New HTML 5 artifical life sim

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Jai, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Jai

    Jai New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm new here but thought I'd share my latest weekend project (couple of weekends).

    I used to develop Indie games about 8 years ago and recently needed a break from applications programming.

    I decided to play around with Genetic AI and distributed computing (think SETI at home) and came up with Dreamstars Creatures -

    [​IMG]

    http://www.debugreality.com/creature

    It's a mostly javascript game that can run on each client. It creates an environment and 24 creatures with one player. Each creature is run by it's own program that can evolve between generations. Most of the work is done by the client and the server just saves and loads the best minds from each generation.

    It's a live sim game but it allows the player to interact with the creatures as one of them. The creatures are also capable of communicating but only if they ever get smart enough.

    Anyway let me know what you think :cool:
     
  2. richtaur

    Indie Author

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    My thoughts:

    * It runs very slowly! It's probably hitting the server every few seconds … but is there a way to make it run smoothly?
    * Confusing … what are the letters above creatures' heads, like "abal"?
    * Controls are awkward. When I press the left arrow key in a tile-based world I expect to go left, not turn left.
    * No way to tell when you're playing or when you're in "watch mode"? Also, what's the fun of watch mode? Not allowing me to control a character anymore made me lose interest.
    * "Do nothing while standing on grass" It's more fun to be in control IMO. I guess this is a sim and not a game but I'd prefer to do something actionable to make a character eat or drink.
    * The numbers on the right like "thirst" and "hunger" don't seem to be affected by whether I'm standing on grass (the green tile?) or water.
    * Attacking doesn't seem to do anything other than make a red arrow appear for a few seconds.

    (Note: I'm on Chrome/OSX.)

    Anyway pretty cool, nice work! DanC is an amazing pixel art, great choice on tiles :)
     
  3. Ikkyu

    Ikkyu New Member

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    Agreed on some of the concerns above, especially the speed. It makes difficult to keep interest in the proceedings (maybe a symptom of having the attention span of a 2 year-old). The controls took a bit to get used to and I also agree that "doing nothing" is a turnoff, but I do see the effect of eating and drinking, and fighting. The numbers go down after a bit and the "enemies" die after a while.

    Some concerns of my own:

    * I would change the numbers for bars or something more visual.
    * Players need to identify with the character. It is not clear if you are controlling the same individual through evolutions, and it will be good to make it so.
    * What are the gems for? How eating them is different than eating grass? I would change them for something more "realistic": meat. And maybe this could make a difference in the evolution of the creatures (hervibores? carnivores? omnivores?)
     
  4. Jai

    Jai New Member

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    Thanks heaps both of you. That's all great feedback and I've implemented some of the easier changes.

    The letters above each creatures head is what it is saying.

    It's pretty slow because I've slowed it down to 1 turn per second. This gives me heaps of time to let the creatures AI run. Each creature is running a random program with at least 6000 commands, that's the genetic part. Each generation the best programs move on. One of my hopes is to generate some interesting AI algorithms.

    Already I have seen one behavior evolve, some of the creatures will sit still but move when they lose health or you attack them.

    One day they may evolve to the point it is hard to beat them and survive the longest but I'm not sure if that will ever happen so it's more of an experiment at the moment :)

    If the creatures start to get reasonably smart I'll do a heap more work on it though.

    I'm planning to get a graphics designer to take a look at my site too soon so I might get him/her to take a look at creatures too.

    Anyway thanks again!
     

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