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Polysporia: Swarming Evolution Simulator
A downloadable game for Windows
Polysporia is an evolution game that simulates microbial life. All organisms are randomly generated along with their movements and evolutions. You will never have the same game more than once. A wide variety of settings lets you tweak the game to your liking. Organisms compete for survival, killing each other with the tips of their segments. When they have enough energy, they reproduce. Each new offspring has a chance to be mutated. Over time, the DNA gets highly tuned to the environment.
So what are the colors?
Majority green organisms are plants. You can distinguish them because they are immobilized. They get energy from photosynthesis. If a moving organism has green, it is a vestigial/dormant segment that is not providing photosynthesis. Over time, one offspring might mutate into a plant, in which case those dormant segments are activated.
Red indicates an attack segment. It steals energy from another organism if it pokes it. The amount stolen depends on how big and how red it is.
Blue segments are shields. The more blue they are, the more they shield an organism from damage by another's red segment.
Other colors are merely combinations of these three core colors. So, if you see a purple segment, it is both blue and red. While these are difficult to determine at first glance, over time you will notice how the slow mutation of color significantly impacts the game. Plants may develop pinker and pinker segments that eventually turn red. This gives them a "thorn" for protection, for example.
How do they move?
Each organism moves by its flagella, the amount and length of which are determined in "Initial Segment" settings. They move mono-directionally, projecting forward when they flap. Each segment is either active or static, and the ones that do move have DNA for each and every movement and their timings. The amount of moves per segment is also a setting, and can be increased. So, complex flapping can occur over time.
Can they see?
Yes and no. They don't have eyes, but they remember where they were hurt and where they got energy. This will influence where they decide to go. They do have a general gene for direction, changing their heading based on their DNA (which is why some of them swarm together). However, if they swim by a smaller colony and eat some of them, they may very well turn right back around for more. Likewise, if that same organism gets hurt in that area, it'll go somewhere else. These behaviors are subtle, but significant.
Tips and Tricks
If everything dies, you might not have had a good plant ratio. It's an ecosystem, and many of the organisms will live off the plants. The ones you start with are random, so you might not have any plants, or you may have too many. There are a couple things you could try: changing the sunlight to help or hinder plants. Adjusting red and blue costs. Adjusting decay rate and reproduction rate.
If your game lags under 60FPS then try reducing the Max Organisms setting, or reducing the Reproduction Rate. If it is always at 60, you can change the game speed to Max, which will run as fast as your machine can. When doing so, though, the result is generally less smooth, with varying frame rates. Don't use the speed coefficient for game speed. It doesn't make the game run faster, it just makes them move faster.
If you don't like what's unfolding, just hit Control+K and it'll kill all of them. The default reseed setting is to automatically repopulate the initial organism number when they all die. If you still don't like it, mess with the initial settings under Program Settings. Make them start with way more segments. Or maybe really short segments.
You can click to spawn random organisms (which follow the initial settings limits) anywhere and at anytime, even if the amount of organisms is maxed out.
The decay rate will always be sensitive. Organisms evolve based on their conditions. If they suddenly are decaying at a faster rate, even a little higher, you could very well slowly kill them all, which isn't fun. The default setting is 1, but you can always make it negative to give them a boost. Things like the Red and Blue costs and Decay rate will make survival more difficult, and potentially more efficient organisms, but should be used carefully.
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