Saturday, April 28, 2012

Miscellaneous Stuff

I noticed there was a bug with the Edible Gadgets agent included with the Metallophagus Grendels - there was a typo that could affect the edibility of some gadgets. I've fixed this - it should be available in the initial release post, but you can also get the new agent file here. Just use the Remover to get rid of the old version and then inject this version to update your world.

I've also made a version the agent that works with Geats - specifically Gaius - and is therefore tailored to the stims they use. It was made by request of Ghosthande. Download this agent here, but do note that I haven't tested it very thoroughly - just enough to know that Gaius can use it effectively. 

And that's that.

Ark World: Mechanical Rythym

I'm liking this world so far. Despite the lack of variety, all the carrots and Gaius plants really make the world look lively, and that's before the grendels started hatching. I didn't take any pictures of the hatching, unfortunately. However, it wasn't anything too exciting (the grendels either fell off the ledge near their hatching area or used the elevator). Afterwards, they spread out over the room. While there was some aggression in the beginning, I warded them off that path and shortly afterwards injected Clucky's Stop Slapping Creatures agent, ensuring that psychopathy would never be seen in this run.

Another thing to note is that documentation of this run is mostly going to take the form of picture dumps - the grendels rarely do anything interesting enough to warrant special notice.

 These two grendels were the only ones to stick close to their hatching area. So far, they haven't been doing anything except nom on carrots (although they're always smiling when I check on them; I assume they grab some gadgets when I'm not looking). The male is indeed shivering; Metallophagus Grendels tend to shiver a lot despite being resistant to cold. I assume it's because the techno-organic carrot doesn't give them much incentive to move.

The rest of the initial eight grendels scampered over to Engineering. These two females decided to stick around in the corridor for a while. No reason to rush when food is nearly everywhere, anyway. I also was skilled enough to snap this picture right as a carrot was being pulled out of the ground. As you can see, it hasn't changed to its "Pulled out of ground" frame yet. This isn't a bug; it just takes a few moments for the pose to change. Also, the tumbleslink seems to have spread out from its initial home of Engineering - it's another case of "plant teleportation," a bug that affects a lot of third-party plants (including my own). I think the only way to fix it is to make the seeds have the same bounding box size as the plant, which doesn't work for the tumbleslink thanks to the way it's coded.

Okay, back to the grendels. Metallophagus Grendels also seem to crowd easily, hence why they seem to be retreating from each other here.

There's another thing worth noting about this picture. I'm not certain how many minds this is going to blow (if any), but I certainly didn't notice that the blue thing that occupies most of this picture was in fact a lung - a real, organic lung. I didn't even notice that was there until I first started testing out the standalone Bridge/Engineering agent that's being used in this run. I always assumed the lung was the green, animated thing that looked like a bellows. Turns out, that's just part of it.
Sometime after the previous pictures were taken, this female migrated down to the lower floors of Engineering for some reason I cannot fathom. Maybe she got overcrowded or something.

Metallophagus Grendels can eat machinery, but since most agents classified as that cannot be picked up, most of them dismiss machines and just eat the more portable gadgets. As such, the intelligence core is mostly safe from becoming somebody's lunch.

Here's a really egregious example of the teleporting plant bug: Spigot Plants, in SPACE! The nut that got this group started probably originated in the gene splicer area. Normally, the airlock agent would blown it up before a colony could get established, but apparently space didn't feel like being realistic today.

Funny thing is, sometimes it does cooperate and disintegrate something, but it's never the plants themselves - I think it's usually a water droplet or a nut. Since I really can't be bothered to remove these, I'm just going to leave them there until they die out on their own.

Apparently, whatever drew the first female down there was attractive enough to make the other females in Engineering follow her. The spigot plants have really gotten nuts, much to the detriment of the local Tumbleslink population (according to their code, their seeds won't sprout in the presence of Spigot Plants). Not sure what the grendels think of it, though. They're probably more interested in the carrots.

  It was around this time that the older grendels started hitting breeding age. This male is the second oldest one on the ship at this point (the eldest is one of the two at the bridge). I also seem to have an uncanny ability to snap pictures at the wrong times (this is the second time this post that featured a grendel shivering with his eyes closed).

Note to self: Write a 255 (exception) script for the Whirlies. This error message has popped up so many times now it's not even funny. Speaking of the Whirlies, I found out that they're actually edible despite appearances - not that the meal benefited the unfortunate grendel who sampled one. Metallophagus Grendels can't digest critter meat (or other organic matter such as seeds) all that well. 

To wrap up the post, here's a final roll call:
Grendels in the Bridge: 2
Grendels in the Corridor: 1
Grendels in Engineering (Upper): 2
Grendels in Engineering (Lower): 3
The total amount of grendels currently in the world is eight, forming the initial population of Gen 1s. Speaking of population, I hope those females in Engineering return to the upper levels on their own - down there, they won't be contributing much to the gene pool. However, if they stay down there much longer I'm probably going to forcibly reintroduce them to the males on the upper floors. 

So far, so good.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Feral Run: Ark World

So in my last post, I finished up and released the Metallophagus Grendels V2. Unlike the Waterfall Grendels, the Metallophagus Grendels didn't get a wolfling run. Part of that was because the grendels themselves were working perfectly fine while I was running around coding their agents. However, I also wanted to run a feral run featuring the breed. In my time testing them, they quickly earned their place as one of my favorites (which is a big improvement over the quickly made breed V1 was).

So after three posts of nothing but releases, I resume my regular posting with details of my Metallophagus Grendel feral run, Ark World (a pun on "Arc Words" - yes, I hang around TVTropes too much). This initial post just contains details of how I set up the world. Later posts will be about the grendels themselves.

This is a single-metaroom run, but as opposed to using Annex's Hub (a great place for the Metallophagus Grendels if you're making a general purpose world), this coder went with something completely different:

I went with the Bridge + Engineering from Creatures 3 - okay, maybe this place isn't that much different from Annex's Hub. It's certainly a lot larger, though.

Why did I explicitly refer to myself as a coder? Because this isn't a docked world. I went right ahead and just made a .cos file that injected only the Bridge, Engineering, and the Corridor connecting them (as well as a few agents, namely scenery and the airlock).

The bridge is where the grendels will hatch. By the picture, you can see that there's a bunch of Techno-Organic Carrot patches (which grew up on their own - techno-organic carrot patches tend to separate if left alone. And no, that rhyming was not intentional). There's also the solar flower from the Gaius pack, edited to match the grendels' genomes (Gaius uses the "deactivate" stimulus to get nutrition from gadgets. The Metallophagus Grendels use the "I've eaten something (general)" stimulus instead). You can also see a Whirly, whose code was left untouched.

Here we have a better shot of the bridge's underbelly, including a whole  bunch of whirlies, the airlock, and the potion vendor.

The potion vendor is mostly there for flavor - as usual, no bacteria get injected when I make a new world, rendering its main purpose moot. It and the cheese machines have been edited to not require bionenergy (since this is DS where the stuff doesn't exist).

The corridor is more or less there to provide passage between the bridge and engineering. Those "doors" aren't actually doors, but fancy CA emitters. Like I said, this isn't a docked world - the doors would crash the game if used if they were real. The only other thing to note is the radio from the Portal pack - it's not the only thing from that pack that was injected, nor is it the only radio on the ship. Now that I think of it, I have an idea for a sound change....

Engineering has gone under a complete revamp. The creator, replicator, and gene splicer are no longer here. In their stead are the quasimechanical plants from the Gaius pack, making the entire area look like a jungle. It's pretty awesome, I say.

I end this first look into the world with the grendel hatching area:
 Instead of an Ovicidal Agent (which could easily get taken apart by hungry grendels), I decided to use Balor's Eggonicer. Actually getting it to work was a pain - it won't handle grendel or ettin eggs if you inject it into a standalone world - but I have to say that I like how it injects one egg at a time. Helps avoid the psychopathy that plagued Gardenia Falls. As you can see, it's already at work - however, I forgot to note an exact genome for the eggs (by default, the .cos file I use to inject them just uses random genomes beginning with "gren") and as a result got a bunch of "normal" (I wouldn't call a GoM an example of a "normal" grendel) grendels. They're all getting exported once they're done hatching, and will probably be destined to wind up a part of my next splicing spree.

The Portal Cake and Spook's Ploopa Vendor both provide food for the young grendels. The cake won't last long, but the Ploopa Vendor will definitely have a use. I was going to use the vendor sprite for "gadget fountains" that spit out lightmodules and lightboxes (two otherwise useless gadgets), but the sprite is apparently buggy if you try opening it in SpriteBuilder or GIMP with the Creatures Image plugins.

Setting up this world made me realize that there's a dearth of general gadget agents. If nothing else, some more variety with the mechanical plants would have been nice. Another potential project for another time, I guess.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hide your gadgets....

...Because they risk getting nommed otherwise.

These are the second version of my Metallophagus Grendels, ready to roam your ships and eat your gadgets and machinery - this time literally. With the included agent, they can actually eat any gadget that they can pick up - that includes things like the Anti-Bacterial Spray, so you might want to lock up your important gadgets before setting a group of these guys loose.

In addition to actually eating gadgets, V2 also ages slower and is more heavily benefited from Heavy Metals (they can even use it as an emergency food store). While they're generally inoffensive, don't let your norns harass them. If attacked, they will retaliate quickly and painfully.

In addition to the agent that lets them eat gadgets, the Metallophagus Grendels V2 bring along a special food item with sprites helpfully donated by Mea.
The techno-organic carrot, a strange blend of plant and machine, grows in inorganic areas. It provides all the nutrition your Metallophagus Grendels need, so expect to see them wherever a patch of techno-organic carrots is found. Normal creatures can also eat the carrot, but I wouldn't let those eat the rusty or rotten carrots....

To wrap things up, I'm also uploading V1 of the Metallophagus Grendels since originally they were uploaded on Mediafire. I released these over a year ago (I thought these were a recent breed - hey, time flies).
V1 is similar to V2, but obviously less refined. Unlike V2, V1 doesn't need a special agent to feed - they can just hit the gadget to obtain nutrition. They're also generally peaceful all around.

(You can also download these at if you wish)

You might have noticed that the pictures look a bit different. With some help from Firebug, I replicated the image style from Naturing :: Nurturing and Jessi's Creatures Documentations. I think the photograph-like style fits, but of course your mileage may vary.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Grendels and Waterfalls and Mushrooms - Lots of Mushrooms.

It's time for another release, and this time it's a fairly large one.

I'll start things off with the pack for the Waterfall Grendels V3:
The third version of the Waterfall Grendels is a callback to V1 since I wasn't happy with V2. In addition to all the things about V1, V3 will usually know when it's time to get out of the water and has a more varied diet. In addition, this breed is the first of mine to have the updated digestive process of the Gizmo Norns - to breed, they need to eat.

They come with the Waterfall and Waterfall Mushrooms, both of them updated heavily. The waterfall now has fantastic new sprites courtesy of Mea, and can be picked up and moved to wherever you want it (in addition to actually looking like a waterfall), and the mushrooms come with a dispenser for their seeds in addition to a faster growing cycle.

Download the Waterfall Grendel Pack V3!

If you need more mushrooms, there's also the Watercup Mushrooms, whose colorful presence will certainly liven up a dull room as well as providing even more food for your creatures to munch on.

The final release of today is also the largest. Remember that collab that I kept mentioning I was working on with Mea? It was no small agent:
It was a metaroom. This is Silence Falls, the native home of the Waterfall Grendels. The massive waterfall in the center provides the area with its lifeblood. While it comes with both the Waterfall Mushrooms and the Watercup Mushrooms, it is quite open to customization in a similar vein to the Biodome and Veridia.
Mea offered to make a metaroom background for me in response to my posts about Gardenia Falls, and for that I thank her. We both put a lot of work into making this place (Mea even had to get help from her fiance to help render some of the plants), and the result is awesome.

Download Silence Falls! 

If you run into any bugs, drop them in the comments. I hope you'll enjoy all the new releases!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Time to start releasing things!

The hiatus is more or less over now. However, I will say that you won't be able to expect a daily post anymore - naturally being a man of few words means that oftentimes I won't have a topic to make a post about. So updates won't be as frequent.

Okay, that was the bad news. The good news is that the projects mentioned in the past few posts are now getting wrapped up. In fact, one of them has been completed for a while - I just never bothered releasing it.

This is the first of the GM/Mea collab projects, and also one of the ones that she came up with (this is something I did for her in exchange of the stuff she's doing for me). The iceflower is an odd plant that has a tendency to rapidly cool down any area in which it grows. Not surprising, since nearly every part of it emanates coldness. It's great for cold loving creatures or for creatures with a bad case of fever toxin. However, Magma Norns and other heat lovers are advised to stay far away from anywhere this plant has established itself.

The iceflower works with both C3 and DS. Get it here!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

List of Random Breed Ideas

The hiatus I mentioned in the first post is slowly coming to a close. I say slowly because, while I'm playing the game, I'm not actually doing any development. It'll probably be at least another week before I can be bothered to finish up everything.

Anyway, this is just a list of ideas I've come up with over the course of several months or so. Now that my knowledge of genetics has been expanded immensely, I'd like to have something to make with it. Unfortunately, my initial bleed splurge back when I first got into development seems to have expended all of my original ideas.

As an additional note, this is just a one-time thing - I'm not updating this on a regular basis. 

New Breeds:
  •  Ceratioid Grendels: The name comes from Ceratiidae, a family of deep-sea Anglerfish known for their odd sexual dimorphism. The Ceratioid Grendels are terrestrial unlike their namesakes, but they do share their sexual dimorphism: Females are mostly a more robust Jungle Grendel, but males need to constantly mate in order to feed once they come of age. A bit like a less complex Grendel of Minimordor, in some respects.
  • Eldritch Grendels: The first member of this species was to be the predator for my Devil's Reef survivor run at CCaves. Unfortunately, I never did get their genome right and as such I wound up cancelling the run. However, I still plan on making these someday. I think their name says a lot about what they're going to be like. If you can't guess, just know that they're going to be a bit odd compared to a normal grendel.
  • LotF Pack: A norn breed and a bunch of agents based on the novel Lord of the Flies. Since it's been a while since I've read that book, it's likely I'll never get to these (and it's not likely I'd be able to finish them - most of their agents require completely new sprites, and I'm overtaxing mea as it is).
  • Merrow Grendels: An aquatic grendel breed whose behavior varies depending on gender - females are friendly, social, and mostly carnivorous swimmers, males are solitary, aggressive bottom-feeders.
  • Tidal Grendels: A breed who normally lives at the water's edge. They're not amphibious, though - instead, they'll go underwater to get a critter or something and then promptly run out. I'm out of ideas beyond that, though.
  • Unda Norns: An aquatic norn breed that's pretty generic beyond looking rather like a land-living norn. These guys need a revamp concept-wise.
  • Wolfling Grendels: A grendel breed designed for wolfling runs whose behavior contrasts that of the Flesheaters - instead of seeking out norns like the Flesheaters do, the Wolfling Grendels are generally friendly grendels who only become aggressive if harassed.

Breed Updates (Own):
  • Moonshadow Grendels: I didn't implement the invisible/visible system very well in these grendels, and as such the agent often glitched and made them become invisible permanently. Besides that, there are a bunch of other things I want to do with their genome (such as making them infertile in the light). I did make a new agent for them, but that's about as far as I got.
  • Sea Monsters: The first ever breed I made and released to the general public (or attempted to). They were my favorite genetic breed back when I first made them, but now they're REALLY outdated (by that, I mean that they have things like a reaction that turns comfort into nothing. Back then, I didn't know what the "Do not express" checkbox did). They do have a V2, but that's also very outdated (and I wasn't very happy with them to begin with).
  • Carnivorous ChiChi Norns: The sole reason I made this breed to begin with was to go with the Edible Snotrock .cos file I made shortly beforehand. While they came out nice besides that, I think I can do better with their genome than I did the first time around (that, and the Edible Snotrock .cos needs updating as well). 
Breed Updates (Other):
First off, let me state what I mean by "Other." I'm referring to breeds who were originally made by someone else, but have their concept revamped and their genetics improved by me. The Potamogeton Grendels are the biggest example of this - their original version, the Pond Weed Grendels, was made by Grendel_Slayer, not me. I'll also say that I base these updated versions on a fresh genome and not the ones that were already made.
  • Water Ryuujins: This breed was originally made by Grendelgirl_88. They're amphibious grendels tweaked to be slightly friendlier and rest around Creature Eggs. I plan to make them fit their name a bit more ("Ryuujin" means "Dragon Lord"). However, the Waterfall Grendels do resemble these guys a bit, if only in spirit.
  • Mermaid Norns: A simple aquatic breed created by Nina of Yggdrasill. They were simply amphibious Bengal Norns who changed color as they aged, but I loved them and always had a crew of them in my Aquatic Terrarium a while back. Their revamp details a change in diet as well as making them more social (among other things). 
  • Vicious Norns: KC11's flagship breed whose main feature was the ability to "eat" grendels (I'm not quite sure how she did that without an "eat creatures" agent, and to be honest I still don't).  I did have a list of features for their revamp, but I've lost that and overall forgotten what I was going to do with it. Ah well, it'll come back to me someday. 
Whether or not anything on this list comes to fruition remains to be seen (I hope to at least do the Mermaid Norn revamp if nothing else), but I hope there are at least some people who like at least some of the ideas listed here.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Remember when, back in my first post, that sometimes I'd get more attracted to other things and stop playing Creatures for a while?

Yeah, that's why there's been no posts here. Once I can get motivated to get back to playing Creatures again the regular updates will resume.

On a higher note - the waterfall grendels V3 and their agent pack are almost done now. The collab project with mea is about 50%-60% finished, I'd say. Development went more or less smoothly, so it probably won't take very long to wrap everything up when I'm ready to develop again.