Wednesday 7 December 2016

Treba the One-Drive Norn

Looking through some of my recent posts... I haven't done a crazy genetic experiment in a while! Time to change that.

A while ago I was reading one of Jessica's posts on Discover Albia and it got me thinking: what would happen if you ticked "Winner takes all" in the drive lobe? It would mean the Norn could only feel one drive at once, but how would that actually affect the Norn in a practical way?

I think you know where this is going...

So, in this Norn I'm only going to make one single change: switching the drive lobe to WTA. If you're not familiar with what that option does, it makes it so that only one neuron can fire in the lobe at once, and the neuron which has the strongest value will be the one to fire. In the context of the drive lobe, it means that only the most pressing need will registered by the Norn.

Meet Treba, a cute little Cheri Norn whose wellbeing and happiness I have probably just permanently destroyed. But we'll see how she turns out.
The first thing that happened? You might be able to see Tessa just in the left edge of the picture above. Well, as the first experience of Treba's life, she got into a slapping match with Tessa. This is off to a great start. She subsequently went to the computer and started learning all by herself, so it couldn't be too bad...

So, the next step was to see if there were already any signs of how the drive lobe change is affecting her. I got opened up LobeStudy from CDR to have a look at what was happening in the drive lobe, and I noticed something interesting. The drive that it displayed was constantly fluctuating between "Hunger" - her current highest drive - and "Nothing". This is potentially a result of how WTA works (I don't know, if someone more knowledgeable is reading this then feel free to inform me) but it's interesting to note.

Treba was still intently learning on her own, so I meandered off for a bit to tend to the other Norns in the world while she was busy learning. She was still learning when I came back.
What an avid student.

Once she'd learned all the verbs from the computer, I gave her a piece of cheese to get her life force up and of course reduce her hunger. And as soon as she ate the cheese, her new highest drive (and thus the only drive she felt) became tiredness. And what did she do literally as soon as that drive became highest...?

Look at this little baby. And as soon as she'd rested for awhile, she got up and started to find a way to cure her boredom.

But though these earlier signs looked at least somewhat promising, Treba subsequently goofed around playing with a ball even though her highest drive was alternating between hunger and tiredness. Obviously it's not some magic trick that will make a Norn immediately go solve their highest drive, but it's still too early to tell if there's any significant positive or negative affects.

From my current observations, she does seem to be quite good at eating when she's hungry, but further observation and experimentation is required before I draw any conclusions. Expect to see more from Treba soon!


  1. OMG - this is nuts. I love it! :D

  2. Ahaha this is great! I love this sort of "but what if?!" kind of stuff. Curious to know how much this affects their behavior.