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Emotional Attachment to Creatures

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Venithil
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Venithil » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:05 pm

Jessica wrote: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.


In the previous two creatures' games, the Norns appeared to have some sort of personality and demonstrate it by actions with/around the hand as well as their interactions with other Norns. In Creatures DS (and from what I understand, Creatures 3) it's way less rewarding and harder to take care of a single particular Norn, but their relationships are far more defined. Norns (and Grendels, and Ettins) straight-up tell you they like or dislike you, or other creatures they've met. With C1 and C2 Norns, you've only had the subtle indicator when the Norn decided to follow your instructions or not, run from you or immediately try to follow you when they've seen the hand approach. So basically it feels like in Creatures 1&2 you observed individualities, while in 3/DS, you observe relationships, as such making it much more rewarding to perceive Norns as a group / society rather than follow single Norns around for any reason. Though of course, it is nice to learn that our Norns particularly like or dislike one another, and even more so, us, it discourages observation. 'Well, okay, you dislike Amanda, what're you gonna do ab... produce an egg, apparently.'

As for Norn smartness, well. In Creatures 2, most of my more silly Norns ended up dying far too easily - and at the same time, the basic Norns bred like *crazy* when given the opportunity and as such watching over individuals quickly became a problem. Now that I am trying out the smarter breeds I may develop some fondness for the local 'silly Norns'. It's worth noting that my favorite Norn to date, a Nova Subterra named Aine, did have some very silly moments (she learned that critters were toys, declared she was going to stop them, the computer, and then eat the lift, and finally gorged herself on sleep-inducing berries), but on the whole was by far the smartest Norn I ever raised.

Issue I've had with some breeds was that despite me finding installing them according to the directions, many breeds (including some of the free ones like Magma Norns and the fanmade Frost Norns based on them) seemed to default to ChiChi genome and appearances anyways. I did end up gathering a fair number of breeds that gives variety and allows for me to enjoy playing, but pretty much all of these are fanmade.

Amaikokonut wrote: (...)
1) 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?

2) 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.

3) 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.


1) I don't know much about Creatures 3, but there's an extra problems in Creatures DS where the learning computer basically addicts the Norns. Many will insist on going to it if it's in the vicinity and those that used it 3+ times will recommend bored or understimulated Norns should use it as well. It's really worrying...

And... yes. The schematic basically repeats every generation. With the first Norn I hatch (in a generation) I'm always ultra careful, notice everything they do, enjoy it when they seem to be smart and find it adorable when they do the silly stuff, and I often get so caught up the Norn is an hour old by the time it has company. The second Norn gets great treatment particularly if they are opposite gender to the previous Norn. Thou art the chosen one, quick, learn this stuff so the first Norn is not lonely, oh no you learned this stuff wrong, come let me correct you, oh WOW you can survive now!

And then come the other Norns. "If I stuff one in the upper incubator room and one in the lower, I can raise and teach two at once." This eventually turns into. "Just hatch... Ugh, I'm leaving this egg here, that Norn is smartish, maybe they'll teach the kid how to survive." And so on.
Essentially it feels more gratifying to teach a very limited number of norns to me (1-2 every generation, occasionally 3-5 in the first generation, 2-3 every generation afterwards), and then honestly I'd rather just let them hatch wild, bring the laptop to them, and let them learn the rest from observing others.

2) Part of the reason why I tried to create a breed where breeding is actually more difficult is to avoid a certain cynicism when it comes to Norn numbers. "You're the fifteenth Norn alive in the world. I don't know what to name you, I will see you twice during your baby stage of life, and frankly it feels wrong that your mom is your dad's aunt. Still, like you better than number 13, their dad... UGH Oh. Oh wait, something is wr... Awww. Time to grab one of those 13 eggs I'm sitting on. Byebye, number 15."

3) I feel like the system's flaw is that in most of the games the Norns can't really teach one another adjectives / feelings, only nouns and verbs. A Norn/Ettin/Grendel will almost never learn from another norn what is sadness, hotness, or hunger, it will always be 'extmly doo daa." until you drag the critter to the right computer. Even if a Norn starts learning the word for feelings, they'll usually associate them badly. The reason I wanted to try Hive Mind Ettins is their supposed empathy. Essentially, Norns that are taught by other Norns can't express themselves, only survive, and it's really something that hampers them.


These flaws are part of the reason why I installed the magic words agent in my DS installation. So I can send the Norns off into the world stupid, visit a place or two and decide "Today you'll learn how to say you're hungry for starch". It actually improved my enjoyment of the game, since Norns/Grendels/Ettins are no longer separated into extremely vocal and well-versed smart ones and absolute infidels who speak language known only to the engine's randomizer.



Ps. Now that I think about it, I wonder if the chief dangers in each Creatures' game doesn't affect our attachment... In Creatures 1, it's the illnesses, in Creatures 2, it's environment, poisons, and the creatures' needs, but in Creatures DS the most frequent case of norn death for me was often nornicide...
One day, all the weird mutant Norns, Ettins, and Grendels shall make themselves an X-Albians movie.
If you'd like to read a blog-style story of my Creatures playthroughs (including struggles with Creatures 2' "Smart" breeds [Canny, N. Subterra, Kannova], and my own genome) click Here!

If you'd like to check and download my work with the Kannova genome, click here!

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Amaikokonut
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Amaikokonut » Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:49 pm

Venithil wrote:I don't know much about Creatures 3, but there's an extra problems in Creatures DS where the learning computer basically addicts the Norns
Bluuuh yeah, that drives me crazy; if my norns are going to spend any time in the meso I usually disable that thing. I've had norns starve because they would rather keep pushing it.
Venithil wrote:These flaws are part of the reason why I installed the magic words agent in my DS installation. So I can send the Norns off into the world stupid, visit a place or two and decide "Today you'll learn how to say you're hungry for starch".
I'm glad you're getting use out of that too! Though I feel like it's a little cumbersome to type out something as long as "hungry for protein" sometimes. I've considered possibly coming up with a script to occasionally repeat expression words that other creatures say using the learning machine syntax/scripts so nearby creatures can learn them, but that would result in a lot of loud and unwanted bibbling. As far as I recall there's no way for a script to check if a norn already knows a particular word, and the learning machine scripts target everyone in earshot anyway, so everyone would be repeating the word-- it would get obnoxious very quickly. The only way that would really be remotely viable is if I set the script to only kick in when all the creatures involved are offscreen so at least the player doesn't have to see/hear it. I dunno, it might still be something to consider.
Venithil wrote:Now that I think about it, I wonder if the chief dangers in each Creatures' game doesn't affect our attachment... In Creatures 1, it's the illnesses, in Creatures 2, it's environment, poisons, and the creatures' needs, but in Creatures DS the most frequent case of norn death for me was often nornicide...
That's a good point; I also feel like the lack of any real alert system for creature health in C3/DS really hinders it. As morbid as it is, the process of rescuing a norn from illness or poison can be a bonding experience, but without a health kit or even a spinning stars indicator, we usually don't even know a creature is in trouble until it dies (and often when it dies, we have no idea why). Enough sudden and unpredictable deaths like that can certainly jade you after a while.

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Kitty Tikara
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Kitty Tikara » Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:55 pm

Amaikokonut wrote:I also feel like the lack of any real alert system for creature health in C3/DS really hinders it.

Not to derail the thread but have you tried the medical monitor? It had an alarm that goes off when a creature gets sick or gets a bacteria. Not quite as helpful as the health kit, but still pretty useful.

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Venithil
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Venithil » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:53 pm

So today I've been trying (at first successfully, then world-breaking bug happened) to play out something with a theme and a goal to it in Docking Station after a forcible reinstall. Reading Jessica's blog let me knew how in Creatures 1, Grendels were fairly peaceful by nature but had every on-creature action they performed changed by engine script into a slap. In Creatures 2, I always found it heartwarming that the usually lonely Ettin and Grendel ended up becoming best buddies more often than not. Because Docking Station generally always allowed me easy mixing of populations (in Creatures 2, my game crashes if I try raising and breeding too many creatures with too many base models, a.k.a full breeds), many if not most of my Grendel experiences and Ettin experiences come from it.


So today as part of the theme of the world I essentially used breeds of Grendels that are only occasionally violent (Pyrite, Vampire, and Tiger Grendels, to be exact). To follow the theme of Grendels being misunderstood, amongst the Norn breeds I incorporated the Beowulf Norns (which're very aggressive towards Grendels). The world had many interconnections in it, complete with CA links, so I was faced with my idea becoming more effective than I dared to think it would be, and it hit me a little bit on the emotional side - in the first room, where most creatures started, Chione, even Beowulf hatchlings initiated everything by smacking Grendels around, sometimes to death, until there were no more grendels there. In one particular instance a Vampire grendel adolescent got killed by a Beowulf child when he was much larger than her (claws the size of her head, basically). Other, older Beowulf Norn actually entered a world were Grendels were the most prevalent (3 grendels and 1 Gargoyle Norn who easily lived in peace with them) and essentially forced them all to relocate elsewhere with his violent antics all on his own.

This incidental experiment made me feel for Grendels a little since they usually end up getting the short end of the stick. At least before the world crush they got a really nice spot in the Desert Ruins metaroom.
One day, all the weird mutant Norns, Ettins, and Grendels shall make themselves an X-Albians movie.
If you'd like to read a blog-style story of my Creatures playthroughs (including struggles with Creatures 2' "Smart" breeds [Canny, N. Subterra, Kannova], and my own genome) click Here!

If you'd like to check and download my work with the Kannova genome, click here!

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Amaikokonut
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Amaikokonut » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:19 pm

Oh man, yeah those Beowulf norns are no joke! Back when the warp was running I would leave portals open and occasionally one would show up and just decimate the entire population. I guess no matter who they are, we have a tendency to sympathize with the underdogs.
Kitty Tikara wrote:Not to derail the thread but have you tried the medical monitor?
Oh WOW, I remember using that ages ago, along with a lot of the other agents on that page! Thanks for reminding me it exists!

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Venithil
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Venithil » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:13 pm

I'm grabbing that one, too.

And yeah. I remember in my first DS world, I was running out of place to keep my Norns so I kept sending one or two to live in the designated 'Grendel' room because pyrite grendels are quite easy to live with.

Just once, I sent a Gargoyle - Beowulf hybrid. (I'd never be silly enough to actually send a full-blooded Beowulf there).
Just once. Because they were friendly with everyone!

... Grendel count went from 4 to 2.

Guess that's what you get when digital DNA is haploid.
One day, all the weird mutant Norns, Ettins, and Grendels shall make themselves an X-Albians movie.
If you'd like to read a blog-style story of my Creatures playthroughs (including struggles with Creatures 2' "Smart" breeds [Canny, N. Subterra, Kannova], and my own genome) click Here!

If you'd like to check and download my work with the Kannova genome, click here!

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Jessica
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Jessica » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:24 am

My turn to get slightly off-topic for a second: Have you ever read about the Holistic Learning Machine and the Modified HLM by Sgeo? That agent saved me from blocking off the Norn Meso because everyone was always so attracted to using it. This allows each Creature to use that machine once, and only once, then move on their merry way. I highly recommend it!

I still think Grendels have a rather skewed perspective about them. New players are usually afraid of them, and assume that they're monsters. Granted, Grendels in Creatures 1 really were supposed to be dangerous and not as nice as they turned out... Yet I still like to think about how they were a failed experiment that actually turned out well, yet the Shee discarded them and stigmatized them to give the Norns all the attention.

Speaking of that, has anyone's emotional attachment stemmed from the history and lore of Creatures? In C1, I was fascinated by the simple but powerful story of how the Shee had left the planet, and now it was up to me to ensure that these 6 eggs survived. When I first played at around 10 years old, this felt like an awesome responsibility: If I failed, I failed an entire species. And although it was all fictional, I still felt an interesting blend of admiration and disgust for the Shee. This was a highly intelligent, powerful race who were so horribly selfish that they abandoned these poor Norns and almost led to their extinction.

Now, of course things have changed a bit and I know more about how the game works... Yet some of those feelings still persist and I feel like I have a responsibility to ensure these Norns (and Grendels) don't die out. This emotional attachment was still somewhat present in Creatures 2 for me, although it felt more like everyone had survived for awhile and didn't really need me. The Shee had still abandoned the Norns, yet they had thrived and lived through a volcanic eruption without my help. As for C3/DS... For me, it felt like there really wasn't a story. Why did I have to take care of these Norns on a lonely ship? Why not just let the eggs rest indefinitely until a real planet was reached? I'm clearly biased, though I think each game is still a great one in its own ways! The magic of having such a simple and gripping backstory for Creatures 1 still resonates with me, though, and I think that's part of the reason why I get so attached: I have to ensure the survival of this population!

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Venithil
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Venithil » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:33 pm

I may try it, but to be honest most of the time I don't really keep my Norns/Ettins/Grendels in the meso anymore, particularly since I am running themed worlds now.Besides, keeping my population from knowing ALL the words and having an absolutely uniform language stops them from... We all know what it stops them from.

"Eem dislike Vici!"
"Vici dislike you too!"
"Me love Vici!"
"VICI DISLIKES YOU, TOO!"
"Eem dislike..."
"Urg HUNGRY!"
"MAYBE RAM HEAD IN THE WALL URG!"

But yes, in C1 and C2, you're trying to rebuild a race on an abandoned world, in Exodus-games, it honestly feels like "why am I breeding them on a spaceship, exactly?", which is why I tend to download metarooms and run my whole Creature populations in them.

I am also grumpy,because my cutest Norn hybrid in Docking Station in a while passed away. He only had about 45-50 minutes of life allowed because of the life chemical. So annoying! Especially with breeds involved with his ancestry living 7-8, 7-8, and 16-18 hours respectively!

First picture depicts his parents too, btw. The father died because I allowed a Grendel to take revenge on him. Although honestly it might've been the breeds' fault, he got crowded very easily. His mother is the second most prolific female in my world, after her mother (though 15 vs 5 or 6 is no contest...)
One day, all the weird mutant Norns, Ettins, and Grendels shall make themselves an X-Albians movie.
If you'd like to read a blog-style story of my Creatures playthroughs (including struggles with Creatures 2' "Smart" breeds [Canny, N. Subterra, Kannova], and my own genome) click Here!

If you'd like to check and download my work with the Kannova genome, click here!

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Jessica
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Jessica » Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:18 pm

Oh my, I know how annoying those conversational loops are in C3/DS! Call me selfish, but part of the reason why I don't feel a strong connection is because the hand really doesn't have a place. In Creatures 1, me just showing up on screen usually gets a lonely Norn's (or Grendel's) attention, they flash me a smile, and say something like "get Jessica" or "push Jessica." Does that happen in the other games? I think I've seen it very rarely, yet I'm basically just a fly buzzing around.

I also do the same thing with C3/DS: Usually I get metarooms so I can simulate NOT being on a spaceship, or even imagining they're on a planet similar to Albia.

So sorry to hear about your Norn hybrid. He certainly was cute! Death in these games takes it toll, although there are always those special ones that hit us harder than ever. I still remember some of the unexpected (and expected) deaths of Norns and Grendels that have made me genuinely sad. Granted, that feeling doesn't last all that long, but the fact that it's there says a lot.

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Venithil
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Re: Emotional Attachment to Creatures

Postby Venithil » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:50 pm

The Norn in the third picture managed to get him to 'love' her and they actually made one egg, so arguably it was a pretty full life and there will be something to remember him by. Also he was born as a set of twins so at some point his sibling will hatch, too.

Although now that I've introduced some dangerous elements to the world I guess any death of old age became a small achievement.
One day, all the weird mutant Norns, Ettins, and Grendels shall make themselves an X-Albians movie.
If you'd like to read a blog-style story of my Creatures playthroughs (including struggles with Creatures 2' "Smart" breeds [Canny, N. Subterra, Kannova], and my own genome) click Here!

If you'd like to check and download my work with the Kannova genome, click here!


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