The above demo applet gives an idea of what the game is about,
and runs one of the fittest controllers yet developed - but watch
the cells stagnate after a few thousand time steps!
(may require Java plugin)
Cellz is a game framework where you provide a controller for a simple cellular creature (shown in blue) - with the aim of eating as much food as possible (shown in red).
There are many variations of the game. The specific challenge for GECCO 2004 is to evolve or design a controller implemented as a directed graph. Your cells will play as the only species in the game, and the aim is to acquire as much total cell mass as possible within 1000 time-steps.
The game begins with 10 randomly placed pieces of food, and five randomly placed cells. Each cell has a functionally identical controller, but may behave very differently to its neighbours due to three factors: different external inputs, different internal state, and the use of a pseudo-random number generator.
At each point in time your cell controller takes directional inputs from the game area (think of a wrap-around retina) and outputs a force vector, which (together with its current mass (a = f/m)), determines its acceleration for that time step.
You can design a controller by hand, or evolve one. My guess is that an evolved controller will win - but we'll have to wait and see!
View league table
Submit a Controller
The best cell controller is simply the one that, on average, leads to its cells acquiring the most total cell mass within the specified time of 1,000 time steps. In the event that the top two (or more) controllers have mean fitnesses that are not statistically different (at the 99% confidence level, based on a t-test), we'll run them for 5,000 time-steps as a tie-breaker.
More background on Cellz