Evolution Simulator

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19683
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Evolution Simulator

Postby 19683 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:16 pm

I read a Wednesday update a looooooooong time ago about an evolution simulator and I haven't heard anything more about it. Is it still being worked on?
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robly18
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Re: Evolution Simulator

Postby robly18 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:25 pm

19683 wrote:I read a Wednesday update a looooooooong time ago about an evolution simulator and I haven't heard anything more about it. Is it still being worked on?

I believe so, but I think Andy is more focused on the ~~Electric Shocktopus!~~ at the moment. However, I do think he should make something new out of it. Like a game where you make defenses and see how long you can survive for until evolution and natural selection gets the best of you.
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Re: Evolution Simulator

Postby testtubegames » Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:39 pm

Yup, the evolution simulator is still around, but on the back burner at the moment. I'd been having trouble nailing down exactly what the game should be like... so, as Robly said, I started working on Shocktopus instead (where the core idea was a lot clearer to me).

The simulator started when I wanted to find out if a simple sticks-and-motor creature could 'evolve' to move better. Kind of like Incredipede, but where instead of making creatures, you sit back and watch generations of them evolve. And it was neat to watch, and made you think. But by its very nature, it wasn't very interactive. You could tweak the conditions (friction, gravity, the starting creature), but once evolution started you just watched. Natural selection did the rest.

I wasn't too happy with that part of it. I wanted something with more interaction.

So I worked on a game-ier version of it -- along the lines of what Robly was talking about. Some tower-defense/defend-the-castle game. I think it'd be neat to have your enemies adapt to your defenses... so if you make a lot of cannons that shoot high, the creatures evolve to be shorter. You'd have to constantly change tactics. Maybe you'd even be able to domesticate your enemies by killing off the strongest first, instead of the weakest.

I still think that'd be a neat game, but the stick creatures didn't really work as enemies. There weren't enough inherent ways they could evolve. Sure, they could be faster or slower. They could *kinda* be bigger or smaller. And that was really it. I realized that to make this tower-defense game work, I'd have to ditch the stick-creatures, and replace them with more complex enemies that could vary in a lot of ways (fire/cold tolerance, strength, etc; overall just different abilities to overcome certain obstacles). The crawling mechanism got in the way of that style of game.

So I wanted to make the simulation more interactive, but the game-style that I tried would force me to ditch the simulation. After going cross-eyed, I put it on the shelf to work on another game. I'd really like to come back to some variants of this, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. What evolution-sim would be fun and interesting to you?

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robly18
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Re: Evolution Simulator

Postby robly18 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:11 pm

Well, if the problem is lack of complexity, here are a few ideas:

Ability to grow more than one limb, the number of these being evolve-able. Less would mean less speed, and more would lead to more surface area to hit.
Friction of limbs. Less friction would lead to creatures being more dodgy and less average height, while more friction would lead to better climbing.
"Springy" limbs. Basically, instead of just spinning, maybe the limbs could also extend and contract? This could even lead to jumpy movement, which would be good if the player had lots of obstacles.

As for the player, I was thinking maybe there would be a finish line. The player would have to place things such as boxes, ice and sand to slow the enemy down, whilst also having a few cannons and mortars shooting at the threat. Maybe the cannons would be very expensive, to prevent one from simply spamming them, and encourage using just a few to cover a large area and slowing down the threat with other things. Basically, build an obstacle course. If you had a lot of boxes, spring like behavior would cause enemies to merely jump over them. Have a ton of cannons on top of a tower? Guess what, they've just developed shorter legs. Lots of ice to slow them down? Lots of friction to keep going.
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Re: Evolution Simulator

Postby A Random Player » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:43 pm

I was planning to make a topic about this as well :)

I had thought of an enemy-evolution game before I saw the blog post, but in my idea, I had the enemies following an evolved path. Like it would start off straight up/down, but
if you put towers near the path, they evolve to not go that way. After seeing the post, I had though of possibly letting the enemies spend "points" on improving their "skills", which are Total HP, Regeneration speed, Speed (motion), and Defense (subtracts some damage before applying damage: a strength 10 shot hitting a defense 2 creature would deal 8 damage), and possible more, I hadn't though of any yet. They each seems specialized toward different tactics (Regeneration beats spread out towers, speed beats grouped towers, defense beats quick but low damage towers), but I'm not sure it would be any better.
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Re: Evolution Simulator

Postby robly18 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:51 pm

A Random Player wrote:I was planning to make a topic about this as well :)

I had thought of an enemy-evolution game before I saw the blog post, but in my idea, I had the enemies following an evolved path. Like it would start off straight up/down, but
if you put towers near the path, they evolve to not go that way. After seeing the post, I had though of possibly letting the enemies spend "points" on improving their "skills", which are Total HP, Regeneration speed, Speed (motion), and Defense (subtracts some damage before applying damage: a strength 10 shot hitting a defense 2 creature would deal 8 damage), and possible more, I hadn't though of any yet. They each seems specialized toward different tactics (Regeneration beats spread out towers, speed beats grouped towers, defense beats quick but low damage towers), but I'm not sure it would be any better.

I actually much like this idea. TD games are mostly boring, but this would give it a twist. It would make it more challenging, and much more interesting. Have the play area be an open field, and have the paths "jiggle" randomly with each iteration. Whichever creature got the farthest away from the beginning would be the one reproducing. Even without the other things such as total HP and regeneration, this could get some pretty solid gameplay. Add just speed and regeneration, and have them be inversely proportional. Bam. Great game right there.
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19683
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Re: Evolution Simulator

Postby 19683 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:52 pm

A Random Player wrote:I was planning to make a topic about this as well :)

I had thought of an enemy-evolution game before I saw the blog post, but in my idea, I had the enemies following an evolved path. Like it would start off straight up/down, but
if you put towers near the path, they evolve to not go that way. After seeing the post, I had though of possibly letting the enemies spend "points" on improving their "skills", which are Total HP, Regeneration speed, Speed (motion), and Defense (subtracts some damage before applying damage: a strength 10 shot hitting a defense 2 creature would deal 8 damage), and possible more, I hadn't though of any yet. They each seems specialized toward different tactics (Regeneration beats spread out towers, speed beats grouped towers, defense beats quick but low damage towers), but I'm not sure it would be any better.

Great idea! I also thought that you could "invent" new towers to counter the enemies abilities.

This would create a situation where both you and your enemy must constantly evolve to counter the other's abilities.
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Re: Evolution Simulator

Postby A Random Player » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:58 pm

robly18 wrote:
A Random Player wrote:I was planning to make a topic about this as well :)

I had thought of an enemy-evolution game before I saw the blog post, but in my idea, I had the enemies following an evolved path. Like it would start off straight up/down, but
if you put towers near the path, they evolve to not go that way. After seeing the post, I had though of possibly letting the enemies spend "points" on improving their "skills", which are Total HP, Regeneration speed, Speed (motion), and Defense (subtracts some damage before applying damage: a strength 10 shot hitting a defense 2 creature would deal 8 damage), and possible more, I hadn't though of any yet. They each seems specialized toward different tactics (Regeneration beats spread out towers, speed beats grouped towers, defense beats quick but low damage towers), but I'm not sure it would be any better.

I actually much like this idea. TD games are mostly boring, but this would give it a twist. It would make it more challenging, and much more interesting. Have the play area be an open field, and have the paths "jiggle" randomly with each iteration. Whichever creature got the farthest away from the beginning would be the one reproducing. Even without the other things such as total HP and regeneration, this could get some pretty solid gameplay. Add just speed and regeneration, and have them be inversely proportional. Bam. Great game right there.

Yeah! I was actually thinking they could have something like this too:
On level.. say 12, they have 12 stat points. One creature might be like this, so they might have high speed and regen, but low defense and HP:
HP: 7
Speed: 3
Def: 1
Regen: 1
HP would be multiplied by 10 or something, speed would be multiplied by 5 or so, and in pixels/sec, regen would be HP/sec, etc.

An additional idea would be the fire/ice immunities mentioned somewhere above.

Edit:
19683 wrote:
A Random Player wrote:I was planning to make a topic about this as well :)

I had thought of an enemy-evolution game before I saw the blog post, but in my idea, I had the enemies following an evolved path. Like it would start off straight up/down, but
if you put towers near the path, they evolve to not go that way. After seeing the post, I had though of possibly letting the enemies spend "points" on improving their "skills", which are Total HP, Regeneration speed, Speed (motion), and Defense (subtracts some damage before applying damage: a strength 10 shot hitting a defense 2 creature would deal 8 damage), and possible more, I hadn't though of any yet. They each seems specialized toward different tactics (Regeneration beats spread out towers, speed beats grouped towers, defense beats quick but low damage towers), but I'm not sure it would be any better.

Great idea! I also thought that you could "invent" new towers to counter the enemies abilities.

This would create a situation where both you and your enemy must constantly evolve to counter the other's abilities.

Ooh, maybe after every round, you can select which tower to "enhance", decreasing its base price and improving its base stats, while doing to opposite to the other towers!
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Re: Evolution Simulator

Postby testtubegames » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:44 pm

Whoa, I leave this thread for a few minutes, and you all plan out a game! I love it!

I do like the idea of bringing evolving-paths into the game, so you need to plan out the geometry of your towers appropriately. That'd be a nice way to evolve something that's both tangible & visible (aka not just hidden stats) -- and also something that seems to lend itself to neat strategies (unlike the just fast-or-slow stick creatures).

19683 wrote:Great idea! I also thought that you could "invent" new towers to counter the enemies abilities.

This would create a situation where both you and your enemy must constantly evolve to counter the other's abilities.


It'd be great to bring in competing evolution of predator-and-prey. Or, I suppose, a bit more along the lines of antibiotics-and-bacteria. (Where there's a fair bit of human involvement in developing new medicines)

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Re: Evolution Simulator

Postby A Random Player » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:55 pm

Code: Select all

            ^
            ^   S
            ^
  >>>>>>>>>>^  S
  ^
  ^ TX T  T  T  S  S
  ^  |
  ^<<<<<<<<<<
            ^
            ^
            ^
Key:
T,S: Towers
>^<v|X: Path

One problem I was thinking about: The enemies might follow the arrowed path, even after when you sell the S towers, because trying to modify the path a little bit gets too close to the T towers (see |X). Would this be solved by periodically bringing back old enemies, or keeping it in there as a "strategy"?
$1 = 100¢ = (10¢)^2 = ($0.10)^2 = $0.01 = 1¢ [1]
Always check your units or you will have no money!


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