Installing Creatures 3 and Docking Station Games Arnout | 2/13/2017|| 4|
From installing the games to downloading patches and COBs. This complete guide covers it all.
Creatures 3 and Docking Station were originally released around 2000. Well, that's been a decade and the games have become pretty outdated over the years. You've probaply picked up Creatures Exodus from Good Old Games or Amazon and you want to start playing ASAP. Sadly, it's not as easy as just installing the games and starting them up. The Docking Station servers have been offline for a long time now and the original game requires you to log in before you can play. The first part of this guide was written to make the installation of Creatures Exodus as easy as possible. Also, on Creaturescaves alone there's hundreds of 'third party' items that can be installed to make your play experience more enjoyable, so the rest of the guide will be dedicated to installing these.
Part 1: Setup
The installation of the game doesn't actually have a lot of important things to pay attention to. But if you're installing Creatures Exodus (and not a stand-alone version Creatures 3 and a free version of Docking Station) you'll want to make sure that the games are not installed under your main drives' "Program Files" but in My Documents instead under a folder called "Creatures." For instance, the destination folder that my games were installed to during the setup is "DDocumenten\Creatures." Creatures Exodus always automatically installs third party agents under My Documents, and in order for some vital files to show up in your game properly the main files and these need to be in the same directory.
After installing Creatures Exodus, head over to the My Documents folder and check if all files are installed properly. The Creatures folder should at least contain a folder called "Creatures 3", one called "Docking Station", the Creatures Exodus Manual PDF and Uninst.isu. There can be more files but that depends on where you got Creatures Exodus. Now enter the Creatures 3 folder and right click engine.exe. Open up the engine's properties and check "run as administrator." When done, head into the Docking Station folder and do the same with the engine file that is located there.
Part 2: Docking Station updates bypass, Creatures Remastered Patch and DS Offline Option
In Docking Station, it is necessary that the game cannot be updated anymore using the Install Blast. Head back into your Docking Station folder, find the engine file again, and make a shortcut to it on your desktop. Then, right click the shortcut on your desktop and open properties. The shortcut always refers to a certain path, which is in my case: "DDocumenten\Creatures\Docking Station\engine.exe". Find this part and add a space and --autokill to the end of it. The shortcut reference will then look like this: "DDocumenten\Creatures\Docking Station\engine.exe" --autokill This will be the main shortcut that you'll use to start up the game.
In order for new files to show up properly in your game you need to download a small patch as well. The Creatures Remastered Patch is available here. Download the zip, open the executable file directly and follow further instructions. The file is not harmful in any way and only requires you to push one or two buttons on your keyboard.
Creatures Docking Station used to be an online in which you could connect your Creatures worlds to those of other players. Sadly, these times are over and the game was never updated to reflect the termination of the servers. However, in order to start a world the game still requires you to log in with your account details. Luckily, there's a way to bypass this.
1: Head over to http://www.creaturesdockingstation.com/
2: Download the DS Offline Option zip file and extract the files.
3: Wherever you extracted the files, two new files have appeared.
4: "zzz_gamestart_login.cos" goes into Documents/Creatures/Docking Station/Bootstrap/010 Docking Station
5: "offlinelogin.c16" goes into Documents/Creatures/Docking Station/Images
Now, start up Creatures 3 and make a new world. You'll soon notice a funky machine that's known as the Norn Egg Layer. It features different Norn Breeds. Make sure that the machine lays an egg of each available breed. Afterwards, you can delete the world or leave it as it is. I'll leave that to your own fantasies.
Then, start up Creatures Docking Station and see if you can start a new world. That's all you need to check over there.
Part 3: Installing third party items and different file types
After part 2, you can basically start playing safely. But, to enhance playing experiences, over the years the Creatures Community has released tons of 'third party' items or COBs for short. (I believe "third party" indicates that they were made by the Creatures Community and not by the original Creatures producers.) Each of these items were made with a certain Creatures game in mind. These items include helpful updates to make your game better, so below is a list with all recommended third party patches and updates.
First of all, check what game an item was made for. For Creatures Exodus, this should be either Creatures 3 or Docking Station. On Creaturescaves, all third party items feature an indication of what game they were made for. The main folders of Creatures 3 and Docking Station contain more folders that were all made for different file types that the games' engines can read. The different file types can be recognized by their extensions.
The most common type of file is the .agent(s) file. This is either an egg agent for your egg layer or a COB for your creation machine. Agent files are installed under the My Agents folder. All agent files that are installed in Creatures 3 will show up in Docking Station as well, so there's no need to install these twice.
Another common file type that you'll come across in the recommended items below by all means is the .cos file. All of the .cos files below are installed in your Creatures 3/Bootstrap/001 World or your Docking Station/Bootstrap/010 Docking Station. It's really important that these are put in the folder of the right game, or the engine might toss you some errors when you try to start a new world.
Then, there's the .c16 file. These are sprite files and should be put in the Images folder. AFAIK, all .c16 files that are installed under Creatures 3 will show up in Docking Station as well.
When installing extra Creature breeds, you might see some files that end with .att. These should be put in your Body Data folder. Like .c16 files, these can be installed in only the Creatures 3 folder and will show up in Docking Station properly then.
Genetics files end with either .gen or .gno. These should be put in your Genetics folder.
The last common file is the .catalogue file. These files often contain important information about certain agents and should be put in the Catalogue folder. They're also the main reason that Creatures Exodus is installed in your Documents folder and not under Program Files.
Tips: Each Creature breed occupies a certain 'breed slot.' Breed slots tell the Creatures engine what your Creatures look like by binding them to sprites and body data. Never install two breeds that share the same breed slot. Your games can have up to 104 different Creature breeds at once.
Part 4: Recommended items for Creatures 3 and Docking Station
All of these items can be found in the COBs list of creaturescaves & if they can't be, there's a hyperlink that leads to the right place.
- Docking Station fixes
DS Offline Option
Wolf Control fix
Bypass import cloning
DS Elevator fix
Grazer sound fix
Photo fade-in stopper
Critical hit script
- Creatures 3 fixes
Woodland fix pack
Ettin tail sprite fix
Desert Terrarium Fixes (Install after minor fixes)
Meerk update (Install after Desert Terrarium fixes)
Edible, Squishable Balloon Bugs (Only install balloon bug.cos)
Extra Water Plants
New volcano rocks
Rhino beetle update (rocklice.cos? This is the only item that I couldn't find the original source for.)
Grendel and ettin maker update
Creatures 3 map patch
Creatures 3 apple patch
- Fixes that can be installed to both games
Creature DoneTo Scripts
No seasonal gender bias
Invisible Speech Bubbles
- C3 (Optional)
C3 ChiChi Norns (Under Norn Slot D)
Bio-pellets for the recycler
Super food vendor
- DS (Recommended)
Offline Warp Portals
Magic words core
Magic words room edits
Magic words clone
DS Super food vendor
Either Vampess' CFE genomes
or 2017 genomes
This Creaturescaves thread for step 1 and step 2.
Treesprite's Creatures Grove for bypassing the Docking Station Install Blast.
Thank you for the time and effort put into creating this guide...very, very helpful.
I don't have a Bootstrap folder in my Docking Station folder. I already copied the 'zzz' file into the 'Images' folder.