The Creatures 1 Drive Lobe

How Drives are Represented in the C1 Health KitWith the Creatures 1 brain structure properly visualized, it’s time to head straight into a discussion of a lobe! Although the perception lobe is the first one (and actually labeled as lobe #0), it’s a little more complicated. Better to start with the easier stuff! Besides, Shoy from the Mad Norn Scientist recently posted about the neurons in the perception lobe. We’ll start near, but not at, the beginning with the drive lobe. In the game, this is also known as lobe #1. Drives represent various needs that a Norn must satisfy and keep low, such as hunger or boredom. Many players are likely familiar with this Health Kit screen, which shows several of the most important drives. A Norn is programmed to want to keep all drives as low as possible. But just how do those drives work? There is actually a very important distinction we must make!

The Difference Between Drive Chemicals and Drive LevelsEvery drive has a corresponding chemical. For instance, there is a pain chemical and a pain drive. These are not the same! Objects and stimuli can’t contain actual drives, but they do contain chemicals to affect those drives. There are genes within a Norn that convert chemicals into their corresponding drives. Whereas the Health Kit actually shows the drive levels, the Science Kit (pictured here) illustrates the chemical levels. The problem? Mutations can pop up so that a Norn can no longer correctly associate a chemical with its matching drive. So the anger chemical might be pretty high, but the Norn will have no anger drive. Typically the chemical and the drive will be approximately the same, but this can vary. The drive lobe is purely concerned with the drive levels. Drive chemicals play an indirect role via certain genes, but are not measured in this lobe.

Another way to think of Creatures drives is as feelings. A high hunger drive means a Norn feels hungry, and a high need for pleasure (NFP) drive means a Norn feels sad. Going back to the example above about the difference between drive levels and chemical levels, a genetic mutation can break this link. A Norn might have a high chemical concentration of crowdedness without actually “feeling” crowded via the corresponding drive. What else affects these drives? Let’s take pain as an example. There is a chemical for pain, but there are also chemicals called pain increase and pain decrease. These are usually what objects contain to affect the base chemical level. That deserves a discussion all its own, and we’ll leave that to the genetics team, who should be returning from a vacation soon!

Slicing Out a Piece of a Creatures Brain for AnalysisWithin the Creatures 1 Genetics Kit, the screens for the brain lobes can be rather complicated. Remember that we’re still just starting off, so we’re only concerned with one concept pictured here: Winner Takes All (WTA). Note how it is not checked. When this box is checked, it means that only a single neuron can fire from that lobe. It makes sense in cases like the noun and verb lobes: A Norn can only recognize one of these words at a time. The same thing holds true for the attention lobe, which is another case of WTA, because a Norn can only focus on one thing at a time. If the drive lobe was classified as WTA, that would mean that a Norn would only be able to feel one drive at a time. That would mean that only the most pressing drive would be felt.

Think about yourself. Can you feel hungry, hot, tired, and angry all at the same time? Indeed, but hopefully that never happens! It’s the same with Norns. All of their drives are felt at once, although they will typically seek out ways to reduce the highest drives first. Each neuron (or cell) in the drive lobe corresponds to one of the drives. Keep in mind how small the drive lobe is compared to the rest of the brain. It’s actually tied with two other lobes for being the smallest!

The Creatures 1 Drive Lobe

Neuron Drive Neuron Drive
0 Pain 8 Crowdedness
1 Need for Pleasure 9 Fear
2 Hunger 10 Boredom
3 Coldness 11 Anger
4 Hotness 12 Sex Drive
5 Tiredness 13 Not Allocated2
6 Sleepiness 14 Not Allocated3
7 Loneliness 15 NotAllocated4

In summary, there are a total of 16 neurons and 16 drives in Creatures 1, but only 13 are actually in use. There is the opportunity to expand into other drives, although the brain is already complicated enough! Each neuron fires in response to a specific drive level in a Norn, rather than the chemical level. A Norn can feel multiple drives at once, and his or her goal is to find ways to keep all of these drives as low as possible. Norns are not particularly skilled at doing this on a regular basis, although they’re a lot more intelligent than many of us may imagine. Their silly, nonsensical behavior is often attributed to their desire to try new things and learn what makes them feel better. There are still many other subjects purely related to drives, but hopefully this makes one lobe seem a little easier to understand. Feel free to leave your feedback! If this seems too basic or too advanced, I would be happy to adjust these posts to make them work for everyone. Just wait until we get to the complicated lobes and eventually talk about how they’re all linked together! Might seem like too much right now, but I think you may be surprised at how much you already know!

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