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Setting up a brand new C3/DS!

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Gio
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Setting up a brand new C3/DS!

Postby Gio » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:05 pm

So this is a bit of a project & a bit of a question.

I have the GoG versions of the Creatures games. I'm looking to set up a brand-new, clean C3/DS install – for simplicity's sake I'll be installing under My Documents. I'm hoping to learn how much of what I want to do is prior art and how much I'll have to hack on my own. Be warned: I don't know the proper terms for some things; I never got into the technical side when I played Creatures 2 back in college.

Step 1: Running Docking Station under GoG Galaxy.
Problem: Creatures Exodus likes to *only* run C3 and ignore Docking Station completely. I currently have to launch C3/DS manually.

Solutions?: Yeah, don't mind this one.

Step 2: Renovating Capillata!
Problem: Cruft & linkrot.
Solutions?: The worst offender here is, honestly, the Comms Room. The problem, though, is that I don't see any easy fixes; it would need a full-on Project-scale rework to be a useful space. While I can theoretically learn CAOS, I am not now and never have been an artist, and that's what the Comms Room needs most. (In a perfect world, I'd love to make the Comms Room a little Ettin playhouse.)
The Workshop metaroom is what it is, I suppose, but could the portal be rewritten to instead connect to 3rd-party metarooms? Perhaps this has been done; I have no idea.


This is more than enough for now, I think!

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Gio
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Re: Setting up a brand new C3/DS!

Postby Gio » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:30 pm

So the silence is somewhat deafening, which is a shame. I've been trying to find something satisfactory on my own, with minimal success; despite this, I've gathered up a few ideas of my own. Perhaps those thoughts will bear fruit. We shall Shee.

Malkin
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Re: Setting up a brand new C3/DS!

Postby Malkin » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:32 pm

I'm not sure what you're wanting to do here - what does making the comms room a useful space mean to you? Being capable of housing creatures safely? (Native food, fruit and seeds for them to eat, toys for them to play with, cellular automata, and doors/teleporters )

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Gio
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Re: Setting up a brand new C3/DS!

Postby Gio » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:43 am

If I was to have my utopian dream of turning the Comms Room into an ettin playhouse, it would need native food and what-have-you, but as far as "useful space" goes, I'd get rid of the agents that don't have a purpose, remodel the room to have more viewing space for the spy cameras... things like that.

Even that last is hardly a minor modification, requiring a dedicated artist as well as a cobbler. I was really hoping that something like this had already been done. Since it hasn't, I've had to rethink my plans. I've started sketching out ideas, but they're hardly realistic ones considering zero art and zero skills.

Ah, well. =\

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Amaikokonut
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Re: Setting up a brand new C3/DS!

Postby Amaikokonut » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:32 am

Hm, yeah I'm guilty of just ignoring that those rooms exist and instead just docking or using third party rooms if I need more space. A lot of the comms room stuff is indeed pretty useless now sadly (and really should have just been incorporated into the UI in the first place instead of taking up space, but that's just a personal pet peeve of mine). If anything I like the idea of making it into an observation room with more customization with the cameras and whatnot. That might not be too painful since most of the code is already there and camera elements are thankfully relatively easy to specify in CAOS. Actually making it look pretty might be outside my skill level but if you wanted to post sketches of your ideas I might be able to help with the coding side of things.

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Gio
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Re: Setting up a brand new C3/DS!

Postby Gio » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:04 pm

Fair warning: I'm no artist either. Still, I can do line drawings in GIMP or something to lay out basic room structures, and I want to lean CAOS so I can work on ecosystems. My ultimate goal would be to replace much of the Bootstrap folder with a new Docking Station, something more... semi-modern, perhaps? Definitely something more consistent.

From exterior views of the Capillata, it has three lobes, so staying with four metarooms is the order of the day.

The design outline of the Capillata II --

The Hub:
The Hub of the Capillata II would have no additional functionality, but perhaps a superior design :
Image

Okay, that was a two-minute sketch. I tried to hide it with spoiler tags. *shame*

Anyway, the actual background size would be 1440x1080, so there's plenty of room for stars or adding interesting places to explore. The trapezoidal floor structure allows for a clear transition between the "command" lobe (at the top of the trapezoid) and the Creature-friendly zones, including the docking needle (the little door cutout). The left side leads to the Biosphere, the right will lead to the Workshop.

The Biosphere:
--forthcoming--

The Observatory:
Image

Again, the background is 1440x1080 (You'll notice a consistent minimum of 1080 pixels for height; this makes for fewer jarring transitions w/rt the UI).

The Workshop:
--forthcoming--
Last edited by Gio on Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Malkin
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Re: Setting up a brand new C3/DS!

Postby Malkin » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:47 pm

Haha - I often delete the camera elements if I remember, because they annoy me.

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Gio
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Re: Setting up a brand new C3/DS!

Postby Gio » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:20 am

There's definitely way too many of them in such a small space! The Norn Meso has three alone. -.-

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Amaikokonut
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Re: Setting up a brand new C3/DS!

Postby Amaikokonut » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:06 pm

Gio wrote:My ultimate goal would be to replace much of the Bootstrap folder with a new Docking Station, something more... semi-modern, perhaps? Definitely something more consistent.
Heh, that's been my crazy-ambitious goal for ages too, though my goals have been more along the lines of revamping the UI than revamping the rooms themselves since spriting isn't really my bag.

It wouldn't be too hard to make the cameras invisible (or much smaller) and just add/remove/move/control them from the observatory as needed.

Hmmm if you're planning on changing the sizes of the rooms though, that adds more complexity to the whole thing. Because of how the engine handles rooms and spaces you won't be able to simply alter or replace what's there; you'll have to create entirely new rooms within the game's space (and ideally find spaces on the 3rd party metaroom map for them where they don't clash with other people's stuff; I'm not sure what the most recent/updated map is these days). (Also sorry if that makes no sense, my articulation skills aren't terribly sharp right now.)

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Gio
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Re: Setting up a brand new C3/DS!

Postby Gio » Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:37 pm

Amaikokonut wrote:
Gio wrote:My ultimate goal would be to replace much of the Bootstrap folder with a new Docking Station, something more... semi-modern, perhaps? Definitely something more consistent.
Heh, that's been my crazy-ambitious goal for ages too, though my goals have been more along the lines of revamping the UI than revamping the rooms themselves since spriting isn't really my bag.


I haven't even begun to attack the UI yet, but it so does need a revamp!

Amaikokonut wrote:Hmmm if you're planning on changing the sizes of the rooms though, that adds more complexity to the whole thing. Because of how the engine handles rooms and spaces you won't be able to simply alter or replace what's there; you'll have to create entirely new rooms within the game's space.


This is true. I've been debating with myself on the best way to handle this. Part of the advantage of replacing the Bootstrap is that you can reuse the map sections that you're replacing; from what I've seen of the map (granted, a decade-old one) the DS area is pretty jumbled, so this may prove to be more of a pain down the road.

The easiest to design with (and hardest for the players) is to start a new metaverse entirely, with the new DS starting at 0, 0. One interesting side-effect of going this route is that an external utility could (in theory) be written that would allow the player to "play Tetris" (or SimCreatures?) and lay out their own map and deconflict any metarooms past, present, or future. As far as I understand it, this can actually be done by hand already. Actually, one could combine this with the already-existing map expansion code snippet.. Eliminating the need for collusion on room placement would be a huge boon to all Creatures players and developers, far beyond any pet project of mine.

..now, if someone wants to take *that* idea and run with it, be my guest! ^^


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