Monday, December 28, 2020

Magic Words IE Release

Oh my goodness, friends, I had so much fun with this one. Technically I did all the coding for it, but it felt more like a collaborative effort with Mea's intensive testing, feedback, and creative direction. Were it not for her, the implementation of this would be far less intuitive. The result is probably the most flexible form of a Magic Words command that I've ever managed to write. I really hope you all enjoy it!

Download it here! Remember, this requires the Magic Words Core to work, and please read on for more details!

A word of caution-- the more creatures you have in your My Creatures folder, the slower these commands will run. If you have hundreds of creatures, you may occasionally get the 'infinite loop' error, but it's not actually infinite-- you can retry until the script finishes running, or abort the loop and run the command again until you get all the creatures you want. Additionally, be very careful when importing tons of creatures. The last thing you want is to import 500 creatures and then your game crashes, erasing all the creatures you just imported.

The basic syntax for these commands is simply Import [what] and Export [what]. There can be many 'whats'. You can specify number, species, gender, lifestage, and/or world, in any order. There is a safeguard limit of 50 creatures for imports, but you can override this (at your own risk!) by specifying a number higher than 50 or simply "all" Some examples:

Import 4 -> Imports 4 of any creature
Import ettin -> Imports one ettin
Import norns -> Imports up to 50 norns
Export male norns -> Exports all male norns
Import all grendels -> Imports ALL grendels, even if there are more than 50 in your exports folder.
Import ettin 4 -> Imports 4 ettins. 'Import ettins 4' has the same effect.
Import 4 ettin child female -> Imports 4 female child ettins
Export youths -> Exports all youth creatures
Import 10 adult genderless -> Imports 10 adult genderless creatures of any species
Import 4 ettin child female w:ettin_world -> Imports 4 female child ettins that were exported from a world named "Ettin World"

'World' is a special parameter that will look for only creatures who have been exported from the specified world. This is useful when doing a complete migration from another world. This specification must begin with "w:" and contain no spaces. If there are spaces in the world name, you will need to replace them with underscores. This does mean that there is no distinction between creatures exported from 'Albian Reborn' and 'albia_reborn' so if for some reason you name your worlds like that, keep that in mind.

The export command works identically to the import, sans the world parameter and 50 creature limit.

Additionally, this agent does include an additional command: 'Cloning Toggle'. By default, it is set to NOT bypass import cloning and WILL clone creatures that you import that were not originally exported from one of your worlds (such as creatures you've downloaded). This is important to prevent moniker clashes if the creature is sent through the warp later. While, as of writing, online creature tracking isn't set up in Albian Warp or Rebabel, it's not impossible that it will be one day in the future. If you choose to turn cloning off, please consider not sending the creatures that you import through the warp. Also note that this toggle ONLY affects Magic Words Import, and does not impact imports that happen via the traditional control panel.

Finally, there is a special bonus creature included in the this zip file, very appropriately autonamed Path Pain, with a moniker, also appropriately, ending in 666.

While rigorously testing Magic Words IE, Mea discovered that this creature-- and for some reason, this creature only-- was causing the agent to throw errors after she had moved it out of the exports folder. When she sent me the creature, I discovered the exact same thing. It was super ominous.

Eventually we were able to fix the error with a better-placed PRAY REFR, but this creature still might actually be cursed, so in the true spirit of 2020, we're passing this curse on to you. Import at your own risk, of course! And like any creature you download from the internet, you'll need to bypass import cloning to retain the original name and moniker of the creature.

Oh, and one last thing! A few people asked me about the background music used in this video and to be honest it's just something simple I put together with the default presets in LMMS (which, by the way, is free, and a lot of fun to just mess around in, even if you, like me, are not terribly musically inclined) because I wanted something vaguely Creatures-y sounding. It's not included in the zipfile, but you can download it here if you like, and feel free to use it in your own Creatures videos!

Hope you're all enjoying this CCSF! I personally have been greatly looking forward to the videos as they release and watching all the drama unfold. I really hope CCSF Wolfling run videos remain an ongoing tradition!

Friday, November 27, 2020

SERU Drop Point Release

I haven't done anything for a CCSF in a few years, and I honestly didn't even plan on it, but I had just managed to get .cos injection working in linux, and it seemed in my best interest to test my new development flow by fixing up an old agent.

Funny story about this agent is that I was absolutely convinced I had already released it three years ago. I remember even making references about it to other people, none of whom pointed out that they had no idea what I was talking about. But earlier this year I realized it's nowhere to be found in any of the usual places. I swear I remember writing the blog post for its release, but there's not even a draft in my folder. I even had a readme and a zipfile for it, totally ready to go. Am I losing my mind? Am I blindly missing my own release post? Did I hop timelines at some point? Agh!

Anyway. it was technically unofficially released in the sense that once I realized I couldn't find it anywhere public, I threw it in a discord and I think it also ended up in the eemfoo archives. But I guess it was never official.

Regardless, I went about upgrading it with some magic words commands to make this the Official CCSF-Exclusive-Special-Version even if a handful of people already have it. And then I put together a ramble-y video guide that includes a brief summary of SERU history at the beginning.

In summary though, this is a version of SERU that automatically receives eggs depending on the population in the world, with some settings to adjust the frequency. It can also be directly clicked to summon an egg whenever you like. It's mostly intended to keep random wolfling runs from dying out, or just adding a chance of random interest to your nurturing worlds. 

You can download it here! Just remember the Magic Words Core is required to use the Magic Words commands.

I might just crawl back into my cave for a while, development-wise, but you can always leave comments or email me with questions/concerns/wild ideas/etc.

Hope you're all enjoying the festival! Make sure you're keeping tabs on the CSSF 2020 blog for all the updates (and videos!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Puppeteer Public Release

So, I finally made my creature-posing program available to the public. You can download it on github! It doesn't do as much as I had hoped for, but you can export your poses to transparent PNGs, which might be useful for graphic-making.

Theoretically you can also use it to test ATTs without opening the game, though if you're using it for that, you'll probably want to grab the older 1.0 version to get the pose details.

I want to be more excited about this! This was my first 'real' Java project, and certainly the biggest thing I've ever done that wasn't written in CAOS. (I didn't think it would ever happen, did you?) But I'm just kind of bummed out that I don't have it in me to finish it. There's an issue with the dependencies that, unless someone more more skilled than me is able to write around, prevents me from really making substantial progress with it. But I've been sitting on it for over a year now, so it's better off being out in the wild.

Still, I hope someone can get some use out of what's there! Maybe someday the issues will be fixed and I'll have time to work on it again, or something better will come along, or both.

If nothing else, it was a lot of fun (if slightly hilarious) to work on! Here are some bonus, in-progress shots for you:

Thanks for sticking with me, friends!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Elevines Revamping (and more?)

I've been meaning to slowly migrate several of my more commonly used agents to GitHub, both so I can keep them updated and other developers can easily update and fork them. I've mostly fallen in love with the issues system; it's like your project's personal tiny forum where you can track what still needs to be addressed and discuss bugs and possible features with others. Since there's not a whole lot of interaction going on right now, I'm basically using it as a public developer journal, but you all can jump in at any time if you want.

Right now I've put the elevines up, and I've opened some issues to address things like the resource usage of tinted sprites, the possibilities of using elevines as doors, and auto-CA linking. Will I actually get around to addressing all these things? Who knows. But chances of them getting addressed are a lot higher if all the issues and feature requests are listed in one page, so feel free to post your thoughts, if you have them.

Meanwhile though, are there any other agents of mine you'd like to see on GitHub, with the potential for future updates? I might hold a more formal poll eventually, but I'm just taking things as people show interest for now.

We'll see where this goes, I guess!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

GitHub is trending in the CC

Well, hello for the first time in almost two years. I hope you're all doing okay in this... particularly weird time.

I just wanted to note that I've stuck the little work I've done in the past on C3 Garden Box Conversions on GitHub, where you're all free to contribute your own edits and improvements to the agents. Even if you're not a developer, you can suggest features or improvements on the issues page. My own development time and attention span are limited, but I'll try to check pull requests as they show up.

If you're unfamiliar with how Git and GitHub work, there's a pretty beginner-friendly guide here. And a good way to get your feet wet is to contribute to the Awesome Creatures development resources list. It's complicated at first, but you learn the flow of things pretty quickly.

Additionally, If you enjoy developing for Creatures and want to potentially get involved in some team stuff, consider joining the GitHub Creatures Developer Network. You don't have to be a member to contribute to any of the projects, but it'll make things easier.

Hope you're all taking care, friends.