Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CCSF is Coming!

The time has flown, and this year's Creatures Community Spirit Festival is quickly coming upon us. All around the world creatures fans are writing, drawing, spriting, coding, breeding, gengineering, organizing, interviewing and otherwise preparing for the biggest CC event of the year.

This will be the sixth annual festival for the Creatures Community, but if it's your first time or if you're looking for inspiration, this post will (hopefully) help you understand what the CCSF means to you-- and perhaps more importantly, what you mean to the CCSF.

So what's the CCSF?

Even though it has been years since the last Creatures game was released, the Creatures Community is still fighting to stay alive and keep up the morale of Creatures fans everywhere. Despite the dwindling of the Creatures fanbase, we continue to show our support for the Creatures series as well as each other. This is what the Creatures Community Spirit Festival is all about.

Think of the CCSF as a big online holiday, full of celebrations, special events, and of course, presents for all. Everyone is invited to participate by contributing content, hosting events, and just showing support for for the Creatures Community.

The majority of CCSF content generally centers around a website, the URL of which is released as the festival draws nearer. Everyone submits their content, events, and other contributions to the festival organizers, along with a suggested release date. The CCSF organizers are then in charge of posting up all submissions on the site throughout the festival for everyone to enjoy.

This year 3kul has taken the bulk of the responsibility of organizing the CCSF, which is scheduled to run from November 1st-14th. An ever-changing calendar of events, as well as guidelines for submissions can be found here.

Each CCSF has a theme, and this year the theme is Time. This broad topic could encompass a number of things-- reflections on the past, predictions for the future, the complexities of timer scripts, the changes of the seasons, and so on. Generally, submissions are encouraged to have some relevance to the theme, but it is by no means required. The theme is meant to be an inspiration, not a hindrance, so don't feel shy about creating content or organizing events just because they may not fit the theme. What is most important is participation-- sticking to the theme is just bonus. Even I joke that the only thing time-related about my submissions will be that I will rushing to finish them in time for the festival!

But what can I do?

Community participation is the core of CCSF. The festival would simply not exist if it wasn't for all the work each member of the community puts into it! Everyone can contribute, no matter what their talents may be. If you're not sure what you can do for CCSF, here are several ideas to inspire you:

In-game content: This is the most obvious (and common) sort of contribution. If you have the skills necessary for writing/spriting agents, gengineering breeds, or even creating metarooms, CCSF is certainly the time to put those skills to good use!

Fanart/Fanfiction: If you're a more creative sort, Creatures-related art and stories are always appreciated by the community, especially as Creatures artists/writers become harder to find.

Guides, Tutorials, and other Articles: You might call this Creatures Fan-non-fiction. CAOS tutorials are the most common in this category, but you can write anything else you would like to share with the community in the form of an article, such as your secret method for breeding creatures as fast as possible, a guide to drawing a basic norn, or a descriptive list of underused agents.

Music, Video, and other Media: These may be few and far between, but if your talents lie in the realms of other media, by all means record a creatures parody of a well-known song or produce a video of your creatures doing something entertaining!

Interviews: An extremely popular part of earlier CCSFs that has since become a lost art. Is there a member of the Creatures Community that you think the community would like to know more about? Perhaps an upcoming project has raised your curiosity and you wish to ask the developers a few questions? Contact the community member in question and (politely) ask if you can interview them for the CCSF! Past interviews can the found on both the CCSF06 and CCSF07 websites.

Hosting Events: If creating stuff just isn't your thing, maybe organizing an event or a contest is more your style. Run a community wolfling run, start a fanart competition, judge a norn pageant, or anything you can think of! You may even choose to award prizes to winners if you like, but this is completely optional.

Participating in Events: On the other side of the coin, event participants are just as important as event hosts! Join in the fun and show your support for the community by participating in the many events going on during CCSF.

Participating in the Community: While this is something most of us do year round, activity in community forums such as CreaturesCaves, Creaturetopia, and Albia2000 becomes extremely important during CCSF-- seeing as community is what it's all about! If you tend to lurk around forums rather than post, CCSF is a wonderful time to start getting more active within the community. Checking the forums to see that several new posts have been made does wonders for the morale of a small community. Just be sure to follow the forum rules!

Posting Creature Adoptions: (As Malkin reminded me-- thanks!) This is a special sort of contribution because single creature adoptions don't need to be formally submitted to the organizers-- there's a special CCSF09 group on The Creature Repository for you to simply upload your special CCSF09 creatures to!

And if you still need more inspiration, there's no better place to look than at the old CCSF websites to see what others have done in the past.

Do feel free to leave any questions, comments, or suggestions you might have. Let's work together to make this the best CCSF yet!


  1. You forgot "Post Adoptions" ;) Adoptions are easy and fun, and they're probably the first kind of Creatures addon there is. :)