The very best way to find something to develop for Creatures is to identify a problem. That “problem” can be rather unusual, like how one might have a problem with the limited number of specialized Ettin breeds. Or, the problem could be very real, when someone notices an issue while playing the game. In my case, I found a very real (yet fairly minor) problem in Creatures 1. I use the Multiple Grendel Button, by Slink, in order to monitor my C1 Grendels. The COB works wonderfully, save for one tiny detail! I hatched a tiny test subject to showcase this issue. I would like to point out that this isn’t necessarily a problem for everyone, and is not meant to portray Slink in a negative way. However, this COB uses the lift button sprite, which is partially hidden behind a column. Yet to any Creatures nearby, this object is within view and they often try to look at it. Poor Ronette was stuck looking up and down for a long time! What this COB needed was a way to appear invisible to Creatures, so that it would simply be a tool for me to use. Onto some CAOS to solve the problem!
It was back to the Creatures Editor 32 for me. I actually had a discussion about this with Amaikokonut a few weeks ago, and I owe her a huge thanks for helping me understand most of the CAOS commands! The small detail that needed a little attention had to do with the ATTR value: It took a little time, but I found out that a single value is the sum of all of the attributes. In this case, 68 meant that the COB was wallbound (64) and could be activated by the hand (4). 64 + 4 = 68: Not too difficult to understand! The attribute that was missing was the invisible one, with a value of 16. So with a few clicks, I changed the line to “setv attr 84” and hoped for the best!
One thing I forgot to do was to set an image for the COB. The default one from CrEd32 looked normal within the program, but Creatures 1 had a bit of an issue displaying it! Luckily, it was just a simple image error and nothing else appeared to be out of the ordinary. This was also the reason why I wanted to test this COB in a new world, where I wouldn’t lose any of my current Norns and Grendels. It’s always safer to do extensive testing of a new creation for Creatures, since the worst thing is for a COB to destroy a world.
After a second of worrying that I might take down Albia with the small change, the updated Multiple Grendel Button was in my test world! I immediately tried to get my test Norn to look at the object, which would confirm whether I knew anything about what I was doing with CAOS. Her eyes started tracking towards me… And then they stopped on the lift buttons! A Creature will attempt to look at the closest object to the hand at the command “look” so long as he or she is feeling cooperative. It was a success: My monumental accomplishment of the day was to make this COB invisible! There are still a few other updates I would like to try out: Sometimes experimenting with an existing COB is the best way to learn about CAOS. Just be sure to avoid directly copying others’ work when distributing anything. Keep the CAOS rolling!