Simpocalypse 2.0 released

Peter Piwowarski
Published , updated

We've just published version 2.0 of the application. This release has been a long time in coming, and adds numerous new features. There have been over 100 individual changes since 1.3 was released; highlights include support for more public health measures, like quarantines, better ways to see the status of individual agents in the simulaiton, and various bugfixes.

A detailed list of changes follows below the fold:

  • A new list view has been added that shows all people in the simulation and their status. This might not be all that convenient to use directly in the app, but like the history table it can be exported to a CSV file for further analysis, and is of course included in exported SQLite databases.
  • There is now a rollover display to show the status of each person in the simulation; simply move the mouse over a person on the grid, and a tooltip will be displayed that shows the same information that's represented in the list view. This is a more convenient way to inspect the status of individual agents in the simulation.
  • Societal Measures have been moved to a new tab, because two new categories have been added:
    • It is now possible to set rules for quarantining some people, causing them to stop moving, and making them much less likely to transmit the disease to others (or be infected by an unquarantined person). You can either quarantine only symptomatic patients, simulating self-quarantines of confirmed cases, or you can quarantine everybody, simulating widespread shelter-in-place policies. Both compliance with your quarantine policy and the effectiveness of quarantining are configurable.
    • If your disease is transmitted by respiratory droplets, you can have the people in your simulation wear masks. Like quarantining, the degree of compliance with your mask policy is configurable, as is the effectiveness of masks at both keeping sick people from spreading the disease and keeping healthy people from contracting it.
  • There is now a new file format for saving and loading disease parameters. This new format is easier to read or edit in a text editor (like Notepad or TextEdit), we think the code that reads it is more reliable, and most importantly it will be easier for other programs, like future versions of Simpocalypse, to read and write. Unfortunately, this means Simpocalypse 2.0 is unable to read diseases saved in Simpocalypse 1.3 and earlier, and Simpocalypse 1.3 and earlier cannot read diseases saved in Simpocalypse 2.0. If you have old disease files you want to migrate, please contact Peter for further assistance.
  • The "CFR" (Case Fatality Rate) field has been renamed to "IFR" (Infection Fatality Rate) to better reflect how Simpocalypse calculates it, and is now accurate to within 0.01% (instead of 1%).
  • Some of the help text has been edited for clarity and style.
  • The history graph now shows up first when you start the application, and some lingering graphical glitches, mostly happening when the window was resized, have been fixed.
  • There's now an introductory splashscreen when you first start the application; if you don't want to see it each time, you can turn it off.

Known issues at this time:

  • Due to what we believe is a bug in Tk, opening disease files by double-clicking on them under macOS may cause the application to crash if there are formatting errors in the disease file, unless the application is already running. As a workaround, if you experience crashes when trying to open disease files, make sure Simpocalypse is already running first.

In the next week or two we'll be working to enable the Web version to save and load files from your Google Drive, and to fix any bugs we can find; please watch for further updates.