Virtual Creatures Contest – deadline 20 June 2017

The fourth annual Virtual Creatures Competition, in conjunction with the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference in Berlin (conference attendance not required for competition participation).

The contest’s purpose is to highlight progress in virtual creatures research and showcase evolutionary computation’s ability to craft interesting well-adapted creatures with evolved morphologies and/or controllers. This year we have expanded the entry requirements to include both evolved morphologies and controllers in embodied agents, and we invite the entire field of evolutionary robotics to submit video entries showcasing your work.

Details are copied below, and can be found at:

Entry Submission

Entrants must submit a video (up to 5 minutes in length), along with a brief description (one page maximum) describing the video and the evolutionary approach underlying it (with references to a more complete technical description if it exists). The video should demonstrate an evolved virtual creature (or many such creatures) engaging in interesting well-adapted behavior.

Submissions should be emailed to nac93[at] by *June 20, 2017*.

Videos should be submitted as a link to an online movie service like vimeo (or youtube). Entries will be acknowledged on receipt.

Note that judges will watch videos with sound enabled if you choose to include audio with your video.


For the purposes of this contest, “virtual creatures” are roughly defined as having evolved morphology and/or control, and being evaluated in physical simulation (2D or 3D). This definition is purposefully indefinite, and acknowledges that it is hard to explicitly delineate between virtual creatures and evolutionary robotics as a whole. Please feel free to email the organizers if you have a potential submission of which you are unsure if it will qualify.

Judges will be advised of this rough definition, and if more than half of the judges flag an entry as not relevant to the competition, it will be disqualified. Based on previous competitions, the organizers do not think this mechanism is likely to be executed in practice.


Video entries will be judged equally over the following criteria, with a winner selected for best overall score, and honorable mention for all entries in the Pareto front.

– Perceptual Animacy (perceived aliveness)
– Technical Achievement
– Aesthetic Appeal
– Innovation


Finalists selected by the jury will be invited to present their submission at the competition session, held during the GECCO conference. The winner of the competition will be announced at the SIGEVO meeting ceremony.

Videos of finalists not attending the conference will be presented by the organizers, and for all participants, anonymized feedback from the judges will be forwarded. After the contest is over, results will be posted to the website, and winners not attending the conference will be notified.

Important Dates

– Submission deadline: June 20, 2017
– Notification of Finalists: July 14, 2017
– Conference: July 15-19, 2017

Judging Panel

To be announced.


Nicholas Cheney, Cornell University
Sebastian Risi, IT University of Copenhagen
Joel Lehman, Uber AI Labs