[Blog] Happy New Year!

I wish you a very happy new year!

May you have a great year, filled with love, warmth, health and happiness. And of course, a healthy dose of Creatures! Minus the wallbonking.

Even though sometimes it looks quiet on here, I haven’t been idle! I use to hang out on Discord a lot lately, especially at the Caos Coding Cave, having lovely chats with lovely developers. You people are amazing. You know who you are. 😀

Ahem! I don’t only chat! I usually make things too!

I’ve been making an organ exporter tool that allows you to export creatures whose organ health falls below a specified threshold. I will release it as soon as I got the last bugs ironed out. The graphics and the idea are from Mea. Go check out her website, CAOS of the Creatures Realm if you’re in need of sprites for a coding project or anything, she has tons of lovely sprites on the website that can be used for Creatures development.

 

The organ exporter also comes with a nifty Corpse Cleaner setting that turns your dead creatures into ghosts which scare nearby creatures. I hope this will discourage creatures from being around dangerous places where other creatures have died, staying away from creatures that have died due to bacteria, or just generally prevent that the population turns into one big stationary breeding pile where creatures remain their whole life. If something scares them they should move… right? Riiiight? There’s also a blue flame which, when clicked, brings up the Creature History of the deceased creature.

Clicking the ghosts makes them disappear.

Meanwhile, the Betaship has been improved to V2.0, I’ll try to post a blog post about this soon. I’ve been meant to write a blog post about it for at least a week now but I keep on postponing it because I keep on finding small little things I still want to improve/fix before “officially” releasing… Even though the V2.0 release is already on Github…

As pictured above, I have also started working on a fully terrestrial alternative to the Betaship in case people would want to use this metaroom without using any aquatic breeds, or just without needing any of all this bubbly water floatingness. 😛

In any case, I believe 2018 might be a great year. I hope it’ll be a great year for all of you too!

…. Oh yeah, also! If any of you use twitter: fancy using the #CreaturesCommunity tag when twittering about Creatures?

dyafnhn

That’s all folks! Stay safe, enjoy the food and don’t play with fireworks. If you absolutely have to, please please please stay safe and mind the animals in your neighbourhood.

 

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[Blog] A new metaroom… Maybe?

Sooooo, yeah, I feel like developing a new metaroom.
uad0ic9

A giant metaroom with two or three or four levels and aquatic space and stuff.
I want everything in the metaroom to change with the seasons and the time of day, so it would be using a very responsive background and stuff. Resource-heavy stuff, yay!

I’ve been wanting to be able to comfortably run a population of 20 – 50 creatures in a single room that gets different resources depending on the season, encouraging creatures to explore and move around. There could be some more ‘dangerous’ rooms too, to make surviving not *too* easy.

It would be some kind of Creatures2 world, but slightly smaller and with slightly less obstacles to allow norns to walk around a bit if they don’t get elevators at all. 😛 It wouldn’t be scrolling like Creatures 2 though, because I don’t feel like hacking together some ugly code that was never meant to be executed in the DS engine. 😛

I made some small world example things, but these are by all means NOT a guide or a reference or anything, just some… eh, brainstorming?

zibhvmu

I would be really interested in working together with a small group of people that would like to create a big world which can change with the seasons and time of day, I’d also love lots of fauna and flora that depends on heat levels, some fireplaces, etc. Something awesome. XD

… So yeah, if anyone feels like creating a giaaaant metaroom background and a million sprites… hit me up. You’ll be my hero. Forever. 😛

Okay, I really just needed an outlet for my much awesome such amaze very wow idea. I don’t expect this ever coming to completion. 😛

 

…So yeah, not much news here. Go read some other recent blog updates in the community instead:

There is a wonderful Alpha Run going on at the Norn Tree. Go read all about it! (C3)

The Applewood Fields world blog is also going strong! (C3)

There is a new blog around! It’s The Lift, and there’s a new world going on there. (C1)

 

Also, if you haven’t already filled in the CCSF 2018 survey (bad person!) you should totally read all of the reasons why you should fill it in.

[Blog] The Creatures Community Spirit Festival

The CCSF 2017 has now ended. It’s been a fun time.

During this CCSF, there were mostly releases, no real activities or events, which was a bit of a missed chance. The releases quite made up for it though.

If you haven’t checked the CCSF website yet, please do! You can find it at https://ccsf-2017.blogspot.com/. A lot of agents have been released. I haven’t had time to check out all of them, but I’ll talk about some here.

For example, the Gren-Dell computer is an awesome thing that came up in the Norn Nebula discord, some people were joking about it and it actually got made. The screens are precious, I would totally recommend this toy if you want some giggles. 😀

Me and Linda also made a cute Grendel toy which got released at the CCSF, the dustdevil grendel plushie.

puffplant.pngZzzzoot and Uzag also created an awesome flower that grows in desert-y areas and shoots its seed everywhere when full-grown. It definitely provides enough seed for your creatures to nibble on, and it’s just.. very pretty. 😀 Go get the Puff Plant for your world too!

Four metarooms, if you count the capillata extension, have also been released at the CCSF. One of them is the Betaship, a metaroom project that I started which is open for community contributions in any form or shape, think code, images, music, whatever.

4f98364c759f514c83ec84630b68d8b9Two metarooms from the Banshee Ark project have also been released, the Grendel Meso and the Desert Hideout. Together with those, the Capillata Extension has also been released. Since I was involved with the creation of those, I can’t say that they’re amazing. But they are. Go download them. -shot’d-

pt18Oh and of course we also have Amaikokonut’s awesome Advanced Protective Tub, which allows you to give your creatures custom names, allow you to compose specific naming lists with custom names, and decide whether your creatures’ names are hereditary and other nifty stuff.

hera301Amaikokonut also released the Hera scenario script, a special scenario for your world that only allows female creatures into your world, using a special scoring system to only create offspring from the creatures that are thriving the most. You can use the Magic Words core to send commands to the Hera script, controlling every aspect in detail. It’s a very special script and it’s definitely a very interesting experiment worth running.

During the CCSF, there have also been a lot of interesting blog posts from her, and some updates on some other agents, like the improved creature nametags and even a script that allows you to show the Cellular Automata in a specific room.

That isn’t everything she posted on the blog either, so if you want to read her blog posts from during the CCSF, I would totally recommend that.

During the CCSF, a new blog also started. Enter the Pappus Café!

I haven’t been able to check out all of the new agents during the CCSF, so I’d definitely recommend checking out all of the releases and articles on the CCSF blog page.

One thing about the CCSF I didn’t like as much was the fact that there were barely any events for community members to participate in. There were no wolfling runs or contests or anything to really get people involved during the CCSF. But oh well, we still have next year’s CCSF. Amaikokonut pointed out that it will actually be the fifteenth CCSF. Can you believe that? The Creatures Community surely has gone a long way.

bbnorns.gifWhen this year’s CCSF ended, I decided to contact Ylukyun over at Creaturescaves to create a survey for next year’s CCSF, and he made one. Some thought I was crazy to hold it this early. But since the Creatures Community is so shattered around, I’m sure a survey that runs 2-ish months will be better at reaching more community members. Please please fill in the survey here! I’m volunteering to be next year’s (co-)coördinator.

tgdv9gk

….Oh, and if you don’t know where the heck the Creatures Community is right now and how they get in contact with each other now, download Discord and find the current Creatures discord channels on the Creatures Wiki.

That’s all folks!

[Tool] Game Controller v2.0

Installing this agent allows you to quickly toggle between several game modes, some of which are particularly useful for developers and people who want to do wolfling runs without that pesky wolfling window.

The modes are as follows:

  • Render / do not render display
  • Fast / normal game speed
  • Autokill on/off
  • Play / pause game
  • Enable / disable creature hand holding
  • Enable / disable picking up creatures
  • Enable / disable hand visibility.

 

Click here to download the game speed controller v2.0

 

To install: put the file in your /agents folder. You do not need the catalogue except if you also downloaded the first version. If you downloaded the first version, replace the .catalogue in /catalogues with this one.

Please enjoy!
Also check out my Caos Coding Cave discord if you are interested in CAOS!

 

[meta] The Betaship

For this year’s CCSF, I released a metaroom.
Actually, it’s not really purely a metaroom, it’s mostly a github project.
Github? What the git?

Github is a platform for developers to collaborate on projects. (It’s also very useful for version control, every time you submit a change – commit – to github, the state gets saved and you can go back in time to any commit.)
Everyone who has a github account (it’s free. Make one. https://github.com/ ) is able to get the current code from the repository by FORKing the code and generate their own repository, or PULLing it to their computer, then they can either use the code to compile the agent, or they could make changes, and submit those changes to the main repository by PUSHing them (provided you FORKed the repository).

That way, users can also contribute to the main metaroom: images can be changed, bugs can be fixed, extra content can be added, the possibilities are endless.

And that’s why exactly I made the Betaship. In itself, it’s a fun metaroom to have ingame, but everyone is allowed to contribute, expand, derive, do whatever they want with the code and images contained inside it.

There is a seasonal cycle and a day/night cycle. The Cellular Automata of the room are dependant of the seasons and the time of day, like the light and heat emitters in C3.

The left icy area is cold and wet, the upper middle area is a temperate climate, while the right brown area should depict a desert. (But I have no master graphic skillz so I’m not exactly sure if people realize that, so I guess I’ll also say it. XD).
The outer area is a saltwater ocean.

All graphics are… eh, “placeholders”, or rather, let’s say the graphics (and the rest of the room really) are totally open for user submissions. So go and make some pretty graphics to make this derpy room prettier! 😀

If you have any issues, bug reports, suggestions, ideas, feel free to make a github issue, poke me on Discord (Did you know I made a Discord server? ~ The Caos Coding Cave) or send me a PM on Creaturescaves.

Without further ado, let me present Betaship! (Image courtesy of Doringo)

Find the CCSF release post here: CCSF Blogspot Betaship Release

You can download the latest stable release on the Github here.

You can view the whole github with its files here.

Hope you enjoy!
Please don’t hesitiate to contact me if you have issues.

Edit: Oh yay, the metaroom has been reviewed! Go check out Fuzzlet’s Betaship review!

 

[Tool] Quick Creature Importer

Hello folks!

There was a request over at the Creaturescaves forum to create an agent that allows you to pick where to import creatures to. I whipped up a small agent that does this.

Since posting this, I’ve released a V2.0 that doesn’t delete the other importers in the world upon injection, and thus allows for multiple importers. Creatures will be imported to one random teleporter spot if you have multiples.

Version 2.0 also comes with a pretty new image, made by Aliena over at CCaves!

importexport

Pretty right?

This agent speeds up the importing process by eliminating the import animation, and creatures will be imported in the spot where the importer agent has been placed.

You can download the .agent file here (v2.0)

Alternatively, you can also find the CAOS here (v1.0) or here (v2.0).

Enjoy!

[Code] How I (should) organize my files

..Yes, the ‘should’ is absolutely neccessary in that title.

When I’m working on a project, I tend to use a very specific naming scheme for my cosfiles and image files, but other than that everything of the project gets thrown into the same map, so if I want to compile the whole thing it’s a painless experience.

I always prefix my .cosfiles with the ID number they have. That way when I need to write their ID number down in the script somewhere, I can just glance at the filename. Also each .cosfile has a caos2pray chunk so if I would want to inject it as an agent I can just compile it.

Any .c16 files get prefixed with the name of the project, and suffixed with the name of the artist (except if draw them myself or if they are are grabbed/recolored from C1/C2/C3/DS).

To compile the whole project I create a new installer.cos file, create a caos2pray chunk that includes pretty much every file in that map and LINK the cosfiles into the caos2pray. Then if you want the complete agent to compile you can just drag the installer on Monk.

This is how I do it. Hope it’s somewhat helpful. 😀

 

[Code] Make an .agents file

You’ve probably read some tutorials here and there and tried to make a .cosfile on your own. Now the thing is, how do you actually get a neat .agents file that will show up in the agent injector?

I’ll teach you.

What do you need?

  • Monk (from the Jagent suite)
  • A folder containing your .cos script and any attachments you need (.c16, .catalogue, sound files, …)

What about EasyPray? And a prayfile?

Not needed. We’ll use Caos2Pray. There is an excellent explanation in this article on Naturing :: Nurturing.

The only thing it misses is an example of the *# LINK command, a very useful command I will explain further below.

For this case, we’ll go with making an easy script. You know, the tiny empathic vendor thing in the workshop? That little floating thing? It always annoyed me that I couldn’t separately inject it. But no more, I’ll teach you how to make it show up in the agent injector.

What are we going to do?

  • Create an instance of the empathic vendor ingame
  • Move it to the agent injector
  • Create the CAOS2Pray and compile the script into an agent.

For now, just open CAOS tool and create a new file.

Create an instance of the empathic vendor ingame

Since this is an existing object which gets loaded when the world gets loaded, the script is placed in the bootstrap/010 Docking Station/ folder. We need to know the classifier of the existing empathic vendor to be able to create a new one that uses the same script.

Feel free taking your time to browse in the bootstrap folder and learn what stuff you can find here. For now, we need the mini empathic vendor script. This script is called mini empathic vendor.cos. Open it and search for the bit where the vendor gets injected into the world.

** Create the Vendor
new: comp 2 23 9 “mini_vendor” 23 0 3000
attr 198
perm 60
accg 5
elas 0
bhvr 3
anim [0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 255]
seta va00 targ

*** Move it to the workshop
*mvto 4800 9400

*move it into the chamber
rtar 1 1 154
doif targ ne null
seta va01 targ
spas va01 va00
else
targ va00
mvto 4800 9400
endi

Copy this into your cosfile.

We won’t need the part where the vendor gets moved into the workshop and the chamber, so you can entirely remove that part. Also, since va00 is being used to make the containment chember pick up the correct agent, that’s not needed either.

You can remove the bottom half of the script until you’re left with this:

** Create the Vendor
new: comp 2 23 9 “mini_vendor” 23 0 3000
attr 198
perm 60
accg 5
elas 0
bhvr 3
anim [0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 255]

This creates an instance of the empathic vendor. Now we only have to move it to the agent injector.

Move to the agent injector

The ‘move something somewhere safely’ command is mvsf X Y.

The X and Y values of the agent injector are stored as game variables CreatorX and CreatorY, so the final piece of code would be this:

mvsf game “CreatorX” game “CreatorY”

Great!

You now made a cosfile that injects a mini empathic vendor in the agent injector space.

For completeness, you should now add a removal script on the end that removes every mini empathic vendor in the world.

** rscr indicates a removal script
rscr
** enumerate over all mini empathic vendors and target them
enum 2 23 9
** kill them
kill targ
** End the enumeration loop
next

If you manage to have CAOS tool working with your game, you could now inject the cos script by going through Inject – Inject install script (f9) or Inject install and event scripts (f11). If CAOS tool can’t communicate with your game, no worries, we’ll create a CAOS2PRAY chunk on top of this cosfile now, so we can compile it with Monk.

Create a CAOS2PRAY chunk

If you haven’t read the post on Naturing :: Nurturing yet, I urge you to do so now. It will help you understand the next part.

At the top of your .cosfile, add this chunk of text:

* CAOS2PRAY CHUNK
*# Pray-File “miniempathicvendor_YOURNAME.agents”
*# DS-Name “Mini Empathic Vendor (DS)”
*# depend mini_vendor.c16
*# desc = “This is a mini empathic vendor.”
*# Agent Animation File = “mini_vendor.c16”
*# Agent animation String = “0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 255”
*# Agent Sprite First Image = 0
*# Agent Animation Gallery = “mini_vendor.c16”
*

This is pretty much all you need.

The total .cosfile should now look like this:

* CAOS2PRAY CHUNK
*# Pray-File “miniempathicvendor.agents”
*# DS-Name “Mini Empathic Vendor (DS)”
*# depend mini_vendor.c16
*# desc = “This is a mini empathic vendor.”
*# Agent Animation File = “mini_vendor.c16”
*# Agent animation String = “0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 255”
*# Agent Sprite First Image = 0
*# Agent Animation Gallery = “mini_vendor.c16”
*
** Create the Vendor
new: comp 2 23 9 “mini_vendor” 23 0 3000
attr 198
perm 60
accg 5
elas 0
bhvr 3
anim [0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 255]
mvsf game “CreatorX” game “CreatorY”
** rscr indicates a removal script
rscr
** enumerate over all mini empathic vendors and target them
enum 2 23 9
** kill them
kill targ
** End the enumeration loop
next

You can now save your cosfile, open Monk, drag & drop your cosfile on Monk, and… The magic happens! An agent called “miniempathicvendor.agents” is now in the folder where your .cos file originally happened to be.

miniemven.gif

Put the agent in your agents/ folder, make sure that you click on the ‘chat’ tab before reopening the agent injector window, and your agent should now show up under “Mini Empathic Vendor (DS)”.

That’s it!

 

Extra for advanced users: the “link” command

The *# link command syntax is like this:

*# link cosfile1.cos cosfile2.cos cosfile3.cos

This would be handy incase you’re making a metaroom project, for example, and have each toy, plant and animal coded in its separate .cos file, which you can then compile into one huge .agents file.

You don’t have to link the cosfile you run this command from.

 

I hope you found this post useful. 🙂

[Code] Setting up a development environment for Docking Station

Hello all!

I will occasionally post some coding tutorials and other commented code for Docking Station here.

In this post I’ll show the development environment I’m using, and I’ll explain you how to set up your own under Windows 10.

Steps:

Clicking on the steps will take you to the respective part.

Enjoy!


Install DS standalone and set map permissions

[These steps are for Windows 10.]

Head over to http://www.creaturesdockingstation.com/ and download/install Docking Station. After you’ve installed DS, you will have to set the map permissions for your install folder so you don’t get prompted for administrative access every time. My installation is in C:\Program Files (x86)\Docking Station , so for that I navigate to C:\Program Files (x86), right-click the Docking station folder, select properties and in the security/permissions tab I allow standard users to have full permissions.

While you’re at it, you can also set DS to run in 16-bit color mode. For that, go to your docking station installation directory, find the engine.exe, right-click that one and select properties. In the ‘compatibility’ tab you can tick the checkbox at “reduced color mode” and set that at 16bit.

While you’re in the installation directory, also delete the installblast.exe file so you won’t go accidentally running the updater which breaks because the servers are offline.

After that, you’ll have to download the login disabler patch here: http://www.creaturesdockingstation.com/#offline

The login disabler patch contains a .c16 file, a spritefile which should go in your DS installation map in the /images folder, and a .cos file, a code file which should load on startup of a new world, so it should go in your /bootstrap/010 Docking Station folder.

After you installed everything, I highly suggest making a backup of this installation directory somewhere, incase you mess up horribly and want to go back to the base game without having to redownload.

You may or may not need to run as an administrator to get the map editor/CAOS tool to work. It depends. Those programs are crazy. XD


Get CAOS tool

The CAOS tool can be downloaded here:

http://www.gamewaredevelopment.co.uk/downloads/cdn/CAOSTool.exe

Registration key:

Gameware
350-4742K-1234U-WK

You may or may not need to run CAOS tool as an administrator.

That’s it, pretty easy huh?


Get the map editor

The map editor can be downloaded here:

http://www.gamewaredevelopment.co.uk/downloads/cdn/MapEditor.exe

Registration key:

Gameware
351-4743M-1234U-WS

You may or may not need to run the map editor as an administrator.


Get Jagent

Download Jagent and extract it wherever you want.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/jagent/

Jagent has 3 .jar files in them, 2 of which I frequently use:

  • Monk: This compiles your files (.cos, .c16, .catalogue, …) into a single, beautiful .agents file you can inject from the agent injector.
  • Edos: This can open .c16 files (and you can drag/drop the sprites onto Gimp to edit them) and create .c16 files from images

Start developing!

That’s it! You’re an unstoppable developer now! 😀

I’ll post some tutorials covering simple agents later.

 

If you don’t want to wait for my tutorials, that’s totally okay. Some resources:

Breeders Beware

Agent tutorials on CCaves