Creatures Community Chat

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Gene Manipulation - Perficia

My goodness I think I've done it. I mean I screwed up a whole heap of things and there's definitely some parameters that need tweaking, but I think I've finally created a Norn who sleeps extremely well.
Actually, maybe a little too well.
Okay, so I think I've inadvertently created a narcoleptic Norn.

I'd like you to meet Perfecia, the first Norn of the Perfecio breed. Perficio is Latin for perfection, which unlike our modern interpretation means "without fault", perfecio originally means "to finish" or "to bring to an end". I'm hoping Grandroids will be released relatively soon (relatively being within a year or so) and that this will be the only breed I ever create, thus I thought the double meaning to the name was suitable.

But anyway, back to the narcoleptic. There's a great deal of interesting things to discuss about her, all of which will influence the tweaks I'll make to her descendant, but let's start with the most interesting aspect; her sleepiness.

As I said in my last post, there's quite a number of genes that relate to sleeping. Let's go through the ones I've changed.

305: Receptor.Creature.Sensorimoter.InvoluntryAction5(Sleep), chemical=sleepiness, threshold=230
305: Receptor.Creature.Sensorimoter.InvoluntryAction5(Sleep), chemical=sleepiness, threshold=191

These receptors control a range on involuntary actions like sneezing, coughing, egg laying and sleeping. Basically this gene forces a Norn to sleep when the sleepiness chemical reaches said threshold. I lowered the threshold dramatically and Perfecia does indeed fall asleep much quicker than most Norns would.
Considering the other tweaks I've made I think I'll revert this one back to it's original, as Perfecia sleeps a little too hastily.

130: Emitter.Creature.Sensorimotor.I'm Asleep, chemical=Boredom, threshold=0
130: Emitter.Creature.Sensorimotor.I'm Asleep, chemical=Reward, threshold=0

These emitters release certain chemicals when certain actions are performed and the threshold is reached. Previously Norns would become bored when asleep. I theorized this would result in their being punished and wake them up prematurely, so I changed the chemical to Reward. This seems to have done wonders, as Perfecia sleeps soundly every time and completely drops her sleepiness and tiredness levels to zero before waking up. I may lower the amount of Reward being released, but I think I'll keep this one.

136: Emitter.Creature.Sensorimotor.I'm Asleep, chemical=NFP, threshold=0
136: Emitter.Creature.Sensorimotor.I'm Asleep, chemical=NFPdecrease, threshold=0

 This gene is almost identical to the previous one. In this case NFP (Need for pleasure) is released, again possibly waking the Norn prematurely. I changed this so sleeping will in fact lower NFP. This also seems to be helping.

312: Emitter.Creature.Sensorimotor.I'm Asleep, chemical=Boredom, threshold=0
312: Emitter.Creature.Sensorimotor.I'm Asleep, chemical=Reward, threshold=0

At first glance you'd think this was a duplicated gene, but in fact this gene switches on at Youth, while 130 switches on at the Embryo stage. This gene overwrites 130 when the Norn reaches Youth.

108: I am Resting = 50*TirednessDecrease + 16*SleepinessIncrease + 16*BoredomIncrease + NONE
108: I am Resting = 50*TirednessDecrease + 16*SleepinessIncrease + 16*Reward + NONE

109: I am Sleeping = 66*TirednessDecrease + 77*SleepinessDecrease+ 16*BoredomIncrease + 16*ColdnessIncrease
109: I am Sleeping = 66*TirednessDecrease + 77*SleepinessDecrease + 16*Reward + NONE

These two stimuli genes dictate what happens when the Norn rests and sleeps. To clarify, resting is when the Norn lays down and relaxes, and sleeping is what usually follows with the little 'Zzzz's.
Both these actions would previously bore the Norn, making them less likely to fall asleep, and when asleep, more likely to wake up. I've changed the BoredomIncrease to reward, and Perfecia seems to enjoying lounging about and sleeping.

 135:Instinct. If Drive=Tiredness and I rest = 93*Reward
 135:Instinct. If Drive=Tiredness and I rest = 255*Reward

A nice simple one. If the Norns Tiredness drive is the highest of all its drives and the Norn rests it will be rewarded. I simply increased the amount of reward.

301:Instinct. Child. If Verb=Rest and I rest = 255*Reward
301:Instinct. Embryo. If Verb=Rest and I rest = 255*Reward

This gene rewards the Norn if it hears the word 'Rest' and  rests. Previously this turned on at the child stage. I changed it to the earlier embryo life stage.

334: Instinct: If Drive=Tiredness and I rest = 255*Reward

This is a new gene I added. If it looks like a duplicate of gene 135, that's because it is. This is actually a typo. It should be 'Drive=Sleepiness', not Tiredness.


These are all the genes related to sleepiness I changed and it's been extremely successful. Too successful. Perfecia prefers to sleep rather than eat. Early on she caught a cold that included sleeping fever. Due to her propensity for sleep she slept through most of the illness at the expense of eating. Naturally this caused her glucose levels to plummet and she very nearly died from the disease.
Clearly I've pushed these genes too far, but the plus side is that I've been successful in creating a Norn who sleeps extremely well and despite some other genes I messed up, Perfecia is one of the happier, more self-sufficient Norns I've raised. I think with tweaking these changes will prove very beneficial.

Next time we'll go through some of the other genes I changed, as there's a great deal I've learned from them, including some interesting mistakes I made.

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