CD Player's Site
Hints, Tips, Strategy and FAQs for playing Populous III online
Populous III - The Beginning is a *seriously* cool game! If you like playing on-line strategy games, then this is the one, and this is the site to help you sharpen up your game. With over 30 pages of hints, tips and FAQs there is something for everyone, covering everything from getting started to shaman-level strategy. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
New players start here.
17 October 2011
- Moved the site from its old address on Onetel to a brand new shiny webspace hosted by Populous Reincarnated. Thanks Inca!
- Most of the links and some of the information here is out-of-date as I haven't done a serious update since 2004 (my how time flys). But some people may find it interesting as a historical snapshot of the way things were, and some things don't change (especially the game itself, more's the pity - we could do with an update) so I am keeping the site going on a care and maintenance basis.
Previous additions can be found in the Site History section.
- 17 October 2011
Wow. The CD Player site is still alive? Ten years online. I wonder if anyone ever reads it. I'm too old for playing populous now (reactions shot, can't remember which buttons to press) but I still drop in to the PopRe site most days. If you want to say hello you can find me in the 'boring, pointless' thread in the laughably misnamed Team Adept forum.
- 28 April 2004
We hit the low point in January when Electronic Arts finally stopped supporting the game, but things have just got better and better since then. The PopRe Matchmaker, based on IRC servers, has proved to be reliable and user-friendly and is heavily used. There have been a series of upgrades with new features being added all the time. There is now a league table, player rankings, and even a concerted effort to overcome the hosting problems people encounter if they have to connect through a router. All credit to ALACN and the team - we all owe you! Catch the latest versions of the software and a host of other goodies at the Populous Reicarnated site.
- 10 January 2004
Well, Electronic Arts have carried out their promise (threat) and closed down the official Populous Online server on 8 January 2004. Their FTP pages are still there, but probably not for much longer (check the downloads page for details). There are still options for getting an online game though, all now written up in the Getting Started section.
Other news: The new TeamAdept site has made a strong start - nearly 2000 posts in 3 weeks. The flame wars have died out (thank goodness). Lots of new players are appearing in the lobby which is very encouraging - without them the game would just die.
- 17 December 2003
What a week! Flame wars broke out on the Populous Reincarnated and Team Adept forums, primarily involving The Gabber, Judithz and Bola. It got very nasty, but at last peace has broken out, although at a price. The Gabber has anounced a new rule on the PopRe site, whereby any abusive or obscene posts, or posts which rake up the past, will be removed, and the poster may be banned. All the previously offensive posts (including his own) have been removed. Over at TA, Jude and Bola unilaterally resigned, both as admins and as members, removed all their posts and said their brief farewell.
Let's hope that everyone has learnt something from this, that people will now try to work together harmoniously, and that any squabbles will be fought out in private.
- 12 December 2003
Team Adept, the oldest of the Populous communities, has anounced their new website. Check it out at www.squishy.biz/TeamAdept/. The old site is still working at www.avidgamers.com/TeamAdept/ but will be closed down when the new site is well established. It is a big change for the group - there were over 25,000 posts on the old site, so there's a way to go to top that again!
- 10 December 2003
Bad news. Although the EA server is back up (and they've fixed the league table) they have announced that it will be closed for good on 8 January 2004. That will be the end of the online game as we know it. But all is not lost - ALACN and his team at are working to adapt their lobby so that it can work with a different server, or even using an IRC chat room. And KillerSheep has offered to provide a server. Keep up with developments at the forums on Populous Reicarnated and Team Adept
- 10 November 2003
Progress at Populous Reincarnated continues at great speed. The site has had an overhaul and now appears in fetching shades of blue. The new version of the Pop lobby (126.96.36.199) has been released, which increases the number of huts (ie game slots) available and allows for automatic downloads of new maps. And you can even host your own site there, as a subfolder to the main site. Check it all out at strategyplanet.com/populous/home.html.
- 29 October 2003
It's been quiet on this site for a while, but things are happening in the world of Populous. ALACN has joined the Pop community and has been doing some remarkable work in understanding the nuts and bolts of Populous programming. You can read about some of his work on his site. Hear also what he has to say about Servant's 'Craybot' here. All was not as we thought!
- 17 August 2003
Not much news of note. The league tables on the EA site have stopped registering points, but the word is that the points system is still working. If that is the case, then when (if) they fix the bug in the tables, all the accumulated points will be counted in calculating the new positions. So keep on fighting!
- 16 July 2003
So much for optimism. Servant has shelved his Populous lobby and is concentrating on developing lobbies for other games. However, his supporters in the 'lobby wars' gave Killer Sheep and Bola so much abuse that they have understandably both given up in disgust. Neither lobby is therefore ever likely to see the light of day. Thanks, people.
- 26 May 2003
A lot has been happening in the Populous world in the last month or so, with news of not just one, but *two* new lobbies.
- Servant has launched his new lobby and already issued the first update. You can read the details and download the client program at www.ctech-usa.com. Unfortunately (as of 20 May 2003) it is out of action because he doesn't have sufficient bandwidth to run it
- Team Adept have announced that they (primarily Killer Sheep and Bola but with help from some of the rest of us) are also working on a new lobby. There are screenshots and descriptions on Bola's site.
- Ominously, Killer Sheep reports serious problems when he tried to install Servant's client on his PC. No other people appear to have been affected, which suggests that either: they are not aware that they have been affected; KS's particular machine was targetted; KS has some peculiar software/hardware combination which gives rise to a problem; or it's all a dreadful misunderstanding. You can read KS's description of what happened here and Servant's denial at www.ctech-usa.com. Whichever, it's symptomatic of the chasm which has opened up between the two lobby groups, which is very sad.
- Meanwhile, over at Populous Reincarnated, Gabber has issued a new version of his New Maps installer, which allows people to play additional maps to the ones supplied by EA. The new installer provides a menu for installation and simplifies the whole procedure no end. He has also revisited the earlier packs of New Maps and tweaked the settings (wildmen, trees etc.) to improve playability. Check it out!
- On the subject of maps, two people have come up with ways of using the single-player maps for multiplayer games. Red Warrior has produced a page with all the single-player maps listed and a download for each. There are options for the host to vary the number of players supported. Ted's Populous Site, on the other hand, provides one utility which will convert any of the single-player levels to multi-player, but only for the number of players originally intended.
- Electronic Arts' original address for multiplayer games at www.populous.net is not even showing a maintenance page now, so it looks like that is finally dead. The new address at www.populous.ea-europe.com/ is working fine though.
- 4 April 2003
Things are back to normal in the EA lobby. Lobby 1 is working, as are the points system and the league table. I have now finally made it onto the league table (Hooray!) but have already been overtaken by Lukestorm who joined after me (Boo!). Hehe - well done Luke.
- 12 February 2002
The EA lobby is still working, at least in part. Lobby 1 has been down for a week or so, so people are congregating in lobby 2, with 10-20 people there most evenings especially after 22:00(GMT). Servant is still working on his replacement lobby, with just some minor bug fixes to go. And we welcome Rouscof back to the playing community after his spell away in the US - we missed you Rousy!
- 24 November 2002
Having just written the news item below, EA have brought their lobby back to life! It's at a new address (www.populous.ea-europe.com) and there is a simplified registration procedure (which works!) and they claim to have fixed the ranks and the league table. No one can now say that monolithic games companies don't care about the players of their back issue games, though it's hard to see how they found the commercial justification to spend time on it. Whatever. Many thanks EA - you're all heart!
- 19 November 2002
The EA site is still down 'for maintenance' and has been since June, although even the maintenance page has been taken down now, leaving just a 404 error. They have also now moved all the Bullfrog files on their FTP server, including the Populous patch file, to an archive folder and in its place left a small file called cleanup which contains the following text: "Cleanup on 09/20/02, old files moved to /pub/archive for removal". Since the patch file is essential for online play, it looks as though EA are not planning to bring their site back up, ever. Launchers still work though :-)
- 8 October 2002
The EA site (www.populous.net) is still down for 'maintenance' but the server is still accessible using a launcher. The general feeling is that they would have shut down the server too, but it is needed for other online games, and they haven't been bothered to write out the Populous code.
If you live in the UK, the HMV group have a sale on at the moment with Populous going for just £1.99! Now's your chance to buy it for a friend, get a backup copy (or get legal!). You can buy it online too at www.hmv.co.uk (hit the 'games' tab, then search for 'Populous') but then there's a postage charge of £1.80. Even with that, though, it's still a great deal. (Many thanks to Cliv for spotting this one.)
- 30 August 2002
The EA server has been down twice in the last two weeks, the last time for 3 days, but as at 14:00 today (UK time) it is *up* accessible by launchers.
- 17 August 2002
The EA site is still down, but there are still around 20 people playing every evening (UK time) on their server, using launchers.
The New Worlds site has moved to http://www.strategyplanet.com/populous/ where you can get all the New Worlds downloads, and a heap of other stuff on a beautifully designed graphical site. Check it out!
Servant's new Populous lobby program is now in beta testing stage. No news yet on the launch date.
- 11 July 2002
The EA site at www.populous.net is still down, but launchers are working, so you can still get a game.
- 28 June 2002
The EA site at www.populous.net is down again - it's up and down more times than a yo-yo. This time there is at least a message, saying that it is undergoing essential maintenance, so at least EA are aware that it is down. However, the lobbies are still operative, so you can still get your regular fix of Pop by using a launcher and heading to lobby 1. There's a basic one on this site here or for something a little more customisable, try Death's version at www.populousthebeginning.cjb.net although it comes with popups.
- 28 June 2002
Walhalla and Supertribe have started a new clan called 'The Dark Masters', with the home page at www.avidgamers.com/TDM. As they say on the site: 'The Dark Masters is a new Populous clan under leadership of Supertribe and Walhallah, we don't accept people that are in other clans, this clan is only for Populous players, so we don't play other games. We're competitive and we will try to beat every other Populous clan.'
- 18 June 2002
Latest news from CTECH is that the new Populous lobby is ready for beta testing, and they're recruiting testers. It sounds like it will be sooooo cool. Here is a selection of features to whet your appetite:
- Server and client-side flood protection. This means it's impossible for the lamers to flood the chat.
- Game validation. No longer will you have to worry about non-patched people joining your game. If anything is wrong with their game, they will not be allowed to join.
- Map validation. Same as above, only for maps. If someone has different maps then what you're trying to host. They will not be allowed to join.
- Automated map installer. So you want to join that game, but they are playing different maps then you? No problem. The matchmaker can automatically download AND install the maps for you!
- Full Room moderation. You are in control of your room. You can Kick, Mute and Unready, anyone in your room, as well as Lock and Unlock the room.
- Full Buddy list. Tells you who's online, where they are, and allows you to jump to their location. Similar to the MPlayer Pager, only not annoying.
- IP Forcing. You can tell the matchmaker to force a certain IP address when you host games. This works-around the NAT / ICS hosting problem.
For the full story, have a look at the CTECH website.
- 13 June 2002
WooHoo! Will wonders never cease! The EA Populous lobby is back in operation again. They really got me worried this time. Come and join the fun at www.populous.net. Word has it the the league points system is working again too.
- 9 June 2002
The EA Populous lobby is down again, and this time it has been down for about 10 days. I guess that we therefore have to start considering the possibility that it will never come back, and see where else we might get a game. (You can check to see if it's back yet by using my launcher.)
So what to do? There seem to be three options at present.
- IP games
Arrange with your friends to play directly, with one of you acting as host. This doesn't need a website at all, but you need to co-ordinate in order to link up to the host at approximately the same time, and you will need to know the host's IP number. The best way to engineer this is to join a clan (such as Team Adept, and arrange games with the members using a chat program (ICQ seems to be the most commonly used).
Gamespy seems to be the best bet for getting a game without pre-arranging it, but you may have to hang around in the lobby for half an hour or so to get enough people together. (If everyone just looks in to see if anyone's there and then goes away again, there never will be anyone there!) Information on how to get set up with Gamespy is here.
- Microsoft Gamezone
This is a new possibility recently unearthed by Gabber (well done that man!). Gamezone is a lot slicker than Gamespy and better run, but it doesn't have a zone for Populous and it's not listed in the games list. However, it does have a generic strategy games zone, for all the orphan games, and Populous *will* run there. Click here to find out how to get in.
In addition to these, one member of the Populous community (Servant) is writing a stand-alone, dedicated lobby system for Populous, which could provide the solution we're looking for. It might sound unlikely, but he's already produced one for Quake 3, so he clearly knows what he's doing. No indication of the release date yet, I'll post more details here as soon as they're available.
In the meantime, the NewWorlds design team are moving from strength to strength. Since the last news update they have added 10 new 1 vs 1 maps:
- The Erupting
- Face Lift
- Falcon's Nest
- Lava Lake
- Lost Angels
- Mystery Land
- Deep Rising
- St. Helens
- Turtle Soup
and the Green Worlds map pack is now up to beta version 4. They also have two new optional sky packs for Lava worlds, and one for Swamp worlds.
- 28 April 2002
The EA Populous lobby is up and working again, and the shaman league table is working too but still no progress on fixing the scoring for we lesser immortals. I've been a firewarrior for months, and it can't take *that* long to get 20 points, even for me.
- 28 April 2002
On the NewWorlds site, Lava worlds are now in final form, and Gabber has developed an installer which downloads all the latest 4-player maps, copies them to your hard drive, and puts install shortcuts on your desktop. How neat is that?!
- 28 April 2002
Team Adept has now made its decision, and will become a general, games orientated discussion group. It will therefore accept members from other clans. The applications backlog has been cleared and new applications are invited. It is anticipated that clans will develop within Team Adept, and a whole new website design is under development to facilitate that ... and much more.
- 6 April 2002
On the NewWorlds site, Swamp Worlds and Dark Worlds have been released in final form and there are two new 1v1 maps, Launcher Level and Lava Hill. Lava Worlds is available for test in beta 1 version.
- 6 April 2002
The TeamAdept clan is considering whether to broaden its membership and become a general discussion group, with internal game clan sections, or whether to revert to a players-only site.
- 6 April 2002
CulT and BreadFan have established a new Populous-orientated site which is billed as being for training and chat called AllCool.
- 6 April 2002
'The Populous Shrine' site has gone down. No indication yet as to whether it's permanent.
- 6 April 2002
Lobby 1 on the EA Populous site has been fixed - and broken again! Most people are using lobby 9 again.
- 9 March 2002
Servant has set up a new discussion forum on his CTECH site (look under 'Community') where you can get advice on Populous, and on computer problems in general, as well as threads on a wide range of topics.
- 8 March 2002
The NewWorlds team have a new (cool) web site at www.newworlds.host.sk/ and have released the first beta of Swamp Worlds.
- 3 March 2002
Lobby 1 on the EA site (www.populous.net) is broken - everyone's using lobby 9 now.
- 3 March 2002
In the New Worlds series, the Blue Worlds pack has been released, and Dark Worlds is available in beta.
You can now be notified automatically whenever this site is updated. I have set up a Yahoo mailing group and will send an email to group members detailing the changes each time I upload a significant amount of information. You can subscribe by sending a blank email to: CDpopfirstname.lastname@example.org and you can unsubscribe at any time by sending a blank email to: CDpopemail@example.com. Your email address will not be visible to anyone else, and members cannot use the group to mail each other, so you won't be deluged in junk mail. Frequency of mailing is currently running at around one message every five years.
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Last updated: 17 October 2011