Summer began in Creatures 1 with the boys on an outing to the garden! Drongo and Blackcap took in the warm sunshine, although their attention was fiercely focused on the bouncing ball. It was a mesmerizing thing, and I even found myself joining in their little game! It was a shock to uncover the fact that the youngest Norn was no longer a darling baby. All had grown up with plenty of health and happiness, yet my sentimental mind decided that the world could handle a new baby Norn. This generation would only contain fourteen Norns, after all, which meant they all might meet.
My heartstrings were tugged on as the new Norn emerged from her egg with one of the most terrified looks on her tiny face. This is Euphonia, the daughter of Gurgi and Eilonwy. This made her a half sister to Astrapia, although they were strikingly different in appearance. From a genetic standpoint, I chose Euphonia due to her complete lack of mutations. For those using a similar world scenario, where eggs are chosen based on genetics, I recommend having at least one Norn each generation who is as close to the standard genome as possible. This often prevents a population from becoming overrun with multiple mutations that could be detrimental, while still allowing mutations to slowly emerge. It also helps keep mutations to a reasonable level!
Euphonia quickly perked up after she completed her vocabulary. Not only was Albia a rather fun place to live, but the carrots and honey were simply to die for! I carefully encouraged her down the lift and into the kitchen. Surprisingly, she was one of the few Norns who decided not to touch the blistering oven. Smart little one! She even made her first friend, who appreciated a few tickles and even dug up a delicious piece of cheese. Before I knew it, Euphonia was already independent. I was then hit with a case of empty nest syndrome…
Which led to the prompt hatching of another egg! Hypocolius popped out, and looked like he was about ready to shun any form of nurturing I had to offer. He was the son of Kaw and Henwen, who shared one of the strongest bonds I ever witnessed. That love was in his heart, for Hypcolius soon focused his attention on the hand and had me falling in love with him! There were some minor mutations in his genome not even worth noting, but there was one particular gene that worried me. Just as Euphonia joined this generation for a purpose, so did Hypocolius. Norns are surprisingly resilient and adaptable, even when faced with a debilitating mutation. I hoped this would ring true for him and carry him through life successfully.
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: 305 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Sensorimotor, Invol 5=’sleep’, chem=Sleepiness, thresh=230, nom=0, gain=255, features=Analogue
Mutation: 305 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Drive Levels Tiredness, chem=Sleepiness, thresh=230, nom=0, gain=255, features=Analogue
In a standard Norn, this gene appears to force him or her to go to sleep when the sleepiness chemical reaches a very high level of at least 230 units out of a possible 255. I have never tested this gene to see if it works without fail, but in theory, it acts as a fail safe to ensure that an extremely sleepy Norn goes to sleep. For Hypocolius, this gene has mutated to affect his tiredness drive whenever the amount of sleepiness chemical reaches a high level. This in itself doesn’t seem too detrimental, since an overly tired Norn will typically lay down or go to sleep. If Hypocolius does not develop good sleeping habits early on, his body will lack the ability to put itself to sleep. Certainly not a mutation that will ruin his life, but one that could pose some issues.
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: 245 Emb B Mut ‘Invol 4=’shiver” causes sig=0 GS neu=255 int=0 => 16*Hotness++ + 32*Coldness- + 16*Tiredness + 16*Fear
Mutation: 245 Emb B Mut ‘Invol 4=’shiver” causes sig=0 GS neu=255 int=0 => 16*Hotness++ + 32*Coldness- + 16*Coldness + 16*Fear
This mutation should look familiar, as it is one that Hypocolius inherited. As a quick reminder, a standard Norn experiences hotness increase, coldness decrease, tiredness, and fear when he or she shivers. This mutation swaps out tiredness for coldness. Hypocolius will not become tired from shivering, although he may need to shiver a lot more in order to warm up. In a way, his body will feel both hot and cold when he shivers. Odd, but not harmful!
Naturally, I managed to snap a simply adorable picture of Hypocolius! He was amazed by the spinning top. Not that usual sort of amazed, but completely over-the-top excited! His sleepiness drive was still too low for me to get an idea of what his mutation would do. I took him out into the sunshine so that he could get to know some of the other inhabitants. Little Euphonia was long gone, and I wondered if she got hold of some sort of rocket… Those little legs were really moving! Luckily, Hypocolius was more of the timid type, and he stuck close to the hand as I coaxed him out into the wide open world. His entrance brought the total number of Norns to six, with an equal number of males and females. Could I take a break from hatching everyone?
According to the Observation Kit, everyone was in excellent health! I even caught Astrapia and Cotinga eating on their own. Instilling good behavior early in a Norn’s life can be time consuming, yet the practice has never failed me. Even the two Grendels were in good health, although they’re usually the ones who know how to take care of themselves. Perhaps I will include some of these snapshots with future updates, as I rarely mention the Observation Kit, despite its amazing uses in Creatures 1. A whole gaggle of healthy Norns makes for a pretty picture!