A Pesky Garden Problem in Creatures 1

A Touch of Spring Gardening in CreaturesI meant to post a new video update of Artemiidae last week, only my microphone cord disappeared. Some silly Norn must have stolen it! I finally located it, literally in plain sight. So we’ll be back to Artemiidae this week! In the meantime, I spent some more time working on the carrot variant updates. I went through and annotated the CAOS statements behind bouncing not long ago, which was the start of a whole lot of testing in Creatures 1. This test subject, named Foxglove, certainly couldn’t complain about his job: Eating carrots! The only trouble I had was finding the bouncing carrots among the usual ones, yet I think this will make for a fun surprise in the end.

Too Much Bounciness for One NornFoxglove and I quickly ran across an issue with the carrot variant, and he wasn’t afraid to show his displeasure. The carrot should take 8 bounces before coming to a stop. If a Norn waits for the bouncing to end, the carrot can be eaten normally. However, Foxglove enjoyed grabbing the carrot in mid-air after it had only bounced a couple of times. The result was that he made the eating motion, but nothing happened. I fixed this by adding the CAOS command setv actv 0 to the script for picking up a carrot, which seems to have done the trick. Is there a better method? This one has worked without fail so far, thankfully!

Graphing Boredom and Need for Pleasure in C1Another major consideration for the carrot variant is what it will do to those around. I decided against giving any stimuli when it is dropped, because this would otherwise teach Norns that dropping any food item should result in a decrease in some drives. Instead, it will now reduce boredom and need for pleasure (NFP) to those who witness it bouncing. The trick is figuring out the concentration of these chemicals, and it’s not an easy decision! I tested this out with 5 units of boredom decrease and 5 units of NFP decrease. The graph barely moved, until I bumped these values up to 10 units each. The small blips in purple and blue (hidden behind the purple) indicate the carrot bouncing around with the values of 10 units. Why so low? Multiple bounces typically happen, and this isn’t meant to be a major drive reducer.

Using the Creatures Science Kit to Measure the Carrot VariantThe results can vary widely depending on the starting drives of the Norn. Above, Foxglove had decently high drives in both areas. I noticed that NFP decrease builds up in the system when it’s not needed, similar to other drive reducers. In this case, I had rewarded him previously for eating. The bouncing carrot built up this chemical much quicker. On the other hand, the boredom decrease was used up almost immediately to reduce boredom. These results may look like a lot, but the carrot bounced around a lot! Norns typically will pick it up after just a couple of bounces, often eating it and taking away the chance to continue reducing these drives. What do you think? Does this seem too extreme? I’m pretty happy with where I am, but feedback is always appreciated!

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