What is it?

Creatures 2 Community Edition is a series of patches to the last official release of Creatures 2 (v1.0.39-xp). These patches are intended primarily to improve the stability of the game, which is prone to frequent crashes and graphical glitches in modern versions of Windows. Minor new features are also introduced, mostly for developers and tinkerers. (See also: Creatures 1 Community Edition)

Current Patch Version: 15
             Released: 2024-01-13

Latest Changelog

How does it work?

The Community Edition is distributed as a binary patch file. As such, it requires that you have purchased either the Steam edition, GoG edition, Creatures: The Albian Years, Creatures Trilogy, or Creatures 2 Deluxe. Once applied, your existing executable (Creatures2.exe) will be updated to an unofficial patched version. We can be reasonably sure that no more official updates are coming out, so this shouldn't interfere with uh, regular updates.

Installation Instructions

  1. Download the latest patcher.
  2. Unzip the Community Patcher and run it.
  3. Select the first option to patch your game.

Prerequisites

You only need these files once. In fact, you only need these files if the patcher complains about missing DLLs. Typically only for Windows XP.

Patcher Downloads

Current Version: 1.1
             Released: 2023-12-08

What's different?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Your website is hideous.
A: Thank you!

Q: Why is nothing happening when I open the launcher?
A: This typically happens when the registry entries are missing or incorrect. Select the option in the patcher to reset / rebuild the registry entries.

Q: Why does it launch, ding, and then exit?
A: You may need to set compatibility options. Right-click on Creatures2.exe, go to Properties, Compatibility, check 'Reduced color mode', and choose 16-bit from the drop-down menu.

Q: Why does nothing happen at all after selecting a world from the launcher?
A: There are two possibilities: If you've just reset the registry entries, the launcher may get confused when opening an existing world. Just try opening it a second time and it should work. Second, if you're using an older computer (likely older than 2012), it may not support some of the optimizations. In this case, you may try using the Windows XP version of the patch. Otherwise, e-mail lisdude @ lisdude.com and we can hopefully figure it out!

Q: Why is everything so tiny?!
A: You may need to change DPI settings. Right-click on Creatures2.exe, go to Properties, Compatibility, 'Change high DPI settings', check 'Override high DPI scaling behavior', and choose 'System (enhanced)'.

Q: Should I use the Remastered Patch?
A: No, it's not recommended to use other patches. They're designed to solve problems that the Community Edition has already solved. It's highly recommended that you run the registry rebuild from the patcher's main menu. This will ensure everything is a sane default.

Q: I'm on build X. How do I upgrade to build Y?
A: Re-run the Patcher and choose the patch option again. It will download the latest version automatically.

Q: Fixed graphical glitches? Terrible lies! My Eye View is going crazy!
A: Eye View is particularly troublesome. It sounds like you're using DXWrapper. You might want to try replacing it with DDrawCompat v0.2.1. You can either do this by downloading DDrawCompat (this is an option in the Patcher menu) or by changing the DXWrapper configuration file in a Steam installation. I'd recommend the former, but either should work.

Q: Can I use my old world and/or import my old creatures?
A: Technically, yes. It's recommended to start a new world with all new creatures, though, as a lot of bugs have been fixed that can cause subtle corruption of a world and its inhabitants. These aren't always obvious and can cause issues later down the line.

Similarly, if you've been uses patches for issues that are now fixed in the engine, they may conflict or cause confusing issues. It's best to try a new world and see what patches you'll want to reapply later.

Q: I'm getting weird errors about paths and things not being found.
A: This is likely due to errors in the default registry entries. Re-run the patcher and select the option to reset / rebuild the registry entries.

Q: The option to rebuild the registry doesn't actually do anything.
A: Are you trying to run it from a network drive? The registry rebuilder requires administrative permissions (for the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE entries). You'll either need to run the patcher from your local drive or mount the network drive for the administrator.

Q: Will you implement feature X?
A: Maybe. It's worth asking on Discord! I already have a lengthy TODO list, but we'll see.

Q: Why should I trust you?!
A: You shouldn't! I'm an internet stranger. I would advise, at the very least, checking the patched executable with VirusTotal.com.

Q: Creatures 2 for free?! Noice!
A: Erm, no. You still need to own a legitimate copy of the game. This is a patch that has to be applied to an existing purchased executable.

What exactly has changed?

BUILD 15 (2024-01-13)
- More improvements to dropping behavior. Hopefully less dropping things beneath floors.
- Fix a crash when a valid sprite file can't be found for a body part.
- Fix a heap overflow when sending a macro with less than four characters.
- Fix a crash that can happen when drawing vehicle cab outlines when the map is enabled.
- Improve error detection of macros so that they can fail without corrupting the heap.
- Log - OLE events now shows macro commands that are being sent to the game.
- The Game Information window now toggles on / off with CTRL-DEL instead of creating multiple copies of itself...
- Fix an issue where objects dropped by creatures would take on the velocity of the mouse, essentially causing them to violently hurl things that they meant to drop if the mouse was moving.


BUILD 14 (2023-12-29)
- The Game Information window (CTRL - DEL) is now a floating window that updates once per second. It now also includes Ticks Per Second and a general performance indicator.
- The window size / position now saves correctly when using window snapping.
- Fix a crash when a queued stimulus has no valid object to stim.
- Fix an issue where the uterus would always show as <Unclassified> in the Science Kit. (It now shows as, you know, Uterus. But only at the appropriate age.)
- Organs in the Science Kit are now sorted by type. (Lungs are together, that sort of thing.)
- Add support for overriding vocab with a 'vocab' file. When you start the game, it will write this file to your user directory (typically Documents\Creatures 2). You can then edit it to use whatever words you want.


BUILD 13 (2023-12-05)
- Fix an issue with registry paths that could result in the game complaining about Creatures 1 genetic files and then crashing.
    - NOTE: This issue could have impacted your default registry entries, making it so that future worlds suffer from this issue. You MAY have to reset your registry entries. This can be done by selecting the reset / rebuild registry option in the patcher program.
- Fix issues with the Owner's Kit and Funeral Kit where the Owner's Kit would have the wrong birth day the the Funeral Kit wouldn't allow you to register deaths.


BUILD 12 [OFFICIAL BUILD 41] (2023-05-07)
- Fix another tooltip crash. (This fix should be more thorough.)
- Add the 'CDIE' macro to kill a creature when sending a message is just too much effort.
- Updated ClassifierNames.txt with objects from Life Kit #1 and Object Pack #1. (Thanks again, Malkin!)

NOTE: Due to the added macros, the official build number is now 41. This allows you to use 'VRSN' in your scripts to ensure compatibility.


BUILD 11 (2023-04-29)
- Fix a crash with messed up poses. (The pose is still messed up, but at least it won't crash!)
- Fix crashes when trying to raise / reset the signal of a cell that doesn't exist.
- Fix a crash when attempting to reduce a bogus drive.
- Fix a potential crash / undefined behavior when a macro attempts to use DIRN on a non-creature.
- Objects with the floatable attribute can no longer be seen or touched by other objects (e.g. with 'etch' or 'esee'). This should help them stay in place when using COBs like 'Underground Sweeper'.
- Objects with the floatable attribute now maintain their position when the window is resized.
- Moving toolbars no longer affects the positioning of objects with the floatable attribute.
- Add keyboard shortcuts CTRL-1,2,3,4,5,6 to quickly jump to favorite places.
- Updated ClassifierNames.txt. (Thanks Malkin!)


BUILD 10 (2023-04-27)
- Fix a crash when hovering over an object that is about to be destroyed.
- Fix a crash when trying to pass an invalid stimulus to the sense lobe.
- Fix another crash related to pickup handles.
- Options for mute, creature footsteps, tooltip classifiers, and status bar world coordinates are now persistent.
- Fix a crash where the game would try to plot objects beyond the maximum number of plottable objects.
- Increase the maximum number of plottable objects. This minimizes the chances for weirdness when playing at large window sizes.
- Added 'CTRL-SHIFT-M' to create an HTML file detailing the number and type of objects present in the world. In the future this will be similar to the DS 'Magic Profiler', but for now it's a simple count. The report is located in your data directory (Documents\Creatures\Creatures 2 or Program Files) and is called '_report.html'
- Added the file 'ClassifierNames.txt'. You'll have to download this separately and put it into your Creatures 2 directory. This will make the CTRL-SHIFT-M output more readable. Also, if you have tooltip classifiers enabled, you will see 'friendly' names for known classifiers.


BUILD 9 [Official Build 40] (2023-04-23)
- Fix more world wrap issues. (Thanks Verm!)
- Add the 'HOTS' macro command to return the ID of the object under the cursor.
- Add the 'ERMN' macro command to enumerate through all objects in the same room as targ.
- World / view coordinates can now be displayed in the status bar with the keyboard shortcut CTRL-SHIFT-X.
- Classifier / moniker display in tooltips when hovering over objects can now be toggled with CTRL-SHIFT-T.
- Fix an issue where importing a creature could freeze the game after warning that a voice file wasn't found.
- Minor optimizations. Probably make no difference but they make me feel better.
- Double the number of possible total lobes (32).
- Fix the history path for users of Creatures 2 Deluxe.

NOTE: Due to the added macros, the official build number is now 40. This allows you to use 'VRSN' in your scripts to ensure compatibility.


BUILD 8 (2023-04-16)
- Fix a potential crash when a creature is marked as carried but has no actual carrier.
- Add 'Save' and 'Save as' to the File menu.
- Fix an issue where objects with the floatable attribute wouldn't reappear when the world loads. (You may need to reinject them once.)
- Fix an issue where 3IHS would possess the mouse cursor when holding a floating object and moving the camera around.
- The Creature menu now supports up to 1000 creatures.
- Fix various memory issues in several DDE commands.


BUILD 7 (2023-04-15)
- When renaming a creature with CAOS, it now:
    - Updates the title bar if the creature is currently selected.
    - Double-clicking the event in the status bar will change the subject but not open the owner kit.
- Fix a potential startup crash if a blackboard tries to display text before the graphics have initialized.
- Objects marked as 'FLOATING' now consistently follow the camera, even after jumping to another point in the world.
- Fix a crash when trying to use invalid pick-up handles when creatures are carrying objects.
- Fix an issue with SWLDS where the death script wouldn't properly execute. Now it does.
- Fix various potential rendering crashes.
- Add a warning dialog if a previous crash was detected and auto-save is disabled for the current run. (Previously there was no warning and you'd be surprised to find that your world didn't save.)
- Help now appears properly when invoked from the help menu or F1.
- Objects with the floatable attribute can now be placed anywhere.
- Fix an issue with creatures dropping objects slightly beneath the floor.


BUILD 6 (2023-04-11)
- Add 'Sudden World Loading Death Syndrome': Sometimes a Norn gets saved with an invalid brain state that crashes the game when you attempt to load it. Until the underlying cause of that can be found, this is a temporary measure to restore the world by killing the Norn with irreparable brain damage.
- Fix a potential shutdown crash.
- Fix a potential crash / memory mangling when dropping objects.
- Add the world update speed to CTRL-DEL (useful in combination with CTRL + or CTRL -)
- Various other potential crashes / memory corruptions, the specifics of which I'm too lazy to look up and you probably don't care about anyway...
- Hovering over objects now shows their classifier. Norns additionally show their moniker.


BUILD 5 (2023-04-05)
- Add a 'Sound' menu to consolidate sound-related settings and add a 'Mute' option for sound effects.
- Fix graphical errors after minimizing.
- The maximum number of Norns can now be configured from the Help - About dialog.
- Increased the speed of smooth scrolling.
- Fix a bug where the game might crash after the display goes to sleep.
- MaxNorns is now a per-world configuration.
- CTRL-DELETE pops up a game information dialog for various stats and debugging purposes.
- Fix a crash when rendering offset tiles incorrectly.
- Fix a bug in the recording of life events.
- Add creature footsteps to sound options.


BUILD 4 (2023-04-03)
- The world update speed can now be controlled with CTRL - (slower speed), CTRL + (faster speed, up to 1ms), and CTRL 0 (return to default speed).


BUILD 3 (2023-03-31)
- Make eye view possibly work ever slightly better. (NOTE: DDrawCompat 0.2.1 required. It can be found in the Win10_11 directory.) [If you notice that the hand is invisible in the eye view, you may have to restart the game. Looking into it...]
- Fix a bug that would cause the game to crash if the tips file wasn't found.
- Fix a bug in 'dde: getb allr' that could cause memory troubles. (Ecology Kit)
- ... ditto for 'dde: bioc' (Science Kit)
- Improve reliability of GreenTea cheat mode.

- REGISTRY STUFF:
    - All HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry entries are now redirected to HKEY_CURRENT_USER. (This includes settings for max kits and norns.)
    - The history directory is now written to the registry in two places when the game starts: The world switcher entry for the world and in the Creatures 2 section. The latter is, unfortunately, necessary for the Owner Kit to work.
    - Main directories are now derived from the path of the executable, NOT from the registry. The registry is now only used to determine user directories.
    - User directories are determined two ways: First, check "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Gameware Development\Creatures 2\World Switcher\YOUR WORLD\1.0". Paths listed here take priority. If no path is found, a path is created from your Documents directory.


BUILD 2 (2023-03-29)
- Fix potential crash / undefined behavior when speech bubble memory overlaps.
- Fixed tearing in the eye view (NOTE: This requires switching to DDrawCompat v0.2.0).
- The creature eye window can now be moved by clicking anywhere in the eye and dragging.
- Fixed issues with the status bar not drawing transparent elements correctly.
- Recreated the split directory patch, allowing the launcher to function properly again.
- Fix an issue where Norns couldn't see properly at the world wrap point. (Thanks Verm and GimmeCat!)
- Increase the maximum number of active scripts allowed to 1000.
- Increase the maximum numbers of scripts in the scriptorium to 2000.
- Add a new option for the Privileges registry entry: GreenTea. This is like Blueberry4$ light. It allows you to pick up creatures, activates all game states, marks all rooms visited, and enables the informational Log menu.

NOTE: dxwrapper should be replaced with DDrawCompat or its .ini settings should be changed!


BUILD 1 (2023-03-28)
- Fix a bug in the cursor that would randomly crash the game, cause the cursor to be enclosed in a black box, make picking things up "weird", and any number of other odd cursor issues.
- Fix a bug in goal action recommendation where a creature would, at best, not be nudged into going up or down, and at worst crash the game.
- Fix a potential startup crash / memory mangling when unscrambling registry keys.
- Fix a bug where macro updates could result in undefined behavior.
- Fix a bug in gene counting that could result in a crash or memory mangling.
- Fix a bug in 'DDE: getb rcpr' that resulted in missing / inaccurate data in the output.
- Fix a bug that could crash the game when carrying a creature, its attention wanders, and it wants to be let go of.
- Potential performance improvements with modern compiler optimizations.
        

Old Manual Installation Instructions

These installation instructions allow you to perform all of the steps manually if you don't trust the automatic patcher and/or it doesn't work for you.
  1. (STEAM EDITION) It's important that you try to launch Creatures 2 from within Steam at least once, even if it crashes. This will ensure everything is set up correctly.
  2. Download prerequisites according to your operating system.
  3. Download the latest patch according to your Creatures version.
  4. Unzip the Community Patcher and move the files into your Creatures 2 installation directory:
  5. Move the patch file (e.g. build_13.patch) into your Creatures 2 folder.
  6. Double click on 'PatchC2' in your Creatures 2 folder to apply the patch.
  7. Verify the Community Edition version number in the game's Help - About menu.

Prerequisites

You only need these files once. Once they're installed, you're good to go unless updates become available.

Patch Downloads

Current Version: Community Build 15
             Released: 2024-01-13

If you want to include the names of objects in tooltips (if tooltip classifiers are enabled) or in the Magic Profiler, download this file and put it in your Creatures 2 folder:

ClassifierNames.txt (2023-05-09)