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Alas, poor Yorick.

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Final Frontier Plus' started by thegreekweegee, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. thegreekweegee

    thegreekweegee Big Guy 4U

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    237
    Ever since I grabbed my copy of Civilization 4 Complete Edition and decided to fire up the Final Frontier mod, I immediately fell in love with it. The concept of being able to build your own intergalactic empire and rule the galaxy under your fist was a concept that especially appealed to me, and it still does today. And when I discovered this modmod, I was pleased immensely, as it showed that other people cared too about this mod, even if it were a minor addition to the base game.

    Although I have discovered another, more complete game that delivered more and did it better in some aspects (Stardock's Galactic Civilizations 2), it fails to capture the charm of Final Frontier, which has its own little quirks and unique charm. Not saying FF's better than GC2, just stating my input on comparing these 2.

    But although GC2 has better lore combined with a more complete game, and although it has a damn good modding community, it lags behind in one aspect: customizability depth. For a few examples of what Civilization 4 can do even those years, look no further than 3 mods: Fall from Heaven 2, Realism Invictus, and Caveman 2 Cosmos.

    Let's start with Fall from Heaven 2. This mod is the most popular of civ4, and for good reason, as it transforms the base game into a dark fantasy world with enough depth to make your head spin. And let's not talk about the numerous, numerous modmods that it spawned, chief among them being Master of Mana, which expands to the Mana system and makes so many minor changes, it's as unrecognisable compared to Fall from Heaven as Fall from Heaven is to the base game.

    Secondly, we have Realism Invictus, which is what happens when a group of people get dissatisfied with the game's historical accuracy and decide to improve things... a lot. Starting out as Total Realism for Civ4, it eventually blossomed after 8 (correct me if I'm wrong) years of continuous, uninterrupted work into a masterpiece. I even helped out a little bit with tweaks and such; it was very little help compared to their efforts, but anything to help it march on should not be ignored.

    Finally, we got Caveman 2 Cosmos. Caveman 2 Cosmos is... a colossal-sized mod crammed with more stuff than I can count. Yet it works. Without major hiccups. Although I have problems with it, as it just crams too much with little care about playability, I do have to admire those people who are willing to tie it all up together and make it run at a doable speed and accomplish it with a good degree of success.

    Now, why did I go in such a tirade about mentioning those 3 mods? Because it's a shame watching as this mod's dead in the water for over a year, with no improvement on sight, where it could have blossomed into a damn good mod the likes of Fall from Heaven, dare I say. And it's a sad, but good example of what often happens for mods of this scope: the modders lose interest, or they hit a dead end, or maybe life just drags them away and they barely have time anymore. All understandable reasons, really.

    This brings me to the main point of this message. I wonder if it were possible for this modmod to get a kickstart and start being developed again by breathing new life on it through new ideas or game mechanics, for example. If it helps, I can drop a few I've been brewing in my mind, offer any input here and there. But I find it sad that this modmod's left to gether dust for a year with no visible progress down the road.

    Let's hope at least this modmod's not quite dead yet.
     
  2. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel Imperator Knoedel the Great, Glorious and Gracious

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Messages:
    7,770
    Location:
    Bergdeutschland
    Well, I for one opened a thread for unique diplomatic texts for the various leaders, perhaps you can give your input there? It's better than nothing.
     
  3. keldath

    keldath LivE LonG AnD PrOsPeR

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    6,143
    Location:
    israel
    very nice post , i liked reading your comparison.

    a lot of modders from ancient times are still here, like me.

    dont forget - rand mod by afforess.
     
  4. TC01

    TC01 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Irregularly Online
    There are indeed many ancient modders around-- like me. Wait a minute...

    I just have, like, a hundred more things to do now than I did when I did most of the work on FF+. (I won't bore you with the details, unless you particularly want to be bored by them).

    I can't speak for God-Emperor, but I would love for more people who would like to work on the project to step up and, well, work on the project.

    (Incidentally, the original scope of FF+ was "fix all the broken things and improve the internals". Actually adding stuff to FF only really started to happen when it merged with God-Emperor's mod, at which point the scope became "make a better space game for Civ". This may be another reason why things have floundered after the first part was completed...)

    If you'd like to see Final Frontier Plus development dragged out of hibernation: sure, new ideas and proposals and stuff are more than welcome. The last big new thing I wanted to add was alien civilizations, which would require:

    1. Ideas for alien civilizations and what makes them, well, "alien"
    (Which is to say: some core idea for an alien race that can express itself as a game mechanic or trait or something).
    2. Variations in the tech tree for alien civs
    3. Art for unique units
    4. Leaderheads (we can probably steal these from elsewhere, so this may be easy).
    5. And probably a lot more things!

    That's all on top of the actual implementation, which would require a bit of Python and a lot of XML work. Which isn't that hard, even if you don't know XML, Python, or have never looked at the internals of a Civ 4 mod before. I started modding Civ when I had an idea for a new FFH2 civilization (this actually never got released; it's been sitting on my computer for years). Sort of like fanfic in universe, except I said "well... how hard can it be?" I wasn't a programmer. I am a programmer now because I learned to mod.

    If you come up with the ideas (which, as I noted, is valuable: design is valuable!) but aren't willing to try and figure out how to implement them... then unless someone else steps up, it'll just go on the back of my projects queue. It might get done eventually-- I actually did do some work on FF+ this summer, but it was low-level stuff (playing around with implementing the solar system and planet classes inside of C++ instead of in Python)-- but it'll be a while.

    On the other hand, what I tend to enjoy is implementing new game systems. The details (coming up with, say, event ideas or alien civ ideas or units to use cloaking devices) are a bit less enjoyable, but actually setting up systems so that alien civs can exist or that cloaking devices can work is something that might actually get done sooner.

    It'd be great if there were people willing to step up and do those sorts of things too

    TL;DR: I agree with everything you've said, but the bottleneck is people who have time who are willing to do stuff.
     
  5. keldath

    keldath LivE LonG AnD PrOsPeR

    Joined:
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    Location:
    israel
    hey tc01,

    keep developing ff+. dont give up.

    one day, im planing on modding it :) so maybe in the far future ill help....

    :)


    cheers.
     
  6. thegreekweegee

    thegreekweegee Big Guy 4U

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    237
    Sadly, this seems to be the case. Not enough people with the motivation and free time to do stuff.

    When it comes to ideas, I usually tend to implement them myself as much as I can while making no fuss about it, unless I don't have the skillset to even begin implementing them, in which case, I'll just throw them out and see if others can pick it up. It's a pride thing.

    Nevertheless, what I usually do is making tweaks here and there in order to fine tune a game or mod's aspects to my tastes. I can share a few stuff on a new thread, along with ideas I have. Speaking of which, I should start reading tutorials on how to mod the python and C++ aspects of Civ4 in order to be more of an asset instead of being a passive think-tank; figure I'll be of better help if I got more things under my belt.

    As for the boring details... a PM should be enough, if you don't prefer making a post.
     
  7. PsiCorps

    PsiCorps FF: Babylon 5 mod team

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,418
    Location:
    Britain
    Well, interesting reading I must say.

    I had an idea for the B5 mod which I lack the skills to implement.

    The idea was that once a particular tech is researched the researching player/ai would be able to start a project. This project, once completed would reveal a previously 'hidden and inhabited' star system of a comparable tech to the most advanced civ + maybe 2 or 3 techs ahead of even them.

    The person I had lined up to try and implement this has progressed to University and has little spare time preferring to get the Civ 5 mod we discussed up and running. Can't say I blame him, some good stuff to work with on Civ 5.

    There were also some other things we floated around for the B5 Mod which would be just as interesting to put into the FF+ mod. As I said though, i'm no real modder, I dabble with a little xml lacking the time to develop better modding skills.

    Any one interested in learning more can either message me or respond here.
     

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