Evol Pedal: Walking Evolution Sim
A downloadable simulator for Windows
Version 12 is here, with substantial bug fixes and better evolution
Evol Pedal is a walking evolution simulator where lifeforms reproduce based on their ability to travel forward. They evolve their own methods of walking, crawling, jumping, or climbing to adapt to the environment.
Each movement and characteristic is programmed into their virtual genes, all of which can change over time through random mutations. Segments are connected with joints (the bold, colored lines between them), of which either stay stiff or can revolve and pivot. Each muscle has its own timers, which change over time, giving rise to intricate movement patterns.
Different variations of the parent lifeform will be tried until one of them passes the flag. If the mutated offspring doesn't do better than its parent, it's discarded. Then, another mutation based off the parent is tried. Once an offspring passes the flag, it becomes the new parent and so on.
With a multitude of settings, you can tweak the simulation to your liking. Set the amount of mutations, sizes, the amount of joints, the round time, gravity, and more. You can adjust things like falling, forcing evolutions that walk with their heads upright. Uncapped framerates (as of Version 12) use more processing power to run through the rounds faster.
This simulation is unpredictable. Random mutations can get lucky, and your proactive setting adjustment may decrease the time it takes something cool to evolve. Remember, what looks cool to us means nothing to evolution. The lifeform's only objective is to go forward. That said, it can take hundreds of rounds before a generation emerges that is both able to traverse the screen and looks interesting while doing it.
Tips for Success
- Spawn a new lifeform until you see something you like.
- Observe. Does it flail violently? Lower the power. Is it nearly motionless? Increase the power (within reason, difficulty is good) or gravity accordingly.
- Decide if barriers would encourage your lifeform to evolve how you want it to. For example, small blocks for it climb over forces it to lift its legs up rather than sliding.
- Play around with round times. You can start with a short round time to encourage efficient initial movements. Then, after it has matured, increase the round time to work on efficiency in traveling with the movements it's built up.
- If you notice a particular feature or mutation that you want to keep, clear the flag. That will make that lifeform win the round automatically.
- If you like the amount of joints your lifeform has, set the min and max to exactly that number. This way, it won't lose or gain any and will instead work with what it has.
- Take a screeshot/screencast of your accomplishment and post it in the comments below if you create something cool
Use the build tool to create blockades, barriers, and stairs for your lifeform to get around. Even simple small blocks will force the lifeform to evolve an inventive mechanism for maneuvering past them.
Scrollwheel or - +: Zoom In/Out
Esacpe/P: Pause Game
Arrow/Enter Keys: Select and change items on the menu
WASD: Pan the camera
Control + 0: Reset the camera
Other shortcuts are shown in the bottom left when highlighting menu options.
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