Saturday, December 29, 2012

Introducing the Freak of the Week

For the new year, I decided to take a page from Alien and her Weekly Freaks and introduce a new feature to this blog: the Freak of the Week!

At the start of each week, I'll post a new genetically edited creature for you to download. These creatures aren't quite as in-depth as my genetic breeds, but nevertheless are built around concepts that may or may not become full breeds in the future.

If you want to share a genetic experiment of your own, then drop me an e-mail and you just might see your darling become the next Freak of the Week (but see the archives page for more details on this).

The first Freak of the Week is the ChiChi/Deep Norn cross Tianna, who requires specific living conditions for survival. Click her picture under the Freak of the Week to download her!

Edit: Apart from the Freak of the Week, I've also added my contact information right above the Fish Tank. Granted, my e-mail is included in the readmes of all my genetic breeds, but I figured I'd post it here as well so people wouldn't have to download something to get at it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Doomsday

Right, this place has gone unupdated for a little too long, I daresay. My absence wasn't so much due to a hiatus or anything - it was because I was planning on releasing Chione for my new 50th post. However, I promised to release it only after Survivor filled up, and that's taking a freakishly long time.... Hence, lack of updates.

Where did the Oasis review go? Well, I deleted it mostly for the sake of my own sanity. It was a rant moreso than anything worth leaving up; just my disappointment at finding out how useless the room was for keeping creatures in. It sure as heck wasn't worthy of being the milestone 50th post. I'll post a far more fair review of the room at a later date.

Second thing: It's been a long while since the CCSF 2012, and I've just been plain lazy with putting my stuff up on my own website. So I'm going to take care of that now.

My main contribution to this year's CCSF was this redone version of Jennie's Aquanornia. It's a lot emptier than the original, but that's because I took most of the C3 stuff out of it. It's now more or less an aquatic Biodome, and you can set it up how you please for your aquatic creatures' comforts. 

Second thing: the redone Aquatic Terrarium plants for the Garden Box. For the CCSF they were all in one .zip file, but here I'm packaging them separately. The sponges have had some bugfixes since the last release, but they're otherwise the same as last time. The Gumin Grass behaves somewhat differently from its original counterpart; it throws out fully formed seeds as opposed to growing them first, and will throw out fully developed sproutlings instead of seeds should the population get low. The seeds also go dormant if creatures outnumber the plants and seeds. These ones have been updated slightly since their release at the CCSF; they no longer throw out their seeds so quickly and the seeds themselves stick closer to the bottom.

And now, we move on to the completely new stuff. As you might now, today was the widely predicted date of the end of the world. Predictably, jack squat happened. So, in celebration of the world's continued existence and the upcoming holidays, here is a crapton of releases!

 I know I said I wasn't going to release Chione V1.1 until Survivor started. That's taking forever, and my patience is wearing thin. So instead, I'm releasing it as an early Christmas gift for the CC. 
It's still empty of native flora and fauna, but now the room has teleporters and elevators, plus a weather system and some mapping fixes (no more stuck baby creatures!). I also moved it so that it no longer conflicts with the Biodome (though it might still overlap some other metarooms; I didn't bother to check to see if there was any in its new location). 

Next up: a new genetic breed! These guys aren't the same breed I was going to release for the CCSF, but they're pretty similar in concept to that breed. You can consider them a belated addition to my CCSF releases. 
The Aqua Grendels are pretty much generic amphibious grendels - they're amphibious, have a diet skewed towards critters and bugs, and heavily resistant to coldness. They're more placid than normal grendels, but that doesn't mean they're entirely norn friendly - they're still likely to attack your norns, only they'll do it out of crowdedness instead of anger. 

Baby Aqua Grendels go for bugs by instinct - they won't start going for critters until adolescence. However, there aren't that many (edible) aquatic bugs to go around. With permission from Moe, I decided to change that....
These here are Shrimpton - the cute little water bugs that normally swim around in the waters of the Oasis. Since the originals weren't really receptive to creatures, I gave them some new code. They still behave similarly to the originals, but they're now classified as "bug" instead of "critter", and your creatures can play with and eat them. Make sure you have some plants lying around, though - they need them to lay their eggs.
Thanks to Moe for letting me rip the Shrimpton from the Oasis, and thanks to Ghosthande for making the Vendor sprite (as part of the Biodome Pack - there's some interesting stuff in bd-launchers.c16...).

This next release still ties into the Aqua Grendels, though it isn't as necessary for their comfort.
This update to the Aquatic Terrarium lowers the floor above the right entrance to the fish nursery, preventing baby creatures from getting stuck there and making the right tank navigable for non-swimming creatures. If you want a place for your non-swimmers to roam, but lack the space for a new metaroom, then this update might be for you.

Finally, I release a pack containing a look into the past....
This here is a large pack of C2 and C3/DS genetic breeds that I completed and zipped up, but for whatever reason didn't see fit to release before now. Most of it's pretty old, but don't that let that discourage you. Take a look; maybe there's a breed that tickles your fancy in there.

Yeah, a lot of stuff here. Hopefully, this will satisfy everyone's desires for a Christmas release (the Sea Garden, again, is nowhere close to being done and probably won't get released until sometime next year). Happy Holidays from Grendel Man, y'all!

Monday, November 5, 2012

In which Grendel Man posts Massive Pictures of his Latest World concept.

Well, I said my next post would contain pictures. For lack of a better option, I decided to just post five pictures of my current world concept.

This world, called "The Colony," was heavily inspired by Vampess's documentation of a similar wolfling run on her site. As such, it's a feral run set in a docked where the norns have the entire ship to run around in. The population is set to 20 (though there's 36 norns in the world at the moment, since that's what the population was set to before), and an ovicidal agent keeps the egg count at that level and speeds up generations. The first generation had ChiChis and Zebras in the DS part, and Bengals and Fallows in the C3 part. Every couple generations or so, I'll throw in a pair of norns from a different species to mix things up a bit. Oh yeah, and I mean norns, not creatures. It's a norn-only world at the moment, though I might toss in some grendels later.

With the expository banter out of the way, let's dump some pictures. 

The Norn Meso is one of two possible hatching locations. At the start of the run, it was home to ChiChi Norns and Zebra Norns, and still mostly is (though you can see a Fairyfloss Norn laying around on the lower level). Not much to note, other than that I re-added the default DS life.

The Norn Terrarium was home to the Bengals and Fallows at the start of the run, and was really popular for the first couple hours. At some point, however, the norns ate themselves out of house and home, and moved on to the other terrariums. It's in the process of recovering at the moment (there's only one norn in the room as of this picture, and he didn't make it into the shot).

After the Norn Terrarium was worn out, the Jungle Terrarium became the new norn hangout. For a while, it was so clogged that I eventually removed the main reason for its popularity: the Awkwood Creeper (though there's still Creepers in the Meso). It's still popular, although a fair few norns have moved on to the Desert Terrarium. Speaking of which....

The Ettin Terrarium was empty of creatures until I removed the Awkwood Creepers from the Jungle Terrarium. Then it became another popular norn hangout. I have to say, I'm really proud of the room setup in here - I consider this my best setup of Garden Box decorations thus far, and the wildlife came together so naturally. We'll see how the ecology responds to the nornish presence, though.

Here we have the least popular metaroom; the Aquatic Terrarium. I added a new level with some GB Decos and Magic Words room editing, though that really hasn't drawn creatures here. The aquatic plants are a mix of GB and default plants - due to being more robust, the GB plants are more numerous.

Finally, a shot of the Bridge. Thanks to the norn who brought up some Munchroom seeds, the Bridge is now less likely to cause Eat Elevator Syndrome, and is in fact surprisingly popular. It really isn't capable of sustaining a large population, though - most norns just grab some munchrooms, and then move on to one of the other metarooms.

I could post pictures of the Hub, Workshop, Comms Room, and Engineering, but there's really nothing pointing out in those parts.

I don't plan on posting regular updates about this world; that tends to burn me out (hence why Tevaela rarely gets posts). I might post something about it once every ten generations or so, though. Or if something really interesting happens.

Onto other things: As most people know, the CCSF is now underway. Despite the change in format, I personally believe that this one is shaping up to be one of the best ones yet (though given how amazing 2011 was, it has a tough act to follow). So, I'd contribute a lot to it, right?

Unfortunately, that's not how things turned out. Aquanornia Revamped wound up being my major release this year - after it, the only other things you can expect from me are updates to the GB sponges and the GB Gumin Grass. I've got ambition, but I'm more a schemer then anything - I think I follow up on about 5% of everything I dream up. I might release something independently over the course of the festival, but don't count on it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An Interesting Fact + Another Status Update

As I've stated multiple times, I've made a lot of stuff over my time as a Creatures developer. In particular, I've drawn attention to the fact that I've made over 100 genetic breeds (counting the breed I'm making for the CCSF, which is indeed a grendel, 70 of those are C3/DS grendel breeds). Out of curiosity, I decided to calculate just what percent of C3/DS grendel genetic breeds were mine.

Counting in my stuff from the Norn Adoption Center and the breedlist at CU7, there are 112 total grendel genetic breeds. I didn't count "spritemixes" (such as Angelneko's Little Sea Monsters), and I didn't count full breeds (such as the Dusky Grendels), but I did count updated versions of previous breeds (e.g. the Waterfall Grendels V1, V2, and V3 were all counted as separate breeds).

Calculating it all up using the percent formula (70/112 * 100), I figured out that roughly a whopping 62.5% (rounded up) of C3/DS grendel genetic breeds were my work. Granted, I imagine this number is a little lower since there's bound to be a few undocumented breeds I didn't catch, but still. I've made over half the genetic grendel breeds available to the community. Talk about leaving one's mark.

Now, the percent of all genetic breeds that are mine is probably a lot lower than the factoid I just posted, but that's a calculation for another time.

Okay, enough boasting about my achievements - time for a mini-status update. The mini-hiatus mentioned in my previous post is over now, and I've gotten to work on my CCSF releases. I've completed the Aquanornia update (it just needs to be sent to Jessica now) and the Gumin Grass for the Garden Box (which I would consider to be the best plant I've coded yet), as well as fixed a few things that bothered me about the GB Sponges. I still need to complete the genetic breed (if you want to help me by dropping a suggestion or two in this CCaves topic, it would be much appreciated), and I've only started converting a few AC agents. Next in line after the genetic breed is the Past Seas update, and after that I'll finish up the GB conversions.

On top of that list, Mea and I started another metaroom collab. I wouldn't count on this one being out for the CCSF, since it only got underway a few days ago, but I'll post a preview of it here once I get it in-game, as well as revealing what exactly it is (provided Mea doesn't post it on her blog once she's done with it).

So far, so good. Apologies about the picture-less posts; I swear my next post will have some sort of image in it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Status Update

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I've gone back to being on hiatus again, for the usual reasons (lack of interest, reality's getting in the way, etc.) As such, I feel I should probably say something about the state of my projects.

First off: The Sea Garden. I'm sorry to say that, due to a combination of various factors, that it's not going to be done in time for the CCSF. Shades of Past Seas and the 2010 CCSF, I guess. Instead, I'm planning on getting it out for Christmas at the latest.

The pack of genetic breeds that was supposed to go along with it is getting canned. In their place is a single genetic breed that follows the same theme. The replacement breed is in fact almost done; I just need to add one more feature to them and color them in.

In place of the Sea Garden, I've two metaroom updates planned.

One of them is for Past Seas. I've found the lift doesn't tell creatures using it to wait. While this isn't a really big problem since the lift only has two stops, I figured I might as well fix it to stop creatures from pushing/pulling the lift multiple times upon reaching their destination. In addition, I also want to fix the Eelgrass (again) to remove instances of the teleporting plant bug. Finally, I'm also planning on buffing the lifeforms so that they reproduce faster when their populations are low.

The other one is for Jennie's Aquanornia. While we do have Devil's Reef and Past Seas for non-swimming creatures, the former is a bit too thematic and the latter's rather small. Aquanornia, on the other hand, is both sizable and pretty generic for an aquatic area. As such, I've taken it upon myself to fix a few problems with it; such as the lack of CA/CA links and especially the fact that it didn't work with DS standalone (you'll still need C3 installed to use it, though). I also removed most of the C3 life that was originally in it, so now it's essentially an aquatic Biodome. I'm more or less finished with this one - I just need to compile the agent file and it's ready to go.

The final project is a few aquatic Garden Box agents, especially the Gumin Grass conversion that I originally lacked ideas for. In addition, I'm planning on converting some C2 stuff, some lifeforms from Aquatilis Caverna, and all the Past Seas lifeforms.

Apologies to anyone who expected the Sea Garden, but hopefully everything else that I'm releasing should help mitigate that issue somewhat.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tevaela: Ms. Annoyance

While I'm still on this playing kick, I think an update about Tevaela is in order. I've decided that updates about this world aren't going to be frequent - instead, I'll sometimes post something about it if I've nothing else to say or report.

Since Queenie decided to integrate herself into the main population, Artura went and took her place out in the swamp, since she had developed a sudden hankering for mushrooms.

Watching Warpish the early riser interact with the other norns has proven to be incredibly amusing:

Warpish: Come on Himiko, let's make love!
Himiko: Get away from me!
Bonita: Lol.

Warpish: Actually, I think I like Bonita better.
Bonita: Oh crap. Oh no no no!

Queenie: Thank you, Artura, for getting me away from this nonsense.
Warpish: How about now, Himiko?
Bonita: Hey, guys! Come and get me too!

Bonita: *Calls the elevator again*
Queenie: Just as I was about to get out....

*Insert "girls' night out" music here*
Himiko: Let me in too!
Bonita: On second thought, this wasn't such a good idea.
Artura: Phew. That was a close one.

(In case you were wondering where Matoko was in all of this: she headed over to the swamp. She's a youth now, but seems to have dropped the color changing - she's still the same color she was as an adolescent).

Bonita: Screw this, I'm outta here.
Queenie: Finally, peace and quiet. Oh look, fresh creeper growths!
Himiko: This isn't good enough; I want to go higher! *Winds up going back down*
Artura: Stupid clingy elevators....

 Bonita: Heeello, Queenie!...
Queenie: Oh, shut up.

*Some time later....*
Warpish: Oh, we're all youths! I know, we should have an orgy! :D
Everyone else: D:

Next time, I expect that someone's gonna get pregnant. Most likely Warpish.

Okay, I got kinda carried away with the characterization there, but those were pretty much my thoughts while I was watching this. My mind goes to some odd places at times.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I'm back, baby

...Well, kinda.

I've decided against retiring - as annoying as some people can be, I enjoy being a member of this community, and I enjoy contributing to it. Sure, sometimes I get a little bored, but as far as I'm concerned I'm going to be a part of this community until I die or until there isn't a community to be a part of. On top of that, Creatures is my favorite franchise; sometimes I get a little bored with it, but ultimately I've been playing the games for almost, if not over, ten years and I see no reason to stop now. Yes, there will be hiatuses, but you won't have to worry about my departure.

So what's the best way to celebrate this decision? Well, how about a genetic breed release? This one isn't quite as fancy as some of my more recent works - actually, it's quite a simple breed - but it was a nice way to ease back into development, and the previous version of it sorely needed an update anyway. So, without further ado, I present...

Not a whole lot to these guys: they're exactly what it says on the tin. They're banshee grendels that are (mostly) nice to your norns and aren't angry all the time. They feel at home in the norn home (though they still enjoy the grendel home, mind you), and have the same sort of camaraderie with norns as they do with other grendels. They're great if you like the banshee's appearance, but not their anger issues.

It'll probably be a while before I get back to work on the Sea Garden and the breeds going with it (in fact, I might not get them done in time for the CCSF - I have a backup plan in that case, however). In the mean time, this release should hopefully tide you over for a while.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I've been thinking....

The hiatus is still ongoing - in fact, it might be a little longer than I thought it would. It might actually be permanent.

Yes, I'm actually considering retiring from development for Creatures. My interest in the series has been the lowest it's ever been in a while, for one - the last time I opened the game, in order to work on one of the genetic breeds for the CCSF, I did some really basic edits, hatched a test norn, went "bah!" and closed the game and kit.

Development in general has been getting rather tedious for me. I'm flat out of ideas, for one, and the ideas I do come up with on my own tend to be rehashes of previous things or stuff other people have done. Plus, given how much stuff I've made, I'm not getting much gratification out of development - it lost its charm for me a long time ago. This is the main reason why I'm nowhere near as prolific as I was back when I was starting out.

Secondly, real life has been demanding. My college classes, despite being few in number, have been really demanding (Creative Writing in particular). Plus, I've been struggling with a few health issues - I had to go to the ER last Friday because I thought I was having a heart attack (thankfully, I wasn't).

Finally, other pastimes have been far more interesting. I've been hanging around the TVTropes forums a lot and using the Character Development Threads there to hone my writing skills, a good thing since I'm planning on making writing a sort of career alongside programming. I also got into competitive Pokemon recently, and I'm having a blast with that (though I kinda suck at it). These things together make Creatures look incredibly boring.

Put it all together, and I'm finding it hard to do anything for Creatures even with the upcoming CCSF acting as a motivator. Even the Sea Garden is starting to look incredibly unlikely, even if I ditch the accompanying genetic breeds.

However, right now I'm only thinking about it - I haven't actually decided if I'm going to do so or not. For all I know, I could get my interest back within the next week or so. If I do decide to retire, I'm going to drop all my other projects and focus on finishing the Flesheater Grendels - since they are my magnum opus and I've been sitting on them forever, I might as well make them the last thing I ever release.

Either way, I am going to be contributing something to the CCSF - I'm helping Nev out with one of her projects, as some of you might have noticed on CCaves. Even if I don't get anything else out, there's that to look forwards to.

I'll let you guys know soon about what my final decision about the subject is.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hiatus III

The community's been wonderfully active as of late and there's been a few good releases lately. A perfect time for a hiatus, huh?

This one isn't going to last quite as long as the previous one (I hope, anyway), but it's for similar reasons - I've found other things that hold my interest more than Creatures can currently (*coughTvtropescoughPokemoncough*), I'm not much in the mood to develop, etc. 

That's not all of it, though - it's school season once again, and tomorrow I head back to college to start my sophomore year. I don't have a whole lot of classes, plus I've got a dorm room to myself, so it shouldn't be too imposing on me, but I'm not going to be very active while I'm still getting into the swing of things.

For those of you wondering about my projects: The Sea Garden is going to be my main release for the CCSF this year (along with a set of genetic breeds to go with it). I'm also planning on another Past Seas update that adds another layer of complexity to the ecology as well as fixing a few more bugs, in addition to a Garden Box conversion of the plants and critters.

For the record, by "hiatus" I mean "not playing or developing for Creatures." I'm still hanging around the community, I'm still willing to answer questions people might have about development, etc. Just don't expect a major release from me any time soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Creatures 3 Sponges for the Garden Box

I apologize for all the rage in my previous post, but I really needed to get that out. Moving on.

For those of you not in the know, Amaikokonut recently released the Garden Box - a specialized agent injector that is meant to make filling up a world with plants and critters much easier. A lot of other people have already gone over how amazing this thing is, so I won't spend too much time on it. Go check out the Garden Box Central forums if you want to download it and its addons.

Unfortunately, the Garden Box didn't contain any aquatic plants at launch. As such, I took it upon myself to convert the C3 sponges to the Garden Box. I actually finished them a while ago, but was going to also convert the Gumin Grass. Unfortunately, I ran out of ideas for the latter, so instead of sitting on the sponges for several months or more, I decided to release them separately.
They're similar to the original sponges in most aspects, but they do have a few differences, not the least of which are the special seeds they throw out when the sponges are outnumbered by creatures. Not much to say about them, really. But it's something for the otherwise empty Aquatic Plant category in the Garden Box, right?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rant: Much Ado about Crappy Norn Breeds that don't Deserve the Slot Space They were Given.

Most people who frequent CCaves are aware of the BorgNorn revival project being headed by Annex. I liked the Borg Norn Lite version when I used it - they're fun to mess around with. So the project has my interest.
Why am I mentioning this? Because of the breed slot suggestions that have been popping up in there. My suggestion was Geat Q since the Primrose Norns in that slot aren't particularly well done and have a better version made by Norngirl. The next suggestion that came up was Grendel E, made by Sam999, apparently so he can have the Borg Norns in his game.

WARNING: Incoming furious rant with lots of censored profanity. Viewer caution is advised.

First off: He could have them in his game regardless of what slot they were in, so that's not a good reason. Secondly, the apology at the end of his post came off as incredibly condescending, like his opinion was the word of God. Finally, why the heck was his first thought a grendel slot? One with a Grendel breed already in it, no less?

Knowing Sam, I'm pretty sure he was the same person who put down the Fayen Norn idea down at the Creatures Wiki; an idea that really, really ticked me off. Why? Someone suggested putting a GOD. ****ING. ****. NORN BREED. in the SAME. ****ING. SLOT. as the Banshee Grendels. Why? Because they aren't legally available anymore and "don't work on Macs."


What the **** was the person who wrote that entry thinking? "Oh, the only official Grendel breed ever made is no longer available, so that slot is technically open. I know! That's the perfect slot for a NORN breed! Certainly that won't annoy the **** out of all the Grendel fans, because Norns are so perfect that they deserve to fill every single slot in the game!"

Really. That was that person's first thought? Even though there's a ton of crap in the Norn and Geat slots that no one will miss if it gets overwritten, they wanted to put a ****ing norn breed in Grendel B, a slot that should belong to the Banshees alone, or failing that a quality Grendel breed that will fill the void they left behind when the Gameware shop went down. 

Okay, furious rant is over with.

This sort of mindset annoys the crap out of me. I know Norns are supposed to be the centerpiece of the series, so I'm not angry at the fact that there's a lot of norn breeds - that's to be expected. What I'm annoyed at are the people who put norns in grendel and ettin slots, especially if they ignore all the junk that's in the norn and geat slots, and especially if said norn breed is a lazy recolor (biggest example: The Crimson Norns - they're barely altered from the original sprites!).

Being the major Grendel fan I am (in fact, Norns were never my favorite species - I've always liked Grendels or Ettins better), I'm naturally of the belief that we need more quality Grendel and Ettin breeds, not more Norn breeds who take up those slots. Granted, I'm willing to excuse the offense if the Norn breed is really well done (the Aqua Norns, for example - sure they look goofy, but you can't say that they aren't a well-done breed). It's the recolors that tick me off.

It's not just the recolors, actually - I get very annoyed whenever someone suggests putting a norn breed in a slot that's already occupied by a grendel (or ettin, to a lesser extent). In that case, I really don't care how good the norn breed is, in that case. I will continue to loathe that breed until the creator decides to move it. Admittedly, I originally thought this way about grendel breeds who share the same breed slot, but I've moved past that period now.

 As such, I'm happy to see that most breed-makers these days put their norns in the norn and geat slots, overwriting the crappy and/or lazily done recolors that were originally in those slots. Hopefully, this trend continues into the future. Keep those norns out of the grendel and ettin breedslots, people. Support Creature Equality!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sea Garden Preview

So I finally figured out a way around my GIMP problem - as it turns out, Edos (part of Jagent) is perfectly capable of working with .png files, and can turn a bunch of them into a .c16 file at once to boot. So I just use GIMP to resize seeds and whatnot, and use Edos for the actual sprite compiling. I still can't do anything with .blk files, but I usually don't use GIMP to edit those anyway.

Which means I've finally stopped slacking and started working on the Sea Garden:
I'm actually more or less done with this particular plant now (all I need to do is code the vendor), and while they still emit a copious amount of seeds, they're not quite as prolific as this picture suggests. By the way, the grendels in the picture are a project in and of themselves; while they were made primarily to test the Sea Garden, I'll probably tweak their genome a bit more and release them alongside the completed Sea Garden.

When will the Sea Garden be done? I don't know, considering that Mea's still working on the sprites. I'm hoping it'll be out by the CCSF at the latest, but I make no promises.

Edit: Also, you may or may have not noticed the new Fish Tank gadget. You can click on the area to feed the fish, and if they aren't eating the fish will cuddle up to the mouse pointer expecting food. It's not particularly special, but it is a fun little time waster. Hopefully, it doesn't slow down the other, more important parts of the blog too much.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tevaela: Posthumous Update

Okay, not "posthumous" per se. I haven't deleted Tevaela if that was what you were thinking - it's merely sleeping. Last time I popped in, the norns hadn't moved from that garden and didn't move from it during the entire time. Since I doubt you want to read much about norns who don't wander, I got disinterested and started up something else, which I'll cover in a later post. In the mean time, here's what happened the last time I opened the world:

 Warpish finally displayed a sign of her weirdness by aging to youth much faster than normal. Awash with hormones, she proceeded to annoy the crap out of the other norns (who still have a ways to go before breeding age). Matoko also decided to take up being slappy as a hobby. I'm trying to get her to knock it off, but she's always behind another norn when she starts up and stops before I can get to her. Okay, that has nothing to do with this picture, but I didn't manage to catch her in the act to take a picture.

Yes, this looks like D'Artenegan is being a gentleman and bringing Queenie a flower. In actuality, he grabbed the flower before Queenie showed up. Then Queenie starting beating the heck out of him, apparently trying to tell him to pick up a more manly hobby than gardening in her own special way. D'Artenegan, being the robust norn he is, didn't have much of a reaction. Maybe he was trying to offer Queenie the flower. Okay, I'm rambling. Moving on.

Himiko decided that she needed some solitude, and became the first norn in a while to use the elevator. She didn't go far, unfortunately - after this picture, she went back down and joined the others again.

Just a group shot I decided to take. Queenie, Himiko, Bonita, and D'Artenegan appreciate their moment of silence (though Bonita's a bit crowded), while Warpish continues to be a pest and fail to understand that 1. the others aren't old enough to breed yet, and 2. she's trying to kisspop another girl.

And another group shot to end the post, taken some time after the previous. It seems everyone except D'Artenegan and Queenie decided to pair up, and Warpish finally stops attempting to breed in order to get a bite to eat.

Lot shorter than the previous Tevaela update, huh? Like I said in my previous post, I'm not sure if I'll pick up the world again any time soon. I'm finding other things to be more interesting at the moment (both Creatures-related and not).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I'm Being Followed by a Moon Shadow....

Today, the 22nd of July, is my birthday. I've finally hit 20, which means I can join the old people's club and wave my cane at young 'ems yelling "GIT OFFA MAH LAWN!" However, that is of minimal importance to this blog, or to the community in general.

I first started playing Creatures a long time ago - I forget just how long, but it was before I had access to the internet, and most likely 10 years ago. I'm amazed I've managed to stick with the series this long, but I don't regret a thing.

So I've decided to celebrate, but that doesn't mean I should be the only one having fun. I bet a release would definitely lift some spirits up, and I've got just the thing: a breed that's most definitely my finest work in genetics up until this point.

 Those of you who frequent CCaves might have noticed that I was working on something and that something would get released Sunday. The Moonshadow Grendels V2 - an updated version of a breed I made way back on Gameware - were that something.
These grendels hunt norns, but are dirty cowards who run away when slapped and are more frail than the standard norn. What makes them so dangerous, then? They have an agent that comes with them, and this agent allows them to become invisible - enabling them to attack norns with impunity.
A lot of work went into them (it actually took me days to finish them - only the Flesheaters are taking longer), but it was worth it. I was finally able to put all the things I learned about genetics to work.

Don't have the Banshee Pack? Don't despair - the Moonshadow Grendels V2 come in normal Grendel form, too. If you have C3, you're good to go.

The Moonshadow Grendels were also the reason for the lack of Tevaela updates - they distracted me and at the moment I'm rather disinterested in continuing it (though I did play it a little - nothing much of interest happened, unfortunately). I'll get back to it at some point.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tevaela: Getting Comfortable

First off, this post is a major image dump, and I apologize for that.

Bonita was the first of the females to meet D'Artenegan, riding the lift right on up to meet him. It was a relatively peaceful exchange.

Queenie, in pursuit of the red-and-white bouncing ball, left the rest of the group and headed over the swamp. She would prove to be among the most adventurous of the first generation.

D'Artenegan, after his meeting with Bonita, decided to take a cue from her and headed up further into the treetops. Here he takes a nap, storing energy for the endeavors to come. 

Himiko and Artura got along well enough. In case you're wondering, I do have Vampess's altered Creature Breeding script installed, so these two have a way other than slapping to interact with each other directly. I do find it odd that two norns of the same gender still kiss, but whatever.

Bonita sets out on what would prove to be the biggest wandering of the early stages. In this tunnel, she rests and feeds on all the munchrooms that decided to grow in it. Those munchrooms are really, really adaptable. 

Back at the garden, Matoko reaches childhood (and changes color in the process) and Warpish continues to bumble around without eating much. I'm not sure what Matoko got herself into here - I thought her pain might have been genetically induced, but she recovered nicely later on. 

Queenie finds the amber stump, eats the amber it was dispensing, and proceeds to play with it. The egg layer next to her is non-functional, but it might not stay that way for the entire run....

Matoko and Warpish continue to stick together, perhaps seeing a kinship in their status as high-generation creatures. Warpish also learns that edibles are good for staving off hunger at last.

Bonita finds the lowest of the biodomes, where she proceeds to sample all the nutritious goodies that are laying around. If you look closely, you'll see the C1 Deathcap tucked in behind those pairs... I decided to inject the C1toDS Badplants to make up for the lack of the C2 deathcaps. Bonita was smart enough to leave the deathcap alone.

Warpish hits childhood at the norn-typical time of 9 minutes. Blame the import cloning for the lack of a birthdate. 

D'Artenegan also hits childhood at the highest level of the treehouse. I expected him to ledgejump at some point, but he proved me quite wrong. 

Queenie is among the last of the babies to hit childhood, and changes color to a bright yellow. She still doesn't see a reason to return to the gardens.

D'Artenegan decides that he would like some companionship and climbs back down from his treetop penthouse. Meanwhile, Bonita tries to figure out how the elevators work (she kept bouncing up and down thanks to how the lifts are coded). 

Bonita finally gets the lift to go back down to the ground level, as well as finally getting D'Artenegan to feel dirt underneath his feet. 

He takes a liking to Himiko, and is perfectly happy to simultaneously proclaim his happiness with her. 

Wayward clouds float into the valley where the norns call home. I'd call them fog, but last time I check fog doesn't snow. I really hope this little bug gets fixed in C2toDS's future releases....

Four out of five females in this picture get spooked by some unknown force. C2toDS is a rather scary place, apparently. Either way, they soon calmed down. 

Whatever it was also spooked D'Artenegan, who at this time decided that he liked it better flying solo. 

Also like the girls, he calmed down quickly and decided to pick one of the newcomer bleubells (they normally grow on the left side of the valley - I guess some seeds managed to get down to the bottom). He dropped it after a while, with the plant being no worse for wear. 

The population draws closer together as a cloud slowly descends to the ground around them. D'Artenegan and Queenie continue to be aloof, but at least D'Artenegan likes being around other norns once in a while.

 At this time, my playing was interrupted by this autokill error. Errors of this sort are among the easiest errors to prevent, but whatever. It wasn't game breaking, so I killed the offending agent and moved on.

As it turned out, a lightning bolt coming out from the blue was the thing responsible for scaring the norns - I traced it back to this thundercloud. Moe, I know you're trying to pass off the weirdly-positioned clouds as fog, but thunderstorms do not form in valleys!

Regardless of how plausible the thunderhead was, it at least got everyone close enough for this little group shot. Queenie finally decides to join the rest of the group, and doesn't find it particularly intimidating. D'Artenegan, apparently, would prefer going back to living alone. 

Sometime later, Artura becomes the first of the norns to hit adolescence. Warpish has finally stopped bumbling around and started acting more like a normal norn would, while D'Artenegan takes a few notes from Queenie and finds solace in the swamp area. 

Bonita and Matoko are the next norns to advance a lifestage. Matoko has also gotten a little brighter and now has the same coloration as Queenie. 

Speaking of Queenie, she rather likes the swamp area and hardly minds that D'Artenegan has chosen to wander it with her. While the pear plant growing on the bridge looks somewhat unfeasible, it also looks quite natural there at the same time. 

Himiko hits adolescence, and is currently taking her newfound maturity for a test drive. 

Warpish continues to age normally. Despite her odd ancestry and high generation, she doesn't seem to be all that strange. Matoko continues to stick by her side. 

 D'Artenegan's slow aging isn't that slow - he hits adolescence soon after Warpish. There's about a minute or so difference between the times he changes lifestages and a normal norn changes lifestages, in case you're wondering.

The first proper update of Tevaela ends with another group shot, including Queenie and her beautiful adolescent coloring. They are getting a bit crowded, but given all the food that's lying around it's a fair trade-off. 

For the rest of you who have worlds like this, what do you normally find worth taking pictures of? I'd like some feedback on how to cut down on my picture count so later posts don't have this many images (there's 30 here, in case you wanted to know - probably the highest amount of images I've ever stuffed into one post).