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  6/24/2021  1

I got C1 to work properly on my PC but inevitably when I tried to uninstall and reinstall C2 and DS neither would work and now something is causing my C1 to crash after 10 minutes as well.

I've been trying various things to fix the problem and then reopening C1 to see if, after ten minutes, the game would crash again or if I was successful. No surprise here, the game is wildly unstable still. Wildly unstable.

Anyways, while doing this I noticed that as usual the game resets to its previous save point. Which means that every time it crashes and I reopen it, it's picking up at that mark. That's obviously what you'd expect to be true, however, I noticed that after several minutes some norns walked by after ~4 minutes. These same norns had NOT walked by after ~4 minutes the previous times I've been doing this (opening, crashing, opening crashing, etc, etc, all within ten minutes over and over again).

This made me wonder... If the circumstances of the game are exactly the same each time I open C1 (that is, every norn is exactly in the same spot, thinking the same thing, doing the same thing, each and every time because the game is picking up at that save point) wouldn't you expect the same things to happen in those 10 minutes every time? I am not intervening at all and in fact I don't even scroll around. I don't have any creatures selected and I just let the game sit and play until after ten minutes it crashes again.

Yet there were those norns ~4 minutes into the game, walking by the first time. How can that be? Does this imply that the game is unpredictable? Does a norn make random choices as it goes about its business? Again, the circumstances are exactly the same each time I start over again. Yet here we are with different outcomes...


The Lantern


  6/25/2021  1

For me, what you've observed, is a manifestation of one of the most delightful things about these games.

I can't say whether there is any randomness in the moment-to-moment behaviour of the Creatures (Norns, Ettins, Grendels) but there certainly is randomness in many of the world-adorning agents. The scripts in my C2 Scriptorium invoke the CAOS command to generate a random value in close to 500 different places.

It's difficult to describe how object randomness might lead to your observation. In Creatures, everything in the world is potentially interacting and those interactions are happening continuously. Let me try a couple of simple examples.

A butterfly randomly changes direction. In the second of two successive runs, it flies closer to a Norn, which makes it the most interesting thing to that Norn at that moment. The Norn changes direction to move towards the butterfly...

Fruit is randomly placed within the crown of a tree. In a subsequent game start-over, a piece of fruit is at picking-height when in the previous runs it was out of reach. A hungry Norn stops to pick the fruit and eat it, breaking her enthusiasm for a bouncing ball (yeah, right. C2 players know how unlikely that scenario is ;-).

In an interval of game time there are many of these random events. The consequence of most of them is that the world remains interesting to a human observer. Some of them will provide input to the Norn's decision-making mechanisms.


Peppery One


  6/26/2021  1

I think it's the predictability of the games which actually caused this. The thing is that computers aren't really made to be "random" in their function.
Well, how do you get randomness then? The answer is maths. So-called pseudo random number generators are essentially the mathematical equivalent of a smoothie maker. You toss a number in, you get a "random" number out. People smarter than you and I then analyze those functions to make sure they actually are sufficiently random and don't repeat after like 6 values or so.

When you need a random number, you just call e.g. random(0) and it gives you..... -74935654. The next time you need a random number, you call random(-74935654). You get.... 412. Then again, for the next time you call random(412).
You keep feeding your "random" numbers back into themselves to get the next one down the line.

Okay, now once we are in a groove, we can make as many random number as we want. Great. However, I said you need a number to get a number, so where do you start? Well, people who play games such as Minecraft or Terraria should perk up at this point, because you start your random sequence with a seed. The seed is really nothing more than the starting point of our "random" sequence. The first time you start the world, the first time you need a random number, you call random(seed) to get things going.

Now, to come from our tangent back to Creatures: I can almost guarantee you that the Creatures games use at the very least a similar system. They don't have world generation where they swap biomes around, so they seed themselves each time you open up the game, not when you create a new world like the other titles I mentioned.
And this may be where each of your loaded saves diverts from the others. Games like Creatures usually do a simple, lazy trick for their seeds: they read out some system value from your PC, like your real life date and time, convert it into some milliseconds value and call it a day. Or call it a seed.

Your saves diverted in the way dingus described, because you started it at a different time of day. I highly doubt that setting your system time back would yield the same results, though, as they are usually precise to the millisecond.
However, if you could start the game from the same millisecond of the same day of the same year each time, you should see the same results.

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