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  • Small Furry Creatures

    Or more widely known as _Creatures _- if you’re not familiar with it (and unfortunately I’d take a bet you’re not), it’s a 2D simulation “artificial-life” game featuring rather odd beings known as Norns and Grendels. I don’t believe it is the first, but it is likely one of the first games to utilise neural networks for simulating some surprisingly complex beings.

    Before you read too far into this article, I’d highly **highly **recommend purchasing a copy of Creatures and taking a look at it yourself, as otherwise you’ll be missing a lot of important context!

    In late October, I was given permission by EemFoo from Eem Foo’s Archive to take a look at a prototype of Creatures (referred to as Creatures 0 by the community) from March 1994 (it should’ve since been made available for everyone). This is back when the game was called Small Furry Creatures - hence the title of this article - and, at the time, was targetting ol’ MS-DOS as opposed to Microsoft Windows.

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  • Fable Source Tree

    At the end of last month I remembered that there was a build of Fable that’d been dropped a while back which included PDBs, which is of course super exciting from a reverse engineering standpoint. You can find it here. I’ve been slowly digging away at it and taking notes.

    That said, just as I’d done with Final Fantasy XV before, I’d decided to generate a copy of the source tree so that I could see how it was possibly laid out when originally compiled.

    You can find the results here.

    Again, there’s no actual source code here. It’s just an interesting glimpse as to how their project was set up when it was compiled.

    The bulk of the project exists under the dev directory, under both the audio and bbbprojects/releasebranch sub-directories. You’ll notice there’s a few third-party libraries they were using at the time which existed under the dev directory too.

    On another note, there didn’t seem to be an application to quickly generate a tree of files from a list so I ended up quickly writing an application to do so “creatively” called gentree. It’s open-source but I haven’t bothered putting it under a specific license as it seemed a little too trivial to bother doing so, so consider it public domain. Do let me know if you find it useful however!

  • Recording a Video Series

    For those that aren’t aware, relatively recently the great folk over at Hidden Palace began dumping a large number of prototypes spread across a number of platforms as part of Project Deluge - you can find them here.

    A couple of weeks months ago I decided to start recording footage of each prototype, starting with those released in the first batch for the PlayStation 2, on original hardware (when possible). The original plan was to upload a video a day but a few technical issues got in the way of this so I’ve been a _little _bit slower than I would like, but I digress.

    For those interested, you can find the playlist available here.

    If this is of interest to you then I highly recommend subscribing to show your support and that will also mean you’ll know when each video comes out as I won’t be announcing them here.

    I’m somewhat prioritising those that are of interest to me first, hence the strange order, but my general hope is this should make quick analysis of these prototypes a little easier for those that aren’t able to run them for whatever reason.

    Going forward, starting with the Kill Switch video, all videos will also be archived here for anyone that wants an offline copy, particularly as I do not think YouTube is a good platform to use for preservation.

  • Star Trek New Worlds Source Code

    Today I’m happy to share the source code for Star Trek New Worlds. I’d acquired this a few years ago and was hoping to release it with a ready-to-build copy of the source code alongside it, but time was against me and that didn’t happen.

    As stated on the archive.org page, this includes a prototype build/demo of the game alongside the source code - with lots of other interesting bits to check out! It’s a goldmine for anyone interested in early game development as far as I’m concerned.

    The label written on the CD suggests this is the “final build” of the game, however I think this is more accurately the last build that Binary Asylum probably produced before they were removed from the project and development was handed over to 14 Degrees East.

    My understanding is this originated from the Climax lot, so it was likely sent to Climax to be used as a foundation for the Dreamcast version of the game.

    Anyway, you can find the download available here.

  • Final Fantasy XV Source Tree

    A while back, a debug build of Final Fantasy XV which included a debug menu was accidently released by Square - you’ve probably seen this.

    Anyway, unsurprisingly, the build included strings pretty much outlining the entire source tree of the game and engine.

    For me, it’s interesting to look at as it demonstrates the seperation of the technology between ‘ebony’, ‘luminous’ and ‘reblack’, which as I understand it is a result of the lengthy development of the game and the culmination of two technologies coming together (i.e. Versus XIII’s own engine and the then new Luminous engine).

    I should emphasize, there is no actual source code here. Just an outline of the tree itself. Additionally be aware it’s not going to be 100% complete.

    If you want to check it out, you can take a look here.

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