CDU manual (just a summary for now)

USING THE C.O.LIN display unit

You see into and control the virtual world where the creatures live, by flying a small cyberspace drone called Colin. You can do this either through the CDU display in the lab or by putting on the VR goggles and getting the full immersive experience. CDU stands for COLin Display Unit, and COLin in turn stands for Cyberspatial Observation Link.

The CDU normally displays the virtual world as seen through Colin’s camera, but it can also display various other creature-related or Colin-related things. To change between these displays (pages), rotate the PAGE SEL knob:

  • Page 1 is the view from Colin’s camera.
  • Page 2 is the view from the currently selected creature’s own eyes.
  • Page 3 allows you to name your creatures and gather stats.
  • Page 4 allows you to set graphics and other game preferences. Changes generally act immediately, although some won’t happen until a re-start.

Turn the knobs by clicking and dragging them left or right. The PAGE SEL knob chooses a page, LINE SEL usually moves a selection cursor up and down that page, and OPT SEL scrolls through the options available for that line. The volume knob turns down the CDU speaker and VR volume. When you see a yellow option, that means it can be edited. Use LINE SEL to go to that line and turn OPT SEL. This puts the current value in an edit line at the bottom of the page, where you can edit it and press ENTER to commit the changes.


Dragging the joystick with your mouse allows you to control Colin directly from the CDU (see the controls page for details).


Each (domesticated) creature is fitted with a virtual radio transmitter, which sends information about the creature’s identity and biological status to all of the science equipment in the lab. Only one creature is selected at a time.

If you see a creature and don’t recognize it by sight, as long as the LOCK knob on the CDU (or the equivalent button on Colin’s head-up display) is set to SEEK, the lab instruments will receive data from this nearest creature and the CDU will display its name (or ID if it hasn’t yet been named). If another creature gets closer than the one you’re interested in, its signal will be received instead, so you can turn the knob to LOCK and then Colin will remain locked on to that signal regardless of how far away the creature gets.

​A different way to select a creature is to turn the small blue knob next to the creature’s name display. This is the best way to find a specific creature, as opposed to identifying a creature that Colin is close to. When you turn this knob, the lock knob automatically engages LOCK mode (unless you’re already in autopilot mode), so Colin will lock onto that creature’s signal regardless of how far away it is.

The second-hand aircraft instruments on the front of the CDU show the bearing to the selected creature (relative to Colin) and its distance. The outer ring of the direction indicator show’s Colin’s own compass bearing. A simpler bearing indicator is also available on Colin’s HUD.


Turning the LOCK knob (or HUD button) to AUTOPILOT engages Colin’s autopilot. He’ll seek out and then follow the currently selected creature. The autopilot is somewhat limited, so Colin can crash or get entangled in objects sometimes, but if you start out at a reasonable height he’ll usually get there and can avoid terrain without much trouble. You can also use the autopilot in conjunction with the 1, 2, 3 and 4 keys. While in VR mode, go somewhere you’d like to memorize and press SHIFT plus a number. Later, when you press that number (without SHIFT) Colin’s autopilot will engage and he’ll go to that location. Deselecting the autopilot or selecting a different creature turns the memory function off.