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October 14th, 1999

[4:30 PM] Critters Updated With Many New Features

The makers of Critters have announced an update to the simulation title that offers the opportunity to watch life evolve. The new version includes a host of new features and other improvements.

Announcing the release of Critters 1.1, a new update to the artificial life program for the Macintosh. Critters uses true artificial life techniques to bring you a universe in which its occupants can evolve before your eyes. In Critters, none of the behavior is programmed into the simulation, the Critters themselves develop solutions through evolution to the problems of finding food, breeding, and avoiding predators.

Critters is an artificial life program for the Macintosh. It is designed to appeal to both students who want to learn more about evolution in real life and anyone who is inquisitive -- it is fun to play around with even if you are not directly interested in that area of science. It has a very mac-like interface and is packed with features, so you will find it easy to track your Critters as they evolve from moving in random patterns to making for food, avoiding predators, and knowing when to breed. And I really mean evolve.

The release of Critters has met a tremendous response, and so the new version of Critters takes on board several suggestions and builds upon the ease of use already present in Critters. Critters 1.1 has the following new features:

  • The settings can now be changed to any value by a dialog accessed through the Edit menu, rather than a choice of presets in separate sub-menus.
  • While Critters is not registered a registration reminder only appears once every 20 minutes, rather than once every 3 minutes.
  • Several small bugs have now been fixed.
  • In addition to these new features, Critters still retains its previous feature set, which is as follows:
  • Easy for anyone to use, it looks and works like all Mac applications should.
  • Allows you to set the size of the universe and how it will appear on screen.
  • Shows detailed statistics for the whole population so you can track the process of evolution.
  • Features a graph window, which allows you to view data as far as 5000 steps ago for analysis of useful values, such as population.
  • Lets you view and edit the genome of individual creatures, including the ability to track them and their offspring
  • Has comprehensive settings so you can set the parameters of the universe the Critters live in.
  • Universes can be saved and opened at a later date or sent to another person.
  • All the main windows can be captured as PICT files as a record or for any other use.
  • Includes an easy to use help feature that shows you the principles behind the way Critters works, without using reams of boring text.

Critters is priced at US$10 shareware and is available for the Mac now. Sorry, no Windows. The update is free to registered owners. You can find more information on the product at the Critters web site.


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