Jecology (James' Game of Ecology) is a life simulator created in the spirit
Game of Life. I have always found Conway's Game of Life(CGoL)
interesting in an academic way, but somewhat limited in the scope of simulation.
There is only one type of creature in CGoL. They reproduce, but
do not mutate or evolve. They do not have to find food, but instead
simply die based on scarcity or overpopulation. Jecology addresses
these shortcomings with a more complex simulation, but retains much
of the elegant simplicity found in CGoL.
More screenshots with explanations of what's happening.
I like to think of Jecology as a full ecology simulator. There are inanimate
lifeforms (these can be thought of as plants, or plankton) in Jecology
that serve only as stationary and renewable food for the lower animate
creatures. The "world" or "universe" starts with only
the lowest form of animate creature, which can reproduce asexually, and
also occasionally spawns mutations that can be construed as either harmful
Animate creatures are very simple, and merely head towards food.
However, the rules of the universe cause them to form complex "societies"
Here's some interesting command line options you can try:
This runs really fast.
Animate lifeforms starve very quickly at first.
Scarce food at the bottom of the foodchain.
"jecology -h" will list all the supported command line options
and "jecology -d" will show you the default settings.