1. I usually only stick to one group since im horrible at multi-tasking and keep my population at about 20-30 since I've reached 100+ nichelings once which didn't end very well ^^;;
2. If the nicheling saves the tribe from extinction, if you get some sort of attachment to a certain nicheling, or if they excel in some sort of skill
3. I can't come up with names as of right now but I usually go off of foods and gods if that helps!
I don't really have Nicheling gods because I'm too lazy to keep track of them ahahahahaqhoitagsznx
But, I do have one.
Nuvan is the god of strength. Born to a spit-snouted mother and a father whose only intention was fighting, Nuvan was a surprise in the family. Sure, he was a big tank-on-legs that was very slow and couldn't do much, but he was strong. On a good day, he could break a boulder if he wanted to. The tribe noticed this, and immediately put him to use. He hunted rabbils, chased out bearyenas, and such. Nuvan eventually settled down and had a couple of kids with another bearyena-like creature named... I actually forgot. Her name is... uh... Juniper. Seems legit.
Nuvan always wanted to wage war against wanderers and bearyenas, but his plans were diverted when he realized he couldn't. When he died, he rose up to the heavens and was awarded "First God". Though I am not sure why, as he did nothing cool, but he is a god.