Based in Portland, Oregon
Kickstarter: 31 January, 2017
Crescent Loom is a game about creating life. Knit bones, stitch muscles, and weave neurons into a biologically-realistic simple creature. An ocean sandbox awaits, filled the messy creations of other players. Can your creature survive -- and thrive?
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. He ran a Kickstarter at the beginning of 2017 to fund development for at least a year.
- CREATURE EDITOR -- Design your creature's body plan with a simple drag-and-drop interface.
- NEUROSCIENCE -- Coordinate muscles by connecting biologically-realistic neurons using an intuitive "loom" inspired by the diagrams in scientific publications.
- COLLABORATION -- Save, share, and modify creations online with a simple link.
- DYNAMIC ECOSYSTEM -- Creatures are saved online and can appear in other player's games. If it performs well, it becomes more common; establishing a basic process of natural selection.
Kickstarter announcement YouTube
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- "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
Preview at: kickstarter.com.
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 on wickworks, our logo & relevant media are available here.
Crescent Loom Credits
Joseph 'Wick' Perry
Design, Programming, Art, Production & Marketing, Wickworks