Started with the Genetics Kit
by Lis Morris
This series of tutorials is designed to give you an easy start into the world of genetic engineering in the Creatures 3 game. Each tutorial deals with a different gene type, and is designed to give you an idea of what each gene type is capable of, plus create an interesting new creature for your game. There is no need to read the tutorials in any particular order - simply skip to the tutorial dealing with the gene type you're interested in. Please click here to download a sample pack of genomes and Norns made using each tutorial.
Some basic knowledge is necessary before starting on the tutorials.
The genomes of the basic three Norns are found in your creatures 3\genetics\ folder. They have much longer names than in previous games, such as Norn.expressive.civet.47.gen.
Note that files ending in .gno are not genome files, but are used to store the comments on each gene you see in the genetics kit organ and gene editor windows.
All genomes end in .gen. The genomes of Norns within your game are stored in a different folder: creatures 3\my worlds\nameofworld\genetics\. You can find out which genome belongs to which creature within your world by selecting a creature, clicking upon its name and then choosing the Norn tab in the birth agent that appears on screen.
The 'moniker' of the Norn is the name of the .gen file where the Norn's genome is kept. Note that although this name is hideously long and impossible to remember, the second part of the moniker is a memorable word that can help you spot the right genome without writing all the other bits down.
After starting the Genetics Kit, you can load a genome simply by pressing the 'load genome' button in the middle of the front page. This will bring up a dialogue box where you can find your chosen genome, and load it. Once loaded, the genome's details and any comments will be visible on the genetic kit's various pages.
It can take a while for a genome to load - be patient. There are many different pages in the Genetics Kit, but for this tutorial, the main ones used will be the Gene Editor and Export pages.
The gene editor window shows a list of all genes in the loaded genome, initially in the order that they appear in the gen file, although they can be rearranged by any of the gene details in the table, such as gene type or sexual dependency. Double clicking on any row brings up the editing window for that specific gene.
The contents of the editing window varies according to the gene type. The gene type is given in the last right hand column of the gene editor window. When you edit a gene, you will notice that every gene can be specified to switch on at a certain life stage or in a specific sex, and the probability of mutation and deletion etc in future generations can be altered.
After you are satisfied with your genome, you will probably wish to hatch a Norn with the new genes. To do this, turn to the Export page. Make sure that the 'virgin birth' box has a tick in it, unless you wish to combine your genome with another one, as if two Norns had mated. Choose the sex you wish, and set the genus to the species of your new creature's genome. Make sure the creatures 3 game is running, then click 'export'.
A report box will show you the CAOS code used to export the genome, and an egg will appear in your world just beneath the incubator. Unlike egg layer and natural layings, the egg will be full size. It will hatch naturally in time, or can be speeded up in the incubator.
If you change the genome of a Norn currently in your world, please note that the effects will only be obvious in the Norn's offspring, unless you make appearance changes, such as colour or Norn type alterations.
Changes to a Norn's biochemistry are carried silently in the genes, and passed on to the next generation, where they may be partly smothered by the inheritance of normal genes from the other parent. If you wish to make changes to a genome, it is best to create a new Norn with each change to see if your changes produce the desired effect.
The genome I have used in most of these tutorials is Norn.civet46.gen.brain.gen, simply because it has a full .gno comments file, and I happen to like Civet Norns!