Experimental Experimental

* Fixed a multithreading-related crash when a creature modifies it’s Behaviour Tree while another creature is accessing it via combatInstance.
* Fixed a multithreading-related crash when a creature’s target is set to null in while it is attacking aforementioned target.
* Fixed a multithreading-related crash when a creature’s combatInstance is set to null while it is attacking
* Fixed a crash when a rover cannot pathfind around player built fences (this may occasionally result in a some very confused rovers)
* Ignored a potential crash when loading the clade diagram: keep loading the game and reset the clade diagram instead.
* Added some additional error detection to catch problems before they become crashes. Experimental

* Fixed a problem with creatures becoming unkillable undead abominations trapped eternally in a permanent 0 HP state of “Dying”.
– Looks like they managed this by changing their state from “Dead” to something else before the world could detect that they were dead and despawn them.
– Also by pledging their souls to unknowable occult powers or something, the little rascals.
* Fixed a problem with creatures unecessarily continuing a fear response after combat, even after other emotions have surpassed fear.

4 Comments Experimental

Combat improvements, usability tweaks and fixes

You can opt in to the experimental branch by right clicking on “Species”, selecting “Properties” and going to the “Betas” tab.


* Overhauled hunting behaviours
– Predators will stalk their target while outside detection range, conserving energy as they approach
– Predators will chase their target once within detection range
– Prey will flee if they detect an incoming predator
– Predators will pounce on their target when close enough, dealing bonus damage and initiating a combat instance

* Overhauled combat instances
– Creatures will lock on to each other and take turns trading damage until one dies or flees.
– Predators will lock prey into combat to prevent a flee-fight-flee behavior loop.
* Food source competition
– Aggressive creatures will get angry at other creatures trying to eat their food, and may attack them.
* Added red circles to highlight combat taking place.

* Fixed an issue with some of the more sporadically-used particle systems (blood sprays, pings, strike effects) not rendering
* Fixed the rover camera pitching up when driving forward with W or Up
* Tweaked creature camera movement to be simpler and easier to control
* Added default positions for rover and creature cameras
* Tweaked shade-giving tree’s to provide shelter from both hot and cold temperatures, providing up to 10 C offset towards an average of 20 C at their base.
* Tweaked cannibalism to be slightly viable instead of a complete non-starter.

* Improved support for content mods (body parts, skins, etc)
– Texture mods can now be loaded from *.bmp, *.gif, *.jpg, *.png, *.tif and *.dds formats
– Stats and Mutation Mapping can now be stored in the same file

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* Added Cost/Benefit analysis to mouseover text when playing as creature.
– Technically, this is just leftover debugging code. But it’s cool to see and it make’s the creatures decision making a bit more transparent.
* Fixed an issue where creatures would consistently underestimate travel costs
* Fixed an issue where climbing cost would sometimes generate a NaN error and result in creatures ignoring the affected food source.
* Fixed an issue with the Immediate Family Tree displaying no more than 3 children icons.
* Fixed a crash when the Sat Map loaded a reference to a creature that wasn’t bound to a Species.
* Fixed a crash when the Species Averages view was opened.
* Threw another fix at the crash coming from the Immediate Family Tree, hoping it would stick this time.
– There’s always a stubborn one every update, isn’t there?

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You can opt in to the experimental branch by right clicking on “Species”, selecting “Properties” and going to the “Betas” tab.


* Added survival need icons for at-a-glance assessment of the Player Creatures state.
* Fixed a crash that could occur when too many corpses existed in the world.
* Once again tried to fix the crash coming from the Immediate Family Tree.
– Also implemented some code to help provide more detail in the error message if this doesn’t work.

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* Re-implemented the “Diet” pie chart on Species Overview page to show the ratio of meat/grass/tree’s that the species has been consuming.
* Fixed a crash that could occur when siblings in the Immediate Family Tree didn’t match siblings in the game. Again.
* Adjusted player camera to look ahead of creature instead of directly at it.
* Tweaked general movement to be slightly less oxygen intensive.

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* Fixed game incorrectly displaying creatures as siblings/children in the Family Tree after they are die and are re-born to different parents
– This happened because, as a performance optimization, the game re-uses the Creature object instead of destroying it. This can occasionally cause… strangeness.
* Fixed crash that could occur when siblings in the Immediate Family Tree didn’t match siblings in the game
* Fixed crash in Quickstart, when selecting a creature type from the drop down menu
* Fixed crash that could occur if a creature swam/was moved out of map bounds.
* Fixed possible crash when exporting creatures if the exported creature file list is full

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* Renamed the Stamina bar to ‘Fatigue’.
– Words cannot begin to describe how confusing the code was becoming due to having multiple Stamina leg genes and a Stamina phenotype stat which affected the Stamina loss in a Stamina energy bar with a variable Max Stamina.

* Simplified the Fatigue bar mechanics. It will fall slowly while awake and rise slowly while asleep, and will no longer consume calories from Food to regenerate.
* Complicatified the Oxygen bar mechanics. Oxygen will be consumed when performing exercise, replacing Fatigue as a sprint bar.
– This means creatures will gasp for air when exhausted instead of passing out on the spot, which is a lot more logical (albeit less funny).

* Fixed a crash when the Player Creature dies and the game tries to switch to a dead sibling.
* Fixed a graphical glitch with the ‘Mate’ behavior sprite

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‘Play as Creature’ function released to Experimental branch

And on the subject of good news, has just been published to the Experimental branch.


This version includes the (admittedly somewhat unpolished) “Play as Creature” feature, which allows you to do the thing I just said, and also other things, which I will now elucidate upon.


After selecting a critter and clicking the “Play as Creature” button, the camera will follow the selected creature around.

You can then right click on the ground, trees, other creatures or even yourself to demand the creature obey your will, and it will do so! … probably. Creature’s still have their own survival instincts and if they desperately need to get oxygen or food, for example, they’re unlikely to pay attention to “huddle” demands for very long.

In addition to controlling the minds of complacent beings, the game will also track the creatures immediate family members for you (parents, siblings and offspring). This allows you to switch targets whenever you feel like it, or automatically in the event that your chosen avatar suffers a severe case of the deaths.


Naturally, being able to observe a creatures lifecycle so intimately like this will bring some of the AI’s flaws into stark relief. This is a good thing: it makes abundantly obvious that a number of things need fixing, and I will be focusing a lot of  development time on those flaws in the near future.

Additionally, turning Species into a miniature survival game at this level has given me a lot of idea’s, and I’ll be drawing inspiration from the gameplay experience of actual survival games as I move forward. Obviously this will make ‘play as creature’ more fun, but more importantly it will make the in-game evolution more intuitive and interesting, since survival will come to depend more on “playing the game” and than on finding ways to exploit it.

I’ll discuss those idea’s soon. I’m very much looking forward to the coming weeks,


1 Comment will be pushed to the Stable branch tomorrow

Hi all,


I’ll be pushing from the Experimental branch to the Stable branch tomorrow. Please note that save games from will no longer work in


Among other fun things, adds the Map Editor, Seasonal Cycles, and Starting Creature Customization to the game, as well as making the world look prettier with Erosion effects and Bloom Lighting.




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You can opt in to the experimental branch by right clicking on “Species”, selecting “Properties” and going to the “Betas” tab.

WARNING: for our Mac & Linux users, please note: the erosion algorithm performance fix includes a graphics format that I haven’t had a chance to test on non-Windows PC’s. Please let me know if you see any issues and I’ll roll it back asap!

* Added Seasonal Bloom Lighting (I’ve tried to keep it subtle and non-obstrusive, but if you don’t like it you can turn it off in Options)
* Significantly improved performance of erosion algorithm
* Fixed Fertility changes (grazing pixels, tree stabilisation, climate devices) affecting temperature
* Fixed Blank Slate “Respiration” setting range going from 0 to 1 (Amphibious to Terrestrial) instead of -1 to 1 (Aquatic to Terrestrial)
* Fixed Tail Thickness Gene not changing the appearance of the tail.
* Fixed limb length not contributing to limb damage.
* Reduced harshness of default seasonal temperature/fertility changes
* Multiplied ground friction by gravity
* Fixed seasonal settings not being saved and resetting to default when loading a game
* Fixed new world options not being saved and resetting to default when loading a game (gravity, oxygen, stamina bar modifiers)

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