Name: bees
Year: 2022
I was thinking about how bees behave. I figured that they probably go out looking for food, and return to the hive once they are full (of food?) or tired. So I started to write out rules of how bees might navigate a 2D world. I gave them food sources as targets, which they fly towards and pick up, and a hive location to periodically return to. To make their flights look more natural, I made it so that they cannot turn on the spot, i.e., they have some (large) turn radius. Food sources disappear once a bee picks them up, which causes other bees headed for the same location to veer off. Later on, I introduced obstacles, randomized bee movement, and refined the navigation mechanisms.

Initial attempts show mostly straight lines, very visible turn radii, and a bias towards the right side, probably due to a programming error: The straight lines are an artifact of how the bees navigate back to the hive.

First refinements included better navigation towards the hive and better pathfinding in general. This turned out to be(e) so good that all bees clump together and follow the same path. The resulting images look like long-exposure flashlight drawings.

Adding more randomness to the navigation, as well as randomizing bee starting locations, led to much improved results. In addition, a different color scheme was explored.

Finally, rendering was improved, and various parameters were explored.