Monday, November 7, 2011

The case for Navigation Instincts

So after further testing, I have decided it is best to give my instinctless norns their navigation instincts back.

 Even though the elevines make it easy for creatures that don't know how to use call buttons to get up and down, it seems without navigation instincts, the creatures don't really understand that they have to go up and down. Or in or out, and so on. Further research is required but it really doesn't look like creatures learn that going up satisfies their up drive the same way that eating satisfies hunger.

I do want my instinctless norns to be teachable, but not handicapped. And if they're genetically incapable of understanding a concept required for getting around their world, it really isn't fair. As put-off as I am by the idea of creatures popping out of the egg fully understanding how call buttons work, all things considered, up and down are just directions like left and right in their world, and I don't think that game mechanics in a flat world should prevent them from having full access to it.

If well-trained adult instinctless creatures can't make their way through a basic navigational IQ test, I feel that something is wrong there. So for now, I'm re-enabling them. Maybe a better solution will present itself later, but so far this change seems to give my instinctless darlings all their previous learning flexibility with the added bonus of knowing how to get around.


  1. I think the reason they can't learn that going up/down satisfies the drive is that it's a double action. Like, they have to first push the call button, and THEN push the elevator to go up or down. Norns aren't capable of understanding a sequence of actions like that, they can only understand direct results, like eat = satisfies hunger. But they can't understand push vendor = food = satisfies hunger. And I guess they also don't understand pushing door = able to move further towards the left/right = satisfies need to go left/right/get closer to that smell, either. So the instincts are necessary, because their brain is simply insufficient.

    But there's no reason they should have such strong instincts for things they've been able to learn since C1, like eating and sleeping and playing with toys and interacting with other norns. I really like the idea of norns that you have to teach, I think it'll help bring back more of that "pet" feeling to C3/DS, and the personal bond with your norns.

  2. I agree with Tarlia, and really like the idea of Norns who require a lot of teaching, rather than having a lot of concepts built in at birth. Sounds like you have the right idea about the chained actions not being recognizable. Reminds me of an equation! If A leads to B and B leads to C, then A leads to C, all else constant. Creatures know the first two parts, but seem to lack the vision to condense them into one equation.

    Looking forward to following this project!

  3. Damage us business her elevines. They don't have call buttons... so I'm not sure what you two area going on about.

  4. How do instinctless norns with their navigation instincts restored go with combatting 'eat elevator syndrome'? Are they any more or less susceptible to it?

  5. I wonder if they don't learn to navigate because the navigation-related stimuli and brain lobes only appear in childhood? (As I discovered in the series of experiments I posted on my website - part 3 is where I demonstrate this.) I remember you saying your instinctless norns have trouble learning to push norn when friendly, which is another drive that appears post-babyhood. So maybe they need to have a drive as a baby in order to learn what to do with it? If that's so, then setting the navigation stimuli and brain lobes to activate at birth should help instinctless norns learn to navigate.

    1. Huh, that's an interesting point; I'll have to try that out sometime :>