During the past month I have been extremely busy finishing the code to assemble body parts. It is now (mostly) complete and working very well. I should be able to begin the addition of many new genes and creature parts.
Setting this up resulted in the addition of two new features to the genetics simulation that had not previously considered. The first being the multi-pass phenotype generation described in the previous dev post. The second while closely related to the first is far more significant. The simulation may now determine multiple phenotype from a collection of genes. For instance we have a gene for a flagella. By it’s self this genes does nothing only describing what a flagella is. Placement of the flagella is dependent on the existence of other genes. One signifies where it will be placed and the other creates the structure that it is placed on. This can result in the placement of multiple flagella in various locations. The behavior of these is determined by the flagella gene, the gene placing it, and it’s ultimate location and orientation. Currently if your have two flagella they activate simultaneously and the result in movement of the organism in a combined direction, however we are planning to expand the simulation to allow for separate activation of multiple phenotypes. So for instance with a single flagella gene but other genes specifying how a body part is assembled and behavior of parts you could for instance have a organisms that has flagella specialized for different tasks. Some could function for forward movement others for lateral and others yet for rotation.