Started with the Genetics Kit
Stimulus Genes: Making a Vulture Norn
Since instinct and stimulus
genes look very similar, even if they don't have a very similar mode of
operation, we'll consider them together. Both gene types tie a certain action
to a particular set of emotions, for instance, there's an instinct to run
away from other Norns if crowded. However, the two genes act upon the Norn's
action in a very different way.
Stimulus genes specify
exactly what happens internally in the Norn when a particular event takes
place, whereas instinct genes are merely suggestions of possible actions
in situations where the Norn has not had a chance to learn a good response.
The instinct genes don't
make a Norn, for instance, push a lift call button when they're high up,
but it makes this a more likely than random action if the Norn does not
know what to do. Instincts are processed during sleep, like dreaming, which
is why it's very important for your Norn in any creatures game to get its
head down occasionally. In a way, stimulus and instinct genes are exact
opposites - stimulus genes specify what happens after an action, while instincts
specify what should lead to a particular action.
In this tutorial,
we'll alter a Norn to make it able to eat and enjoy 'manky', or rotten
food, and give it an instinct to search out rotten food when hungry.
- Start the genetics
kit, and load the genome 'Norn.civet46.gen.brain.gen'.
- Rotten food is full
of proteiney goodness, if you can stomach it, so we'll tie in eating carrion
to the hunger for protein drive. Turn to the gene editor page, and find
gene 453, the instinct to eat food when hungry for protein.
- Double click it to
open the gene editing window.
- You'll see that at
the top of the gene editing window, a series of circumstances can be set.
These can be used to set up an imaginary situation in the Norn's dreams.
Scroll through and take a look.
The current set circumstance is the noun lobe reading ID 11. This corresponds
to food. You can find out what the other game object's ID are by using
the Brain in a Vat kit from the CDN. The ID for 'manky' is 9. So, change
the box that says 'It is ID 11', to 'It is ID 9'. You'll notice that the
rest of the editing window specifies how to reward given a certain response.
Remember - this isn't what actually happens in your Norn when it eats,
but what its instincts will tell it do when hungry. Find gene 454. This
instinct gene teaches a Norn that eating fruit when hungry for protein
is a good thing.
The ID of fruit is 8. Change this, again, to 9. Now the new born Norn
will search for rotten stuff when hungry for protein, not fruit. However,
at the moment, it will still suffer ill effects from eating manky stuff.
- Find gene 506, the
'eaten manky' stimulus gene. This specifies which chemicals the Norn will
get in its system from eating rotten foodstuffs. Double click on it to
- You will see that
you can set the stimulus being referred to, a possible response, and the
chemicals the Norn receives as a result of performing this action.
Set the chemicals and sliders as follows: Hunger for Protein, -0.202,
Protein, 0.105, Unused, 0, Unused, 0. This means that eating rotten stuff
will now reduce hunger for protein, and give the Norn some protein as
well. It doesn't alter your Norn's ability to eat normal nornish foods,
such as fruit and food. They're still just as good for this Norn as for
- Export and hatch
your Norn. Teach it to talk, and then see its reaction when another Norn
states that it is hungry for protein. There's bad advice if ever you heard