Digitising Self Interest

Master of Research (Computing Science) module

Simulating dinosaurs with Unreal Engine 4

For the third module of my Masters, I focused on selfish herd theory and methods of simulation. A ton of reading about selfish herd followed, culminating in a components table. The items within this table were what I considered to be fundamental to an effective simulation of selfish herd.

To better test the capacity of game engines for such an application, I selected a few of these components and tried creating them using Blueprints – Unreal Engine 4’s visual scripting system. This was my first real use of Blueprints and while the results are certainly rudimentary, they did end up capturing the principles pretty well.

Truth be told, the inclusion of dinosaurs in this is completely arbitrary. I thought using specific animal species might localise what was intended to be a fairly broad simulation.

Plus, you don’t get much more iconic or instantly recognisable than a T-Rex and Triceratops.

Project details

Randomised predator attack direction

Centre of group identification