An Unofficial Campaign is a single-player group of levels (usually 25) that make up a playthough of Populous, usually with a storyline. The only difference between an Unofficial Campaign and an official Campaign is the latter was developed by the official Populous team (Bullfrog), while the unofficial is developed by Populous fans.
All Unofficial campaigns utilize The Beginning system (progress through a Solar System) as the level selector, unlike the only Official expansion Undiscovered Worlds (where you can select any of the 12 levels, beven before you completed the previous ones). Even though most campaigns are supposed to be played as one plays the game "Populous", there are some campaigns, such as Mini Games or Countdown Challenge that focus on other elements of the game, such as having only the shaman, or completing tasks using tricks and exploits of Populous.
Most campaigns have 25 levels, with the exception of Devil Worlds (blocks of 8 levels), The Summoning 1 and 2 (5 and 8 levels), Odd Worlds (10 levels) and Katara's Voyage (10 levels). Some campaigns don't have a new storyline, while others do. The same happens with scripts, levels design, textures, constant.dat changes, and other features (such as modifying main menu screen, improving the frame rates, etc). Usually, a campaign is only considered "quite completed" when the only thing that remains from the official game is the map textures (and some even have this part original). This said, a good single-player would consist of:
- A decent ammount of levels, up to 25
- Totally original worlds
- Totally original scripts, used for each world
- New original level titles, and a compeling storyline using the in-game messages and dialogue boxes
If all the above criteria are used, the campaign is already set up for success, but one can complete it even more:
- Original custom made textures (land water and sky)
- Changing the values of the constant.dat file
- Modifying the main menu title screen image
- Modifying other elements of the Lang File (such as the main manu selection texts, having new tribes names, game executable name, etc)
There are currently around 20 Unofficial Campaigns ready to be played, and most are either as hard as the original, or harder. Some are still in development. All campaigns have been recorded by user:Divinity on his Youtube Channel Playlists, and can also be downloaded on Divinity's cloud.
How to Instal a Custom Campaign
- 1: Have the complete game installed (Populous: The Beginning).
- 2: Download the desired Unofficial Campaign.
- 3: Extract all the files into your Populous folder; or copy all the files from the downloaded file (usually a .zip file) and paste them inside your Populous folder. Replace all files, if the PC asks.
- 4: Open Populous and enjoy your new campaign.
Follow the steps here:
https://www.popre.net/forum/single-player-maps-download-it-here--t8569s0.html (at the bottom of the first post)
How to Create a Custom Campaign
Creating a campaign is quite hard, especially if you do it by yourself. You will need to learn how to work with level design program World Editor, hwo to script, how to change Language file, and other things. If you plan or creating a 25 level campaign by yourself, you can expect months of hard work, if not years. To start off, you should head to this tutorial threads.
Basically, search for threads in the following subforum:
Before you start thinking about creating a campaign, you should try making some standalone levels, and practice level design and how triggers and other elements work. After that, you need to learn AI scripting (which might take a while, if you are not familiar with such language). One needs to learn how to compile and decompile scripts, and how to change the language file. After you learn all of this, you can start your Populous project, but don't forget: usually planet design is the easiest part; while scripting is the hardest part - and testing is very time-consuming. There are plenty of dead Populous projects, so unless you really think you have the time, tools and knowledge to work on a big project, or unless you get help from other people, it can be a good idea to focus on a smaller campaign (maybe one with 10 or 15 levels).