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.