The next evolution will be leaner and meaner, with some cool features you might not expect.
Dave Kerr has released an update of aiplanet, the open source dynamic ecosystem simulation. Furthermore, he has also announced that a new version is in the works, one that, in his own words, will be “a radical improvement on the first version”. He is working on a new engine, called AIR, which will add new features and make development much easier. Aiplanet V2 will probably take many months to be released, but it is already very good news to know that new work is being done.
Besides this announcement, it also worths to read the interview that Tom Barbalet, from Biota, made to Dave just a few days ago. The interview gives an excellent overview not only on the underlining principles behind aiplanet, but also on the development process of an amateur project.
I would like to highlight a passage from this interview which strikingly surprised me:
Servers will be able to add new creatures without the client having to download and install anything. Users can travel from planet to planet by clicking on stars in the sky that represent other servers.
After I read the sentence above, I noticed the parallels in between aiplanet and noctis. Noctis is a space exploration game whose strongest feature is the almost infinite number of different planets you can visit. As with aiplanet, noctis’ last version was released long ago. A new version, running on a new engine (and written in a new language, linoleum), is expected to be released (no date so far). And again the same as with aiplanet, noctis is being developed by just one person, Alessandro Gignola, in his spare time.
Dave’s idea on the future of aiplanet comes so close to that of noctis that one can just wonder what would come out from a fusion in between them… something like spore, perhaps? Something I know for sure is that if I was Will Wright I would have already gotten both Dave an Alessandro into the project.