Digital Diatom is a media design firm specializing in high content, science-based simulation and video game development. Our flagship product, Emergence is an evolution simulation that models the process of evolution using realistic genetic elements that accurately capture how genes drive the diversity of life. Its unique architecture enables a comprehensive simulation of evolution without requiring extensive computer processing power. As such, Emergence is accessible to nearly everyone, from young students, to researchers, to gamers and everyone in between. With dozens of modes of interaction and a fully expansive world that is able to host up to hundreds of thousands of unique organisms, Emergence is a platform for education, exploration and entertainment.

Gene Base Evolution

Our evolution simulation features fully genetics based evolution

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Dynamic World

Organisms evolve within a living dynamic world

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Lots of Organisms

100,000s of simultaneously active organisms

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Gene Creation Language


The above image gives an example of the gene creation language that we are working on. There are two stages to writing a gene. The first is specifying various properties of the gene and the second is implementing it's behaviors. Because individual genes can be very complex we have begun the creation of a language in Emergence for their creation. Currently it mainly exists in C++ as a series of C-processor macros for prototyping. All the gene code gets compiled and optimized.

I won't currently go into details about what all the code does as nothing is in stone as of yet but I'll give a general idea. The gene in question "Spike" codes for the ability to create a sharp Spike on an organism. Now having this gene alone won't result in a spike on the organism, other genes are necessary to decide where it's placed etc...) The gene has two parameters that may mutate and evolve rate (length of spike and damage done) and angle which determines the angle that the spikes protrudes at. It goes through a couple steps of phenotype refinement as other genes can affect it. The gene also determines the shape of the spike so as genes mutate the shapes of the parts that make up creatures do as well. When the shapes change properties of the shapes (area, volume, sharpness, etc...) change as well that may affect other genes/processes. This makes genetics in emergence very dynamic.

We hope to make the creation of genes available for those whom purchase the software.

DemoCamp Presentation

Yesterday we presented a pre-Alpha game play video at Software Hamilton’s DemoCamp Event. We are very happy with how the presentation went and made great connections in the process. Thanks to all of you for your support.
We have added voice over to the presentation video and uploaded it for anyone who missed it.

Getting Ready for Marketing

Up until now this project has been mostly secretive. However, during the next few weeks we will begin to start marketing and promotion with the hopes of having an early alpha release ready for pre-sale in the next few months. With that in mind we have been spending the past week producing content to show off when marketing. I have just recently completed a diagram of the major functionality genes may possess. This outlines our genetic model quite well.


New website and forums

We have migrated to a new web host that provides us with much more flexibility. The websites had to be entirely rebuilt from scratch, however now we have community forums as well! It was a busy day of work.