Saturday, December 10, 2016

Development Wishlist

While I don't have much enthusiasm for Creatures anymore, as people have probably guessed from my last post, there are still some things I'd like to do for this game. Sadly, they're all hindered by either my aforementioned lack of enthusiasm, the fact that I can't do them at all due to lack of skills/still active and willing people able to provide said skills, or both. But I figured I might as well make a list of them. Maybe it'll inspire me to actually do them, learn how to get the skills I need to do them, or get someone who'd be willing to help me do them.

  • Artemia Sea Update: This room's gotten a bunch of updates already, yet I'm still not entirely happy with it. I guess as the product I've been most pleased with I'd like to make it the best it can be.
    • Mapping update: Some of the upper crags have narrows that are too tight for creatures. And that tunnel separating the left and middle areas of the room is a pain to navigate for both creatures and critters. Sadly, this requires editing graphics, which I can't do.
    • Doors: I've been playing around with the Past Seas doors in Artemia Sea, and I've found that doors are great for getting creatures to spend some time in the upper areas of the room rather than sitting near the bottoms. So I figure it'd be nice to have the room have some doors of its own. Alas, I can't make sprites, and I just don't want to reuse the Past Seas doors. 
    • Coding update: I'd like to fix some of the critters so that they're less likely to fly above the water's surface or just made more efficient in general. Maybe make it so they make detritus for detritus-eating creatures.
  • Chione Update: This room could really use some native ecology, if not some native toys and a few flavor touches. Again making entirely new sprites is out of my expertise, and mea's both not been very active and has been having computer troubles as of late.
    • Sadly, this does mean Chione's not getting an update this year; there's no more changes I can think of that the infrastructure would need, and I can't make sprites for entirely new stuff. 
  • Past Seas update: This room could really use a coding overhaul, since I've learned a lot in the time since I've first made it.
  • Aquatilis Caverna V5: For a while I've had the thought of giving this room a coding overhaul (among other things, the critters and plants could stand to be fully interactive). The full idea I had was to give both AC1 and AC2 an overhaul, and then make it so that you could inject either room's ecology into the AC Pod. 
    • Plus, it'd be nice to give AC some doors as well, since it's even more expansive than Artemia Sea, and not only would doors give swimming creatures more reason to fully explore the rooms, it'd help non-swimmers get around them too. Alas, this would need new sprites that I can't provide.
    • It'd also be nice to make up for the lack of certain food items (there's almost no "food" in either area; in fact, I don't think there's any "food" at all in either room. The supply of "fruit" is also severely limited), or maybe just adding some new stuff to freshen them up. Again, my lack of spriting ability gets in the way here.
  • While I'm thinking of metarooms, a brand new freshwater-themed metaroom would be nice. This is even more of a pipe dream than updating already existing metarooms, though; I can't sprite, and furthermore I don't know if I have in me to code a completely new metaroom and associated ecology from scratch. 
  • Flesheater Grendels: I called this project my magnum opus back when I first talked about it, and it'd be nice to actually finish them and release them before my time in the CC is up. However, I'd probably have to remake them from scratch since their current genome is horribly outdated. I've also learned that the stimulus for hitting creatures also applies to hitting everything (e.g. a creature who gets food from hitting creatures will also get it from hitting a gadget). 
  • Learning to make copy-paste metarooms: Copy-paste metarooms are things like Past Seas and the Grendel Hideout. Out of all types of metarooms, this is the kind I'd probably be most adept at making. Alas, there's no good tutorials for making this kind of room (the old tutorial from CCSF 2006 just says 'this is easy' without explaining anything). 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The End of an Era

I've got good news and I've got bad news.

Let's get the good news out of the way first: with help from Crabcat at Creatures Caves, I've managed to remember and recover all of my downloads from Creatures @ CU7. Not only that, but I've also backed up all my Norn Adoption Center breeds as well; while that website is currently still up, I felt it was better to be safe than sorry. Now you should be able to find everything I ever made right here at the Realm, in the appropriate Downloads section.

Well, except my Norn Adoption Center adoptions. I suppose I could put those here too if enough people want them, but for now I don't think they're high priority for me.

And now, onto the bad news: I've decided to officially retire from Creatures development.

The thing is that my interest in actually playing the games has been completely abysmal for a while. My tastes in video games have changed a lot since I've started this blog; these days, I'd much rather be playing something with a good story and characters, or failing that at least fun combat and bosses. Creatures just doesn't cut it anymore.

Furthermore...I've said it a million times before, but I'm going to say it again. The community just isn't what it used to be. A lot of the old timers, including a lot of the community's best developers, haven't been around in ages and may never return. What's left just doesn't seem to display the same kind of spirit. It's not overly motivating, to say the least.

This isn't to say I'm abandoning the Creatures Community. Even if I don't intend on developing any more, I still like being a part of the Community and will do my part to support it. Heck, for all I know someday I'll find a way to reinvigorate my passion for this game and start churning out stuff once more. It's just looking really unlikely I'll ever make another addon for this game, or even update this blog much after the fact.

...Well, I do have one last surprise in the works. I don't know when I'll finish it, but hopefully it'll be up soon. Keep an eye out for it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Long Overdue Update

The first post of 2016, and it's halfway into April. I really need to get my priorities in order.

First things first: Let's get my stuff from the CCSF 2015 up here.

Inspired by CCaves member Lavendel, the Lavender Grendels are a peaceful, flower-loving breed. They come with their own flower agent to make them feel right at home.

The All-Creature Autonamer and Wolfling Nametagger go hand-in-hand. The former agent is based on the default DS autonamer and uses the same catalogue file, but as the name says it works for all creatures instead of just norns. It also removes the generation-based naming scheme to give you a much greater variety of names right from gen 1, and works with C3 standalone (but I don't know how much that means to anyone).

The Wolfling Nametagger, when paired with Amaikokonut's Creature Nametags, lets you see the generation of a creature at a glance without the need for the Creature History. It's useful for keeping track of a progress of a long wolfling run. 

Now onto some less-rosy news. As most of you are aware, Creatures @ CU7 has gone down. This leaves me in a very awkward situation, since much of my past work was hosted on that website. To make things even more awkward...I don't even remember what all was hosted there!

Eventually I'll try to rustle everything up and put it up here, but until then if you want a CU7 download just contact me somehow (information should be part of the right sidebar) and I'll see if I still have your desired items around. If someone could give me a list of everything I was missing then that would be even better. 

My own interest in playing Creatures is currently at an all-time low; I have been working on one project or the other, but I just haven't been motivated to really finish any of them so there's no telling when they'll be finished and released. Part of the reason for this is just because I've been finding other things more interesting or pressing (like dabbling with hosting RPs on other sites or trying to come up with a way to earn money). 

There's another reason for it, however, and that reason is that the community is not very well off right now. The wounds left over from that schism last year still haven't healed, and we're losing a bunch of formerly stable websites. Furthermore, there's a decisive lack of developers in the community. Considering the Creatures Community is primarily based on mods, that's a very bad thing. 

On the bright side, Grandroids is making good progress (or so I've heard; I haven't been following it very closely). There's also Creatures Family, but I wouldn't get my hopes up for that one. 

So what do we do? I think the best idea, not only for myself but for the other developers in the Community, is to increase the knowledgebase. As I said before, the Creatures Community is primarily mod-based. The old mods are fine and dandy, but we need people constantly making new ones. 

Those old tutorials aren't going to be around forever, and when they're gone it's going to be much more difficult for newcomers to learn their way around developing for Creatures. So what we need are some more tutorials, not only covering the old ground but also touching upon things the old tutorials never covered. 

To that end, I'm planning on creating a Tutorials page here eventually, covering everything I know about genetics and CAOs. It'll cover the basics, but also go into more advanced topics (for example, receptor-reaction pairs). It's probably going to be a while considering how lazy I naturally am, but if I can ease the frustration of potential newcomers and keep the CC alive that much longer than I think I'll do my best. 

That's all for now. Until the next one, folks.