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Ghosthande
Prodigal Sock

Ghosthande
United States  

 visit Ghosthande's website: Breeders Beware
  2/14/2017  1

Having to open a bunch of windows to control a single program was a rather strange design choice, but it was very neat how each kit had its own "background noise" and splash screen (I'd love it if Kreatures had an option for that as well)--and being able to quickly minimize them if you needed to get back to your Creatures was great (C3/DS's UI doesn't let you do this, so you have to close everything to see your game world again). That said... yeah, some of the kits could probably be more consolidated.

Creatures 2 was bizarre for having a Science Kit and Advanced Science Kit, IIRC, and having a separate Breeder's Kit with aspects of both the Health Kit and Injector was probably unnecessary. The Observation and Performance kits also seemed like they did variations of the same thing (tracking your progress). I actually really liked the Ecology Kit, but in the long run it would have been more useful in a C3-type environment, where factors are actually changeable. C2 only seemed to have seasonal changes, so while the kit was a nice reference, you're right that it didn't really get much regular use. Now maybe if it had had options to re-inject extinct species, or something... that kind of thing would be useful to have duplicates of. Having lots of injectable agents and no way to categorize them has always been really annoying IMO. If Kreatures is going to have an injector, then I'd love it if it had basic categories to let you sort your downloads by type. Especially since virtually everything will be a download in this game...



 
Missmysterics

Missmysterics



  2/14/2017

I made a Creatures Wiki page for Kreatures!
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/14/2017

@Brynn yes, make a mockup of it, I'm thinking you could do the same thing in creatures 3 if you really wanted to by making the panels with CAOS. My first thought is that if the kits are being rendered by OpenGL, it would be possible to make new kits downloadable as well.

Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Brynn

Brynn



  2/14/2017

Something like this. Within the blue box is a drop-down menu that has different toolbar layouts: Science, Neuroscience, Ecology, Fertility, etc. The rest of the toolbar would be the tabs that are inside the kit, except they each pop up in their own window when clicked.

Toolbar layouts might have some redundancy - for example, the Neuroscience toolbar might have Biochem somewhere in there so you can monitor chemical reactions and brain activity. You should also be able to easily make custom toolbars (think of them like "Favorite Places", but with kit pages)

@Ghosthande: Each window could display a little image or "mini-screensaver" when no Kreature is selected, for those that miss having the title page of the different kits...!

 
Merboy

Merboy
United States  


  2/14/2017

Very glad you took my suggestion to set up a paypal account! As I said before, I think this is one of - if not THE - most important developments in the Creatures Community for the better part of two decades. I can't wait to see how this turns out and where it goes. If you continue to be this dedicated to it then you have the potential to really revolutionize this entire Community and perhaps even evolve it into its own community for whatever incarnation Kreatures eventually assumes.

On that topic, I'm an author and had a really terrific time creating Ainarda. My wholehearted advice to everyone interested in avoiding the IP/copyright conundrum is to think about what norns and grendels and such later evolved into well beyond the events of the original Creatures games. Not only does this help us avoid the legalities of potentially infringing on the Creatures franchise but you have ANYTHING your mind can imagine! I fully cast my vote for taking that route. Yes, I would LOVE canonical norns, grendels, and ettin to be featured in this new game but it wouldn't break my heart if they weren't due to complications with acquiring the rights.

Also, are there more videos or screenshots apart from what's already on your youtube account? I for one can't get enough of this whole project and if there are more visuals then all the better! But perhaps it's mostly just in a coding stage right now... But in any case, I'm loving the updates!

And speaking of the updates, I also am loving that this is all happening on a forum where we all can ask questions and discuss things and work out issues together, pooling ideas and whatnot. I'm sure Creatures Caves will mention this project on the main site in their news and updates area because for the Community this is, again, a big deal! I want to see all the latest progress!

And lastly, if I may, I will eternally advocate for more beauty and greenery in any Creatures (or Kreatures) games. My favorite of the whole series was Creatures 2 but Creatures 1 was simply stunning. It had such a gorgeous world that was glowing with rich colors and beautiful hiding places and so much *character*.

Oh and also, for the love of god please make all elevators and doors lockable so creatures will stay OUT OF THEM.


The Lantern Light.com
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/14/2017

@Brynn, I'm still not really getting it. Can you do a mockup of a screenshot of the game while this is happening, rather than a menubar? Like, I used blender once a few years back, but I'm having trouble picturing it's little menus on the screen without feeling claustrophobic. E.g. my main computer is linux, it would work here because I have a 25 inch monitor, but the computer I use to make windows builds has an 8 inch screen. I'm thinking it just doesn't have the screenspace for the program to be usable with that setup.

@Merboy, still mostly at the coding stage, I have looked into things like L-tree generation and procedurally generated grass tho! And I recently rewrote the entire rendering engine so I could add water effects later.

There will be a new build released tomorrow morning. It's exactly like the old one but it takes up 1/4th-1/6th the GPU RAM. Also saving backgrounds is now taking half an hour because I need to scan each subsection to test what kind of compression to use on it!


Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Brynn

Brynn



  2/14/2017

I wasn't suggesting anything novel about the pop-up windows originally, just the toolbar and splitting the kits into individual toolbars.

I play Creatures on a 1366 x 768 screen. Opening even 1 applet eats up a ton of space. Claustrophobic? Yes. It would help if the applets/windows were resizable. Being able to do quad/split view with the applet tabs might help with that problem.

 
Missmysterics

Missmysterics



  2/15/2017

So it's decided that this isn't going to involve the Creatures IP anymore?
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/15/2017

Spill won't even make an offer, I can't do anything about that.

Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/15/2017

So should I try to alter ReGenesis as much as I can to not contain the original graphics? We should work on a storyline to come up with a narrative and design that works together to be new and free, and still pay proper homage to the old games, and especially the third party content.
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/15/2017

The new renderer isn't working on windows, but the newer versions of the spritebuilder and mapeditor are up. Fluid maps have color IDs like rooms, but these do nothing, they're just there so I could reuse the room code.

You would have put the project on hiatus.

For determining a copyright violation, the court looks at two aspects : Access to the original work and Substantial Similarity. If the plaintiff can prove that the defendant had access to the work of the plaintiff and substantial portions were copied therefrom, copyright infringement is proved.

Even if it's redrawn the basis on the original games would violate copyright.

I never found the story of the original all that engaging tbh. I'm not sure it's really necessary.


Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/15/2017

So ReGenesis is no longer eligible as a world for this game?
 
Merboy

Merboy
United States  


  2/15/2017

Well the point of the storyline is more or less to explain the circumstances of the game. For example, Creatures' backstory is that the Shee created the norns and such in this place called Albia and then abandoned them. Then a volcano erupted uncovering more bits of Albia (Creatures 2). Then the Shee had a spaceship with more rooms to explore but they left that place as well (Creatures 3). And so on. It's not so much that the game requires a backstory as deep as the Lord of the Rings but it's nice to have an idea of what's essentially going on with the game so that it's not simply "here I made a god-game, have fun."

Perhaps Kreatures, to use its working title, could be framed with something simple as well. Like, say there was an ancient continent that was kept secret by a race of Guardians who were dying out. Once the final Guardian was gone the small continent (or island or kingdom or what have you) became wild and overgrown and its creatures interbred and nature became a little disordered until things evolved enough through natural processes that it became a sort of eden. And that's where the player finds himself upon accessing the game. And the objective of the game isn't necessarily to breed but to reorder the world and keep it in balance despite weather events and disasters and maybe even disputes between different species of adorable furry critters. Or what if the world is actually just a painting and hence the cross-section antfarm perspective. And the creatures in it are alive or something because... wizards... I don't know. I'm just spit-balling, but you get the idea.


The Lantern Light.com
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/15/2017

It's eligible as a mod, but not to be packaged with it.

Current state:
debug mode: runs in debugger, closes immediately otherwise
release mode: crashes in debugger, closes immediately otherwise

I've spent the last 6 hours trying to figure out what's going on, it's like the code is being executed in the wrong order. I am fuming right now!


Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/15/2017

I can't work out what if anything is wrong with the build, and I'm starting to wonder if it's a problem with my computer itself.

It's now here tell me if you can get it to open.


Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/16/2017

To honour the Creatures community, I suggest a background story that could fit as a sequel to the original story, but doesn't explicitly claim to be. The same with the world. The player should be able to imagine that the world is a distant future version of Albia, without it being obviously that. JUST close enough for it to be possible.

I still like the idea of the Daoine as the new creator race. Both because they're mythologically linked to the Shee, and because the name sort of sounds like Darwin (which comes from Daor Ween - dear friend, while Daoine simply means people).

The kirins would fit greatly as the main pet species of the game. I imagine a lot of different types, perhaps based on real world (and mythological?) animals.

 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/16/2017

Probably I'll call the company Spehlaion, the original ancient Greek pronunciation of Plato's allegory of the cave, both because the cave is a good analogy to creating artificial worlds, and because it yields 0 search results. So I'm maybe names should have greek theming. Kirin is distinctly Chinese.

Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/16/2017

The new build is up and working.

The problem was that the UNIX strndup and windows _strndup are not exactly identical.

I scaled down the graphics for you bifrost.

The texure streaming doesn't work right, i moved the textures back to being loaded on the rendering thread until it's fixed. The problem manifests by textures rendering as black until they go off screen and on screen again, without giving enough time for the engine to remove the textures from memory and reload them. However, if they aren't loaded at all they should not render at all, so I'm not sure what's doing this.


Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/16/2017

I've been looking through various Greek mythological creatures, and most of the names are kind of clichés. Of course you could take it all out and go full blown cliché and use Atlantis as the world. I love the idea of the name for the company, but for the game, I think old Irish, Scottish, Welsh and/or similar mythologies would give better names.
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/16/2017

I was thinking the same thing, because of how inundated our culture is with greek mythology, but I figured the idea was worth throwing out there.

Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/16/2017

In Irish folklore, there are a lot of cool sounding names. In addition to the Daoine, I particularly like the Aibell, Enbarr, Fetch, Merrow, Púca and Sluagh.
 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/16/2017

I'm working in the map editor now, and it's spending a lot, and I mean a LOT of time locked up, Compressing background layers. Often several minutes per layer, and often up to eight layers at a time. Meanwhile, I can't do anything.

The size of the world looks nice imo, now, though. I'm trying to get the overlays to work, before I start on the sky parallax layer (how do I add that in in the map editor?) and then I'm gonna try adding the liquid layer thing. Should that be in a separate image from the map image? Should I add different colours for where the water is allowed to go, and the areas where it's locked out?

 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/16/2017

You don't add parallax layers in the map editor, you export them with the "export parallax layer" option, (won't be selectable if the image has background or cutout layers,or rooms/fluids).

This is a comparison image of the compression used:
http://cdn.wolfire.com/blog/alphasoft.jpg
It can choose between 1, 3 and 5, 1 has no transparency, 3 works well when there's sharp transitions in transparency but no transparency gradients, and 5 works well for when they'res transparency gradients.

So around half of the time is it scanning the image to decide which to use, which is trickier than it sounds because anti-aliasing could be interpreted as a gradient when it isn't one.

This happens separately for each 256x256 region of the image, so it can deal with times when there's gradients in some places and not others.

The fundamental problem is just that that check and the compression don't cache very well. So there's really nothing I can do to stop it locking up like that. I could add another thread to make it go faster, but that would likely just make your system lock up.

In the top bar notice that there's another menu, 'fluid' with the one option 'add fluid map' It functions the same way as the room map (it uses the same code). Transparency indicates that fluid isn't allowed to go there, while any color indicates that it is. The different colors have no function, they're just there because it uses the same code as the rooms, it only actually knows 'transparent' and 'not transparent.'

Then you'd have to add a fluid object to the area in script; working on those now. This release was just the support work for it.

more information: http://joostdevblog.blogspot.com/2015/11/texture-formats-for-2d-games-part-3-dxt.html


Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/16/2017

Excellent. I'm working on getting it to work now. I've updated the background image, the map and the overlays.

I'll add a working version of the regenesis.bak once I get it to work.

 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/16/2017

Shouldn't the treehouse stuff be on the foreground layer not the cutout layer?

Anyways, the most likely way fluids will work: if the boundary of a fluid intersects a room then a surface isn't rendered, if it doesn't intersect then one is.

Also I did think ahead for once, so if I add more kinds of compression to the map editor it won't invalidate the previously made files again.


Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/16/2017

I'm experimenting with foregrounds and cutouts. I'm having trouble with any of them showing up in-game, but that might be me messing things up. I'm currently waiting for the background compressing.
 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/16/2017

Regenesis.bak is now updated. Foreground is replaced as foreground and baked image. Foreground does not appear in game. It looks right in the map editor, though.
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/16/2017

Bifrost wrote:
Regenesis.bak is now updated. Foreground is replaced as foreground and baked image. Foreground does not appear in game. It looks right in the map editor, though.



the debug options currently enabled in the engine are these:

draw_rooms = true;
draw_collision = true;
hide_foreground = true;
infiniteScroll = true;
drawBoundingBoxes = true;
drawPivots = true;


I keep meaning to add a menu to the GUI to control them and forgetting.


Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/16/2017

I found a bug in the map editor, you need to resave the files.

new version is here:
https://github.com/pdJeeves/kreaturesTools

and I updated the build to turn off the hide_foreground debug option.


Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Merboy

Merboy
United States  


  2/16/2017

I'm curious as to what's happening with the background story. I think either Greek or Celtic inspiration is wonderful. Either path is aces. Yes indeed, those are all cool-sounding names, I'm just wondering what the story will be? Will that affect the world you're making since Regenesis is Creatures 1+2 and the we're trying to avoid the whole Creatures IP thing and the story will inform the look of the world? Or is this just a mock-up just for the sake of creating the game?

Perhaps a new thread can be made opening up the subject to everyone else to hear people's suggestions or do you guys want to settle that out yourselves?

Looking great, you guys! Very excited!


The Lantern Light.com
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/16/2017  1

@Merboy:

This is a video by another developer working on a different project, but it applies to this situation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us5PPyEvKWo

If I do what he did this project will never get done, that's why lifandi fell through. My solution is to be the lead programmer, and promise royalties for things people make that I can package with the release, and otherwise not deal with it.

Of course I did the opposite of what he did, I started with the sweet fruit (libFreetures), now I'm on the medium fruit, and will progress down to the low hanging fruit.

This is why I answer questions about how to do X in the engine, but I don't do it for you.

If you want there to be a story: become the lead storyboarder.


Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/17/2017

I added explanations for the formats of the sprite and background files used in kreatures to the wiki:

https://creatures.wiki/C32
https://creatures.wiki/Bak_files


Donate to the development of Kreatures
 
Andrettin

Andrettin
Austria  


  2/17/2017

This is a brilliant project. Is there a GitHub repository for it?
 
xan

xan
United States  


  2/17/2017

Are you planning to set up a blog or similar for tracking your development here, or will you be sticking to the forum thread? Really impressed so far. I'm most interested in the idea of an engine rewrite - a la OpenMW for Morrowind - for at least one of the Creatures engines, but what you're doing here is certainly welcome (and, in reality outside of my weird preferences, long-awaited). (If I'm understanding correctly anyway.)
 
Ghosthande
Prodigal Sock

Ghosthande
United States  

 visit Ghosthande's website: Breeders Beware
  2/17/2017  1

The backstory in the Creatures series has plenty of sentimental value, but when you think about it, not much impact on actual gameplay. For this open-ended kind of game, I feel like virtually any backstory would work equally well.

Personally, I'd love to see something Gulliver's Travels/Homer's Odyssey-esque. (Which could also compliment the Greek naming theme mentioned above.) Imagine (instead of favorite place icons) starting off with the basic code for a person's (space?)ship, and a basic code structure that would allow each new add-on to be set up as a different island/planet. Instead of just reading about a character like the Lone Shee going to new places, the player could be the one visiting strange new lands. That's something I think DS missed out on--it had this great concept of visiting new worlds, but only the fans really used it that way, because CLabs/Gameware didn't make any new worlds or rooms. Something in the vein of Gulliver's Travels or the Odyssey would be pleasantly reminiscent of DS, but obviously not copying it since the plot is older than dirt. :P



 

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