We've all heard of artificial intelligence – Creatures is artificial life.
The dream that computers could be conscious remains science fiction... for now!
All of the computing power on the planet seems unable to find that elusive property that we have called self-awareness. Indeed, the only systems on Earth which exhibit the adaptability and flexibility necessary are biological systems.
It makes sense, therefore, to turn to nature for our answers, as it has had nearly 3.5 billion years to iron out the bugs.
Read on to find out more about how we have brought life to computers all around the world or find out about each individual title below.
First released in 1996, the Creatures series has sold more than two million copies and the latest incarnation, the free Docking Station client, has seen more than 100,000 downloads.
Creatures models real biological systems inside your computer. They come complete with their own biochemistry, brains, digital DNA, and an environment in which to live.
None of the behavior you see has been specifically programmed. The Creatures make their own choices, and learn from their mistakes. You guide them through their lives, helping them through the bad patches and enjoying the good times. When they become adults, your Creatures can mate, and their children have their own unique genetic material.
The possibilities are boundless. Everything from their poses to the individual chemical reactions inside their bloodstream are genetically specified. Who knows? A tenth generation creature could possibly be considerably more intelligent than those you start with.
Your Creatures live in their own world, called Albia. Albia is a huge world, it contains many exciting places to visit, and many dangers. The Creatures you hatch are from the species known as Norns. Norns are a friendly, curious, social species; eager to learn and experience life to the fullest. Grendels live in the trees, with different genetic material; they are violent, steal food and carry diseases.
Above all, Creatures is for your enjoyment. You can become as involved as you want, the ultimate aim being to breed Norns through multiple generations. You may be the parent of the first super intelligent Norn!
Creatures is all about Artificial Life. By modelling the building blocks of life, we believe it is possible to recreate life-like behaviours inside a digital device. From the original Creatures, released in 1996 to Creatures Docking Station, our free, internet-enabled, fully-featured title, we've been releasing the Norns, Ettins and Grendels of Albia to the world, where they've charmed players of all ages and introduced countless to the wonders of Artificial Life, genetics, biochemistry and programming through Creatures' unique and advanced technology and engaging gameplay.
Today at Gameware, we've taken the Creatures technology and are applying it to a range of platforms. Read more about the Creatures series, its history and the community that revolves around it on our Creature Labs pages.