6.4.05

scaleable evolution - in a game

via world changing
Spore is the new title announced at the 2005 Game Developer's Conference by Wil Wright, the genius behind Sim City, the Sims and a variety of lesser-known computer toys (he hates to call them games). Spore is nothing less than the ultimate world-building simulation. Start with single-cell goo, then evolve through multicellular life forms, move onto land, develop social creatures, start cities, and eventually start colonizing more planets. And none of it is pre-programmed -- everything, from the creature movement to social interaction -- is emergent, based on simple rules and the results of player creative decisions.
going back to the original article describing the demo of the game, i learned this game basically uses rules - to allow you to play the game of life across spatial and temporal scales. involving all sort of interactions - like predator-prey systems, evolution of body form, development of sentience and cultures, and eventually whole galaxies.

and this all came out of demonstrating a method of game development that doesn't rely on massive amounts of content. all to avoid paying all those expensive arty designers.

this really cements my belief that computing is driven by only two markets: games and porn. really. and ecologists should pay attention to what is going on in the world of animation. take the schooling fish in pixar's movie finding nemo - that's a mathematical model, with random movements introduced to individual fish to mimic real schooling behaviour. sim city is a cellular automata model, based on rules too. yet all this great creative and interesting stuff can come out of it. and it's stochastic! with any number of possible outcomes.

not that you should ignore porn or anything like that.

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