Monday, August 15, 2011

Three Smiling Babies

First, there are a couple new introductions to make! It's about time I got around to these two. This is Lloyd, a red Banana Norn. He gets bored more quickly than your average Norn, but to counter this, he gets more enjoyment out of pushing and pulling objects. He also has additional instincts that encourage him to travel and use lifts when bored. He gave me such a huge grin when he popped out of his red and yellow egg! It took several seconds to get his attention, he was so focused on smiling for the camera.

The second newcomer is happy little blonde Colette! She also has several minor genetic changes. First, when slapped, she gets less angry than other Norns. In addition, in her system, pain decrease reduces pain more effectively. Finally, her reward/punishment system has also been slightly tweaked -- she converts the chemical "punishment" (short-term learning) into more "punishment echo" (longer-term). Will this make her learn better, discouraging her from bad behaviors more quickly? I teach mostly though tickles, not slaps, so in practice, this will probably affect very little!

Regal fell sick yet again while I was teaching Colette, forcing me to leave her alone for several minutes. He recovered quickly and the disease didn't spread. Luckily, Colette didn't prove very adventurous, choosing to stay near the computer and play with the top! Maybe she likes the way it spins and spins and spins.

Raine laid two more eggs around this time, one fathered by Kratos and one by Regal. She has since moved into the garden area and taken to playing with the youngsters! She may be disappointed her eggs won't hatch soon, but she seems to enjoy playing the role of mentor. I'm still surprised she isn't more self-sufficient, as she's a Forest Norn. She eats when told, but frequently needs to be reminded to do so, especially when other Creatures are around.

Regal, too, has taken to hanging out with the youngest Norns. He currently has three eggs by two mothers. I had hoped to control their breeding a bit more carefully -- not their choice of partners, which I've influenced very little, but the number of offspring produced. All of these Norns include a gene based on one from the Conservative Norns that reduces sex drive when they slap each other, but seems to have slowed their reproduction only slightly.

At this point, Sheena is slightly behind in the competition for the title of Champion Egg Layer with two eggs, both fathered by Zelos. These two are the most cheerful Norns in Albia right now, with rarely a frown on their little faces. (Except when Sheena feels "gaa" over laying an egg!) However, Sheena had a little rendezvous with the youngest male in Albia, Lloyd, and is currently pregnant again, so she may pull ahead yet!

Zelos seemed surprised to find a little almost-clone of himself in the temple area! This is yet another new first-generation Norn, Seles, who is also a Wood Norn. Seles is sort of an experiment because she has only the "fight" half of the Ron Norn fight-or-flight genes. I find this suite of genes especially interesting, hence why I've included them (or modified versions of them) in several of my Norns. How will they pass down? Will Seles have a mean streak and/or be unlikely to run from danger?

Speaking of Zelos, have a look at his life force. When he hit adulthood, it seems to have shot up to around 90 and stayed there! 76-78% is far more normal for a Norn without one of several immortality-granting mutations. Could it be some trait of the Wood Norn genome? We'll have to see if Seles turns out similarly. Notice also that Presea's life force is unusually low; she continues to eat poorly, even when offered Slink's Strained Carrots, which I've used to get stubborn Norns to eat in the past.

I've now hatched nine of the twelve Norns I intended for the first generation. Caring for many Norns at once is challenging, and it means that each individual gets less attention. I've spaced out hatching new Norns by about 40-50 minutes instead of the recommended 20-30, which I think has helped me get to know them a bit better, even though there are now nine of them. Mostly, they seem to care for themselves effectively and keep their drives low. Hopefully things will continue to go well as the last three first generation eggs hatch!

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