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#1 Jingle  Icon User is offline

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using game engine to create a tool for graphicly modeling ecosystems

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:43 PM

I am a computer science major with a minor in biology currently studying at BYU Hawaii. I was thinking how usful it would be for future reserch to have a tool for modeling ecosystems. I want to be able to create individuals of types of species and put them in a created envirment and see how they interact. This involvs some very interesting AI wich is what I am most interested in right now. I am not interested in haveing to start from scratch though especialy where the graphics are concerned. I got the Idea of using a game engine as a springboard for not only the graphics but the entire thing. I have not really played any of the new RTS games like starcraft2 or all the games that have come from the warcraft3 editor. I'm wondering what whould be the most adapted game engine to use? Do you think that something like this could work? The thing is each of the individuals need to be able to think for themselves in the pattern of their species. Also it would need to be flexible so I could test out different attributs acording to what is desired. To make it able to smeiacuratly able to model a real ecosystem it would have to be able to implement some statistics because it would be way to hard to include all the variables of any real ecosystem in any model.
what do you think could a game do this? I have heard that Starcaft 2 has an editor that is really powerful would something like that work?

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Replies To: using game engine to create a tool for graphicly modeling ecosystems

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: using game engine to create a tool for graphicly modeling ecosystems

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:51 PM

Corewars says what?

Though really.. what you are asking for is a 'do everything' environment.. sure.. that can work but there's only a finite amount of rules you can program into it, right? Plus a crazy number of environmental factors and what not..

as for what game you can slave for this? None. Honestly.. starcraft is all about player interactions.. not some eco system.. because really - outside of funneling people around the environment doesn't really play a factor.
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#3 Jingle  Icon User is offline

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Re: using game engine to create a tool for graphicly modeling ecosystems

Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:00 PM

good point
I suppose they could be made as units for example what if grass was made as an imovible unit?
but I get the idea it would not be Ideal.
hm I serusly dont want to start from scatch lol :)
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: using game engine to create a tool for graphicly modeling ecosystems

Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:05 PM

Why not? A basic tile engine can be whipped together in something as easy a .NET platform and you can spend the rest of the time tweaking parameters..
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#5 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: using game engine to create a tool for graphicly modeling ecosystems

Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:07 PM

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I want to be able to create individuals of types of species and put them in a created envirment and see how they interact.


Look at the work done in simple robotics. Researchers create swarms of bug-like micro robots with very basic behaviors then let them free in a confined area to see what they do.
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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: using game engine to create a tool for graphicly modeling ecosystems

Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:20 PM

Exactly tlhin..

Heck.. just sitting here for a minute I think I could whip up a top down tile map, editor, and a basic abstract class to create animals with in probably an hour or two.. add another hour and I could wire up various implementation of the animal super class to move around and drink from a water source (when thirsty) and eat food (when hungry).. and after that.. it's just a matter of refining the class to allow more robust input from the environment and interaction.
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#7 Jingle  Icon User is offline

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Re: using game engine to create a tool for graphicly modeling ecosystems

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:03 PM

Ok I know two things for sure
first its going to take me a heck of a lot longer than 3 hours
and two I had better get started.
thanks for the input.

by the way I am currently planning on using this for theoretical situations. I do not plan on begining with real entire ecosystems
however I am confident that when statistics are used one could create a fairly acurit model.
I just think it would be lots of fun to have something like this to play around with.
for example I could do some experiments on evelution using something like this.
but the coolest part is that it can be watched you are not just looking at data but animated AI driven creatures.
so its worth the efforts.
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#8 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: using game engine to create a tool for graphicly modeling ecosystems

Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:04 PM

Well.. there's always Spore.
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: using game engine to create a tool for graphicly modeling ecosystems

Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:53 AM

I figure the OP won't be back for some time, but I finally dug up this link in my archives. A fun .NET 2.0 game for anyone else out there thinking about a similar idea.

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In Terrarium, you can create herbivores, carnivores, or plants and then introduce them into a peer-to-peer, networked ecosystem where they complete for survival.
...
When creating a creature, you have control over everything from genetic traits (eyesight, speed, defensive power, attacking power, etc.) to behavior (the algorithms for locating prey, moving, attacking, etc.) to reproduction (how often a creature will give birth and what “genetic information,” if any, will be passed on to its offspring).

https://terrarium2.codeplex.com/
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