Creatures IQ test
The Creatures IQ test was developed by Danikat as a way of quickly and easily selecting and breeding norns capable of taking care of themselves in Creatures 3.
It is designed to weed out those creatures who lack the drive to find food and toys for themselves when they need to as well as a range of other deficiencies such as gait mutations severe enough to prevent the creature from walking, those who fixate on buttons or machinery, those who do not need food to survive and those who do nothing but breed. (Please note: Some creatures with gait mutations will get through; only the really bad ones fail.)
The test works equally well on norns, grendels, ettins or geats. (With the exception of Gaia for obvious reasons.)
This test requires an undocked DS world. It is probably best to create a new one, but an existing world can be used.
Before adding any creatures to the world carry out the following steps:
1. Lock the door leading from the Meso to the Hub and the doors leading from the Corridor to the Comms Room and Workshop. Leave all other doors unlocked.
- Essentially you want to create a one-way path from the Workshop to the Meso.
2. Collect all the teleporters and store them in your inventory.
- If a creature pushes a teleporter it moves not only that creature, but any others standing close by, which gives them an unfair advantage.
3. Move all food and toys into the Meso.
4. Do not add any agents that will help or take care of creatures outside of the Meso, such as the Roamer or Electronic Butler.
5. Move any creatures or eggs you want to test to the bottom of the Workshop.
6. Keeping an eye on the world during the test is reccommended as the creatures who do not leave the Workshop will frequently breed with each other and could potentially flood the system with undesirable offspring.
Please note this test works on a strict pass or fail system, with creatures who fail typically dying of starvation or old age unless the user intervenes. (Unless they're immortal and don't need to eat. Then they just stay in the Workshop forever.)
How It Works
The idea behind the IQ test is simple: The creatures begin in an area where they cannot survive because there is no food or toys. All they have to do to solve this problem is travel from the Workshop to the Meso. However in order for this to take place several steps have to occur:
- The creature has to be aware that they are hungry or bored. Creatures that do not need to eat, or creatures with one overpowering drive, typically friendliness, will not do this, so they will never leave the bottom of the Workshop.
- The creature needs to know that food or toys will solve their problem. Creatures that lack the instinct or knowledge to connect the two will not do this.
- The creature needs to recognise that, as there is no food in their immediate vicinity, they need to search for it. This is perhaps the key step, and the one the test was created to address. Creatures accustomed to complaining about their needs but doing nothing to solve them because the hand, the electronic butler, or a similar entity usually does it for them will not know to search for things they cannot immediately see.
- The creature needs to realise that other creatures or the Training Dummy, although fascinating, will not satisfy their hunger.
- In order to search for food the creature has to be able to find it. They will be able to smell it and need to use their navigation instincts to follow the smell. Because norns do not develop navigation instincts until they reach the child stage it is rare for them to pass before then. Because of this It is not possible to test baby Gizmo norns because they cannot survive for 9 minutes without food. Treehugger Norns also have difficulty with this stage as they lack the instinctive knowledge of how to use buttons and lifts, and Hardman Norns' high anger drive may cause interference.
- Then the movement starts. Firstly they have to call the elevator and use it to reach the top floor of the Workshop. Creatures who become fixated on the button or elevator will frequently get stuck at this stage.
- Once on the top floor they have to make their way past the Portal Dispensor to the door. Some creatures will become obsessed with staring at, or attempting to push, the machine and will not pass this point.
- Next they have to open the door to the Corridor.
- Once out in the corridor the creatures must walk across to the Meso door. Creatures with severe gait problems will be unable to complete this stage.
- Finally they have to open the door to the Meso.
- Once inside the meso they will need to track down actual food items and toys and know how to use them properly in order to solve their need.
Making It Easier
There are a number of ways to make the IQ test easier on the creatures, including:
- Adding agents that create a one way path, such as the Stopper Plant can prevent creatures from going back on themselves.
- Adding a limited food supply about halfway through the test gives creatures more time to pass without enabling them to stop permanently halfway.
- Telling creatures what they need to do next, so that ones who have learned to speak and who know to follow commands can move on more easily.
- For youth-or-older creatures, testing the sexes separately to prevent sex drive from interfering with their other needs and to prevent an 'IQ test baby boom'.
- Changing the training dummy to a grendel or ettin option to discourage lonely norns from approaching it rather than trying to find real friends.
- Using the EM Jammer to reduce distractions in the early stages of the run.
- Using the Export Door to automatically export creatures once they push the door from the Hub to the Norn Meso.
Making It Harder
There are a number of ways the test can be made more challenging, including:
- Adding Macrobacteria to the Workshop puts creatures who linger too long in danger of catching a disease, adding to the natural bacterial load of the Workshop.
- Unlocking the doors to allow creatures to go in the wrong direction.
- Strategically placing agents like the Corpse Candle which may scare creatures away from going in the right direction.
What Happens Next
Once creatures have passed the IQ test their fate is up to you. They will almost certainly need some time to eat and rest but after that they can be exported for use in other worlds, or kept in the meso.
Danikat likes to breed the creatures (naturally, so as to eliminate breeding problems as well) and then export the offspring for use in her other worlds. The parents are then sent out into the warp to spread what she considers to be advantageous genes.
It is also possible to set up a continuous test loop by using the timer connected to the egg finder in the Workshop to move all eggs to the start, ready to test the next generation. This has some problems, because the babies will not know how to satisfy their needs until they reach childhood.