Catalogue Files

The catalogue files of Creatures 3 and Docking Station provide a way of accessing information which is not contained in the agent itself. The Agent Help mechanism, for example, uses this to read in the text description of an agent. This has many advantages including easy translation into another language (without having to change the code of the agent itself).

Agent Help
This will be probably be the most used aspect of the catalogue system, and it is very straightforward to add your own agent help to any agents you create. The mechanism is very straightforward and simply consists of creating a text file with a .catalogue extension, including the tag for agent help, and putting it in the catalogue folder!

The format of an agent help chunk is simply:

TAG "Agent Help "

So, for example, if you want to create an agent help entry for a new ball you've created, with a classifier of 2 21 2001, it would look something like this:

TAG "Agent Help 2 21 2001"  
"Special Ball"  
"It's round, it bounces and it's special!"

You can include in this text contact details so that people know who created it, or any other information you want. The name of the catalogue file is unimportant as the Agent Help agent in game simply searches all the catalogue files that have a TAG "Agent Help ..." until it finds one that matches the classifier of the agent clicked on. For ease of use though it is probably best to choose sensible names for your agent help files, so that people can located them easily should they desire to remove them.

Remember that if you want this file to be distributed with your .agent that you need to include it in the PRAY template, with the dependency category specified and the inline FILE command linking it into the agent.

Other uses
You might want to include a catalogue file that an agent can reference for some reason, maybe to read values or text from. You can use the READ command to reference a particularly named catalogue tag. All catalogue files are searched.