Wednesday Update #2

Posted in: Wednesday Update | December 5, 2012 | 2 Comments

Another full week!

I had a very pleasant surprise this past weekend when I discovered a new review of Agent Higgs.  You can read it here.  The final verdict: “Buy it.”  Heck yeah!

As for my upcoming games, I mentioned last week that I’m putting the quantum game on hold.  So this week I focused mainly on two other games/simulations.



First up, the electromagnetism game.  And there all that quantum work came in quite handy.  In fact, I was able to transform what existed of the quantum game (a standard 2D platformer) pretty quickly to prototype some levels.  The basic idea is that your character (and his/her bullets) are electrically charged.  Of course, this means they attract and repel to certain objects.  But they are also affected by magnetic fields.  And it isn’t at all like the basic notion of magnets that gets used all the time in games (yes, magnets can attract and repel, we get it).  Instead, a moving charge will curve in the field.

I’m looking forward to making some fun levels that make good use of those curving paths.  As I mentioned, right now it is a 2D platformer… but I’m bouncing some other ideas around.  Heck, imagine the strange complexities these extra forces would introduce into a game like Cut the Rope.  Or even your run-of-the-mill space shooter!  Or EVEN — ah, sorry.  I get carried away sometimes.



Mostly, though, I was working on the evolution simulator.  How does it simulate evolution, you ask?  Mutation and Selection.  You start with a very basic creature (imagine sticks attached to each other with motors).  It can move, but not well.  Then it has 6 offspring.  They are similar to the parent, but have very slight mutations in their bodies and behaviors.  The siblings compete in a high-stakes footrace.  The losers are all… sent to a farm somewhere.  The winner, though, makes 6 new offspring.  Mutation and Selection.

It is shaping up nicely.  Just today I was working on the graphics.


Run!  Run!

Creature 4 seems to have found a shiny object back there


Aside from the simulation side of it, I’ve been thinking of ways to make it a bit more of a game.  So I’m adding in an extra competitive mode. After all, you tenderly create these creatures over hundreds of generations.  They need to make it out into the real world and interact with one another!   In this extra mode, you can challenge your friends, pitting your creatures against one another in an American-Gladiator style showdown.  Who can evolve the better beast?  Well, in a few weeks, you’ll be able to find out!



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  1. By Steve

    Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    The evolution simulation is neat. Your creatures look a little like molecular motors traveling down microtubules or actin filaments. You’re making it into a multiplayer game? Sounds challenging.

    • By TestTubeGames

      Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Thanks! I love that the graphics reminded you of molecular motors. As a physics guy, I’ll admit I had to look up actin filaments (I learned something!), but you’re spot on. The diagrams of them do look like these little creatures racing along a track.

      And I’m keeping the ‘multiplayer’ aspect very simple. Basically, your creature will have a DNA code. By sharing the code (copy-paste style), others can load up your creature and compete against it. So, less like true multiplayer, more like sharing your creations.

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