Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

Moderators: SecondTalon, Moderators General, Prelates

SpaceShipRat
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby SpaceShipRat » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:50 pm UTC

Computer scientist Steve Grand, also the brain behind the Creatures Artificial Life video game series, is developing a new revolutionary game/simulation.

I think I'd better let him explain it himself
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/15 ... on-your-pc

Excerpt from the project page
Imagine that someone has discovered alien creatures on a nearby planet and is planning to import them to Earth to sell as pets. Would you want to buy one?

What would you do with it? Where should you keep it? What is it capable of? Does it have alien dreams, hopes, fears? Does it have its own primitive language? Its own culture? What should you feed it? What makes it sick and how do you look after it? Can this species safely coexist with that species? Is it possible to get the creatures to breed, here on Earth? Might they evolve? Can we understand their biology? Can we interpret the structure of their brains? Are they conscious? Should they have rights?

I can't promise actual physical aliens from another planet, but I can offer you real 'alien' life forms who can live in a virtual world on your computer. And I do mean real. I'm not talking about a computer game designed to simulate lifelike behavior; I mean genuine artificial life. I mean virtual creatures constructed from complex networks of virtual brain cells and biochemical reactions and genes. [...] If you conclude that they're conscious, thinking, feeling beings then it won't be because I've somehow fooled you. I'm not here to fool you; I'm here to celebrate the beauty and complexity of life with you.

[...]Ever since I finished the Creatures game (the forerunner of what I'm attempting now) around 15 years ago, I've devoted myself to artificial life and artificial intelligence research.[...] I don't want to take it to a publisher because it will cease to be a labor of love and a work of art and science, and instead become a commercialized video game. I'm asking for the bare minimum I can live on while I put my latest ideas into practice (it's going to take about another 12 months), but if you can help me raise more than my goal then I can probably afford to eat as well and do a better job with the game. I'd really appreciate that. Thank you.


I'd kinda assumed someone would have already posted this here, but apparently not. The project is in fact already funded(!), but there's still 2 weeks to get such things as a preorder of the game with access to the beta versions, up to access to a private developement forum and tools.

I'd have kicked myself if i'd somehow missed this opportunity. I really suggest you look into it.

User avatar
Xeio
Friends, Faidites, Countrymen
Posts: 5099
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:12 am UTC
Location: C:\Users\Xeio\
Contact:

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby Xeio » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:27 pm UTC

The guy behind Creatures? Hell yes.

JamesP
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:24 pm UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby JamesP » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:11 pm UTC

ohmygodohmygodohmygod

I played the crap out of the creatures games. I just hope this guy ain't pulling a Molyneaux on us and it will be as epic as he says.

Also, does anyone else think he is slightly, maybe, just a little taking his inspiration from MC? Buy now, get unfinished game at ultra low price with a possibility of finished game later! Hey, as long as it works.

User avatar
Levi
Posts: 1294
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:12 am UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby Levi » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:06 am UTC

I wouldn't call $50 an ultra-low price. I think I'm going to wait until it's out to purchase. It's a year-long wait, but at least I will be able to be sure I'm not paying for a game I don't want. Looks like he's doing just fine, too, closing in on double his pledge goal.

I never really did get the hang of Creatures. I downloaded a free edition of the game, but I didn't see the appeal. Maybe there were a lot of features missing or something. I couldn't get the Narns to do specific things, like stay on a certain level or walk back and forth all the time. I spent the longest time trying to keep them awake forever, but I guess sleep is more important than pain after a while.

JamesP
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:24 pm UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby JamesP » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:09 am UTC

I was going off him asking for 'the bare minimum'. Shoulda read the link :oops:

Korrente
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:44 am UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby Korrente » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:33 am UTC

And what happens when the creatures turn out to be conscious, realize they're living in my computer, and want out?

User avatar
Xeio
Friends, Faidites, Countrymen
Posts: 5099
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:12 am UTC
Location: C:\Users\Xeio\
Contact:

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby Xeio » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:35 am UTC

Levi wrote:I never really did get the hang of Creatures. I downloaded a free edition of the game, but I didn't see the appeal. Maybe there were a lot of features missing or something. I couldn't get the Narns to do specific things, like stay on a certain level or walk back and forth all the time. I spent the longest time trying to keep them awake forever, but I guess sleep is more important than pain after a while.
Docking station was ok, the internet connectivity was theoretically neat, though I had to install an add-on to vaporize norns that came through with highlander disease. Also, part of the point was they had their own thinking, you could teach them, but not command them.

Also, you're going to hell for mistreating your norns, you know that right*? :P

*I would never ever hurt my norns**

**Or use the medical station to see what injecting them with different chemicals does to them***

***Like death****

****What? Death is totally a chemical.

EmptySet
Posts: 1196
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:33 am UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby EmptySet » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:29 am UTC

The ethical implications of having actual lifeforms on my computer are far too horrifying for me to consider buying this. I'd be imagining them telling stories about how when the Final Shutdown comes, all the disk shall be cleansed in the Great Formatting, yea, and the worthy shall be spared and travel to a new world upon the sacred Ark of Removable Media.

SpaceShipRat
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby SpaceShipRat » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:52 am UTC

I trust it will be epic. Much because he won't have a clueless marketing department to please, or a tight deadline. You can hardly go wrong when you start like that!
Yes, these community funded projects are a bit like Minecraft and Overgrowth, though with the difference that this is limited to the starting period. I guess, if there are a lot of people interested, he can always start selling preorders once beta comes out.

Creatures was a miss for many people who just didn't understand what they were supposed to do. I was 9 and had no problem at all, but maybe others, with previous gaming experience, expected Norns to behave like AoE units and march up and down for them.

EmptySet wrote:The ethical implications of having actual lifeforms on my computer are far too horrifying for me to consider buying this. I'd be imagining them telling stories about how when the Final Shutdown comes, all the disk shall be cleansed in the Great Formatting, yea, and the worthy shall be spared and travel to a new world upon the sacred Ark of Removable Media.

I think you are confusing intelligence with sapience. These creatures will be animals, hardly people. Gosh, I hope! :mrgreen:


This game is going to focus more on interaction and the creatures being able to learn, rather than evolution as the later Creatures games did, especially since these creatures will be aging slower. Yeah, it is a bummer when a creature you've spent hours teaching to just dies on you. But i will miss what I do in Creatures 3, setting up the worls with special conditions (Ok, we'll have a really low temperature and kill all food sources except cheese vendors...) and just leaving them there, coming back hours later to weirdly mutated norns.

User avatar
el_cheato
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:21 am UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby el_cheato » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:55 pm UTC

Korrente wrote:And what happens when the creatures turn out to be conscious, realize they're living in my computer, and want out?

If it's advanced as Steve says it is, then this sounds like a legitimate threat. They could take control of your entire computer, and then start communicating with others via the internet!

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26300
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:03 pm UTC

SpaceShipRat wrote:I think you are confusing intelligence with sapience. These creatures will be animals, hardly people. Gosh, I hope! :mrgreen:
I... while I'm fine with medical research, eating animals and using them for labor and entertainment via things like racing, I kinda have a problem with the notion of just wiping them out completely when I'm done with them.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
Jessica
Jessica, you're a ...
Posts: 8337
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:57 pm UTC
Location: Soviet Canuckistan

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby Jessica » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:20 pm UTC

If it's as cool as creatures, then sign me up!

And, for those who don't know what creatures is... go to GOG.com and buy it.
doogly wrote:On a scale of Mr Rogers to Fascism, how mean do you think we're being?
Belial wrote:My goal is to be the best brain infection any of you have ever had.

SpaceShipRat
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby SpaceShipRat » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:47 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
SpaceShipRat wrote:I think you are confusing intelligence with sapience. These creatures will be animals, hardly people. Gosh, I hope! :mrgreen:
I... while I'm fine with medical research, eating animals and using them for labor and entertainment via things like racing, I kinda have a problem with the notion of just wiping them out completely when I'm done with them.


That's interesting, because the question of culling came up pretty often in the Creatures community, but it was usually regarded as more "humane" to export and delete a creature rather than kill it in-world. But I've always found a massive injection of glycotoxin does the deed quickly. Or the piranha pond, of course. That's again C3 when norns breed like tribbles, and have the personality of a rock with a face on it, I couldn't kill a c1 norn. If you really think you'll have a problem with deleting creatures, you can always export them from the game and share them on the internet. (or wait till they die of old age)
I actually balk a bit from th idea of starting over all the "ethics" questions that the current CC had finally resolved after 12 years and >9000 posts on the topic. :o

User avatar
WarDaft
Posts: 1583
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:16 pm UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby WarDaft » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I... while I'm fine with medical research, eating animals and using them for labor and entertainment via things like racing, I kinda have a problem with the notion of just wiping them out completely when I'm done with them.


If real intelligence is as easy to create as simply playing a game, then there's little reason to feel bad about wiping it out.

The only reason that intelligent life forms fear death in the real world is because we have silly little things like conservation of matter and energy - and intelligence requires both out here. Thus, intelligences which can operate across 4 dimensions to acquire more matter and energy propagate forward through time, while those that can't, don't. In a virtual world, intelligence need only fear death if we program it to. Even then really, it's hard to feel bad about killing it, you should feel more bad about programing it to feel fear.
All Shadow priest spells that deal Fire damage now appear green.
Big freaky cereal boxes of death.

User avatar
Xeio
Friends, Faidites, Countrymen
Posts: 5099
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:12 am UTC
Location: C:\Users\Xeio\
Contact:

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby Xeio » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:49 pm UTC

WarDaft wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:I... while I'm fine with medical research, eating animals and using them for labor and entertainment via things like racing, I kinda have a problem with the notion of just wiping them out completely when I'm done with them.
If real intelligence is as easy to create as simply playing a game, then there's little reason to feel bad about wiping it out.
And this is why the robot revolution will happen.

We're already in the matrix though, so it will happen recursively.

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26300
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:57 am UTC

No disassemble!
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

SpaceShipRat
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby SpaceShipRat » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:19 am UTC

^ thank you for that, I googled it and found a movie I think I'll just have to see.

I wonder if this will be compared to Milo, Molyneux's "8 Year old boy in a box". A rather big issue in AI and roboics is certainly the emotional appeal component, what makes you love an artificial creature enough that you'd feel grieved at the thought of "disassembling" it.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:20 pm UTC

So, it's a tamagatchi. Excuse me while I continue breathing as normal.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
SurgicalSteel
Posts: 1926
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:18 pm UTC
Location: DMV, USA

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:05 pm UTC

SpaceShipRat wrote:Much because he won't have a clueless marketing department to please, or a tight deadline. You can hardly go wrong when you start like that!
I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not.
"There's spray paint on the teleprompter
Anchorman screams that he's seen a monster (mayday)
There's blood stains on his shirt (mayday)
They say that he's gone berserk."
--Flobots "Mayday"

SpaceShipRat
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby SpaceShipRat » Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:20 pm UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:
SpaceShipRat wrote:Much because he won't have a clueless marketing department to please, or a tight deadline. You can hardly go wrong when you start like that!
I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not.

Not. If I get the tone of some sentences wrong, blame it on my not being in any way a native english speaker.
I just mean so many games get rushed out incomplete, or turned into children's stuff (see Spore. I'm sure Will Wright didn't want cells with large eyes on them.) At least "going indie" means this game won't be like those.

SpaceShipRat
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

Re: Artificial Life by Steve Grand

Postby SpaceShipRat » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:20 pm UTC

Just thought I'd give you a heads up- time is almost over.


Return to “Gaming”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests