The uncensored truth about Creatures 4

Hi Creatures fans!

We’re finally back from Gamescom and it’s been an incredibly exhausting yet satisfying experience. The Creatures 4 team worked extremely hard to get the game to the state it was at the show and while we’re still far from our goal, most of the guys on the team have not slept for some time and really worked their ass off to deliver the demo on time.

Since the lid on the project PR has been lifted I can now talk more freely about the game and give you most of the information you’ve been eagerly waiting for. Before reading on, please keep in mind a couple of important points:

Creatures 4 is more than a new chapter in the series. It’s a complete reboot for the Creatures IP and this means several things I will tackle in this post; most of all, it means that we wish the game to be an evolving product which will hopefully stay with us a long time. Free-to-play games  live as long as there are players to support them and who allow us developers to listen to community requests and feedback to make the game better and richer with content. We see the initial version of the game as a starting point which we will improve upon with updates and new content.

So, let’s get to it…

How the Creatures 4 project was born and what about Mr.Grand

We get this question quite a lot and it’s a good starting point in my opinion. Thanks to some community members, I‘ve learned there have been previous attempts to revive the Creatures games in the past (commercially I mean) with at least another development studio on the project. Surprisingly, Creatures 4 is in no way related to any previous attempts to create a new Creatures game.

Actually the project’s idea came from Fishing Cactus. Several of us here are fans of the series and at one point we were talking about which “old” game series would fit in today’s ever-shifting gaming market. Creatures was one of these and we decided to try our luck and contact Gameware about it.

While understandably on the fence about it at first, Gameware was very open about discussing ideas and their stance was “surprise us and we’ll talk”. It took Fishing Cactus some time but we finally came up with a very early, new vision for the game, one that was based on current gaming trends: iOS, Facebook, free to play and whatnot. This was almost two years ago.

I think that our work convinced Gameware that we meant good and that they could trust us with the project and allowed us to go ahead and search a funding partner for the game.

Some months later, Bigben Interactive came into play. When we pitched the project to them, very quickly they saw potential into the project and how passionate we were about it and decided to move forward with us. For those that don’t know Bigben, this is a publisher that traditionally works on game accessories and accessories-related games. Free to play and AI-simulations aren’t their cup of tea and their willingness to take on this adventure with us says a lot about their belief in the project. On top of that, their knowledge of merchandising and accessories made awesome stuff like the Gamescom figurines possible. Hopefully we’ll get to do many more figurines and goodies when the game is released: Creatures 4 is a game that is suited to this kind of collectibles.

Another question we’re getting a lot (understandably) regards Mr. Steve Grand involvement with the project. This will disappoint some of you but up to this point we’ve had no contact with Mr.Grand and I don’t think he is related in any “official” way to the Creatures series anymore but I’m not privy to the details there so don’t flame me about this (you can about other stuff though ;-) ). We are very respectful of the work he and his team have accomplished and we’re definitely carrying this over to Creatures 4.

To answer a very passionate email about it sent to us by CosmicSpore, yes, he’ll be in the credits as most of our work is based on the incredible things he did with the series waaaaay before we got to it. The more we get our hands in the original code, the more impressed we are with it and there’s no way we’re not acknowledging that.

If you’re still not convinced, Fishing Cactus is betting a lot on this project: up to some time ago we were mainly focusing on the mobile market while moving slowly to consoles and generally “bigger stuff”. As of now, Creatures 4 is our biggest project yet and we see it as THE project that will allow a small indie developer like us to emerge in a very crowded market where we learned that the best way to succeed is by listening to the players while keeping a strong focus.

Creatures 4 is as much a big deal for you as it for us, we’ve been living 24/7 with this game for several months and we still have a long way go, there’s no way we could do that without loving it so much. For the anecdote, Julien Hamaide, our chief engineer, was happy to bar “working on the Creatures AI” from his “things to do before I die list”.

Some facts about the release date and supported platforms

The game is planned to be released at the start of next year on iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPodTouch), PC (online client), Mac (AppStore, online client). I’m vague about a date as we need to see how much time we still need to accomplish the quality we’re aiming for. We are still investigating the online platforms for PC to see which one answers our needs the best.

Many people are requesting Android/PS3/Toaster/Fridge ports. All of these are possible but nothing’s set yet and we’ll need to see the response to the game before taking any decisions. Ultimately Bigben calls the shots in regards to financial decisions.

A boxed version will be released for PC shortly after the online release. It will include all the old chapters in the series (1, 2, 3, DS at least), a goodies of some sort and the equivalent of the game’s price in in-game credits. We don’t have more details about this yet.

Graphics and World

It’s 3D, yey!

Seriously, it’s more than a simple makeover as we hope we’ll be able to make the Norns feel even more alive with current animations techniques which are obviously more advanced than what was possible with 2D sprites. Think about facial animations for example.

There will be 5 environments to play on the game’s release. You saw the treehouse, I can say there’ll be a “hatchery” environment and more details about the other three will come in time. We’re definitely taking notes of your suggestions on Facebook though J

We’re still thinking about the ecology and what to make of it. Our idea is that it needs to be linked to the gameplay to be relevant and more integrated with the content.  We know it’s a big part of the Creatures appeal but in our opinion in can be made more relevant to game itself and more than simple decoration.

 

Free to play model

This is a big point and one of the main differences with the previous games. Creatures 4 is a free-to-play game and this means several things that will most likely shock/upset/depress those of you that are completely happy with a classic buy-to-play game.  Please give it the benefit of the doubt; the transition might be easier than you think. We’re ourselves a bunch of hardcore gamers and we haven’t sold our soul to the devil or whatever, we just think this model works both for us and the user base.

  • A Creatures 4 online profile will be required to play so that the game will be able to keep track of all the relevant data (progress, currency, etc.)
  • There will be a leveling system linked to the player’s progress. The player’s level will increase as in-game goals are completed. Higher levels mean new unlocked content in the Shop and in the machines (more customization options for example).
  • There will be an in-game Shop that will house all the content you will be able to insert into the game: toys, genetic mutators, food, medicine… Most of this is still being designed so don’t take this as final.
  • There will be two currencies in the game: Coins, which are gathered in-game with various interactions. Golden Eggs which are either received in the game on special occasions or bought in packs from the in-game Shop in exchange for real money. Golden Eggs will allow buying some stuff from the Shop (a payment option in Coins will be available too) and speed up production cycles in machines.
  • All the content will be free, provided you have enough Coins/Golden Eggs to pay for items in the shop. Most (if not all) the content will be available for a set number of Coins so you can get all the content just by playing. Players willing to get things faster than they would by simply playing the game will have the option to do that by spending Golden Eggs. Practical example, let’s say you want your hatchery to create a new Egg, it will take a variable amount of time depending on the Norn breed you chose. You will be able to speed the hatching process by using a Golden Egg or simply waiting for it to complete.

For those of you that are familiar with social games, the model we chose is fairly classic stuff. I know some of you see it as controversial as social games have several detractors. In truth we believe this business model has several advantages. First of all it makes the game really accessible to a lot of players who can play the game for free and still experience all the content. Not all gamers know about Creatures and this is the best way to get people on board (after delivering a great game of course).  Also, to give you a little bit of developer’s insight, one of the reasons we chose the free-to-play model is that it ensures we’re getting a regular income that will allow us to provide continuous updates to the game and do some basic stuff like, you know, eat :)

A full-content “pay 50$ to play” version is definitely possible in the future but not planned at the moment.

 

State of the demo

The state of the Gamescom demo was very early in terms of polish. We wanted to introduce the player to some of the game features and by doing that we ended up driving the player through a series of guided steps. In hindsight, we probably should have offered a simple sandbox with the Norns living and doing their Norn-ish things.

Still, it was really heart-warming to see people laugh in front of the game. Creatures 4 seemed quite popular with women and kids!

The customization interfaces you saw were meant to show our system’s possibilities in terms of procedural texturing and body morphing. While we will offer the player a lot of customization options, these will come progressively as the player levels up. Natural breeding (no customization) will still play a big role as it will be the only mean to get unexpected results like random mutations and so on.

Complexity vs Accessibility

The Creatures games have always been very complex. Creatures 3 was awesome in many ways but it also managed to lose a lot of players due to its complexity. One of our major goals is to build on the existing foundations while making the series accessible to a new audience. No easy feat let me tell you!

The major change here will be a series of objectives which will need to be completed to advance and unlock new content. These will be designed to be very short-term and initially they will offer guidance among all the game features and mechanics before opening up to the full sandbox experience.  This won’t be a tutorial but an evolutionary process that will give you all the tools to achieve what you want in the game.

Achievements will be a part of it too and will encourage experimenting with the tools and machines.

AI and DNA

It’s still all here, rest assured. We’re recoding some of the tools for ourselves. We’re certainly not dumbing this down, but we’re still thinking about what the players will be able to do with all this from inside the game and how to keep it reasonably simple to grasp (those of you that messed with Norn genetics know it can be pretty daunting right?).

Proof below …

 

User Generated Content

This one’s another critical point. We know the importance of it for the Creatures community but it’s simply not possible for us to support user-generated content on the initial release.

First of all, badly handled, user generated content would be disruptive for the game as it would mess up the free-to-play-model balancing. Secondly, working on tools to make the game open to modification is a big deal: it requires a lot of time and a larger investment than we can afford right now without being sure the game will meet a large enough audience first.

Don’t lose hope though; we have some ideas on how to open the game in the future: we’re looking at what Valve did with Team Fortress, allowing users to produce and distribute content in the game and actually support that process. There are very good ideas there and we’ll be looking in that direction in the coming months.

And also, hopefully the customization options in the game will keep you busy in the meantime :)

 

Norn races, Ettins, Grendels

As you’ve probably heard/read, we’re bringing our own ideas to the Creatures world, with 5 Norn breeds, two of which were available in the Gamescom demo. Each breed will be linked to an environment and will have a unique visual look.

We’ve come up with a breeding system that allows mixing these Norn breeds to create millions of combinations in terms of color, fur, body shape and genetics.

While Grendels and Ettins won’t be in the initial release of game, I think it’s pretty much clear that they’re high up in the wanted features list of the community and thus high up in our todo list as well for after the game is released. Once again it all comes down to how the game will perform.

 

Social features

I can’t go into much detail about this at the moment but we’re definitely including some social features (sharing Norns is the first on the list). Again, more info about this soon.

That’s it…

I think I’ve touched the major points.  Feel free to comment but please don’t get mad if we’re not answering…

We don’t have a community manager here so we’re taking time off from production to handle emails and comments. This is not ideal and soon a dedicated Creatures 4 website will be available so we’ll be able to better answer your questions about the game.

Before ending this post, let me express our gratitude: we are doing our best to deliver a great game and your support matters a great deal to us. So do what you can to spread the word, I’m confident that in the end both you and us will be happy on how the game will turn out.



  • Kami

    Silvak, that would be nice, if they reopened the mall and got the DS server back up, but I won’t hold my breath. I had to get my new download of DS recently from the CDN because the link on gameware’s site is down; several of their Creatures downloads are broken. I highly doubt the mall will reopen, especially since it sounds like FC is making their store accessible in-game. I also don’t see the forums coming back, but maybe FC will open their own forum.

    I don’t think Gameware has an interest in the Creatures IP anymore. Their Creatures pages have been badly neglected for years, the forum and mall closed suddenly, with no warning or much in the way of an explanation, and there isn’t even a mention of the new game on their site anywhere.

  • vincent

    @Tom: je suis d’accord avec toi, un bon gros Creatures en 2D next gen j’en ai rêvé… A tort :( . D’autant qu’avec les bécanes actuelle ont auraient put avoir un grand monde et multiplier les creatures sans souci que ca rame ou que ca freez comme ca le faisais sur mon p266 mhz lol !!

    Enfin attendons des news fraîche, pour l’instant Fishing Cactus na lancé l’annonce que pour les enfants, peut être que des news pour fan seront bientôt op (voir message d’avant)? Avec de la chance l’aspect facebook@ pêche aux caméléons/chasse aux pièces dans les branche sera abandonné :p ! Ou alors peut être que la license Creatures sera définitivement morte a la sortie de Creatures 4 aux profits d’un jeu insipide et sans intérêt qui amuseras deux minutes par semaines ma fille de 3 ans, qui na pas d’argent de poche soit dit en passant xD !!

    Heureusement la grosse news c’est la commercialisation des précédents volet et ça c’est vraiment bien !! Plus de manip de tordue pour faire fonctionner Creature 3 sur seven !!! ;-)

    Enfin comme dit plus haut, pour l’instant je suis pessimiste a 100% sur l’attrait de creatures 4 de par ce qui a été présenté, ce jeu est aussi attendu, pour moi, qu’un jeu Blizzard, j’espère qu’on se trompe tous et que ce sera une bombe de jeu mais pour l’instant j’ose même pas en parler avec des potes fan de la license tant le jeu a l’air niais et planplan ! Surtout qu’au moment de sa sortie (fin2011 début 2012) y’a du très lourd qui sort aussi du côté des autres développeurs, y’a intérêt d’être au niveau sinon il feras pas 6 mois !!

  • Kay

    @Tom, You have stated perfectly how I feel to a tee, if what you point out is not in the game it will not be a “creatures game” to me. The term they use for the PC and MAC boxed is “client” that is not a good sign to be about any offline use.

    And coin collecting egg buying makes me cringe.

    I am waiting patiently for my question to be answered on the boxed version being a stand alone or playable offline version, if the answer is yes, I will check it out and if the game feels like a face book game I will just add this cd to my collection and go back to Docking Station/ Creatures 3 as I have been playing for years now.

    I also feel that this game will not go far with out the grendels, ettins and user created additions/content (the new buzzword). I hope this is not a watered down version. I do believe we should expect the best not settle and excuse because it is “creatures”

  • ChosenPredator

    @Tom I agree with that it kind of reminds me of that one picture floating around the net of the mona lisa, the picture is completely done BUT if you want to see the rest of the mona lisa face you have to buy the DLC but everything is already there their just making us pay to see the full picture,lol. here is that image http://www.jpgdump.com/files/7389

    I rather have the FULL complete game and not half a game that we’ll have to pay infinite incriminates on, if the boxed version has everything I would get that instead, Blizzard is trying this with DIABLO 3 where you have to be online to even play the game and you should see the uproar on that but they have a tendency to listen to their community. If I am traveling and I’m on a plane i don’t want to have to be forced to be online just to focus on my world.

    basically i think what a lot of us our thinking and hoping this game isn’t a facebook game or a free browser type game where you got to pay to get any sort of satisfaction..the community is already saying what they want lets hope fishing cactus listens.

  • Paul Gilbery

    I have been waiting years for a new Creatures game to be released, one that has all the best bits from previous titles but with a new revamped AI engine and superior graphics. From what I have seen so far from the Gamescom demo vid I was not that impressed!

    Also having to pay for “Golden Eggs” to “Accelerate” the game sounds like a complete load of rubbish!

    Please make us proud Fishing Cactus with your Creatures 4 take and ditch the BS.

  • http://www.fishingcactus.com Andrea Di Stefano

    Hi everyone, as always thanks for your comments.

    First off, I hear your concerns about the free to play model in general. We’ve been candid about the fact that we’re not doing Creatures 3 in 3D, with all the good and bad that implies. The original series, despite having a very devoted community, struggled to find a strong enough audience to justify new chapters being developed. We’re pretty sure some of you will like our vision and some of you won’t. If you’re in this second group, the good thing is that Creatures 3 will be bundled in the boxed copy of the game and you will be able to play it as you always loved to.

    We’re hoping that those of you that will adhere to the changes Creatures 4 brings to the series, or at least see the potential of the game, will support us up to the release and afterward by helping us evolve the game in meaningful ways.

    Someone here mentioned that a proper Creatures sequel has never been released because of the development budget it required. That’s exactly correct. The Creatures games were huge and developing one with the current technological fidelity costs a lot of time, thus money. Fishing Cactus is a small development studio, very ambitious and strong-willed, but still small. The free-to-play evolving model, which implies an ever-evolving game, is the best way to get Creatures series into the limelight again; without it the game would not exist as it would require an investment too conspicuous to make it commercially worthwhile.

    Features such as coin-collecting, free-to-play model, more accessible customization etc. are all mechanics and systems we’re enriching the game with to make it worthwhile in today’s market and to give Creatures 4 a chance to stick with us (and with you) for some time after it’s released. Sure, the market is evolving and it’s scary for gamers (and we’re gamers) AND developers, but thinking that there’s no good in this evolution is, in my very personal opinion very short-sighted: Creatures is back isn’t it? That’s a good starting point in understanding that not all changes are for the worse.

    Cheers!

  • vincent

    @Andrea di stefano: je pense que ce que nous avons tous besoin, et vous le voyez aux commentaires, c’est d’une nouvelle présentation du jeu. Il est impossible pour l’instant de soutenir Creatures 4 tant que seul l’aspect social des jeux médiocre facebook est de mise, vous avez fait de la comm auprès de nos enfants mais vous nous avez oublié. Fishing Cactus doit changer sa communication et s’adresser aux vrais publicitaire du jeu soit les joueurs qui connaissent la license, dire que nous ne sommes pas assez nombreux est faux, les premiers à commenter le jeu, à le proposer aux amis et à la famille, les premières impression de ce jeu se feront à partir de ce que diront les fans. Nous séduire c’est le début du succès. Je suis content que Creatures reviennent, mais je veux un jeu aboutit comme tout fan.

    De grâce, faites nous une jolie vidéo nous présentant autre chose que des chasses aux pièces ou aux caméléon. Faites de nous vos meilleurs soutient !

  • Kay

    @Andrea di stefano

    So the new Creatures will only be playable when we are online, so if the company goes away Creatures 4 goes away and all that we buy with real cash in the game also goes away? Just like a face book/flash game game?

    I hope this company realizes that the general gaming public already realizes the tremendous pitfalls of online gaming and it would have been possible to do a playable version and that would have given us some security.

  • ChosenPredator

    @vincent yeah that is basically what I was thinking the fans or the hardcore communityare the ones who will be the most vocal about this game, the community itself is pretty large I saw article on Kotaku and there are people who said they loved the original they better not mess it up even on forums discussing this game that are outside of the fan forums have a similar view. It’s going to be a mega hard sale especially with every company and it’s mother trying to get money out of us online nowadays.

    Regardless I’m going to get this game in hopes that it becomes something amazing, the staying online 24/7 thing though has to go that is just like a automatic killer for a PC title and just gets people turned off immediately.

  • http://www.fishingcactus.com Andrea Di Stefano

    @vincent : Tu as raison: nous montrerons des features plus intéressantes pour les fans de la série dès que possible (ça ne sera pas dans un court délai par contre). Le marketing initial va probablement se concentrer sur l’élargissement du public (c’est-à-dire pas les fans) qui est essentiel pour que le jeu ait du succès sur le long terme. Ne gérant pas directement le marketing, on n’est pas au courant de tous les détails de ce qui est prévu mais on fera notre possible pour communiquer au public de fans au plus vite.

    @Kay, @ChosenPredator : The game will require to be logged in to play, this is necessary for several things, not the least being cheat prevention which is critical in free to play games (with the whole content free, we can’t afford having people cheating their way to payable content) . I wish somewhere down the road a full content version (moddable, offline, etc.) will be possible but this is my very personal wishful thinking and no matter how much you’re vocal about it those decisions don’t rest with Fishing Cactus (though we’ll bring the subject up in due time)

    Also, if you’re worried about Fishing Cactus going out of business:
    1) Die you infidel! :-)
    2) The Creatures 4 service will be run by Bigben which is a pretty healthy publisher so I wouldn’t worry too much about that.

  • JD

    So I’ve noticed there is a creatures4.com domain out on the web, but it’s currently a blank page. I don’t know how long it has been there, but I was wondering if that is the game-specific website you mentioned previously. How long before a dedicated website is available?

  • Kay

    @Andrea Di Stefano

    Sorry I have heard these exact promises from the game that I played for three years and sunk a lot of money into. Truth is .. Free to Play gives us no security whatsoever for our purchases if the company shuts it down or as they say now a days “Sunset the Product”, so If I play I will never be tempted again to sink my money into anything that does not provide me with an offline tangible version. Especially in this economy. I do hope someone writes a patch for the cd version somehow so we can just play offline and it not count online, but beyond the cd (if I get it) I will not be putting in any money sorry, I hope all goes well and you guys write a stand alone version.

  • http://www.facebook.com/philippemorin123 Philippe

    I’m really curious about this, but please, don’t make a “Glitch” out of this! I don’t like “Glitch”…

  • Tristan

    When you mention “facebook games,” this worries me a little bit. I do hope your idea of free-to-play is something more like Dungeons and Dragons Online and NOT Farmville/Tapfish. Those games are just a waste of memory, in my book. Creating a Creatures game like those would kill the series for me, and I’m sure, a lot of die-hard fans. We don’t need a cookie-cutter game. We need innovation and the original unique qualities that made Creatures the series it was.

    Are there any more specific details you could give about your definition of “free-to-play” for this game?

  • http://watercrown.info Ryusui

    My biggest concern, and one that hasn’t been addressed yet, is that the Norns look too human – they’re not “cute” like the originals, but rather land somewhere disconcertingly on the edge of the Uncanny Valley. Would something like the original’s White-Haired Pixie Norn have been too much to ask?

    I really do hope we’ll have Norns with proper faces (and tails!) by the time the game ships, or at least in the future. They look far too much like toddlers in fursuits for my tastes.

  • Kittie885

    Perhaps the problem was naming it “Creatures 4″ specifically. With that name comes a lot of expectations of what it will be like. It’s like the awesome “Aliens” movie series for example. There was Aliens 2, 3, etc.. When Aliens fans hear Aliens 3 they think it’s going to be following in the footsteps of the first two movies. If they were to watch it and find out Aliens three was actually a cartoon comedy rendition of one or both of the first two movies they would have been extremely disappointed.

    Likewise A fan of the Angry Birds games would not want Angry Birds 2 to be a game involving the stock market and buying and selling angry birds. They would want it to be about smashing pigs and their constructions with the birds themselves just like the previous versions of the game!

    I said all of that to say that with the title comes a certain good amount of expectation of what the game itself is going to be like. Now I admit as nobody has of yet played this new Creatures 4 game we don’t know exactly what it’s going to be like, but if it’s as different as everyone fears then perhaps it would be best to name it something else that hints at it being a spinoff, or simply related, rather than a direct sequel.

  • http://www.davidslack.co.uk Dave

    Hi Everyone,

    Like a lot of people here I owned Creatures 1, 2, 3 and DS and liked the games a lot. I’m a programmer and was astonished by the level of work that went into the ‘brains’ of the Norns (and Ettins and Grendels to a lesser extent).

    But, today, that level of programming will run fine on a phone so Fishing Cactus have got hold of the code they can port it onto any iPhone and make an app (with 3D) and that, for me, is the problem. Tapfish and Angry birds are great for killing a few minutes in the train, but it’s no Deus Ex (or Creatures 3 for that matter) and so I think most of the die hard fans are going to be a little disappointed with the Creatures app (or Creatures 4)

    Sorry Fishing Cactus, PC games are just not the same as apps :(

    Saying all that, I hope I’m wrong it you make a game, not and app.
    Dave

  • Cloe

    Hey Guys,

    I was just thinking it would be great if the boxed version of the game (including the original C1-3) would include all the official downloadable C3 breeds? That would be spectacular! Also, I’d like to see the Nornverter, which was used to convert C1 norns to C2 to make a return (it wasn’t included in the Albian Years).

    I’d have to agree that the C1 white-haired pixie norns were probably my favourite of all the norns. I’d love to see a breed like that in C4.

    Have a good day!
    Cloe

  • http://watercrown.info Ryusui

    @Cloe:

    http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/9753/401happy.png

    You just made a small furry creature very, very happy.

  • http://creaturesvillage.com/crazyshee Silvak

    Thank Andrea for you specific and to the point answers. I feel for you all in the “Lab” and hope you know that you’re doing the community a world of service, even if they can’t see it themselves.

    I, personally, am very disappointed that it will require you to be online. Often my internet is unreliable, so it could make playing a lot harder. But once you mentioned that one of the reasons is to discourage/circumvent cheating, it makes more sense. I still don’t like it, but I won’t hold it against you. It also makes more sense for the F2P, and that it’s the only way we would be seeing another Creatures title, due mostly to budget. Realistically, while the community has been small and dedicated, it couldn’t last forever. And C4 will breath new life into it and the series. Which leaves a possible sequel beyond C4, a more traditional Creatures game. But in the mean time, there is a lot the C4 can bring the community.

    @Kay, I had simply included you in my comment on the DS server as you had commented on the topic, briefly, and was not intended as a direct response to your concerns or inquiry. I too was eager to know for certain if an internet connection would be required.

    @Kami, supposedly, for a least a short time, the DS server was back. I haven’t had any luck connecting, but it’s possible that my computer simply isn’t letting me. (I hate Vista! And I wish my old computer was working!!)

  • ccsdg

    this is going to be a little left field, but seeing as it’ll be online, is there any chance it’ll be available for linux as well? Creatures 1 player here from way back, who has since wiped windows from all her boxes. That said, I can still always pull out the old macbook.

    :D i for one am very excited by this post. Personally I think F2P games are a clever business model for the current day at least. Looking forward to seeing the fruits of the Lab’s endeavours!

  • ccsdg

    ah, just re-read the bit about ports to various platforms, I guess linux goes somewhere in there.

  • vincent

    on arrive en octobre, depuis le game con, pas de news, il y a pas un petit trailer qui traine chez fishing cactus ou juste un petit quelque chose à se mettre sous la dent, de nouveaux screenshots ?? La communauté need Andrea Di Stefano !!! Allez tous en coeur: des news des news !!!

    ps: si le pixie norn refait son apparition je veut un outil batte de baseball pour le cajoler, ses cheveux blanc m’horripile !! lol !

  • http://www.fishingcactus.com Andrea Di Stefano

    Hello, on travaille on travaille :)

    des news dès que possible!

  • http://allaze-eroler.deviantart.com allaze-eroler

    je pensais justement la même chose avant que je tombe sur ton commentaire concernant les news :D et tant mieux si la team travaille d’arrache pied :D

  • ChosenPredator

    http://www.glitch.com/ <—please don't make creature 4 anything like this : (

  • http://creaturescaves.com/ Malkin

    I know you probably don’t have information about this yet, but will there be an Intel Mac compatible box set equivalent to the PC boxed set? I know it’s more likely going to be an ‘if C4 goes well, we’ll see what we can do’ thing, but I hope it happens!

  • Someone

    I think that if anything is better than Docking Station for user content (half the game is open over there) it won’t be this.

  • http://creaturescaves.com/ Malkin

    This is probably too specific and too soon, but I’ve been looking at the Team Fortress model of third-party content, and I have some questions:

    Will we have a ‘backpack’-style inventory?

    Will we be able to create and trade new environments, like TF players can create and trade new maps?

    Will we have to buy our golden eggs in bundles?

    Will we be able to trade items in general with other players, or gift other players? (agents, adoptions, breeds)?

    Will we be able to mix up items to make other items, ‘crafting’ them? (e.g. baking a cake, quirky cookies)

    Will there be a ‘sandbox mode’ we can use to test our creations in?

    Will we be able to mark other players as ‘friends, neutral, or enemies’ like we could in DS? (enemies could not send us creatures, friends’ creatures were automatically accepted)

    Thank you! :)

  • http://www.fishingcactus.com Andrea Di Stefano

    hey there! The model in Team Fortress is interesting to bring new content to the game(especially the one that is approved by Valve for QA). As we’ve said before we’re looking into that as it would work for Creatures 4.

    On to the questions:

    -if by backpack you mean a way to store your items, then yes
    -no (not initially at least and since the game is in 3D now it complicates the the asset integration process. So it’s not *no* but it’s not for the near future)
    -some will be earned in the game but essentially, yes. There will be various bundles so smaller bundles will be cheap.
    -mmmmm, still in discussion in what way to implement this (but yeah)
    -we’re looking into it and if it’s not there on day 1 it will definitely be one of the priorities, I think it can bring a lot to the game.
    -nothing planned about that. If we decide to “open” the game to modding at one point (big if, I know, big debate :) , it’s logical that we will provide a way to test it.
    -mmm, that’s possible! nothing planned on marking players but if it makes sense, why not!

    hope this answers your questions!

  • vince

    J’ai trop envie d’y jouer :/… Je me langui début 2012 !

  • Luci

    Hmm. I got to say the norns are rather ugly to me, as is the colour scheme of the backround. I don’t mean that as an insult or anything, it just isn’t to my taste – I am sure there are many out there who find them lovely.
    I am glad to hear though that at some point ettins and grendels will be introduced! I don’t really see how their cuteness could possibly get screwn up, whereas there have been ugly norn breeds before (forest norns, ron norns) and the official images of norns for C1 and C2 that weren’t from the game itself had the ugliest norns in them. Such as the C2 cover – the norns actually in game looked fine though. I will definitely be giving this game a chance, it might end up positively suprising me! Some questions:
    - Would it be possible to at some point, in that store thingy, to perhaps release some buyable alternative texture for the backround (and perhaps the objects in it)? A less brightly coloured one would be nice, as would be one with completely alien colours (for fun!) – like a green sky and purple trees!
    - Would it be possible to, at some point, be able to make norns that have facial features more closely resembling those of earlier games? Say, the nose really puts me off as do the shape of the eyes – those might be relatively easy to provide? But, I am probably asking too much, but hell, I’m trying :) I found this picture (http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h78/Getchuz/Compare_norn__ngirl.png) and it seemed to make quite a difference, though I heard people mocked that picture or something. Anyhow, is it possible to make norns more resembling that in the game? If not when it’s released, will it perhaps be further in the future?
    - Are there norns with hair in the game? I don’t mean fur, I mean hair on the head like humans have. If not, will such be available someday?
    - Are there noticable seasons in the game? Is there a night and a day cycle and if so, is the difference visible?
    - Is it possible to speak to the norns? Can the norns speak?
    Well, that is all I can think of for now. I hope I’ll like the game, though it’s possible I won’t. Not your fault, of course – you are perfectly permitted to go with the game to the direction you choose, and there’ll always be some who aren’t happy with changes.

    Thank you for the possible answers. I hope I did not seem too demanding, they were mere questions and suggestions.

  • http://sites.google.com/site/norngirlstemporarystorageplace/ norngirl

    @ Luci
    Glad you liked my pic :3
    (this one -> ) http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h78/Getchuz/Compare_norn__ngirl.png

    I did post this along with some others,but theyre in the older post parts..
    I post them all here (except my own C4 concept ones,wich is on my DA account)

    for the mock part,no I did get good and positive feedback on that one.
    Many agreed with me it look more norn-ish XD
    I made that as I myself wasn’t too found of the norn design ^^’
    Don did use my pic and tried tweak it as well – can be seen on the creature forum (wich I was fine wit,as she did state it was originaly my atempt)

    I made a quick picture with all the past norns here as a ref:
    http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h78/Getchuz/Norns_.png
    (I know you said the forest wasn’t the prettiest,but theyre still norns,and I at least love em ;P But I don’t say they are going to make a comeback in C4 lol.

    I also adore the old 3D rendered norn arts,I found them adoreable,but I do agree the ingame norns are way better of course!

    and a quick comperation to the new c4 norns and old + mgwai from gremlins..
    http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h78/Getchuz/Fusionofnorn-mogwai_WhereisTail.png
    I think this c4 norns on this ic is bit cuter but sadly they lack tail and dosn’t seem to crawl as babys O.o
    the sideveiw of them are quite funny too (at least on the pic I could find – wich is on the pic you can see)

    I do agree I still miss the old classic cute style of ¨the norns and that they weren’t tail-less,
    But thats actuly why I made those pics ;P

    Many of the questions did I ask myself too,just can’t remember if I did ask it here…rpobably did but without answer,but we probably have to wait til the official C4 site will be up,as they said we could ask them questions there and get some better answers hopefuly (or so I think at least it was said O.o )

    As for fishing cactus – Don’t meant to sound offensive or rude,
    I just had to let Luce know where the pic(s) was from XD

  • Alex

    I’m just happy that the game is coming out. Even if it’s not something those of us who have been playing since Creatures 1 will adjust to right away, that it’s free will do just as they say; it’ll bring massive amounts of attention to the unique style of the series again. Eventually, maybe there’ll be more versions.

    For now, seeing as it’s been a ridiculous amount of time since the last Creatures game and considering how much I love it and want more, beggars can’t be choosers. If we waited any longer those of us who still search “Creatures” every month hoping to see something new to pop up will give up waiting like the rest of the Creatures fan base.

    All in all, I like it. I’m happy with almost anything so long as they keep the basics. …granted, online play isn’t my thing but hey, there’ll be more to come!

  • Alex

    I wanted to add, that I do agree with Norngirl’s suggestions… but it’s probably too late for that.

    The fact that Creatures was simple enough and attractive to people of all ages, while still being complex for those of us who wanted to get into their brains and genetics, is one of the things that’s kept us fans threw-out our lives.

    It has to be cute for us ladies and the kids, and it has to be simple enough that we can keep them alive just by feeding them (ok, not that simple but you know what I mean,) …but the complexities are what makes us dive deeper.

  • Alex

    Lastly… please don’t forget that some of us -Like- to cheat; and I don’t mean to get pay content. It’s fun because we can go in and edit our norn’s files, or play around with the game on even a deeper level. That, and we can’t really have gadgets/agents made when it’s an online game ._.

    I think that’s the only real downside to it being online.

    All well! Beggars can’t be choosers, and out of this Creatures will grow!

  • http://mfb.tv MFB

    With @Malkin I’m also interested in hearing about potential intel mac ports for any of the previous Creatures games.

  • vincent

    Bonsoir, je viens aux news :p ! Il y en as ?

  • http://www.fishingcactus.com Andrea Di Stefano

    Très bientôt :)

    Some news very soon!

  • vincent

    vivement !!! Je me langui des news ! je me suis refait une partie C3, j’en suis a generation 56 ils me font rire ils ont tous une jambe de bois xD !

  • http://discoveralbia.blogspot.com Jessica

    I can’t wait for the news! Hopefully “very soon” means within the week… Although that could be wishful thinking. Ha! I hope development has been going well on the project: I’m anxiously awaiting the next glimpse into Creatures 4!

  • http://www.fishingcactus.com Andrea Di Stefano

    this week –> wishful thinking unfortunately :)
    Development is moving forward well. As expected, we’ve had our share of difficulties to overcome but Creatures 4 was never meant to be a simple game to design and develop right?

  • http://discoveralbia.blogspot.com Jessica

    Good to hear that things are going well! Hopefully the difficulties have helped to make the game even better as you’ve gone along. I hope you’ve seen some of the positive remarks that have been floating about: I can’t say that everyone is a diehard supporter of C4, but the interest level seems to be pretty high. There’s been a bit of a lull since this last bit of news… So the next update should renew some more interest in this developing game! Best of luck!

  • http://www.fishingcactus.com Andrea Di Stefano

    Yeah, sorry about the lull, the gamescom demo was a good way to show the game but to tell the truth, we had to « hack » a lot of things instead of building systems that will be present in the game when it is released. That came back to bite us pretty hard and in the past two months we had the opportunity to consolidate the game and handle what remains of the development in the best way possible.

    Lesson learned I guess :-)

    I’ll be more thorough in my next post about the game; in the meantime, thank you all for your patience!

  • vincent

    juste si vous pouvez le dévoiler, avez vous mis une option pour retirer l’horrible avalanche de cœurs qui s’affiche quand on chatouille un norn ?

  • http://www.fishingcactus.com Andrea Di Stefano

    aha, wait and see :)

  • http://discoveralbia.blogspot.com Jessica

    Patience must be a virtue in this case! Can’t wait for more news! It would be quite awesome if we could get just a hint of news soon… The annual Creatures Community Spirit Festival (CCSF) 2011 is going on through Monday! We sure do love our Creatures games, and Creatures 4 won’t be an exception. Thanks again for keeping such an open line of communication with everyone: I know it’s impossible to keep everything locked up and hidden until the game is released, but it’s nice to know that we’ve gotten a little insight into the game thus far. It’s also nice to know our feedback is actually being taken into consideration. There’s no way everyone will be satisfied, but I do hope that this turns out to be fun for the majority!

  • Sfot

    It still amuses me that after everything that kicked up when you showed the new Norns, you opted to cover the offending eyes this time around.

    It’s the little things, you know?

  • Cindy

    Oooh !!
    Quelle joie de voir qu’une suite va être faite à Creature 3 ! :)
    Depuis le temps que je l’attends, j’espère ne pas être déçue !!
    Je viens de déterrer mon CD de Creature 3 il y a 2 jours et du coup je m’y suis remise. Et presque par masochisme je me suis mise à la recherche de quelques news sur une éventuelle suite (comme à chaque fois que je repense à ce jeu, mais ça faisait un bon moment que ça m’étais pas arrivé ^^) et pour une fois… je suis tombée sur quelque chose !!!
    J’attends avec impatience une petite vidéo !!

  • netdroid9

    As someone who used to play Creatures a few years back and only today decided to google it again out of curiosity, I’m (happily) surprised to hear this news, and will definitely be keeping track of this project in the hopes that it reaches fruition (here’s hoping that collectors-edition box is available in Australia).

    With online play it’d be nice to have some indication that should the game no longer be financially viable you’d be willing to release an offline-mode patch, a dedicated server or a similar tool to ensure that the players aren’t left out in the cold, but hopefully it won’t come to that. There is also the issue of offline play, which is important not just for the PC version (I for one use a laptop, and whilst I have internet at home I don’t often have it whilst out and about) but for the mobile games too, since (especially in Australia) mobile data is expensive and not everyone has WiFi.

    I can understand the reluctance to allow third-party mods in a free-to-play game, since if you’re planning on monetizing the game through premium content but allow third-party mods, you’re going to run into issues with both piracy and competition from modders (i.e. what’s stopping someone from making an instant-XYZ machine and removing the need for Golden Eggs?). Just forbidding modders isn’t necessarily going to stop people modding the game, though, and it’s certainly not going to stop piracy (particularly if running mods requires you to run a cracked version of the game anyway). Most people might enjoy games by playing them, but some people enjoy games by opening them up and poking around inside, and a fair number of the people who played the old Creatures games (myself included) are going to be like the latter, not the former.

    Most free-to-play games aren’t susceptible to this because some essential aspect of the game relies on a server-side component: For instance, TF2 and League-of-Legends are primarily multiplayer with the server-side component being the list of running games; unauthorized modifications mean you’re limited to third party lists and can’t interact with the main community. It doesn’t matter if someone hacks their version of TF2 to give them all the hats, because then they can’t play the game with anyone, and it doesn’t matter if people make new maps or mod their servers to give everyone giant heads, because Valve sells hats, not maps. In general, it doesn’t matter if people mod their game, because by doing so they lose an essential part of the game experience.

    It might be worth making modding itself part of the game experience, by limiting what mods can do and having players unlock abilities which are then reflected in the abilities available to mods (for instance, mods can’t inject creatures with chemicals until the player unlocks the Science Kit by buying it or finding it in the world or whatever, or mods can’t create eggs until the player unlocks the Breeder’s Kit et cetera). People could still cheat, but people are more likely to do the right thing than the wrong thing. Furthermore, it’d be better to establish that sort of thing earlier rather than later, as people will probably try and mod the game even in the absence of official tools (if I recall correctly, that has happened with Creatures games in the past).

    That is, assuming the client runs the world and not the server, and hence modding is possible at all.

    The main question I have is whether the world/AI/(COB/CAOS/whatever makes in-game objects work) is going to be run on the client or on the server, which in turn indicates whether it’ll be possible to unofficially mod the game or not.