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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Evolution

There have been a number of attempts to design games about evolution, but none seem to have hit the nail on the head. They are either tedious or not really about evolution. Unlike many other design problems, the verb set here seems to be obvious: The player must select phenotypes to produce a fitter species. The core problem, it seems to me, lies in the set of phenotypes presented to the player. The problem is complicated by the unavoidable interrelationships among many of the phenotypes. My first decision was to limit the game to land vertebrates; this greatly reduces the number of phenotypes the player has to deal with, and it concentrates on the kind of animals most people are familiar with. After some work, I came up with a design ...

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