What is it?

Creatures 1 Community Edition is a series of patches to the last official release of Creatures 1. Most of these are quality of life improvements, though there are a couple of bug fixes. (See also: Creatures 2 Community Edition)

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 or GoG edition of Creatures: The Albian Years. Once applied, your existing executable (Creatures.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 prerequisites according to your operating system.
  2. Download the latest patch according to your Creatures version.
  3. Unzip the Community Patcher and move the files into your Creatures 1 installation directory:
  4. Move the patch file (e.g. build_5.patch) into your Creatures 1 folder.
  5. Move Wing32.dll into C:\Windows\SysWOW64
  6. Double click on 'PatchC1' in your Creatures 1 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 5
             Released: 2023-06-04

What's different?

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Q: The launcher pauses for a long time and then nothings happens or it declares that "server execution failed".
A: Make sure that you copied Wing32.dll into the correct place. It should be "C:\Windows\SysWOW64" on 64-bit versions of Windows.

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

Q: I'm on build X. How do I upgrade to build Y?
A: All you need to do it copy build_y.patch to your Creatures 1 directory and rerun PatchC1.

Q: Will you implement feature X?
A: Maybe. It's worth asking on Discord!

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 1 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 1
- Norns menu renamed to Creatures and now includes Norns, Grendels, Ettins, and Geats.
- Picking up creatures enabled without cheats.
- Infinite scroll without cheats.
- Pressing the 'Home' key takes you back to the incubator.
- Added the 'MaxKits' registry entry (HKEY_CURRENT_USER) to allow more than 4 kits to be open at once.
- Added the 'MaxNorns' registry entry (HKEY_CURRENT_USER) to set the number of Norns that can exists before the Hatchery closes. 
- Made 'Smooth Scrolling' usable again by not resizing or locking the window / various fixes. (Also moved the registry entry for smooth scrolling to HKEY_CURRENT_USER).
- Should no longer require any Windows compatibility modes or running as administrator (with the exception of DPI settings).
- Elapsed time is back in the status bar (previously disabled because of lack of space).
- Potential performance improvements. Maybe.
- Increased max events shown in the status bar to 10.
- Enable the full functionality of the 'Log' menu. (Shouldn't have too much of a performance impact, especially with all options turned off.)

BUILD 2
- Scroll with the arrow keys.
- Scrollbars always stay centered. This allows for continuous scrolling.
- Move to favorite places with CTRL-#. e.g. CTRL-1 moves to your first non-incubator favorite place. The incubator can be moved to with the HOME key or CTRL-0.
- Doubled the number of scripts that can be in the scriptorium and the number that can be active at once. Will need to test to see the wisdom of that, but it's 2023 and not 1997, so probably fine.

BUILD 3
- Increase the max size of the Creatures menu from 13 to 30.
- Don't disable the 'Import' menu when there are less than MaxNorns in the world.
- The speed of the game can now be controlled with CTRL + (increase speed), CTRL - (decrease speed), and CTRL 0 (normal speed). NOTE: I have no idea what the consequences might be to the poor Norn brains. In theory everything, including bioticks, will run at the same speed. But I haven't bothered verifying that.
- CTRL-DELETE will display a menu of game information, including the "idle time". (Useful to know if you're getting close to < 100, which is when disease risk is doubled.)
- Add an Options menu. First option: Mute.

BUILD 4
- Fix a bug where the game would crash if an object as being marked as carried but its carrier either never got set properly or was destroyed.
- Double the likelihood of disease spreading when the number of creatures is >= 25. This restores some balance that was intended for system lag (IdleTime < 100) that doesn't occur on modern machines.
- Add age, pregnancy, and life force to the Creatures menu.
- Support numeric keypad + and - for speed changes.

BUILD 5
- Directories are now derived from the executable location instead of the registry. This hopefully once and for all solves the obnoxious 'Creatures could not locate its Main Directory from the registry.' issue. (At least for the main game. Not so much the applets...)
- Fix a bug where certain speech bubbles (particularly with the Super Speech Toy) would crash the game during an autosave.