Our game, as you might have noticed, has something to do with evolution. Actually, it's a little more serious than that- our game exists to let you evolve in a realistic way. So earlier this month when we finally gave up hopes of using an accurate Darwinian system to simulate evolution (it's simply too complex), we were slightly disheartened. However, this being a project full of highly intelligent people, we sprang forth to fix the problem, and this could be great news for you.
Basically, we need to make evolution look real without actually running through all of it. On top of that, our game has to be really fun to play, and evolution needs to run at an extremely fast pace, as opposed to real life. This, as you might imagine, is a little tricky. However, we have proposed a few different systems to help with evolution which are quite novel.
Idea #1- Simplified Darwinian
What's an easy way to make natural selection work in a simpler system? Make mutations more dramatic. In this method, individual offspring don't mutate, entire generations of offspring share a few key mutations that differentiate them from their parents. Of course, this method works best in the background, and it will contain systems for divergent evolution, and the simulation of punctuated equilibrium.
Idea #2- Lamarckinan
Basically, we hand out mutations to the next generation based on what's happened in the past generation's life. This however, requires a lot of code, and could limit diversity, because we would have to predict everything possible and hand out mutations based on those mutations. However, your species' behavior is currently set to be managed by a Lamarckian system that monitors what you do and copies actions to the rest of your species. A total lamarckian system may not be plausible, but a partial system could help out.
Idea #3- Crowdsourcing
This should get you excited. Crowdsourcing is using the collective ingenuity of people, connected by the internet, to solve problems. It's proved itself to be a highly effective tool for getting things done. In fact, even scientists have been using crowdsouircing to help model proteinsa. On top of that, there is a car company out there that crowdsources all of its designsb. You can see how we might want to use your wisdom to help in a complex process such as evolution. We want to crowdsource "template organisms", organisms that start out simple with a set body structure and can be evolved in many different ways. Starting out species as "templates" helps prevent "ugly creatures", the seemingly efficient, but unrealistic organisms found in real evolution simulators. Thrive would sift through user-submitted "templates" and find the best ones to put them in the game.
All of these methods might be used in the game, and we still don't have anything definite up yet. Any suggestions are welcome, and if you're the kind of person with great ideas and a little patience, please join our Development Forums
Thanks for reading,
~sciocont, Revolutionary Games Team Lead