Thursday, March 26, 2009

Darn Genetics.

Well, around generation 300+ in ColorRush, I got tired of seeing a bunch of norns bumming around in the workshop, somehow stupidly happy and alive despite doing hardly anything. They apparently had no desire whatsoever to push the door-- they all liked to crowd around it, but I'm pretty sure no one left that workshop for a good 50 or so generations.

I finally compared the genome of one of the random norns to the orginal Siamese CFE genome and wasn't really surprised to find a ton of odd mutations. There were over 300 genetic differences--more than a third of the genome had changed.

For one, his Hunger For Protein drive was associated with Pain. So I assume if you beat it senseless it would start complaining of hunger, but I'm not about to try it. Furthermore, his Boredom drive was associated with fear. That made me laugh a bit; I can image a norn facing a huge monster only to yawn and start complaining of boredom.

Organ repair rate for a few organs was affected by EDTA instead of Prostaglandin. There was a male-specific gene regarding how to deal with pregnancy. The genes to raise and lower sex drive in certain siutations had mutated so they were ineffective. Hunger for protein backup dissolved into nothing while Hunger for fat backup became coldness, but that didn't matter because hunger for fat would become hunger for carb backup if the need arose.

Hearing creatures speak actually made it lonely instead of crowded. Eating critters apparently relieved pain. Pushing pests relieved boredom.

There were a ton of insiginifcant mutations, just little changes in some of the values so some reactions took place a bit faster or slower. There were also a lot of genes I just didn't really understand because I'm still far from being a genetics expert. But it was an interesting experiment if nothing else.

I'm not entirely sure what to do next. But I probably should wait until after I'm finished with my senior project to worry about that.

Friday, March 13, 2009

If only evolution actually worked like this.

On the way to the current generation of 210 in ColorRush, several things have happened.

For one, the siamese norns seem to have managed to out-evolve the IQ test. That is, they don't seem to have to eat to survive long enough to breed anymore, and many of them are perfectly content to sit around on the top floor of the workshop (at least they can work the elevator) and complain about their hunger.

They're clearly not immortal though-- at least not by drowning >> I'm sure ERFN-types wouldn't be too happy to know that since I do want this to be a pure siamese run, I've been manually culling norns that have mutated bruin heads, grendel legs, etc., by dropping them in the nearest body of water.

On the other hand, I've been loving playing around with the Wolfling Monitor. To make sure my norns don't get off too easy, I have it set to check the run every 15 minutes and export norns that have high hunger/crowded/boredom drives. It's also been exporting norns older than 90 minutes just to keep the generations progressing, but as I slowly lower the drives threshold I am considering removing that criteria to allow the creatures that are fulfilling their drives to stick around and breed a bit more.

Ironically and contrary to the name, I haven't seen a lot of color mutations. There are a few here and there but the general population still has a default pigment.

On a somewhat amusing note, my folder of creatures exported from this run contains five thousand five hundered and thirty seven norns. 332mb of norns. I wonder if that's some kind of record?

I'm going to keep this run going a while, but I have some other ideas for future runs too. I'd like to try an ettin run, just for a change of pace... and maybe a bruin run in which I actually encourage sprite mutations until the entire norn looks nothing like a bruin.

After I've done several runs I would like to take a few norns from each run and put them in different mesos in DS docked and see which ones end up mixing and which ones die out and which ones breed in their own little group.

On a side note, I wish there were more Creatures blogs out there. I think it's interesting to follow the progress of these things. But the CC is tiny enough as it is.. you can't expect them all to be bloggers too :P

Sunday, March 8, 2009

They say cats are intelligent

So I've started another wolfling run with purely siamese norns. They have always been one of my favorite breeds, and I wanted to see what I could make of them.

I did something a bit unusual with them this time around though-- I extended the IQ test. All eggs are still teleported to the the bottom of the workshop, but all the vendors in the norn meso have been kill hots'd and the majority of the run instead takes place in the Norngarden metaroom. This adds an extra step that the young ones have to go through to get into their little nornish paradise.

At generation 54 the success rate is quite high, however, and I'm beginning to think I need to make this run a little tougher on them. I have rediscovered one of my favorite wolfling agents and have been using it to automatically export norns over 1:30 of age, but even having been given such a short lifespan, the population is constantly at its max and the creatures are becoming quite crowded in that little garden.

I think I may set up Wolfling Monitor to take fear into account when exporting, since a lot of the norns seem to be abnomally fearful upon hatching...

Monday, March 2, 2009

WolfPotato on Hold

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

I'm not really sure how it happened but this pacing behavior seems to have become so ingrained in the creatures that I can not get the run to advance past generation 100. It's to the point where the creatures hatching in the bottom of the workshop make no effort whatsoever to seek out food, and pace until they die. I did make a short video of this behavior here.

I'm still clueless as to how it happened. The IQ test theoretically should have stopped this behavior.. the pacing-addicts should have died in the workshop and stopped that gene from carrying to the next generation; I guess there must be something about the pacing behavior that also causes the norns to breed a lot so that on the offchance that a pacing norn does get into the main meso, it completely overtakes the gene pool.

Either way, I'm putting the run on hold for now. At a later time when I have the chance I'll try pulling some creatures from past generations to breed with the current ones in an attempt to get rid of this obsessive pacing.

In the meantime, I have been considering a treehugger wolfling run. It would be interesting to breed up a handful of treehuggers that were still pretty survivable. It'll be a while before I have a lot of time to dedicate to Creatures projects though; it is my last semester of college and I have a ton on my plate :P