Creatures Community Chat

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Norns need love

One of the things I've discovered in my last few months of playing Creatures is the Norns need for love, or more specifically, tickles.
At times I've found Norns who, despite having all their usual drives in the Health Kit satisfied, still have a big frown on their face and I took to trying to understand why.
Sometimes it might be something random in their chemistry, but more often than not I found a simple tickle or two tends to set them right and figured it must have something to do with the tickling process.
The main gene for tickling Norns is called the 'Pointer pats me' or 'user pats' Stimulus gene and decreases Need for pleasure, Pain, and Loneliness, while injecting a dose of Reward chemical.
I was already checking Pain through the Health Kit, so obviously my Norns weren't in pain. As far as I know Reward only reinforces behaviour and does nothing for happiness levels. So this means that if your Norn's drives have been satisfied and they still look unhappy, chances are they're either lonely or in need of pleasure.
Bringing these two chemicals up on the Science Kit biochemistry graph shows that, at least in my case, the Norns weren't lonely, but were in need of pleasure.
There are many things in the world that give Norns pleasure. Eating. Playing with toys. Pushing other Norns. What I've found though, looking at genes and monitoring things in the graph is that a Norn will fulfill these others needs well before reducing their Need for Pleasure to a minimum. This means that unless a Norn learns to over-eat, play when they're not bored, or push other Norns when they have a low sex drive, they're always going to need to get their pleasure from another source.

There seems to be two ways to deal with this. Either we need to go in and tweak the Norns genetics to increase the doses of Need for Pleasure (or we could do this via new toy/food cobs), or...we make sure to hug our Norns regularly.
Perhaps at some stage if I ever get around to making my own revamped Norn I'll try adding this in, but at least for now I'll just make sure to tickle my Norns more frequently.


  1. Agreed: Very interesting! I tend to err on the side of way too much tickling, although I've found that this can sometimes confuse the learning process. I wish that there was a way to have more than two actions between the hand and creatures. An action not associated with reward would do just as you said: Offering a decrease in need for pleasure and loneliness, while steering clear of the learning process via reward. That's part of the conundrum, I suppose! Sometimes I know a Norn is lonely or in need of pleasure, yet he or she is doing something that is either bad, or should not be rewarded. Luckily, I think some genetic mutations have separated out the reward from tickling... But that makes the learning process even more difficult. I definitely need to play Creatures again very soon!

  2. I was honestly pretty disappointed when I realized Need For Pleasure was left out of C3/DS. Not that I enjoyed my norns expressing their sadness or anything, but it felt like it gave them a bit more depth >:

  3. @DiscoverAlbia: You definitely need to be careful you don't reward you Norns at the wrong time. Which, considering they are Norns isn't always easy to do :P
    I usually try to reduce the reward I give Norns as they get older in the hope they'll learn to take care of themselves. Considering that Norns can get forgetful in old age, I think I should be safe giving them a few extra cuddles.

    @Amaikokonut: I didn't realise the NFP wasn't in C3/DS. Sometimes I do wonder what the original creators were thinking when they implemented some genes, but in this case I wonder if Steve didn't do this deliberately. It wouldn't surprise me if he'd designed the Norns to NEED human interaction to be completley happy, meaning players should get closer to their Norns.