Factsheet

Developer:
wickworks
Based in Portland, Oregon

Release date:
Kickstarter: 31 January, 2017

Platforms:
Online Demo

Website:
wick.works/crescentloom

Regular Price:

USD$14.99

Description

Crescent Loom is Kerbal Space Program crossed with the cell stage of Spore; construct a body and wire up its neurons to solve puzzles and explore an alien world.

History

Joseph 'Wick' Perry fell in love with the neural basis of behavior while getting his undergraduate degree in 2013, but struggled with getting an intuitive sense of how these circuits operated. Diagrams are not good at depicting dynamic systems, and scientific simulation software is impenetrably complex. Crescent Loom is designed to fill this gap; to be an accessible and interactive tool to create biologically-plausible artificial brains. The Kickstarter launched January 31st 2017.

Features

  • CREATURE EDITOR -- A brain is pointless without a body, so a physics-based construction tool allows players to weld bones and stitch the muscles of their creature.
  • NEURAL CIRCUITS -- Connect neurons to coordinate muscles using an intuitive "loom" inspired by the diagrams in scientific publications on invertebrate nervous systems.
  • COLLABORATION -- Save, share, and modify creations online with a simple link.
  • LEARN SCIENCE (accidentally) -- Gradually learn the concepts underlying our ability to move by solving puzzles in an alien ocean.

Videos

Kickstarter announcement YouTube


Images

download all screenshots & photos as .zip (17MB)
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download logo files as .zip (55KB)
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Selected Articles

  • "Ultimately, though, Perry’s goal is to create a toolbox for those interested in learning about the “building blocks” of neural circuits that’s accurate and friendly enough to cultivate widespread understanding of how brains work."
    - Nicole Carpenter, Kill Screen
  • "You build life out of “bones” and “muscles”. You breathe life into it by giving it a neural pathway to move about. This is certainly a unique way to play a game, and it looks like a massive amount of fun."
    - Serena Nelson, Cliqist
  • "My creature is flailing. It’s a slapdash concoction of tendon and bone, with floppy appendages and mismatched eyes. Its pathetic brain consists of nine—count ‘em—nine neurons. I have armed it with stingers, harpoons, and suckers, but this arsenal has so far proven utterly worthless, because I haven’t yet figured out a much more basic problem-- how to get the damn thing to propel itself through this alien ocean. Meanwhile, a sleek six-flippered monster (dubbed “the Kraken”) darts dangerously near, pulsing with menace. Unless I can find a way to rewire its brain, my creature (the “Mike-crobe”) is headed for extinction."
    - Chris Lydgate, Reed Magazine

Kickstarter Page
Preview at: kickstarter.com.

Development Blog
At: wick.works.


About wickworks

Boilerplate
I believe in using games (and art, for that matter) for doing good in society. To me, this means designing for accessibility, listening to and incorporating diverse voices as well as I am able, and crafting an experience that betters the player’s life.

More information
More information on wickworks, our logo & relevant media are available here.


Crescent Loom Credits

Joseph 'Wick' Perry
Design, Programming, Art, Production & Marketing, Wickworks


presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks