Friday, September 17, 2010

Traveling Albia

Creatures 2 Albia is a large and intricate world full of caverns, passages, and impassible terrain.  Trying to circumnavigate it is a very difficult task for the average pedestrian, and the Shee and their Ettin engineers have devised means to explicate otherwise arduous journeys.

Of course C2toDS includes the basic boats and dingy of C2, but here is a look at some of the more interesting ones.

Beam Me Up Bibble!

Like Creatures 1 Albia--and all of the Creatures series--Creatures 2 includes a teleportation system: a complex network of interlinked transporter devices that can ferry Creatures from one place to another.

Personally, I never used any of them, and don’t know anyone else who did, but since I’ve recently implemented them myself and improved upon their functionality, let me take a moment to explain the teleportation system and my improvements.

The teleporters of Creatures 2, and consequently C2toDS, have general operating procedures of randomly selecting another transporter pad in the network on activation, however, there is a dedicated line on each pad to the incubator room.  It’s very handy for quickly transporting toys, seeds, food, gadgets, or lost Norns back to the burrow.

Which brings me to a new feature! Unlike Creatures 2, Creatures 2 to Docking Station’s teleporters have been upgraded to include not only inorganic matter in their pattern buffers, but simpler biological life forms as well.  Everything from caterpillars, to seed launchers, to Norns and machinery, can be whisked away in a flash!

Lift!  I Need Lift!

You already know C2toDS comes with the same lifts as Creatures 2, but what you may not know is how versatile and intelligent the lifts actually are.

C2toDS’s lifts are versatile from a developer’s standpoint because they can be easily implemented and function almost anywhere.  Adding another lift to C2toDS, with any number of stops, would take mere minutes, and each stop can be fine tuned.

Players should note that C2toDS’s lifts have a prioritized memory, and if a creature or the Hand has pushed another call button in the system, it will proceed to that stop after it has finished it’s current round.  Any number of buttons can be pushed in any order, and the lift will navigate them in time, and appropriate priority order.

Retro-Travel, All Aboard the Cable Car!

Loyal readers are rewarded with secrets, surprises, and fun facts, and this is one such time! 

Buried in soil of the once beloved Albian garden--now turned gaping chasm--and unearthed by the running waters, the cable car of Creatures 1 has been lifted up back into the treetops to serve loyal passengers once again!

It does it’s duty by ferrying creatures across the mighty gap, giving travelers another, very scenic, means to cross the waterfall canyon.

Ride on quaint traveler!  Ride on!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

C2toDS! And Then Some…!

I started playing Creatures with Creatures 2, and I remember all the cobs I used to play with, all the cobs I wish people would make, and all the cobs I wanted to make. 

Many of them are lost, sadly, including many of my favorites. But no matter what game you play, most of us have downloaded cobs we feel really should have been standard in the game, or seen things that should be fixed or expanded in any of the series.

Possessing both the authority and ability to shape C2toDS to my liking, I’m taking the creative liberty to expand and add the game, in both small and large ways.

Several previous posts examined various ways I’ve added small features, bee boxes and honey jars, mushrooms, and connectable gadgets, but I’d like to spend a brief moment on some new additions. :)



First up are the mushrooms you see above.  You probably saw them before, tucked into a screenshot, but I never mentioned them directly.  The concept was actually taken from the background of the world itself, and brought to life.  There are several things in the world that I have done this with.

Second in our lineup for this post are a handful of new gadgets for your enjoyment.  They fill various gaps in the world, from vending seeds and fruits, to critters.  Some of them are obvious as to their function, but what do the others do and how do they operate?  Well you’ll have to find out. :)

Our final sneak peek for this post are a lost cob I remade.  As I remember, it was one of the most well done plants for C2.  Sadly I can no longer find the original cob and don’t recall the author, but these pepper plants pay homage to a great plant from my memory and a cob lost to time. Extremely healthy, with various properties depending on the color/ripeness when eaten, they fight disease while filling tummies!  Though slightly hot with a little kick, they are one of the healthiest fruits in the game.


These are just a few of the additions I’ve made to C2toDS. Now I want to know what your favorite C2 Cob is! If you’ve never played C2, what about C1?  And finally, if you’ve never played either of those, what is your favorite C3/DS agent?  And why, of course!


Personally I don’t have a favorite.  I loved a lot of cobs, mostly animals, plants, and cool gadgets, especially those which allowed you to grow more things.

EDIT: I FOUND THE PEPPER COB! on one of my favorite sites, The Creatures of Avalon. :D It was a cob made by none of other than Spirit. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

I’ve Got You Trapped Now! >:D

One of the most frustrating things about my early days of C2, and even C3/DS, were the difficulties of keeping Norns contained to certain areas. 

While people have invented various agents, from force fields, to gadgets and door locks, and even “stopper” agents to deal with the Norn instinct to travel, I felt it would be a good idea to incorporate features directly into C2toDS wherever needed, to aid in wrangling and entrapping creatures.

One of the most important places such features are needed of course, are on the call buttons.  Not only do Norns, by their very nature, become obsessed with lift call buttons, they also use them frequently to run amuck in a world.

Not anymore!  The two main lift call buttons in Albia have been programmed with locking mechanisms that make them invisible and inoperable to Creatures!

And you can also see that they both have input and output ports for programming automated actions related to lifts.  Trigger the cheese machine to vend as soon as a Norn comes down, perhaps?  The limit is your creativity.


I’ve also fixed another extremely irritating, saddening, and common problem from Creatures 2.  In fact, my first Norn, a green Emerald named “Matt” died from drowning…I cried…so Norn safety is important to me.


With newly installed dock moors with safety rope, creatures will never run off the edge again!

And finally, to surely halt all ye meandering nomads and to protect the wayward wanderer, I have recreated the electric gate from the Creatures 2 Object Pack #1.  As an added bonus and improvement upon the original, it has one output port, reflects agents as well as creatures, and the sound of the field can be disabled on each unit. :)  Observe the field here, reflecting (and also activating) a tomato launcher. :)

I Really Feel We Have a Connection…

One of the things most lacking in Creatures Docking Station were connectable agents, and to this day, few agents incorporate this fun and interesting feature of the C3/DS engine. It really gave users a hobby of sorts--to create useful and fun complex gadgets.

I recently discovered my love of connectable agents, have began to incorporate them into C2toDS. 

This was of course a controversial decision, because it requires editing sprites to incorporate ports, and breaking some of the immersion one might have between C2 and C2toDS.  However, after carefully weighing the decision, and by that I mean I thought it was cool so I kept going, I’ve been incorporating connectability into many of C2toDS’s agents.

From call buttons, to the cheese machine, to teleporters, to tomato launchers, all kinds of gadgets are hooking up!

Hate it or Love it, let me know. :)