I've been reading about evolutionary computing and artificial life and suchlike. As an exercise, I would like to make a multi-player online game where players can design creatures, which would then compete for survival.
I rigged something up in PHP/MySQL (because it's the only language I know) - outputting plain-text HTML, and using meta-refresh, which is pretty clearly not the best solution.
So, how should I go about it? I'm happy to learn any language so long as I can pick it up fairly quickly, while I'm building the program. Processing looks fun, but I'm not sure how suitable it is for this project. I worry that java would be too much effort to learn for a spare-time kinda deal. Flash, perhaps, though I don't know if it is really up to the task. Or would it be concievable to hack it together with AJAX, as I'm planning to learn AJAX anyway?
I'm open to any kind of suggestion, with the goal of getting it made as quickly and easily as possible, though learning an otherwise useful language would also be nice. I would eventually like to play around with all sorts of evolutionary computation ideas, if that is relevant.
I'd also be interested in links to existing or historical implementations of the idea, or something like it. Creatures
, and this BBC experiment
are the sort of thing I'm thinking of.