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 Evolution in Gameplay

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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Evolution in Gameplay   Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:28 pm

Alright, Bashinerox and I had a chat discussion about evolution, and we've come to a conclusion: evolution without player interaction simply won't work. There are way too many organisms and different mutations for the computer to keep track of. Basically, Bash posited that he best way to keep a realistic degree of evolution in the game and keep the player interested in playing was to have the player control the evolution of their chosen organism.

Here's a few of the problems we outlined with purely computer driven evolution.

1- overcomplex- to have the computer completely monitor a chaotic environment is a little bit of a tall order. The processor won't be able to handle it.

2-ugly organisms- since the computer cannot completely accurately simulate the environment, natural selection will not work as well, resulting in organisms that just aren't interesting or aesthetically pleasing. This won't be fun for players.

3-rampant evolution- another form of the "ugly organisms" dilemma, if a player cannot control their species's evolution, they cannot possibly be expected to reach ingame goals such as sentience.

~solutions~

1-direct edit- When you want to change the specific organism you control, you can edit it slightly before it is born, much like in spore, but with a limited amount of complexity to use up.

2-guided mutations- coders decide what actions could lead to what mutations, a type of lamarckian evolution that ensures that if a player does a lot of swimming, they will get better at swimming.

That's all for now, please fill me in on more problems/ solutions and discuss the handling of evolution here.

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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:40 pm

Well we have always said that Darwinian was our ideal, if it was possible and viable.

If it isn't, that's the end of that. We go with the closest compromise.
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:17 pm

Glad we can agree on this finally. Being someone who loved spore for its editors, i'm glad we can edit ingame.

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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:29 pm

Minor edits sounds good. But how minor? And how long is each game generation going to be in game time?
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:58 pm

I guess it all depends on your species. Quite minor edits. Maybe making the legs a bit longer and adding a few teeth. I think things like coloring will have a separate complexity meter, however.

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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:29 pm

My ideas:

Ok, say if you spend a certain amount of time near the waters edge. Soon, your creatures swimming parts, for example, will be upgraded by the game. Spend a lot of time trying to get up trees? Perhaps your limbs will be extended, or you will grow a grasping tail.

i think Opportunities, which are player chosen would be cool too. The game could have a popup system, for example. In this example, you are a grass-eating herbivore.

"Alert! The newly evolved ______ species is starting to compete with you! Continue to adapt to your landscape, or adapt to something else?"

or...
"Alert! The newly evolved _____ species has risen in numbers. Travel to ____ to find out more."

Just some ideas.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:06 pm

~sciocont wrote:
I guess it all depends on your species. Quite minor edits. Maybe making the legs a bit longer and adding a few teeth. I think things like coloring will have a separate complexity meter, however.

Minor edit of a single part each generation? Sounds good to me.
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GamerXA
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:27 pm

It's seems too generalized and vague to use Lamarckian evolution. For example, how does on adapt to a certain type of poison if when you eat it, it kills you.

Darwinian Mutation appears to me to be the easiest, most accurate and most interesting way. Perhaps there could be an option that allows the players action the contribute to the mutations more by what there doing.

As for the malformed Organisms, I believe that can be compensated for. The overcomplexity will be solved with LOD reduction.
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The Uteen
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:37 pm

GamerXA wrote:
It's seems too generalized and vague to use Lamarckian evolution. For example, how does on adapt to a certain type of poison if when you eat it, it kills you.

Darwinian Mutation appears to me to be the easiest, most accurate and most interesting way. Perhaps there could be an option that allows the players action the contribute to the mutations more by what there doing.

As for the malformed Organisms, I believe that can be compensated for. The overcomplexity will be solved with LOD reduction.

You adapt to the poison by having resistance...

Yes, darwinian evolution would be best, but apparently it can't be done...
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GamerXA
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:38 pm

The Uteen wrote:
GamerXA wrote:
It's seems too generalized and vague to use Lamarckian evolution. For example, how does on adapt to a certain type of poison if when you eat it, it kills you.

Darwinian Mutation appears to me to be the easiest, most accurate and most interesting way. Perhaps there could be an option that allows the players action the contribute to the mutations more by what there doing.

As for the malformed Organisms, I believe that can be compensated for. The overcomplexity will be solved with LOD reduction.

You adapt to the poison by having resistance...

Yes, darwinian evolution would be best, but apparently it can't be done...
Was any reason given?
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:43 pm

It appears to be the easiest. Bash was talking to me yesterday and said that unless we have an extremely complex game environment, evolution will be dumbed down and the organisms that come out will be crap.

The solution isn't straight lamarckian, and it isn't straight darwinian; it's a mix of the two for optimal gameplay.

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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:46 pm

I can't see any reason why Lamarckian Evolution would be easier than Darwinian, it seems like the other way round. As for the Horribly evolved Organisms, as I said earlier, it can probably be compensated for.
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:53 pm

It's not a matter of ease, it's a matter of complexity. Coding a generator for random mutation is easy, but in a simple environment, there will be little natural selection because there are fewer factors that are dangerous. With a slight amount of redirection through a lamarckian system, we can ensure that animals become specialized, leading to more variety, which will be thrown back into the system of natural selection to improve the darwinian process.

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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:55 pm

What do you mean when you say "Simple Environment"?

Using any Lamarckian system will require a large amount of code dedicated to a recognition system.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:55 pm

How are other creatures going to evolve, if not through random mutation?
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:01 pm

A real world evironment is extremely complex, which is why natural selection works so well. in a computer made environment, we won't be able to get anywhere near that complexity, so natural selection won't work as well and evolution will work extremely slowly, if it doesn't grind to a halt.

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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:03 pm

We should be able to increase the mutation rate and other variables alluding to the factors of evolution in order to modify it.

I think that when it comes down to it, we will have to test both systems on an actual engine and then make a decision.
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:06 pm

I agree that we will test later. This tread was basically to warn that we probably won't be able to do straight darwinian like we had planned.

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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:07 pm

I agree, though I still think we should lean onto the side of Darwinian.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:08 pm

If it is doable, we will. If it is not, we won't

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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:24 pm

This video might help explain it better.It really talks about the issues we speak of at the end. [url= http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=_m97_kL4ox0] http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=_m97_kL4ox0[/url] Polyworld is an attempt to get smart AIs through evolution.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:08 pm

Hmm... well, we should lean as hard in the direction of Darwanian as we can- no matter how slightly that could be.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:55 pm

I'm leaning as hard as i can. Once i've broken through the initial pressure of the first prototype, I'll start releasing technical documents outlining the actual code and work involved in producing the various ideas posted on both this and the previous forums, on both sides of all debates.
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:30 pm

Thanks, bashi. Don't overwork yourself

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PostSubject: Re: Evolution in Gameplay   Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:49 am

How about the compter adds up the actions that you did over the periods along with the reasons for death and other factors. After going through the variables itgives out parts that you can put on the organism yourself that are relevant to what you were trying to do/died from. Of course not all the parts are given that were relevant and you could also lose some and/or get it replaced whether you were using for some other purpose, or not using it at all.
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