2nd-gen breeding problems; status report...

...for all those of you for whom I'm researching 2nd-gen problems. I'll alter it as (and if) I find any new solutions :-)

Okay, the tricky world of 2nd-generation problems; some breedz produce oddities, and mostly I have no idea why, when babies are made, the game sometimes over-rides the data that we put in our breedfiles. I don't have much time to breed petz, so the investigations into these quirks of the game are slow. The common problems in 2nd-generation breeding are:

1 ) Colours not breeding true to the parents. I've partly solved that one, and written a "howto" here . it involves some fiddling around and checking on the part of the breedfile's hexer.
NOTE: when you make Variations, in order for a particular Ball colour to be allied to, for instamce, a particular eyelid or paint ball set, you only need to have the one . at the top of each set of Variations. For instance,
tells the game all that you need it to know for that set of variations;
is a bit of overload and can confuse it especially when it comes to 2nd-gens.
Yes, I know that Babyz has this kind of Variation listing, but babyz don't breed...

2 ) "Albino" type babies -- not always fixed by the above solution. Vickie of Vickie's Petz Zoo (go to her "hexing research" page) has another solution for albinos, which doesn't allow mutations to occur, nor use of the paint brush:

> Setting the "group" (non addballs only) to -1 prevents any kind of mutation
> in offspring--which includes the "albinos." But it's not fun for most
> breedz to not mutate. If all you get are weird white balls, though, it is
> one solution. (Mutations aren't any fun if they are always white!) Also,
> -1 group balls cannot be painted with the paintbrush. Otherwise they still
> look and behave fine.
> It doesn't work for addballz though. Changing either the group or addgroup
> to -1 causes the ball to vanish completely.

Note from Carolyn -- actually this isn't entirely true; -1 in the Group column doesn't make the add ball disappear. It does force the babe to take the colours of the breedfile, but of course they cannot then be painted with the brush.

Vickie continues:
> If you change the "iris" balls group to another number, you can probably
> paint pupils and end up with really weird mutations (white pupils?)... Not
> that that is useful, but it's interesting. LOL!

Indeed it is, LOL! But as regards the albinos, although it's more work (and so long as you don't have a version of Windows ME or XP that doesn't like hexies to contain [Fur Markings] or [Fur Color Areas]), it may be worth trying the solution to 1 ) above before resorting to the -1 answer.

3 ) Outline colours defaulting to the game's originals in spite of our hexed overrides; particularly nostrils in dogz reverting to black. No good solution for most outlines as yet, although I've tried some ideas with not-so-good results -- but the nostril problem has been fixed by Lyn of Kailyn. She has fixed-up breedz there, as well as a tutorial on how to do it.
I've also got an alternative for anyone who is having problems with the paint ball method alone, find it here

4 ) Outline fuzziness wrong (fuzzy tails etc) -- probably something to do with the general "outlines" problem, but the fuzziness does sometimes work. No solution yet to getting fuzziness right for every baby, although making sure that you have your variations laid out as per point 1) above helps.

5 ) Add Ballz not joining up properly with Linez. I've solved that one, and written a "howto" here which I've updated slightly to prevent (I hope) confusion.
Updated again November 2004 to explain to people how to use extra, basically hidden, ballz to get around a special difficulty with some types of "feathering" etc.

6 ) Strange effects such as chickenz heads coming out scrambled. I've found a "fix" for this, but have no idea why it occurs, as all it does is change the order in which the [Project Ball] data is shown; the data actually remains the same, just in a different order. It obviously matters to the game which ballz are listed in which order, and it will re-arrange the order in 2nd-gens. I have written a "howto fix the baby" in my 2nd-generations problems "howto" here .

7 ) Babies that are too big when the breed is a mini, and with bug eyes. No solution yet, but it could be to do with the game engine not able to cope with our specified [Default Scales] when it's making babies.

8 ) Babies that are too small, usually in breedz that are meant to be large. Apparently also, I now hear, in some breedz that have wingz. No simple solution yet, but although it could be to do with either the game engine having problems with lots of [Add Ballz] it certainly has to do with it not able to cope with our specified [Default Scales]. Not sure why it affects some breedz and not others; as far as I can tell, my Dragonz (which have lots of extra ballz and are quite large) breed pretty close to type. But anyway, when the game is making babies there are limits to the Default Scales and various Extensions -- [Leg Extension] etc. So you need to set those to the maximum allowed and then work with the [Move] and [Project Ball] sections as well as the ball sizes. I talk about these limitations in more detail in the relevant section of my Vital LNZ info!!! section, in the third "chunk".

8.A ) Specific to breedable Pigz: there is a strong tendency for them to come out extremely mini. This is most likely caused by the fact that P.F.M never intended the pigz to breed, so some default override is kicking in. But there are solutions.
First off, Emerald Gate Pigz (link on Links page) has some handy workarounds for making already-born pets less mini, as well as a lot of other useful tips for pigz-breeders.
Secondly, Ardence has found a nifty way around the problem in Petz 5 (it may work in P4 too, I've not had time to check). She says: "if I use the adoptable pig file when I adopt my pigs, they will have tiny pigs, and when I adopt them using the breedable pigs file, they come out normal sized." This is interesting, and presumably works in the same way as the flea/sickness of the Alley cat breed... If people adopt from my flea-free Alleys, they can then breed future generations without fleas. If they adopt from my breedable pigs, it appears that they get sensible game-breed defaults in their babies. Nifty :-)

9 ) Wrong leg and body lengths on breedz such as horses. Don't try doing it through the [Extension] commands, because (for instance) Body Length always defaults to 30 maximum in the adult 2nd-gen.
For those of you who are trying to beat the dreaded "30" limit in your 2nd-gen babies, try this instead:
Set your body extension to 30, but then put all the front balls into [Move] and (if necessary for stability as well as looks) [Project Ball] and shift them all forward by the required amount -- or do it by shifting all the rear-end balls backwards, whichever seems eaiest and produces the best effect. It takes a bit of doing and a lot of hair-pulling to get your shapes right this way, sometimes it seems that everything goes wonky and illogical, but I can assure you that eventually it can all work out (I know -- I tried it with breedz such as my Spinosaurus and nearly went crazy in the process) and it does work. [Move] and [Project Ball] stuff mostly goes on okay into 2nd gens. I talk about these limitations in more detail in the relevant section of my Vital LNZ info!!! section, in the third "chunk".
By the way, "anchoring" is part of the point really of the [Project Ball] section -- it sets balls reasonably firmly in place relative to each other. So as regards the "slant leg" thing; you all know that you can make slanted back legs for dogz that you want to be posers, by changing things in [Move]. But you've found that they look terrible when they aren't posing. This is because the feet get flung out in any old direction when you just alter the [Move]. You've got to anchor them into sensible relationships with other balls by using [Project Ball] also. Good luck with that one, it'll drive you round the bend too :-)
Further to this, other defaults also cannot be changed too far without 2nd-gen problems; note that just about any shape that you want can be created and passed on by changing the defaults only as much as permitted by the 2nd-gen restrictions, and then using ball sizes and positioning to create the shape.

10 ) Getting wrong sized snouts, tongues coming out wrong.
Snout problem -- no solution yet.
For the tongue shape -- check that you've got the jaw ball in your breedfile; it does need to be there really for the tongue. For the tongue colour -- make sure that you've not got variations in a form that confuse the game -- see 1) above.

11 ) Items such as tails altered, using [Move] and [Project Ball] sections, coming out wrong in baby stages.
If you want 2nd-gens to pick up properly in their kitten/puppy stages on items which have been changed in the [Move] and [Project Ball] sections of a breed and you want to be sure it is the same in the baby, don't try just copying the tail (or whatever) info from those sections into the kitten/puppy .lnz. You do need to copy the _whole_ of the Move and/or Project ball sections into the puppy/kitten section, not just the bits you've actually changed in the adult's .lnz.

12 ) This one has only really turned up since people have started to fiddle around with eyes, removing them completely (as with Jess' Girl or Liz' penguin)
Question: I made a breed that's mostly add balls, but in 2nd-gens the eyes appear and float around! Aaaa! Also, when my pet picks up a toy, that toy disappears...
Answer: People don't make enough use of [Omissions], [Omissions] is your friend. When you want to make a breed that is based on nothing but the neck ball, say (such as the fishies or similar), don't make all the other ballz sized to -999 or whatever. I know it works, but you get unpredictable 2nd-gens and you get the disappearing-toy woopsie. Instead, list all the balls that you want to never appear under [Omissions]. You can see how to list them if you look at that section as it is in the .LNZ already; put a ball number that's to be omitted on a line by itself, then press the Enter key and then put the next ball number to be omitted and so on (I'm assuming, of course, that you are editing either in Notepad or ResHacker).


I think that's the lot, but every so often I get another email from someone with another puzzling 2nd-gen problem with some breed or other. Several of the problems are likely to be caused by whatever it is in the engine that creates the "mutations" which are so useful to selective breeders. I think therefore that some of the problems will prove to be unsolvable because of this, but of course I shall keep digging away at it; maybe I'll at least find some kind of workaround for them. don't expect solutions any time soon, though, as it takes a long time to breed and study 2nd-gens. If anyone else comes up with solutions, that'll be great!