CCSF 2016 Blog Carnival: Day 5

A Look at What I Create for CreaturesThe possibilities for playing Creatures are endless. There may be a number of limitations with the game engines, yet we have a community that tries to break through those walls at any chance! Creating new content is an exciting way to learn more about advanced CAOS and genetics. I’ve hardly scratched the surface of what I want to do, yet I feel like I’ve given back a tiny bit to this wonderful community. Even my simply COBs that I thought would help a handful of people seem to be more useful than I expected. That’s the way it is with creating for Creatures: There’s a surprisingly big audience, all things considered! My only regret? That I don’t have the time to create more and learn everything else there is to know!

Do You Create Content for Creatures?

It took me a long time to start releasing anything. Even now, I’m amazed when I get such a warm reception for the rather simplistic COBs I release. Sometimes it’s a little embarrassing to see amazing new metarooms and reworked breeds coming out when all you have to offer is a simple object or sprite fix! I got past that hurdle by seeing that we all have our own talents, and I know that what I’m releasing will at least help me. I’m still in the beginning stages of understanding CAOS and genetics, yet I hope to keep creating useful content… Or even useless content, so long as it provides some smiles and laughs! The creation process can be frustrating, but ultimately it’s a very fun and rewarding experience.

What Sorts of Content Do You Create?

My niche seems to have fallen into creating fixes for Creatures 1, and that works well for me! This has ranged from experimenting with genetics, to fixing various sprites, to coding updated COBs. I’m far from done and have a lot of other projects I hope to move onto at some point. There are also some random ideas floating around for the other games, yet I’ve found that sticking to developing for one game at a time works the best for me. This is especially true when coding with CAOS, since the commands differ by game. Some of the things that are possible in C3/DS aren’t available in C1. I tend to make silly mistakes while I’m working on a project, and I can just see myself making even more if I had some overlapping projects. Moral of the story: Get some stuff done soon, Jessica!

What Do You Use to Make Things?

There are many tools available, although I tend to stick with a few programs that work… Although the Creatures games work on many newer operating systems, that doesn’t always hold true for the older programs and tools. One of my biggest disappointments is NornPose, which is so finicky that it’s basically unusable. To make matters worse, it requires the location of the game folder to be typed in manually using the old shorthand DOS format. Come to think of it, I haven’t figured out how to get it to work since I changed the location of my game install! It’s a wonderful program, yet I haven’t found anything else that works for creating a Creatures 1 breed. I use the official Genetics Kit for each game to work on genomes, and I also utilize the D-DNA Analyzer as an additional resource.

All of my images are created in Photoshop, even though the majority of them could probably survive a round of the infamous MS Paint! Ha! The 256 color palette in Creatures 1 makes image creation easy in some respects, and very difficult in others. Like I mentioned, creating can be frustrating and challenging, yet the end product is always worth it! I use some of the other official tools, such as the One Stop Sprite Workshop. And my secret weapon? Notepad! Although another major program I use is CrEd32, which is excellent for creating COBs. Coincidentally, if anyone has experience with the language it’s programmed in, there is an inactive element called the “Radioactive Chamber” that simulates mutations to create very unique eggs. I have more details, along with permission to work on it… Yet I lack the knowledge.

I’ll also make quick mention of The Shee’s Lost Knowledge, which has a lot of tools available. These are not always used for creating, yet there are a number that are excellent for testing unfinished COBs or understanding how existing objects work. These are mainly geared towards C1 and C2, yet my experience has shown me that what I learn for the earlier games often works for C3/DS in some way!

What Would You Like to Make in the Future?

Many of my projects are in the works, and I’ve found that it’s best not to list them in detail… Much better to not hold myself to a deadline and keep those as surprises! I do hope to expand my collection of C1 object fixes, among other things. I would also love to create my own updated genome… Possibly created from scratch, if only to prove to myself that I have a better understanding of genetics than before. There is still a lot to learn! On another note, I would like to get back into some of my Creatures stories. There are a few ideas, and some partially finished stories, floating about that could do with a good sit-down. And last, but not least, is something rather big for Creatures Challenges!

Finding New Ways to Expand and Improve the Creatures GamesI love creating for Creatures, even if I’m not exactly doing anything amazing! It’s a fun learning experience for me, and I can see myself moving onto more advanced projects over time. Time is what I need more of, though… The day I finish a project is a great one, and I do believe I need to start checking some things off my list soon!

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