Docking Station (DS) is a game in the Creatures series, set on the Lone Shee's spaceship, the Capillata. It is known for being the first Creatures game with online networking capability (see DS Server), and was released in March 2001.
Docking Station is available to download for free on Windows and Linux, or can be purchased as part of Creatures Exodus for the Mac OS X. To play the game online you will need to register for a free Docking Station ID, though this is not currently possible as the servers are down. To play the game offline, you will need a login disabler such as the DS Offline Option. The default file shortcut for Docking Station redirects through a defunct InstallBlast updating service. Docking Station must be run from engine.exe to run without errors.
Creatures Docking Station gets its name from the fact it can be docked with the retail Creatures 3 to make the world even larger. In addition, third-party metarooms are available for download, along with many new breeds, both officially and fan designed. Each of the official breeds has an entry in the Docking Station Story.
Docking Station features an improved version of the Creatures Evolution Engine including the NetBabel protocol, which is responsible for internet-based things such as the warp. Some agents are specifically designed to work only with DS, while others require Creatures 3 to be installed if they use scripts or sprites from it.
Want to know who was involved in making Docking Station? Read the credits!
The player, which is being represented as the Hand, has to create a new world or pick a previously saved world. When making a new world, you are being asked to log in to the servers. The official servers are down, so to be able to play the game a login disabler is needed. Once logged in, the hand appears in the Norn Meso, close to muco the egg layer. Another dialog pops up, asking you to choose between receiving a pre-trained adult Chichi norn couple, having the game lay two random eggs via Muco or just let you enter the game.
Once a choice has been made, the player and their creatures can freely explore the Capillata which consists of four metarooms. The creatures have to learn how to care for their basic needs, so the Hand can talk to the creatures, teaching them vocabulary and try to communicate with them. You can also teach them vocabulary with some help of the Holistic Learning Machine. The Hand can reward or punish creatures by petting or slapping the creature, right-clicking allows the Hand to lead a creature around, while shift-right-clicking picks them up. You could also just leave the creatures entirely on their own, watching them and finding out which creatures are smart enough to survive by themselves, which is also called a wolfling run. The creatures can mate with each other, laying eggs and creating offspring which inherit a mixture of the genomes from the parents. The player can enjoy watching and interacting with their creatures in just the base game, or download some of the numerous metarooms, agents and breeds in existence which have been developed by the Creatures Community. The Docking Station server also allowed you to chat with other players and warp creatures out to these players.
An open source project, Albian Warp is being developed to possibly bring back the online functionality to Docking Station.
The game is quite small, and docking with Creatures 3 or adding third-party metarooms is a must in order to make a reasonably-sized world to play in. Metarooms included are:
- Norn Meso - the main area of Docking Station containing the egg layer and learning machine, allowing you to play with and look after your norns.
- Comms Room - a metaroom which allows you to communicate with other online players, inject new agents, and tweak several different aspects of the current world.
- Workshop - the entry point for the warp, the location of the Containment Chamber, and where Warp Portals can be configured to be put around the ship.
- Hub - a central room that connects the other three, allowing travel between them. It also provides a way to the Creatures 3 ship in docked worlds.
To see third-party metarooms, check out Category:Unofficial_Metarooms!
Agents of note include:
- The HoverDoc
- The Containment Chamber
- The egg-layer, Muco
- The Holistic Learning Machine
To see more, including free addon agents made by fans, check out Category:DS Agents!
Docking Station includes the ChiChi Norn, but there are many other official breeds that come as part of Creatures 3 or can be bought from the Creatures Mall to be used with it:
Free Official Addons
In Creatures 3
There are also many third-party breeds available for free download.
See Category:C3/DS Breeds for a listing of breeds for DS!
Key characters in the DS storyline
- Docking Station category
- Docking Station online server.
- Creatures Internet Edition
- Creatures Exodus
- Creatures 3 & Docking Station Community Recommended Fixes and Addons
- Creatures Docking Station at Steam
- Unofficial download location
- Docking Station Central where you can register or view your DS profile (offline)
- The online Creatures Manuals from Gameware(offline)
- Docking Station Manual - an online version of the manual at Artificial Life for Linux