Multiverse Version 3.3.8

Just when you thought that the Multiverse Launcher couldn’t get any better, Toxicity swoops along with new features, performance improvements, quality of life updates and a multitude of fixes.

Version 3.3.8 is quite a big patch, so make sure to check out the full notes at the bottom of this page as I’ll only be highlighting the most important changes.

Remember, to install this update you’ll need to run the updated installer:
>> Click here to download the Multiverse Launcher

WARNING: Your launcher settings will reset with the new version. When the launcher is opened for the first time it will crash and restart automatically, and any previous game saves will be unplayable.

The Launcher

The Multiverse Launcher now comes with its own notifications tab. Whether it’s an announcement about the launcher itself, news about campaigns, or whether Toxicity would like to rick roll his userbase with some innocuous looking links, you can now remain informed about everything pertinent to the application.

For those of you that don’t use the ImGui menu very often, it can now be disabled from appearing when you launch a campaign. Simply head over to your settings and choose to disable it. Its visibility can still be toggled in-game by pressing Shift+F1.

The launcher will now inform users that the application should be ran in administrator mode when such a requirement is needed. As always, I would recommend enabling administrator mode for both your launcher.exe and the poptbm.exe.

Because some people flat out refuse to read the instructions on the Multiverse Launcher page or have the profound belief that they can play Populous: The Beginning without installing Populous: The Beginning, an error message will now be displayed when trying to launch a campaign without the actual game.

Additional translations of the launcher are now available; German, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Swedish. The credits have been updated with the people that helped create the translations.

Performance Improvements

I’m going to refer to the horse on this one, as my understanding of how the game is optimised is very basic and I would do it a disservice.

Optimizations to boost performance was a big focus this patch. Some of the codebase was rewritten or stripped away, the scripting engine distribution replaced (vanilla Lua -> LuaJIT), but most importantly this build was built with optimizations enabled. Even though it brought some instability at first (which is hopefully resolved by now), this makes the game run SUPER smooth compared to before.

  • Much higher and stable FPS.
  • Saving is much faster and slightly less prone to corruption.
  • Reduced the size of the DLL significantly.
  • Custom scripting engine is overwhelmingly faster.
  • Changed Lua distribution to LuaJIT.

Speedrun Mode

A new Speedrun mode can now be activated from your settings that will dramatically change how you can play your chosen campaign.

With this mode enabled, you won’t be able to pause in-game, all flybys are disabled, game speed cannot be altered and any in-game notifications will no longer open automatically. Cheating is impossible and the ImGui menu has limited settings that can be changed. There is however, a new speedrun heading within the ImGui menu that allows users to customise and view some speedrun settings.

You can opt to do a speedrun of the entire campaign by selecting new game, or you can run individual levels via the level select menu.

Once you click new game, the speedrun commences, beginning on the first level, and when you complete one level, the next level will immediately and automatically start. Your time for previous levels will be displayed on screen as you progress through the campaign.

If you choose to run individual levels, the run will end once the level is complete and you can take note of your final time.

It’s very important to note that your times are not stored nor recorded anywhere at this current moment in time. The onus is on you as a player to keep a record of your times. Timings may be recorded in the future should this mode prove to be popular and if there is significant demand for it.

Should a new category be created on specifically for runs completed on the Multiverse Launcher, and/or you wish to compete with other players, you will need to record your entire runs as proof. Thus, you’ll be creating your own records.

Return of the Tutorial

Are you completely new to Populous: The Beginning or would you like to take a serious puff of nostalgia? The Tutorial has made its return and can be accessed by launching the original campaign.

If you have the Robert Ashby mod enabled, you can play the tutorial with the iconic voice actor teaching you how to play the game.

Over the Horizon

The screen tearing that occurs on the edges of the planet when you try to play on resolutions higher than 1600×900 has been an absolute eye-sore for players for almost two decades.

I can gladly report that with this newest patch you can enjoy the game in Full HD, and appreciate the horizon once again. Do note that resolutions higher than 1080p are likely to instantly crash your game (this is still a game from 1998 after all).

Special Thanks

Toxicity and the rest of the team here would like give special thanks to [AsG]Jimmyhunter1000 and Nationkid05/Bacon whose roles in testing the launcher have been key to its continued success.

Without their help and the help of other testers, these updates would never be released to the public at such a high standard.

Thank you.

In future updates...

You could expect to see;
  • A short but unique campaign made to showcase features of the Multiverse Launcher
  • Even more optimisation

Full Patch Notes

  • Receive live news and notifications directly in the launcher
  • New option that can disable the in-game ImGui menu from automatically popping up
  • There's now a Speedrun mode available which can be enabled from the Launcher settings
  • The Tutorial menu has been restored and added back to the game.
  • New modding effects have been added
  • "Draw Map Grid" option added to the game (ImGui -> Map Edit -> Map Editor)
  • Fixed 1.03 bug where AI spies would disguise themselves while being preached.
  • Fixed 1.03 bug where disguised AI spies were attacking buildings without revealing themselves. This made your units confused and unable to do anything about the attack.
  • Fixed a 1.03 bug where the AI was able to get their people stuck boarding ghost boats (trigger linked), which would eventually lead to weird behaviour.
  • Fixed a path traversal vulnerability with campaign installations
  • Fixed the horizon rendering glitch occurring on higher resolutions
  • Fixed a drawing issue which would eventually and randomly lead to a game freeze and/or crash
  • Fixed calling conventions which led to undefined behaviour (from crashes to freezes)
  • Fixed a Tornado spell bug where units would remain inside damaged huts
  • Fixed an 1.01 bug with an AI attack type (INT_ATTR_GROUP_OPTION 3) which would get them permanently stuck in an "awaiting state" command
  • Fixed a beta skin crash that would occur when transitioning to the Main Menu screen
  • Fixed an issue where spies would incorrectly disguise with beta skins active
  • Fixed a possible owner out-of-bounds issue with level stats
  • Fixed an issue that made saving slow and sometime overflow the stack
  • Fixed a crash that would occur when trying to load an invalid (not found) constants file
  • Fixed ImGui stack issues which eventually led to undefined behaviour
  • Disguised spies color on the minimap will be that of their disguise (unless they're yours)
  • Data is properly saved and/or disposed when closing the game through anything other than the "Quit" button
  • The AI can no longer cast spells they haven't unlocked
  • "Q" key will no longer be ignored by the game when assigned as a hotkey
  • You can no longer use hotkeys to cast spells while imprisoned
  • ImGui menus opened for the first time will no longer default to a 1x1 size
  • You may now change various parameters of the Tornado spell through the modding menu
  • The camera is now locked while using the Thing Cheat Menu (ALT+Q/A/X)
  • An error message will now pop-up when trying to launch the game without the base game installation
  • Ambient sounds present in Hell levels have had their volume reduced
  • Winning a level through the Level Select menu will send the user back to the Level Select menu
  • The game will now remember the last level selected or played from the Level Select menu
  • Loading a Lua script manually by typing "lua xxx" in game will clear all previous Lua errors on the screen
  • Console logging is now done exclusively through spdlog
  • Additional critical errors are logged to the console and more time is given to the user to read them
  • Activating not-so-obvious easter eggs will trigger an "Easter Egg Found" message
  • Updated the Thing Debug ImGui menu
  • ImGui is now DPI aware, it will scale according to the user's primary monitor specifications. This only works for users with Windows 8.1 or higher
  • CnCDDraw is now optional (Settings -> Renderer -> Software Vanilla), however do note that features such as Raw Input, ImGui and windowed mode will not work without CnCDDraw
  • A flag has been added that replicates some of the Demo version features
  • Fail-safe DLL injection method added, as long as CnCDDraw is enabled
  • The skinning feature was reworked, along MANY bug-fixes it can now support up to 8 different tribe colors in the same level
  • Translation updates
  • Additional changes, fixes, new functions and hooks added to Lua
  • Countless performance improvements
  • Campaigns now have their restrictions shown in the details section
  • Disabled the F11 rolling demo function

In other news...

Devil System: Chapter 1

The Solar System of Devil Worlds is a campaign that was started in 2010 but the project was ultimately abandoned. There were 17 levels to play within an unfinished campaign, and due to the methods of installing campaigns back then, some language and data files ended up being either missing or corrupted due to the way files were shared.

One of the original creators has restarted the project and has been working hard to release the first chapter of what is now known as Devil System. It will now feature 28 levels, 11 more than previously available, with its own progression and storyline, and perhaps even more importantly, it has been made to work with Multiverse Launcher V3, making it the first campaign to take advantage of all of the launcher’s offerings.

The campaign is currently being play-tested, so it may be some time before it sees a dedicated campaign page on this site, but I’m sure you can get a copy by speaking to the right people on Discord.

Robert Ashby v2.0

The Robert Ashby community mod allows users to experience the best aspect of the PlayStation version of Populous: The Beginning (the voice overs) whilst playing the vastly superior PC version. Version 2.0 includes narration for the tutorial and demo, quality of life updates and support for additional languages.

You can check out the patch notes here:

If you’re already a user of this mod, you will have to update to the newest version for it to be compatible with Multiverse Launcher v.3.3.

Website Progress

The Modding section of the site is continuing to be worked on. The page will act as a portal with links to pages related to the modding scene of Populous: The Beginning. The page won’t go live until I have created enough content and all the sections are live.

As of this moment, from the Modding page you will be able to access the following pages:

Enhanced Edition – A page detailing everything about the 1.5 version

Multiverse – A page containing info and links about custom mods for the MV Launcher

Downloads – A page with a multitude of tools, utilities, patches and more, available to download

Textures – A page showcasing all of the communities’ amazing textures that have been created

Guides – A page containing various modding guides

Lua – A link to the official Lua website

As you may be able to see, the Multiverse and Downloads pages are already public. If you’re interested in how other pages may look, click here for a texture page and click here for a lua guide.

Seasons: Autumn Completed

I recently completed my playthrough of the Seasons: Autumn campaign. Most of the levels aren’t too difficult but the odd one contributed to this campaign being rated as advanced difficulty.

I would love to see the Seasons campaigns re-imagined into actual campaigns with progression and a storyline as there are some really enjoyable levels throughout.