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Easy Evolution

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:02 am
by wapcaplet
This substrate has been designed to make it very easy to evolve a variety of organisms from scratch. Some of its key characteristics:
  • Gravity with density gradient, so most cells settle in the middle
  • High nutrient concentration; even plain phagocytes can survive
  • Fairly high salinity, so organisms live a long time
  • Some light, but not too much, and only at the top
  • Cells are killed at the edge, making for a relentless culling of unfit cells
The substrate is so rich, even unmutated random contamination cells have a chance of surviving indefinitely. But things get a lot more interesting when you turn up the radiation, allowing them to adapt better to the environment, or to find a niche within it.

Substrate (dropbox): wap easy evolution challenge.substrate

Description: Your mission is to discover some species and ecosystems that can live here, and learn how to effectively contaminate and evolve new random species. All genomes must be evolved, not designed--though you are free to change cell colors to help discern species.

Max Cells inserted: You may load and insert cells as many times as you like, as long as you only work with naturally evolved genomes.

Cell Types allowed: See objectives below.

Additional Rules: You may change any substrate settings during the course of evolution, but your finished species (one or several) must be able to meet the cell count goals on the base challenge substrate, with radiation turned off. A "species" could be a single specific genome, or a family of genomes that have evolved from a common ancestor, and fill a common ecological niche. As in real genetics, it's difficult to define exactly, but for the sake of the challenge, it simply means you don't have to narrow multiple mutations down to a single dominant genome unless you want to; any collection of similar genomes will do. The cell count of the total ecosystem is what matters, rather than the fitness of particular genomes.

Very easy objective: Macrophages
Using only phagocytes, contaminate and evolve a species that can survive for 100 hours.

Easy objective: Floaters and sinkers
Using only phagocytes and buoyocytes, evolve a species that sustains at least 200 cells for 100 hours. Once you have that, try 300 cells for 100 hours.

Medium objective: Parasite
Starting with any phagocyte-based ecosystem, contaminate and/or evolve a devorocyte-based parasite species that can survive in the center band, with at least 300 total cells in the ecosystem for 100 hours.

Medium objective: Swimmers
Using only phagocytes and flagellocytes, evolve a species that sustains at least 100 cells for 100 hours. Not hard enough? Try 200 cells for 100 hours.

Hard objective: Algae floaters
Using only photocytes and buoyocytes, evolve a species that sustains at least 400 cells for 100 hours. It helps to turn off "kill cells at edge" to get these started.

Hard objective: Protected parasite
Starting with any ecosystem, evolve a devorocyte parasite having some keratinocyte protection. Sustain a total cell count of at least 400 cells for 100 hours.

Hard objective: Ecosystem niches
Using any cell types, evolve an ecosystem of 2 or 3 distinct species that can all survive together for at least 1,000h. Color-code their genomes to clearly see how they fit in their separate niches.

Please feel free to post your solutions, including screenshots and/or substrates! I will be adding some of my own below.

This challenge was inspired by the "Cultivating Coexistence" challenge by user CannedGoods.

Re: Easy Evolution

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:05 am
by wapcaplet
It is possible to meet most objectives with only these settings adjusted:
  • Radiation amount
  • Cell type(s)
But you may find it helpful to tweak other settings to guide their evolution. These are the original settings, in case you need them:
  • Substrate size: 0.7mm
  • Maximum cells: 1000
  • Kill cells at edge: Yes
  • Cell aging: Yes
  • Viscosity: 80
  • Nutrient rate: 11
  • Chunk size: 0.43
  • Salinity: 0.7
  • Light amount: 0.9
  • Light range: 0.35
  • Gravity: 0.5
  • Density: 0.0
  • Density gradient: -1.0
  • Nitrates: 1.0
Any settings not listed are set to 0.0 or turned off.

Re: Easy Evolution

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:12 am
by H4yw1r3
I really like the plate you presented. I did a test on it if evolutions would be easier, and it was successful. I got my first algae floater from a bunch of Buoycytes. Its residual emission helped it adjust to avoid killing itself to the edge.

(Picture can't be attached due to device's low memory)

Re: Easy Evolution

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:22 am
by wapcaplet
Thanks! And great work on successfully evolving algae floaters. I've found algaes to be fairly hard to evolve here, hence why that is higher difficulty. I tried hard to find just the right light intensity such that photocytes can thrive, but not easily.

Re: Easy Evolution

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:54 am
by H4yw1r3
I think the challenge for the floaters are not touching the edge of the substrate.

Re: Easy Evolution

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:39 pm
by Alast
Got a Photo-floater, too :-) It peaks at 480 cells.

Edit: it evolved further and lost its Buoyocyte again enabling the Photocytes to peak over 800.

Re: Easy Evolution

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:40 pm
by wapcaplet
Alast wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:39 pm
Edit: it evolved further and lost its Buoyocyte again enabling the Photocytes to peak over 800.
I've had that happen sometimes. Once they get into the light, the sheer mass of cells beneath may hold them up, rendering the buoyocytes unnecessary. You can also "bootstrap" a photocyte-only organism by turning "kill cells at edge" off until the top area is filled, then turn it back on again.

Re: Easy Evolution

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:58 pm
by Alast
Yeah, they split so much at that point that they move up faster than they sink down.

Re: Easy Evolution

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:12 pm
by wapcaplet
This is one of my favorite ecosystems to have evolved here. There are three organisms, each with a niche. I color-coded them for easier distinction.

Substrate: ... trate?dl=0
blinky-buoys-3org-inset.png (22.39 KiB) Viewed 3729 times
The pink swimmers evolved from the green buoyo-phages, when the buoyocyte mutated and became a flagellocyte. You will notice the pink swimmers often infiltrate the bottom of the substrate, but the green buoyo-phages are more efficient there, and will defend their niche. Either organism can survive alone indefinitely, sustaining about 180-240 cells. I love the blooming, explosive way the pink swimmers reproduce, especially when you let them have the substrate to themselves.

Meanwhile, a devorocyte-phagocyte parasite of sorts evolved in the middle, which I've colored orange. This organism can survive for a while by itself due to the strong phagocyte presence in its life cycle, but is unstable over the long term and may die out without another food source to feed the devorocytes.

Re: Easy Evolution

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:17 pm
by wapcaplet
Getting a stable ecosystem with 2 or 3 distinct species often takes several thousand hours of substrate evolution, but here is one that arose in only a couple hundred hours. While observing their evolution in the microscope, I saw these curious ribbon-like heavy buoy-phages, so I immediately turned off radiation until they stabilized to three species.

Substrate: ... trate?dl=0
blue-ribbon-3org-inset.png (23.32 KiB) Viewed 3729 times
Low-density buoy-phages live in the top, and high-density ones live at the botom, with a simple devorocyte parasite subsisting between them.