Thursday, August 11, 2011

First of Many?

I'm using the C1 Genetics Kit to inject genomes into my game as eggs. This bypasses the hatchery, which by default contains only the three original breeds and allows for mutations to occur. Because I've made some edits to these genomes, I'd like to avoid that for my first generation. The little guy in this purple egg also has some additional genes. I never had the Life Kit breeds as a kid, so I incorporated some of their genes into my first Norn. His brain is that of a Forest Norn, which will hopefully improve his memory. He also has the fight-or-flight suite of genes from the Ron Norns, which make use of two new chemicals to regulate a Norn's behavior. Collapsase converts anger to fear and encourages a Norn to run away. Turnase is the opposite, turning fear to anger, and is produced when a Norn is cornered.

He also has his pigment genes altered to make him unusually and adorably dark colored! People often recommend naming your Norns alphabetically to keep track of generations, but I always run out of A names, so this time I'm doing theme naming for each generation. This little Purple Mountain Norn is called Kratos! He started pacing in excitement immediately upon leaving his egg.

After easily mastering all the verb concepts taught by the computer, Kratos developed a fascination with the red and white ball. He would push it, then stare at it for several seconds, as if daring it to make its move. Teaching him that food, herbs, and toys were good was simple, but he proved to prefer drinking from the coffee mug to sleeping -- not that I can blame him, as there are far too many interesting things to do to be wasting time on sleep!
Kratos did eventually get to sleep, but I'm worried he may be a little bit stubborn. If you've never played Creatures, here's the scoop: Norns make their own decisions. You can give them commands and teach them good behaviors, but you can't force them to do something. They rely on a combination of instincts and learning to make decisions, just like a real animal.

If you don't teach your Norns well, they won't be able to survive when you turn your attention elsewhere. However, Kratos seems to be sleeping and eating fine. When he reached childhood, his focus switched to lifts and movers -- he's now made it all the way to the island!

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