Saturday, August 20, 2011

Updates, call for testers, C4, etc.

These posts are getting rather unexciting, hah.

I sort of dropped off the face of the earth for a while, random upsets that real-life throws at you can do that. Some of you may have noticed that LNA is down-- most likely it's going to stay that way until the DS server goes back up. I can't really do a whole lot of development for it until that happens anyway.

If you've been keeping an eye on my projects page though, you've probably noticed that I have been finishing up a lot of my smaller projects and they mostly just need to be tested and compiled. So if you are a bored DS player interested in helping that process along by bugtesting and giving feedback, send a PM to Amaikokonut on Creaturetopia. You can technically send me a PM on CreaturesCaves too, but I'll get them faster on Ctopia.

I also feel the need to briefly throw my two cents out there about C4, since news about it is making its way around, sparking mixed opinions from everyone, some a bit disturbingly hostile. Let me just drop in a sixteen-second reminder on how to handle other people's opinions before going on:

Anyway, my view on things may be a bit different than some-- for one, when I first heard the news about C4, I didn't leap for joy or anything of that sort. I didn't have high expectations. Heck, I stated years ago that I wouldn't have high expectations for any future creatures game because the things I personally love creatures for (science, genetics, brain-simulation, etc) are just not marketable traits of a game in this era. No one is going to put tons of time and money into advancing artificial-life science unless they are passionate about it and not looking to turn a profit. That's a project for people like Steve Grand, not a team of game developers. It's just not financially reasonable to expect otherwise, in my view.

So I'm really not expecting C4 to be anything but superficial. In my mind, Creatures has split off into two paths: Grandroids, which takes all the science and realism and improves them without any of the actual surface elements, and Creatures 4, which takes the surface/game elements (norns themselves, graphics, etc) and improves them without the science/realism.

That said, I think C4 looks cute. I will probably buy the boxed version, if nothing else but for the little figurine (I'm just a sucker for stuff like that). I will play it, and possibly find some inspiration with it. Then, in all likeliness, I will go back to playing/developing for DS.

In my mind I'm seeing C4 as almost more like a spin-off or a side-game than an actual successor. And from that standpoint it really doesn't look that bad.

Honestly, I don't think this community needs a C4. It needs lifeblood, it needs more people, development, art, stories, and other interactions-- that is what has kept it alive thus far. But C4 is likely to bring us that in the form of publicity, if nothing else. In that sense, it is most certainly a good thing, no matter how the game turns out. That is, providing the CC doesn't get so up in arms fighting over it that it drives old and potential new players away.

And who knows? Maybe C4 will surprise us a little, too.


  1. Excellent video! Funny, but spot on. Ha ha!

    I'm also pretty much in agreement with you, aside from the fact that I initially was really excited when I heard about Creatures 4. It's turning it a bit more of a spinoff, which isn't so bad. Creatures Village was kind of the same way, and I wouldn't say that it tarnished the Creatures name or anything: It was just a different concept.

    I plan on getting the collector's edition, too! Sounds interesting, and I usually can't turn down special edition things. Your final main paragraph is excellent: The community doesn't necessarily need a new game, but it needs new players and content. It's healthy to disagree about C4, but I hope everyone can get along and show that our community isn't a hostile one.

  2. Love the video, and I think your C4 comments hit the nail on the head.

    From what I understand C4 Norns are going to have C3 genetics with a couple of tweaks (such as the body data genes). Then the game engine will be rewritten in whatever language Fishing Cactus are using.

    If 3rd party development is available, I see no reason why we can't give C4 the sceincey edge we'd like. Would you consider developing for it?

    From what I can tell C4 is essentially going to be a modernised version of C3, with a few bells and whistles added on to pull in some new players. Hopefully beneath the added gloss the original game will still be there for us to extract.

  3. @Jessica -- Personally, I quite enjoyed Creatures Village, childish as it was! It's obviously not the same as our standard creatures games but I think it deserves its own place, and I believe C4 will be the same way.

    @Arch -- If 3rd party development is possible to the extent that it was in C3/DS, I will more than likely take a stab at it. I just don't have a lot of hope that it will happen right now, as there has been no mention of it and honestly, I don't think that a game that is funded by microtransactions will allow people to tear into the basic code themselves. I could maybe see them allowing people to create simple objects like food, toys, and so on and possibly play with the genetics, but I don't foresee them giving us the ability to say, modify the breeding scripts or death scripts or even kill hots something. Of course we don't know any of this, and I may be speaking too soon, but I -really- would feel a lot better if Fishing Cactus would at least acknowledge that 3rd party development has always been one of the core aspects of this community.

    The thing is, if the Alife and biology are lifted right from C3 without any real biochemistry/brain improvement, I just don't see a reason to not stick with C3 for development anyway. I just love how much control C3 CAOS gives us; I love that if I wanted to and had the time, I could entirely rebuild the game to my liking. Unless C4 allows that extent of customization, DS is probably going to be my mainstay.