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

Back to Browse Entries


by JH - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Important: You should read the readme.txt file coming with the game.

Short description:
cuboidAI is a real evolution simulator. 'real' means that it uses the principles of evolution to let the creatures (alias colored blocks in the game) learn stuff. Change various parameters of the world and watch how the creatures react on the changes over time. Nothing is predefined, if the creatures suddenly avoid worms then this is because evolution thought them to do this.

There is no final objective in this game. It is open-ended. The longer you run the simulation the smarter the blocks should get. Unless you are starving them or unleashing an armada of deadly worms onto them, which would reset the evolution process.

Downloads and Links




Khayet says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 5:54pm

Interesting. It was definitely fun to play with it, even though it's not a game and very abstract.

panzermancer says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 5:58pm

I don't know why (could just be my computer), but when I ran the game, the actual creatures didn't render - all I saw was a gray screen with the interface. It's a crying shame, though, because it looks like a really, really cool concept; this is definitely a proper way to implement natural selection in a game. It looks like it has the same potential as Virtual Creatures did:

(download link in the description)

Sorry for the shameless plug of some random thing I found a while ago, but this concept definitely reminds me of it, and I feel like you might get a kick out of it :P

Jeremias says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:01pm

Interesting concept, perhaps a bit too much information in the readme and the ingame-report (but I read it anyway...). Made fun to control the population and the colors by adapting the food :)

Audio and graphics are minimalistic, but well done. They create a smoothly ambiente.

michax says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:15pm

Can't tell if it's valid simulation, but i trust u!

Vordux says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:20pm

Incredible demonstration of technical skill. This is a great simulation and I will enjoy reading the source code.

JH says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:44pm

I filled the readme with so much text because I was afraid people would underestimate the extend of this simulation and hurry onto the next game. Maybe flooding them with information is not the right way to go.

It uses some really advanced OpenGL stuff. If your gfx is old it possible has trouble rendering stuff. But there is a weird trick that could help: Hold the F6 key while starting the .exe, the game should launch in window mode. Maybe that helps.

The source code is a mess. :P Mutation and chromosome code is mostly in eCreature.cpp and eWorld.cpp
But there is a file that comes with the game "doc\ai_concept.txt" that explains the basics of the chromosome stuff.

berkano says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 8:59pm

Awesome concept! behaviours based on an evolutionary ASM-like codebase. The graphics are gorgeous... it would be great to see a first "person" perspective from one of the creatures/worms :-) Loving the ambient soundtrack too. Have been hoping to see some evolution sims, since I submitted one myself.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:54pm

Interesting -- I really liked watching the cubes run around, but was not sure how to control them -- probably need to read the instructions better. Nice effort!

Mach60KAS says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 12:10am

I was expecting to be impressed by this, yet to be bored too. And how wrong I was. Watching the tiny critters slowly learn how to dodge worms, seek out food in scarcity and spread across the board like ants just left me in awe - and after roughly 10 minutes I was still amazed! Very nicely done! :D

dalbinblue says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 2:03am

Now this is something that really that's really cool and hits the theme on the nail. Once I figured out a good balance to get evolution going I saw some interesting patterns forming and was amazed by how the intelligence came together. I was hoping to run this on my desktop and just let the simulation run overnight but it won't render on that machine, and the game has a tendency of overheating my laptop when fast-forwarding.

I'd love to see a feature where you could inspect an individual creature to see their code and follow. I'd also love to see a debugger where you could watch a creature execute their code an see the decision making process.

This is definitely a game where I need to poor over the code.

ratking says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 7:58pm

Would have been nice if there were some interaction in order to have an impact on the evolution.

pardue says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 11:56pm

Very impressive...

csanyk says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 3:04am

I feel like I'm staring into the Matrix:)

Fun to look at, but I don't know that I'd call it a game, per se. Graphically it's pretty well done.

Cipher says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 1:52pm

All i get is a grey screen and the UI :(

raohmaru says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 2:40pm

I cannot play on my Windows XP SP3 laptop :'(

dector says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 3:58pm

Sadly, but doesn't work on wine. :)

Sep 4, 2012 @ 8:46am

Greyscreened here too. Windows 7, Radeon HD Mobility 5870.

Kalabasa says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 4:04pm

Can't play on WinXP SP3. :(

goerp says ...
Sep 15, 2012 @ 11:42am

Hey, a save and load option. Thats cool. Not many games in the competition have that. Its soothing to look at and fitting music. Clean and intuitive UI. Most of my blocks just kept going forward, I didn't see much useful mutations.

Puzzlem00n says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 6:00pm

I get the same as Panzermancer... except it's black with the interface, not gray. Windowed mode doesn't help. Oh well.

bodsey says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 6:08pm

That's quite interesting. It would be great to have even more control over the environment. Worms control could have been on a slide bar as well. Good job !

Cthulhu says ...
Sep 18, 2012 @ 12:22am

Great idea. I will try to run fast forward mode all night long to see if the creatures avoid worms. Do you recommend some parameters?

JH says ...
Sep 18, 2012 @ 1:24am

I am currently trying to figure out why the game grey-screens or crashes on some gfx cards. If this happens, it would be very helpful if you could tell me what graphics card you have so I can narrow down the problem.

If you let it run for a long time, set the mutation parameter to something between 0.5% and 1.0%. Lower mutation decreases the speed of the evolution process but makes sure that 'breakthroughs' don't come with deadly side effects. I know it is possible to train the creatures to avoid 1000 worms with a food parameter as low as 10, I was able to do that a few times. You could try that.
You can also just try to get the food parameter as low as possible without killing them. This forces them to learn intelligent moving patterns.
Maybe I will work on an post-compo version with more stuff. I do have a lot of ideas (placeable walls, worms can evolve too, attacking, 3d terrain, editor for modifying creatures - to name just a few)

Fun fact: Although the creatures do have some kind of memory (unbelievable 16 bytes) they hardly ever use this feature to remember stuff over multiple steps. But I was able to get them to remember their movement direction once, where they started to turn around when they met a worm instead of just waiting for it to pass.

You must sign in to comment.

[cache: storing page]