Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Beginner Tutorial Part 1

So you want to make agents? Awesome! But where do you start? That’s what this post is all about.

The easiest way to understand CAOS is to simply jump right in, but you’ll want a few resources available before you do.  I’m assuming you have already downloaded the CAOS Tool from the Creatures Development Network, or are using some other program to code in.

Also, be sure to download the Sprite Builder tool, or you can use Edos, which comes with the Jagent application suite.


First, you’ll want the CAOS guide. You can access it with the CAOS tool by opening the CAOS Tool and pressing F1 or F2 on your keyboard. F1 will open the Alphabetical Guide, while F2 will open the Categorical Guide. The documentation should open in a new browser window.

Alternatively, you can tell the engine to output the CAOS documentation directly. Start Docking Station and press Shift+Ctrl+C and type, file oope 1 "CAOS categorical.html" 0 dbg: html 1 file oclo” without the quotes, and press enter.


Notice the engine said, “OK”.  If it says anything else, try again, and check for typos. The engine will save the HTML file to your Docking Station Journal Directory.  It is located in the same place as your My Agents directory.

Once you’ve navigated to the directory, the file should be there.

You can open this document in any browser.  Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, or whatever you use. :)

This reference is extremely valuable once you really get into coding.


The second thing you’ll want is a handy file I created when I first started developing.  I have supplied this document HERE. [Updated 9/16/10] It contains many of the most basic commands, and frequently referenced values for things like Bhvr, Attr, and the C3/DS Chemical list, as well as a quick overview of basic codes you’ll use frequently as a beginner.

I created one of those when I first started, and it made developing so much easier!  Many of those references are also in the CAOS Documentation, but I find a text document is quicker sometimes, and it’s also more compact.

Feel free to add to your document anything you think you’ll need at any time throughout your developing career. :)  Or delete things you no longer use as you begin to memorize things.


The last thing you’ll want to do is set up some folders.  I KNOW this is tedious and seems like a waste of time, but LET ME ASSURE YOU that you’ll be grateful you did this in the long run.

Create a new folder someplace.  Your desktop, Docking Station directory, My Documents--wherever you feel comfortable--and organize it. For this tutorial I recommend creating the following folder structure:

Stay tuned! In Part 2, we’ll actually code something!  (Part 2 will be up in a few days, if all goes well.)


  1. I tried this tutorial and had trouble right in the beginning. Attempting to open the CAOS guide resulted in nothing but an internet window opening informing me that it could not find the webpage.

    I cannot try opening it the manual in game way because I cannot start a new world in Docking Station, apparently because the Creature Labs server is not running.

  2. As a workaround for the server not running, the addon C12DS comes with an offline play option.

    If you wish to play online, check out the bottom of the page: