Passing Away and Passing Along Genes


It was only a matter of time before the first death happened in my C3/DS world, yet it was rather shocking... Geats stood up while sleeping, but I wasn't prepared to see a dead one staring at me! Alas, Rhodite succumbed to all of her complaints, mainly because she neglected to eat. 2:47 was fairly young for her to pass away, although her two children were thriving. Although it would be nice to escape from her tormenting words, I knew that I would miss her annoying character once the world settled down again. Farewell, Rhodite, and may you find a place to rest in peace where your complaints will forever be silenced. It was pure luck that her silly tendencies weren't passed along to her offspring! What a world that would be...


Nisil, Rhodite's daughter, was off in another land and completely unaware of her mother's death. Judging by their few interactions, though, Nisil didn't want to be associated with the sort of complaining that echoed through the corridors. Her conversations were sometimes odd, yet they had some sort of purpose. And I couldn't fault a Geat who took care of herself. In fact, this was Nisil's last moment in my world: With three healthy children and a fourth egg just laid, she was ready to head off in search of a new adventure! She made her way to
CreatureLink, where she might still be available for adoption! On that subject, I hope to post a couple of new additions every few days that represent a wide variety. It's been rather stagnant, yet I appreciate everyone who has been adopting and clearing out the old Creatures! More will be coming soon!


The newest Geat, Talonite, found himself right in the midst of a bunch of older males. Tombac offered his usual violent advice, while Zamak secretly smiled over the birth of his first child. Silver and black can create green in this land: Just ask Talonite! Such cute googly eyes, too.


Before I could count to ten, another egg was ready to hatch! The lovely Stellite jumped into the world looking like she had taken a course in fashion when her genetics were chosen. She was the first fourth generation Geat already! Tombac and Vitallium certainly were proud parents... Even if Tombac was the grandfather and father. There was a pretty wide array of Colortrue Gaius about, yet they managed to find one another. Not the end of the world, though I might start exporting more Creatures to avoid such close family lines. Perhaps a brand new first generation Geat will be introduced every few generations to keep the gene pool a little more varied. It doesn't actually matter too much, as those who have had extensive wolfling runs may understand. It's mainly for a silly reason: Lots of different colors!

Top Secret Documents and a Creatures Project


Whatever could this be? It seems a very important document was intercepted by some rather nosy Norns. In actuality, I started to write down a plan for a project I've been meaning to work on. I started writing, and ended up with an entire page of notes and a general sense of the order of events. There is something much more personal about writing out plans, at least for me: I tend to stick with them better! The good news is that this top secret document actually exists, and means that I will be making some progress quite soon. The bad news is that it will likely stay hidden and secret for a decent amount of time as I finally put some work into it. This document only contains my thoughts and plans for the first step, which will certainly take a lot of time. Creatures projects aren't always easy! I think the recent
CCSF 2014 Basic Survey got me thinking about finally achieving this elusive goal. Some others have posted about their CCSF ideas, too, and it's awesome to see that people are thinking about projects already! My own top secret project has no time table, simply because it all depends on how much time I will have to devote to it. If it was possible to push a button and get it all done in a day, it would be complete. Plus, I set a lofty goal for myself and it's been rather disappointing for me not to make any progress. Time to work!


Those nosy Norns found this little scrap, with my very own handwriting! Oddly enough, taking a picture of pure white paper in slight darkness results in this neat, old paper feel. But I digress. There are still some ideas I need to write down and get my head wrapped around, yet I should be on a regular schedule with this project beginning this month. I really struggled to get motivated: I think many of us Creatures players lose interest in the game or our projects at times. There isn't a set "thing" that gets us back into it, but when that happens, it's pretty awesome! So keep an eye out for this secret project... Which may or may not be all that secret if you're a longtime reader of Discover Albia!

The Last of a Creatures 1 Generation


If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one sets the standard! Xenops left the
comforts of home to explore, all while growing up a little bit. At least he still had his playful spirit! While the latest antigen attack had lost the battle, Pipit was assaulted by another curse: Old age. Niltava stood nearby, ironically not much taller than Xenops. This trio looked pretty happy, but what if I was to say that it was actually a party of four? Pipit's rather saucy pose was a celebration of sorts, for he was to be a father again! Good thing I managed to get Niltava to eat a few carrots since her last egg...


On the subject of toys, Adaon fell in love with a ball. He stared at it with his red Grendel eyes. In old age, I wondered if he had lost his eyesight and assumed that the bright red on the ball was another Grendel's eyes. As soon as he tired of sitting around and doing nothing, he started bouncing it. Over and over again it bounded across the floor, with Adaon in tow on an invisible line! He was rather exhausted and hungry, yet he continued on. No sense interrupting a Grendel's playtime! He could set a record!


Oh, Pipit! He might have gotten a little gray and his eyelids might have started to droop, yet he was one very happy Norn. The bridge overlooking the mountain and treehouse area hadn't been very popular with my Norns and Grendels, yet they were starting to flock there. One interesting and somewhat disappointing fact is that the mountain doesn't really exist... Albia is a disc-shaped world with nothing in its center. The background is there mainly for our benefit, although I always thought it would be neat if the background elements could be explored. What would a Norn do on the top of the mountain? What about those strange buildings that can be seen in the garden? Alas, it's mostly just speculation. Part of what makes Creatures 1 so unique is its background, even if it doesn't actually make sense! Kind of fits in with the whole Creatures theme of mystery, though.


Then, it was time for a monumental turning point of this generation: The final Norn. Out of 41 total babies, 14 were part of this generation. Meet Yuhina, daughter of Taran and Orwen! She is actually a full sister to Whydah, with an identical appearance. However, the two did have a number of genetic differences. It might seem odd to have two full siblings when there were many other Norns to choose from, but I spent a good deal of time planning out who would be used this generation. Yuhina was the very last baby of the last couple. That counts!

RECEPTORS

Chemical receptors define parameters for a certain chemical. When these parameters are met, an element in the Creature is affected. These genes can increase drives, define life stages, control fertility, and more.
Default: 234 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Sensorimotor, Invol 0='flinch', chem=Pain++, thresh=65, nom=0, gain=255, features=Digital
Mutation: 234 Emb B MutDupCut Brain, Noun i/ps, Threshold, chem=Pain++, thresh=65, nom=0, gain=255, features=Digital

This explanation best begins with an explanation of the default gene: It states that a Creature will flinch when the pain increase chemical reaches a certain threshold of 65 units. Fairly straightforward! The confusion occurs with the mutation. It likely looks like gibberish! Remember that a receptor works from right to left, in that it uses the chemical information to cause something to happen in either the Creature or the Creature's brain. From my experience with Yuhina, this mutation made her unable to flinch from a slap. Pain increase didn't seem to interfere with her brain function, although it likely sent a signal to her lobe associated with nouns. Then again, she was kind of sheltered from the rather violent group, so this could cause some issues if a slap-happy Norn or Grendel were to find her!

Default: 237 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Sensorimotor, Invol 4='shiver', chem=Coldness, thresh=141, nom=0, gain=255, features=Analogue
Mutation: 237 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Sensorimotor, Invol 4='shiver', chem=Coldness, thresh=141, nom=1, gain=255, features=Analogue

The infamous shivering mutation! This should look rather familiar, as it is shared by Whydah and Xenops. It basically alters the nominal value, or resting value, of this gene from zero to one. Effectively, this gene is technically always triggered, and all of the Norns with this mutation shiver more than usual. It hasn't caused me much concern, though, particularly since it only lasts a few seconds and has never interfered with their usual lives. They all have their father, Taran, to thank for this gene! What a lovely way to be remembered: "It's the shivering Norn family!"

EMITTERS

Chemical emitters define specific conditions within a Creature in order to affect chemicals. Some examples include experiencing stress from excessive drives, becoming cold due to environmental conditions, and more.
Default: 137 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Sensorimotor, Air is this hot, chem=Hotness, thresh=0, samp=24, gain=49, features=Analogue
Mutation: 137 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Sensorimotor, Air is this hot, chem=SexDrive, thresh=0, samp=24, gain=49, features=Analogue

Another lovely inherited mutation! This one, along with the following stimuli genetic mutation, came from Yuhina's mother, Orwen. In the default genome, this simply states that when the air is hot enough, a Creature has an increase in hotness. In other words, he or she feels warmer. For Yuhina, hot air will actually increase her sex drive... Not exactly ideal, but not a big problem! Her mother never struggled with coldness, although the interaction between this gene and the one that causes Yuhina to shiver a lot might be interesting. Or, she could simply be ready to kisspop more often.

STIMULI

Stimuli genes define the chemicals that a Creature expects to receive in response to an action. These actions can range from interactions with the hand to involuntary actions like coughing or sneezing.
Default: 102 Emb B Mut 'I am quiescent' causes sig=0 GS neu=255 int=0 => 8*Boredom++
Mutation: 102 Emb B Mut 'Object comes into view' causes sig=0 GS neu=255 int=0 => 8*Boredom++

This gene should also be familiar, since it came from Orwen and was also inherited by Yuhina's sister, Whydah. It usually causes a slight increase in boredom when a Creature is quiescent, or doing nothing. The mutation causes a slight increase in boredom when an object comes into view. This led to raised boredom in Whydah. I found that separating her from all sources of conversation and letting her quietly rest for a bit helped. Yuhina will likely need a little extra help to combat her boredom. At least it's good to know that no Norn has ever actually died from boredom!


That little egg of Pipit and Niltava's grew quite quickly! She sat down next to it, likely pondering over its growth. Indeed, it was almost the same size as her! Pipit decided to stretch up as high as he could to show that egg who really was the tallest. Actually, his head was in the wrong position, since there is a case of mixed up sprites with the male Banana Norns. At least it made for a funny pose, rather than a problematic one. He was quite the prolific Norn, now that he was virtually the only one in the area. The only other mature male was Manakin, who had retired to the Norn settlement. He wasn't completely alone, though, and Xenops still had his chance to grow up to pass along his genetics.


Elsewhere, my other Grendel was just beginning her elder life stage. Arianllyn was a little more faded, and sported a head full of gray hair. She was happy to find Towhee, who tagged along with her on her underground journey. With the two Grendels nearby, it seemed probable that they might add onto their brood. On that subject, the next generation will continue on as usual, but the generation after it will involve some genetic changes. These will create easier genetic analyses, and fix some default genetic issues. Otherwise, I would likely be starting over with a new set of Norns. Not exactly natural, yet it will let these Norns still live on through their descendants!

Pipit's Curse and Attempted Escape


After Pipit suffered from not just
one illness, but a second emergency infection, it was nice to see him acting like a typical Norn again! He was still rather terrible in terms of eating properly, although he had made a good deal of progress. I decided to spend a little time with him so he could enjoy being a healthy little Creature again. He had already cemented his name in the next generation, so it was a lovely time to let him live a quiet, happy life. We were on the island, enjoying a somewhat impromptu tropical getaway, when he started to run about and act strangely. Whatever could the problem be? And whatever was Pipit running from?


Really, Creatures 1?! Another antigen attack on my poor Pipit? Contagious and uncomfortable with a fever (fever toxin not shown in this graph), his life force started to take another tumble. Luckily, he was the only Norn in the area and was also pretty quick to eat a carrot. His body was ready to fight off this infection, and fortunately the corresponding antibody built up quickly. Pipit coughed for a few minutes, yet I was perturbed. Was he some sort of antigen magnet? My original thought that he was cursed seemed to hold true, at least in the illness department. He could run away from the antigens, but he could never hide from them. Poor Pipit! He was on the road to recovery again in no time. I only hoped that the next illness would be a mild one. Leave him alone, for crying out loud!


Manakin was not ill, though he certainly acted like something was wrong. He developed a strange game where he would pick up a piece of food, drop it a little ways in front of him, and repeat the process all over again. When he reached the top level of the settlement near the telescope, he looked about ready to throw a radish over the edge and watch it crash to the floor below! I managed to interrupt him long enough to convince him to eat his new toys. I promptly replenished his supply, and he went back to work on his very important task of moving them all around. I only hoped he got some satisfaction from the activity! Silly Manakin.


Pipit was soon joined by Whydah on his vacation. She made a better friend than I did, or so I supposed. At least I was still the one who could make food materialize out of thin air! Perhaps he told Whydah his sad tale of his recent antigen attacks, for she was quite sympathetic towards him. She could recognize a strong Norn, too: Who else could bounce back from a 5% life force and live to tell the tale? Needless to say, a little egg was soon on its way! The only downside was in one gene, which would likely give the youngster a serious problem with decision making. All the same, I was quite happy for the couple! The only needling concern was Pipit's curse... Would it pass down to his sons and daughters?