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Evolution

Create creatures and let them evolve to see how they master various tasks. · By Keiwan

Super cool game! & some feedback

A topic by wick created Aug 27, 2017 Views: 180 Replies: 1
Viewing posts 1 to 2

Ooooh! I'm also working on a creature/construction AI game, and was delighted to come across this. Here’s some unsolicited feedback. (I hope that’s OK!)

Things I particularly liked:

  • Your UI is beautiful! Very clean, simple, and cohesive with your aesthetic. Also, I think your logo is super cute.
  • Comprehensive help file. It is a lot of text, but easy to find what you’re looking for. A+ note at the end about setting expectations.
  • Super simple to pick up, play with, see immediate effects. That’s something I’m still struggling with, so it’s good to see it done well.
  • It’s fun to let run in the background and then check up on how it’s doing every now and again. That’s not a gameplay loop I see often.
  • Watching a creature slowly develop a rhythm of walking is magical! Definitely an “it’s.... ALIIIIVE” sort of feeling.

Feedback:

  • Some camera control during the evolve phase would be nice! I'd like to be able to zoom out/pan instead of it just snapping to random (?) creatures.
  • Would it be possible to only show a subset of the creatures during the evolve phase? They're mostly a tangle of limbs, would be nice to only see 3-5 while it still calculates the generation using more.
  • I would love to be able to see a visualization of the creature’s networks (maybe only the best one from the previous generation?) as they evolve. If only boxes and lines for weights.
  • Sound effects?
  • Ability to move joints after placing them?
  • Bit of a tangent/stretch: I saw a museum exhibit where people constructed mars rovers on a number of tablets in front of a big screen, and then could “send them to mars” where they’d show up on that screen and be continuously racing against each other. Could be cool to see different creatures racing against each other, or something else to "do" with a creature after you think you've made a good one. (I know, that's likely out of scope...)
Developer

Hey Wick, thank you so much for giving me all of this great feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed the simulator. 

I'm currently working on the next big update (v2.0) and I've already implemented a bunch of heavily requested features: 

  • You'll be able to move joints after placing them 
  • There's a grid option to help with symmetry and joint placement
  • You can delete saved creatures and simulation files
  • Adjustable simulation settings during the simulation (time per generation, mutation rate ...)
  • Customizable Neural Networks (You'll be able to decide the number of layers and the number of nodes per layer)
  • I've also added the ability to simulate each generation in multiple batches which can be useful if you're running the simulator on a low-powered device or if you're trying to simulate rather complex creatures. That means you can for example set your population size to 20 and your batch size to 4 and then it would simulate 5 batches of 4 creatures for every generation (one after the other) before picking the best ones.
  • The next version will also store and display more stats about a creature, such as the distance travelled, average speed, weight...
  • You'll be able to watch each creature on its own while the others continue to simulate

There's still one last annoying bug that I'm going to have to try to fix somehow before I'm able to release the next version. Hopefully that won't take too long.

By the way, Crescent Loom looks really cool! Good luck with that project!