One concern I have seen a few people mention in the past, and I have been thinking about recently is about how the Auto-Evo algorithm will handle the future stages (Multicellular and Aware) when countless species will have evolved on the player’s planet. Would the player spend longer in a loading screen, waiting for Auto-Evo to finish up than playing the actual game? Will the organisms of the microscopic world continue evolving when the player outgrows them, or will the evolution have to be stopped to reduce loading times? This seems very concerning to me.
Probably. Or at least how much they are simulated will be reduced.
The plan is to simplify the auto-evo algorithms enough that it never takes more than about 30 to 45 seconds. At least on a waiting screen. We can push that a bit higher by running the auto-evo in the background while the player is trying to survive as the player won’t notice how long it actually takes if they are busy playing the game before getting to the loading screen that is already partly complete.
I think its not actively evolving, as in being simulated, instead it just uses its values to generate the current generation, also, idk how u can go back to cellular, from multicellular and beyond?
It’s amazing that auto-evo can be simplified to the point of still running even when you won’t be able to see microscopic organisms, but I wonder if perhaps that might lead to some issues in the macroscopic parts of the organism stages.
For example, one thing I thought about was with filter-feeders who live off of phytoplankton and zooplankton, a method of consumption I think should be added as a precursor to jaws/mandibles. Would it be better for the game to simulate those zooplankton and phytoplankton through auto-evo, or would it be better for those two to be simplified into, essentially, compound clouds which can be increased or decreased to symbolize ecological events? I also wonder about biogeochemical events, which cells play an essential role in, and how a screw up with auto-evo might mess up the experience.
However, I could easily be overthinking things, and the macroscopic stages can obviously run on certain assumptions while still allowing microscopic auto-evo to maintain itself.
I mean how else would you model eating huge amounts of much smaller things. To me it only makes sense to do a simple predation calculation. At most it would be only slightly more complex than the current way predation is calculated.
One big thing is that as the timescale is much shorter, not as many changes would happen in the earlier stages. After all if your auto-evo step in the aware stage is hundreds of thousands of years, compared to microbes 100 million. They would basically only need to be simulated very rarely, so even something like once an hour would be much more often than it would “really” need to be performed. And taking extra 30 seconds of CPU time per hour doesn’t seem like much to me.
Lets just hope the auto evo micro organisms wont evolve so much toxins to the point it kills the filter feeders.