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Anabasis > Rules, Terms, and How to Play > Basic Rules

Posted by: DragonSage1313 Mar 22 2008, 05:56 PM
Basics and Background

Anabasis is a term that means progress or evolution. Through the course of this game, we will evolve an entire planet through the ages and watch the creatures change, adapt, die out, and start anew.

To play, all you need is an idea. Each creature, plant, and otherwise unclassified organism has a set of genes. You may either alter an existing organism or create a new one. How to do this will be discussed later. As creatures evolve, abstract amounts of time known as eras and periods will pass. After each period, something drastic will happen to alter life as we know it, be it a cosmic collision, a spontaneous mutation of an existing species to catapult it ahead, the unexplained extintion of a key plant in an ecosystem, a virus decimating populations... there are nearly endless possibilities to what may happen. But rest assured something will happen. This is the nature of evolution. There is an impetus to change.

Now that you know the basics of what this forum is about, let's take a look at how to play.

Building Your Organism

Alright, so you're interested enough to keep reading. That's good. Anabasis is built around the idea of the emergance of new species and evolution of existing species. First, let's take a look at how to build our first creature. The basics here is that your organism (be it animal, plant, fungus, or something else) must have a way to aquire nutrients and a way to reproduce. If there is no reproduction gene, it is assumed your organism just continually grows and once it hits a particular size, splits into two organisms.

There are four necesary criterea to making an organism. It's Name, it's Creator, it's four starting Genes, and a basic Description. Name and Creator are fairly straightforward. Names can be as abstract as you want, but if they are just a conglomeration of sounds they may be hard for others to relate to. I would suggest having names like 'Vaccuum Skimmer', 'Sailing Sponge', or similar. These are much more visual names that help others (including myself) have a sense of what they are without too much work. Each organism starts with four basic genes of your choice. There is no huge list of 'acceptable genes' and 'unnacceptable genes'. Each creature will be given the thumbs up unless I specifically say it is impossible. We are trying to be scientifically accurate (well... mostly accurate anyway. I can allow a little wiggle-room if I really like the idea), so no jumping from a sponge to a lungfish in one go. A basic organism is fairly small, with not many 'organs' to speak of. Finally, the description can be as long or as short as you want it, but it needs to be sufficient for me to be able to draw it, as well as have a sense of it's expected place in the ecosystem, such as prey, predators, if it schools or not, it's basic body shape, et cetera. Here are three examples of fresh, new creatures.

Name: Sample-Blob
Creator: DragonSage1313
Genes: Filter Feeding x1, Thick Skin x2, Budding Reproduction x1
Description: A little, harmless sponge. This creature is tough to eat, and spends its time just sitting on the seabeds filtering nutrients out of the water and occasionally budding off new offspring.

Name: Sample-Algae
Creator: DragonSage1313
Genes: Photosynthesis x1, Green Color x1, Clumping Growth x1, Fast Reproduction x1
Description: A basic clumping algae that grows where ever there is sunlight. It's chloroplasts give it a green hue, and it is particularly common in the shallows.

Name: Sample-Shroom
Creator: DragonSage1313
Genes: Fungal Consumption x1, Spores Reproduction x1, Water-tight Skin x2
Description: In order to survive the harsh desert climate, this little 'shroom consumes just about anything dead or decaying on land. It's waxy skin keeps what ever water it can find within its body. It periodically releases spores to reproduce.

You MUST follow the template, including formatting. Proper grammar (to an extent) is also required. That said, please bold what needs to be bolded, put a colon where it must be, and try your best to use proper english. I can tolerate a few spelling mistakes and some misformatted sentences, but no 1337 speak, and no profanity, as well as your best attempt at proper english, please.

Nothing too major here to note. To be on land, an organism needs at least two genes dedicated to somehow keeping water kept within its body, as illustrated with the Sample-Shroom. Any non-brown or semi-transparent color (or specific camoflauge) requires a gene dedicated to giving that color (as with the green coloration of the Sample-Algae). Also, you may have multiples of one gene. The more you have, the more drastic effect it has on the creature. The Sample-Shroom has two water-tight skin genes, meaning it has a very waxy skin that keeps water inside. One gene, on the other hand, would grant it a very different taut skin that keeps water in only about half as well. The same holds true for genes that alter size, reproduction speed, and coloration. Each creature starts with four genes of your choosing, provided that the creature can function with only those genes. You may start with less if you chose, or use awards to start with more (more on awards later).

Evolving Your Organism

Well, now you've got your creature, and an era has passed. Now you can evolve it! To evolve a creature, you may add up to three genes, and remove up to two. To evolve a creature, take one from the list of extant organisms, copy it's card (the little block of text with name, creator, etc) and update it. An evolved organism card will look something like this:

Name: New-Blob
Creator: DragonSage1313
Ancestory: Sample-Blob -> New Blob
Genes Added: Poriferated Skin x1, Filter Feeding x1, Water Spores x1
Genes Removed: Budding Reproduction x1
Total Genes: Filter Feeding x2, Thick Skin x2, Water Spores x1, Poriferated Skin x1
Description: The Sample-Blob began mutating over the years, acquiring new traits such as a slightly poriferated skin through which it shot specks containing its genetic information. Each spore only contained half it's genome, producing a simple sex cell (though each blob produced both halves). It also became more adept at feeding, and due to its new method of reproduction, no longer budded.

The new criterea to include are the Ancestory, with the newest creature to the left with arrows (<-) showing what became what. In this case, it reads 'New-Blob evolved from Sample-Blob'. If it was "Sample-Blob -> New-Blob -> Dull Sponge -> Shiny Sponge", it would read "The sample blob evolved into the new blob, which evolved into the dull sponge, which evolved into the shiny sponge." Also, the criterea of just 'Genes' has split into three. Genes Added is the list of up to THREE genes you may add. Simply put an 'n/a' if you are not adding any genes. Genes Removed is the list of up to TWO genes that you may remove from the previous organism's genome. Total Genes is then, the newly updated list of genes the organism has. Note that the Genes Added are now in the total genes list, and the genes removed are taken out. Description should tell any new morphological traits, as well as new mechanisms the creature has (like the spore system with the New-Blob).

Awards, Limits, Contact Information, and Special Thanks

For each update, a few awards will be given out. These awards are a gene bonus, which you may use to give a new organism or evolving organism an extra gene. Gene bonuses only last for on update, so you'll need to use them or lose them. The awards are for:
Most Successful Aquatic Organism: If your organism is the most prolific, the most dominant, or the organism with the easiest life under the sea, then you win this award. This award is about the efficiency of the organism.
Most Successful Terrestrial Organism: If your beastie is the most numerous, the toughest predator, and indominable herbivore, a fungus that can't be contained, or a plant that is as common as grass, then this gene bonus is yours. Again, about efficiency.
Most Successful Aerial Organism: Does your creature soar high above the rest? Does your plant somehow float? Does your fungus live on the back of a bird? If so, this may well be yours, provided your fancy flying critter is the most efficient thing in the air.
Ingenuity Award: If your organism stands above the rest as the pinnacle of unorthodox mutations that work, you may well get this award. This is about creativity.
Coolest Organism Award: A very subjective award, this I will award to the organism I like most from the era. This is about creativity combined with efficiency and looks.

You may win multiple awards, and you may win an award twice in a row. Each era is a new slate. However, if you use a gene bonus on a creature, it will count against it for these awards, to give other organisms a chance to win it as well.

There is no limit to how many organisms you can create or evolve in any given era, but the more you make the longer I will take to update. So go crazy, but make sure you can wait as long as needed. This game will be updated once every few weeks, but come June it may be updated more often than that.

To contact me, you can either send me a PM through this site, or e-mail me at:
p miller 3 4 7 @ charter . net
Just remove all spaces. Also, any questions directly regarding the rules? Please make a topic about it in this forum! I will answer it there, and it may well answer future questions.

Special thanks for this game goes to OathinBlood, whose Progeny game inspired this spin-off which is quite similar. Also, I'd like to thank everyone who was a part of my previous Spore games, the Zebodi, the Quaina, and the Kenazi. I am sad to see them go, but I cannot dedicate as much time as I need to to keep them going. Thank you for the memories, and I hope you'll give this game a chance!

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