The Creatures Kontrol Center ( CKC )

 
 

/!\ 04/2015 update: Due to most time being currently spent documenting the various techniques that are required to implement the tool and publishing them on the blog, actual development has been put on hold until most of those are pushed out. 
If at some point in the future you think the project has been abandoned, feel free to contact me to obtain source code of what has been achieved by then. /!\

 

What Is it ?

The CreaturesKontrolCenter is a program I'm currently writing while exploring the Creatures series.

It's a huge external app, meant to control and interface with the game in many powerful aspects, and hopefully in a more usable way than the original game interfaces.
Basically, it's the game Interface as I would have wanted it years ago.

Think of it as a Borg with kits on steroïds.

A screenshot from an early version of CKC featuring a working navigation map, scriptorium browsing, grendel selection, world switching,a quick access CAOS console and other hidden stuff. ( Works with C1 and C2 )

What does (or will) it do ?

All the stuff the basic game interface can do ( so you can remove the original interface altogether and play fullscreen on a dualscren setup) plus much more !

  • Connects seamlessly to a C1, C2, or C3 game ( Only C1 & 2 supported so far )
  • Allow to connect to remote instances of the game through TCP.
  • More usable and customizable kits ( design and save your own injections presets, monitor more chemicals at a time... )
  • Monitor multiple norns at once
  • A realtime map of the world which you can use to navigate in Albia,track Norns, or edit stuff.
  • Usable user-defined alerts  ( the ones in the observation kit in C2 were a good idea, but were totally worthless as implemented )
  • Built in dynamic encyclopedia, automatically listing edibles and cobs in the world, and precisely describing their effects.
  • Enabling infinite scrolling in C1,
  • Enable world switching.
  • Enable grendel selecting in C1
  • Browse and compare genomes in a more usable way than existing tools.
  • Browse genealogy of all creatures ever imported in your game, with the possibility to revive dead Norns from their genome files, or to generate eggs from long departed norns that never mated while alive.
  • Edit links between ingame teleporters in realtime
  • Make any cob user/Norn/grendel (un)activatable at will.
  • Edit rooms
  • Built-in script browser and editor, for using on all ingame scripts, or managing your own script library where you will put development or useful CAOS scripts.
  • A CAOS console so you can directly try scripts ingame, with the ability to use the ones from your personal library.
  • A networking TCP interface, so you can in turn interface with the program from a simple socket in any programming language.
  • And much much more ... 

What about a one stop C1/C2 egg/.eggfile maker ?

Where do I get It ?

Right here! But not yet.
For now it's still highly unpolished and buggy, but I will be posting Alpha versions soon as it gets more usable.
Drop me a note if you'd like to see some features in there.


6 comments:

  1. This is a great idea! I'm not sure if these features would be possible, or even if they're something for this program. I would love to find a way to fix two somewhat common glitches: The floating egg glitch, and the runaway underground cart. I have example screenshots of both I can share. I have a feeling there's nothing that can be done, but it never hurts to try! When the Grendel Friendly COB is injected, Norns and Grendels can kisspop. This isn't a big negative, yet I've found that a mixed group of them often results in many missed opportunities because Norns are choosing Grendels over other Norns. Maybe that's another change that could be achieved through genetics or another COB... Again, just throwing it out there in case you might be able to implement it with the program! Good luck with the continued development of it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe those aren't directly related to the core of the program, but there might be a small place for them inside it.
      It will comme with a "script archive" and a collection of various utility scripts pre loaded.
      Preventing Norn/Grendels from kisspoping with the should be fairly easy, i'll keep that as an idea for a future post (but the queue is already rather long for now).
      The problem with flying eggs (I've never seen them ?) or runaway vehicles (I've probably seen every single vehicle disappeaear from the world that way) is reproducing the bug.It occurs after very specific chains of actions and or timing that would be hard to diagnose.
      The ideal would be having a saved world with such a bug imminent.Fixing them otherwise probably wouldn't be feasible.
      Making a 'remove and reset that vehicle' script should be fairly easy though.
      I'll also keep that as an idea, thanks.

      Delete
  2. Any progress since this post? This sounds like a fantastic tool. I'd happily be an alpha-tester if you happen to need any. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wooops, this comment ended up in the spam folder and I didn't notice it for more than one year.
      Sorry about that.

      As is now explained in the header, this project was put on hold.
      Making quick demos of all features is easy, but turning them into a reliable tool is very time consuming.
      For now I'd rather spend that time documenting the heap of things I still have to write about.
      Also since I started the Netures experiment, most of the CKC features were ported there, and I ended up using it more than the CKC (Coding in python is so much quicker than in VB).
      Whenever I get back to doing creatures stuff, I plan on releasing a small pack with useable versions of most of the tools I described in the articles so far. This will most likely include stand-alone versions of the various CKC applets (map navigation, egg maker, scriptorium browser...)

      Delete
  3. Wow, that is such an epic project. I was under the impression half of those things couldn't be done due to the way the game was compiled. If you can break through that...well that'd be awesome.
    Let me know if you need any help beta testing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, all existing kits in C1 and C2 are nothing more than external apps, talking to the game engine through the COM interface allowing for CAOS command execution.
      All their functionnality can be replicated in a third party app, and obviously, some more can be added by direct manipulation of the various game files or CAOS commands and script replacement.

      I have at least working prototypes for all of those functions.

      There is a small series of mandatory steps your app has to take if you want to register it as being an ingame kit and having it's own icon and appearing in the game menus.
      Although I've figured out how to do that in C2, I haven't yet fully mastered the process for C1 that seems to be more picky.

      There is also a couple "hidden" features that exist in the game but don't appear in the normal menus (Basically all the menus offered in the Borg app such as infinite scrolling) that are callable through CAOS command directly referencing the hidden menu items.

      There are even secret windows that seem to have been disabled in the release version of the game but for which traces remain in the game executable (debug and log windows).The associated functions still exist in the release version executable, and I suspect those could be enabled somehow, but I've not taken the time to explore that yet.

      What exactly do you meand by "due to the way the game was compiled" ?
      Which functionnalities are you refering to ? Maybe I overlooked something that's left to explore ? :)

      Delete