Author Topic: Biology - bone structure  (Read 5860 times)

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Offline Cosmo

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Biology - bone structure
« on: May 08, 2005, 05:44:51 pm »
I know for a fact a few non-gamers are taking a warming to this game because of the evolution/biology concept. That fact was one of the main reasons I myself was attracted to it in the first place.

How suprised I was to learn that my gaming challenged friend had heard about it before I did. We were listening to steve's pod cast on it (in the section about being able to see bone structure in the creature generator) when she commented to me:

"That better be accurate."

This is true, if the bone structure is off or incorrect (as incorrect as bone structure for a cat-dog might be) Will could dissapoint gamers like me, and all those non-gamers will sigh sadly because they havent got a game they feel like they want to play yet again.



Offline Tr0n

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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2005, 05:57:25 pm »
From what I've learned, bone structure seems to be totally controllable by you, as well as the features you attach to it.  In Will's demo, he elongated the sea-faring creature's tail and the creature animated and built it's own AI in order to use that tail to the best of it's ability... as a gripping appendage.  I'm not sure if Will directly put fingers or something of the like on there, but my guess is that you can direct the physical structure of your animal.  This will probably lead way to animals no animating correctly or to your imagination.  I'm not sure if this is a non-negotiable thing or not.  Perhaps there will be the ability to correct structure and animation.  Simply put, the bone structure of some animals actually conradicts how they walk/crawl, etc.  I'm guessing that Will would be smart enough not to make things like that so static.
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Offline Zealousy

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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2005, 12:31:26 am »
'Course, I don't know for sure, but I'm under the impression that the skeleton isn't going to be biologically accurate. I think it's going to be more representative, basically telling the game where the joints are for each creature, so the game can figure out how to make it move (maybe similar to the placement and adjustment of bones in 3d animation software). I kind of hope that players can make things as detailed as they want to, though. I imagine that could get pretty hard to code, but it sure would be neat. ;)
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Offline Stromko

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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2005, 01:56:33 am »
The question of how it's going to determine animation for a creature made me think of Gene Pool. It's a freeware program(http://www.ventrella.com/GenePool/gene_pool.html) that presents a 2-d pool filled with constantly regenerating foodbits and a large population of 'swimbots'(organisms) that must pursue food and mates and that evolve randomly with every generation.

The detail relevant to his thread is that the creatures will -try- to pursue food and desired partners but the functions of their limbs and the way those limbs work together isn't implicitly mapped but rather based on a physics model. With every animation cycle they gauge how their position to the object has changed and may alter the frequency of their motions to compensate. AFAIK there isn't a direct action interface in Spore, so I wonder if it may use a similiar system of 'step - think - compensate'? In Gene Pool, animations are determined randomly each time a new swimbot is created, from what we've heard it sounds like Spore will be much much more deliberate in determing animations.

One thing I'll note about Gene Pool is that the evolution doesn't seem to find and make dominant those features and layouts that are actually beneficial. A successful creature will mate more often than a 'broken' creature, but the successful creature's progeny are very likely to be broken themselves. As I write this I've been running an instance of Gene Pool and while at one point a successful creature developed, I now look back and see that a population of 200 has fallen to 38, and the most successful organism is a broken creature that flails its limbs like crazy but only goes in one direction no matter where it's trying to go...

It's 2 AM and I can't finish my thought. Maybe I'll get back to this post later.

Offline merridian

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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 05:57:45 am »
I have played gene pool and thought it was pretty good, although it turns out that some of the best simming bots are longand straight, they can swim quickly and easily but for some reason they cant turn, or if the do bend and turn its not enough to get them where they need to go and they invariably swim off the screen and away from the food and die, but it is good to see how various structures of limbs ets are animated in motion.

But Spore will be much more complex and as we will be controling our creatures even if they dont move very well we should be able to get where we need to go, but i suppose we will have to wait to see a more detailed demo of the game to see how bone structure is placed and how that directly affects movement etc.
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Offline craigp

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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2005, 08:40:24 am »
Having seen it, I can tell you that it isn't 'accurate', although most players won't know the difference. It's a playful, simplified set-up. There are no collarbones, no real shoulderblades. But accuracy isn't the focus. After all, this is a game where you can make impossible linkages that WORK.

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Offline Eagle13

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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2005, 03:04:53 pm »
While I agree that an accurate bone structure would be neat, I dont think we will see it in in the retail version of the game. While I beleve that the bone diagrams will more then likley be realistic, but to the side of not realy possible, as it will be made for the avrage person who dosent realy care about the accuracy of the bone structure

What I see is that the Spore engine could be taliored as an evolonatary study propgram. The egine could more then likley be fixed to were everything is realistic, so it could be used accuratly for biology study.
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Offline Pinstar

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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2005, 03:13:15 pm »
My guess is that the engine will be VERY forgiving. If you make a 4 legged creature... and accidently make the uppler left leg bone a little shorter than the others, I'm sure the engine will chalk that up to human error and not make the creature move in a pathetic and wounded-looking limp.

On the other hand, if you make a 4 legged creature with one leg a full 2 feet longer than the rest of the limbs, that will seriously dictate how the creature moves.....


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Offline merridian

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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2005, 04:13:53 pm »
Being a Scottish lad i was thinking of trying to make a creature like the haggis, and by that i mean the mythical story version not just a mass of sheep entrails  ;) It is a small furry creature with 4 legs, the front ones being much much longer than its rear legs, the reason for this was that the haggis could remain level when running over the hilly highlands of scotland, however they could only run round hills in one direction, and if they changes direction they fell over (which is how they were caught and killed) I just think it would be so cool to see how a creature like that would actualy move  ;D
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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2005, 02:20:43 am »
Genepool analysis.
I don't think you understand what was happening in that game. Each little dude was randomly generated in relation to it's limbs but was also given a sine wave that it moves by. It didn't think or work out how to move it was just random until it got to the point it wanted. The way they get better is because the more efficient movers would get to their goals easier and would reproduce more than the slower ones.
Wills game on the otherhand is very different and shouldn't be confused or compaired. They run on completely different mechanics and though you might have little primordial spores in both the concepts of how they use this are completely different.

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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2005, 02:24:04 am »
Having seen it, I can tell you that it isn't 'accurate', although most players won't know the difference. It's a playful, simplified set-up. There are no collarbones, no real shoulderblades. But accuracy isn't the focus. After all, this is a game where you can make impossible linkages that WORK.

-Craig
What do shoulder blades do?

Oh and Marridian, I think you may be confusing the words myth and joke with regards to haggis.

Offline craigp

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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2005, 08:05:04 am »
What do shoulder blades do?

What they do is not important. What is important is that most creatures have them, and they aren't accurately simulated in Spore.

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Re: Biology - bone structure
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2005, 11:27:11 am »
But I have no shoulder blades. Maybe they saw it as an opurtunity to skimp on them...Just like God did to me...and my shoulder blades.