Continuous movement for Pixlings

Up until now the creatures of Pixling World have been confined to a virtual grid in their world, where they could only exist exactly at the center of a grid cell, and their only way to move was to flash instantaneously from one cell to another. With the latest patch, this changes. The Pixlings can now move continuously through the world, which opens up for much more complex and interesting behaviors.

Pixlings enjoying their new freedom of movement

Even very basic worlds can now become quite interesting. Here’s a world where the only ability the Pixlings have is to kill a neighbor, and if they do they get to reproduce:

Pixlings fighting

Another example is this world, which has “grass” growing and Pixlings that eat the grass. If they eat enough they get to reproduce. Notice how varied the results are between runs:

Some other things that are new:

  • Pixlings choose their own focus, instead of getting a random focus. The Pixling and/or environment in focus can then be manipulated in Rules and Abilities.
  • Pixlings can now “see” four cells around them
  • You can configure how Pixlings can see environments with more detail (i.e. if they should “see” an environment only on the cell they occupy or also at the cells it neighbor, or not at all)
  • Pixlings have a “rotation” now, which is randomized when they are born and cannot be changed during their lifetime (for now). This rotation is there to break “axis aligned patterns”, for instance all Pixlings moving to the right.
Pixlings without rotation

And finally a few tips:

  • The number of brain inputs can drastically affect how quickly Pixlings evolve to do something. For instance in the XOR world I had to set the visibility of the environments to only “self”, or they wouldn’t evolve to solve XOR.
  • Since Pixlings now have a speed that is less than 1 cell per step, they usually need higher rewards. For instance if they used to be able to survive 10 steps with no “food” it would take them 10 cells, but now 10 steps may only take them 1 cell away (with speed 0.1), so once they finally find food you may need to give them 10x as much food.

That’s all, enjoy!