Metacore - Part 5: Projects & Interviews - Posted Sunday, 20th August 2006 by Liam

In Part 5 we will have a look at some of the projects, as well as interview some of the members of Metacore! These interviews will be released throughout the course of the week.

The Mushroom Caves - BLG

The Mushroom Caves was a room in development by BloodLuvinGirl, and went through 3 versions, all of which became corrupted and unworkable, much to the disappointment of BLG and the members of Metacore. It had a breed planned, called the ‘Fungus Fur Norns', which unfortunately were never modelled.

There is not much information available about the Caves, unfortunately; I have attempted to find out as much as I can, but we don't have backups of the old forums so all the information BLG posted has been lost. All we have left, really, are the images she showed us, which can be seen in the ‘Metacore, A History - Part 2: A Big Step' article.

The Habitat - Don

What is the Habitat?

The Habitat is an artificial life game. It was a long-standing concept of mine that I had always wanted to realise. The game begins with the players designing their own tribe of breedable, evolvable creatures and releasing them into the virtual ecosystem. The main objective is to ensure that your tribe will be the one to survive all other players', whether that happens in the first generation or many year's later.

What sort of intelligence level will the creatures have; something rivalling or advancing Norns, Ettins and Grendels or...?

The creatures are drive based. They respond to their greatest needs and desires - using the skill and instinct levels set by the user - with a very basic level of intelligence at this first stage of development.

Exactly how advanced is the planned environment? Will it change and grow as time passes?

The Habitat supports the passage of time, offering seasons and day/night cycles so you can see some familar changes to the landscape as you play. Still, one of the greatest differences is in terms of the growth and propagation of the trees and plant life and the number of smaller critters within the world. Whether you decide to create carnivores (dangerously red toned in colour), herbivores (cautiously brown toned) or omnivores (cunningly green toned) will have a real impact on the ecosystem within a few generations.

Do you have any plans for The Habitat in the future?

The Habitat was put on hold at its alpha stage but I now have a new artist on board so it is looking likely that the project will continue in some for or another in the near future.

Find out more information on The CWiki Page

Charan - Liam

What was Charan, and what inspired it?

Charan was a part of a larger project I had planned, a group of metarooms centred around a new living, thinking ship named Chenera. Charan was to be one of the parts of Chenera, a sort of desert desert themed room, though it was very small. The background is now open-source, and will be available for download soon. Charan was my first real attempt at a metaroom in 3D Studio Max (I don't count the Island! I don't! XD), and so it is not exactly brilliant... luckily, Sentinal did some work on it after I'd finished my part, and now it is rather cool.

Could you tell us more about Chenera? A living ship, you say?

Sort of - I wasn't sure whether to make her with norn-like intelligence using a breed slot or to simply code a brain for her, but she was definitely going to have emotions, needs and wants much like Lis Morris' Gaia. I even wrote some of a story for it.

MK112 made and donated several things to the room, all of which can be seen in Terra Pluvialis - the Kiwi Vendor, the Lovebird, the Prate, the Berrybush...

Do you have any plans to continue Chenera/Charan?

Not really, though if anyone would like the concept sketches or models I made for Charan or Chenera, I'd be happy to provide them if it is at all possible!

Citadel of the Fallen - Kaelis

What exactly was CotF, and what inspired it?

Well, the CotF stood for the "Citadel of the Fallen". It was an idea of mine to have a somewhat darker metaroom, the likes of which had never been seen before. I imagined it to a high level of detail in my mind and eventually, I would know its corridors like the back of my hand. It was inspired by the idea of an archetypal gothic citadel, vampires, ghosts, you know, that kind of thing.

Could you give us an outline of major features, breeds to be included and perhaps agents?

Well, the Dragonfly Demon Ettins which were recently released as part of the CCSF2006 were to be a part of the CotF, as well as my own breed that had been on a back burner for many years, the Incubimaris Grendels, originally known as the "Aquagrendels". They, like Aquatilis Caverna, had their roots in the Mermaid Caves- I had originally intended them for that purpose, but times change, and they eventually became my dear "Nightmares of the Sea". So they, as such, suited the CotF perfectly. One thing that was created at least partially were the Grim Reaper Doozers which Sent did a sprite for, not long before the death of MC. The whole plan was, for a more... Mature? Yeah, that was it, a more mature metaroom. It was once the site of a demon summoning, and if I remember correctly, there were arcane runes written on its walls in blood, torn curtains, bloodstained carpets.. and black, black stone.

Sounds somewhat ominous! Sounds like Trix's Vampyre Grendels would be right at home there. Do you have any plans to continue the project in the future, or do you consider it past?

I do indeed have plans to continue on with it, I'm hoping that we'll have some sort of citadel in the Lifandi background, which I intend to eventually link up to a version of the CotF. Its interesting, though, I recently noticed an idea on the CWiki, for a metaroom called the "Boneyard". It brought back memories of what I had intended to do with the CotF... So, yeah, its still got hope, yet.


Additional Metacore Individials Interviews

Some Tips for Development Teams

Metacore worked well during the first few months due to the speed at which things were being produced; there was nothing to argue about, everyone agreed about almost everything. It was when the team grew larger and larger and more conflicting opinions came in that trouble began to boil, and arguments began to appear.

Keep your team to a small and dedicated core of developers, each who have a clear role: artist, coder, concept artist et cetera. Make sure the person in charge of the project knows who to organize, and try to keep arguments within the team to a minimum- if a major argument comes up, all parties should present their side of the argument in a clear, rational manner to prevent flare-ups.

Don't work on too much at once; choose a project or goal and finish or reach it, then move on to the next thing. Goal-oriented development is a good way to go; you can read more about it in my article ‘Development Teams' which will be released shortly.

Basically, keep everyone focused and on task. More suggestions can be read in the various Metacore Interviews which will be appearing over the course of the week!

Thank you for reading – it has been an absolute pleasure writing this article, if a little bit nostalgic! Good luck to any development teams out there – don't do what we did is the best advice I can give!

History - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5

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