hello_robotto: (creatures)
[personal profile] hello_robotto
How did you get into Creatures in the first place? What game did you start with? What intrigued you about it or was the most fun? Do you have any special or fond memories?
I got into Creatures (many, many years ago now - back when Albia 2k was still up, back when the Gameware forums hadn't been shut down, back when the VLforums still existed, back when you could still trade creatures and chat with random people on DS) because I absolutely loved virtual pets and related games as a kid. There were points were I was obsessive about them.

I played Petz. I played Babyz. Eventually I would pick up Pinna (a virtual bird game). I tried out that one Aquazone game where you could breed colorful guppies. I had multiple games where the point was to be a vet and treat pets, zoo animals, or wild animals. I even had a real cat and yes, I did play with her too.

At some point I found a website about virtual and artificial life - I think it was called the Virtual Life homepage - and right next to a page full of links to virtual pet websites, FinFin, and gobs of Tamagotchi, was Creatures. I remember spending a while reading the official page, then downloading DS as soon as my mom would let me use her computer (which must have fit the requirements better; I did play on my hand-me-down Windows 98 at some point, but she had XP and an LCD screen!).

Norns were never as cute as the roly-poly adorable kitties of Catz. But I still played for hours with my copy of DS (soon with a whole bunch of add-ons, of course).

Eventually my parents bought me the Creatures Trilogy for my birthday, but DS - now with C3 docked - was still my favorite. We also borrowed a copy of Creation: Life and How to Make It from the library and I read it together with my dad. I was already learning how to program - mostly how to do things with numbers - and this was an introduction to a new and different way of thinking and coding to me. We skipped the neural network chapter at the time because it was too advanced for me, but the parts about feedback loops and coding an environment and getting emergent behavior rather than hardcoding everything, those stuck with me.

I liked playing with the creatures and taking care of them and breeding them - genetic systems have always been a huge, huge source of fascination for me, and continue to be so - but as time went on, I was inspired by other community members to start investigating some of the science background behind the games. At this point I wasn't quite getting into CAOS - though I do remember trying - and I only poked at genetics, but I did set up some experiments within the game to see what would happen.

Besides watching my little colony in the Meso, I have fond memories of one particular little norn who I hand-raised. I taught her words by hand, though I was frustrated by not being able to teach her verbs. At some point I think she must have refused to eat or otherwise do what I wanted her to do and out of frustration I started slapping her a whole bunch. Much to my surprise, it turned out that a creature could die from slapping. Oops.


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Hello, Robotto

December 2016

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