Every agent in the Creatures series is classified within a hierarchy of types, which tells the engine what kind of object it is. The hierarchy includes three levels: family, genus and species. For example, the spinning top is classified in the simple object family, in the toy genus, and it is the first species in that genus.
Creatures only recognize broad categories, which correspond to the genus level, and cannot distinguish between objects beyond that level. This can be useful in terms of vocabulary and behaviour learning, as Creatures can learn one word and behaviour for a particular 'toy', and it will extend to all others (so that if it's nice to activate the ball, it's also nice to do it to the spinning top). Steve Grand initially saw this as 'cheating' when he made the first Creatures game, preferring a model in which Creatures learnt to generalise more naturally, but limitations of programming power and time have meant that this system has been used throughout the series.
The class number is the family, genus and species written together: for example 2 13 1 is the class number for the spinning top, and 2 6 65 is the class number for the Breaded Hatchling Norn. Agents with exactly the same class number generally behave identically due to sharing scripts.
In all Creatures games, family and genus range from 1 to 255. In C1, species has a maximum of 255, and in C2 and CEE-based games, species has a maximum of 65535. Numbers over the maximum wrap around (so species 268 in C1 is equivalent to 12). 0 in any part of the classifier acts as a wildcard (see ENUM, for instance).
Creatures 1 genus numbers
- 2 Simple objects
- 3 Compound objects
- 4 Creatures
Creatures 2 genus numbers
- 1 Scenery
- 2 Simple object
- 3 Compound object
- 4 Creature
Creatures 3/Docking Station genus numbers
Other classes can be used, but by default they have no help name, and creatures cannot see them; you can change this, but it involves editing game files, and is therefore quite tricky to do multiple times without knowledge of how the game works - so is not good for players.
C2 Item ID numbers
Creature genes (e.g. instincts) use a different set of numbers than the list above to identify objects.
- Me (Self)
- Cliff Edge
C3/DS Item ID numbers
- Animal egg
- Creature egg
- Norn home
- Grendel home
- Ettin home
- Something (Geat)
- C3/DS classifiers list over at the Creatures Developer Network - NOTE: This list is not an accurate list of all agent classifiers! A few agents, especially recent ones are missing from the list. Also it does not list what ranges are 'owned' by who, and so choosing a classifier based on the information there could cause a clash!
- Creatures Caves Script Reservation System - If you are new to CAOS coding, you will need to get a range here.
- Classification and clashing - The very basics of the the Creatures Classification System