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CryoGenesis

Little Project Idea Of Mine Wanting Some Feedback :)

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Hey guys, I've recently been thinking about how I have so much spare time on my hands and not doing anything with it. My plan for the next 3 years is to build a nice portfolio of at least two medium-high Quality finished games.

I've just been brainstorming and have come up with a nice little game idea which really inspires me to spend my spare time programming and I was wandering if you would give me any feedback on it.
I started brainstorming with five attributes I wanted to put in the game:

Cellular Automata (if you do not know what it is just think of the Game Of Life)
Artificial Intelligence (I haven't really messed about with AI yet and I really want to write something involving it)
Algorithms (because I need to catch up with my maths)
Society (more of an idea for the game than a attribute)
and finally...
Evolution

with these five things I managed to come up with three base game ideas:

Communism Simulation (not exactly a game but communism just interests me at the moment)
Society Simulation (Like an interactive simulation like the Sims or something)
Natural Selection Cellular automata.

Now I know these 3 ideas sound boring but I've managed to pile them up into one Idea.
Let me talk you through it.

My idea for this game would be a interactive, real-time simulation type game in which you are in control of bunch of Cells (humans).
Each of these cells has in built AI and interacts independently within the world which is also built using Cellular Automata (regrowth of trees etc).
These cells can interact with each other and do thinks like construct houses from wood they have chopped down in which to house their baby cells (Offspring).
These cells would also hold lots of different attributes that would effect the way other cells interact with them for example:
one cell has a higher intelligence rate passed down from the mother and father cells (or just one of them) in which will attract more following cells that will take instructions from the intelligent cell.
I'm really not explaining this well...
Say for instance you spawn a new random world with attributes you have already set like initial population and amount of trees in the environment and animals etc.
In which you could spawn 2 cells (one male one female) with default attributes or set attributes (like setting the females attractiveness higher) but these attributes would be interactive meaning you could change them at any time and are also changed by what happens in the simulation for instance one cell gets older and its attractiveness attribute lowers.
The cells would have real world rules when it comes to sex and reproduction or no rules at all (French) in which the society may or may not fail because the offspring would be inbred unless you were to change the rule in which in-breading is possible (lots of strange stuff like that).
You could start a population of cells that have a small intelligence level and watch them learn with each other right before your eyes.

The game would incorporate natural selection if that mode is selected. The cells would be able to form societies and their own rules inside the society or have a society that has already been set as a capitalist society or communist etc. the cells could build their own towns and live inside them or the player could instantly create a town and watch the cells look at it and ponder of what all this fancy technology is.

The thing I like about this Idea is that (to me) it seems almost endless possibility and I would love to make it as well.
For instance a simulation of survival of the fittest to a simulation of an unstable society all in one game.

So what do you think of this idea? I would appreciate any kind of feedback :)
Oh and also, does a game or simulation similar to this already exist?(just so I can see how they have done it)

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I love these kinds of scientific sim-games! Your post sparked a memory from GDC 2010 and I was able to dig up some reference for you. Ian Holmes demonstrated a cellular automata-based game in one of the experimental AI sessions. The game he showed off was called "Zoo Gas", which is formally described as such:

Formally, Zoo Gas is an entropy-maximizing game of population-balancing and (highly simplified) natural selection, set on a cellular automaton model of the Lotka-Volterra equation. [/quote]

Ian Holmes: http://biowiki.org/IanHolmes
Zoo Gas: http://biowiki.org/ZooGas

Good luck and keep us posted!

edit: Dang, I just remembered that Richard Evans (The Sims 3, Black & White) demonstrated a two game prototypes in the same session that might be interesting, but I can't find any hint of them being released to the public. Here is the description, anyway:

"Richard Evans showed two demos, one of deontic logic used in his prototype Sim Tribe. In that game, you can decide what the rules of society are, and the individuals play out those rules. What's most interesting is that the behavior emerges from these rules, almost like magic! The second demo Richard showed was a long-term planning prototype, in an environment similar to THE SIMS. He showed one individual whose goal was to get promoted, and worked relentlessly on his cooking skills by practicing in a variety of ways."

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I love these kinds of scientific sim-games! Your post sparked a memory from GDC 2010 and I was able to dig up some reference for you. Ian Holmes demonstrated a cellular automata-based game in one of the experimental AI sessions. The game he showed off was called "Zoo Gas", which is formally described as such:

Formally, Zoo Gas is an entropy-maximizing game of population-balancing and (highly simplified) natural selection, set on a cellular automaton model of the Lotka-Volterra equation.


Ian Holmes: http://biowiki.org/IanHolmes
Zoo Gas: http://biowiki.org/ZooGas

Good luck and keep us posted!

edit: Dang, I just remembered that Richard Evans (The Sims 3, Black & White) demonstrated a two game prototypes in the same session that might be interesting, but I can't find any hint of them being released to the public. Here is the description, anyway:

"Richard Evans showed two demos, one of deontic logic used in his prototype Sim Tribe. In that game, you can decide what the rules of society are, and the individuals play out those rules. What's most interesting is that the behavior emerges from these rules, almost like magic! The second demo Richard showed was a long-term planning prototype, in an environment similar to THE SIMS. He showed one individual whose goal was to get promoted, and worked relentlessly on his cooking skills by practicing in a variety of ways."
[/quote]


Thanks! here's +1 rep :)

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Sounds like a great idea! Is it possible that the indie game Dwarf Fortress is somewhat similar to what you are suggesting?

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Sounds like a great idea! Is it possible that the indie game Dwarf Fortress is somewhat similar to what you are suggesting?


I dont think I have played that game before but I have pictures of it.
I dont belive (from what ive seen) that this will be too similar.
What I'm going to try in this game is have mass cellular simulation with complex scripting. You could control the cells based on game mode or just watch the cells learn etc.
there would be no need for computer controlled player to go against in the game because depending on the script the cells would group up into 'societys' and interact with other societys. For instance you would be in control of one or many of these societys and another societys attacks a society of yours in which you could stop the cell script and attack the offending society then the cells would resume script.

I think Im going to make it so you can either edit the default cell and enviroment script or just choose to assign a seperate script when starting a new game mode.
Oh and ive thought of 3 possible game modes:
Sandbox (like a godmode type thing.. Could be used for mass simulation or just watching/testing your assigned script)
Normal (you would have a population of cells which run from a script but you can assign them orders that they will follow also)
EvolutionMode (not much interaction here. More of a simulation of natural selection / survival of the fittest.)

Sorry if I dont make things clear. Its hard for me to write what Im thinking (unless its in code)

Gen.

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Funny. I was thinking of doing something related to cellular automata and evolution too, it could probably make a killer game. But I'm too lazy and I'll probably never even start.

Anyway, I want to suggest reading up on the theory behind genetic algorithms and neural networks. The basics aren't too hard, surprisingly - those things usually use simple concepts to solve complex problems - by evolution or learning. I think it could potentially help you in two ways:
- designing AI,
- as an inspiration for some neat game mechanics.

Besides, those things are just plain interesting.

Good luck, hope to hear about your progress some time.

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Funny. I was thinking of doing something related to cellular automata and evolution too, it could probably make a killer game. But I'm too lazy and I'll probably never even start.

Anyway, I want to suggest reading up on the theory behind genetic algorithms and neural networks. The basics aren't too hard, surprisingly - those things usually use simple concepts to solve complex problems - by evolution or learning. I think it could potentially help you in two ways:
- designing AI,
- as an inspiration for some neat game mechanics.

Besides, those things are just plain interesting.

Good luck, hope to hear about your progress some time.



Thanks I'll look that up!

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So what do you think of this idea?[/quote]
What's the goal of the player in this game? If the game doesn't have a goal for the player to achieve then it cannot possibly be called a game.

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