August 24th-27th 2012 :: Theme: Evolution

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Religion Evolutionary Simulator

by jwolf - 48 Hour Compo Entry

For my second Ludum Dare entry I decided to try for something a bit more ambitious: a simulator modeling fictional Religious groups under various evolutionary pressures. The design required way too much, even with my attempts to keep things simple.

Windows .exe and cross-platform jar (tested in Ubuntu) are now up. To compile from source, you'll need LibGDX (~Aug 24, 2012).

"Gameplay" is limited to tweaking the three stats for your Religion and letting it rip. There are various controls to pause and change the speed of the simulator. Esc will quit the app (from most screens--might have forgotten one or two).

I had plans to allow the player to mutate their Religion a bit every few dozen to hundred years or so, but even with that it'd be a bit difficult to call it a game. The traits that you can tweak are mostly violent (dramatic population changing) ones--I would have liked to have modeled peaceful conversions if there was time, as well as more frivolous stuff. The sim also needs some way to depict splitting / Schisms in addition to mutation, to really be an evolutionary sim. Oh well. At least it runs.

The sole sound effect was made with bfxr, and the graphics were made with Paint and GIMP.

Downloads and Links




Mach60KAS says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 11:52pm

The idea of modelling the evolution of religions seems absolutely great to me, and though it's not particularly fun just now I think some of the elements you wanted to include would make for a great post-compo version.

Benjamin says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 12:01am

Well I was expecting to see my religion on the map, and I didnt tried to click on country at my first attempt. Some fading color patch on each country would help to have a global view. The core idea is really interesting I wish you had more time to push it further.

SFX says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 1:11am

Great idea. I would be interested in seeing this with all the features you wanted to put in.

Mclogenog says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 1:18am

I like the idea of evolution simulation games, and I get a kick out of stuff like Conway's Game of Life. The ideas here are neat, but it's a little difficult to read the results of the different stats. For example, I don't know if the hypothetical religion starts at a single nation and then spreads (and if so, which does it start at?), or starts at all nations. The percentage breakdown helps, but is still a little confusing. Being able to define multiple religions, or nation-wide philosophies, and see how they compete would be really neat. It would also be interesting to modify more properties of religion e.g. consequences for apostasy, effects on class structure, severity of internal rules, extent of role in government, etc. All of that's outside the scope of 48 hours though.

I guess what I'm saying is that this is cool and has a lot of potential if you mean to keep working on it! Also, your game reminds me of a Richard Dawkins essay "Viruses of the Mind," worth checking out.

Milo says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 1:27am

Neat idea. I toyed around with it for a while, until I figured out that the most successful religion I could make seemed to be one where they never left their country, but killed everyone in their country and the neighboring ones. I would like to see more depth in it though.

hamster_mk_4 says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 2:05am

I encountered a Java Runtime Error and was unable to start.

Puzzlem00n says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 5:33pm

Hmm. This is interesting. I do wish that you had time to add some properties to the religion that are good... I don't believe religion is just a potential militant force. But of course, everyone has different opinions.

mohammad says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 3:29pm

of course realm of happy people would be turned into ashes.
nobody like happiness, especially George bush.
liked the concept of it, be nice or be murderous.

TheRealJefe says ...
Sep 5, 2012 @ 3:14am

I could see a lot of potential in this idea, but not really feeling it executed well in game.

kibertoad says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 10:55pm

Amazing idea. Wish the game was more detailed and there were mroe stats and player's religion highlighted in a more noticeable way. Hope for a beefier post-compo version.

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