a2b is an abstract computer game where you guide trains to their destination without letting them collide with each other.
The tracks are generated algorithmically - in initial levels they are few and simple but "grow" and become more complex at higher levels.
The trains are launched at regular intervals. When you despatch a train, the next train is launched a little sooner and if you fail, the next train departs a little later than usual. This subtle rule-set results in the game adapting to your playing style and ability without patronising or being too difficult.
There is no "game over" condition. Despatch a 100 trains and the level is complete. The tracks then grow to produce the next level and the game continues. You can aim for high score (despatch trains asap), efficiency (fewer collisions), both or neither.
a2b was inspired by my continous desire to use the computer as an "infinity explorer" ie a tool with which I could attempt to fathom infinity in a concept I choose. In a2b, the number of levels possible is virtually infinite - only limited by the bit-width of the computer its running on. The coloring of the tracks was inspired by the abstract map of the London Underground. The colors on the tracks are chosen algorithmically too, mostly complementary colors, excluding green because it is the color of the selected train. The train launch control described above also yeilds infinite possibilities because each of us play the game a bit differently.
The project took almost 2 years from research to depoloyment. It may take a bit getting used to for new players. Dont forget to read instructions if you do try!
Please read this disclaimer before downloading
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project homepage: http://www.poojyum.com/a2b/
category: generative art/algorithmic image
uploaded by poojyum, 17 Sep 2004