I'm sure someone has had this idea before, but I haven't seen it mentioned.
I've been trying to evolve a better robot, which I shall call Ultra, and I want it to become a better fighter. I feel that using a passive veggie would probably not provide the correct selective pressure, since the feeding robots would not have to deal with being shot at. In addition, I must have Animal_Minimalis set a veggie in order to make sure that it is not wiped out.
The main problem is that the Animal_Minimalis is able to eventually wipe out Ultra over time. This doesn't mean that my robot is weak, as it easily wins in a 15v150 fight between the two species. The problem is that, in this setup, one side effectively gets an infinite backup energy supply.
The food chain looks like this:
"Sun" → Animal_Minimalis ↔ Ultra
It is easy to see why the flow of energy into Animal_Minimalis is greater than the flow into Ultra, so it eventually wins over time regardless of how strong Ultra is.
I've tried a few handicaps to try and weaken Animal into a suitable veggy, such as fixing in place and giving a very low starting energy. Fixing in place reduces the possibility of "ganging up" (so each Ultra bot only had a single enemy at time), but it gave rise to a weird "invisibility" bug in which a few of the fixed bots would act invisible to the other bots. Giving it a low starting energy did not change much, because it also reduced the food supply for the Ultra bots.
I tried to fix the problem by adding a second veggie (like Alga_Minimalis), but that did not work out too well either. There began to be the problem of certain Animal bots gaining enough energy so that they could stay alive perpetually. They could kill any single Ultra bot which tried to feed off of them, and prevented the spawning of Alga since there were enough veggies to meet the minimum.
Is there any settings which I might change in order to make this work? I need to find a balance in which the Animal population can be continuously re-spawned, but without causing the extinction of the Ultra species or the Alga veggie.
Is there a way to set a maximum energy for Animal? Would I have to code that into the bot?