Grandroids

Approximately every six months or so, while looking for something interesting to read on the internet, I remember Steve Grand's blog and pop over there to see what he's up to. There's normally interesting hints to his latest project, but this time there was a lot more detail about a project he was hoping to complete, which in some ways would be a more complex and sophisticated version of Creatures. I spent some time reading about it with interest and followed Steve on Twitter.

A couple of days later, he announced that he was looking for funding on Kickstarter. Kickstarter seems like such a great website, providing funding for projects that might not otherwise be able to raise money. It's one of those ideas that would have probably seemed ridiculous a decade or so ago. Why would another give money to a project for very little in return and no guarantee that it would come to fruition? However, looking at projects on Kickstarter, it seems that a huge amount of money has been raised.

Within four days, Steve's project, Grandroids, had raised the money he'd aimed for, which is pretty amazing. I'm so pleased that he has got the money as his projects are always interesting and surprising. Looking at the comments, it seems that Creatures inspired a huge number of people to study biology, or think more deeply about life and artificial life. It made me realise how much it inspired me; since I first heard about Creatures, I have been trying to write my own artificial life simulations. I still am.

I feel really lucky that I can help out, albeit in a small way, someone who has been so inspiring to me and numerous others. It's also exciting that, as a reward (there are some perks to funding projects), I can be involved with the project from the start and get to test the game early on. A large community grew up around Creatures, which I never really participated in, but maybe this time, I'll try. This time, I should also be able to create my own game objects, which was frustratingly beyond me when I played Creatures. I have also been inspired to push on with my own artificial life experiments.

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