Galactic Arms Race is a unique hybrid multidirectional shmup for Windows that combines elements of an MMORPG with the flare of shmups. It is an independent game and is a finalist in the Indie Game Challenge of 2010. It is more of an experiment in concept, that being the ability for the game to create new weapon patterns/types via evolutionary processes.
GAR plays like a standard MMORPG where you attack enemies to gain experience and money. As you destroy enemy bases, you have the ability to pick up a new weapon which will be different from any previous one. You have the option to pick it up or leave it alone. If you pick it up, you can store it in any of three weapon slots and you can either continue to use it or sell it for money.
As you level up (to a max of 200), you gain Mod Points which allow you to boost a number of stats up to a level of 25 per stat. You can also buy new ships, which as the player travels to new areas, has better base stats and new designs.
Weapons and EvolutionEdit
The main feature of GAR is the idea of weapon evolution. The basic concept on how this is achieved is by using a artificial neural network, called CPPN, and a NEAT system to drive it, the game will mimic evolution based on several factors driven by the player (click for more information).
The more the player uses a certain weapon type, the more likely subsequent weapons will be similar to the most used one (indicated by Fitness). If the player rejects the offered weapon by not collecting it or selling it, this is also a consideration and can drive evolution. Destroying enemies with a particular weapon will also assist in weapon evolution. Due to the wide amount of variables involved in creating weapons, no two weapon types will ever be the same.
Weapons have all sorts of properties: color(s), firing pattern(s), speed, spread, and direction. All damage done by weapons is controlled by the player's stats not by the weapon type. Also each weapon has three base shots although some weapon patterns make it appear as if there's more. The weapons can evolve to fire in any number of directions, sometimes shifting direction mid-flight. The weapons can also have many colors, sometimes changing colors at random. Essentially the possibilities are nigh-endless.