SimEarth - Guide
THE LIVING PLANET
SYSTEM INFORMATION, MANUAL ADDENDUM AND QUICK-START GUIDE
Amiga 500, 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000
512K Chip RAM and 512K Fast RAM required to run in low-resolution
(320x200); 1.5 MB of RAM to run low-res from the hard drive
1 MB Chip RAM and 1 MB Fast RAM required to run in high-resolution
Hard disk with 1.5 MB free space recommended
De-interlacer, such as Flicker-fixer with at least a 16MHZ CPU
recommended for high resolution
AmigaDOS 1.3 or higher. AmigaDOS 2.04 or higher is recommended for
If you have a 2 MB Amiga 3000 running AmigaDOS 2.0 KickStart instead
of ROM, you may have to run Sim Earth in low-resolution. The low-
resolution disk included with Sim Earth is a System 1.3 bootable disk.
The graphics in the manual are from the color Macintosh version of this
program, which is almost identical to the Amiga high-resolution version.
The major differences between your program and the manual will be in
low-resolution (320x200). Most of the addendum graphics are from
AmigaDOS 1.3; System 2.0 users will see minor variations.
The Addendum/Quick Start Guide contains all the Amiga-specific information
needed to start and play Sim Earth.
Sim Earth for the Amiga follows all of the standard Amiga methods of
mouse and keyboard use, window manipulation and use of requesters. We
have optimized the high-resolution version of Sim Earth to perform
best on Amigas with more RAM and faster processors. The low-resolution
version runs best on lower-end systems.
The Atmospheric Composition graph can be accessed from the File Menu;
the Amiga version does not support double-clicking on the Atmosphere
Group icons. Once you get to know the program, you will find that a
combination of mouse clicks and keystrokes is the fastest way to play.
You'll find that the program runs faster with fewer windows open.
A Keyboard Chart of all key commands and shortcuts is found on the
back page of this addendum.
LOW RESOLUTION DIFFERENCES
In Sim Earth low-res, you will have only one active window onscreen.
Most of the windows provide you with buttons that take you to other
windows; you can also use the standard File Menu selections or
keyboard commands to move from window to window.
You can bring up any of the planet Model Control Panels and Graphs on
top of open windows, but they cannot be resized or moved around
Click in the Close Gadget to return to the open window; clicking on the
window underneath won't have any effect.
The Options Menu in low-res doesn't have any commands for saving window
positions or updating the background windows.
Before installing Sim Earth, we recommend that you make and use backup
copies of your disks and keep the original disks in a safe place.
The distribution disks are shipped write-protected.
Sim Earth can be run from a floppy-disk, or from a hard drive. You will
need about 1.5 MB of space on your hard disk to hold Sim Earth, plus
approximately 40K for each planet you want to save.
To install Sim Earth to a hard disk, place the appropriate hi- or low-
res disk in your drive, double-click to open it, and drag the drawer
which contains the program icon to your hard drive.
To start Sim Earth, double-click on the SimEarth icon.
The SNAPSHOT function in the File menu saves out IFF picture files that
may be loaded and viewed in most Amiga graphics programs. SNAPSHOT will
save the planet map as either one 1024 x 512 picture file or four
512 x 256 picture files. Before saving these files, you will be prompted
for a directory to save to. These files will be saved to your selected
Sim Earth directory and will be automatically named Snap1, Snap2, etc.
RESIZING THE EDIT WINDOW
The Edit Window in high-resolution can be resized and reshaped to fit
on your screen with other windows. To do this, just drag the Size
Gadget in the lower-right corner of the window. In low-resolution the
Edit Window cannot be resized.
SCROLLING THE EDIT WINDOW
The entire planet cannot be displayed in the Edit Window at once. You
must scroll the terrain in the Edit Window to see everything.
Use the Scroll Bars, Boxes and Arrows, or the Cursor Keys to scroll
the Edit Window.
To load a planet, first select Load from the File Menu. The Load Planet
requester will appear.
If you are running Sim Earth under AmigaDOS 2.0, it uses the standard
file requester for loading games.
Below are instructions for loading planets under AmigaDOS 1.3:
In the Volumes Box, choose the volume where the planet you want to load
resides. All the planets in that volume will appear in the File Box.
If there are more planets than can be displayed at one time, you can use
the scroll bar and arrows to search through them. Click on the Parent
button to see the files in the parent drawer. If necessary, you may
type in a drawer name in the Drawer Box.
Choose and highlight the planet to load, then click OK.
If you change you mind about loading a planet, click on the Cancel
To save a planet, select Save Planet from the File Menu. If it has
already been saved before, it will be re-saved under the same name
in the same place.
If it has not been saved before, you will be presented with the Save
As requester, where you name the planet and tell the computer where
to save it.
If you are running Sim Earth under AmigaDOS 2.0, it uses the standard
file requester for saving planets.
Below are instructions for saving planets under AmigaDOS 1.3:
Choose the destination volume for your saved planet in the Volume Box.
If necessary, you may type in a drawer name in the Drawer Box.
Type the name you want to use for the saved planet into the File Box.
When you are happy with the planet's name and location, click on the
If you have already saved your planet, but want to save it to a new
disk or drawer, or you want to change its name, select Save As...
from the File Menu and you will be shown the Save Planet As requester.
If you change your mind about saving a planet, click on the CANCEL
AREXX is a scripting language that is included with Workbench 2.0.
We've included some AREXX commands in Sim Earth that let you check
the current time of your planet and save it as a planet file or an
IFF picture file. The are sample AREXX scripts on the Sim Earth disk.
You may start an AREXX script by selecting EXEC AREXX from the File
Menu or by running your script from the shell with Sim Earth running.
If you are unfamiliar with AREXX, the following information won't give
you any pleasure tingles in your higher cortex. For detailed information
on AREXX refer to your AmigaDOS 2.0 manual.
SAVE file name
Saves the current planet to a file. The file name can include a
directory path, limited to a total of 24 characters.
Saves the current planet as an IFF file (picture). There are two modes:
the command SNAPSHOT 1024 saves the entire map as a 1024 x 512 IFF file;
SNAPSHOT 512 will save the map as four 512 x 256 files. You must specify
the directory where the file is to be saved.
Returns the current time in the result variable. This will vary according
to how the time is set in the program. It can return either the Absolute
Time or Relative Time. When reading Relative Time you may want to call
TSCALE to find the Time Scale. For example, when set in
Absolute mode: Relative mode: TSCALE
SIMTIME SIMTIME say result
say result say result returns "Million"
returns "949642893.01" returns "893.02"
Returns the current Time Scale in the result variable. See above
Sets the time output to Absolute Time. This returns a floating-
point variable up to 10 billion years in the result variable.
All subsequent calls to SIMTIME will return Absolute Time in the result
variable. For example:
Sets the time to Relative Time. You will probably want to check the
result returned by TSCALE to act on the time. For example:
STARTING THE PROGRAM
See the System Information section of this document for installation
instructions, then double-click on the Sim Earth icon to start the
program. Floppy users should make backups and run off a backup.
Floppy users can pay directly off the disk.
Once the program has loaded, you will see the MAXIS TITLE SCREEN and
the SIM EARTH TITLE SCREEN. You can click the mouse to make these
screens disappear, and they will be replaced by the HELP WINDOW and
the MAP WINDOW.
On-line help is available anywhere at any time for everything in Sim
Earth. To get help information, hold down the HELP KEY and click on
anything on the screen. A window will appear with information about
the spot where you clicked.
Before actually starting the simulation, we'll take a look around.
The MAP WINDOW gives you a view of your entire planet. At the bottom
of the MAP WINDOW is the MAP WINDOW CONTROL PANEL. This control panel
has (among other things) 12 icons that give you different map views
of the planet. Go ahead and click on them if you want, but since there
is no active planet yet, many of them won't do much.
When using low-resolution graphics, all the icons won't fit in the
Map Window Control Panel; only three icons can be displayed at once.
Click on the NEXT button to cycle through all the available icons.
Clicking on the little buttons that say GEOSPHERE, ATMOSPHERE, BIO
and CIV, as well as on some of the icons, will bring up other windows.
For now, if something pops up unexpectedly, just close it by clicking
in its Close Gadget.
In the upper-left corner of the MAP WINDOW is a rectangle. This
rectangle marks the area displayed in the EDIT WINDOW. You can click
and drag with the mouse button depressed to move the rectangle to
see different EDIT WINDOW area displays.
The MAP WINDOW and the EDIT WINDOW are where you will be spending
most of your time in Sim Earth. Open the EDIT WINDOW by selecting
EDIT from the WINDOWS MENU.
Along the left side of the EDIT WINDOW is the EDIT WINDOW CONTROL
PANEL. At the top of this panel are six icons that activate various
tools for building and maintaining planets.
Below the icons is the Current Tool Display that shows which tool
is presently active. Below the Current Tool Display are buttons
for turning on and off the display of various layers of data in the
In the high-resolution version you may arrange the MAP WINDOW, HELP
WINDOW, and EDIT WINDOW on the screen so at least part of each one
is showing at all times. This will let you easily switch between
windows by clicking on the one you want to move to the front.
Take a minute and look at all the menus - then it's time to start
playing with a planet.
Select NEW PLANET from the FILE MENU. You will be asked a question
about one of the planets in our solar system. You will find the
answer in the back of the Sim Earth User Manual in the Planet
Specification Sheets. Look up the answer, answer the question,
and hit the RETURN KEY. Be sure to include decimal points or minus
signs in your answer if they are on the Spec Sheet.
* FORGET THIS: THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO THE SKID ROW CRACKED VERSION. *
STARTING A SCENARIO
Once the question has been answered, you will see the NEW PLANET
At the top of the window are planet level choices. For now, use
Experimental Mode, which gives you unlimited energy to work with and
makes learning Sim Earth easier.
At the bottom of the window are seven scenarios and a Random Planet
option. Click on AQUARIUM.
Aquarium is an ocean planet with life, but no land. The HELP WINDOW
now tells you about the Aquarium Scenario. Go ahead and read it.
Now go to the EDIT WINDOW. Click on the EXAMINE icon. Now click
and hold somewhere on the ocean. You will see a little Information
Window that tells about the spot where you clicked. While still
holding down the mouse button, slide the pointer around, examining
various places on the planet.
Click and hold on the TRIGGER EVENTS icon.
Slide the mouse over and down until VOLCANO is highlighted, and
release the mouse button. Now move the pointer to the ocean and
click. You just triggered a volcano and created an island.
You can scroll to different places on the planet by using the Scroll
Bars. Trigger lots of volcanos and create a continent near the planet's
Another way to make continents is with the SET ALTITUDE tool. Click
on the SET ALTITUDE icon. Look at the Current Tool Display. The
display shows that the SET ALTITUDE tool is active in "raise" mode
(the arrow points up). Click on the icon again. Now it is active
in "lower" mode. Click again to return to raise mode. Now click
and hold on the ocean. While holding the mouse button down, slide
the pointer around. You are raising the land.
The lighter the shade of the land, the higher the altitude. Life
doesn't do too well at very high altitudes, so change the SET
ALTITUDES tool to lower mode and lower some of the mountaintops to
near sea level.
SPREADING PLANTS AND ANIMALS
Now that we have some continents, let's fill 'em up with plants and
animals. Plants first.
Sim Earth doesn't deal with individual plants, but with biomes,
ecological systems such as forests or swamps.
Scroll the EDIT WINDOW so land is visible - preferably land in warm
climates, away from the Arctic or Antarctic. Click and hold on the
PLANT BIOME icon, and a submenu will appear.
While holding the mouse button down, slide the pointer and highlight
one of the biomes, Boreal forest for example, and release the mouse
button. Move the pointer to land and click, hold, and move the mouse
to "paint" plant life on your continent. The various biomes can only
survive in certain temperatures and altitudes. If you plant a Swamp
in the Arctic Circle it won't last very long, and an Arctic biome
won't last at the equator.
A chart of the conditions under which the various biomes survive is
in the User Manual on page 66.
Now click and hold on the PLACE LIFE icon to reveal a submenu. On
the left side of the submenu are life-forms - seven aquatic life-
forms at the top and seven land life-forms below. On the right side
of the submenu are cities (at various levels of civilization), and
terraforming tools (for changing Mars and Venus into habitable
While holding the mouse down, slide the pointer to highlight Dinosaurs,
and release the mouse button. Move the pointer to the forest you just
planted and click to place a few dinosaurs. If you watch a while,
the dinosaurs will either begin to spread or die out. If they survive,
they may evolve into avians (birds), or possibly develop intelligence.
Various life-forms can only survive in certain biomes. Fish can't
live on the land, and Amphibians can't live in a desert.
A chart of what biomes each life-form prefers is in the User Manual
on page 141.
MODEL CONTROL PANELS
The most powerful tools for planetary manipulation are the MODEL CONTROL
PANELS. There are four of them and they are opened through the MODELS
For a quick example, select ATMOSPHERE from the MODELS MENU. This
opens the ATMOSPHERE MODEL CONTROL PANEL.
Click on the words SOLAR INPUT. This regulates the amount of heat
the planet receives from the Sun. Now click on and drag the slider
bar on the right side of the control panel all the way down. This
effectively turns off the Sun. Wait and watch for a while and the
whole planet will freeze.
Now click and drag slider all the way up. The planet will thaw,
then eventually the oceans will boil away.
This example was a bit drastic, but it shows how the MODEL CONTROL
PANELS are used.
There are many more windows, graphs and control panels in Sim Earth,
but you have seen the main ones, and have an understanding of how
For further information, there is a tutorial in the User Manual, and
an on-line text TUTORIAL WINDOW. There is also a complete Reference
section in the User Manual that explains everything in Sim Earth
We hope you find Sim Earth a simulating experience.
PROGRAM FUNCTIONS (R) = Right
(R)Amiga-N New Planet (R)Amiga-L Load Planet
(R)Amiga-S Save Planet (R)Amiga-U Update Background
(R)Amiga-C Compress Edit Screen (toggle)
(R)Amiga-X Play Data Song (toggle)
(R)Amiga-Q Quit Sim Earth
(R)Amiga-E Edit Window (R)Amiga-M Map Window
(R)Amiga-G Gala Window (R)Amiga-H History Window
(R)Amiga-R Report Window (R)Amiga-T Tutorial Window
OPENING MODEL CONTROL PANELS
(R)Amiga-A Atmosphere (R)Amiga-B Biosphere
SETTING SIMULATION SPEED
(R)Amiga-1 Fast (R)Amiga-2 Moderate
(R)Amiga-3 Slow (R)Amiga-P Pause
HELP KEY Activates Help Mode
CURSOR KEYS When the Edit Window is in front, these keys scroll the
terrain under the window.
UP/DOWN When the Map Window is in front, these keys move the
CURSOR KEYS Edit Rectangle.
When a graph is in front, the Up and Down Arrows cycle
through the graphs.
Presented by SKID ROW