The next generation of Creatures 1 Norns is in the works! I recently discovered how long it has been since I documented these lives, and I’ve been hard at work to get them ready. It isn’t just a simple exercise of hatching any genome: There are a number of considerations that go into whether or not a Norn will join the next generation. Pictured here are the “final” Norns who will be featured in the upcoming generation. Some are hidden since I add in a few first generation Norns to keep the gene pool rather diverse, especially in terms of appearance genes.
Each member of the fifth generation will have either one or two children included, so no one will be forgotten! The Forest Norns and Santa Norns certainly had a whole lot of luck in the appearance department. However, everyone will look unique! My final choices came down to lineage and mutations. Often I will have one or two Norns in a world who have genetic mutations requiring extra attention and care. I also mix in Norns with beneficial mutations, as well as others who have seemingly boring genomes. For those who have followed along in the past, this method seems to work well!
Prior to hatching anyone, I wanted to update the base genome to fix a few things while still keeping any mutations intact. The Forest Norn genome has been a great starting point. In particular, the changes I’m working on prevent some of the more important genes from being cut, duplicated, and/or mutated. A Norn’s brain is complex enough, and any mutations to the actual lobes or brain chemicals can be devastating. 8 lobes and 1,068 neurons are tricky enough when they’re not acting unusually!
On the other hand, I still want to allow all sorts of genetic chaos to happen! There are some genes that were previously locked in, and some of these are being altered so that they can be mutated. For instance, the instinct gene that rewards a Norn for pushing (eating) food when he or she is hungry can now be mutated like the rest of the instincts.
A roadmap with details of which genes have been changed will be released prior to the start of the next generation. I actually thought I had caught most of the needed changes until I went through the genome again in the Digital DNA Analyzer. There are many more changes that I could make, although I’m trying to keep things as close to the original Norn genome… At least for this generation. One idea I would love to pursue is a more realistic immune system, as evidenced within the case study of Dee. I’m sure that will figure into a future generation! For now, we’ll continue on with the original immune system. Rumor has it that at least one Norn has an interesting mutation related to antibodies, though!
Finally, there is one interesting but rarely used feature of the Genetics Kit: A chromosome map! I have absolutely no idea if this has ever meant anything, although it’s kind of neat to see. There are just a few final changes I’ll be working on, and then we’ll finally be ready to see some Creatures 1 Norns in action! The Grendels will also undergo some genetic updates, and I’m toying with the idea of making them less angry… Tickles from the hand actually make those friendly green beings rather upset, although they seem to live happily enough! Get ready to meet some new Norns and Grendels very soon!