Populous: Enhanced Edition – V1.5.4010 – Patch Summary

Sorry for the delay Guys, Gals and Other Pals, I’d been a wee busy finding out the details of this surprise ninja patch, the Braves have been rallied, the Towers have been filled and my Preachers stand by to read you the patch notes at long last.

This patch brings with it some interesting fixes. I suspect the actual patch notes for this will not take a fraction of the words to explore as some of my past essays, as whilst there is a lot being delivered here, it’s mostly bugfixes and increased modding power, although there is one among these that I’m especially excited to detail to you. Once again do remember that my classification for these elements, is my own personal classification, and that more than one gameplay element can be affected by a given change, I’m just applying it to the one I believe most pertinent.

Remember to report any bugs you find via the Bug Tracker or via #Support in the official Populous: Reincarnated Discord.

Version Summary;

Additions;

  • Added game difficulty system for modders to use [Modding]
  • Added module_spells [Modding]
  • Added reveal_fog_area function [Modding]
  • Added count_people_of_type_in_area [Modding]
  • Added enable/disable discovery function [Modding]
  • Added get_height_at_xz function [Modding]
  • Added new constants [Modding]

Changes;

  • Removed spell casting message if spell is casted within dark fog [Single-Player]

Fixes;

  • Fixed crash with AI patrolling [Bug Fix]
  • Fixed edges of dark fog being sharp [Bug Fix]
  • Fixed wilds/braves from interrupting finishing construction [Bug Fix]
  • Fixed discovery icon being in the incorrect position on screen [Bug Fix]
  • Fixed initial fog of war settings for multiplayer [Bug Fix]
  • Fixed flybys not after saving and loading game [Bug Fix]
  • Fixed more issues with neutral objects being classified as enemy [Bug Fix]
  • Fixed northern direction for blast [Bug Fix]
  • Fixed AI getting stuck in towers forever [Bug Fix]
  • Fixed AI not being able to use vehicles with the new players [Bug Fix]
  • Fixed issues with saving and loading the game with fog of war [Bug Fix]
  • Fixed permanently damaged land [Bug Fix]

Enhancements;

  • Render light fog on Minimap [Single-Player]
  • Updated all languages to match the English version [Bug Fix]
  • Removed frame rate being locked to 30 on fly-bys [Single-Player]
  • Allow neutral blasts, lights, and firestorm to hurt every player. [Modding]
  • Players praying in dark dog no longer create a praying notification [Single-Player]

The Breakdown;

Remember that the categorisation that I’ve given the data items above may not mean they are limited to only that category, naturally a bug fix affects both Single-Player and Multi-Player, it’s merely the area I feel most benefits from the change, even if that change is universal. So without further ado, I’ve picked the issues to talk about, let us get to breaking them down, shall we?!

Modding:

Modding is actually our biggest segment to go through today, although I once again won’t go into incredible detail here. The best place to refer to are the LUA guides that will slowly be placed into the Modding segment of this very website. Alternative, both Tyler and MrKosjaK have pretty intimate details of these various mods and functions and what they actually do.

New Modding Functions;

I’ve eluded to it before, but Populous’ adaptation of LUA allows it to become a progressively more powerful tool allowing content creators to create some wonderfully powerful stuff. To that end module_spells, reveal_fog_area, count_people_of_type_in_area, get_height_at_xz are all new functions whose names are pretty self explanatory as to what they do. These can now be used in your scripts to guide the AI with further precision, and alter its behaviour across a wider array of conditions, making your AI seem just that bit smarter. These functions could also be used in the creation of any mini-games that take your fancy.

Neutral Effects can harm every player;

You might not know this based on how much you play, but neutral spells without an owner don’t cause damage in a neutral way (Lava doesn’t count here!), this has been updated, so now neutral spells truly have no friends anymore, and they will mercilessly strike down any and all shamans foolish enough to cross their path!

Added a Difficulty System;

This is the change I am most excited to talk to you about, as this allows modders to decide how their game becomes difficult going forward. This new difficulty system supports Single Level at the moment, but will be expanded to the Solar System once MrKosjaK figures it out, it supports 3 difficulties at the moment, Easy, Normal and Hard and there’s a new LUA hook that can be used to alter game behaviour based on the difficulty with get_game_difficulty(). This system allows an individual creator to change AI behaviour, and even apply this difficulty setting to objects within the editor itself, meaning that certain spawns or triggers could be difficulty exclusive. This is a powerful tool that encourages modders and gives them full flexibility of how they want their campaign to alter to players of different skills without having some over-arching sweeping difficulty adjustment such as mana income affecting the feel of their campaign (although mana can certainly been altered as part of this).

 At the Bottom here you can see our Game Difficulty Options, set by the user!

Single-Player:

Having talked about the change I’m most excited about, the rest will feel lacklustre by comparison, but there have been a few changes to Single-Player as well that will help the player (and modder) get the most out of the experience.

Alterations to Fog of War;

Fog of War is here because, let’s be honest, getting people to play online is a long and arduous task. but there are a few alterations to the look and feel of Fog of War that should make it all that much more enjoyable. So there’s two types of fog, more in line with other RTS games, that shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, but the light fog is now correctly rendered on the mini-map, meaning you can use your mini-map just that little bit more. Additionally, Spell notifications and Praying notifications within the Dark Fog will now no longer provide the player with any notifications, creating a bigger enigma around AI behaviour. A modder could still call attention to a particularly important prayer through their scripts, if they really wanted to.

Fly-Bys;

Very little to talk about here, but gets its own section because let’s be honest, we all love a good Fly-by. They’re no longer capped at 30 Frames a Second, which should help with that look and feel, generating smoother and more beautiful fly-bys. No excuses now, modders. Get out there and spin that camera to your heart’s content.

Bugs:

Permanently Damaged Land;

This is by far the biggest fix in this entire patch, as much as I love difficulty settings. This bug is a long-standing bug that anyone who has played a significant amount of Populous would know and have experienced at least once in their life. It has finally been splatted thanks to the diligent studies of MrKosjaK. If you don’t know what this bug was, damaged land would in most situations heal after a set amount of time, however amongst that land (particularly when Earthquake gets involved) single or double tiles would remain damaged forever, even after the effects show the land clearly as healed. Well! That is no more and at long last you can rebuild semi-reasonably after being hit by a big attack.

Get out there and spam Earthquake to your heart’s content. Let the lava flow!

AI Behaviour;

The AI continues to have some odd behaviour, whilst I’m not going to go into each individual element, the AI’s repertoire has been significantly expanded when it comes to its behaviour around the four new tribes. Additionally, there were some crashes tied to how the AI patrolled its units, which is likely the biggest fix here. One less cause for Populous to crash; another 9,000 to go! The AI will now be smarter about using vehicles, be less likely to get stuck and even more less likely to crash your games, what’s not to love about that?

Fog of War;

Visual fixes for Fog of War here, the edges of the fog have been smoothed to make the tiles less obvious and the fog to feel more natural and, well, fog-like. Additionally the initial Fog settings for Multi-Player will now be read properly from the header. A player can still choose to turn it off, and in most cases likely will, but for Co-Op campaigns like War of the Gods, levels that are meant to have fog will now have that on as a default, giving more power to the creators when they join your stream and complain that you turned the Fog of War off!

Multi-Player:

Although Multi-Player can be affected by the Fog and Mini-Map changes, it’s unlikely as people still prefer to play with these off, as such there are no explicit Multi-Player changes to cover this time!

Lastly:

The Enhanced Edition relies on the feedback of its members to continuously splat bugs and improve itself. If your game crashes while you use it, click the send report button to send us the results of your crash. If you encounter a bug, Shift + R or Shift+F1 are both ways that you can easily report bugs as you go. Doing so this way sends a save of your game to the developers, so they can launch right on in and experience the crash first hand! As always if you find yourself needing to ask questions, you can always engage with myself or any of the actual development team via the Populous: Reincarnated Discord, or the Matchmaker itself.

Once again I have been Lovenji, and I have once again been delighted to work on these patch notes for you all, may the modders among you feel empowered to create your best work out there!

I look forward to seeing you out there in the Solar System.