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EvoDevo is an A-Life game developed for BBC Multiplatform. Starting with an initial pool of artificial creatures, users can selectively breed and mutate to create new life forms, often with unexpected results. These creations can be iteratively crossbred, so that features of many different creatures can be mashed together. The seed creatures vary between organic and mechanistic, reptilian and mammal, so the breeding process has the potential for producing bio-mechanical hybrids.
The creatures are rendered in 3D, and can also be viewed as augmented reality models using the FLARToolkit AR system for Flash.
The creature phenotypes are derived from a genome (encoded as XML), that defines a hierarchy of body parts. These parts in turn determine segment repetition, branching, and the iterative geometric transformations that give the creatures their final form. This approach to morphology borrows from the generative rules of L-systems.
Mutating can cause variation in the geometric rules, segment repetition and branching, and more radically a transposition of body parts. Legs can become wings, and wings in the most extreme case wings can become eyes.
Breeding is more complex, here the geometric and generative properties of the two parents are combined in varying proportions to form the body parts of the children. The characteristics of the parents are expressed differently in each of the children, some resembling one parent more closely, and some the other.
The project was taken from the R&D phase into a production version for the CBBC Bamzooki site. Here the creature genomes and textures were adapted to create Zooks.
Images and video copyright © 2009 BBC