A sprite is an image used in games from the Creatures series which, in a sprite set, can be the images for a breed of Creatures, or be part of a COB or Agent, or even be part of the world in which your Creatures live.
A sprite set is a collection of sprites used together to create the image of the norn/grendel/ettin/geat or agent/COB.
Where can I find my sprites?
Creatures 1: \program files\creatures\images\
Creatures 2: \program files\creatures 2\images\
Creatures 3: \program files\creatures 3\images\
Docking Station: \program files\docking station\images\
Which sprites are which?
You will notice that most sprites have a relatively cryptic name, such as a02d.c16 for the head image for male child breed-slot d (chichi) Norn.
The first character refers to which part of the body it is, the second character is the species and gender, the third character is the life stage of the creature, and the forth character is the breed slot.
Note, in Creatures 1, breed slots were numbered 0-9, so a sprite name could be a029.spr, but in later games they were lettered a-z.
Body parts (first char):
- 0 = Background
- A = Head
- B = Body
- C = Left thigh
- D = Left shin
- E = Left foot
- F = Right thigh
- G = Right shin
- H = Right foot
- I = Left humerus (upper arm)
- J = Left radius (forearm)
- K = Right humerus (upper arm)
- L = Right radius (forearm)
- M = Tail root - not present in C1
- N = Tail tip - not present in C1
- O = Left ear - present in CV, but supported in DS
- P = Right ear - present in CV, but supported in DS
- Q = Hair - present in CV, but supported in DS
- Z = ??? - present in C3/DS Body Data, no known sprites
Species/Gender (second char):
- 0 = Male Norn
- 1 = Male Grendel
- 2 = Male Ettin
- 3 = Male Geat
- 4 = Female Norn
- 5 = Female Grendel
- 6 = Female Ettin
- 7 = Female Geat
Life Stage (third char):
- 0 = Baby
- 1 = Child
- 2 = Adolescent
- 3 = Youth
- 4 = Adult
- 5 = Aged
- 6 = Senior
Grab a dedicated graphics program, like MS Paint, or another program. Draw an image into it, keeping in mind the limitations of the palette (if spriting for C1). For all games, pure black (Hex: #000000) appears transparent in-game. All frames of the same object must be the same size: just fill in the blank space with pure black. Try to keep the blank space to a minimum, though: don't have your object in a vast sea of darkness or it will be larger than you think when you get your object in-game. Save your images in PNG (if you are going to import them into Edos), or 24 bit BMP format (if using SpriteBuilder or the Sprite Workshop).
Spritesheets or sprite sheets or contact sheets are a feature of SpriteBuilder and The One Stop Sprite Workshop that allows for easy management of sprite files with many images within them, such as breed sprites.
In SpriteBuilder, when opening a sprite file, the Cut menu's "Automatic Uncut to Clipboard" function allows the spriter to paste the sequence of images, with an automatically chosen contrasting masking colour, into any graphics editing program of their choice. They can then be edited by the spriter and re-saved as a 24-bit BMP ready to be re-imported into SpriteBuilder. When the edited bmp is pasted as a single image into SpriteBuilder, the Cut menu feature "Automatic Cut" can be used to transform the single image into multiple sprite frames, ready to be saved as a .c16 file.
The use of contact sheets in The One Stop Sprite Workshop is briefly described, but not shown, in Creating Agent Art. If the contact sheet is made with squares or rectangles of the same size, aligned in a regular grid format, and the masking colour is present in the top-left pixel of the image, and there is at least two pixels of margin between sprites, "Expand Sprite" (in the Edit menu) can be used, and it will automatically cut the contact sheet into its component sprites. The command "Perform Manual Expansion" can be used for contact sheets which do not meet these requirements. A manual expansion requires the spriter to import the contact sheet, and then click on each image, and The One Stop Sprite Workshop will measure the area of black around the image and cut them from the contact sheet. When the spriter completes the manual cutting process, the Sprite Workshop converts all images into a sprite set which the spriter can then save. Exporting a sprite file as a contact sheet does not appear to be possible in The One Stop Sprite Workshop.