Evolution enters the Arena

Posted in: Wednesday Update | December 12, 2012 | 2 Comments

Well, look at that!  I’ve posted so many Wednesday Updates that I’ve decided to give this one its own title!  No more “Wednesday Update: #n.”  The magic number where I get bored with that plan is apparently 3.  (Can I even remember back to two weeks ago?  What was the world like then?)

This week I’ve been majorly focusing on the evolution game.  Just to remind you, this will lie somewhere between a simulation and a game.  You take a very basic creature (a couple of sticks hooked together with a motor, really), and your goal is to make it a lean mean fighting/running machine.  Well, you won’t do that with the original creature.  Rather, you want to make its great-great-great-great-….-great grand-creature lean and mean.  You’ll do it using evolution, which means this simulation takes place over hundreds (thousands?) of generations.  Each generation consists of 6 new offspring, similar but different to their parent.  They race, and the winner gets to become the new parent.  Over time, they get faster.


Evolution Screenshot

Just like the picture before. But it’s blue! Also, it works. And it’s blue! …blue.


So what did I do with it this past week?  For one, I took the graphics (like the drawing I showed last week) and stuck them into the game.  Now it’s looking so much better than the black-and-white lines I was prototyping with before!  I added in the competitive section, where your creature will compete against a handful of powerful ‘bosses’.  The two creatures are set up facing one another, and their goal is to race to the opposing side.  The fists (nondescript limbs?) fly, and speed, strength, and wit can help a creature win.  I had quite a bit of fun creating the bosses.  Some are hard to beat.  Others are VERY hard to beat.  But I figure, hey, it’s evolution!  If you can’t beat ’em, let your descendents give it a shot.



Into the Arena

“Are you not entertained?!?”


So all in all, I added a slew of new features — and of course a bunch of new bugs.  Ah, well.

What’s this next week hold?  Well, aside from finding our next installment of “Friday Fun,” I’ll be doing my best to get this evolution sim playable by the holidays.  (Note: not released… just able-to-be-played by people-who-aren’t-the-developer.)  And as always, I’m sure my love of shiny objects will take me darting off to explore other ideas.

Speaking of, has anyone encountered a Circuit Simulation that they like?  I’ve been poking around, and haven’t found much past the ‘take a light bulb and put it in this predetermined slot’ genre.  If you know a nice, easy-to-play-around-with simulator, let us know about it below in the comments!



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  1. By Steve

    Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    MITx 6.002x (circuits and electronics) has an interactive tool to create and analyze circuits:

    • By TestTubeGames

      Posted January 9, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Nice find! It’s both sleek *and* in-depth.

      The best I had found was from PhET ( It is obviously designed for a different crowd, though — more kid-friendly, and less sophisticated. The one you found is also quite a bit easier to use.

      Thanks for passing it along!

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