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Showing posts from March, 2016

Nothing you see out there is real

Oof, this is a bad blog to fall back into that old 'title posts with a line from the song you're currently listening to' habit. Ah, well, it's apropos in a way, given what I did to those poor testers yesterday.

Ahem! Development of Abyss Dragons v2 is coming along very well. I've finally fixed their problems with nutrition, adipose tissue, and premature mortality. I can now consistently establish breeding, self-sustaining wolfling colonies and the Norns, while not usually actually making it as long as they theoretically could, are now typically dying between four and five hours of age, which isn't bad at all - and to tell the truth, it's not unrealistic. I mean, humans have the theoretical potential to live 120 years, but how many of us actually do?

They're still not quite as pack-oriented as I'd like. They spend more time trying to retreat from each other than I want them to, sometimes rather obsessively. Slap-fights are common, too, but oddly enou…

Abyss Dragon Woes and Hardman Norns

So, I officially began work on Abyss Dragons v2.0, starting with the Norn version. I'm going to make a Grendel version too for people who like Grendels (myself included). The Grendel version will be mostly the same as the Norn version only with the species references in its genome reversed. I might try to give the Norns and Grendels some unique traits but I haven't decided yet, and if so, what those might be. For now I'm just trying to get the basic Norn version working.

Detritus is presenting a problem. In the original version, I made them seek out critters for protein, bugs and pests for carbs, and food for fat. This worked fairly well, but with a couple of problems. First, there are less bugs and pests than I thought there were, because some things I thought were bugs are actually critters (such as the dragonflies in the Norn Terrarium). This isn't a huge deal, but it irked me. Secondly, since I fed them largely on Zander Fish and the two kinds of Stickletrout avail…

TWBs Win

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As I said in my last post this morning before going to bed (my sleep schedule's gone back to its natural state again, bah, but that's another topic) I left the Bloom world open. Returning to it now about nine hours later, with a total runtime of somewhere between 12-15 hours probably, the TWBs have become decidedly dominant over the CFFs. The CFF colony is hanging in there, as you can see above, with enough eggs and a few non-old Norns to keep it going when the largely-senile population dies out, but the TWBs are swarming, with a largely breeding-age population and SO MANY EGGS. They're perilously close to Yellowstone Elk Syndrome, actually. If they didn't have couple of vendors in addition to the Norn Terrarium's natural bounty they'd be in much worse shape. (I forgot to label the second image, but whatever, you get the idea.)

As you can see, the TWBs are basically elking it.
Actually that might be what happened to the CFFs, come to think of it. They have som…

Chemical 130

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Lucy

I've never actually observed a CFF or TWB after consuming Chemical 130 (aka Tryptamine). So I decided to snag one of the adults TWB Bloom wolflings, walk her over to the Amethyst Berry bush, and tell her to 'eat fruit'. I figured the CRC's Eat button would work if the spoken order didn't. I did end up having to use the button, but in the end she ate them. I noticed each time she ate one she'd briefly get the 'scared' expression, yet somehow intuitively I don't feel like it was actual fear so much as a 'whoa!' reaction, but I'm not 100% on that - for all I know, eating those berries is inherently a little scary! After eating a few berries, she picked her way slowly downhill, ate some seeds, went slowly back uphill, and stopped. Then she declared, "Eem love hand." Twice! I've barely ever seen Norns even use the word 'love', and never before toward the hand. I suppose I must assume she thought eating the berries …

CFF vs TWB Bloom Norns

So the CFF Chichis ended up establishing an entirely ground-based (I have no idea why they ignore all those tempting elevators and platforms but they do) but quite stable little ecosystem. I'm pretty impressed, to be honest. I expected them to be the sort that either dies out eventually, or breeds too much and ends up in an elk-in-Yellowstone situation, with not enough food to feed the teeming hordes of Norns, resulting in huge die-offs, and I come back to huge piles of both eggs and corpses. Usually there are some survivors in the latter case, but it's hardly a balanced situation and often the ecology of the metaroom is devastated. The only remaining food sources tend to be whatever vendors may exist and plants that the Norns (or Grendels, when I'm working with them) can't graze into extinction, like the big tree that makes apples (and pears, with the Shee Pears agent) in the Norn Terrarium.

Whereas the Chichis maxed out the population meter, but did it at a low enoug…

CFF Chichi Norns vs. TWB Bloom Norns

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So, since I'm not sure quite what I want to do yet, in reference to the last entry here and my decision to redo the Abyss Dragons, I decided to do a couple of feral runs - keeping an eye on them but generally leaving them to their own devices, and in somewhat more challenging circumstances than I usually set up. Basically, I wanted to give both a CFF breed and a TWB breed a couple of good solid test runs, to see how they function in practice as opposed to how they look when scrolling through the Genetics Kit. After some thought I decided to use the CFF Chichis, since I had them already, and the TWB Blooms, since they were the only TWB breed I had already downloaded. (I probably should have used CFF Blooms as well, in retrospect, if nothing else than to be a control group of sorts. Oops. I guess I'll do that tomorrow.)
I expected the Blooms to ultimately be superior, not only because I like the additional edits added to them by their creator above and beyond the TWB edits, but…

Abyss Dragon Rebuild

My major Creatures project at the moment, genetically speaking, are the Abyss Dragons. They started out humbly enough. I was tinkering with Amphibian Draconian DNA and happened upon a color that I thought looked particularly good in the Deep Abyss metaroom (one of my all time favorites, at least of the few this stupid computer is willing to allow to work - no idea what's wrong with so much of the stuff I download because it works for everyone else and I've tried all the suggested fixes; some stuff did help, like I was able to get the Genetics Kits to work, but the problem with some agents and metarooms just plain acting like they don't exist has never been solved and it sucks.) It's 0 red 0 green 127 blue 128 bleed. With the color variations in the underlying Draconian sprites, it looked really neat on that map.

Then I started tinkering with the Amphibian genome more, improving their ability to act as predators (as opposed to merely normal Norns with the ability to dig…
All righty. I know it's 2016, and that Creatures blogging, and Creatures itself, are things of the past for the majority of people who'd ever heard of them at all. But, to borrow a cliche'd yet still relevant quote - frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. To me, Creatures is a very current fascination, even though my interest in the series began many years ago when the first game was still relatively new, way back in the mid to late '90s, and even though I lost track of the games for several years. I lost my own CDs in my mid to late teens, probably, and I was never able to afford to get Creatures 3 at the time. And as the years went by and I became an adult, I assumed (foolishly, as it turns out) that the Creatures franchise was a series lost to time. That, even if I did still have install files or discs for the games, they probably would not run on modern Windows.

Then, a month or two ago, I discovered GOG.com.

No exaggeration, within seconds of discovering that …