2021 Darwin Game - Everywhere Else

by lsusr8 min read6th Oct 202118 comments

47

BiologyExercises / Problem-Sets
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Shore

The Shore is an inhospitable wasteland. Algae is available, but it's not very nitrutious. Coconuts offer an even worse calories-to-digestion ratio.

Name Carrion Leaves Grass Seeds Detritus Coconuts Algae Lichen
Shore 0 0 0 0 20 1000 1000 10

No coconut eaters got established in the Human Garbage Dump, which means no coconut eaters got established in the River or Shore instead. The only available food is algae. The Shore is basically a small bit of Ocean biome with ⅒ of the algae. The algae-eating winner of our Ocean competition has zero speed so it cannot migrate to the Shore.

To top all of it off, predators migrate in from both sea and land.

Soonbegons migrate from time to time to eat the Detritus. Otherwise, the Shore is mostly a graveyard.

Winners?

Soonbegons (kind of) by Martin Randall.

Grassland

The grassland has lots of grass and even more seeds.

Name Carrion Leaves Grass Seeds Detritus Coconuts Algae Lichen
Grassland 0 100 1000 2,000 0 0 0 50

The Grassland took 500 turns to establish an equilibrium.

Generations 1-500

Goes Extinct in Generation Species
11 Meercat colony
14 Flock of birbs
15 Bool
16 Big Oof
17 Empowered Turtle
17 glpp511
18 cg-bird
19 Nyarlathotep
20 Human
21 Tiny Snek
21 grass_mouse
22 Sleepypotat
22 Frontier-W8
23 Armored Nutcracker
23 Toxikeet
23 lGha-S541
24 Cowlagor
27 Karthosorox
30 Piranhakeet
30 cg-fastbird
31 Wampirek
32 Yonge_Snake
34 Sheep
37 Jackrabbit
39 Grassland Tribble
39 Grassland Aphid
40 basic seed fodder
40 Galumphers
40 lGca-AS154
41 GrassSeeater
41 Small Moth
41 SpeedyLichen
41 BeaupreyButGrassland
41 Tribble
42 DefinitelyJustARock
44 Weedle
45 Bob
45 SeedyEaty
45 Locust-Seeds
47 Tribble Hunter Hunter
49 Goat
51 seed fodder
52 Seed Eater Eater Eater
53 Frontier-W2
56 Trash Panda1
56 mediocre 1-2-s
59 Common Rat
61 Omnivorous Tribble Hunter
62 Frontier-W5
63 Siolid
65 Cannibal Locust
68 Tribble Hunter Hunter Hunter Hunter
73 Ziarnojad Malutki
74 Horned Owl
78 Yonge_Omnivore
83 Medium Seedrat
86 Maverick Goose
89 Squish
187 Mooshroom
294 Killer Bunny
345 Untielopay
423 6-0-3 seed
466 Yonge_Vegan

Generations 500-2000

The grassland establishes an equilibrium. The only native species left is the Hopsplitter.

You can't see it but there's a single Venomoth on the bottom of the graph.

Winners

Species Native Biome Venom? Weapons Armor Speed Forage? Temperature Adaptation? Creator Social Media
mediocre 1-3-s Temperate Forest Neither 1 0 3 Seeds Corm None
Hopsplitter Grassland Neither 0 0 10 Grass;Seeds Nem None
Brown Bear Temperate Forest Neither 3 0 6 elspood None
Venomous Snark Desert Venom + Antivenom 1 0 3 Carrion Heat (Allows survival in the Desert) DaemonicSigil Twitter
Venomoth Rainforest Venom + Antivenom 0 0 3 Grass aphyer None

Temperate Forest

The temperate forest has lots of leaves and significant seeds.

Name Carrion Leaves Grass Seeds Detritus Coconuts Algae Lichen
Temperate Forest 0 2,000 100 1000 0 0 0 50

Generations 1-200

The population crows, crashes, and then grows again.

Goes Extinct in Generation Species
9 Grizzly Bear
12 Optimistic Omnivore
13 LeavySpeedyTanky
13 The Dark Secret of Harvest Home
14 Colonoscopies
15 TFP511
15 Gobbledygook
16 Boojum
16 Ankylosaurus
16 Monstrous Bandersnatch
17 Arboreal Assailant
17 Ultimate Lifeform
17 Bear2
18 BeauOmni2
21 FastHerbivore
22 RockMonkey
22 Gino Soupprayen
23 Hedgie
24 Basilisk
24 Meta-Lichen
25 Armored Pigeon
26 Lichen Bug
26 Fox
26 Predator
29 Forest Leaf Blight
29 Leaf Tribble
31 TreeSeeater
31 Yonge_Slug
32 Gipgip
32 You Worm!
33 Leafy Luncheoner
33 Caterpie
33 Spider
34 Forest Dragon
34 Woodland Locust
34 Forest Tribble2
40 Munchers
41 Skitter Critter
52 SpeedySeedy
57 Unicorn
57 mediocre 1-3-s
57 lF-LM732
60 Songalagala
62 Mango
69 Sky Shark
70 Locust Eater Eater
71 Brown Bear
72 Snake
78 Bullfrog
79 Pidgeotto
81 Fast Venomous Snake
82 Morpork Owl
85 Deadly Mickey K
89 lFa-G172
93 Phanpy
97 Bear1
104 Omnom
109 Ken Nishimura
110 Forest Scorpion
114 Yonge_Defense
140 Snark
152 Bastion
169 Titanosaur

Generations 200-2000

The system achieves stability stable (except for a random walk among equals).

Goes Extinct in Generation Species
219 Gypsy Moth
272 Armored Sloth
290 Donphan
333 Armadillo1
336 Szaromysik
342 Turtling Trencherman
762 Bofa #0461-B

Winners

None of our final species have venom or antivenom.

Species Native Biome Venom? Weapons Armor Speed Forage? Creator Social Media
Cutiefly Temperate Forest Neither 0 0 0 Seeds alkjash None
Brown Bear Temperate Forest Neither 3 0 6 elspood None
Forest Finch Rainforest Neither 0 0 3 Leaves MA None
Snark Temperate Forest Neither 0 0 10 Leaves Vanessa None
Forest Tribble1 Temperate Forest Neither 0 0 0 Seeds simon None
Mutant Two-Headed Speed Snail Human Garbage Dump Neither 0 0 2 Grass DaemonicSigil Twitter

An honorable mention goes to the N054J's Forest Tribble2 which is identical to the Cutiefly and the Forest Tribble1.

Rainforest

The Rainforest has lots of leaves and grass but few seeds.

Name Carrion Leaves Grass Seeds Detritus Coconuts Algae Lichen
Rainforest 0 1000 2,000 100 0 0 0 50

Generations 0-1000

It takes 1000 generations to establish an introduction.

Goes Extinct in Generation Species
11 Quartosaurus
11 Jon Rahoi
12 Stinging ant colony
14 Slug
16 Smok Wawelski Przezuwacz
18 Tree Clam
19 Slebbon
22 Rainmun
25 J's RLB
25 luden
29 Rainforest Leaf Blight
31 Tinysnek
32 Agyneta insolita
36 Crocodile
37 Giant Snake
39 Forest Ape
40 Very Lesser Forest Dragon
42 Birgus
47 Deerling
49 Elephant
60 lRa-G256
61 Murder Hornet
64 Yonge_Rainforest
66 BeauOmni2ButRainforest
79 Jungle Hare
81 Stomporz
84 Raincow
90 Grazing Snake
91 Wombat
93 basic grass fodder
95 Armadillo2
98 Rainforest Aphid
100 GrasseatyTank
111 Bofa 0461
119 Arboreal Grazer
127 Boop
128 Nine-Banded Armadillo
145 Tell Masoud
156 Rain Tribble
168 Lily the Unicorn
187 Panther
283 Forest Finch
305 mediocre 1-3-g
306 Will Die
316 lRa-GLM281
318 Fodder grass
344 Leaf Truck
537 Cheetah

Generations 1000-9000

The population oscillates from there. A small number of Snarks and Brown Bears are not visible.

Goes Extinct in Generation Species
1485 Rony

Winners

Species Native Biome Venom? Weapons Armor Speed Forage? Temperature Adaptation? Creator
Venomoth Rainforest Venom + Antivenom 0 0 3 Grass aphyer
LeavyTanky Rainforest Antivenom only 0 10 0 Leaves ViktorThink
Untielopay Grassland Neither 2 0 10 Grass Heat (Allows survival in the Desert) Anonymous #5
mediocre 1-3-s Temperate Forest Neither 1 0 3 Seeds Corm
Forest Finch Rainforest Neither 0 0 3 Leaves MA
Snark Temperate Forest Neither 0 0 10 Leaves Vanessa

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In the interest of science, I ran 10 more simulations with our submitted population. This is not to open a can of worms or to challenge the results in any way - we all knew we had to win on the first try!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mSqaNlo5KT9l9vmY3ckd8KSTXA0xOz0u/view

Some things that I observed:

  • The results were highly sensitive to randomness. Almost no species survived consistently.
  • Sometimes defenseless creatures survived and sometimes they didn't.
  • LeavyTanky (ViktorThink) survived basically every time. Looks like there was no competition for the invincible leaf eater niche in the Rainforest (though plenty of leaf eaters abounded). I would say this is the strongest creature in the field of submissions based on my tests.
  • Usually an apex predator survived (10 attack, 10 speed). Often it was the most successful creature in terms of total energy across all biomes that it spread to. I was usually seeing antivenom in an apex predator not being worth it, but the Cheetah had it and did well in several runs.
  • Venomous creatures almost never survived.
  • As a class, armored tanks were the majority of survivors. Occasionally a speeder would survive, but much less commonly.
  • Usually, some mid-range tanks survived as well (~6 armor). This was often enough to stay ahead of predators while outcompeting invincible tanks.
  • On average only about 15 species survived past generation 1000. 30 species NEVER survived this long together. If you combine species occupying the same niche, this number was barely more than 10.
  • The tundra was always barren. The desert was always taken over by a single species.
  • I was surprised to see the Dump omnivores survive many times (Garbage Disposal, and 2-8-0 algae-...). Creatures with more than a few food sources generally didn't do well, but the formula seemed decent in the Dump.
  • Sometimes the coconuts got eaten! Not often, though.
  • Often a 1 attack, 1 speed omnivore survived. Usually these took the place of defenseless creatures, but in one case they coexisted.

It might be fun to compete to design the creature that does the best against the 555-species field. I might also do some more experiments/analysis when I have some time - let me know if there's anything you're curious about.

Congrats to all the winners! Already looking forward to next year. Thanks lsusr for running this again this year!

It might be fun to compete to design the creature that does the best against the 555-species field.

Another interesting experiment would be to try to maximize the number of surviving species (starting either from the current set or from nothing).

Resolutions to my pregame prediction elicitation thingies, which I unvirtuously forgot to vote in myself:

Will at least 10 species survive to equilibrium?

True. 25 species were credited as winners in at least one biome:

Armadillo v2, Desert Tortoise1, Desert Tortoise2, Rock Beetle, Sol Invictus, Super-Armor Fish, Soonbegon, Barnacle, Spanish Beard, Tilli, Seed Beetle, Mutant Two-Headed Speed Snail, Nuclear Waste, Forest Finch, Brown Bear, Trash Slime, Snark, Booyahs, Venomoth, Locust Eater Eater, Hopsplitter, mediocre 1-3-s, Venomous Snark, Cutiefly, Forest Tribble1

Soonbegon didn't "survive to equilibrium" despite being called a winner, so I probably shouldn't count it.

Will at least 30 species survive to equilibrium?

False. You could make it true by deciding to count species that won in multiple biomes once for each biome they won in, but I'm not going to do that.

Will at least one creature exist in each biome at equilibrium?

False. Tundra has no creatures at equilibrium. Shore has no permanent residents, but it definitely looks like the other biomes supply it enough for it to always have creatures.

Will a species with no armor, weapons, or speed survive to equilibrium?

True. Three defenseless seed-eating species survived.

Will a species with an energy value of 20 or greater survive to equilibrium?

True. Booyahs just barely makes it: 2 for attack, 10 for speed, 6 for carrion, 2 for heat resistance, 0.1 base rate, total of 20.1. No other surviving species is that expensive. Soonbegon also costs 20.1.

Will a species with 1 or more armor survive to equilibrium?

True. When I was theorycrafting I thought armor was trash, but I have been proven very wrong. Armor is the cheapest way to be invincible, and every surviving species has either 0 or 10 armor.

Will a species with venom survive to equilibrium?

True. Venomoth and Venomous Snark had venom and survived. (Soonbegon also had venom). At equilibrium the only venom predation is Venomoth->Locust Eater Eater, but venom also protects these species from the Brown Bear and the Booyahs.

Will a pure predator with no foraging adaptations survive to equilibrium?

True. Brown Bear is the only one, but with little predatory competition it thrived in three different biomes.

Here's our Brier scores for our predictions:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qhuACrtD0esgCqz8rQvYcZOC0I1y1l66/edit#gid=225287990

The defenseless creature result really surprised most of us. Well done, aphyer, you knew what was up.

False. You could make it true by deciding to count species that won in multiple biomes once for each biome they won in, but I'm not going to do that.

I'm giving myself credit for a much better score than that. ;)

Edit: as per elspood's simulations, I am revoking all of my supposed credit.

Not well enough to get more than one animal to survive, alas.

The one thing I did manage to improve my survival odds by doing was steering clear of the Tundra...even after the buff to Lichen (prior to which Tundra was mathematically impossible to survive) it seemed pretty likely that even a single non-trivial Tundra predator being submitted would inevitably wipe the whole region out. It looked like...rather a lot of people submitted distinctly non-trivial predators there.

Soonbegon didn't "survive to equilibrium" despite being called a winner, so I probably shouldn't count it.

I think it did survive in the Benthic?

The graph in the benthic article only shows up to generation 1000. Soonbegon goes extinct in the river close to generation 9000.

Soonbegon shouldn't be able to compete with the more efficient detritus-eating species in the benthic anyway.

When I was theorycrafting I thought armor was trash, but I have been proven very wrong. Armor is the cheapest way to be invincible, and every surviving species has either 0 or 10 armor.

I thought so too. I was surprised by how useful Armor was.

I reimplemented the game in vanilla Python and managed to simulate it several hundred times with ~10k random species for a total of hundreds of thousands of generations.

Unfortunately, I didn't read Hylang documentation carefully and thought foragers could simultaneously eat one of every food available, instead of just the most nutritious one...

Only my throwaway locust clone survived under the real rules. :'(

In the temperate forest, the Snark is listed as extinct in generation 140 but then it appears in the table of winners. Does it mean it was reintroduced from other biomes?

Yeah. The extinction table lists the first generation in which a native species has population 0 in its home biome.

Hoo, my entry Rainforest, Rainforest
When you gonna run out of time, my Rony?
Hoo, you eat both grass and seeds, grass and seeds
Two meals on which you can dine, my Rony

Hope you never stop, keep it up, such a fertile find
Try to get away from a touch predatory kind
My, my, my, my, woo!

M-m-m-my poor Rony

Flying with a speed of four, speed of four
Flying all the way to Grassland, my Rony
Find another place to thrive, place to thrive
Assuming you can survive, my Rony

Hope you never stop, keep it up, reach stability
Validate ecosys-stemic suitability
My, my, my, my, woo!

M-m-m-my poor Rony

Generation count, passing by, fourteen hundred
May be just a matter of time, my Rony?
Is it d-d-destiny, d-destiny
Or it is just a game in my mind, my Rony?

M-m-m-my poor Rony
 

Do you have the full list of submitted creatures? I'd like to poke at it myself.

It's here in the GitHub repo, which I have made public again.

I can't figure out where Soonbegons are coming from.  It looks like they have a population in the River for some time but then go extinct.  Do they exist somewhere else that I missed?

They also survive in the Ocean sometimes.