Again in August, I received many of the approach by means of writing a Have You Played on 1990s’s SimEarth, earlier than coming to the awkward realisation that a few of my perceived adventures in that recreation had really occurred in one other recreation solely – 1992’s SimLife, additionally produced by Maxis. In right here’s the place I get in actually sizzling water, as a result of it’s laborious now to inform what occurred in SimLife, and never in SimEarth.
Each of them have been pretty opaque, bold evolution simulators, marketed on the concept of making your individual life kinds and seeing them develop over time. I assume the distinction was, SimEarth was extra about simulating the lifetime of your planet – with oceans rising and falling, atmospheric temperature and composition altering, continents drifting and so forth – whereas the creatures that developed there have been extra abstracted, and didn’t have many traits past the taxa they belonged to, and their degree of “development”. The aim was to achieve some extent the place your planet developed spacefaring life, nevertheless it didn’t mannequin the life itself too deeply.
SimLife, as its title instructed, targeted on the latter. Once I received it, I assumed the rhino-with-a-tiger-body on the entrance of the field was an indicator of what you can do within the recreation – that it was a kind of “mad science from a saturday morning cartoon” simulation of genetics.
The fact was – one way or the other – concurrently cooler and extra disappointing. Organisms have been really simply tiny squares that appeared just about the identical no matter their DNA mentioned (disappointing!), however their DNA might say an terrible lot (cool!). I don’t bear in mind precisely how a lot it allowed you to muck round on a genetic degree, however I bear in mind it being complicated sufficient to be legitimately academic, with out being so intricate child couldn’t decide it up. I additionally bear in mind making many, many, many sorts of wasps. I sort of need to have one other go, twenty eight years on, however I believe doing so will contain one diploma of buggering round with arcane software program past what I’m snug with, so I’ll go away it previously.