Creatures Community Chat

Friday, March 20, 2015

More on Evo Norns

Alright, time for another Evo Norn update.

I've set up a new seasonal system, this time in the Biodome.

I've made the top level there grow food during Spring, the two middle layers during Summer and Autumn, and the lower level (not visible here) grows food during Winter.
As you can see in this image, all the Norns are in the middle two layers where all the food is growing. This means that when Spring was over and the food sources all dried up, all of the Norns migrated to the lower areas.
As I'm typing this the season has changed to Winter, and again, all the Norns have migrated to the lowest section of the Biodome.

On top of that, I have a nice collection of eggs available.

From 10 Norns I've received 14 eggs. That seems like a healthy number for a growing population. I think the reproductive changes are spot on.

As a proof of concept, it seems as though this group has worked exactly as I'd hoped.

That said, I encountered some strangeness I think is worth mentioning.

Firstly, this setup is the second I put together. The first one sort of broke, and I'm really not sure why.
Similar to how I've got things set up now, I had elevines set up on each level on either side of the map.
Any Norns that were on the left side of the room used the elevines without too much hassle. But for some reason the Norns on the right side of the map had issues. To be clear, this wasn't something to do with the Norns. I got the same results swapping Norns from one side of the room to the other.

The Norns on the right side of the room kept trying to push the elevines to go up (which is correct), but the elevine kept making the "error" sound when pushed, indicating they were pulling and there was no elevine on the lower level.

It was almost like the elevines were connected in the reverse order. Either that or the CA links I'd made were. The Norns were trying really hard to get to the food, doing nothing but standing in front of the elevine trying to push it. They literally ignored everything else, including each other, so I'm pretty sure they knew what they were doing. Or thought they did anyway; it seems the world was screwing with them.

On top of that I had issues with CAs traveling between elevine linked floors. At one points I had a room on the top level with heaps of food in it registering a value of 0.5, the room below (linked via elevines/CAs) registering at 0.7, and the room adjacent registering at something stupid like 2.5. As far as I could tell the first room was the only one with fruit in it, meaning it should have had the highest value. Very strange stuff.

At first I thought this might be due to  invisible plant patches giving off CAs, but testing in my new version doesn't seem to have this problem.

Anyway, I exported the Norns and completely wiped the world before creating the Biodome again and setting things up more slowly, checking things like CA links as I went.

This time everything seems to have connected properly and the Norns are much, much happier and healthier as a result. They were the same Norns too, so it was definitely something to do with the world.

I have still had some strange issues with rooms without food in them having higher CA levels than rooms with food, which confused the hell out of a couple of my Norns. But I simply added more food to the correct room, which overpowered the first room and the Norns very quickly found their way to the food. Over time these CA levels balance out correctly, it's just in the short term the Norns can get very confused.

I suspect something like this happened in my original Veridia world. At some point I'll go back and see if I can't fix this. I'm pretty sure it's a problem with the world, not the Norns.

As you can see in the image above, this 1st generation of Norns is coming to and end. They're all grey and old now, so I don't expect to see any more eggs from them. It's also worth noting that they've been stuck in a never ending "I like/I love/I hate" loop for hours now. Sadly I think more work needs to be done in that department.

What beautiful timing. As I was writing, the first egg hatched and out popped little Pippin. He's picked a fantastic time to hatch; as you can see the apple flowers are blooming. Winter is at an end and this guy has been born into a world that is just about to start pumping out food for him.

A couple of last things to note. Neither the strawberries or the pears that you can get for the Garden Box have a CA smell, making it very difficult for the Norns to migrate to them. So far the only fruits I've found that do smell properly are the apples and chilli plants. If you're interested in having a seasonal world, I'd strongly recommend you stick to these.


  1. It's great to see you back, Arch! I've put C3/DS down for a bit since I was struggling to stay attached and interested. These last couple of posts have been quite interesting about your worlds! Forgive me if I'm missing the obvious, but have you tried Amaikokonut's Magic Words Room Edits? I have a feeling that's precisely what you're using. Figured I would mention it, just in case it might help! I hope that this world works for you without any issues. It's a shame about some of the Garden Box fruits not having the proper CA smells. Long before I understood CAs, I never understood why my Norns could starve to death when they were so very close to food sources. Anyways, I look forward to reading some more about this world! Good luck to little Pippin, too!

  2. Hey Jessica. Good to hear from you again.
    Yes, definitely using Magic Words. Not sure I could play DS without it anymore. Gives you so much power over your world and allows you to patch up some of the simple errors in the game or agents.

    The Biome has definitely worked heaps better for me. I've managed to get multiple generations of Norns living very happily without interference, despite my putting them through a migration system.

    Unfortunately they do eventually all die out. This always happens when I put the game into fast-ticks mode and leave it running over night, so I'm not sure why just yet. That said, getting through about 10 generations without my help is an incredible accomplishment. This CFF breed is definitely working for me.

    I think I may have spoken to quickly about the pears. On closer inspection they do seem to emit CAs. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure the strawberries don't, which is unfortunate. CA's is definitely something I'd cover in the tutorial series.

  3. I think that the strawberries might have a scent, but perhaps the wrong one for what they actually are. (Seed smell instead of fruit.)