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Community Recommended Fixes and Addons Guide 2021

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Introduction[edit]

Hello, and welcome to the Community Recommendations for Docking Station guide! As some of you may be aware, this is a revised version of the Creatures 3 & Docking Station Community Recommended Fixes and Addons guide I wrote back in 2019. Whilst that guide was fully intended to be a "living" document that would be updated as time went on, after a couple of years and some great feedback I figured it was time to take this back to the drawing board and give it a good ol' polish. Whilst this guide is still assuming you are playing Creatures Exodus, it is important to note that this time around we will solely be focusing on the Docking Station portion.

So what exactly is this guide about then? This is intended to be a resource for everyone, from brand new and returning players, to veterans of the series wanting the best that the community can offer. To this end, the guide will be broken into several sections for ease of use:

  • Installation
    • GOG Install
    • Humble Store Install
    • Docking Station Standalone Install
    • Offline Play, Albian Warp & Borderless Windowed Mode
  • Undocked Worlds
    • This section will further be broken down into categories, both for types of modifications and agents, but also into what is considered "bare essential" and what is just recommended.
  • Docked Worlds
    • Similar to the previous section, but building off the Docked Worlds section as a foundation.

If you would like (or need) a quick overview of the various filetypes you may encounter in this guide, this drop-down should help you. All folders listed below are in the Docking Station install directory "Creatures\Docking Station".

Files
.agents A complete Agent, packaged together with their scripts and any files those scripts rely on. This is the file type you are likely to see the most of. These are placed in "\My Agents".
.c16 & .s16 Image files, these contain the sprites that an agent (or indeed Creature) needs to display and animate in the world. These are placed in "\Images", and very occasionally "\Overlay Data".
.cos Scripts that everything in the game needs to run! From the humble Ball to complex Critters, everything starts off as a .cos file. These are (usually) placed in \Bootstrap\010 Docking Station".
.catalogue These files can store data about an agent, and are commonly used to give Agent Help. These are placed in "\Catalogue".
.wav & .mng Sound files, these let you hear things. Magic! These are placed in "\Sounds",
.DS_Store These crop up in quite a few downloads, and simply indicate that the agent creator made the file on a Mac. You can safely ignore these files (despite really looking like they have something to do with the game!).

Ready to step into the warp and see where it takes us? Let's go!

Installation[edit]

Before anything else, we obviously need to install the game! Unfortunately, that can be a bit... unintuitive, or downright broken in the case of the GOG install. Never fear though, we'll help you get this game up and running quicker than an Ettin with that very specific gadget you really needed good GRIEF COME BACK WITH THAT-

GOG Install[edit]

This section will walk you through installing the particularly problematic GOG install. Luckily thanks to the work of Lisdude, this process is relatively simple these days.

Note: This can safely be installed over an existing Standalone installation.

Downloads[edit]

Before we start, we need to download a few files. I suggest downloading them all to a single folder to get to them all nice and quick.

  • You will need to download Creatures Exodus as a standalone installed, not through GOG Galaxy. To do this, simply log into GOG, and hover over your username at the top of the page.
01 - Select Games.png
  • Then search for Creatures Exodus.
02 - Search.png
  • Select "View Downloads", then click on "Creatures Exodus" at the bottom of the page.
03 - Download.png
  • Once that has been downloaded, go download the Creatures Remastered Patch, over at AmberCreatures.
  • Finally, head over to Lisdude's GitHub page, and download the files there (just click the green "Code" button and "Download ZIP". Once you have those, extract them to a folder of their own within the folder you've downloaded everything else to, like this:
04 - Files Downloaded.png

And that's that, time to install!

Installation[edit]

Now that we have our files downloaded, we can actually install the thing!

  • Start the installer, click "Options", and make sure you are installing "Creatures" '(not "Creatures Exodus!")' to your "Documents" folder
    • Your "Documents" folder may be elsewhere. I have mine on a separate drive (D:\) and so my install location would be D:\Documents\Creatures, however the default Documents location is C:\Users\[User]\Documents.
05 - Install Location.png
  • Once the install has finished, exit the installer. Do not launch the game!
  • Now we need to run the FixRegistry.cmd file. Simply right-click on the file, and run as administrator.
    • This will fix the installed registries that the GOG installer breaks, removing an extra space from the game directory in the registry files. If this is not done, Docking Station simply won't run correctly. This also unlocks DPI options, which can be invaluable if you are running on a very high resolution.
    • The CMD window will pop up very briefly, this is perfectly normal.
06 - Fix Registry.png
  • Now we need to run the Remastered Patch. You do not need to install the "My Documents" fix.
07 - Remastered Patch.png
  • Now try to run Docking Station! If everything has been installed correctly, you should be able to pick between an Undocked and Docked world. When you have enabled offline play and/or Albian Warp, we can test this further with Amaikokonut's Catalogue Tester.

Humble Store Install[edit]

This section will deal with the Humble Store version of the installer.

Downloads[edit]

There isn't a lot to download with this install, so this should be relatively brief.

And that's it!

Installation[edit]

This process is a relatively simple install, but will require running the installer in Compatability Mode.

  • Extract the contents of the .zip file.
  • Right click on the the installer, setup.exe with the Creatures Adventures icon for... some reason, and click properties. Then go to Compatability, and tick the "Run this mode in compatability mode for:" checkbox and select Windows 95.
Compatability.png
  • Run the installer and make sure you have set your install directory to Documents\Creatures\Docking Station.
    • Your "Documents" folder may be elsewhere. I have mine on a separate drive (D:\) and so my install location would be D:\Documents\Creatures, however the default Documents location is C:\Users\[User]\Documents.
Install.png

Standalone Install[edit]

The standalone install, as well as being free, is very simple to install.

Downloads[edit]

There isn't a lot to download with this install, so this should be relatively brief.

And that's it!

Installation[edit]

Being one of the original installers from back in the day, this is a simple install.

  • Run the installer, and make sure you have set your install directory to Documents\Creatures\Docking Station. You will need to make the Creatures folder before you attempt to install it to that location.
    • Your "Documents" folder may be elsewhere. I have mine on a separate drive (D:\) and so my install location would be D:\Documents\Creatures, however the default Documents location is C:\Users\[User]\Documents.
01 - Directory.png
  • Now we need to run the Remastered Patch. You do not need to install the "My Documents" fix.
07 - Remastered Patch.png
  • Now try to run Docking Station! The game should load in a window, at which point you can close it and enable offline play and/or Albian Warp. We can then double-check this install with Amaikokonut's Catalogue Tester.
  • When running the game you will need to ensure you are running engine.exe directly. If you try to run through the default shortcut it will attempt to run InstallBlast.exe, which will prompt you to update the game. If you do start the game this way, do not attempt to update.

Offline Play, Albian Warp, & Borderless Gaming[edit]

Regardless of which version you've installed, the instructions for enabling offline play and albian warp are the same.

  • To enable offline play, you will need to download DS Offline Option. This can be found on the same site as the Docking Station standalone installer.
    • Place offlinelogin.c16 in "Creatures\Docking Station\Images"
    • Place zzz_gamestart_login.cos in "Creatures\Docking Station\Bootstrap\010 Docking Station". This will replace the original file.

When you create a new world in Docking Station, you will now see a new button:

DSOfflineOption.png

This will allow you to create and play worlds totally offline. This is the absolute, bare minimum to getting the game to run. You can stop here if you want to!

Next, we'll set up Albian Warp. I suspect the best set of instructions from this will be directly from the source, so follow the instructions in the link to get started: https://github.com/AlbianWarp/AlbianWarpClient/wiki

Finally, we'll set up Borderless Gaming, to enable a "fullscreen" look, without having to run the game in its built-in fullscreen mode.

  • Download Borderless Gaming, and install it.
  • Run the program, and then run Docking Station. You should have a setup similar to this:
01 - Borderless.png
  • Next, Alt+Tab to the program and select Docking Station and click the arrow pointing to "Favourites". When you return to Docking Station, it will be running in Borderless Windowed mode.
02 - Borderless Done.png
  • Note that Borderless Windowed will need to be running to allow Docking Station to remain in this mode.

Initial Setup[edit]

There are a couple of things we'll want to do to prepare for future worlds. These specific steps only need to be done once, as it's largely about making sure certain files are present.

  • I would recommend going to Creatures 3\My Agents, and removing BruinBengalCivetEggs.agents.
    • This will stop Muco displaying the basic, non-expressive versions of those breeds. It's a small thing, but fewer duplicates to click through is always nice.
  • Create a world, and inject the Grendel Upgrade DS from the workshop.
    • This might be less important since we're not planning on keeping this world, but it's good to be safe.
  • Having done that, set your Total Population and Breeding Limits to 0, and inject every single breed you have available.
    • The population limit is just to keep you from being inundated with new Creatures during this process.


And that should be it! You can now leave and safely delete this world. You can keep it if you wish, but some of the fixes later only inject on the creation of a new world, meaning if you want to apply them to an existing world you will need to use CAOS commands to do so.

Fixes (Undocked)[edit]

Having been under scrutiny for around 20 (!!!) years now, the community has found quite a few bugs and irregularities within the games. Luckily, the community has also done a great job in making fixes for these issues!

These fixes I would recommend every user install, as they resolve issues that can cause serious slowdowns or even outright break worlds.

Critical Fixes[edit]

Luckily, there aren't very many of these (not to say they fix every issue, but that subject is a little beyond the scope of this specific guide!)

- Download
- Download

Minor Fixes[edit]

These are a collection of fixes for Docking Station that fix elements of the game that don't work correctly, but aren't otherwise going to corrupt worlds or crash your game.

- Download
  • DS Photo Fix: This small patch fixes an issue where dead creatures don't have their photos taken.
- Download
  • DS StringSolo Fix: This enables a certain music track to play in the Meso and title screen, as well as adding a small delay to enhance the transition.
- Download

To Be Continued![edit]

More will be added to this guide as time goes by, as you might have noticed there are no fixes or addons! In the mean time, you can go here to see the old guide, but this will be somewhat out of date of course: https://creatures.wiki/Creatures_3_%26_Docking_Station_Community_Recommended_Fixes_and_Addons