August 15, 2018

A Quick Update

Although I've not got any plans to do anything for the Norn Nebula for the time being, I thought it might be a good idea to give a quick update on things regarding the site, and what to possibly expect in the future!

Note: This is a standalone post. I will likely not be following it up with anything for a while.

Firstly, I did a little housekeeping on the "Other downloads" page (what was I thinking with the image alignment?) to make it look a little bit neater. I am also likely going to be doing a check of all the downloads and links I have hosted on the blog to make sure they work properly. Yes, the Discord button doesn't work. It will be staying that way for a while.

I will be keeping The Norn Nebula's YouTube channel, even though the newer version has barely been used. Facebook, on the other hand, will likely be removed as I haven't been bothered to update it since November last year. I will still be keeping the actual page up, however, as it's been running since 2014 and is a piece of history, and it would be a shame if I were to get rid of it.

I hope those who enjoy the blog continue to do so for many years to come. If anyone wishes to get in touch please see the about page. 

May 26, 2018

Kreatures - My Views

DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind that the following blog post consists entirely of my own views. If you disagree with me, then that's fine, but please do not post abusive comments or insults.

I also do apologise for the negative tone of this blog post, but I strongly believe it is something that certain community members need to be aware of.

As many of you will know, a fangame based around the Creatures series has been in development for a few months. Known as Kreatures, the game aims to bring the creatures games to a more modern standard. With the fact that Spil Games is not actively working on Creatures Family for the time being, this may be the closest thing we will get to a Creatures sequel.

However, the positivity ends there, I'm afraid. The developer of the project, Geat_Masta (Or Geatmaster), has proven himself to be against everything the Creatures community stands for, in regards to his personal attitude and views. From just one glance at his YouTube channel, one can see that he has subscribed to numerous far right figures, many of whom regularly spew vitriol and hatred towards minority groups. For this reason along with several others which I am not compelled to speak about, I strongly believe that it is important that community members are well aware of his own personal views before they consider endorsing his project, especially since the community itself has a very diverse range of people from many different backgrounds, religions and sexualities.

Geatmaster's Subscriptions include far-right hate preacher Tommy Robinson and bigot "Count Dankula", among others.
If anyone is looking to endorse alternative community-based projects, I highly recommend Albian Warp, which I believe I have previously spoken about on the blog in the past. It has gained a lot of momentum over the past few months and I'm really looking forward to seeing the warp return! You can find more information on Albian Warp here.

I probably won't be updating The Norn Nebula for quite some time now, but I hope people continue to enjoy it, especially since today marks its ninth anniversary! Time certainly flies doesn't it?

Update - 01/06/2018 
So I went looking on the Twitter feed for my YouTube Channel's Twitter account and came across these lovely messages that Geat_Master left me last year. I wasn't even aware of their existance until this evening:

 So yeah, this is the guy who is apparently going to be bringing us a worthy sequel to the Creatures series. Right.

November 14, 2017

Regarding Inactivity

It has been nearly a whole decade since I joined the Creatures Community, hard to believe, I know! Throughout the years I have seen a whole load of members come and go, along with many websites, some of which I have fond memories of visiting when I was a child and first discovered Creatures. Things have certainly changed within a space of ten years. However, this blog post is about to adopt a more poignant tone.

As a person, I rarely play creatures any more. I may go through phases of playing it, but these are often quite few and far between. I haven't released any content since 2013, and personally, there doesn't seem to be the spark that there used to be. I am most certainly not done with Creatures, and I think it is a modern classic, but I simply don't have the time to play like I used to.

It is with this that I am announcing The Norn Nebula will be going dormant. To put it bluntly, I will not be posting anything unless it is significantly important. I know the blog hasn't seen much activity over 2017, but I thought I would at least announce it so people are aware. However, the blog will NOT be closing permanently any time soon, and I will be keeping it available as long as possible, so there's no need to worry about it.

Now, on a related note we have the Creatures Community Discord Server, which WILL be remaining active. I must say, though, that I have seen some behaviour from certain members that I have been quite disappointed with - I have never set out to make enemies in the community and I hope that everyone understands that I am running the server with the community's best interests in mind, but I am willing to listen to feedback if people have suggestions.

As always, I hope everyone continues to enjoy the blog, and if anyone has suggestions or feedback, feel free to get in touch.

NOTE: Due to spam I have had to disable comments on this blog post. Sorry!

September 08, 2017

The Discover Albia Forum Closes

It has recently come to my attention that the Discover Albia Forum has been closed by Jessica, and is no longer open to new users or posts. Jessica's blog, Discover Albia, went on holiday last year and so it's understandable that it has been closed, but it is still sad to see the forum close.

Running a forum can be quite a lot of work - The Norn Nebula had its own forum at one point, but like the Discover Albia Forum, it closed, but it was down to a lack of activity rather than myself not having the time to maintain it. It seems that in this day and age forums may be starting to become things of the past, but they are still very useful regardless, especially Creatures Caves which has been running for, wow, over seventeen years!

I might consider archiving the Discover Albia Forum at some point, as Jessica states it may be removed at some point in the future. I hope this isn't the case, but it's always good to be prepared in case the inevitable happens.

I'll still keep a link to the forum in The Norn Nebula's link section, but will edit the title to let users know that it is closed.

Thanks for the experience Jessica, and I eagerly anticipate the return of Discover Albia.

September 03, 2017

Creatures 2 - Windows 10 Lag Fix

I recently posted a topic on Creatures Caves about this fix, so thought I'd share it on here too!

As everyone knows, Creatures 2 is incredibly picky out what system it runs on; up until the releases, we had to rely on hex editing in order to run it on Windows 7. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Windows 10, and the game suffers from numerous issues.The first is the Black Box of Doom, but thanks to Issy, a solution for fixing it has been found.

But what about those who experience serious lag when running the game? Well, this problem arises from the way Windows 10 emulates DirectDraw. I'm no expert, but it is apparently very poorly coded and so cannot handle high resolutions very well at all, leading to severe lag. So how can we fix it?

Well, to get rid of the lag, simply change your screen resolution to 1280x720, relaunch Creatures 2, and the game should run much smoother. It will obviously look a lot lower res now, but it's really not much of a bother, especially as most people first played the game on those horrible CRT monitors at horrendously low resolutions anyway. Besides, your creatures will be bigger on-screen!

Now, there are several issues with the game that are not related to the lag. Firstly, certain parts of the game such as the Status Bar and tool-tips will be very buggy, or just won't appear at all. I don't know why this occurs, I'm afraid, but the game is still perfectly playable.

I should also mention I have emailed about these issues, and I'm currently awaiting a response. I'd recommend everybody else does the same. It might not receive a response, but at least we'll have tried!

 I hope this guide has helped people. If anyone has any questions or additional problems, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Edit: It seems the highest resolution the game is willing to run at without suffering from lag is 1366 x 768. I have no idea why running the game at 1080p in Windows 10 causes lag whereas it runs perfectly fine on Windows 7, but I think the issue might be DirectDraw related.