After playing Creatures 1 on and off for well over a decade, I’ve come to accept a lot of quirks in the game. Fortunately, a little bit of CAOS helped me make one improvement, yet I’ve increasingly noticed several more. In a couple of conversations with Amaikokonut of Naturing :: Nurturing, we talked about how horrible Norns are at eating! I’ve always blamed it on their silly behavior and somewhat limited brain capacity. However, there are actually a couple of serious issues with the actual food items in Albia. The worst culprit? Carrots. Norns and Grendels can see the seedlings in the garden, and will try desperately to interact with them. The result? Creatures who don’t think that “push food” is very effective.
Another related problem to the basic food items in Creatures 1 is the fact that eaten food doesn’t quite work: The chewing sound can be heard, a chemical graph will show that the Norn did ingest some food, yet the food item will remain in the Norn’s hand. This occurs with the lemon, which will not actually disappear until dropped. A carrot is eaten, yet it is replaced with a carrot seedling that the Norn finds himself or herself holding. In very rare cases, a Norn will not drop the seedling for so long that it will grow into a full-grown carrot! Even honeypots aren’t immune: Although they do change positions when they are empty, Creatures can still interact with them and try to eat the honey.
My own experiences indicate that young Norns and Grendels are very eager to eat in Creatures 1: They voluntarily seek out food, eat it on their own, and typically need very little coaxing. Over time, however, older Norns and Grendels appear to forget how to eat. This has always struck me as odd, yet I never thought it was anything more than my Creatures just using their brains for other things. As I continue to work out CAOS, I’m working on trying to unravel these food items to find some possible improvements. Who knows: Maybe C1 Norns and Grendels are more intelligent than we’ve thought!
I’ll also mention that although I will be working on this project, I’m sharing it here in case anyone else would like to give it a go! I’m really not one for claiming ideas for Creatures and restricting any related development. Just know that I may release something similar down the line! If you’re really interested in pursuing this exact idea and feel like you might be stepping on any toes, though, no worries! You might mention where the original idea came from, but that’s about it. CAOS and I have a long time to get acquainted, and improvements for C1 are often difficult to come by!