Sunday, August 14, 2011
A Tale of Two Eggs (and Their Mutations)
The Norn in the first egg has some very strange mutations. Here is the dDNA Analyzer output comparing the new baby Norn's gene (top) with its father's (bottom):
305 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Sensorimotor, Invol 5='sleep', chem=Sleepiness, thresh=230, nom=1, gain=255, features=Analogue
305 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Sensorimotor, Invol 5='sleep', chem=Sleepiness, thresh=230, nom=0, gain=255, features=Analogue
This is a receptor gene that triggers an involuntary action, sleep, when the Norn is very sleepy. According the the write-up on receptors at the Creatures Developer Resource, the nominal value "defines the default or base value used to stimulate the locus." Since this is only a change of 1 out of 255, I would generally write this off as a minor mutation, but since it's gone from 0 to a positive value, there may be something to it.
124 Chi B MutDupCut Brain, Decision i/ps, # Loose dens/cells type 0, chem=decASH1, thresh=0, samp=1, gain=255, features=Analogue/Clear Source
124 Emb B MutDupCut Brain, Decision i/ps, # Loose dens/cells type 0, chem=decASH1, thresh=0, samp=1, gain=255, features=Analogue/Clear Source
This is a mutation that affects learning. In Creatures, learning is quite complex, and my understanding of it is limited, but here goes. The gene involved is the decASH1 emitter. DecASH1 is short for the very cumbersome decision layer atrophy suppressing hormone, which seems to have the fairly uncomplicated role of freeing up dendrites in the brain's decision lobe so new connections can form. In an unmutated Norn, this gene switches on when the Norn is born. However, this mutation causes it to be dormant until childhood, which begins at about 20 minutes old. I think this Norn will have difficulty making decisions, but only as a baby.
226 Emb B MutDupCut 2*Antigen0 + 4*Glucose => 1*Antibody1 + 1*Hotness; half-life = 88.
226 Emb B MutDupCut 2*Antigen1 + 4*Glucose => 1*Antibody1 + 1*Hotness; half-life = 88.
This mutation causes the Norn to produce Antibody 1 in response to Antigen 0 instead of Antigen 1. This leaves him or her with no defense against an infection that produces Antigen 1.
109 Emb B Mut 'I've stated need' causes sig=0 GS neu=255 int=0, , , Sensed Even When Asleep => 66*Tiredness-- + 77*Sleepiness-- + 16*Boredom++ + 16*Coldness++
109 Emb B Mut 'I am sleeping' causes sig=0 GS neu=255 int=0, , , Sensed Even When Asleep => 66*Tiredness-- + 77*Sleepiness-- + 16*Boredom++ + 16*Coldness++
This stimulus mutation is really weird. It means that, instead of receiving a decrease in sleepiness and tiredness from sleeping, this Norn gets the same benefits from complaining about high drives! I can't decide if this is helpful or not. On the one hand, the Norn shouldn't need to sleep, just complain about being tired. On the other hand, he or she will still have instincts to sleep when tired. In addition, I've read that Creatures process learning and instincts while asleep, like real animals, so sleep is a necessity for other reasons than satisfying needs. Coupled with the sleep-related mutation above, I'm just not sure what to think.
244 Emb B Mut 'Invol 1='lay egg' causes sig=0 GS neu=255 int=0, , , => 32*Pain + 8*Tiredness + 8*Fear + 16*Hexokinase
244 Emb B Mut 'Invol 3='cough' causes sig=0 GS neu=255 int=0, , , => 32*Pain + 8*Tiredness + 8*Fear + 16*Hexokinase
Did I say that last one was weird? No, this mutation is weird. This replaces the stimulus "cough" with "lay egg." I think this means the Norn gets no discomfort from coughing, but feels the effects of coughing when laying an egg. The other "lay egg" gene is intact as well.
Whew! Now on to the green egg. It has... absolutely no mutations! There, that was painless.