-This forum hasn't received a stream of posts for quite a while, so I intend to use this post to “reactivate” this forum; and
-I believe that there are some features of Species ALRE that we’d want that would be possible through modding.
As in my post, viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2012, I think that Species should have some kind of Creature Forwards/Backwards Compatibility Mod where you could convert a creature’s saved text file and image that only works for certain versions to be converted to another form that could be used for a different version, thus allowing forwards and backwards compatibility with a creature. For example, you could input into the mod the files for a creature of 0.4.0, and the output would be the same creature’s files, only good for another version, such as 0.9.0. This could also be done in reverse, and with all of the existing alpha versions of Species. Thus, you could get all of your meat-piling creatures from 0.4.0 and see how they’d work in 0.8.1, or finally get one of your coveted creatures from a previous version of the game to be converted into a form that could be usable for a different version of your choice! I have considered whether a Save Forwards/Backwards Compatibility Mod would be worthwhile, but I feel that because of the enormous differences between each and every version of Species and their fundamental differences in coding, it would be harder to, in simpler terms, "adapt a simulation for its creatures than to adapt creatures for a simulation."
Another Mod that I think could be created came to mind when I read one of Quasar’s posts on the Creature Editor:
As Quasar has said, the Creature Editor wouldn’t be available in the final game due to it being “strictly debug functionality” and also for it being to “allow us [Species ALRE Development Team] to create marketing screenshots.” It also has limitations in that “the game feels a lot more ‘alpha’ after you try to make something with it [Creature Editor].” Therefore, I believe that a mod such as the “New Crash-Resistant Creature Editor” (NCRCE) would be a welcome mod to future versions of Species. If a mod were to be made, I’d probably want it to be convenient, crash-resistant, and fun to use. In conveniency, the Creature Editor is quite spartan. It only has up and down arrows to change features through numbers, and sometimes this can result in wasting time and/or becoming impatient while constantly clicking on those tiny arrows to change a feature. So, I propose we could have something more convenient, such as a scroll bar. You would simply scroll up or down on a certain feature’s number to change it, and not have to click. You would also be able to just type in the number desired for the feature, though there would have to be limits to keep the game realistic. To make the mod crash-resistant, we’d have to pinpoint errors in the current Creature Editor and correct them in the new mod, as well as integrate the mod with games made in the future. Of course, this would require lots of time, but if done, could make the Creature Editor feature an enjoyable part of the Species ALRE gameplay experience.Quasar wrote:Nyyyyyeeehh... I can't do it. I can't keep quiet anymore.
As much as I'd love to see someone actually crack the save file code, it'd be cruel of me to "fail to mention" that the game does, in fact, already have a creature editor.
A few disclaimers as to why I've stayed quiet and haven't advertised it...
- it will not be in the final game.
- it's strictly debug functionality, ie. not very user friendly and crashes occasionally (it was originally created to test different configurations of body plans and allow us to create marketing screenshots)
- it makes very apparent the limitations of the creature engine and the lack of content for some items. Be warned, the game feels a lot more 'alpha' after you try to make something with it.
- it occasionally consumes the souls of the innocent to fuel it's eternal rage against all living things.
So, if you still want to play with Satans Creature Editor, here's what you do:
Press "Shift-G" to unlock it.
Select a creature to start from.
Click the Genetic Engineering button.
When Quasar says, “As much as I'd love to see someone actually crack the save file code [for creatures],...” I think I’ve found a clue, or even a possible definite answer, to how the save file code for creatures work. If you open up the Creature Editor, and opened some of the tabs, you would probably notice a lot of numbers next to the features and behaviors that you edit using the Editor. I think that those numbers in the Creature Editor (if you opened up all of the tabs) correspond in some way with the numbers in the creature save file, possibly directly. However, cracking this code for the Creature Save Files would probably have to involve us gamers and programmers who enjoy the Species ALRE simulation to work together. The solving of this code would also be instrumental to the creation of the CFBCM, as it could allow for the commencement of finding ways to convert the code into other versions of the code for other game versions.
Finally, I propose that we have some kind of contest, where gamers and programmers unite to create either a CFBCM or a NCRCE for Species ALRE. The reason why I propose this contest is simply so not for this idea to simply become a meaningful idea just floating around in the Modding thread. If possible, there would be a set deadline (probably around 2 months from the commencement of the contest) where the contestants would show their finished products (mods) to be used in Species. We could also just all work together on this, which would be even better. However, I’d still like to await the response of you forum members and see on how you think about these ideas.
Please post below any questions, concerns, or comments on this topic. Quasar, if you plan to do any overhauls that involve these ideas, please contact me so that I can swiftly remove them from this post.