City In A Bottle

City In A Bottle is a procedural, endless game world of plants and flowers. The project was developed with support from the Flemish Audiovisual Fund. It resulted in NodeBox for OpenGL, a hardware-accelerated NodeBox spin-off based on Pyglet, and a game engine for rendering procedural flora.

Prototype screenshots. Note the insect in the close-up of the flower.

The aim of the project was to model an emergent virtual ecosystem, where organisms (plants and insects) start off with basic behavioristic rules and goals. For example: if an opponent is edible, attack it. If an opponent is stronger, flee. When cornered, fight back. Follow a food trail marked by a relative. Expand and defend a productive environment. Species with a good strategy will then survive and evolve over time, will adapt, will look different. The gaming enviroment changes procedurally, there is no pre-programmed story or pathway.

Prototype screenshots of the creature engine.


Ludivine Lechat game artwork
Nicolas Marinus game artwork
Tim Vets sound engineer Champ d'action
Frederik De Bleser game engine EMRG
Tom De Smedt * game engine EMRG


Tom De Smedt (2013). Modeling Creativity: Case Studies in Python. University Press Antwerp. ISBN 978-90-5718-260-0.
Tom De Smedt, Ludivine Lechat & Walter Daelemans (2012). Generative art inspired by nature, in NodeBox. In Di Chio, Cecilia (ed.) Applications of Evolutionary Computation, Part II, LNCS 6625: 264–272. Berlin: Springer.