Monday, 19 September 2016

Albia: A Place to Call Home.

To say, "It's been awhile since I played Creatures" is understatement of momentous proportions.

As I've previously mentioned, I'm a busy little chicken in real life, and since I wrote that update I've been spending a lot of my spare time writing fiction rather than playing creatures. But today on a complete whim I opened up the game, and honestly the feeling that seeing the world of Albia gave me is hard to describe. Comfort, happiness, excitement... none of those words quite fit, but they all do fit a little bit, in some small way.

Let's go off on a tangent for a moment: if you look at my past posts, you'll notice a pattern. A burst of posting here and there with large periods of inactivity sandwiched in between. And this is relevant to me opening up the game again today, and relevant to the feeling I got from doing so, for one reason: I came back. Even if I go away for weeks or months, I always end up coming back. Albia just draws me back in every time.

It just goes to show, there's definitely something special about Albia. It just has this atmosphere of peace and calm and harmony. The world is vibrant and populated by all kinds of curious oddities, from the kite stuck in the tree near the incubator to the broken underwater statue. Albia is rich with all these unexplained little quirks, which to my knowledge never have and never will be explained. That's part of the beauty of them, I think.

A lot of the time we just focus on the creatures themselves, on our darling Norns and Grendels and we don't pay much attention to the world of Albia itself. I know that I myself never bothered to learn more about it than "Hey, this planet is disc-shaped!" and that a real-life model was used to create the in-game Albia.

But even without knowing much about the world, simply seeing it, and hearing that familiar music again, brings an idiotic smile to my face. When I'm not playing it, I forget how much I love this game.

I know this isn't a great post; I'm not discussing any interesting genetics- or brain-related stuff, and I'm not retelling some funny story from my adorable, adorable Norns, but honestly at the moment I don't want to play with my Norns, rather I want to stare at it for few minutes more and drink in all that is Albia, because Albia is pretty rad.

I guess what I'm getting at in a very long-winded way is that we sometimes forget that it isn't the creatures alone that make Creatures special. Don't get me wrong, the creatures are pretty damn special and they're what sets Creatures apart from any other game that I can think of. But the world of the Creatures games is full of intrigue in a way that many games can't match, and that's one thing that adds to the awesome of Creatures and part of what helps to make the series so enduring.

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