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£7,690 pledged of £50,000 goal
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By Gordon Douglas Ross
£7,690 pledged of £50,000 goal
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About this project

Richard Dawkins: Evolution is a ground breaking videogame project created in collaboration with award winning Game Director: Gordon Douglas Ross. (Targets: PC & Mac 2017 with Xbox and PlayStation 2018)

Gordon was Game Director on the LEGO Fusion videogame series which won toy of the year award at the New York Toy Fair and was also Lead Designer on the launch games for the award winning Leapster educational system which was awarded the "Parents Choice" award.

Richard Dawkins is a highly acclaimed science educator and best selling author of books such as the Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion.

"I’ve read many of his (Richard Dawkins) books over the years, including The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker.... I consider him to be one of the great scientific writer/explainers of all time." - Bill Gates

Richard Dawkins: Science Director
Richard Dawkins: Science Director

We welcome a mandate from fans of Evolution, Science and Reasoning. 

We cannot do this alone. The technology running this huge interactive scientific experiment is supported by a farm of servers (remotely networked computers). 

It will take significant resources to keep the project running and the purpose of the Kickstarter is to make sure there is an audience when the game is live.

We are all in the fight for a better understanding of the Cosmos together and this is a way for you to make your voice heard above the deafening roar of those who would silence you.

You play the role of a C.H.A.R.L.I.E. robot

C.H.A.R.L.I.E.
C.H.A.R.L.I.E.

 C.H.A.R.L.I.E. - Final Art Direction Style

C.H.A.R.L.I.E.
C.H.A.R.L.I.E.

Assisted by Richard Dawkins in the form of a holographic ship mate you explore space from one planet to another searching for the life forms that interest you the most. Your job is to safeguard the bio diversity that emerges against extinction by keeping a personal collection. 

The maximum population of the life forms scales with the amount of computing power we have and this means the bigger the community of subscribers the more diverse and interesting the variety of life can grow to be.

As a player it is your job to explore, collect and describe the creatures that evolve.

The following chart describes the anticipated user behavior.

Core Game Loop
Core Game Loop
  • Explore (Look Around)
  • Discover (Photograph)
  • Collect (Curate the things that interest you) - Rewards based on traits
  • Name/Describe (Classify and Debate)
  • Experiment (Put things back in the world)
  • Share (Increase Collection)

The following chart describes the relationships and dependencies of the core features.

Core Feature Map
Core Feature Map
  • The Player Avatar allows the Player to enter the Persistent World
  • The Player Avatar allows Player Avatar customisation
  • Persistent World (Terrain) allows a place for Organisms to live
  • Evolving Organisms provide something interesting to collect
  • The Collection allows a record of progression and rewards to be tracked
  • The Collection provides a place to store an archive of named and described organisms
  • The Progression System gives a means by which to reward the player with content and fun facts from Richard
  • The Progression System allows the game to foreshadow what the player may encounter in the future

Early Prototype Placeholder Artwork: This is an early concept of the player´s collection room.

Collect, Name, Describe and Share Species
Collect, Name, Describe and Share Species

Early Prototype Images, with placeholder artwork:

The following are examples of organisms which all evolved from a single common ancestor within the prototype.

Each organism is a unique living breathing creature with a life of its own, sometimes giving birth to its own slightly mutated offspring which leads to huge change over time.

Evolving Organisms
Evolving Organisms

The mechanism by which the Organisms evolve is a cloning system where the offspring (copies) are not perfect. Their appearance and behaviors arise from little changes to values contained within their simulated "Genes" (which simulate their desires, physical attribute like, sizes of individual parts of their body, aggression, fear, colour etc.)

Alien Coral
Alien Coral

The individual behaviors are combined to establish the organism´s plan of action. Their states on any given capability give rise to emergent behavior.

So for example, a hungry (low on energy), but tired creature who has a low aggression stat, may become more persistently aggressive toward things that pass near it, as their energy becomes critical and hunger takes charge.

Transition from Sea to the Land
Transition from Sea to the Land

 

Production Schedule
Production Schedule

   

Early Prototype Image, with placeholder artwork: Featuring an early population of creatures, only a few generations on from the first "parent".

Population Explosion
Population Explosion

"Trailer:Theme Music - Stock media provided by [Sounds4All]/ Pond5.com"

 

It is important to note that although MMOs are normally associated with long development times and high development costs, this is usually a result of them being reliant on huge manually created content budgets, especially role playing games. 

The majority of content in this game is generated via simulated evolution. 

Risks and challenges

Prof. Richard Dawkins leads his field in Evolutionary science and as a best selling author his books have sold millions of copies world wide.

Richard insists that the science can be as fun as it likes, so long as it remains true and accurate.

The main technical risks and challenges we have is that we are working with middle-ware technology that is still reaching maturity whilst developing a system of content creation reliant on algorithms run by computer, rather manual design.

From a creative perspective striking a balance between realism, education and entertainment is a difficult balance and will require iteration.

The timeline is aggressive in terms of delivery and this represents a risk of slippage.

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Funding period

- (32 days)