Tuesday, November 28, 2023

A New Base Genome: The Starting Point

As I continue to play and rediscover what I liked about Creatures in the first place, I'm finding I'm already drifting back towards the developer mindset. I've been bouncing in and out of the Genetics Kit and the CAOs Tool, figuring out how things work and how to change them to make them work better. Turns out I do remember a little more than I was expecting, enough to change a few .cos files to better suit my preferences (in particular: I've changed the keyboard shortcut for pausing to Ctrl + P because my current laptop lacks a Pause/Break key).

So it's really not surprising that I'm already considering making a new base genome. As I've said in the past, the one I used to use has been getting pretty bloated and more importantly it's also not that compatible with other genomes. I distinctly remember sending in some grendels to a community wolfling run only to have most of the offspring turn out to be sliders.

My original plan was to start from scratch with a fresh CFE genome. Then figure out everything that outright doesn't work with it and fix it, all the while aiming for maximum crossbreeding compatibility and compatibility with the game as a whole.

So I started looking through old posts to track down everything that's been noted...and wound up coming to the conclusion that I'm trying to reinvent the wheel.

I guess increased compatibility isn't a bad goal to shoot for. But ultimately, there's genomes already out there that fix all the worst nonsense. Why should I put myself through a lot of tedious testing and balancing to fix things that have already been fixed? Is my ego really so big that only reinventing the wheel will prove my genius?

...Yes. Yes, it is. But I'm trying to be better than that. More importantly, I think I'm looking at it the wrong way. The genomes that exist now weren't created completely from scratch; they were built on what came before them. I'd just be doing the same with whatever I created based on them. Standing on the shoulders of giants, as it were.

So with all this in mind, I continued my research and saw what each of these brought to the table.

Like I said in my last post, I'm not going with the TWB/TCB genomes. They seem just a touch too finicky for my liking; I like to be a hands-off player, and all the temperature-related stuff feels counterproductive to that goal (even if only in a psychological sense).

But while I don't like the temperature-related stuff, everything else about the TWBs/TCBs actually sounds really cool. To the point that the temperature-related stuff is basically the only reason I haven't really checked them out.

There doesn't seem to be a genome that includes all the other changes without the temperature stuff, but there is a genome that comes pretty close to everything I'd want: the 2017 genomes. I've mentioned them briefly before when talking about making a new base genome in the past, but I don't think I've ever actually properly tried them out and see how they work on their own. It's time I rectified that.

So now I have a world for some 2017 ChiChi Norns, observing their behavior and seeing what I like and don't like about it. My actual conclusions will be for another post, but I will say that so far I'm liking what I'm seeing.

Until the next one, folks.

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