HOUND is not a game in a conservative way, but a powerful engine. You play in a system that can create a new unique world for you to shape and conquer.
All Reviews:
Mixed (18) - 66% of the 18 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Mar 28, 2017
Developer:
Publisher:

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“HOUND is experimental. It features artificial life that is new to the gaming field, and the mechanics are unique to the game. We need the community to test the AI and user interface, and to provide feedback so that we can ensure the game delivers exactly what players expect in the final version.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Early access will be available for 8-12 months.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

  • In early access, HOUND is a sandbox in nature. Players will define how it develops - what changes we make to the final version. Our plans at the moment include:
  • Balancing gameplay so that even the most extreme experimentation within the environment will result in an engaging experience.
  • Improving the overall user interface - in the early access version, players have a single AI set; in the full version, players will have access to several AI modules as well as advanced AI editing.
  • Improving the music and sounds.
  • Adding several game-ending events and victories; while the game is designed to be a sandbox, adding these will give players clear, well-tested and exciting goals to pursue.
  • Adding scripted story elements and tutorials to guide the player through the world.
  • Adding AI interactions - ex. Monitoring the AI’s emotional states and sending simple requests - to improve the emotional connection between the player and the game.
  • Adding an option to visit the “worlds” of other players.

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“We need to test and balance the critical mechanic (in-game AI) to ensure it remains stable at all times. Once we’ve completed that, we need to finish the UI, sounds, and music. Early Access will include simple scripted mechanics to help players understand the game basics.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price will not change during Early Access. However, it will increase once we leave Early Access.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“The community will play a crucial role in shaping the gameplay - everything from UI to game pace will depend on what players prefer and which features are used the most. The game can be compared to a development environment, so the main priority here is functionality and a user-friendly interface. Some of the decisions will be made based on the progress reports that are sent by each game application, and some decisions will be based directly on the user feedback.”
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Recent updates View all (7)

November 10

'Wanna have lunch' update

This long-awaited update refines every aspect of the game's interface and finalizes the network protocol - genetic data will now be updated at regular intervals and is projected to be 95% renewed every couple of weeks!
We also got rid of the grid of coloured squares and introduced a new concept in the game - "The Cloud of Genes". Genetic data of all the organisms in the system, organisms themselves and the user now share the same physical space.

This allows for scenarios like an organism being inside its own chromosome, said chromosome being larger than the environment that the creatures normally occupy, the process of genetic recombination being interrupted by an organism eating one of its key components...
It also visualizes the entire process of artificial evolution and lets users literally get inside the genome.

The update includes:
|New interactive visualisation of the genome that lets the user perceive it the way AI does.
|New robots and new designs and functions for the old ones that incorporate creature generation in the environment as a physical process.
|New panels in the user interface that include navigation, tools for creature analysis and management of the genetic database.
|User rating system that allows for competition of players in the global ecosystem.
|Redesign of all the elements of the user interface, including creature editing, nervous system design, and robot management.
|Improved physics for the organisms and atoms' options.
|Optimisation of all the processes in the environment.
|Updated guides and tutorials with new more comprehensive explanations.

Some of these things haven't been tested once, so, expect new major bugs - the old ones supposedly have been taken care of.
2 comments Read more

May 26

"...Alright, alright, fine" Update



Well, that took a lot longer than expected...

Nevertheless, it's here!
This update brings voiced guides on game mechanics, both map and model editing, and expands the tutorial with detailed instructions on how to utilize various options, build nervous systems and architect the environments. All of the voiced parts now have subtitles, which can be turned on in the 'settings' menu, if you don't have them activated by default.

It also deals with 95% of bugs, we are aware of. The game is now supposed to run a lot smoother.

Some of the UI elements in model editor have been updated, and now you are able to easily change creature's size, rigidness and atom's mass, use the scroll wheel as well as +- buttons to change neuron's characteristics in neural editing (you kinda could do that earlier, but it was very finicky)...

We also changed the mechanics of the blue iterator neuron - it now has to be charged by another neuron to cycle.

Now, to the interesting part:
In this update we also made another genetic infusion. This is the last time, we do that, and from the next update the thing will be adding new stuff gradually instead of completely reloading it. As before, you can see our hands up in the air - 97% of the genetic material was already there, but now it is recombined, giving all of the genes environmental markers, which will make the system pick the genes so that they fit a specific map - you can now easily switch between environments and get different creatures from one to another!
Note that the old maps don't have any markers assigned to them, so if you already own the game and want to see the changes right away, delete the prebuilt maps before updating. And If you are building a map from scratch, it will take time for it to get its own environmental signature.

Research notes:
|Even though the genome is the same, we have registered several new creatures that appeared after we updated the aerodynamics option.

|Also some of the creatures are getting bigger and becoming more rigid. We don't know, why, but research guys say, it is a good sign(?)

|It seems that the nervous systems are also changing and becoming more stable.

|We noticed a creature that was using communication options, but did not have any receivers to get the signals from its peers. This trait is persistent and is still considered advantageous. We don't know, what it means.

Coming next: "Wanna have lunch?" update

The next update fully activates the network and makes your game connect to the cloud every time, something changes in the system - a creature is designed by the user or the enrironment shifts out of balance - which means new creatures appearing real time as well as a huge boost in evolutionary process. Research guys are saying that it will take two weeks tops to finish, so you will have to multiply that by 2.5 to get the actual time of release...
3 comments Read more
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About This Game

Breathe life into an empty void and watch as it grows, evolving into a world of your choosing. Your only goal is to create a sophisticated ecosystem - a brutal world of predators or a peaceful garden; breed an intelligent species capable of speech or a super-organism that will consume the stars. With HOUND, you craft the world you want.

HOUND gameplay is simple: you start with an empty world, build your ecosystem, design your first organism and throw it into the void. HOUND’s advanced artificial intelligence (AI) analyses your creation, finds its strengths and weaknesses, then gives it competition in your world. Watch as life evolves before your eyes - literally; the creatures exist in three dimensions, develop legs, wings, and communication. Your organism will fight for survival, stimulating favorable mutations and increasingly more complex life forms.

The AI speeds up natural selection and genetic mutation so that your world will evolve in a matter of days instead of millennia. Every move you make changes the outcome - you can add new organisms, tweak the environment and more through communication with the AI. The twist? Working with the AI can be a productive partnership or a brutal rival.

Your application will be a part of a network that creates one global genetic database and a global ecosystem. AI is blank at the start, but as the network grows, it will improve, building itself with algorithms, picked to fit your individual simulation, and over time your game will become more than just an evolution simulator, as the built-in neural net learns the laws of mutation and genetic recombination.

Success in HOUND isn’t about earning “achievements” or beating levels. Success is controlling the program so that you create your perfect world by containing and stabilizing a bursting stream of life.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3
    • Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: Mouse, Keyboard
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