As far as my getting back into Creatures goes: I wound up falling out of it again, mostly because as it turns out validating the Steam version of C3/DS not only fixes bugs (which I did to get the Genetics Kit working again) but also changes any file replacements back to their original versions. Which includes the changes to the .cos files I made and to 99% of .cos files made by the community. After that I uninstalled it and have yet to try again.
But every now and again I think about picking it up again. Not only that, but I think about making something for it again. I figure that it'd be nice to bring a proper closure to my Creatures development journey with something spectacular. I've thought about reviving my old Flesheater Grendel project (grendels that can properly serve as population control without completely wiping out the norn population as regular grendels are wont to do), or a big pack of four genetic breeds (two grendel, one norn, and one ettin).
But ultimately, I think the best candidate would be an outright full breed: the Kraken, one of my oldest ideas.
After all this time their Creatures Wiki page is still there, mostly the same as I wrote it back when I was a dumb teenager who didn't consider that creating a whole new page for an idea probably wasn't the best decision. Back then I wanted them to be geats who ate other creatures.
Now? Well, it seems like people have mostly figured out what causes the Wasteland Glitch, but there's still enough other problems with geats that I don't think I'd like to stick with that. And the idea of them eating other creatures is also not a great idea as I've long since learned how prone creatures are to cannibalism if you give them that ability (especially if you're using a genome that has better learning capability like the CFE).
So as the page also mentions, present-day me would want to make them grendels, who genetically would likely just be pretty standard aquatic grendels of the kind I've made dozens upon dozens of before (if more aggressive than what I usually liked to do). I do think it'd be interesting to give them traits reminiscent of actual cephalopod behavior to set them apart from other such breeds.
It's their appearance I've put the most thought into. Over the years I've come to appreciate more simple designs, and I've also been putting a lot more thought into speculative evolution. So rather than going with the description I initially came up with, I figured something more evocative of a cephalopod that evolved into the shape of a grendel, with four of the arms moving further on down the body to become the arms and legs. The remaining arms would remain around their face, and the tail instead would have fins reminiscent of squid.
If you're familiar with Splatoon, imagine a grendel version of an Inkling and you probably won't be too far off. Just instead of tentacle hair it's a tentacle beard (for both genders, I might add; I'm not sure what I'd do to make the genders visually distinct, but it'd definitely be something more naturalistic).
However, I've also had another thought. It just so happens that everyone's favorite C Monster Borland has a body plan that's much like a grendel's already, and converting Borland wholesale to C3/DS might be a bit of a pain due to how wonky his sprites are. The idea of just making outright Borland Grendels sounds really fun, but combining Borland with the ideas I already talked about is another option, both bringing the Kraken's design more in line with the mythological beast they're named after and to reference the greater Creatures mythos.
Everything else on their page? Still something I'd want to include with them. I just love the idea of the Kraken bringing their own ecosystem along with them, be that in the form of a metaroom or just an agent pack. And that toy ship still sounds cute.
But...have I made any progress towards getting past the roadblock that kept me from making them long ago? That being, the graphics? Well...no. I have picked up some skill in photo manipulation courtesy of learning to edit RPG Maker's default resources, but I don't think I'm at the level where I could make all the frames necessary for a breed that way. Far from it, in fact. And my other visual art skills are still horribly lacking and my brain still woefully unsuited for the process of learning.
There has been an exciting development for breed development in the form of GeneForge, which to my understanding eliminates a lot of the tedium of making breeds and brings them in line with the official breeds to boot. However...that still requires a 3D model which I can't provide. So ultimately, I'd still need someone to handle that part while I handle the genetics and coding.
And also I'd have to overcome a f-argh-ton of inertia from not playing the games for so long and having to remember all the basics. And I'd also want to make a suitable base genome for the breed before anything else, which would take a while.
So...is there hope for the Kraken to finally become reality after all this time? Definitely not right now. But maybe someday. Maybe even sooner rather than later?
If nothing else, I can at least do a concept sketch. My art skills may be unsuited to for the breed proper, but I think I can do that much.
In any event, I needed somewhere to dump my thoughts, and my blog was as good a place as any. For now, back to silence I go.