The Fittest

The Fittest

These stick creatures are not only racing for their lives, but for the lives of their children! After each round, the one that made it the furthest gets to reproduce... and its 6 descendants race again. Over time, mutations and natural selection lead to faster and faster creatures.

For more challenges, try out the different terrains (the pits are dastardly), get your creature to push a heavy box, or fight against other creatures. If you've made a creature you really like, you can share its DNA with your friends, challenging them to a duel, or letting them evolve your creature themselves.



The Science

No big surprise, this game/simulation is based on evolution. The 'fittest' creature survives to pass its genes on to the next round, with some mutations, of course.

In the basic setup, the furthest creature in the race is the winner. You can replace this 'natural' selection, though, with 'artificial' selection by clicking on one of the rows after the race is done. That will overrule the race results, and pick that creature as the winner.

The creature properties and behaviors are controlled by a string of numbers - which we can roughly think of as their DNA. The values in this DNA control the length of the various limbs, the number of limbs, where each limb is connected to the body, what the starting angle of the limb is, and what its angular speed is. Between all these factors, your creature's behaviors and structure are completely determined.

The DNA string itself is made to be fairly hard to understand -- I don't want folks to be able to easily go in and engineer their own creature. To give you an idea, though, the first 11 digits of the DNA correspond to broad things about the creature, like its generation number. Each limb on the creature is described by a set of 9 digits, which are added on to the end of the DNA strand.

The mutation button increases the severity of the next set of mutations when you click it. The effect isn't permanent, it goes away the next generation.

For Teachers

Are you a teacher looking for resources? Great! Unfortunately, I haven't created any teacher tools for this game yet, but if you do end up using the game as part of a classroom activity, I'd love to hear about it!

Version History

9/10/2014 - Password-lock lifted! Free for all to see!

Feedback

If you've created something neat, join in the discussion and share it with us at in the forums.



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