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Emotional Attachment to Creatures

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C-Rex
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Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby C-Rex » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:40 pm

When raising your creatures, did you ever become emotionally attached to them? I know a lot of players when they were younger did (me included) and it seems people view them mostly as either pets, genetic experiments or just a bunch of pixels.

When I first got into Creatures 2 I hated it whenever my norns would get unconscious, as at the time I didn't know how to wake them up. This was especially hard when it came to norns I liked, including a mother mernorn I had who was sent flying into the desert because one of her children activated the spring at the bottom of the ocean. She was pregnant too, which kind of sucked. My first male norn in C1 died because he got stung by the cave flies, and being a Purple Mountain Norn, had a fatal reaction from the poison they inject. :cry:

Personally I find it much easier to form attachments in the first two games, as life is treated as something precious and so you must try to keep your norns alive, rather than having access to an egg layer and being able to keep laying eggs. It's also more challenging to breed them.

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Jessica
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Jessica » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:05 pm

My early days of playing Creatures were spent in a rather muddled mess, so I don't specifically remember getting emotionally attached to anyone. Oddly enough, I seem to get much more attached when I'm playing now! A lot of deaths from illnesses have made me rather sad, especially that infamous tragedy. That really got to me and made me really sad because I lost some of my favorite Norns, along with their children and friends. I sometimes dramatize my posts to make them a little more interesting, yet this one pretty much played out exactly as the post was written.

I agree with you about forming attachments: C1 and C2 Norns seem like they were designed to have some sort of interaction/relationship with the player through the hand. I might be wrong, but wasn't need for pleasure (NFP) removed in C3/DS? That was a drive that was almost instantly reduced to nothing when the player tickled a Norn. For me, I see them more as pets who thrive with contact, whereas the C3/DS varieties are much more independent and really don't need the player to do anything.

I'm also a big fan of the breeding challenge with the first two games, particularly in C1! I've had a few Norns who were healthy and social, yet they never had any children due to the way things panned out. With pregnancies being somewhat rare (at least in comparison to C3/DS) each baby seems really unique and special. I like seeing their personalities emerge. In C3/DS, there are usually so many babies that I'm lucky to have a general idea of who's who. "Less is more" seems to hold true in this instance!

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Amaikokonut
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Amaikokonut » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:31 am

I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time trying to get emotionally attached to creatures, with mixed results.

C-Rex wrote:This was especially hard when it came to norns I liked, including a mother mernorn I had who was sent flying into the desert because one of her children activated the spring at the bottom of the ocean. She was pregnant too, which kind of sucked.

Oh my heavens, that sounds a little traumatic. I imagine some poor ettin wandering through the sands and looking up overhead to see a massive fish-norn soaring overhead, wet scales glistening in the desert sun (okay maybe I'm the one being a little overdramatic here now)

I do agree that it doesn't help the attachment cause that C3 creatures are just so... prolific. C3/DS creatures also very rarely seem to die from illness except in the case of antigen 5. I think the main threat to my norns in C3 was angry grendels or just other angry norns, since slaps can actually do serious damage (oh man, I remember the first time in C3 I went to break up a slap fight, and smacked one of the creatures that seemed to be starting the fight, not knowing he was already so badly hurt... he died, and I felt like the worst norn-parent in the world).

If I remember right, NFP was absent from C3/DS, as well as the 'sad' facial expression. There were also a few poses present in C2 (and maybe C1) that were left out. I think one of the things I loved most about C2 was just how expressive the norns' faces were.

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kezune
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby kezune » Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:29 am

Amaikokonut wrote:I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time trying to get emotionally attached to creatures, with mixed results. [...] I do agree that it doesn't help the attachment cause that C3 creatures are just so... prolific.

I'm in the same boat. I think it has to do with the fact that I play more Creatures3/DS than anything but even in Creatures 1 I find myself having trouble bonding sometimes. It could just be that it's been a while but I can't remember whether the Norns in C1 ever spoke to the hand like they do in Docking Station. That said, I don't necessarily become attached, but I do become more invested in my C1 creatures.

I could never get Creatures 2 to work for longer than 20 minutes at a time so...

Then there's the shortened life spans in Creatures 3 and Docking Station, the lack of suspense and drama whenever anyone gets sick, plus there's no way to really monitor creatures without sticking a HoverDoc on them which I find ugly and distracting. It could even be that they talk so much! It's hard to pin down any one thing that makes it hard for me to grow attached to C3/DS creatures.

Amaikokonut wrote:I felt like the worst norn-parent in the world).

Yikes. I'd probably feel the same way, even if I only considered it a test animal. D:
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xan
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby xan » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:00 am

I have a very distinct memory of introducing a relative to creatures (I'd been playing several years at this time - would have been what, 15 at most?) and them *freaking out* when their first norn suddenly died. Their response was completely baffling to me.

I'm not sure which of us that says more about though.

Playing primarily c3/ds developing attachment has always been something I had to put a lot of effort into. It's easier in C1/2 where you have to hand-hold them all the time ... but for me, that usually added up to me being more frustrated than endeared. (This I think specifically says not-good things about me)
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Jessica
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Jessica » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:06 pm

Nah, that doesn't say anything bad about you, Xan! As much as I love to get emotionally attached, there are times when I prefer to just watch life happen without doing much. I think that's the important thing: Creatures can get to different people in many different ways, and there isn't necessarily a "right" way to play. I remember introducing some people to Creatures really long ago, and they weren't all too interested. That was baffling to me. Ha!

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Kitty Tikara
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Kitty Tikara » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:11 am

I grow fond of certain creatures when I write about them, but I don't really get attached to them. Most of my worlds are either testing worlds or wolfling runs and breaking out of that mindset is surprisingly hard. Writing about them forces me to turn that part of my brain off and just slow down and enjoy them. Another way is to play some sort of background music and just accept that I'm not going to get attached to specific individuals. I tend to get attached to populations more then individuals anyway. A part of the reason I like wolfling runs is that I find a population of slightly interesting creatures and enjoy seeing where they go.

Xan: You aren't the only one. C1 and C2 have much more personable norns but I can only stand them in small doses. Trying to get them to sleep is really frustrating when you're used to C3/DS norns just... going to sleep on their own.

Kez and Amai: I think you're both onto something there. The few C3/DS creatures I have grown attached to either had interesting things happen happen during their lives or were longer lived. Balmora is an immortal and she's my favorite by far. My next favorite is a norn from an old Stinger Norn test world that said she loved me even after surviving 10 hours in a wolfling run. C3/DS' short, boring lives are probably hurting them in the attachability area. Also they breed way to much and the children tend steal all of the attention from their parents.

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Venithil
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Venithil » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:37 pm

With only several weeks of experience with Creatures 2 and several days of experience with old, free Creatures DS, most things are fairly fresh in my mind and, despite my age, I do get a little excited about and fond of Norns, although more as pets than anything. This is midigated somewhat by my realization that a Norn may die easily on the very same day it hatched. As such, I tend to have certain mechanisms of getting attached, if at all! I am able to drop these attachments when testing things.

Creatures 2 :
- First Norn in a world tends to get some fondness and extra attention from me.
- Exotic-looking and interesting hybrids tend to also get some extra attention and adoration, especially in later generations when there's a lot of Norns populating the world and watching over them all seems borderline impossible.
- I get attached to *smart* norns. My first Nova Subterra was by far the Norn I liked the most and pretty much the only one I honestly got attached to.

Creatures DS :
- I get some emotion out of watching groups in specific metarooms rather than being attached to specific creatures. I find it easy to document Creatures 2 progress, but not Creatures DS progress. My favorites this time are Norns (and freshly hatched two Ettins) in the Chione metaroom.
- I don't feel as sad when a Norn dies. One of the first 2nd generation Norns died when I moved him away from his parents, despite his genetics being supposedly an advantage in the new environment.
- I failed to get attached to my first two Norns, partially because the learning stage was very simplified and partially because they were too... odd. The breeds I can choose are limited as I am in no position to get Creatures Exodus yet, so all my breeds are the ones available for free or made by the community with sprites included. My first trio was a set of Frost male, Flora male, and Wood female. The Flora male was exported because of tremendous sprite issues. The Wood female and Frost male proceeded to produce a three offspring - one died when moved to Chione, one died for seemingly no reason at all, and for the third... When the boy grew, his father developed some weird issue where he HAD to push buttons, or he grew scared. Meanwhile, his mother decided the young Norn was a better mate than the mentally challenged father, and the two of them produced 4 children. I exported one and separated them eventually when I started populating other rooms. Suffice to say I hatched more Generation 1 creatures since, but I always feel just a tad awkward about Norn parents mating with their children - for social reasons, as I understand genetics work differently for them and as such have no trouble with sibling or cousin pairs.

To keep thing short :
I can get attached to smart creatures, creatures with plenty of personality, or unique mixed-breed looks. In DS, I seem to only get attached to whole groups at once.
One day, all the weird mutant Norns, Ettins, and Grendels shall make themselves an X-Albians movie.
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Jessica
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Jessica » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:36 pm

Another super late reply from me, but I will say that I have almost the exact experience with C3/DS Norns! It's really difficult to get attached to them, and I think you put into words what I never realized: I get attached to groups, rather than individuals. It isn't that I dislike it, but it's a different sort of attachment than what I experience in Creatures 1. I also agree that smarter Norns tend to be my favorites, although I also seem to take a liking to those who are a little... Not-so-smart. Ha! I've had some who make horrible decisions all the time, say all the wrong things, and make me smile.

One quick question: You mentioned the Creatures Exodus breeds, but all except the Mall Breeds are available for free. If you need any help finding those (like the Magma Norns and Siamese Norns) I'm happy to help! Sometimes finding those download links can be a pain.

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Amaikokonut
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Amaikokonut » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:45 pm

Venithil, definitely a great point there about getting attached to groups; I never really thought about it that way, but that really is what happens. I feel like I get attached to smarter norns too, at least in C1/C2 where "smart" is actually a feat and not something hard-coded instinct-wise as in DS.

Here's something, you mentioned the learning stage being almost non-existent in DS and that contributing to feelings of detachment. I feel that way too, since those first moments with your newborns are a good time to form emotional bonds, but I also feel like teaching every creature the long way can get kind of tediously chore-like after a while and take away from the fun of the game. Does anyone else feel this way? What is your preferred way of dealing with it?

I suppose one way would just be to use breeds that produce drastically fewer offspring so you don't have to go through the process as often; another (usually what I end up doing) is to just teach newborns the bare minimum that they need to know and hope they learn the rest along the way, though it gets bothersome when I can't understand what they are saying.

I kind of favor a theoretical system where vocabulary is more easily picked up by surrounding creatures and the newborn learning stage is more about how to eat and play rather than repeating a bunch of words, but I'm not sure how well that would work out in practice. I wonder what other ways norns could have a learning stage that is important/beneficial enough to actually make people want to go through with each creature (and hopefully get to know/bond with them in the process), but interesting enough that it doesn't get tedious.


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