hello_robotto: (creatures)
There's a lot of genomes out there for C3/DS besides the ones that come with the game. I've noticed that new people especially sometimes get confused by what the differences between them all are and which ones they should use in their worlds, so I wrote this guide to the more popular genomes to help clear things up.

Standard: These are your bog-standard creatures that come with the game. Usually, people take the default Chichi genome as being the default. This is because it has additional genes to deal with the networking features introduced to DS as well as some biochemistry tweaks compared to the original C3 breeds, and as it came with the free game DS, it was also the most widely-available genome back in the day. Note that the default C3 norn breeds (Civet, Bruin, and Bengal) have an additional 'expressive' variant available to them in the egg creator – if you use the standard genome, you will probably want to use this one to play, as it's actually a fix. Originally, the norns did not make the appropriate facial expressions to express their mood properly, and the expressive variants are a fix for this.

The standard genome has quite a few bugs in it, and some of the other genomes are attempts at fixing these bugs, while others simply aim to introduce new features.

Gizmo: Gizmo norns were an early fix for many problems in the standard genome. They have many modifications, but to summarize: they have a rebalanced biochemistry, a modified reproductive system to make them less likely to become super-breeders, and changed instincts to make them survive better but also to try and make them less 'pre-programmed'.

Because of these many changes, they probably won't interbreed well with other genomes, though it won't necessarily be fatal to try.

Amanora: Amanora made some beautiful new breeds for C3/DS, the Dream Norns, Butterfly Norns, and Flora Norns. These also used a modified base genome that included changes to the pigment and pigment bleed genes so that creatures would keep their color throughout their whole life (normally creatures can mutate so that they change colors in different life stages), and changes to the pose genes to reduce the chance of getting creatures with limps and other bad movements.

Unfortunately, because of these changes, her breeds can't interbreed well with standard creatures – they're likely to produce sliders. Because of this, Amanora used to have a pack with this modified base genome for all the official breeds, but this no longer appears to be on her site.

CFE: The name stands for 'Creatures Full of Edits'. These are a major fix that was widely adopted in the community and by breed makers. There's a lot of changes, and these include: working friend-or-foe lobe that allows creatures to make friends and enemies, better memory and learning, a new brain lobe that allows creatures to perceive the elevation of an interesting object (so they don't go after things they can't reach), as well as several fixes to prevent behavior loops. They also cannot get stuck on a life stage or live without eating, and will not mutate to severe limps.

CFEm: These are the same as CFE creatures, except they lack a few of the changes: they can still get stuck on life stages, mutate to live without food, and their gait genes will mutate like a standard creature's genes will.

CFE and CFEm creatures are compatible with each other, but breeding them with standard creatures might result in weirdness and is not recommended by the creator. Some older breeds may not have CFE conversions available, but some do.

CFG: The name here standards for 'Creatures Full of Gizmo'. As one might expect, they combine both the changes from the gizmos and the CFEs into one genome.

As with the gizmos above, interbreeding these with normal CFEs probably won't work out that well. You might have better luck interbreeding them with this following genome:

CFF: This name stands for 'Creatures Full of Fixes' and builds upon the CFE genome. It includes both additional fixes as well as new features. CFF creatures will be aware of being full (so they don't just eat everything in the ship in one go), will react when drowning, and shouldn't breed as quickly as CFE and standard creatures do. They will also hallucinate when ingesting chemical 130, and are meant to act more curious and try more random things.

Evo: The Evo norns are an offshoot of the CFF project. They are meant to mess around with objects more and have a shorter attention span than normal creatures.

CFF creatures are relatively compatible with both CFE and CFG creatures. Evo norns can be interbred with CFF norns. A couple of older breeds have CFF conversions available.

TWB: This name stands for 'True Warmblood'. These creatures, based on the CFFs, have a real internal body temperature, unlike normal creatures. This body temperature is affected not just by their surrounding temperatures, but also things like the creature's diet and activity levels. They also have a few other changes related to instincts, fixing and finishing the hunger system, and fixing some other issues.

Because of their extensive changes, they do not interbreed well with other genomes.

Spice: In this genome, based on the standard one, pigment genes are spread out through the genome, rather than being all bunched up together. This means that offspring inherit a mix of the colors of their parents, instead of only inheriting all of their color genes from one parent. This means that, for example, a blue creature and a red creature can have a purple child, instead of only a blue or a red child.

Spice norns should not be interbred with other genomes because of how their genes have been re-arranged.

Colortrue: This genome is based on the CFE creatures and was inspired by the Spice norns. Similar to the Spice genome, Colortrue genomes have been changed so that the children inherit a mix of the colors of their parents.

Colortrue creatures should also not be interbred with other genomes.

Farbe: This genome is also based on the CFE genome. Farbe creatures have been changed so that their pigment genes cannot mutate, but their pigment bleed genes can, which allows for more realistic and better-looking color mutations.

Farbe creatures can be bred with standard CFE creatures.

These are only some of the more common genomes; there are many others out there to try, such as the Curiosity Norns, not to mention a whole host of new breeds that come with their own unique genomes.

...so what should you choose? That can be a difficult question, and it depends on a lot of things. What features do you prefer? What are existing breeds available in? How compatible will different breeds you like be?

Remember, though, that you don't have to choose just one genome and stick with it. If you don't want sliders and severely messed-up babies in your worlds, you can either keep creatures with incompatible genomes in separate areas, or use different genomes in different worlds. For example, I usually use CFE creatures, but I have one world full of Colortrue norns, and I'm trying out the TWB creatures in another. I even have some Amanora genome creatures in a very old wolfling run world of mine.

I would seriously recommend getting at least the CFEs or CFEms; they are a great improvement over the standard genome in terms of learning and behavior, and the vast majority of newer releases are based on them or a genome based on them. If you really like the idea of the Gizmo biochemistry changes, you can get the CFGs. Whether you want to get CFFs or Evos is dependent on how much you care about the additional changes to their behavior. Maybe you are interested in the realistic internal temperature of the TWBs. And, if you really care about realistic color mutations or inheritance, Farbe or Colortrue creatures might be best for you. On the other hand, if you really like the look of an older breed, you might be stuck with the standard genome or a modification based on it... unless you or someone else converts it, of course.

The best thing to do is to try several of these genomes out, and then observe your creatures to see how they behave and what you like!


hello_robotto: (Default)
Hello, Robotto

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