Friday, June 19, 2009

More Efficient Splicing

First of all, I need to gush about how much fun session 1 of the first Live Wolfling Run was today (erm, yesterday technically, seeing as it's 1 in the morning now). It's been so long since I was in a chatroom with other creatures players, and all the silly commentary that was made about what was going on onscreen just made it so much fun. It was like we were all raising norns together. I am both excited and apprehensive about tomorrow-- Hopefully the fun will continue, but I also know creatures will start dying out, and that will be a sad thing to watch...

In my personal worlds though... I have been splicing hundreds of creatures that have been found in export files on my harddrive, doomed to an eternity of being frozen in time otherwise. But during my splicing adventures, I kept thinking how nice it would be to be able to have the splicer in an undocked world so I wouldn't have to deal with the slowdown that all those extra metarooms in a docked world bring.

So just out of curiousity to see if I could do it, I poked around in the C3 splicer .cos files, changed some coordinates, then messed around with some of the scripts involved in the powerups and bioenergy to actually get the thing running. And tada:

I found myself with a fully functioning splicer in my DS hub.

I then went so far as to add some extra rooms to the area underneath the main hub area so freshly spliced creatures land on a floor underneath the splicer-- this is so I don't accidcently splice them again until the whole first generation has been spliced.

Then I was on a roll, so I decided to fix another problem-- a ton of adult norns running around the splice room tend to block the hand from being able to click the pods to get the creatures inside them.
So I created a "sedative," an invisible agent that lowers all the drives of creatures in the hub and puts them in a sort of a delerious, happy grog, while strongly suggesting them to rest. Not only does this make their splicing the most pleasant and painless experience of their lives, but while they're lying down the hand can click the pods without accidently tickling a creature.

Still having way too much fun with this, I then created a Creature Call button, which, when pushed, teleports all creatures right above one of the two splice pods, alternating between the two so that the creatures are evenly distributed. This, combined with the sedative that makes them sleepy mean I virtually never have to chase norns around to get them into the splice pods ever again.

It's just a matter of clicking each pod and pressing the splice button now.

At that point the most painful part of the process is importing all the creatures to splice. So again I tinkered with the import button found in the DS UI and created a similar button that essentially automated the process of importing. One click imports all creatures in your My Creatures folder (or at least, until you reach the population limit or your game explodes from holding too many creatures).

So now my splice process consists of moving 40 creatures from my Random Creatures folder to the My Creatures folder, one-click importing them all, using the call button to place them all by the pods, click-click-splice, repeat until the first generation is all spliced, call the second generation to the pods, repeat two more times or until I have about 5 creatures left, which are exported.

It's quite an improvement over manually importing each creature, dragging it to the splice pod, getting it in without tickling it, repeat for second creature, splice, move offspring somewhere safe, and so on and so forth.

Right now though, this splice system is spread out in about 6 different cos files and the buttons are in random places and are unlabeled, so perhaps I'll eventually structure them into a decent control panel and use proper sprites for the buttons, and compile and release it as a tribute to fellow splicers.

I'm also considering a button based on my Random Run script that creates a pair of completely random creatures for the beginning splicer who doesn't have hoards upon hoards of exported creatures sitting around on their hard drive.

...I'm sure I'll get back to working on BattleStance and my random run and all my other projects eventually. I just have so many nutty ideas.

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