Friday, September 22, 2017

Thoughts on a New Base Genome

Believe it or not, my motivation for this series is actually starting to climb back up, somewhat. It's probably never going to be what it once was, but maybe I'll actually get back into playing the games again. Even though the community feels like it's dying in this day and age, there's still cool stuff getting churned out.

I guess here I'll talk about the biggest problem when it comes to returning to Creatures: the fact that so much fuss has been raised about how broken everything is, at least in C3/DS in particular. How this specific part of the brain doesn't work right. How that digestive system function actually doesn't function. And so on.

C3/DS creatures do work fine even with all these "broken" issues (the fact I've run multiple generation 100+ wolfling runs successfully is testament to that), but even though hearing about it just gives me the impression the genomes I use are "inferior" in some way. It's...not a good feeling.

Besides that, there are some changes introduced in other genomes that I'd like to bring into my breeds. However, the base genome I've been using has been getting pretty bloated, so I feel like I should just start fresh with a new base genome.

Why make a brand new base genome as opposed to, say, using the CFF or 2017 genomes? Short answer: Pride. I've posted a few times about how the CFF aren't to my taste, and I still don't like them now. Also, using the work of another community member instead of my own just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'd rather base my breeds on a genome of my own devising, because breaking down and using such a genome just feels like an admission of defeat: that ultimately, I'm inferior to the creators of the CFF and 2017 genomes.

Never mind the fact I've fully adopted the CFE at this point, never mind the fact my current base genome incorporates CFF edits, and never mind the fact that all this is based on CL's work anyway. Sense? What fun is there in making sense?

Let's ignore my need for therapy for now and get back to the topic at hand. At one point in time, I thought about completely gutting a CFE genome (that is, deleting everything except the genus, brain, gait, and poses) and replacing it with a biochemistry of my own devising, but I decided against that. I just don't have the patience for that kind of work, especially not with the low level of motivation I have now.

My alternative plan would still be based on the CFE genome, because I've accepted that at this point and I like pretty much everything that it introduced. I'd also include the following stuff:

  • Having hunger being based on the levels of nutrients rather than arbitrary stimuli. The 2017 genomes also do this, and admittedly that's where the inspiration came from. But I can also point out that the C1 Forest/Ron Norns also did this, and thus claim that it's also been done officially and thus is more acceptable. 
  • Some other nutrient balancing, since one of the "broken" things I've been hearing about is that creatures tend to have an excess of nutrients (particularly adipose tissue) all the time. I'll probably need to do this anyway just to incorporate the above-mentioned feature.
  • Some means of preventing overeating. Be it through the CFF Fullness Lobe (which I'm not entirely sure works anyway; I've never noticed a real difference between creatures with it and without it) or some other means. 
  • Some means of preventing lactate mutations from keeping creatures limping forever. I could live with or without a full-on lactate oxidation cycle; a lot of my breeds are amphibious anyway so the drowning survival rate isn't too much of a draw. But having creatures get stuck limping forever because excess lactate mutation results in dead muscles is irritating.
  • Colortrue pigments, or that is having the offspring of two colored parents have a mix of colors between the two parents. In my base genomes this'd be able to mutate for the simple fact the population in a wolfling run will all become the same color if the pigment/pigment bleed genes couldn't mutate. This'd probably screw the pooch entirely in terms of breeding compatibility, but it makes breeding interesting. 
  • Moving the disease reactions to appropriate organs as opposed to having them all be in the Immune System. I believe this is how C2 did it, and it feels more natural that way than as it is by default. By default, a dead Immune System means that a creature can't fight off illness properly...but it also means that a lot of diseases won't effect the creature fully. Not exactly realistic.
That's the major stuff I'd want, though I'd probably incorporate some other small edits into the genome as I made it. 

It's still going to be pretty extensive, as testing's going to be needed and whatnot. Still, I think this sounds a little more palatable then completely making a new genome from scratch (effectively). Will I actually get off my rear and actually make this genome? Too early to tell. I think I'd like to ease back into simply playing Creatures first before I start the hardcore development. Maybe I'll give the 2017 genomes a fair shake beforehand. 

I guess that's all I have to say for now. Until the next one, folks.