Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Creatures 1: Moody Grendels

Thankfully, no more errors got in the way of Mephiles's rebirth, and everything went off without a hitch. Mephiles certainly looked pleased at his second shot at life, at any rate. Unfortunately, that smile would be the last one he'd wear for quite a while. 

I managed to teach him a few words while he was still sitting there twirling about, but it didn't take him long to pick up a proper interest in the learning computer. Teaching him his words went just about as smoothly as it did the first time around, although this time he took a significantly larger interest in skipping ahead. 

Once I taught him everything in the learning computer and the words for "hand" and "food," I quickly closed and restarted the game to ensure I wouldn't lose progress this time before going to check on Elise. 

Thankfully, no crashes occurred this time. I found her out in the temple, eyeballing the pianola. She wasn't much in the mood to play some music, though. Given her state of mind, she probably could have used some. 

With both grendels hatched, the next plan of action was to get the two of them to meet. Elise returned to the garden on her own accord, while I made sure Mephiles was filled up before bringing him down to meet Elise. Some more playing around from the both of them, and they crossed paths at last...only for Elise to walk right past Mephiles without paying much attention to him. 

The good news was that it didn't take long for her to properly notice him. The bad news was that things then promptly took a turn for the silly. 

Instead of playing with Mephiles as I hoped, every time he came into her sights Elise decided the better idea would be to turn around and run. Mephiles tried to show her he meant no harm by giving her a kiss, but she wouldn't listen. He expressed his sadness with a plaintive "Get yes Mephiles," a.k.a. the C1 way of saying "me very sad." I'd be sad too if the only other person I met was insistent on running away from me!

After a while, they separated. Elise decided to stomp about in the garden and attempt to beat up the carrots, which didn't go over so well for her, while Mephiles just skulked around the incubator. Meanwhile, I watched all this perplexed over what to do and developing a healthy dislike for the Need for Pleasure drive. 

I did notice that Elise was fairly tired and sleepy by looking at her drives in the Health Kit, and so I decided that she might be in a more sociable mood if she got a nap. Since the garden was a little distracting, I got her over to the teleporter and warped her up to the computer area. 

Much to my relief, she responded by lying down for a while, before finally dozing off. 

Will Elise and Mephiles ever get along? We'll find out in the next update.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Creatures 1: Mephiles the...Fake Out?

When I last left Elise, she was sitting by the learning computer after just completing her words. Since I wanted to hatch another grendel soon and that she'd only distract the newcomer if she stayed, I decided to lead her elsewhere.

Past the greenhouse and herbs we went. I might have been content with leaving her in the garden, but I didn't want her playing with the bees. My original thought was to take her to the island, but there was a food patch at the foot of the Grendel Tree not far away.

A nice big patch of Muddy Swamp Carrots and Mushrooms would probably do it for Elise's food concerns. I brought down the ball from the upper levels of the Grendel Tree, and Elise was all set for now. I believe I've fixed the "Starch Glitch" present with Muppetboy's Carrot Variations, so that shouldn't be a problem.

After she was settled, I decided that it would probably be for the better if I got rid of the Bees and Hive Upgrade. I did so, in the process also removing the Shee Seed Launcher (the Beelacanth relies on the Upgrade for reproduction) and the Cloud Layer Butterfly (who relies on the Beelacanth).

After that was done, I opened up the Genetics Kit and got to work on the next inhabitant.

And soon enough, a little male came to life.

This is Mephiles...or rather, this was Mephiles, for reasons we'll get to in a moment. Besides his black pigmentation, he can get nutrients by being pushed or hit by other creatures. He also lacks the gene that normally makes creatures sleepy in dark areas (although C1 doesn't have a real concept of light and dark areas anyway).

Besides that, I also made a few changes to my base genome before making him. For one, I got rid of the Antioxidant-to-aging reaction. More importantly, I made it so that the brain and all its related receptors and emitters are unable to mutate. Hopefully, this will prevent crippling mutations from occurring further on down the line. That being said, Elise does not have these additional edits since I hatched her before making them, so some might sneak through.

I did the same things for Mephiles that I did for Elise; I lead him up to the computer to teach him his words. For the most part, he was fairly agreeable, although he did sometimes move on to the next word before I could finish teaching him the previous word. Afterwards, I made sure he was fed and occupied, and then went to check on Elise.

I found her playing on the Desert Island. Unfortunately, almost as soon as the camera centered on her...the game crashed. When I reloaded it, Elise had gone back to the Muddy Carrot Patch, and Mephiles was never born. Thankfully, I didn't have to re-remove the Bees and Hive Upgrade and associated COBs.

Rather than attempting to re-hatch him, I decided to just play with Elise a little more.

In the post-crash world, Elise decided to head back to the Incubator rather than moving forwards to the Desert Island. I'm not sure why; other than that she had a high need for pleasure.

She was there shortly, and stopped to mess with a piece of cheese (though unfortunately she wasn't in the mood to actually eat it). I brought the ball back down for her to play with since she was bored. However, I decided that the best way to keep that and Need for Pleasure low was to hatch another grendel.

Cue the second take at laying an egg. Rather than hatching it in the incubator this time, I moved it up to the Computer Area and used a COB to unpause the egg. It was now time to wait for it to hatch.

Will Mephiles ever get a proper shot at life? Find out in the next update! Which might actually come later today; that crash was really disappointing.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Creatures 1 - New Beginnings

My Creatures drive is in an odd position right now. On one hand, I really want to get back to the game. On the other hand, every time I attempt to start up C3/DS I run into a roadblock that prevents me from getting far, mostly the fact that I can't decide what metarooms, agents, and breeds to use.

So how did I come up with a solution to this? Well, note that I said "C3/DS," not "Creatures in general."

Instead of attempting to play C3/DS and getting stymied by my own pickiness, I decided to go with Creatures 1. Despite the fact that C1 creatures are nowhere near as self-sufficient as C3/DS creatures are, C1 has the advantage of being much, much simpler. For one, I don't have to worry about what COBs have what behaviors. Coupled with the fact that there's more natural-feeling COBs for C1 than there are such agents for C3/DS, there's enough COBs for me to use comfortably without feeling I don't have enough. Secondly, genetics are easier to work with and not nearly as time-consuming. This is good, as genetics tie pretty heavily into my plans for this world.

You see, I decided to take a page from Keeley's blog, Creatures Great and Small (which is a great blog by the way. Although it's been years since the last update, what's there is incredibly interesting). The first generation of this world will each have some special genetic tweaks to make them more unique (and hopefully have some interesting babies when they get to breeding).

I'm also going to do my best to document this world, despite my horrible track record with such worlds (look at how long ago the last Tevaela update was). It's an odd situation for me; I find it does kinda sap my enjoyment when I have to constantly pause and take pictures for the blog, but at the same time I love the archive that results and people's reactions to it. Don't be surprised if updates about this world eventually stop happening, but until then I'm going to try to update at least once a week.

So, how did my first couple minutes go?

 After creating my base genome for the creatures in the world (which didn't take long; all I had to do was tweak some instincts and stimuli), I had the Genetics Kit lay the first egg. Into the incubator it went, and the incubator hummed to life.

Seconds later, the hatching was complete...
...And out popped a little baby grendel. What, were you expecting norns? Personally, in C1 I find grendels to be much more fun to raise.

Anyway, this little girl is Elise. Apart from her white pigment, she is completely unaltered from my base grendel genome. Don't worry; everyone else will be a little more interesting genetics-wise.

Before going on, let me explain a few things about my base grendel genome. It's based on Slink's Many Colored Grendel's genome; this means that they have all the edits from the Life Kit Norns, such as the Fight or Flight genes. More importantly for this world, it means that they can breed. As previously mentioned, my only changes to this genome were a couple of stimulus and instinct changes. Grendels of this genome should be a little less grumpy and more sociable than normal (though they'll still get rather annoyed if someone slaps them). As well, I altered some instincts (mostly concerning food) to reflect the more efficient (in theory) instincts of the Wood Norns, which hopefully means that they'll eat better.

Back to Elise. I expected her to stand still for a little while after hatching, but she surprised me by being an active little baby. That doesn't necessarily mean she started walking off soon after hatching; I meant that she twirled in place for a little while. For some reason, babies in C1 tend to take a while to get moving.

After some coaxing with the ball, I got Elise into the elevator and up to the learning computer, where I started teaching her all the words she would need.
It didn't take particularly long for her to learn everything despite the ball constantly distracting her. In fact, this picture was taken after she had learned every word in the computer. She proved to have a good start as far as eating went, as well. Of the two pieces of food in the picture, she ate them both before I could completely teach her the word!

While playing with her, I realized that maybe injecting the Bees and Hive Upgrade may not have been such a good idea. Since the bees fly past the incubator area, they caught her attention and naturally she tried playing with them to less-than-happy results. I do like playing with the COB since it adds more flavor to the world (and is vital for the Beelacanth plant to complete its lifecycle), but I do wish the bees weren't so attractive. I guess we'll see what happens as things move on.

And that's all for this update. Tune in next update for more of Elise's adventures and the next baby grendel!