Well, here we are.

One year ago today I started this blog with a simple post with the most inspiring and unique title ever, unofficially unleashing the concept of Species on an unsuspecting world.

Now I officially release the Proof of Concept Demo: Alpha 0.4.0. You poor sods.

I’ll try to keep the maniacal laughter to a minimum, but no promises.

How to install

First, download and install the XNA redistributable from the Microsoft website.

Then, download Species: Artificial Life, Real Evolution (0.4.0). I’ve uploaded it to MediaFire as a stopgap solution until I’ve got an official website set up. That should only be a week or so, so check back! With any luck I’ll have forums and a wiki on it too.

To play the game, just extract the zip file and run “Species.exe”. I recommend you go into the options and set your resolution. ๐Ÿ™‚

Note: some graphics cards will give you a Texture Width error when you try to run Species. If that happens, try copying this file into the “Mods” folder. It should fix that particular error.

Note 2: some other graphics cards don’t play well with the Terrain Shader. If your terrain appears blue or invisible, try copying this file into the “Mods” folder. Obviously I’ll try to build these modifications into later versions so you don’t have to install them manually.

If anyone has any problems running the game, send me an e-mail at qu.quasar{at}gmail{dot}com! I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can, and I should be on consistantly for the next few days (except for sleep).

Massive thanks goes to Jade, our Friendly Neighbourhood Graphic Artist, without whom the game wouldn’t look anywhere near as polished as it does. Check out that deviantart account to see some of Jades other stuff!

The game comes bundled with the Mod Maker. I’ll post a tutorial for that later, or you can try to work it out through trial and error. You know, the same method I used to make the game. Okay, mostly error.

It’s just a proof of concept at this stage: I’ll discuss what needs implementing and improving in next weeks post. The game still has a long path ahead of it: this is only the first step!


(EDIT) Controls!

To move the Camera: Use W, A, S and D.
To toggle camera Gravity: Press Space.
To Move Faster: Hold Shift.
To change the Time Accelleration rate: Press ~, 1, 2, 3 (or use the mouse buttons)
To view individual Creature Statistics, including DNA: click the Select Creature button twice.
To view individual Species Statistics: click the Species button twice (you can even see the Species Average morph over time!).
To see the Tree Of Life: click the World button twice.
To Move creatures: click the move button, then click the creature you want to move to pick them up. Click again to place them.
To Feed creatures: click the feed button, then click the creature you want to feed.
To Kill creatures: click the murder button, then click the creature you want to murrrrder.

Bonus Controls! (mildly buggy)

Orbit camera: Press C (good for keeping track of individuals)

“Have fun.”

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  1. #1 by Alex on May 27, 2012 - 9:10 pm


  2. #2 by Alex on May 27, 2012 - 9:25 pm

    Wow Qu this is really slick. Loving the UI. How do you stop the camera being affected by gravity? And how do you examine creatures’ “DNA”?

  3. #3 by ququasar on May 27, 2012 - 9:27 pm

    Hang on, I’ll edit the post, add a few instructions…

  4. #4 by Adam Benton on May 27, 2012 - 9:42 pm

    I have an exam tomorrow


  5. #5 by ququasar on May 27, 2012 - 9:49 pm

    That which does not kill you screws with your willpower…

  6. #6 by Adam Benton on May 27, 2012 - 10:18 pm

    I’m trying to send you an email but it isn’t working. Basically my problem is there is no ground texture, it’s just blue. I’ve altered the resolution, toggled full screen and even replace the original files with that low res stuff you put on the blog post. None of it has any effect. Other than that, it seems to be working fine

  7. #7 by ququasar on May 27, 2012 - 10:29 pm

    Blue? Weird, I’ve never even heard of that. I’ve sent you an e-mail: hopefully we can get to the bottom of this…

  8. #8 by MarcoDBAA on May 28, 2012 - 1:04 am

    Looks very interesting, but it crashes very fast. Whatever parameter i use.
    Iยดve already sent you an e-mail.

  9. #9 by MarcoDBAA on May 28, 2012 - 2:22 am

    Ok, my Vista Computer creates Adams blue ground texture. And both PCs crash the program (same error)

  10. #10 by Charlie Holden on May 28, 2012 - 3:08 am

    Runs great for me with a geforcce gtx 260…. 61-62 FPS constant…No crashes…textures all there and looks great..

  11. #11 by BaldySlaphead on May 28, 2012 - 6:22 am

    Arse. My graphics card isn’t up to it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  12. #12 by ququasar on May 28, 2012 - 8:52 am

    Okay, so far we’ve seen two main problems: crashing due to regional settings (if your language uses comma’s instead of periods as decimal seperators you may see this: it can be fixed by temporarily changing your regional settings in the Control Panel, or you can wait for the hotfix) and the invisible blue ground problem, which I’m trying to get the cause of confirmed. Fingers crossed it’s something simple.

  13. #13 by maxff on May 28, 2012 - 11:34 am

    Well I can get it to run on my crappy laptop, so that’s pretty impressive. Got the same problem with the invisible ground. Even without the ground its still pretty awesome to watch the creatures evolve and stuff.

  14. #14 by ququasar on May 28, 2012 - 11:58 am

    Try copying this file into the Mods folder: should fix the invisible ground problem:

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