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Pencerkoff
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« on: June 30, 2009, 09:58:48 PM »

Hello this is Pencerkoff

REAL TIME EVOLUTION THE GAME
http://www.mediafire.com/?dyugyrywyfm
don't download unless really bored.
It's not even a game.  You can only really watch it and pretend you know what it's doing.







Working on Ranged unit AI and building interactions

Basic idea : Have an RTS where the creatures evolve, based on standard Darwinism mixed with forced mutation.  There's no reason it won't work, but making it work in a reasonable time frame might be tough.  Part of a bigger Idea I had, so maybe this will transition into a bigger project.

Gameplay : Since the standard RTS usually kills like 95% of the produced units, I'll be using the style of Majesty, where every unit has it's own AI instead of direct control.  Every unit will run away from battle when sufficiently wounded, thus allowing time for reproduction and the like.  Not exactly sure what the player will do at this point.

My movement engine is basically finished, and to show it off I made a strange unrelated game about running from an angry mob.

Engine Demo http://www.mediafire.com/?nzn4nonmmy2

The educational side of this game may not shine through too much.  Maybe I'll have some biology facts thrown in there or something.

-PENCERKOFF



« Last Edit: August 15, 2009, 03:29:36 PM by Pencerkoff » Logged

Dacke
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2009, 10:08:30 PM »

Pencerkoff: awesome, as always.
I have quite a few evolution-based game ideas myself. But if you manage to come up with a good plan and need a hand, I would be glad to help. Not that you need it, but, well.. awesome idea! Just remember: what Darwinism primarily deals with is sexual reproduction Well, hello there!
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Pencerkoff
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2009, 10:17:25 PM »

Hello this is Pencerkoff

sexual reproduction Well, hello there!

While the thought of adding the obvious "adult" side to this game did come to me, I decided that I just couldn't do it.  Pixelated sex just sounds like the worst day of my life.  Not even sure what I mean by that.  At least I won't have to battle my own queationable morality in doing the adult stuff.

I am willing to take on a partner/team on this one, though I plan on being fully absent for the last two weeks or so of the competition... which might ruin everything for a team.

Seriously, though, anybody who wants in on this can totally be in right now.  But know that I am the dictator director.

-PENCERKOFF
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2009, 10:33:05 PM »

Heh, you are right ofcourse. Even though it could be possible to have the sexual part with out it being adult. You could have a population pool and let some of them fight and some of the reproduce (in houses, out of sight). To know who you want to use for reproduction: just send lots of units into dangerous situations and have the survivors reproduce your numbers. (And you'll end up with a bunch of cowardly no-good pacifists, like me  :D)

I'm not sure if I could contribute. I have studied a fair amount of evolution theory, math and programming. If you find a subproblem, that you think can be outsourced to me, I'd be happy to take a look at it Smiley
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Pencerkoff
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2009, 10:40:52 PM »

Hello this is Pencerkoff

just send lots of units into dangerous situations and have the survivors reproduce your numbers. (And you'll end up with a bunch of cowardly no-good pacifists, like me  :D)

To balance that, my plan was to give all of the units experience and level structure.  Basically, any unit with a high level from killing things will be better at reproducing.  Too bad that doesn't work in the real world... right guys?

-PENCERKOFF
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2009, 10:53:29 PM »

I'm really curious about this one. Figuring out how to make evolution-based games is something of a hobby of mine. I'm not sure if you can answer anything of this yet, but:
What factors are you planning to apply evolution to? (general stats (like str, agi, int), movement, motivations, how the characters look?)
Do you have any plans on how to apply evolution? (Anything from chromosomes to averaging numbers could work)
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2009, 02:47:59 AM »

Maybe the player can just fiddle with various settings for the environment? TO watch how the animals adapt?

I think making them have a random mutation, and when they breed, a chance of passing the mutation, is your best bet, since that's exactly what happens in real life. The mutation could just be a modifier to stats, but maybe a graphic change would be nice?

Also, don't bother with that
To balance that, my plan was to give all of the units experience and level structure.  Basically, any unit with a high level from killing things will be better at reproducing.  Too bad that doesn't work in the real world... right guys?

If done properly, a 'stronger' more 'powerful' animal that mauls other units has a higher chance of living, and thus sexing up the other females. So, you wouldn't need to adjust that. Maybe strength and such influence the chance of a mate, like the real world?
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Pencerkoff
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2009, 08:55:25 AM »

Hello this is Pencerkoff

Alright, here's my breakdown.  Instead of having a mutation be like "Heath + 5", a mutation effects a scale like "size vs speed".  So for every benefit, there is some kind of repercussion.  These were the categories I thought of:

Size vs Speed
    Being big means more health but you can't move as fast.

Cautious vs Aggressive
    The difference between running away after getting a scratch and staying in battle too long

Range vs Rate of Fire
    Being able to shoot farther is balanced by the inability to do as much damage.  I want a melee version of this... best thing I came up with is to give all melee attackers a leap attack (so their first hit will do extra damage, versus doing more damage over time)

Dodger vs Blocker
    Either your creature resists melee damage or ranged damage.  This should help balance the player's choices in choosing to have both melee and ranged units in the field.

Instinctive vs Intelligent

    Instinctive means you can make fast decisions, Intelligent means you can make smart decisions.  This category is extremely important in my larger project idea, but may not work too well in this smaller scale project.  Programming intelligence sounds hard anyway.

In addition to those sliding scales, a unit can level up which will probably increase his health and damage by some marginal amount.

Current things I haven't decided on yet:
Do the creature sprites reflect their given characteristics, and how? 
Should the playing field just be really long with two bases at either end, all the fighting in between? 
How do I balance the game enough where it doesn't end too quickly?

Discuss

-PENCERKOFF
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2009, 10:33:01 AM »

Great ideas! But you're right about the Instinct vs Intelligence, it probably won't work well in this small scale project. But you never know...

Just some suggestions that you can take into consideration, if you like:
Do the creature sprites reflect their given characteristics, and how?
 - Size is easy
 - Cautious has a more round shape while aggressive is more angular and has protruding features?
 - Maybe range creatures can have a tail or legs?
 - Not really sure how you could show Dodger v. Blocker

Should the playing field just be really long with two bases at either end, all the fighting in between?
 - I do believe that different maps with different features will give the game more replayability

How do I balance the game enough where it doesn't end too quickly?
 - A good amount of maps
 - Online multiplayer, if you have the ability, because I can see myself becoming addicted to a game like this. :D
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2009, 10:50:34 AM »

Dodger has legs, blocker has arms? Ranged creatures have a long neck? Melee creatures have a hunched back? Just a matter of making the different parts and adjusting their...noticeabilty depending on the actual stat number, yeah?
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2009, 11:40:06 AM »

Using opposing categories is a really clever solution!

A very interesting (but advanced) example of how you can evolve behavior/intelligence is this game: NERO (Neuro-Evolving Robotic Operatives). I think it could be well worth a look for you, even if it's perhaps a bit too advanced to copy on your own. But making something like an rts game, based on neurological evolution, is definitely something I would like to try in the future.
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2009, 12:55:26 PM »

I like the idea of having diverse environments, and having the creatures respond properly to their environment, as in where they can find food and water (places where the two factions would meet often, resulting in constant conflict and competition for territory), altitude and obstacles to create chokepoints, etc.

The player could have god-powers over the environments, but very limited, like being able to create/destroy elements in it.
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Pencerkoff
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2009, 03:44:35 PM »

Hello this is Pencerkoff

Deciding on what body part to manipulate and how is easy.  Coding it to work is not.  How should I approach it?  I'm using GM and it's 2D, which means I have a lot of spriting to do already... even if I managed to narrow it down into separate changing body parts, ugh.

Size vs Speed  -  Increase the size of the torso

Cautious vs Aggressive  -  Maybe change something in the face... maybe nothing

Range vs Rate of Fire  -  I pictured an alien-looking creature that evolved a gun for an arm.  Maybe a creature that throws something is more realistic... so large arms?

Dodger vs Blocker  -  Maybe thick limbs for a blocker and thin ones for a dodger?

Instinctive vs Intelligent  -  Size of the head?

Maybe I need some artists to join my squad of doom.  Anybody out there looking to draw a whole lot for nothing in return but to say they were a part of a Pencerkoff production?  Even some concept art would be nice.

I like the idea of having diverse environments, and having the creatures respond properly to their environment, as in where they can find food and water (places where the two factions would meet often, resulting in constant conflict and competition for territory), altitude and obstacles to create chokepoints, etc.

Well, as much as I'd like to do some of that... my engine doesn't support complex obstacles... just circular ones that don't touch eachother.  Having watering holes for quick HP recovery sounds good though. 

Maybe as a way to balance the taking of more land, I could install some kind of random attacking creature feature where things come up out of the ground and attack randomly all over the map.  That way, the more land you have, the harder it is to maintain.

-PENCERKOFF
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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2009, 09:37:32 AM »

Cautious vs Aggressive  -  Maybe change something in the face... maybe nothing

Maybe you could alter the color of the unit's border pixels for this?  More cautious units could have a calm colored border (blue), whereas aggressive ones could have a red outline.  As long as faction is shown off by body color (and the body colors contrast enough with red and blue) I think it could work.
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Pencerkoff
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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2009, 10:48:12 AM »

Hello this is Pencerkoff

Hmmm... cautious would be yellow, aggressive would be red.  Talking about this probably won't matter much, I don't see myself making a million sprites for this.

I've also come up with a "intelligent vs instinctive" decision units can make:

Instinctive : Fight whoever is closest (this is a quick decision)
Intelligent : Fight whoever is weakest (this decision may take some time)

I'm open to more than just that, but I think that is enough to maybe see some evolving.

-PENCERKOFF
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« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2009, 10:54:38 AM »

Cautious vs Aggressive  -  Maybe change something in the face... maybe nothing

If your creatures are going to have eyes, you could just add eyebrows;

Cautious creature:
/ \
o o


Aggressive creature:
\ /
o o
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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2009, 11:19:40 AM »

Yay! Another game based on simulating evolution. When I first read 'educational' in the compo title, I didn't think of this route of education.


Can't wait to add another evo-sim to my collection!
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Pencerkoff
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2009, 02:01:39 PM »

Hello this is Pencerkoff

Can't wait to add another evo-sim to my collection!

What else do you have?  Anything good?

Cause mine is going to rock all others... twice.

-PENCERKOFF
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Pencerkoff
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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2009, 12:13:03 PM »

Hello this is Pencerkoff



Just an update for all my adoring fans.

I have 4 teams set up (it's easy to make more teams if I wanted) that fight in an almost convincing way.  Still have to make some AI regarding ranged units keeping their distance from their target.

There are no animations, cause I don't feel like animating anything.  Would welcome anybody who wanted to help with this... like someone who wanted to practice drawing in isometric... a whole lot.

As for the evolution side of this, there does seem to be some... but not much more than I expected (no unit with an extreme characteristic tends to live long).  I also haven't tried out everything because it's not all programed yet.

-PENCERKOFF

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« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2009, 09:33:25 PM »


What else do you have?  Anything good?

Cause mine is going to rock all others... twice.

-PENCERKOFF

Well, mostly just stuff like Jeffrey Ventrella's GenePool, where environments are simulated, and 'natural selection' often produces a product capable of surviving in said environment.

I actually also have an RTS that employs genetic algorithms, although as far as I can tell the actual implementation and gameplay of your project is different, so no worries  Smiley
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