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Spil & Creatures Intellectual Property   1 | 2
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/14/2017

Ghosthande wrote:
I can draw and render sprites and have done both in the past, but usually 3D model things because it's more efficient to render multiple angles than draw them. If there are less frames needed for a breed, though, then 3D modeling would offer somewhat less advantage.



Yes! The main reason that I'm using tweening is in fact that I don't like how 3D renderings look. (and I removed the front/back motion because I can't tween it)

Each part just needs just 4: back/front/left/right, head also needs expressions. If pregnancy sprites are there they're used, if they aren't that's fine. If the right doesn't exist the left is mirrored used and vice versa. If an expression doesn't exist the previous expression's image is used.

The angle that each part is at which is used for tweening is defined in the body data, so it really doesn't matter what angle it's drawn at.

Creatures are also scaled in engine, so if they don't need to have baby sprites if the baby sprites are just scaled down versions.

Creatures should stand 256 pixels tall, regardless of age, because the exact size is controlled by a chemical receptor.

Is that enough information?

The sprite sheet I used just grabbed the first of each norn sprite for each direction :P

Oh! also I've expanded the legs to have 4 joints, toes have to be separate due to tweening, but this also makes it possible to have non-plantigrade feet, like a horse or dog.

I can always change it to have more segments for bodys/arms/tails too, if you think tha'd be useful!

 
Ghosthande
Prodigal Sock

Ghosthande
United States  

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

So a bit like C1 (no separate front/back poses) except without side angles, since those are tweened. And no baby sprites. Sounds wonderfully simple. 256px is a good size, too--roughly as big as CV creatures, I think. What are you thinking in terms of facial expressions?

Here is a quick sketch of the kind of thing I was thinking of, before I head off to bed. It's kind of Nornish, but not too obviously... basically took the Kirin and added some rabbit. It could be a bit more scruffy around the legs and underparts but you get the idea. Has most of the features I think trip the "cute switch" in Norns... big eyes, ears, tummy, feet... but different enough that I can't see somebody mistaking it for a Norn.



 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/14/2017

Looks good to me!

If the neck is going to the that long it would probably look more natural if it was in another segment. Dunno, might be good to do some pose sketches and tell me how many segments the parts would need so it looks like it moves right.

However, norn feet are a bit too big, in that when doing the crossover pose of the walk cycle, the raised foot will collide with the ground when on a slope, and cancel the forward momentum.

What expressions are used for is defined by expression genes, like in C3, so I don't have anything to say about it because it's not hard coded. Just do whatever so there's a decent 'pallete' as it were.

I'll need to get to tweaking that brain, it still has problems where all the decisions seem equally good :S. Maybe because I didn't add instinct genes yet, and in creatures they get processed before birth?

 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/15/2017

If I succeed in this and take the corporation public, be sure to buy stock in the company, as long as the CC has majority control of the stock, they effectively own the IP. Furthermore I'll be able to borrow money based on the value of my stock, the reason we never got a game from gameware is that they could never find an investor for a property like creatures, but also notice they were always a private company; and if the majority is controlled by people just holding onto the stock forevery, that will increase scarcity of the remaining shares and drive the price up.
 
Doringo
Lodestar

Doringo


 visit Doringo's website: My Blog
  2/15/2017  1

I think that building the game around a different creature (but still very similar to norns) also allows you to build on lore without tampering with the existing lore, as everything you can write will exist in parallel to the creatures lore. Which I think is a bit better than what Fishing Cactus/BigBen were doing with the Shee, especially as some people were rather confused at that depiction, not to mention due to the varied information we were given about the Shee, our interpretation has pretty much become whatever the artist's favoured interpretation is.
 
Ghosthande
Prodigal Sock

Ghosthande
United States  

 visit Ghosthande's website: Breeders Beware
  2/15/2017

Geat_Masta wrote:
Looks good to me!

If the neck is going to the that long it would probably look more natural if it was in another segment. Dunno, might be good to do some pose sketches and tell me how many segments the parts would need so it looks like it moves right.



Maybe a separate joint at the base of the neck, then, and the neck would be a separate sprite from the body?

Geat_Masta wrote:
However, norn feet are a bit too big, in that when doing the crossover pose of the walk cycle, the raised foot will collide with the ground when on a slope, and cancel the forward momentum.



Yes, when trying to walk down a steep hill, the raised foot may remain in contact with the ground the entire time. I don't know that the size of the feet is the culprit, though; the area on a Creature's foot that registers as a contact for the ground is a specific point assigned via ATTs, just like a joint would be, rather than the entire surface of the foot. I've tried shrinking a Creature's feet down to 5 or even 1 pixel in the past, and saw no improvement.

I suspect the problem stems from the fact that the game accepts both feet as physically contact-able regardless of pose. Only having the current Down Foot be contact-able with the ground might have made it work better (trading off which foot is Down Foot when the creature reaches the pose where the forward foot should contact the ground).

It's possible that a different downhill gait would help as well, since Norns attempt to stroll down steep inclines as though they're walking down a gentle hill.

I'll need to get to tweaking that brain, it still has problems where all the decisions seem equally good :S. Maybe because I didn't add instinct genes yet, and in creatures they get processed before birth?



Heh, interesting. I like brains but don't have enough knowledge to attempt that kind of project, or really help with one. Does it get rewarded for "good" actions yet?



 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/15/2017

Doringo wrote:
I think that building the game around a different creature (but still very similar to norns) also allows you to build on lore without tampering with the existing lore, as everything you can write will exist in parallel to the creatures lore.


This is exactly what I was thinking about with the idea of Feral Run. The game would be something new and unique, but still, it could still do easily be an Albia in a distant future. Norns would live on as Sprites (or whatever we decide to call them) and Albia as Alvea (or something else). And we could implement a lot of concepts that the community has made.

 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/15/2017

Geat_Masta wrote:

The current build allows for 1,556,675,366,400 distinct species/breeds, (total breeds, not breeds per species)


With this, everything that's alive in the game could have dna. Insects, critters, bugs, fish, birds - you name it! Perhaps even plants. And if we built them all up following a similar basic build, with head (separated into head, ears, eyes, hair, horns and other appendixes), neck, torso, overarms, underarms (with separate hands?), thighs, shins, feet, tail base and tail tip, plus room for other appendixes, image the splicing possibilities! And imagine a digital ecosystem where everything is genetic.

 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/15/2017

@Bifrost not sure about that, initial testing showed only about 1.5 million chemical reactions/second was practical, which sounds like a lot, but when the engine is doing other things as well it goes down fast.

@Ghosthandle, yeah I tried moving the contact point to the heel. I suppose I'll need to devise a test for which is the 'down' foot. And I'm not sure how to handle reward/punishment, I did it on a per-lobe basis, which may have not been the right way to go. (The code is there, it just isn't hooked up).


 
Missmysterics

Missmysterics



  2/15/2017

Yeah and the genetics are diploid, unless I'm mistaken all that genetic information running around would be heavy too.

Might be interesting to see the artificial life fill different ecological roles though, grendels norns and ettins all pretty much fill the same place in the food chain.

 
Bifrost

Bifrost
Norway  


  2/15/2017

We could comprise and make just a few genetic critters.
 
Rha

Rha



  2/17/2017  1

The discord server is still up! I can invite anyone but you'd need to click the link I send within 24 hours. Just let me know if you want to join and didn't see this on time, here's an open invitation: https://discord.gg/3yXeG

and Geat_Masta, I didn't mean money wise I meant disagreements between devs.

I understand you're in a bit of a financial situation right now but profit is not something you should be thinking about right now, you'd probably be conditioned by that and need to change the formula a LOT to make it profitable, effectively making something very different.



 
xan

xan
United States  


  2/17/2017

I can't say I understand all the legalities but I wish you all luck in getting this IP acquisition figured out. It would be nice to have it back in the hands of someone who has an investment in the game beyond simply fiscal again, whether or not they have the means to pursue its development personally.
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/17/2017

I don't need to change anything to get it to go viral and make a huge profit. I just need to know what spil/gameware/fisching cactus didn't: The secret to what gamers want can be found in the average jar of extra chunky pasta sauce.
 
Papriko
Peppery One

Papriko
Germany  


  2/17/2017

Someone's watching game theory here.

Lets play plants! Photosynthesis... Photosynthesis... Photosynthesis...
 
BaffleBlend

BaffleBlend
United States  


  2/17/2017

Geat_Masta wrote:
The secret to what gamers want can be found in the average jar of extra chunky pasta sauce.


I can think of a bunch of jokes for this, but probably none of them have anything to do with what it actually means, because that, I have no idea.

 
Papriko
Peppery One

Papriko
Germany  


  2/17/2017

I think he is referring to this episode of Game Theory, where MatPat tries to explain some aspects of the gaming market with the help of tomato sauce brands.

Lets play plants! Photosynthesis... Photosynthesis... Photosynthesis...
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  2/17/2017

Right-o Papriko!

I also know that hand written letters have a huge impact on people's behavior.

So the strategy is to make the thing, write a hand written letter to PBG asking him to play it on PB&Jeff, because as a big fan of harvest moon and animal crossing, he's in the target demographic. That gets exposure and it should take off from there.

I don't know about you, but I found creatures in a store one day, and I never heard anything about it unless I looked it up. But look how loyal the fan base is! That tells you the primary problem with creatures not making money was: marketing. Creatures is already one of those chunky sauces.

 
Norn_master

Norn_master
United States  


  3/22/2017

I am behind you 100%. They were talking about making a fan game when the Gameware Creatures forum was up. I can only think they were running into legal snags.

I hope Gameware can be contacted. It would be nice to have their blessing for this project. Even Steve Grand's blessing would be most excellent.


It’s a me! Dvader0086 from the’a Discord!
 
Geat_Masta

Geat_Masta
United States  


  3/22/2017  3

@Norn_master I got steve grand's blessing, gameware couldn't be contacted. The fan game was canceled because no one understood the file formats of sfc files/exp files, etc.

There are no patents taken out on creatures really, so there's little anyone can do to stop us.

 
Satsuma

Satsuma



  4/14/2017

BaffleBlend wrote:
Speaking of which, someone should let Grand know about this, that we don't trust that his old creation is in good hands right now and we're trying to liberate it. Maybe he can lend us a bit of a hand.


Or give the IP back to him somehow..

 
3kul

3kul
Australia  


  4/17/2017  1

I should really visit more often, this looks like an incredibly interesting project.

I know that I'm a couple of months late to the party, but for whatever it's worth, I'd say that the IP isn't worth chasing after for now - for Spil it's still a very recent acquisition, and it's highly unlikely that they bought into such an old and forgotten IP expecting to flip it for a profit. They're probably also hoping to turn it into a viral hit, and perhaps figure that buying into a nearly-completed project will make up for any lack of technical expertise they may have. My most cynical guess is that they plan on simply re-doing the cosmetic side of things to make it more "marketable" and tweaking everything to do with IAPs to maximize profits.

On the legal side of things, I essentially agree with what a lot of others have said: it'd be significantly easier (and cheaper!) for you to change the name of the game and the design of the creatures/world. While it's no doubt very tempting to create something similar in appearance, the closer it looks to Creatures the more vulnerable you'll make yourself to legal action. Whether you are legally in the right or not, when it comes to a battle over something like this then the winner is usually the side with the deepest pockets.

 
Munknorn93

Munknorn93
United States  


  4/18/2017

I had a dream once, of a critter, that, in retrospect, seemed norn-like. He looked a bit like the offspring of a cat, or maybe a bunny, and a small ape. He had a round, very innocent face with bright, curious eyes. His fur was white, swirled with gingers and warm browns. The ears pricked up, twitching as he listened. He walked up, poked at my chair, and climbed into my lap. Little hands grabbed my shirt like a toddler. His ruff seemed like you could scoop him up by it like a kitten. I couldn't get a good look at the feet, because he apparently borrowed my socks.

Lover of cute
 

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