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I know of 4 games where you can create a new species: Seventh Cross: Evolution (2000), Impossible Creatures (2002), Spore (2008) and Star Trek Online (2010).
Are there any others?
Star Trek online allows you to create your own race. But it's rather limited though, using templates of other existing races.
nvm... you already mentioned it
AsRock 990FX Extreme3AMD Phenom II 1090T ~3.2GhzGEiL 16Gb DDR3 1600MhzASUS GTX970 3x HD monitor 1920x1080
Does discovering new species by crossbreeding count? If so, then Plant Tycoon.
EVO The Search For Eden is the SNES game Spore was more or less inspired by - you start as a fish and evolve yourself into a unique species. EVO is actually very difficult at points, I recommend using some cheats when emulating it.
SimLife is a PC game from Maxis where you create species and see if they survive in the wild; it kinda sucked though, IMO.
Originally posted by NetSpiker I thought SimLife and EVO had pre-programmed evolution paths.
Not linear ones. You could finish EVO as anything from a dragon to a human. SimLife was more about survival of a player-created species in a biome than evolution paths.
I'm actually working on such a game, and working to make the character creator far more versatile than anything that has ever been done before. Still, it's an amateur game, so there's a good chance that it will never release.
The character creator will start by asking how your character moves. There are seven choices:
1) running on two legs (e.g., just about every playable character in every game ever made)
2) running on more than two legs (e.g., dogs, horses, spiders, etc.)
3) running hybrid that can stand on two back legs or run on several
4) flying, propelled by wings that flap (e.g., birds)
5) rolling on wheels (e.g., cars)
6) slithering (e.g., snakes)
7) sliding or hovering around with no visible means of propulsion
Then you pick how many legs, arms, wings, heads, etc. that you want your character to have, and put them where you want them. So, for example, a four-legged character could have long legs that are close together like an imperial walker, or four short legs and a body low to the ground like a dachshund.
There are about 40 shapes that I have shaders in place to draw, and you can attach them wherever you want. Each shape has a number of parameters, too, to allow for more variety. For example, if you want to draw an ellipsoid, you can choose the three axes to be larger or smaller and rotate it how you want. Another shape is a polynomial of up to degree 6 rotated about an axis; if you pick the radius or slope at 7 points, I can interpolate a polynomial curve through those points for you. The character creator will help some by imposing restrictions to help things attach properly rather than having random holes that you can't fix.
Then the game will animate everything for you, depending on what you've told it is an arm versus a leg, and how things attach together. And lots of things will be animated, not just arms and legs: wings will flap, mouths will open and close, eyes will blink or look to the side, hair will blow in the wind, antennae and tails will bob, etc. If you try to make the animations look obviously broken, it will be easy to do so, as I take the philosophical view that it's better not to impose unnecessary restrictions and rely on players not to do something stupid; I'm optimistic that I'll be able to make it practical for random players to make the animations look decent. (Obviously, such a game would need to have some mechanism for your character to be approved before it can be shown to others.)
The character creator will also give you ways to make procedurally generated textures, so that your character can look like whatever you want. You can have textures that look smooth or rough, near solid colors or stripes or text or whatever. You can make surfaces look shiny or matte.
And because everything is procedurally generated, the entire character--including geometry, animations, textures, and everything--will only take on the order of several KB to store. Yes, kilobytes, not megabytes. That's small enough to stream the data of what your character looks like for other players to see it on the fly. And that would allow an online game to have as many distinct species as there are players, even with arbitrarily many players. Traditional 3D rendering methods make that basically impossible.