Difficulty: Easy | Games: Creatures 1, Creatures 2, and Creatures 3/Docking Station
Anna Log: Before we can jump right into studying the genetics in any of the Creatures games, it helps to have a starting point and a baseline to start with. Since everyone learns differently, this lesson will hopefully help us all understand the very basics of becoming a Creatures geneticist! Today, the question we hope to answer is: How and where does someone begin with these genetics lessons? Join us today for the very basics!
Part I: Default Genomes
From my own learning experiences, I know that sometimes it helps to actually try new things for myself. Everyone learns a different way, but I think it’s important for anyone wishing to use the genetics programs to be able to easily follow along. Unless otherwise noted, all genetic information will be based on the following set of genomes. Edited genomes and newer breeds, such as the CFE breeds for C3/DS, often have new or altered genes. Additionally, it can be difficult to follow along when gene numbers are different.
- C1 Genome: Basic genome with two gene changes made by Tarlia to allow death by old age and no way to increase the aging chemical via antioxidants.
- C2 Genome: Basic genome with no changes. This is not a Canny Norn, Nova Subterra, nor other edited genome. The shortcomings will be explored to show why these updated genomes are so useful.
- C3/DS Genome: Basic genome with no changes. This is not a CFE Norn nor any other edited genome. The shortcomings will be explored to show why the CFE genome is so useful.
Norn genomes will take priority during these genetics lessons, but Grendels and Ettins will not be forgotten! Their genetics are normally very similar to those of Norns, though, with the ability to use the same concepts. Specific lessons will be geared towards Grendels and Ettins, and will be noted. These genomes will be made available with these lessons, if need be. Lucas Locus and Gene Gnome would never want their species to be left out!
Part II: Genetics Kit
Perhaps the most important tool for understanding Creatures genetics is the all important Genetics Kit! It contains hundreds of options, the ability to change a gene at will, and many more features. One important concept to note is that there is a separate Genetics Kit for each Creatures game. I’ve had times when I’ve used the wrong program without even knowing it! Luckily, this just returns an error message. Make sure to grab one or more of the following downloads if you would like to follow along closely with the lessons.
Note: The license page download links have broken URLs, but the direct download links listed below will work.
Part III: Genome Comparison Programs
Besides the Genetics Kit, there are a couple of very useful programs. I recommend these mostly for those trying to understand the differences between two creatures, or figuring out which mutations a baby has from his or her parents. Although the information in these programs is much more limited than that of the Genetics Kit, I usually use them almost as often, particularly during Norn breeding season!
Part IV: Differences in Genetics
Denny D. Rite: It would be simple to explain genetics if everything was the same across all of the games! Of course, each of the Creatures games has its own set of genetics. The information builds upon itself, but we have to remember which concepts go with which game. Just as an example, the Creatures 1 default genome has 320 genes. In Creatures 2, this number shoots up to 786 genes! Don’t let it scare you: I look scared enough for everyone!
All lessons will start off with concepts that can be applied to Creatures 1, and possibly used in Creatures 2 and Creatures 3/Docking Station. Once we get through a good deal of information for the first game, I plan on diving into the new aspects introduced in the later games. For example, organ systems and a more complicated digestive system were introduced in C2 and expanded upon in C3/DS. Naturally, this final game in the series has the most complicated genetics system. Complicated can be fun, though!
Part V: Extended Learning
Download the default genomes and all genetics programs that will be useful to you. It might even be a good idea to open up a genome in the correct Genetics Kit, just to get an idea of what the genes look like. Be warned that there will be a lot of information and options! Make note of any particular genes you might have questions about, or if there are certain areas you would be most interested in. Feel free to reply with your notes, or just keep them on hand as the genetics lessons start to get more in-depth! And please don’t think of this as a series of lectures: Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome!