Why is Creatures so appealing to me? Today’s writing prompt marks the end of the CCSF 2016 Blog Carnival, and it’s the perfect topic to end on! Those who have followed along with my ramblings over the years know that my interest comes and goes. There are times when I need to take a break from Creatures, either due to other commitments or from pure burnout. There was a span of time before I began blogging when I didn’t touch the games for several years. Luckily, now my breaks typically last a few weeks! The most unique thing about Creatures for me is the unexplained connection I have with it. I’ll pick up old games every now and then, yet it’s usually for a quick hour or two of nostalgia every year or so. Even new games lose their novelty pretty quickly, although I still enjoy them to some degree. Why Creatures? I had to think about this for a little while before coming up with a decent answer. Even then, for those who don’t want to be put through a wall of text, it all boils down to the sense of neverending discovery that’s inherent in every Creatures game.
Why Do You Like Creatures?
The simplest question is often the most difficult to answer. There are so many little things that add up to make it special for me. At the top of the list is the sheer scope of the games. On the surface, some may classify it as a cute pet game for kids. In some ways, it can be treated as such. Beneath that cuddly exterior are endless layers of complexity: Brain structures, genetics, an entire coding language, mythology, and a million questions. The name “Discover Albia” arose from my desire to inspire others to keep discovering all that Creatures has to offer. And that can mean virtually anything! It’s difficult to jump into everything all at once, but taking a new step to learn something new every now and then is worth a lot. That’s ultimately what keeps me coming back for more. Truth be told, I’ve played Creatures 1 enough to know that there aren’t any major surprises that will happen to my Norns and Grendels. I may get bored from time to time, yet that gives me the chance to dig into CAOS or genetics. Just as I had no idea what I was doing when I played as a kid, I still get that feeling when I start up something new. It’s a wonderful feeling, as odd as that may sound!
If Your Interest in It Has Come and Gone and Come Again, What Brings You Back?
Usually other Creatures blogs or comments on my own posts are the catalyst for bringing me back. There is always a time when I end up missing Creatures too much, yet I feel like I get a little more motivated by reading about what others are doing! Plus I have to say that this community is filled with a lot of wonderful people who leave very kind comments. I love knowing that in the tiniest way, I can bring some joy to people who need it. At the same time, it’s nice to know that my posts help players learn different things. Without being connected, though, I still see myself always returning to Creatures. There’s a bit of responsibility that I still feel… These are artificial beings who are alive, and they deserve a chance to live. It’s certainly nice to know that they can stay frozen in time when I’m not playing, though!
Despite How Hard It Can Be to Run and the Total Lack of Official Support, Why Do You Play?
First and foremost, I play for me. This is something I try to stress to Creatures bloggers, because trying to play like everyone else isn’t fun. I love booting up the games, particularly C1, and remembering the old memories I carry with me. There are a lot! With that in mind, I also play to keep the community alive. We’re a pretty small group, and I feel a bit of guilt when I don’t have the time to post regularly. That isn’t to say that there aren’t wonderful Creatures blogs out there, because there are! I simply feel a bit of personal responsibility to keep things alive. There have been many sites that have closed down over the years, and many community members who have moved on. That’s OK! Yet with a smaller community than we had back when Creatures was still brand new, I play in the hopes that my posts might bring in some new players… Or at least make people laugh! In the end, I play because Creatures makes me happy.
I should also mention that most technical problems can be solved by the community, so the lack of official support has never phased me! There are a lot of talented individuals who play Creatures and help others. A huge thanks to all of you! If I could summarize my thoughts on Creatures… It’s an amazing game series. I don’t think it works for everyone, yet there is a lot more going on than one might initially think. I got my first taste of real world science from the Creatures 1 Science Kit, and I barely knew what I was looking at! I know I’m heavily biased in favor of the Creatures games, yet I’ll be the first one to try to introduce the series to someone new. After 20 years, I still think there is a place for Creatures in the modern video gaming world. I’ll still be playing for as long as I have a computer!