Monday, September 8, 2014

Pardon the dust?

I've always been terrible at keeping up with writing, and this blog will probably be forgotten about from time to time. So pardon the dust as I try to figure out what I want to do with this blog. I sadly lost the migration world I was going to do. I think I accidentally deleted it when I was cleaning out my worlds. I don't keep more then four worlds usually, and the old migration world probably got caught up in that.

So instead of that world, I'll probably be writing about what ever world I'm running at the time, or some experiments I'm messing around with. Currently it's my longest feral run ever, and maybe future CCSF submission. It's currently up to the 320th gen and not much has changed in it for the past 50 or so generations. The only exciting thing happening is a killer Grendel that helps the generations move a little faster by killing Norns. To be fair, there's almost always 20+ extra eggs just laying around.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Seasonal Migration Worlds

Seasonal migrations are exactly what they sound like, worlds were the Norns have to migrate each season to survive. I like to think of it as a continuous IQ test, even for the adults. In a normal feral run you can really only test the children, but with a migration world you test all of them. It's also pretty interesting to watch a whole population move from one area to another, and, with the addition of seasonal flowers, it can also be really beautiful. Setting them up is another story though.

 

Choosing Metarooms

There's two parts to setting up a migration world, the metarooms and the patch plants. I'll be going over the metarooms first. I've found that using 2-4 metarooms is the best, depending on how large the metarooms you use are. It's completely possible to set up a migration in one metaroom, or even use more rooms then four. Large metarooms like Ainardia or C2toDS are probably perfect for seasonal migrations. I've only used Chione in a migration world, but it works out great.

If you use more then four metarooms, then setting it up will harder then just 2-4 rooms. It's completely possible to set up a migration world like this. The very first migration world I set was utterly confusing to me, but the Norns were just fine. Plus it might make your game lag a lot, depending on your computer. Patch plants are surprisingly laggy if you have a lot of them.

As for choosing your metaroom, I like to choose the rooms based on what season the patch plants are going to appear in that room. For example Veridia is perfect for a Spring or Summer metaroom, and chione would be perfect for a winter room, if it wasn't so big. I chose the North pole room for this blog's migration run, but it requires the Norn Terrarium to install it. So I chose the Norn Terrarium as my spring room so I could have both of them. Size is really important as well. A room like Tulu isn't good if you want a large population(18-28ish), and a room like Veridia isn't good if you want a small population(8-16ish). You will have to experiment with population sizes for your migration world, as each combination of rooms is different. I had to lower my current migration world's limit from 28 to something like 20 because Tulu was to small for my population to live in comfortably.

 

One Metaroom Migration runs and Linking Rooms Together

In case you don't want to use a lot of metarooms, or if your computer can't handle it, then migration runs can easily be done in one metaroom. Just choose your metaroom, decide which seasonal patch plants go where, and then add them. You might also want to use just one metaroom if your using the larger metarooms like Ainardia or Chione.

Linking rooms together requires the Magic Worlds room edits agent, other wise your Creatures won't travel between metarooms at all. You might also want to use the Interporter instead of the Torii agent. With the Torii, Creatures tend to boucne from one room to the other, and not stop until they fall asleep. The interporter also has some problems, but at least Creatures can use it properly. make sure to set the interporter to door mode, so the creatures don't get confused. You can click on the portal/door part to see which mode it's in. There is one other door agent, the Archways, that might not have the "bouncing Norn" problem the Torii has, but I don't know for certain.

The Patch Plants

There's two main ways I've set the food sources, one where there's barely enough food, and one where you just put patch plants where ever. With both ways, it's probably best to use food that decomposes, and doesn't stay there indefinitely. This usually makes the Norns migrate a bit sooner, and makes sure there isn't any leftover food that could confuse a Norn. "Perishable" patch plants include the explodanuts, the spikeball things, the Eggstravaganza eggs, the plums, and the Aubergines. Patch plants that don't decompose work just as well as those that do, I just tend to prefer ones that disappear.

Anyway, one way to set up the patch plants is where there is barely any food each season, or where the food diminishes a lot each season. The first one really only fits in a world like Chione or a desert metaroom where you might not want to add a lot of food sources to fit in with the theme of winter wastelands or deserts. This can be very frustrating if you don't want to have a lot of food, but it also makes the world very challenging for the Creatures. The second one is really simple, you just lower the density of the patch a certain amount when you add it. A normal patch plant starts out at 50%, and I've found that a nice amount to go down each season is 10%. That means it's 50 in Spring, and ends up at 20-25%. This has the benefit of making food scarcer as the seasons go on, but isn't as annoying to set up.
 
The other way is to not change the density when you add the plants to each season/room. This is the easist way to set up a migration run, and has the added benefit of making sure Norns have enough food. Some patch plants might need to have their density lowered anyway so they don't flood your world.

 

Three Metaroom Setup

One specific setup, that I haven't personally tested yet, would be the three metaroom setup. A common problem with migration runs is that eggs tend to pile up in all of the metarooms, and it isn't always easy for a baby Norn to navigate their way to food. The three metaroom setup solves that, sort of. You would choose three metarooms like normal, and then use the middle metaroom and put two seasons in there, instead of two separate metarooms. I would put Summer and Fall in the metaroom and Spring and Winter in the other two. Then you would put an egg finder connected to a timer in that middle room. This puts the eggs in one specific spot, and makes the babies travel less to get to food. Plus it's less metarooms and probably less patch plants, so there might be less lag.

 

Problems with the Concept

There's a few problems with migration worlds, some major, some minor. Having a lot of patch plants can cause your world to lag ever so often, and I haven't found a way around that. Even in my current migration world, the game will lag ever so often. The game runs fine, and is fairly fast, it just lags sometimes. Your computer might not have this problem with patch plants though? I don't know if it's just my game or not. Another problem with the patch plants themselves. They might crash your game if you add them to close to a solid metaroom boundary. There really isn't a way around this, you will just have to keep room boundaries in mind when adding patch plants.

Eggs tend to build up in the metarooms, and the only way to fix that is to add an egg finder. You could do the usual trick of setting up an egg find and making them go through an IQ test, if you hate eggs laying around everywhere. The last problem might be that your computer can't handle having a lot of metarooms, or patch plants. Migration worlds tend to run a bit faster then a world filled with patch plants, though it also seems to have lag spikes. Plus setting up the migration worlds takes a bit of planning and some experimentation. It's a weird way to set up a world, but hopefully this blog post has made setting one up slightly easier.

Some random tips:
  • Choose your metarooms carefully
  • Try putting rooms in a certain order(I like to follow the seasons, from Spring to Winter)
  • Don't put patch plants to close to a rooms boundaries or the game might crash.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Migration World Tour

While it probably isn't necessary, I want to show off the world this blog is going to be covering for a few generations. I'll also have a post about seasonal migration runs tomorrow because some people might not be familiar with them, and because I love talking about them. This particular migration world isn't to hard on the Norns, and that's what I was aiming for. The Norns that are going into the world are 200th generation Norns, and they've spent that whole time in a really easy world. If they do well, then I can always make food more scarce. You should be able to click the image and see a larger one.

Anyway, I have four metarooms in a certain order, from spring to winter, and they are all linked together by CAs and interporters. That way I don't get lost, and the Norns aren't stuck in just one metaroom. The Spring metaroom is the Norn Terrarium, and there really isn't anything interesting. It does have the most food out of any season though.

The Summer metaroom is Primordia, minus the plants and the animals. I've expanded it a bit to give my Norns more space, and added the planks so the Norns don't look like their floating. It has slightly less food then the Spring room, but not by much.


The Fall metaroom is Tulu because
 it was one of the few Fallish metarooms out there. I wish I had gone with a bigger metaroom, but I've added another level to it so hopefully the Norns aren't to crowded. It has less food then the Summer room, but way more then the last room.


The Winter metaroom is the North Pole and it has very little food. It's cold and the food is spaced out so Norns have to travel all the time to find food. Normally the room has these candy cane fruits in it, but I removed them so Norns wouldn't travel in there if it wasn't Winter.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Intro!

I've always loved reading Creatures blogs and I actually made this blog last summer, but I never did anything with it. So now I am! I'll most talk about my current feral runs, or any pet worlds I have at the time. The only active worlds I have right now are my GoM world and my feral world(s) though. I have other plans for my GoM, so that leaves me with the feral world. There are other worlds like my Mobula Ray world, but it's currently empty besides Balmora and a GoM queen.

The name of the blog actually comes from the name of my main DS world, The Mobula Ray. Back in 2012, the CCSF had a contest where you could come up with a Shee spaceship design. I didn't come up with an idea until after CCSF, but the idea of a manta ray spaceship has been stuck in my head ever since. I used to call in the Manta Ray, but Mobula rays are in the same family as manta rays and have a nicer name. So I just renamed it to the Mobula Ray and it's been that ever since. I tend to reuse world names.

Balmora is the Grendel in my Blogger avatar, and she happens to be my favorite Creature. She's been a semi-permanent part of my worlds pretty much since I started playing DS. She was one of my first genetic experiments, and has been floating around my worlds since 2011. She's named after a city in Morrowind, and actually had four clones of her running around at one point. They sadly died when a world corrupted, and I only had enough time to export Balmora. She's survived numerous world crashes, corruptions, accidental deletions, and even one time when my whole Creatures folder was wiped. She's since been backed up and imported to my super stable Mobula Ray world. I like to imagine she helps me run the ship, but really all she does is play with toys.

I usually have a feral/wolfling run in the background. My Norns are left on their own, but I will export starving or Norns that haven't passed an IQ test in 20 or so minutes. Most of the exported Norns are either deleted, or sent to a folder to be GoM food. Most of my feral runs are archived though. Seasonal migration and aquatic worlds are some of my favorites. I don't currently have an aquatic world though.