Evolution continues to… develop.
Another Wednesday, another in-depth update on what’s happening behind the scenes here at TestTubeGames. Or, at least as in-depth as what you’d want. (Fine, fine… I had a ham sandwich for lunch.) This week has been a bit busy with non-TTG related activities. What with building Tesla coils and getting sick — unrelated I promise — but there is still plenty to report.
First off, the winter (for me) solstice is coming up. Make sure to equip your Pocket Sundial to see some very long noon-time shadows. And also to zoom ahead in time to watch the days getting longer. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that in real life?
Just like last week, I tried to keep myself mainly focused on the evolution simulator. I mainly dealt with a lot of nuts and bolts. Fixing my code, hunting down bugs, putting in small features. Things like a locking mechanism on the options (always listen to Muldoon). That way, when people start, they won’t able to access (and be confused by) the whole simulation. I’m hoping it’ll be more approachable if I parse it out slowly. And I worked a bunch on the menu screens. I’m always surprised how long it takes to make menus… and also how boring it is to talk about menu design – so moving on…
I added different tracks for the creatures to race on. Some are bumpy, some are cluttered with objects, some have deadly pits. Just as real creatures occupy specific niches, the virtual creatures you’re evolving will generally work best on one of the tracks. I found the level with pits fun to watch. The creatures (so far) that have done best find a very neat and mechanical-looking way to fling one limb across the pit, then slowly and carefully slide themselves over. It looks like it taking a lot of mental effort, but of course, they are just mindless algorithms. (Or are they?) (Yes… yes they are.) I’m pleased with the extra tracks so far, and they seem to be giving a nice depth to the simulation.
I’ve also got an idea I’m batting around for an evolution-themed game. (I’ve been mentioning some game-like-elements to this simulation, of having creatures compete with each other. Sure. But to it is certainly still mainly a sit-back-and-watch simulation.) Basically, it’ll put you on the other side of the contest. Creatures will be racing towards you, and you’ll need to stop them (instead of root for them). I’m pretty excited about the possible directions this game could take… but no more of that for now: the simulation comes first!