Monday, November 29, 2010

Months of Hibernation

Several Months have passed since the conception of The Great Norn Breeding Race. There are a number of reasons as to why the great experiment has been delayed. The trial itself is once again in need of tweaking as the current 'race' still sees the dasterdly Norns hanging around the workshop until they mature to children then, they scurry down the hall in search of food. This simply cannot do! Why do these Norns not starve in their baby stages without food? It is a matter of deep scientific concern and a matter that needs to be addressed.
Aside from the afore mentioned traditional GNBR set backs, the real world interferred dramatically and I have had to move away from the big city, returning to the calm serene countryside. Here in the now snowy hills and fields, I have found the inspiration to continue the Breeding Race and introduce Grendels into the workshop.
If those Norns want to survive they will just have to fight for their survival with tooth and claw!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Great Norn Breed Race

Third Attempt
After the first two experiments going horribly wrong, it was time to return to the drawing board. I had already toyed with the idea of having a world cup style knockout competition. Since I was quickly running out of ideas I resorted to having a friend randomly pick numbers. I created an alphabetical breed list and the random numbers correspond with a breed on the list. Because I only currently have 25 norn breeds I went in search of a new breed and stumbled across the simple yet adorable Okapi norns. So in order to ensure there is an even number of norns to pair up I added the new Okapi’s to the competition.

Meanwhile, the first two rounds have been drawn and the fixtures are as follows:

Match 1


Purple Mountain

Match 2
Expressive Bruin

So without further ado... Let the games begin! I am so confident that this system will be much easier to control that I now officially declare the Great Norn Breed Race started.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Second Abortion!

The second attempt at this experiment has failed. It took too much time to import the creatures and move them to the starting position. Before I was even a quarter of the way through the first norn had made it to the meso. I then quickly decided in the moment to only import the first ten. I moved the escaped norns back to the workshop after importing the remaining creatures. And exported the first five to reach the meso. Locking the door behind the fifth. I then proceded to import the remaining norns for the second heat. I allowed the remaining norns from the first round to compete again in an attempt to redeem themselves (I also had a suspicion they would starve to death during the import of the last norns. This time I kept the workshop door locked as I imported the last THIRTEEN norns. It was a lengthy process and although the norns from the first round still hadn't starved, the moans from the workshop as I imported were beginning to sadden me. By the time I had all of the remaining norns in the game the earlier imports were all chomping at the bit. I started the race by first unlocking the workshop, then the hub. As I expected the last five norns from the first heat fell through the door instantly and were swiftly followed by a large group who had sprinted from the workshop. I declared the experiment a failure by this point and am now busy trying to think up a practical way of having races.
Perhaps one on one racing would be better. With a number corresponding to each breed I could randomly pit the breeds against each other until we have a world cup style winner.
Much easier to control. Much less genocide (as only one dies in game at once).

Abort Experiment!

The original experiment has had to be aborted. Today my copy of creatures 3 arrived today. Installing it on a 64 bit copy is a huge PAIN!!! It took me a good 6 hours of messing with compatibility settings to no avail. Eventually I managed to get the game installed by restarting and trying in safe mode. Worked first time no problem. After updating (a reinstall of docking station due to my fiddling) I was on my way. Unfortunately when I reinstalled my breed packs I think the order I installed them in muddled all the previous data for my exported norns. When I reimported the male norn survivors their body parts were the wrong skins. So I’m having to restart the experiment.
I have however decided to tweak the initial experiment. The first experiment was a very lengthy process even with the frame rate increased. Therefore the amended experiment is as follows:
A single norn egg is laid for each breed. The eggs are all placed in the workshop and the order they reach the meso in is the order they are imported into the first round of the breed race. The norns that do not pass the qualifying round, that fail to reach the meso before dying, are clearly not eligible to compete.

So with the qualified norns exported round 1 can begin.

Round 1:
The norns are imported and then transferred to the workshop in the order they completed the qualifying round. This order could make all the difference as only the first ten norns to the meso qualify for round 2. Once the ten qualifiers have been selected and their positions recorded round 2 will take place. I’ve decided that the second round of the competition will have toys in the hub in order to distract the norns from their race for survival. More updates on round 2 to come.

New Reward:
After my first post I felt a little cold about the lack of reward for the winning survivor of this marathon and got to thinking about a solution. I’m toying with the idea of creating a new skin (I’ve never tried but why not I guess). My plan is to either change the genetics of the winning creature so that it has the new skin. If that results in disaster I will give it to their unborn offspring. This will be the birth of a new breed in my opinion. The birth of the greyhound breed! Although it might take several generations before thay live up to their title: The fastest of all the norns, and therefore the best for competing in capillata races.

That leads me to my next long term plan. Norn racing! I will begin work on an obstacle course metaroom that will test a norn’s speed, survival instincts and bravado. I'm thinking of using my scenenary making skills from warhammer to create a model of the room in try creatures 1 fashion.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Great Creatures IQ Test

Using the creatures IQ Test developed by Danikat found here as a starting point, I have decided to have a survival of the fittest competition between all the norn breeds at my disposal. Although the page suggests not to test baby Gizmo norns because they starve too quickly. The large majority of the hatchlings I've been testing have made it through.

The system I have designed will see both the male and female norns of the breed taking on an obstacle course on their lonesome.

Round 1:

Starting on the bottom floor of the workshop, the contesting norns simply have to navigate their way across to the meso to get food before they die of starvation.

Each round sees the difficulty increase by the addition of obstacles. I'll decide on the setup for round 2 after round 1 is complete.

There will be five rounds in total before the final 'breeding' round.

Breeding Round:
In the final breeding round the male norns will have to navigate the same treacherous course as round 5. This time, however, all males will be racing at once to reach the meso. The meso will contain all the female survivors anxiously awaiting a suitor. The first healthy offspring to become a child will be declared this competition's winner. The winner will be exported to take part in the winners competition when there are enough winners.

Current List of Competing Breeds:
Apple Norns Astro Norns Bondi Norns C1 Banana Norns
C1 Forest Norns C1 Forest-Purple Mountain Norns
C1 Horse Norns C1 Horse-Pixie Norns C1 Pixie Norns
C1 Purple Mountain Norns C1 Ron Norns
C1 Ron-Pixie Norns C1 Santa Norns Chichi Norns
Dodgy Norns Fallow Norns Hardman Norns
Harlequin Norns Magma Norns Siamese Norns
Toxic Norns Treehugger Norns Zebra Norns

There are a few official breeds missing from the list (Bengal, Civet and Bruin) if I'm not mistaken. I'm hoping my copy of Creatures 3 arrives before the end of round 1 so they can be included if not then the show must go on and they'll have to be included in the next competition.
Next Update
I'll have the list of male survivors of Round 1 soon enough. Pictures of each survivor to follow.