Monday, November 20, 2017

Eleven Months Later, a Speech Bubble Update

Hello friends. I'm still around, if in a mostly lurktacular sense.

I've gotten a little fed up with myself and my bad habit of posting "hey, look at this thing I'm working on!" and then never releasing it, or in this case, releasing it almost a year later. It's something I have mixed feelings on because on one hand I feel like it's important to document the process of things so that other can chime in and maybe learn from it, and on the other hand, it stresses me out so much to have little loose ends of projects I haven't finished floating around out there. I've also kind of come to the conclusion that I think gain a lot more satisfaction out of documenting and discussing the process with people than actually finishing/releasing something. But of course, just talking or posting about something doesn't do much to help people who just want to see the finished product!

I think the standard I am going to try to set for myself is to only post about an unfinished project if A) I require more feedback/information from the public to move forward on a project, B) if the documentation of the process can help people in some way, such as including discoveries or notes about how a particular aspect of CAOS, genetics, or the brain works, or C) If it's a particularly large project that I've already posted about previously and people are asking about how it's going.

My previous post about the Speech Bubble Update accomplished none of those things. In fact, in the time that it took to write up that post, I probably could have finished up the expanded sprites that I was too lazy to work with and just released the thing. This is the sort of posting I'm looking to avoid in the future. I'd like to indulge my desire to just talk about stuff pointlessly a little bit less, if it means I can get more done in the very limited time I have to develop these days.

But anyway, moping aside, you can now download the Speech Bubble Upgrades!

Just to refresh you, the purpose of these updates is twofold:

To provide a larger speech bubble so creatures with long names can completely express themselves.

And to allow easier directing of commands to specific norns, Prefacing a command with 'hey' will direct that command to your currently selected norn, without you having to type out their whole, ridiculous name.

The zip file contains a .cos you can just drop in your bootstrap if you don't want to have to fiddle with injecting it every time, but if you go this route make you you inject the agent into a world at least once first to ensure the new speech bubble file gets extracted.

Also, happy CCSF everyone! For once I'm not completely skipping out this year, but like usual I didn't make any formal submissions either since I'm so awful with deadlines and painfully subject to altering and finishing things at the last minute. Nevertheless I'm going to do my best to use the festival as motivation to get a few posts made over the next few days, so look forward to that!

(Note: The Speech Bubble Upgrade was updated on 11-27-17 to fix a critical bug reported by Pixis (Thank you Pixis!) The download link has been updated to the newer version, however, if you want the old, broken version (for some reason) you can still download it here.)

(Also note: The Speech Bubble Upgrade received a substantial update for CCSF 2021 to add support for custom styles! You can check out the release post for more details. If you prefer the old version, you can still download it here. If you prefer a camera-shy version of the old version, check out Invisible Speech Bubble Plus!)


  1. Oooooh yay! :DD
    I always thought it was restrictive :3

    And Yay! I am looking very forward to it! ^w^
    (It's great to see the CCSF is still around after all this time! :'D )

    1. It really is wonderful that the CCSF tradition continues, however big or small! I feel like it's been a really long time since I've done much to celebrate, but I'm glad it's around to give me a nice reminder every year. Hilariously, this year's theme is 'Community Collaboration' which... I happen to be notoriously bad at. >>.. Well, maybe I'll find some inspiration within the festivities this year.

  2. Hello! Um, I'm sorry if this is the wrong place for this (I was unsure of how to contact you), but I think I've found a bug with this agent!

    When I try to type a word shorter than four characters, the game throws a runtime error with the Text Box agent and cites the part of the code in this agent that contains the "hey" stuff. The "hey" itself works when I try it, though.

    If I press "stop script" I am able to continue the game as normal and I'm still able to talk to my Norns, so it's not really a huge problem, but I wasn't sure if I should say something!

  3. Thank you so much for letting me know! I've written a fix and changed the link in the post to point to the updated version. Please let me know if you run into any more problems!

    1. Oh wow, you fixed it so fast! I just put the new version in my world and it's perfect. Thank you! :)

  4. Did you release a Creature history cos that allowed the input and dispaly of longer names? i replaced the one I had been using and now it only works with more "normal" names.

  5. Hey, question for you. I see lots of new updates available that mean tweaking or replacing cos files but when I do I get a horrid error and the game wont load. It's worth noting that I am new to all of this and played creatures when it was first released but not since. I am fine dropping in agents etc... but I also cant get my copy of DS to install so just running C3, maybe this is why. Thoughts and guidance appreciated for a complete newbie!

    1. Hey there! Unfortunately, as you suspect, running C3 is probably the issue. There are a handful of CAOS commands introduced with DS that Creatures 3-standalone does not support. Anything you drop in the bootstrap is especially harsh since the game checks all those files every time it loads. It's probably freaking out at those unrecognized commands, leading to those errors.

      Sorry your DS won't install! If you're running Windows, and if you haven't already, I recommend trying the copy of Creatures Exodus from It's fairly inexpensive and the install is updated for newer PCs, so maybe it will work for you? Good luck!