I pledge allegiance to the ideas in my head and will endeavour to make them reality.
Procedurally Generated Tree of Life
I want to make a system for generating entire ecosystems procedurally.
PGTOL will be used in games that require wide variety of species and/or an authentic ecosystem. PGTOL is not required to be scientifically accurate to fit this purpose, in fact, one of the greatest challenges of this project is to simplify the complexities of evolution by natural selection so that a sufficiently authentic ecosystem can be created quickly and without massive overheads.
PGTOL will have variable levels of detail. For example, we might see trees of a particular variety on the edge of a forest, moving into the forest will generate more trees of those kinds and other plants that live in the same environment. Looking at any particular plant reveals details common to the species, such as leaf shape, colour, height, all of which may have subtle variations for individual specimens. Examining a leaf may reveal an insect living on it, this requires retroactively generating an insect species that is suited to living on the leaf. Retroactive species generation allows evolutionary/ecological steps to be skipped and filled in as and when required. A vital part of PGTOL is to ensure that interspecies relationships are respected, for example, if we were to cut down this forest we would have to consider how this effects the population size of the leaf-dwelling insect species and any predator species it in turn supports. It then becomes clear that all species are ultimately connected, if we cut down the trees, diminishing the insect population, then we also diminish the bat population who do not have a direct relationship with the trees but feed on insects; so the bats are related to the trees and are directly affected by deforestation even though they are not directly reliant on trees. Being conscious of the interconnectivity of all species allows us to adjust the bat population accordingly after deforestation without having to first adjust the population size of the insects.
Most games don't require that level of interconnectivity and will simply use PGTOL to generate a menagerie of animals and plants to populate worlds.
I'm not currently aiming for any graphical representation of PGTOL, a graphical species generator deserves its own project, but I will try to create data that could be used to seed a graphic generator in future.
I have no idea what I will be able to get done in a month, I might not get to doing any actual coding at all! but I will share whatever I achieve.