A Welcome to New Norns....Even Unhappy Ones

I figured for this new blog, I should start with introducing my current norn community! I confess my style of gameplay doesn't usually allow norns to live out their lives peacefully. Typically when my world starts to get a bit too crowded for my attention, I export older generations while getting the young ones squared away with basic skills. This means sometimes I have 4 or 5 generations "alive" and waiting. That's the case with my current run, which is 4 generations deep....except this time there's a slight change, because I've introduced an exotic specimen as well......


Denys is almost identical to his father Ciel, except for the twiggy Forest tail inherited from his mother Cece. And just like his father, he seems to always have a smile on his face! Part of that is due to his Perfecio gene which keeps his life force high, as long as he does get sick. Earlier today he had a case of sniffles along with Antigen 1, and his life dropped down to 45%, but he was good about eating his carrots and herbs and perked right back up in no time.

Darwin is Denys's half-brother by their mother Cece. His genetic line is a little more confusing; his father, Beau, extends back several generations to both Purple Mountain starters Aaron and Sandy, as well as Wanda the Wood Norn. Darwin is still a wee lad in this pic, and has yet to take a single bite of honey, though he looks pretty happy holding it. In fact, he didn't eat anything at all until he grew to Child stage. Does he have some genetic mutation which was preventing him? Well...because he also doesn't really like to walk either, and in fact, most of his drive levels refuse to raise at all. Every once in a while he'll get an energy spurt and take several paces, push a lift button, or approach a plant, but mostly he stands around smiling and staring into space. It took 34 minutes to get him to eat 2 carrots and raise his life force, but since nothing is eating away at his glycogen stores, he will likely last a long time. Maybe he's just Zen?

Delphine is the full sister of Denys. Unfortunately, the third member of generation 4, does indeed have some undesirable mutations. Despite my best efforts, she began frowning shortly after birth and never stopped, and when I took a look at her chemicals it was pretty clear why. Delphine's hunger is permanently at 100%, even as she sips honey straight from the pot. I can't help but think it's a pretty unhappy existence, since while her hunger never affects her life force, she can never truly be at peace. I may have to make a merciful injection of anti-hunger for her.

Anais is the fourth member of my little troupe, and she's a bit special, because she's not part of generation 4. Anais is my test run of what will be a new breed of norns, with tweaks that change her sense of crowdedness and reward. I'll explain more about her in another post, but so far she seems like a smart and happy norn. Currently she looks like a green-tinted Alba norn, my current sprites for Slot 6, and her genes are based originally on the Ron norns which usually fill that spot.



Oh, and I would be remiss if I forgot Blerg, the world's current grendel. He and Denys were fast friends during the norn's childhood into adolescence, so I hope he will be a friendly presence to the rest of the norns as he grows. And look, he posed for the camera!


Mutations

Clearly Delphine's constant hunger is probably the most interesting mutation of this small crew -- or at least the most noticeable. Compared to her brother, she has some really interesting differences, the effects of which I am unsure.

Compared to her parents, Delphine only has 3 mutations.

  • Mutation: Emitter 152 - Youth F MutDupCut Creature, Reproductive, I am fertile, chem=Oestrogen, thresh=8, samp=17, gain=6,features=Inverted Digital
  • Parent: Emitter 152 - Youth F MutDupCut Creature, Reproductive, I am fertile, chem=Oestrogen, thresh=0, samp=17, gain=6,features=Inverted Digital

I think this is a minor change, but we'll have to wait to see if it affects her fertility.

  • Mutation: Reaction 73 - Chi B MutDupCut 1*Hunger-- + 1*Hunger -> 1*Reward + 1*NONE; k-sub-0 = 8
  • Parent: Reaction 73 - Emb B MutDupCut 1*Hunger-- + 1*Hunger -> 1*Reward + 1*NONE; k-sub-0 = 8

Here is a gene clearly affecting her Hunger levels; a norn is supposed to be rewarded for fighting hunger since infancy, but in Delphine, this won't switch on until Childhood. This explains why she was a bit reluctant at first to eat...but it doesn't say why she is always hungry!

  • Mutation: Stimuli 99 - Emb B Mut 'Unrecognized word' causes sig=16 GS neu=8(Audible even) int=128,,, -> 12*NFP-- + 12*Boredom-- + 12*NONE + 3*NONE
  • Parent: Stimuli 99 - Emb B Mut 'Unrecognized word' causes sig=16 GS neu=8(Audible even) int=128,,, Sensed Even When Asleep -> 12*NFP-- + 12*Boredom-- + 12*NONE + 3*NONE
This is also relatively minor; she cannot hear new words in her sleep (or at least they aren't very interesting!).

But what is wrong with Delphine??  I can't tell. I'm a little bit confused as to how her hunger levels fail to drop....I am guessing that it involves mutations or deletions related to hunger changes in Forest Norns, versus the Perfecio edits. We'll have to see if it shows up in any of her siblings.

Denys only has 2 mutations, but they might be interesting.

  • Mutation: Reaction 233 - Emb B MutDupCut 3*Antigen7 + 1*Glucose -> 1*Antibody7+ 1*Hotness; k-sub-0 = 72
  • Parent: Reaction 233 - Emb B MutDupCut 2*Antigen7 + 1*Glucose -> 1*Antibody7+ 1*Hotness; k-sub-0 = 72
This change is a mixed blessing; while Antigen7 will be burning comparatively glucose per tick, the Antibody7 will be slower to respond. No way to know if this is good unless this stray Antigen floats by.

  • Mutation: Lobes 121 - Emb B MutDup  Love #=7 Dendrite Type 1: Input Lobe=4, Min#=0, Max#=1, Spread=0, Fanout=0
  • Parent: Lobes 121 - Emb B MutDup  Love #=7 Dendrite Type 1: Input Lobe=4, Min#=1, Max#=1, Spread=0, Fanout=0
Hmm. This mutation affects the Attention Lobe as it responds to input form the Noun Lobe. I don't know if this mutation would have any effect -- it allows the input to be 0, meaning an attention-grabbing object could actually fail to make any cells fire. (Correct me if I'm wrong?)

Confusingly, Darwin shows NO mutations from his parents. How can that be?? It must mean that some of mom and dad's genes act in concert with each other, similar to Delphine's problem. The genes by themselves aren't an issue, but they turn into a problem when combined together.

Comparing Darwin and Denys, in Lobe 6, Darwin has a State Rule of PLUS type 1 instead of 0. Since Lobe 6 is the Decision lobe, I am guessing this is why Darwin has such a hard time actually following through with any actions. This might be in combination with the fact that his drives aren't raising, meaning there is nothing to trigger the desire for a decision in the first place.  His Lobe 8, the Concept lobe, is also a bit smaller than Denys's, with a lower Max and a higher Spread, which may also be affecting his ability to process his surroundings. The Concept lobe is responsible for putting together different combinations of "true" statements -- "I am hungry and I see food" -- but if he's unable to link concepts then he wouldn't be able to associate any drive with any action.

A few other tidbits: Darwin isn't punished by disappointment, or slapping.  He feels nothing when approached, nothing when an object comes into view, and nothing at hearing a new word! His loneliness lowers when he "gets", which could have amusing consequences, if he moved more.

All-in-all, a very strange trio.

Plans

I try to keep a high ratio of females in my worlds, as it gives a higher chance of eggs since males can mate more frequently due to a shorter recovery time. So my next step is likely to return to generation 1, and allow them to live out their lives, and let them breed with little intervention before moving on to generation 2 and 3 and doing the same. This will give a few more chances at new babies before returning to generation 4 where Anais will be "introduced" to the family tree. I think this is especially important since I've his a few genetic "snags" already - I'm still not sure how long Darwin will live, and he and Delphine are not the only problematic mutations that have cropped up in the family line. While Denys will likely find a happy mate in Anais, it's pretty clear I've got to go back and check out the rest of the lives of this norn lineage.

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