Portals And Bugs And Doors, Oh My

All right, this is a log I'm keeping in Notepad as I watch, pause to type, and unpause to watch again, in more or less 'real time'. I will post these words with illustrations to Addicted to CAOS later; if you're reading these words, obviously, it's later! :p

Dreameater visits Dusk in the C12DS house.

Since unpausing I have remained focused on Dreameater, since she's been in the game less time than Dusk and since Dusk still appears to be focused on that nonexisting door I mentioned last time. At first she seemed pretty reality-oriented, but for the first time her attention has begun to waver. She also noticed Dusk for the first time and made her way toward him, thinking 'pull Norn'. However, on her approach, she also, briefly, thought 'push grendel home' as shown by the CRC, while the HealthBar showed 'push self'. Aha! Her first hallucination that lasted long enough to be detected and recorded.

Unlike Dusk, who experienced a few different early hallucinations before becoming 'stuck' on one, Dreameater has been alternating between her desire to play with Dusk and her desire to check out that imaginary grendel home. She made her way to Dusk, tickled him, then began to make her way out into the garden while thinking 'push grendel home' again. But after going out a little ways she turned back toward the house, once more thinking 'pull Norn'.  Her thoughts have continued to vacillate now and then between her fellow Norn and that tempting yet nonexisting grendel home.

Now she's just hanging out near Dusk while thinking 'rest vehicle' on occasion... nope, now she's focusing strictly on rest vehicle, while lying right beside Dusk, who has turned sideways to face away from her but has not moved away.

Suddenly she stood up and began to retreat from Dusk, running out into the garden with a big grin on her face - this always seems to me like they want the other Norn to chase them, but I may be reading too much into that.

Dreameater thinks there is a flower here. There are flowers here, but the one she's focusing on is not. She is looking at a non-flower. A flower of unbeing. An unflower, if you will.

Oh, now this is odd. She lay down briefly in the garden thinking 'rest flower', and it would be easy to think she's looking at a real flower - but she isn't. The CRC and HealthBar show that she is in fact hallucinating a flower.

This is one of the interesting things about chemical 130 and the Norns' reactions to it. Sometimes the hallucinations are random and out of place, but other times they are oddly congruent with the Norn's expectations. I have even observed angry Norns who had never met an actual grendel hallucinate a grendel and then try to hit it, after other Norns suggested they 'hit grendel'! It's almost as if hearing the other Norns say 'hit Grendel' triggered her brain to produce an image of a Grendel, which in turn caused the angry Norn to react as he or she would to a real Grendel. I mean, this happened at least two or three times that I witnessed. It was really interesting. It's also common for them to hallucinate critters when hungry; fortunately the prey scent agent I made helps them not get too stuck on imaginary prey in favor of going after real prey.

I decided to leave Dreameater resting while meditating on her imaginary flower, and check on Dusk. He was still obsessing over the imaginary door, and I was getting a bit worried about him. So I decided to discourage this particular fixation by giving him a single slap on the rear, since verbal encouragement to try other things had no effect (he always just responds with 'Dusk push door') and tickling would just reinforce the fixation.

Notice that the green indicator arrow is visible above an actual item of food, but the CRC says '<nothing> food', meaning that Dusk is not actually physically using his 'look' neuron with the 'food' neuron - only the 'food' neuron is active in reality. But the HealthBar says 'look food'. The best I can make of this sort of thing is that it seems to mean that the Norn believes it is taking an action regarding a real object - in this case, looking at the food - when he actually isn't. Which, if I'm correct, is extremely surreal.

Thankfully, the spank snapped him out of it, at least with regard to the door. He briefly returned to reality, but then did that weird thing where he seemingly thought he was doing an action he wasn't really doing, so his grasp on reality was clearly tenuous. And within a few more seconds, he lay back down on the ground just inside the house and began obsessing over another hallucination.

Dusk meditates on a seed that only he can see while Dreamy plays with a hi-bounce ball in the garden.

Around the time Dusk lay down and began to meditate on the unreal seed, Dreameater suddenly got up, presumably abandoning her unreal flower, and began to play in the garden with one of those multicolored hi-bounce balls. Since Dusk is probably going to stay where he is for the moment, I'm going to switch to watching her again for a little while and see what she's up to. Dusk seems to experience pretty fixed and consistent illusions which draw his attention strongly for long periods, whereas Dreamy seems more impulsive and less prone to fixate on one thing (real or not) for as long as Dusk can. She does the sit-and-stare thing, too, but she seems to lose interest quicker than he does. I've never had to spank her to get her moving after several minutes of inactivity - at least, not yet!

So I unpaused and switched back to Dreameater. Dusk fell asleep shortly thereafter. At first, she was interested in playing still, heading toward and pushing the nearest hi-bounce ball. Then, intriguingly, she lay down and began to 'rest flower' again, only this time she was focusing on a real flower. She fell asleep within about ten to fifteen seconds of lying down; if she keeps doing this, she's going to develop a fondness for 'rest flower'; that is, she will prefer to lie down near flowers and/or think about flowers while resting, as a way of lulling herself to sleep.

This is a great example of how their hallucinations can sometimes influence the development of their personalities. This preference for 'rest flower' likely began because of that initial decision to react to that flower hallucination by resting near it. I don't think hallucinations give stims, so that in itself was probably not enough to teach her to like 'rest flower' - but the next time she felt like resting, there happened to be a flower nearby, and that made it more likely that she would decide to 'rest flower' again.

I'm not sure that got her any good stims even with the real flower, come to think of it, but the point is, the more often she does it and finds it pleasant or at least not UNpleasant, the more likely that she will continue to do it. And thus the habit of lying down beside and thinking about flowers while resting will take form. If that happens, she will eventually become a Norn that, when she hears another Norn complain of being tired, will suggest that the other Norn 'maybe rest flower'. In short, she will have developed a distinctive personality trait. This sort of thing can happen in normal Norns too, of course, but I find it interesting how often the 130 Norns are able to generalize things learned from interacting with hallucinations into their reality even if they seem to provide no meaningful benefit.

While Dreameater fell asleep and began to dream about potions and other things, I noticed Dusk had woken up and was talking a lot about 'push portal' and 'Dusk push portal'. There's no real portal present, so I'm pretty sure Dusk's early portal hallucination has returned. I'm about to unpause and switch back to him to confirm that, but it seems pretty likely from his bibbling at the moment.

Yup - he's fixated on an imaginary portal, and seems quite frustrated by it. He said 'push portal' three or four times before losing interest. Then he played with a real gadget and is now back to the 'rest norn home' hallucination. He fell asleep again, but only briefly. Now he's resting Norn, only he's not looking at Dreamwater... so he's hallucinating the presence of a third Norn. This is the sort of thing that intrigues me the most. And back to 'rest norn home' - not the real Norn Home he's right near, but an imaginary one.

He just seized and ate a dreameater bird, thankfully - still able to take care of himself despite his mental illness, for the most part, it would seem.

Meanwhile, Dreameater woke up and returned to the house area to be with Dusk. She's now lying down fixating on a hallucination of her own... let's go see what it is while Dusk naps again. (Oh! Just saw Dusk fly a little bit for the first time - he's become a child.)

Dusk figures out how to use his wings for the first time as he ages to the Child life stage! Notice that although he appears to be retreating he is in fact approaching a nonexisting portal in an attempt to push it - still! The ability to fly has only caused him to begin advancing on the "portal" rather than standing or lying still and staring at it while thinking 'push portal' longingly. 

While Dusk enjoys his first flight, floating cautiously through the house, Dreameater stared at, then began to pursue, an unreal bug of some sort. Dusk flew out of the house and into the music room area, following some hallucination of his own - it's going to be hard to track both of them now. But that's all right. Better that than having their results skewed from serious loneliness.

Poor Dreameater is really stuck on this invisible bug. I decide to help her by bringing a real bug or critter nearby for her to eat instead. Unfortunately she ignored the Balloon Pigeon I waved in her face. She's got her head on straight though, generally - she heard Dusk complain of boredom and told him to push toy.

She's still obsessing over that nonexisting bug. This is her first really strong fixation so far.

Meanwhile Dusk is chasing his unreal portal, hovering in the music room and complaining of boredom. Soon he'll get bored enough to try something other than 'push portal', but I've noticed that 130 Norns tend to be very persistent about their illusions when they concern things of great interest. And for my Dragon Norns, portals are fascinating objects - less compelling than food and toys, but not by a huge degree. So I can understand why a portal-related illusion would be really attractive for the poor guy.

For a while he seemed to get tired of it, switching to 'rest critter' while focusing on a real dreameater bird, but now he's back to the portal, although I notice that little green indicator arrow keeps winking in and out of existence over the bird, meaning he's alternating his attention between the real critter and the imaginary portal very quickly. I suspect that once Dusk gets hungry, that bird is going to end up in his tummy.

Meanwhile, it seems Dreameater has also become a child and learned to fly. (I took a screenshot of this but evidently forgot to save it... boo!) She's moved out into the garden and appears to be flying upward, though the game is paused as I type this. Let me unpause and see what she's thinking about. I unpause and it turns out she's chasing a butterfly - a genuine bug! She even said, "Dreameater eat bug"! Hooray! I'm glad she's finally been able to bring her attention onto real prey. She ate it, but that wasn't enough, because she complained of being hungry for starch still, so I suggested she eat a critter. At first she wanted to push critter instead, but soon enough she chased, seized, and ate a dreameater bird. Now she's 'resting vehicle' while looking at a nonexistent vehicle - oop, nevermind, she's up and flying and playing with a toy now. She's a quick mover, zippier than Dusk tends to be.

This is more or less where we're leaving them as I pause and close their world for the moment. They did not seem to notice the Grendel before I paused the game...  I can't speak for Dusk, but Dreamy was apparently too busy 'rest flower'ing again. 

Whew! I don't want this to get too long so I'm going to wrap up for now and close their world so I can rest myself and let one of the wolfling tester worlds run for a while. But we'll return to Dreameater and Dusk soon enough, and discover how they handle meeting a C1-type Grendel for the first time, among other things. I'm not used to 'nuture' style gameplay so I'm sorry if these posts aren't as interesting as those of people who routinely write and play this way, but hopefully I'll improve with practice. For now, though, we'll leave Dusk and Dreameater to rest.


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