Digital DNA FAQs

We've been asked many times why Norns behave in certain ways, so we thought we'd provide this FAQ to answer the most common questions.

So, why did you make these changes?
There are four primary reasons:

  1. In any complex structure, sometimes some mistakes are made. Once we're aware of any genetic errors in creature dDNA, we fix them immediately and make these adjusted genetics available to all.
  2. The Norns in Creatures 2 ("C2") behave differently to those in Creatures 1. Although many users have had no problems with C2 Norns, some miss the overall robustness that Creatures 1 Norns had. These new eggs contain dDNA that allows creatures to live longer and are closer to Creatures 1 Norns in regards to the level of care they require.
  3. Development of dDNA for creatures is an on-going exercise, and we have a highly qualified research and development department who try out continual experiments `nd try and develop improved genetic structures. We wish to pass on the results of this research to our customers as soon as we can.
  4. We have had a considerable amount of constructive feedback and comments from users of Creatures 2, much of which has led our research and development team on to new discoveries. Many of these are thanks to the tireless work by third parties for which we thank them. Again, anything that noticeably improves Norn behaviour has been passed on to Norn breeders in this update.

Does this mean that my existing genetics are broken?
There was certainly one genetic error where obese Norns would suffer damage to the Uterus instead of the heart. This is now fixed. Many of you, however, have not experienced this issue - so there is certainly no need to exterminate the Norns you have! Indeed, if you are happy with the genetics you already have (either third party from other web sites or from the original dDNA you received with your C2 package) then you should treat these as alternative dDNA strands rather than replacement. The old adage of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" definitely applies here. However - part of nature is ongoing survival and breeding, and these new eggs will hatch creatures that are better able to survive by themselves. This is very important if you're interested in long term breeding experiments or "Wolfling Runs" (See "What is a Wolfling Run?" below)

So, should I replace all my existing genetics with this genome, then?
The installation of the update will overwrite your existing eggs with the new ones. Existing alive creatures will not be affected. If you'd like to keep the old eggs to do comparisons, or experiments, then you need to archive them prior to installing the update. The eggs can be found in your Creatures 2 Eggs folder. If you installed C2 in the default location, this will be "C:\Program Files\Creatures 2\Eggs". Copy them somewhere safe and you can always copy them back into your Eggs folder should you wish to use them again.

Any more eggs coming?
Absolutely! Development of the dDNA in C2 is ongoing, and any new progress made will be passed on as new eggs. At some point in the future, nearer to Christmas, CyberLife also plan releasing a Life Kit for sale that presents new creatures with whole new graphic sets. The Life Kit, however, will not prevent us from passing significant tweaks onto all users free of charge. Our aim with Life Kit Norns is to come up with different kinds of Norns.

When I breed an old and a new creature together, I get a high mortality rate. Why is this?
Most problems arise because new reactions and systems have been added, and when bred with an older genome, it is possible that a combination of old and new will not function. Evolution is based on mutation, and whilst it occasionally leads to problems, the survivors should be the ones with the least problems. As we add new systems to Norns, and improve/tweak others, you get the situation where some new Norns are almost separate species, and as such breeding them with other Norns is less likely to generate a viable life-form.

Do I have other choices, or should I use your eggs and dDNA?
You most certainly do have choices. Many third parties have invested considerable time and effort into creating alternative eggs and genetics with very positive results. Look around on the web, or ask in the newsgroup news: alt.games.creatures for more information.

Where can I learn more?
There is a book on Creatures 2 that explains the processes inside Norns in more detail. This is published by Sybex, and their web site can be found at www.sybex.com. If you'd rather not purchase the book, you can ask on the newsgroup (news:alt.games.creatures). Alternatively, we are planning on releasing some free information on our web site over the coming month or two that describes in more detail the processes that take place inside creatures.

What is a Wolfling Run?
A Wolfling Run is where you hatch a bunch of Norns and leave them to their own devices to see how they get on. Results vary. The new eggs in this update are better suited to Wolfling Runs, and when used in co-operation with some of the new COBs, you can even prevent Norns from walking into the ocean or off cliffs in your absence.

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