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Getting Started with C2: A Basic Guide   
GimmeCat

GimmeCat
United Kingdom  


  6/12/2015  10

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Begin
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Creatures 2 was a disaster at launch. That's why it's been so historically unpopular. However, it's my favourite of the entire series, now that patches and cobs and fixed genetics have made it into the game it SHOULD have been all along. I was a huge C1 fan too, but C2 takes first prize in my heart now. It’s everything C1 was, and more. It’s also everything C3 isn’t: beautiful, simple, and focused on being a natural ecosystem for your Norns to inhabit. (Is my bias showing? I think it might be showing. Just a bit. [nlaugh])

GoG's The Albian Years is the recommended version, and the one this guide will focus on. It comes pre-patched with the latest official fixes. However, this only covers a small amount of issues. It has always been left to the community to fix the rest. So, you will need to inject several COBs to fix the rest. So, without further ado...


0. Compatibility

Windows 10 user? GoG Albian Years user? My condolences. Normally, C2 runs horrendously on modern windows, but as of October 2020, there is an extremely good fix available, courtesy of DXWrapper author elishacloud. Click here to grab it, and follow the instructions on that page. After playing with this fix for a while myself, I've noticed that it can occasionally fail to launch. For best success, minimise/move aside everything else on your screen, so that C2's window launches on top of your bare desktop, without any windows, widgets, videos or anything behind it. And if it doesn't work the first time, keep trying--it will eventually!

Installation procedure:

- Install somewhere outside of the default Program Files folders. C:\Creatures is good enough.
- Download and run the Remastered patch.
- Do not use any compatibility settings or 'Run as Admin'. It's generally not needed and may even prevent the game launching.

When using dxwrapper, the game may fail to load several times in a row with various weird errors. Ignore these, using taskmanager to kill the process in between each attempt, and just try again. If it still doesn't load after 5-6 attempts, something else may be wrong.


1. Genomes

Most importantly, you will need to download an updated genome. Genomes are the genetic base of your norns. It's what separates the smarts from the stupids. Or, at least, the stupids from the even-more-stupids. One of the more egregious problems C2 shipped with was its broken-as-heck default genome, so this is a must-have fix.

There's a variety to choose from, but I reccomend starting with a Canny variant. There are several versions of the Canny genome floating around, but I like using JayD’s version, found here.

There are many other genetic (and sprite) breeds available. Take a look at the downloads area here at CreaturesCaves for many options.


2. Important Fixes and Updates

When you first launch C2, the Injector Kit will already have a few fixes you can inject into the game. Others can be downloaded from this site. These are the cobs I recommend injecting, and in this specific order (for reasons):

* Albian Updates v1.1
* Ball Update, BunchaStuff and More Updates
* From BunchaStuff, specifically these:
- Death Script Update
- Drinking Update
- Two Door Update
- Update Action 0 (Optional)
- Slap & Tickle Update (Optional)
* From More Updates, specifically these:
- Drop Update
- Button Update
- Shee Statue Update
- Lift Cabin Update
* Bees Update
* Fishing Rod Update
* Friendly Walls (Optional)
* Fungi Update
* Ocean Bridges 1.1 (Optional)
* Pump Fix
* Super Duper Purple Doozer

Note: DO NOT inject “Sleep Update”, as it’s actually bad for Norns! If you do by accident, re-inject Albian Updates 1.1 to fix it.

Once you have those, it's time to get Better Albia.


3. World/Room Updates

--Edit--
There's been some discussion on the merits of just providing a pre-patched World.sfc. I've gone back and forth in my mind several times about this, but have temporarily decided it's a good idea. So if the following section seems too long and daunting (and/or you can't get the Room Editor to install or run, which some people can't) then just grab...

This file (<- click link)

...and unzip it into your save location. Note that this .sfc file is based on a WIP version of Better Albia 1.6. Please keep this in mind if you encounter any unexpected problems.

If you take this shortcut, feel free to skip to the next section titled "4. Misc".
--------

Better Albia is pretty important. Simply put, it addresses a myriad little problems, oversights and unforseen issues in the base layout of the world. Trust me, you want it. Installing it requires the Room Editor application. I know, extra steps... but, it's better than distributing a pre-fixed World.sfc file, for various reasons.

Here's the license info you'll need to input during installation (don't worry, this is a public domain license provided by the publisher):

GamewareDev
301-5061A-1234U-WI



After applying Better Albia, there are a few more cobs and fixes you can install, which are included in the accompanying Better Albia - Extras cob. This is why I mentioned injection order is important. Inject the following after having done the above:

BA - Cliff Edge Remover (Optional)
BA - Ocean Bridges Fix (Optional, and ONLY if you injected Ocean Bridges before)
BA - Out Of Bounds Fix
BA - Stop Wallbonking!
BA - World Wrap Fix


...And you're done! At least in regards to the base game. All of these could be considered mandatory, but the ones I've marked Optional may come down to personal taste. For example, I think the Cliff Edge objects do nothing but hypnotize and drip-feed fear into norns who helplessly stare at them, so I like to delete them ASAP. But maybe you like the teetering animation they cause when a norn gets too close to a platform's edge, in which case you may decide to keep them around.

An important note: Please don't inject any "Room update" cobs that are not already included with Better Albia. Doing so may create odd compatibility issues. BA makes changes to things like floor levels, and even adds additional area designations, and other patches will get very confused by this. It might even crash your game!

(ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE, DECEMBER 2020: A bug was recently discovered in BA that caused issues with the incubator elevator. I have already pushed a fix to the archive, so if you're newly downloading BA right now, you can ignore this warning. Otherwise, you may want to re-download it and apply the room template again. Apologies for the oversight!


4. Misc

From this point, you can take your C2 experience in any direction you wish! There are countless cobs, breeds, and utilities available. I'll list a few here to get you started.

Genetics Kit - Examine the genomes of your creatures, edit their genes, or even create entirely new genomes of your own. License key included on download page.
Egg Sitter - A small external app from The Lair of the <Unnamed> Norn that monitors the paused status of eggs in the world, and unpauses any that are stuck paused.
Wolfling Monitor - An external app that provides a detailed overview of your Norn population, with several management features including a rudimentary autonamer.
BoBCob - For authoring your own cobs, or inspecting the contents of downloaded ones.


And if any of these links go down, check out eemfoo.org to see if it's backed up there. Failing that, ask around and someone will be sure to find you a copy of what you need.


---


I'll stop here. Hope this helps! And if you get stuck with anything, don't be shy. You can ask questions on the forums, or join one of the Creature discords for more immediate feedback. Happy nornsitting!

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End
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Laura
Tea Queen

Laura
United Kingdom  
Administrator


 visit Laura's website: CC Chat
  6/12/2015  2

Nicely done, thank you for taking the time to write this! I've been playing the Creatures series on and off for nearly twenty years now, and I still don't know everything there is to know about Creatures 2! I didn't know about the Garden Spade, for example. Have you thought about posting this as a resource article too? :)
 
GimmeCat

GimmeCat
United Kingdom  


  6/12/2015  1

To be honest I always forget those sections exist! I will definitely post it there too. :)

Also, I've just updated the guide with a link to Better Albia, which is a set of world fixes I've been working on for quite some time!

 
Yomegami
Sanely Insane

Yomegami
United States  
Manager


 visit Yomegami's website: The Realm
  6/12/2015

It should probably be noted that the room editor requires a serial code, and given the current state of Gameware's site that code should probably be provided.

Besides that, this is a pretty neat guide. I'm currently messing around with C2 myself, so it came at a good time as well.


~ The Realm ~
D.L. Yomegami's Creatures Blog


 
GimmeCat

GimmeCat
United Kingdom  


  6/12/2015

It does? Whoops, I had no idea. It's been a pretty long time since I installed it!

I'll grab the serial and edit it in. Thanks so much for letting me know, Grendel_Man. :)

 
Dark_Author

Dark_Author



  7/3/2015  1

For the serial number, if a copy/paste it, type it manually, or try it without the dashes, it still says the same thing: Invalid Serial Number.

Scratch that, I fixed it. In case anyone else ever gets stuck at this part, GamewareDev needs to be entered both as the user name AND the company name, or the serial won't work.

 
Dienes

Dienes



  7/3/2015

I just got this game off Good Old Games, and I'm trying to get it as similar as possible to how I had it set up when it originally released. The main game plays beautifully, and comes with the object and life kits already installed.

I'm currently trying to install the other breeds that I loved, such as the boney grendels and kai norns. when I attempt to run the executable that installs them, I get the error 'Unable to open file cmac.s16"

Has anyone encountered this, or have a workaround?

 
Laura
Tea Queen

Laura
United Kingdom  
Administrator


 visit Laura's website: CC Chat
  7/3/2015

Welcome to Creatures Caves, Dienes! I hope you'll enjoy it here. :) With regards to your question, it's probably better suited to its own topic in our Help forum. Why don't you post one? You should get quite a quick response!
 
Malkin

Malkin
Australia  
Manager


 visit Malkin's website: Malkin's page at CWiki
  7/3/2015  1

To install old addons to the Good Old Games edition of Creatures 2, you'll need to run the Remastered Patch.

My TCR Norns
 
DBrickShaw

DBrickShaw



  12/22/2015

Thanks so much for putting this guide together! It really makes things easier for a newbie revisiting the game after ~10 years.

One question though, it seems that the link to JayD's Tweaked Canny Norns is dead. Do you know of anywhere else where I can find those breeds, or another set of Canny breeds with JayD's fixes?

 
GimmeCat

GimmeCat
United Kingdom  


  12/22/2015

I sadly don't have the original archive, but I do have the genetic variant I've been using in my games.

This is JayD's Wolfling Canny genetics, WITH a slight modification: 'state need' stimuli are not rewarded, but punished. If you happen to use my "say need no more" cob, this won't change anything. Otherwise, it should discourage them from turning-to-camera and uselessly complaining about needs.

Keep in mind that this is the wolfling variant of JayD's cannys, and they have a reduced lifespan of about 6-8 hours.

That's all I have until I can dig up JayD's original cannys. Thanks for pointing out the dead link!

 
DBrickShaw

DBrickShaw



  12/22/2015

Thanks very much, I'll give those a shot!

I should also mention that the link to Albian Updates 1.1 is also dead. Luckily, I was able to find a copy of that in the cob archive shared here.

 
GimmeCat

GimmeCat
United Kingdom  


  12/22/2015  1

Thank you! I've updated the guide to reflect the new sources. :)
 
Malkin

Malkin
Australia  
Manager


 visit Malkin's website: Malkin's page at CWiki
  4/26/2018

With Version 1.5 of Better Albia released, there are now some additional steps for compatibility with popular bridge cobs and additional fixes! An abbreviated order of installation can be found in the comments section there, but this is still a really useful introduction to setting up a Creatures 2 world.

My TCR Norns
 
Yme

Yme



  4/27/2018

What is the reason why everyone recommends using the unofficial genomes? The official 256 release works fine, and actually have way better eating habits than the cannies.

I find that the only problem Norns really have, is that they do not understand the word "rest" (I think only C3 Norns are able to understand verbs out of context, and there is no context in just saying "rest", or "Amy rest" to the Norn, and you can't say "Amy rest fruit" or "Amy rest self" in C2) , so they have a hard time learning to do that.
This is easily fixed by telling them to look at the hand, then picking up an object. Most of the time, that will help them sleep after 1-3 tries. If they sleep well, they do everything else well, and the 256 genome (they come with the gog version) actually perform better than cannies.

The cannies also had huge wallbonking problems, until GimmeCat fixed it with an awesome new script!
The 256 Norns only wallbonk if they want to use something too close to a wall, or behind the wall, so I had to download the cannies when testing her "wallbonk fix", to give her feedback on it's function.

I'll see if I can figure out how to make videos, and put up some Norn care guides.
There are a few things the Cannie brain is able to do, that 256 Norns arent, and it gives them a little more "free will" as they can choose what to look at themselves, which the 256 Norns can't, but that makes it hard to make them do important things like eating, in my opinion, and the cannies are extremely tubborn and often refuse the "relearn" something, when they forget how to eat or play with toys.

 
NornBreeder
Brewer of Tales

NornBreeder
United States  


  4/27/2018

Is there a lift locker or remover? I remember there being a mover that you can use to scoot them slightly but I can't find it anymore.
 
GimmeCat

GimmeCat
United Kingdom  


  4/27/2018

MrNStuff's Buncha Stuff cob includes a lift adjuster, are you thinking of that? It allows you to shift the cabin left/right.

Lift updates are on my to-do list. I want to make a cob that moves the call buttons to the center of the cabin, and also I want to investigate this pain issue they're apparently causing when stopped at a landing.

 
skerit

skerit
Belgium  

 visit skerit's website: Skerit
  4/28/2018

GimmeCat wrote:
MrNStuff's Buncha Stuff cob includes a lift adjuster, are you thinking of that? It allows you to shift the cabin left/right.

Lift updates are on my to-do list. I want to make a cob that moves the call buttons to the center of the cabin, and also I want to investigate this pain issue they're apparently causing when stopped at a landing.



Well, when lifts deactivate they send a "I have been slapped on the bottom" stim to the norn, so I guess that's intentional?

 
Yme

Yme



  4/28/2018

skerit wrote:
Well, when lifts deactivate they send a "I have been slapped on the bottom" stim to the norn, so I guess that's intentional?



What the... Why? So, if a Norn is sitting in the lift, then thinking "eat food" or "rest", it get's a slap when the ride ends, punishing it for wanting to eat or sleep.

Why would they make the world so confusing to the Norns? Lifts punish them, all the toys are made differently so Norns can't learn how to reliably use them, some critters are edible, while others are not etc... They really stand no chance, because their brains can't handle this stuff at all.

 
GimmeCat

GimmeCat
United Kingdom  


  4/28/2018

Sorry skerit, I'm going to have to correct you there! What you're seeing is a stim writ, which sends a list of chemicals and optionally interacts with the Sense and General brain lobes. Lifts inject 30 units of Chemical 25 - Loneliness Decrease - they do not send a stimulous# 25 ("I've been hit").

Vague naming of the different commands, I grant you. :)

 
Civvi

Civvi
United States  

 visit Civvi's website: Tumblr
  4/29/2018  1

Wow I really needed this guide, thank you!!!



 
emilyface

emilyface


 visit emilyface's website: website
  8/3/2018

This is so helpful!
 
dingus

dingus
Australia  


  10/30/2020  1

Hello GimmeCat

I have several active worlds in GOG C2. I followed your especially helpful HOWTO and have established a world with all your recommended Better Albia fixes. I'm certain I followed the installation sequence you stipulated.

In my Better Albia, Norns cannot (will not?) leave the lift cage when it arrives at the incubator level. The Biochemistry page of the Science Kit shows their pain levels increase and remain at 100%. This is accompanied by an endlessly repeating bobbing animation and occasional utterances of "why?". No amount of attention-grabbing stunts will lure them from the cage.

If the lift is subsequently activated, up or down, they exit the cage without difficulty at the next level and their pain level diminishes back to zero.

I've done some experiments with successively modified worlds based on the stock Eden.sfc:
1. vanilla
2. vanilla + Albian Updates v1.1
3. vanilla + Better Albia v1.5 (but none of your extras)
4. vanilla + your recipe (as detailed in this thread)

The results:
1. Disembark without difficulty (or prompting). No pain on activation (up or down).
2. Disembark without difficulty (or prompting). Pain spikes on activation; diminishes during ascent/descent.
3. Cannot / will not disembark. No pain on activation (up or down).
4. Cannot / will not disembark. Pain increases to 100% and continuously spikes (sawtooth graph). Additional wild-eyed animation.

In the case of the continuously spiking pain, once the lift is manually activated and the cage moves away from the landing (in either direction), the pain level diminishes at what seems a normal rate.

All 4 experiments were done with a single, first generation, v56 male Norn. The 4th experiment was repeated with a single, first generation, JayD-modified male Canny and again with a pair of first generation, JayD male and female Cannies. All Norns behaved as described above.

All 4 experimental worlds have a single instance of the Game State Controller. All Norns have been injected with the Infinite Vocab infusion and are less than an hour old.

My search-fu hasn't been creative enough to unearth any mention of this behaviour. This leads me to wonder whether I've overlooked one (or more) COBS that must be injected after Better Albia 1.5. I'll be most interested in any suggestions you might make.

TIA

Dingus

 
FlyingEttiNorn

FlyingEttiNorn
United States  


  11/1/2020

Ack, I've seen my norns wallbonk while trying to get on elevators but I assumed that was just a quirk of the game engine! D:
 
dingus

dingus
Australia  


  11/6/2020  2

Problem solved!

The 'drop status' property of the Better Albian room that encompasses the incubator-level lift landing was set to 'never'. It needs to be changed to 'always'. You can easily do this with the Room Editor.

That's all you need to know. If you're curious about the technical stuff and my related speculations, read on.

The incubator-level lift landing is in Room #251. This is a new room in Better Albia. I think GimmeCat created it so that they could tweak its movement surface. That was not possible in the original Eden.

The original Eden room (#12) extended all the way up the lift shaft to the underside of the timber platform in the tree. Consequently it was transected by two movement surfaces: one at ground level and the other at incubator level. The C2 engine only allows for a single, explicitly defined, movement surface in any room. The bottom of a room's bounding box is an implicit, flat, movement surface. Therefore, the movement surface at incubator level was flat.

The terrain shown on the Albian backdrop descends from transporter to timber deck. To enable movement animation that matches the terrain requires a second explicitly defined surface. GimmeCat's solution was to raise the bottom of Room #12 and to insert a new room (#251) with a surface that descends left-to-right. The value of the new room's 'drop status' was inconsistent with the room's purpose as a lift disembarkation point. This was probably an oversight.

That said, I can find no documentation, official or in collective CC knowledge, that defines the effect of 'drop status' on Norns, Ettins and Grendels. We now know that when set to 'never' it prevents disembarkation from a Lift. I speculate that this probably applies to Movers as well.

dingus

 
GimmeCat

GimmeCat
United Kingdom  


  12/11/2020  1

Sorry I'm late to this. CC doesn't send notifications and I haven't checked the site in forever!

Not sure how I never caught this, but good find. Drop Status handles when and where items are allowed to be dropped in the room. 'Never' means that items cannot be dropped in the room at all. Due to the lack of documentation you mentioned, I did not previously realise this would also affect Creatures being ejected from Lifts and Movers.

For now, you can inject this CAOS command to fix room #251:
SETV ROOM 251 19 1

I've made a note to bugfix this if and when I ever get around to finishing up BA 1.6!

 
GimmeCat

GimmeCat
United Kingdom  


  12/16/2020  1

Massive update to the guide today. Refiggered my cob recommendations and hyperlinked everything I could.
 
GimmeCat

GimmeCat
United Kingdom  


  12/25/2020  1

The World/Room Updates section now contains a link to a pre-patched World.sfc, for those who can't get the Room Editor to play nicely on their machines.

This is temporary and unsupported. The file is based on a WIP of BA 1.6 and may contain unforseen problems. While I don't expect there to be any massive problems with it, you should still only use it at your own risk.

Main differences in this file from BA 1.5 are:

- Many rooms given light, as originally the world had many dark areas. Even the incubator, with its massive yellow skylight, was pitch black!
- All room linkages updated with better Openness and Floor values, according to a much better understanding of how these values interact and what exactly they do.
- Two new floors given to previously solid rooms, allowing objects to exist there. The first is the small pond underneath the arching wooden bridge above the bacteria dome. The other is a small alcove to the top-right of the potions room.
- Misc bugfixes.

 


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