Monday, December 5, 2011

"Garden Box" Mini-injector-- Another sort of opinion poll

So while I was brainstorming the structure and logic of the aforementioned planting-stuff-into-walls agent, I stumbled on an idea that I'm not sure how I feel about.

The goal of this agent is to make world-customizing easier and more interesting, but the way I have the agent currently planned out, it might be a little laborious. If you wanted to plant a strawberry patch, you would have to go to the injector room, inject the strawberry planter agent (assuming you already had the plant-stuff-into-walls-core installed), scroll back to the room you wanted to plant the patch, find the spot to plant the patch (a bit of a pain in large worlds like C2inDS), and plant it. Now imagine you want to plant six, or twelve strawberry patches. You would have to go back and reject the module each time, re-find the place you wanted to plant it, and so on. This, to me, sounds like anything but what the joy of customizing a world should be.

There are a few different ways to make this a bit easier, like creating reusable seed packets that one can just carry around with them to create more patches. I don't know about you guys, but I don't really know what to do with seed vendors once I'm done with them; I don't like to have them imposing on the scenery and if I stick them somewhere I tend to lose them. Maybe that's just me.

My current brainstormed-solution is to, instead, create what I am terming a "Garden Box." This would essentially become and contain the plant-stuff-into-walls-core, and would sit as a little icon in the bottom corner of your screen, that when clicked, would expand into a floating box containing a list of all the garden box modules you have installed. From there all you would have to do is select the plant you wanted, confirm it, and plant your patch. When you were finished, the box could be minimized back to its icon form.

Something like this could be expanded far beyond an easy way to use wall-plantable agents; it could be expanded to contain other seed modules too, and possibly critters, scenery objects, etc., so you would basically have a centralized place for world-customizing stuff. Plants and critters already native to C3/DS would (I think) be fairly easy to add to the box, for easy re-creation in other areas of the world. Creators would have to rewrite any existing 3rd party agents if they wanted them to show up in the Garden Box (hopefully something that wouldn't be too difficult if I can implement it right), so it wouldn't be a universal solution by any means, but it still could simplify things.

What do you guys think? Is there a better solution to this? Does it bother you having to reinject an agent several times? Do you try to avoid having a bunch of seed vendors lying around? Does something like the Garden Box sound worth the wait, or should I just focus on the wall-plantable stuff on its own?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

CCSF wrap-up, Advanced Muco Bugs, Looking Ahead

CCSF really, really burned me out, guys. Wow. I've never done so many things at once in such a short period of time. I think I had a total of like fifteen downloads throughout the whole thing. Granted most of them were only a few lines of code, but that's still quite a bit to put out.

I never got a chance to write a proper wrap-up post. After it was over, I furiously scrambled to catch up on my NaNoWriMo story (which I did manage to finish, but wow I have never written a worse story in my life), and well, it's not too hard to tell how creatively exhausted I am right now. Kind of a shame too, considering I really wanted to contribute to the Creatures Community Advent Calendar but I simply had nothing left in me.

I really wanted to thank everyone who made blog posts during the CCSF; I don't know about everyone else, but for me it was really inspiring to see something new happening every day, and went a long way in motivating me to keep up as well. I originally planned on making some little award buttons/banners for the participants, but it was just something that kept getting pushed to the back burner. It's still something I'd like to do, though, belated as it may be.

Also, there have been a couple reports on Advanced Muco acting a little bit funny when used to select creature breeds that have never been injected before. I haven't had a chance to thoroughly investigate this, but in the meantime, if you're having a problem with a breed of creature that you haven't yet injected throwing errors/autokilling muco when selected via Advanced Muco, try using Advanced Muco to select the creature before the newly installed breed, then clicking on muco itself to select the next breed the old-fashioned way. Inject the egg, and hopefully you won't have any more problems selecting the breed normally via Advanced Muco. If you have any other issues with this, do let me know. It's something I'll look into eventually, and it will be be big help if I have some specific details from you guys.

In spite of all this creative exhaustion, my mind is already hatching new ideas for agents. The release of the Biodomes especially got me thinking about pulling away from my current obsessions with norn genetics/interaction/functionality and looking a little more at world customization.

One thing I'm tossing around in my head right now is an agent that essentially lets you plant a fruit or nut into the background/wall. You would select a region of the world (the idea being that you would do this with an area of the background that contains an image of a shrub or tree, but of course you could do whatever you wanted), possibly set some settings (like if you only want the fruit to grow in certain seasons, how often it should grow, etc), confirm it, and then the fruit would just start spawning in that selected area of the background, giving the illusion that the bush (or whatever) is bearing fruit. Kind of like the apples and seed pods grow in the C3 norn area-- they don't really grow on a plant agent, they're just set up to spawn in random areas of the treehouse.Would open up some nice world customization abilities anyway.

What do you guys think? I think I could set it up to be modular, so you could inject the "plant stuff into wall" core, and then individual agents for each type of food-- lemons, justanuts, apples, whatever, so it wouldn't be too hard for developers to make their own wall-plantable foods; it would just be a matter of writing a basic food agent and setting a few variables that sync up with the core. Could be fun? Maybe?