Remember Creatures?

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When I was young I use to run creatures dabbling in genetics and breeding different traits. Friends, who at the time played, lost interest when they realised it wasn't a game but a artificial life program. You oversaw or played god in how these artificial life forms developed. Like an ant farm only more progressive. It was created by a computer scientist called Steve Grand OBE in the early nineties originally for DOS.

I don't quite remember how I came across creatures 1. I think it might been upstairs in whsmiths searching for something to waste pocket money on. I didn't realise the depth of the game. The creatures called norns have digital DNA, biochemistry and neural network brains. They can evolve like real animals through cross-over mutations.

Breeders and, I guess, gene hackers created loads of different breeds. Some of them humorous for example the Essex Norn which is sex mad. Some of the enthusiasts set up runs. Leaving a set of norns alone and letting "nature" take its course. Theory is the weaker ones will die out slowly every generation allowing the stronger norns to become dominant.

Back in 1998 I bred a long living healthy norn in about 7 generations. Selective breeding of course. I probably had some going back 20 generations. I did play creatures 2 as well loosing interest to buy number 3.

I only blogged about this program because I came across a project called openc2e. An open source game engine designed to be compatible with the various engines used in the Creatures series. It's still in development but you can try it out with creatures 1 without norns. It can run under linux too.

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