Cultist Simulator: Holometabolous Incipience

Remember this?

As you know, holometabolous metamorphosis is one of the most ghastly things in nature.  The larva is driven by chemical imperatives to entomb itself alive in its own final skin. Then the absence of a protective juvenile hormone permits the activation of the imaginal discs embedded in its infant flesh. These spew forth a torrent of enzymes which tear apart most of its cells in a sort of quasi-digestive self-immolation, leaving it as basically a shiny bulging sac of goo in which the discs float, spinning new parts and organs round themselves out of the dissolved ex-caterpillar. When they’ve finished, the imago will explode out of its old skin like a John Carpenter special effect. Its wings at this point are still soft and soggy, with the consistency of used kitchen paper, so it’ll have to hang upside down, dry off and pump hemolymph into its wing-veins before it can take off and make innocent humans coo over its beautiful colours.

Anyway, so the point we’re at is that I’ve spun a cocoon round Cultist Simulator and I’ve pumped enough liquefying enzymes into it that it’s more goo than game at this point. This is progress.

The metamorphosis is almost complete, the cocoon in question is tearing, and the new version of Cultist Simulator is moth-ing its way out. It’s on the GATE_OF_IVORY_ALPHA_UNSTABLE branch on both GOG and Steam. As you’ll guess from the name, this will be interesting mostly to modders and other extremely keen souls.

This version of Cultist is an 80% complete rewrite, and the effect is mostly to break stuff. There are a few new features in the notes. But the most important things are

(i) the modding community has been asking for a DLL loading hook, for a long time. It’s in there, and it might even work. Check MODDING_README.TXT for details.
(ii) there is no backwards save compatibility right now! To fix some horrible, stubborn save bugs that have been in there from the beginning, I needed to change the format completely. I will (95% certainty) write a save format converter before it gets to the beta branch.

Everyone else: thanks for your patience. I know tech support on Cultist has been minimal for, oh, about six months. I’m really sorry about that. But as long as my life doesn’t catch fire again, I’ll start getting through the backlog this month.

12 comments on Cultist Simulator: Holometabolous Incipience
  1. I use the holometabolous copypaste as a meme, life advice, answer to “how are you”, introduction and source of inspiration. I have seen it in a dream, I can recite it from memory, and I’m pretty sure my closest friends now can too. Yes, we remember.

  2. As a modder (sort of). I wonder if the existing mods need to be re-written to adapt the the new version of the game itself?

        1. to be less frightening: the existing modding system allowed people to use the content system, which is 98% unchanged because I needed existing Cultist content to work. But some people did ingenious things I’d never intended with quirks of the system, so those might not work the same way any more.

  3. Might there be a possibility to get some extra fonts in the game (specifically some eastern european ones)? I started a translation but was dismayed at the box letters when I tried it out.

    1. Here’s the current word (from MODDING_README). fontscript=cyrillic might cover what you need. I believe it includes non-standard letters for Roman-alphabet Slavic languages too, but I can’t guarantee 100% coverage.

      If you need a specific character, you’ve tried another fontscript setting and you’re still seeing tofu, drop us a mail with *as much detail as you can muster*. 🙂


      The game currently ships with English, Russian, German, Japanese and Chinese (Simplified). If you’d like to add localisations for another language, add a json file with a culture entity to the /content/cultures folder in your mod. You can copy the format from the existing cultures in /core/cultures.

      A culture entity allows you to specify:
      – the name of the language
      – values for the UI labels in the game
      – which base font script a mod will use. ‘Font script’ here means a selection of font assets that support a particular writing system.

      fontscript=’latin’ uses Philosopher, Titania and Belgrad and should be okay for EFIGS-neighbourhood languages.
      fontscript=’cyrillic’ uses Philosopher, Titania and NotoSans, with the basic Roman and Cyrillic characters.
      fontscript=’cjk’ uses NotoSansCJK, a Google font which provides common characters used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
      fontscript=’jp’ uses NotoSansJP: our Japanese-speaking players pointed out cases where this is better for Japanese than NotoSansCJK.

      And if fontscript isn’t specified at all, the game will default to NotoSerif with glyphs for Latin-A and Latin-B. This will cover a lot of languages that use or can use a Latin-based script / Romanization, but crikey I’m only starting to understand how complicated all this is. If you’re trying to translate something that needs to use other characters, contact us and we’ll see what we can do.

      1. Thank you, this clarifies the situation a lot. Might mail about it, but not specifying a fontscript hasn’t crossed my mind.

      2. May I ask if there is a more specific Chinese font (e.g. Noto Sans Simplified Chinese?) aside from NotoSansCJK? Because as far as I remember the current Chinese version of the game is still not tofu-free.

        1. It’s only NotoSansCJK at the moment.

          (i) We’ve already added NotoSansJP, so if necessary I can also add a Chinese-specific font; but
          (ii) Whenever I add new localised content, I regenerate the font atlas based on new content. If I skipped that step one time, new tofu may have crept in.

          If you know exactly which characters are missing, let us know at support@ and I’ll see which applies. (If you could let me know the id of the recipe or element where they appear, that would be incredibly helpful in tracking the issue down!)

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