One of the most interesting features of Creatures can also be one of the most confusing and daunting. Even in the relatively simple world of C1, Norn genetics are extremely complicated. All the same, a challenge is always fun! The Creatures 1 Genetics Kit can be downloaded from the Creatures Development Network. I have used it in both a Windows Vista and Windows 7 environment without any problems. Unfortunately, I’m not certain if there is a version available to Mac users. In any event, the opening screen looks harmless enough and rather interesting! It looks deceivingly simple, but with a little practice, the Genetics Kit can be an amazing learning tool. There is virtually nothing to do without loading a genome: This can be done either by clicking on the “Load Genome” button pictured on the Cover tab, or going to File – Load Genome.
These genomes are sorted from newest to oldest: This is a bit further down the list, as I wanted to illustrate a quick point. At the very bottom are genomes such as mum6.gen and mum2.gen. These correspond to one parent used in creating the hatchery eggs: There are corresponding dad6.gen and dad2.gen files listed further down. These files are unmutated, and formulate the templates to compare other genomes with. When a hatchery egg is injected into Albia, the two corresponding genomes are mixed together: This is why first generation Norns can have mutations. The Gren.GEN genome corresponds to the Grendel. In a similar fashion, pmn.gen corresponds to the Purple Mountain Norn, for.gen corresponds to the Forest Norn, and ron.gen corresponds to the Ron Norn. In my world, I chose to hatch brand new PMNs and Forest Norns, rather than to import the pre-hatched creatures. Since there is only one genome for these breeds, a first generation egg will have no mutations: He or she simply possesses an exact copy of the original genome. It is also possible to have unmutated first generation Banana, Horse, and White Haired Pixie Norns through the Genetics Kit. This will be covered later on.
Wondering why the template genomes were created so recently? I have the wonderful Updated C1 Genetics from Kezune, which include essential updates! Most importantly, these genomes allow creatures to die of old age: The original Creatures 1 genomes were flawed in that they allowed Norns to live on indefinitely.
The remaining files represent the genomes of each creature in Albia. These will always be in the format of a number followed by three letters. It is easy to keep track of which genome belongs to which creature in the very beginning, simply based on the date and time when they were born. The science kit in the game lists the genome for quick reference, as well. It is a good idea to keep track of which genomes belong to which creatures to avoid any confusion later on.
By choosing a genome to load, the rest of the Genetics Kit tabs become useable and interesting. I recommend loading a genome and just getting used to the different areas of the program. I will be including additional tutorials in the upcoming weeks and months, which will hopefully explain both the Genetics Kit and Creatures genetics in more detail. Happy researching!