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Evolutionary Procedural Generation

#1
So you've seen and heard it all about procedural content generation.

OK -- how about evolutionary procedural content generation?

Michael Cook (of Games By Angelina) has another great write-up, this time about a system for procedurally generating weapons in a FPS. What makes this system stand out is its emphasis on computational evolution, which mutates weapons into new forms as players maximize the tactical value of existing weapons.

This might be outside the intentions for Limit Theory (which is why I didn't post this in the Suggestions sub-forum). But it's still interesting to speculate: would you enjoy seeing ship weapons evolve in LT?
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Re: Evolutionary Procedural Generation

#3
So before LT, I had an idea for a style of game creation that I wanted to try out someday, that relies exactly on evolution of procedural algorithms as you suggest. My idea was:
  • Build algorithm for a class of content, doesn't necessarily have to be consistently good - just capable of good output (much easier than building a consistently-good algorithm)
  • Expose the parameters of the algorithm to some sort of nonconvex optimization procedure (evolutionary computation comes to mind)
  • Build a simple website where two outputs are displayed side-by-side and the user is asked to choose the most appealing ("which weapon looks more aesthetically-pleasing")? This is essentially powering the optimizer's ability to make decisions about the fitness of an output.
  • Get a crowd of people who are interested in helping build the game (just by doing side-by-side content comparisons) and...evolve the algorithms to perfection!
Alternatively, you don't even have to evolve the algorithms, maybe just store the best-rated outputs if you want to go for a manual content game.

It's really "crowd-sourced" game development! I think it would be a really unique and interesting way of building content.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Evolutionary Procedural Generation

#7
JoshParnell wrote:
  • Build a simple website where two outputs are displayed side-by-side and the user is asked to choose the most appealing ("which weapon looks more aesthetically-pleasing")? This is essentially powering the optimizer's ability to make decisions about the fitness of an output.
  • Get a crowd of people who are interested in helping build the game (just by doing side-by-side content comparisons) and...evolve the algorithms to perfection!
In a way, this makes me think of Galaxy Zoo, only gamified.

It would be interesting to see whether simplifying user contributions, but also letting them have specifically defined values, might increase participation.

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