Mod Worlds

From Populous Wiki

Mod Worlds began as a small project in early 2003 which involved making modifications to the original Populous multiplayer levels to provide gamers with new ways to play. The Mod Worlds project was dissolved later that year after its primary creator, Khickman, joined Populous Reincarnated to contribute to their cause.


The history of Mod Worlds and how it got started up until it was dissolved.

Level Decoding

Mod Worlds was actually in developement a few months before the public actually knew about it. During early 2003, Khickman began experimenting with the level files of Populous, figuring out what each file does for the level and how altering it might affect the level itself. This served as the first step towards level editing. After modifying the level header files to put any level into God Mode, Khickman released his first Mod World, God Worlds. God Worlds was essentially the regular multiplayer levels with God Mode.

During Summer of 2003, Khickman started learning how to manipulate levels through a HEX Editor from RedWarrior. Since there was no public Map Editor at the time (TheGabber had the only map editor and would not release it because it was too buggy), all levels were produced using these HEX Editors. Khickman soon learned the structure for the object data. With this knowledge he produced his second map-pack, Prison Worlds. Prision Worlds was essentially the original multiplayer levels with relocated shamen and prisons.

Shortly after the release of Prison Worlds, RedWarrior disappeared for a few months, leaving Khickman to complete his next task alone. Khickman began decoding the land data and eventually figured out the structure for land-placement and land-height. With this knowledge, Khickman began creating his first map, A Narrow Passage.

F8 / Fate Worlds

Before the land data was decoded, the only public way to make and then play levels was to edit a save game file with spells and then touch up the objects in HEX. To load the levels, users would copy the level which took the place of a saved game file into their Populous SAVE folder. Players would then join in a multiplayer game and load the map with the F8 key. Khickman wanted to convert many of these levels into actual level files; at the time these levels were called F8 levels. After successfully decoding the land data, Khickman became determined to come up with an entire map-pack of unique levels. After some time, Khickman showed RedWarrior how the land data worked and RedWarrior made his first level, Continental Division. Khickman made three other levels to accompany his new map-pack, they were: Tree of Life, Holy Land, and Khick Chess.

The End of Mod Worlds

When TheGabber saw Khick Chess, he offered Khickman a position at Populous Reincarnated as an Assistant Map-Maker; Khickman took that position and got access to the highly coveted Map Editor. With this tool, Khickman finished all of the maps he was making for his new map-pack. Since the majority of his maps were converted F8 levels which he and RedWarrior had made, Khickman decided to name the new map-pack, Fate Worlds, since F8 could be spelled out as feight, but fate for short as it suited the idea of a player determining his tribe's fate on these worlds. Fate Worlds never became a part of TheGabber's New Worlds, nor did it become part of Mod Worlds in its final release. Mod Worlds officially ended once Khickman joined Populous Reincarnated; if you ask around, you might be able to obtain an old copy of God Worlds or Prison Worlds. Fate Worlds went on to become one of the most popular map-packs played besides the original multiplayer levels.

Mod Worlds Affiliates

Many people helped test Mod Worlds to ensure that bugs were removed. Among the many testers, there were Chris, lukestorm, DakiniShaman (currently RedShaman1), and many others. The map designers for Mod Worlds were RedWarrior and Khickman. During the production of Mod Worlds, TedTycoon's Spell Editor was used to edit the level header files.