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Dream.Build.Play 2011

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With the annual Dream.Build.Play competition just on the horizon, my mind has been racing lately with tons of ideas for games that I'd really love to develop and submit. I've put off my other projects, other than the XNA Challenges that I have planned for DIC until I decide whether I want to flesh out some of these ideas that have been flooding my brain for a couple weeks now. For instance I've been looking a lot evolutionary simulations lately and I think I would love to create a game using some evolution algorithms. If only I had the time and resources to develop the game I have in mind. In this game, the player would make a decision on the planet that they would want to start on. The player would control a "god" that indirectly influences life on the planet through terraforming and manipulating the gases and metals on the planet to influence which species continue to evolve. There would be 1000 simple species to start with, and as time passes the "best" adaptable species would continue to thrive and populate the entire planet as they evolve into more advanced beings. If the player gets to a point where they want to extinguish all life and start over, there would be a power that would allow the player to hurl a "world-ending" asteroid at the planet, causing a massive extinction, but populating the planet with another set of various species to start over with. The different species would each have certain elements that they fed on as well as elements that would act as a poison to them if eaten. Through an evolutionary algorithm, each species would continue to evolve, with some small mutations from time to time to keep things interesting and further promote growth, from simple single-celled organisms to multi-limbed, complex beings with intelligence. Granted this would be an artificial intelligence which would also make this project a good bit more difficult. Over millions of years, the species would evolve and develop their own way of life. As each species evolves, there will inevitably be conflicts between the different species for supremacy, the strongest survive. Okay, maybe not the strongest, but at least the most adaptable species would slowly begin to advance ahead of the other species on the planet. I've thought of the possibility of introducing new species from time to time, whether they start a single-cell organisms or complex "animals". So as the evolution is happening, the player is allowed to scroll around the map of the planet and shape the terrain, influence elemental properties of the liquids, solids, and gasses on the planet, hurl solar winds at the planet that begin to degrade the atmosphere around the planet causing massive changes in the world's ecosystems, etc. The player wouldn't directly control the various forms of life on the planet, but at any time can access a list of the current lifeforms and check in on their progress. The only way a player could influence the lifeforms would be to change their environments through terraforming or manipulating elements. This could possibly give a specific species of life an advantage over others around it depending on the needs of the lifeforms. Anyway, this is just the rambling of a man with too much on his mind and not enough time to move forward on all the various things that run through his head on a daily basis. I really do think that would be an amazing submission for Dream.Build.Play 2011, if only we had a team from DIC with the time to pull off a game of that magnitude in time to meet the deadline.

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08 February 2011 - 07:44 PM
Speaking of which, the Game Design competition (ImagineCup) is on as well. The deadlines are:

February 15th (for the US competition)
March 7th (for the Worldwide competition)
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