Saturday 23 September 2023

The future of this blog, Abacus & Ettinus, et cetera.

As of late I have been making some new plans with regards to what activities I should pursue in the Creatures Community. Primarily I've found that the community itself is far from ever matching the glory it once had, however, that is not particularly a unique incident as almost all of the internet has had this same problem already. The kind of culture of the modern web (and perhaps the modern world) does not seem to be very hospitable to allowing the kind of online prosperity that the Creatures Community as well as countless other old web communities enjoyed back in the day. It's hard to really describe the specifics of why this is the case as it typically revolves around a large-scale change in the attitudes and memetics across the people typical of a zeitgeist shift having occurred at some point, but I've typically found the new web to have become far less decorated, stylish or even actively inhabited. People have overall moved away from forums into chatroom protocols, resulting in far less activities in online communities being possible to index via a search engine. People do not seem to make fansites as much and when they do, the peaks of community website making are not really produced anymore. The average person that you meet online has generally become something more of a perfect consumer and far less of a creator.

I have a sort of quick throwaway hypothesis as to why the earlier zeitgeist managed to have a more culturally prosperous web and it is built on the kind of optimistic "web utopia" attitude which was present at the time. A lot of these technologies were new and were further developing, the attitude of the world entering into a new golden age was commonly expressed in various ways. At some point, either this became too obviously a facade or the world simply started changing direction. But back when this was the commonly felt attitude in social groups across the web, everyone cared for the web much more and many more sought to excel in carving a place for themselves on it. The corporate side of things would also sometimes engage in this stylish side to the web - just look at the old Gameware website in the wayback machine! Or even the old battlenet sites that Blizzard still has hosted such as Mojo Stormstout's Warcraft III strategy guide. You can see a kind of stylish approach to the art of web design that you will practically never see from corporations today. Of course, I am pretty sure there were many other reasons almost beyond counting as to why the earlier zeitgeist had a better culture for creativity on the web.

There is not really anything that I can do about this. I am not sure if there is something anyone can do, other than to try to emulate the activities of the earlier zeitgeist. But to do so alone would not make too much of a difference to the bigger picture I feel. Either way, I feel that with regards to how I wish to proceed in the community I would rather become more reclusive and slowly pull back away from the chatrooms, focusing more instead on my blog and website as the central place to showcase my expertise in Creatures Development.

That brings me to what this post is really all about - I am planning on doing a redesign of both this blog and Abacus & Ettinus. I might also be considering a rename to the site, as "Abacus & Ettinus" is, while very searchable, quite a mouthful. Whatever I choose to rename it to, it will probably still begin with the word "Abacus" just to be easily identifiable. However, do not expect this redesign to come too soon as I already have ideas for the various elements and the way in which I will go about with creating it and these ideas would require me to create some new things beforehand before I can use them for the site, so it may be a bit longer before you see the redesign being rolled out or teased. As for the name of this blog, I might also wind up changing it as well, though it comes in a more unfortunate manner - I hate how much search engines auto-correct it to "Albion Engineering"! That's pretty much the only reason really, though I may want to consider this blogs position as the blog of Abacus & Ettinus rather than as a mere Creatures tech blog, perhaps I might want to consider expanding the range of topics discussed here.

I know it has been a long time of no blog activity, but given that I have far more to talk about when I stay a little bit away from chatroom participation I think that this blog may be about to become significantly more active for the foreseeable future. Thank you to everyone who still follows the postings here - it has been a very hard half-decade for Creatures blogging as a whole!

A preview of my very own norn model! I was thinking of making an ettin-norn hybrid breed.

Monday 26 July 2021

Creatures rare image dump

 Quick post of some various rare images and promos that I just haven't gotten around to uploading until now. A lot of these are going to be uploaded to CreaturesCaves soon, though I'm spacing out the uploads to give lurkers a chance to see each one on the front page. Some of these I would not have found if not for the help of Norngirl, with a few of them I was unable to find the origin of, so special thanks goes to her.

Creatures 1

Creatures 2


Creatures 3

Docking Station

Project Loci

Thursday 20 May 2021

BFBP: Changing door perms can glitch CA transfer. How to fix and prevent:

Welcome to the first post of Bug Fixes & Best Practices. When running some experiments regarding if door permeability affects how well CA transfer from one room to another, I ran into a glitch which makes a room continue to emit CA through one of its doors even if the object responsible for the emission is no longer in the room, present at all or is emitting anything anymore.

CA transfer being frozen by a changing permeability

You may or may not be familiar with a few metarooms which change room permeability in order to create lockable doors based on the volcano door in Creatures 2. Let's try a more practical example to show how this can affect a metaroom:
In Terra, a peaking pie is creating a food smell emission. When the door agent is used, the door transfer is frozen.

You can try reproducing this glitch yourself using CAOS commands or the Magic Words room edits. Now you may be wondering how this can be prevented and fixed.
If your CA ever ends up with broken emissions like in the above examples, simply enter the Calc command into your CAOS command line and it will fix the problem. You can add calc to your door agents in order to prevent them from causing the glitch, just make sure they calc after the door command, not before it. Of course this has its own problem, the denser your world is with rooms, the more likely this command will cause a brief lagspike. With particularly small worlds there should be no noticable lag at all. Unfortunately there does not appear to be a way to perform the calc command on a single metaroom.

Tuesday 18 May 2021

New Website: Abacus and Ettinus

Hello, everyone! I know I haven't been very active on this blog, though mainly its because I don't think the whole blogging thing is really my style. However, I have started a new website on neocities to make a central place for you to access all of my newer downloads and other creations, as well as collaborations which I have worked on with others.

This is not the end of this blog, either! With the new website up and running, any updates to it will be announced via blog post here. So if you're following this blog, or the RSS feeds at other Creatures sites following this blog, you should be in the know whenever I add new content to my website.