and Huge Games Saved game files can get VERY large. In the process of testing, we have generated saved games over 11 megabytes in size. Needless to say, it can take quite some time to save and load this much information. Plan ahead. Get some coffee. Remind your family that you're still around. Huge games also can take forever to process. Unless you are running a very fast machine, we recommend that you do not run Medium or Large worlds at all. We have witnessed situations where it can take between 15 and 30 minutes PER TICK (this is even on 486/33mhz machines). If you wish to make changes to your world when it is working this hard, click on the Pause button (you may not see it do anything until the next tick comes around). Once it is paused all of the menus and options will be available to you without delay. If it is taking too long, go to Change Physics and reduce your plant limit or animal limit to gain speed. Also, the simulation pauses at midnight to update information. Be prepared for this to take a little while if you are heavily taxing the system. Don't be fooled into thinking that the program crashed. -> SimLife and Microsoft Windows Don't run SimLife from within Microsoft Windows. There are too many memory conflicts. -> Boot Disks If for some reason, you just can't get SimLife to work on your machine, try making a Boot Disk. It's possible that your system is automatically loading a program that is incompatible with SimLife. By making a Boot Disk, you bypass your regular AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS that might normally load other programs. To make a boot disk: Step 1. Place a blank disk in the A: drive and FORMAT it with the DOS command by typing FORMAT A: /S. This will format the disk and copy your system files onto it all in one step, making it bootable. Step 2. Copy your mouse driver, usually called MOUSE.COM or MOUSE.SYS, to the boot disk. This driver is usually located in a directory called \MOUSE. Step 3. Create an AUTOEXEC.BAT file on your boot disk to load the mouse and boot SimLife. 1) Type A:[ENTER] 2) Type COPY CON AUTOEXEC.BAT[ENTER] 3) Type PROMPT $P$G 4) Type MOUSE[ENTER] (if you are using MOUSE.COM) 5) Type C:[ENTER] 6) Type CD \SIMLIFE[ENTER] 7) Type SIMLIFE[ENTER] 8) Press the F6 key, then [ENTER]. If SimLife is not in C:\SIMLIFE, change lines 5 and 6 to the correct drive and directory. If you are using a MOUSE.SYS file instead of MOUSE.COM, remove line 4 and add the MOUSE.SYS line in your CONFIG.SYS. Step 4. Create a CONFIG.SYS file on your boot disk similar to the way you create the AUTOEXEC.BAT. 1) Type A:[ENTER] 2) Type COPY CON CONFIG.SYS[ENTER] 3) Type BUFFERS=20[ENTER] 4) Type FILES=20[ENTER] 5) Type DEVICE=MOUSE.SYS[ENTER] (use this if you are using a MOUSE.SYS file) 6) Press the F6 key and then the [ENTER] key. Step 5. Reboot your machine with your new SimLife boot disk in drive A:. When you finish playing, remove the disk from the drive and reboot from the hard disk to return to your normal setup. III. SCENARIO INFORMATION -> Building a New World While Playing a Scenario Building a new world while playing a scenario will not exit or restart the scenario. The only scenario this has any real bearing on is the March Of The Mutants, where the simulator will re-populate the world on a yearly basis. To quit a scenario completely, you can either start a New Game, Load a Saved Game, or Quit SimLife entirely. -> A Little Terminology Confusion In most of the program and manual, SimLife organisms are called Organisms. Sometimes in scenarios, the word Orgot is used as an overall name for Artificial Life Organisms. And then again, there is an individual animal species in SimLife that is called Orgot. Just letting you know that you have the right to be confused. Sorry. -> Orgot Names in March Of The Mutants In order to make tracking the progression of your mutants easier, the names assigned to newly created mutant orgots contain useful information. The first letter of the species name will be either a "P" for plant species or an "A" for animal species. The numbers following are the initial creation date of the creature followed by its position on the Dashboard (separated by a period). Thus, the orgot "A123.4" is an animal created in the 123rd year of the simulation that occupied slot number 4 on the Dashboard when it was created. IV. INCLUDED FILES Along with the game files, there are also a couple of directories full of delight. One is the Orgot directory, filled with various plants, animals and zoos (collections of plants or animals). Make sure you keep a good backup of these on a floppy disk, since everyone has a tendency to modify the plants and animals on the hard disk and then want the old ones back. We've also included a directory of saved games that show how you can use the SimLife simulation to simulate stuff other than life. Each of these saved games has a small description in the GAMES.TXT file. V. A LITTLE Q&A This section is by no means complete, but it should help. We thought we'd try to stick in a few of the questions that we had a hard time with. Q. Why do my orgots sometimes seem to get stuck in one spot? A. Orgots have genes that limit their movement across the terrain. The most common problem is that an orgot will get stuck on a mountain or in a valley and if it does not have its climb gene set, will be unable to escape (even to follow the carrot). Q. Why don't my orgots follow trails like bloodhounds? A. Orgots will break away from a trail if they get thirsty or hungry for another animal. Try using the Variables Window on the orgot that you think should be following a trail and see how its food and water levels affect its trail following. Keep in mind that trails are dependent on an animal's Stealth gene. The lower an animal's Stealth is, the more likely it is to break branches, leave footprints, or leave a scent when moving about. Try changing an animal's stealth and observe the trail it leaves in the map window. A less stealthy animal's trail will be a solid line, while a more stealthy animal will leave a broken trail. On the pursuer's side, Vision and Persistence are the most important genetic factors, as well as the animal's Attract gene. The higher an animal's Vision is, the more likely it is to see a trail and be able to follow it. The more persistent it is, the less likely it will be to lose the trail or give up on it. Q. Why doesn't my plant sprout when I increase its age or size in the Show Variables window? A. Plant sprouting is not a function of its age or size. A seed can stay in the ground for years before conditions are good enough for sprouting to take place. It is the season, temperature, and moisture that cause sprouting. If a seed gets too old without sprouting, it will die. VI. CHEATS SimLife has many "cheat" commands that can be used to modify or improve the experience. Where caps are requested, you will need to hold the Caps Lock key rather than the Shift key to avoid bringing up some of the other keyboard shortcuts. -> Typing WEIS turns the raise/lower Altitude tool (on the Edit Window Control Panel) into a raise/lower Soil Depth tool that allows you to change the soil depth in the same manner as you would change the altitude, rainfall, or temperature. -> Typing WALL will turn the Barrier tool into a Wall tool and all barriers into walls. Flying animals may fly over barriers, but not over walls. -> Typing WIPE will erase all statistics, trails, history information, and such. This can be very helpful when making changes in a situation where you don't want the old data mixed with the new. Think of it as the History Eraser Button.
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