There are two types of genetically modified norns available here. A new type of norn, the Canny Norn, for Creatures 2 and the original Eater norns I developed for Creatures 1.
These norns were a join project between Lis Morris and I. They have had quite a few genetic tweaks here and there along with the addition of three working new brain lobes! Among other things these brain lobes were specifically designed to enable them to learn what effect an object has on the creatures drives and to actively look for those objects when that drive is high.
On my Papers and Discussions page I've talked about how the norn has no control over what it looks at. It always looks at the most stimulating object or the object spoken by the hand. Usually norns have no input into deciding what to look at and if they can't look at it, they can't make a decision on it.
The Canny norns on the other hand do allow the norn to learn to look at objects that are important to its survival. In a similar manner to the way that normal norns learn that eating food is good when hungry, the Canny norns learn that looking for food when hungry is good. This makes them more likely to eat it as well. This behaviour is learned, not hard coded for particular objects, so it may take a little time before the norn creates the correct associations in the brain - but it will happen.
You can download the original Canny norn genome from The Palace of the Evil Shee or directly from this site. The download file is about 290K and contains a number of different colours and norn types.
An improved version of the genome is now available. Version 1.2 of the Canny genome contains modifications by Lis Morris to have a longer life span and tweaks to the brain to improve retention of concepts. This new genome can cross-breed succesfully with the original Canny genome and the improved traits may be inherited by descendants.
Lis and I worked on the original Canny genome together. Some people seem to
have an impression that I did all the work on the brain lobes of the genome
but this is not true. Lis is a canny lass herself and much of the brain work
was her invention and her implementation. I just thought it needed clearing
up that it was very much a team effort in that area.
I created these norns before Creatures 2 came out when there were discussions on the newsgroup about using the verb 'eat' instead of 'push' to get norns to eat. As an experiment to see if the genetics allowed the ability to create new verbs I put this example together. A full description of what was done, an example genome and exported norn, and a cob to teach them the word 'eat' is available on the eater norn page. These norns aren't need for Creatures 2 because those norns already understand the verb 'eat'.