Evolutionary Space Invaders: shoot the aliens as a genetic algorithm modifies them

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/07/angry-mutants.html

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How are the aliens going to evolve so that they’re all the one at the back?


oof, remember when evolution was the most controversial topic turning comments sections into cesspools of trolls? Much nostalgia, such longing.

This sounds like a really cool idea for a game too.


I evolved lots of bunny rabbits.

I felt that overall the selection pressure wasn’t high enough to really evolve much difficulty. At a certain point I reloaded after generation 20, and the new generation 1 felt almost exactly the same. I think it’s a combination of few organisms over all, fairly random death order (since they have to be killed sequentially) and high mutation rate.

It was fairly easy to force evolution towards one type if I let four very similar ones come all the way to the bottom, but unfortunately the game didn’t let you play with that much since you lose after five.

Anyway, pretty fun. Now someone has to evolve the spaceship.


I’d like to see their “genetic” algorithm.

Same here. I also tried letting them (d)evolve to stick to the right so they could be easily corralled and picked off, but it didn’t allow for enough generations.

In case it’s not clear, a genetic algorithm doesn’t literally involve modeling genes, it’s a search heuristic that takes very rough inspiration from genes and evolution.


Thanks, while I don’t know the details I am still aware “genetic” is used rather metaphorically here. :slight_smile:

Still would like to see their algorithms, best: translated to R, which is my language of choice.

I like how I felt my own tactics evolving, joining in the arms race to counter their counter moves. (Namely, they seemed to be responding to where I was, not where the bullet was, so I started firing and then immediately moving away to get them to move into the bullet’s path.)


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