A while ago, I posted an idea for a game about self-modifying/programming stuff, but it was very abstract and convoluted; but I am beginning to have something more solid, so I want to start over ... with FROGS on a grid:

Some frogs sit with their mouths open, awaiting instruction. Other frogs hop around, pushing around other things around on the grid. One frog pushes things (bugs?) corresponding to instructions like "move up" or "move left", etc. into another frogs mouth. Then the frog is fed something which causes it to wake up and animate, at which point it does exactly as it has been programmed to do -- which may cause it to feed other frogs. When it is done, it DIES (and perhaps becomes something else edible).

Several unawakened frogs are fed to another frog, which will do their combined actions when it awakes. This frog is then pushed into a copy machine a few times so as to be usable as a subroutine for more frogs.

.... Ok, so perhaps the Frog idea is not the best, since (1) instructions are eaten and then gone, and (2) ... frogs are not cannibalistic. Perhaps something other than frogs, and perhaps something that involves remembering (rather than EATING) the "instructions" so that you can feed one "frog" to another multiple times.

The point is that you start with the most basic instructions, and represent them as less abstract things; but the player gets to program or place pieces before each level to try to accomplish something. It could be like Core Wars (and this) where you just try to make your stuff survive and/or destroy the other player ... Or perhaps fulfill random objectives each time, like "Make a square out of _" or "destroy all the _ pieces"; and perhaps it can be progressive. Further instructions can include: copy/fork, create new "frog" (robot?), wait an iteration, sleep, wake something, etc.

Perhaps instead of feeding instructions to other entities which are then awoken, entities can just collect instructions and then fork out entities composed of those instructions so far -- in which case there might be instructions to "finish" or "read" versus having that be done automatically.
shkaboinka wrote:
frogs are not cannibalistic.

Having grown up with 3 frog ponds, and having watched frogs eat other frogs, I can tell you that they are, in fact, cannibalistic.
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