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My life is gone. I've discovered they've released a free version of Creatures for Linux. It's only a very tiny world to play in, but I can make more areas for my happy-go-lucky Norns to play in. And I need more breeds too. And all kinds of snazzy gizmos for them to play with.

Although what I really really really really want is a item that when activated makes a Norn egg. One that a Norn could use. Obviously Norns produce eggs by themselves...when they love each very much. But I want to see what how they'd react to be able to create more friends whenever they wanted.

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Should be possible by making something that injects an egg into the world (like any of the other vending-machine type items do, or the Grendel-mother in the tree), though I'm not sure how the genetic side of things would be handled. O_o

Maybe some sort of clone-machine that creates a duplicate of the Norn that activates it. Hmmm.

I'd be perfectly happy if it generated an entirely random genetic code for the new eggs. That'd satisfy the need for new breeds too. Although I suspect I'd have to pick a random existing breed instead.

As far as the "new breeds" thing goes, I think there's only, like, five or six "slots" for different Norn species, though I think you can get Norns with body parts from several different species. Most of the genetic differences are to do with body chemistry and colouration, I believe.

I've not really looked into the genetics side of things, though, so I'm not sure what you'd get if you just had randomly scrambled DNA for the new Norns. I suspect the vast majority of them would be non-viable. O_o

Hmmm...yes. I had noticed something mentioned about "slots" but nowhere really explained what it was all about. By the looks of it there are 26 slots per creature type and each creature is designed to use a specific slot. Which is a bit crappy.

Not entirely sure I care that much about breeds having read about the genetics a bit. All I want is lots of different coloured Norn running about and I think I can do that with just one breed. Just have to find a breed that allows a wide range of colour variation :)

Although I have found a Norn breed that looks like an Aardvark and walks around on all fours. Can't see how it could work cos Norn are meant to be able to pick stuff up.

Norn colouration in C1 is subdued at the best of times - it's basically a coloured tint over the normal colouring, rather than new and vibrant hues. But that's just controlled by a couple of genes that determine RGB values for pigmentation, so shouldn't be too hard to adjust.

geNorNics has a bunch of useful information on pigmentation and stuff here.

Doesn't cover Creatures 3/Docking Station though, so I'm not sure how applicable it is. The current "owners" of the games have a website devoted to developing stuff and I've found a page that seems to indicate that colour in the latest version is a lot more versatile so what I want is in theory possible. I'd probably have to create a plain grey Norn set of images and use that I think.

It looks like I can download a tool for messing about with genetics, so I might give that a whirl. Of course all this is meaningless without being able to work out how to write an agent that can inject new eggs. There's a tutorial on the above site that is a balloon creator. So I'll probably use that as a base to work from.

And if this does work, I can send out my hordes of rainbow coloured Norn to infest the 'net cos the Docking Station lets me transport Norns to other players :)

Ah, Creatures 3. Fair enough, then, I've only ever played with C1, so my advice is probably woefully incomplete. :)

By all accounts C1 was a lot more fun cos you could teach the Norn what things were called? Where as in C3 they seem to have a restricted dictionary.

But I've just worked out where the words are stored, so I might have a go at changing them. Muahahahahaha. Smutty Norn pr0n speak!

You are a bad bad man. XD

And yeah, I recall hearing that some stuff in the later Creatures games was hardcoded. :o

Don't blame them in some ways. It provides a uniform user interface that won't confuse the support team.

"Hi, my Norns are acting crazy - they keep trying to eat the dildos."
"I'm sorry ma'am - there aren't any dildos in the game."
"Sure there are - I taught the Norns that the musical instruments were called dildos...."

And you wouldn't want a small child to start playing that game either.

It's actually easier than I thought. The code for the beastie that is used to lay eggs is in plain text. I'll just "borrow" how they've done it and shove it into the the tutorial for the balloon maker or something. Although I suspect I'm going to have to learn the code first so I don't end up deleting bits I need :)