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Evolving/Evolution Game

Not spore!
  (+7, -2)
(+7, -2)
  [vote for,

A while ago Spore came out, but; I noticed, it was not a real evolution game. It was in fact more of a sandbox. So later, while I was thinking, I had the idea to build a real evolution game.

The game play would be almost identical to the creature phase of Spore but the sandbox creation would be replaced by actual simulated natural selection. Here's how it would work: you start off with a sort of eyed aquatic flatworm that senses its environment mainly through olfactory. The screen appears as an 8X8 grid of light and dark that represents its fuzzy vision. Also on the screen are colored gradients with names of substances at there center of intensity, made to represent odors. In the corner of the screen there is a transparent model of the creature, occasionally lighting up in one spot or another representing feeling. The creature currently has no sense of hearing but if it were to evolve hearing it simply would come out of the speaker shifted and distorted to the human spectrum of hearing.

Now here's the cool part: as the game advances along, your creature evolves based on your behavior. So, for example, if you strongly tend to rely on your vision like a normal human, your vision will improve. Or if you ate lots of hard, bony things your creature would get more powerful jaws and stronger teeth. If your creature evolves more powerful vision than humans, features will be exaggerated and if it gains the ability to see colors we can't, they will be shown as textures. The end result of this evolution will be sort of human (because we act like humans) and sort of a physical representation of your personality.

The evolving game came when I noticed that one's creature would evolve features that are easier to use and therefore a more pleasant experience to use and so relied upon more.

So, I wondered, what if you had an entire game evolve? It would have an expansive database of models and animations to be arranged into scenarios. The actual game is composed of a series of "missions" that undergo natural selection. Each mission is completely optional and can be abandoned at any time. The missions are "nourished" by interactions with the player and after a fixed amount of time a certain number of the most nourished missions are chosen to be "bred" and produce more missions each with a combination of elements from two of the previous generation of missions, which are then placed on a waiting list to be implemented into the game and the process. If an insufficient number of candidates are present for any reason, random missions will be generated and the deadline will be postponed. For example, if at one point there was a mission where you had to weed a garden and you spend five hours pulling weeds from the ground (I'm not sure why you would want to but its just an example), the weedy garden would be likely to appear once more. But if you ignore them totally, you will probably never see them again.

There should be parental controls with a setting for each rating so a child wouldn't be empowered to evolve something he/she shouldn't.

So basically the evolving game is a game that is ideal for everyone, and it doesn't have to be a game either, it could be an interface, in which each control would be nourished by commands per time, or pretty much any human-interacting program you can imagine, and the evolution game is a simulation of the evolution of a creature you control.

i dont know about you, but i'm itching to find out what my craeture is like and what my ideal game is.


Spore http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spore_(game)
this is what Spore is. [bluebeaversscrubbingourfloors, Mar 23 2009]

Lamarckism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism
The "level-up" approach to evolution. [zen_tom, Mar 23 2009]

This game features populations of animals that evolve. There are simplifications, though; numbers not images are used to represent evolutionary levels. [Vernon, Oct 13 2010]


       It's an interesting idea, but follows the "level-up" type of Lamarckian style evolution - which is fine, but I'd still like to see a proper Darwinian simulation where competing populations evolve in response to the geological environment. The user interface might be limited to directing earthquakes, floods, sudden mountain outcrops, tectonic plate movements, volcano-generated island generation, asteroid, or comet bombardment etc in order to culture, separate, introduce and kill-off your various populations.   

       It would be a very different game, where your efforts might only have a minimal effect on actual formation, but which would allow you to isolate certain populations in order for them to speciate - or clear out sections of your populations with quick climatic disasters caused by asteroid bombardment, rising sea levels and ice ages - but - the end result would always be something very adaptive that was able to live through whatever you threw at it - which wouldn't make for a great game - but makes me think that the weirdest (and stupidest) life might evolve on a planet where nothing much had happened for billions and billions of years.   

       Anyway, [+] for making me think.
zen_tom, Mar 23 2009

       I agree with [zen] - some pseudo-random, or player-controlled environment is required, including the ability to segment a population into smaller groups (e.g. by spreading them out across a range of islands, or by making a mountain pass impassable) as differing and changing environmental pressures on small populations is a significant driver toards creating new species.
hippo, Mar 23 2009

       no intercourse because of age-control would stop evolution short very quickly...   

       i see some problems in representing various senses solely through a visuo-acoustic interface, but [+] for the general idea
loonquawl, Mar 23 2009

       Because there is no Food:Primordial Soup category. Although there is a Food:Soup category.
Bad Jim, Mar 23 2009

       You have the wrong idea, mating would not happen in the evolution game. Instead your creature smoothly morphs like a living diagram of its evolution.   

       Also, if at all possible, I would enjoy comments on the evolving game in which the entire game evolves.   

       They are not the same but came from the same original idea.   

       Oh, and did I mention that the evolution game is first person. Well, my idea, but feel free to get your own ideas out of it.   

       + for the research and well thought out idea. It got me to delve into a subject I rarely care to look at.   

       The links are informing and interesting to read.
blissmiss, Mar 23 2009

       I've kind of been thinking the same thing (the evolving game) but was too lazy to write up the idea.   

       I thought you could distribute it via a special p2p network which would make occasional random alterations when downloaded. It would be in a VM of some sort to prevent trojans. It would be downloaded from people playing the game.   

       An alteration which made the game crash or otherwise dysfunctional would not be played and therefore not distributed. But an alteration which improved the game would be played more and would spread.   

       Only real problem is that evolution is very slow. You would need to start with a really good game to make enough people play it to see evolution happening. Otherwise the game would get stale and not evolve due to lack of players.
Bad Jim, Mar 23 2009

       Good point Jim. An evolving interface would be better because one must use it if one wishes to do anything else.   

       This reminds me of an old Qbasic game I programmed in adolesence. I called it "Devine Intervention". The game was balancing the power equilibrium between different tribes of people by bringing down various calamities or blessings upon the respective tribes. Never quite got all the bugs out.
MikeD, Oct 13 2010

       I was reading an article recently about a moth (or it might have been a butterfly) that lays it's eggs in ant's nests. The lava gives off a pheromone that causes the ants to treat it like a VIP ant and give it all the best food. The cool bit is that there is a wasp that parasites on the moth and it gives off a pheromone that causes the ants to fight amongst themselves whilst it goes in and lays its eggs in the moth lava. Now if you could invent a game that allowed you to produce evolutionary developments like that, it would be truly awesome.
DrBob, Oct 14 2010


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