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BattleTech/MechWarrior Mod...any interest?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Creation & Customization' started by joshjiggler, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. joshjiggler

    joshjiggler Chieftain

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    First of all... Hi, I'm Jigs. I've been a lurker here at CFC for several years, just never felt much like speaking up, but cIV has brought me out of my silence. Nice to meet you all. :)

    I'm an old school civver and an old school BattleTech fan. A few years back, I stumbled upon a Battletech mod for Civ 3, that as far as I know never reached fruition. Something about cIV is making me want to mod like mad, and I thought a complete MechWarrior mod would be a lot of fun.

    I've never been a big modder, but pretty much everything that goes into modding I have done for years in one fashion or another. I know a complete mod, especially one of this magnitude, will be a lot of hard work. That's why I'm calling out to any fellow fans and modders for help. My work schedule and family schedule doesn't allow me the kind of time I would need to go this on my own, and I figured there might be others out there who would also like this idea. Not to mention, multiple minds and hands usually makes for a better final product.

    I'll post a few of my ideas in this thread over the next few days to see if anyone would be interested in lending a hand. Once we get a few dedicated people on board, we'll probably start a seperate thread with updates and "production" art, etc.

    So speak up, fellow lovers of mech on mech action! *cue the cheesy jazz guitar music*
     
  2. joshjiggler

    joshjiggler Chieftain

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    Timeline
    The game would begin in 2108, after humans successfully make their first hyperspace jump. Colonization begins all over the place, and our various factions begin to vye for a stronghold on a pivotal planet. [Note: This is up to debate, as I would like to include the clans as playable factions. But to advance the timeline to the arrival of the clans, would set the tech tree further ahead than I was hoping. By the time the clans appeared, battlemechs were already in use. I'm very open to suggestions on this front.]

    Clan vs. Inner Sphere
    I have a few ideas on this. It's possible, simply by editing the XML files to allow certain civs to not only have unique units, but control what techs they can explore, and even what civics the can obtain. I would like to give Clan factions and I.S. factions their own differences. For example, only Clan factions can produce Elementals. They also start out with slavery as a civic to represent their overall view of society. I.S. factions would have a boost to their industrial output, to reflect their backing from the core worlds. They also would be able to gain the emancipation civic whereas the clans would not. [Note: The names of the civics will also be changed to better fit the battletech mythos, though most of the ideas would remain the same.]

    Factions
    Republic of the Shpere
    House Kurita
    House Davion
    House Liao
    House Marik
    House Stiener
    Rasalhauge Dominion
    Raven Alliance
    Clan Wolf
    Clan Jade Falcon
    Clan Nova Cat
    Clan Hell's Horses
    Clan Sea Fox
    Clan Ghost Bear
    Word of Blake (filling the place of barbarians)


    [Note: Again, this is open to debate, as I'm sure some of these might be dropped for other factions, or more may be added for even more variety]

    Units
    When it comes to units, variety is the word of the day for mechs. Part of the enjoyment of battletech, for me atleast, was the customization of your mechs. I have a few ideas of how to go about this, most of them pretty generic. There was another thread here about unit customization that might prove useful to this. Units would range from vehicles like Savannah Attack Cruisers, and Mars Assault Tanks, to a wide range of mechs including all the classics and favorites. Many of these units, I can model given the time in 3D, but would gladly accept any assistance from fellow modelers. I'll will go into depth about what I would like to see regarding units in a later post.

    Tech Tree
    This is a big one, that will have to be completely reworked. One change I considered was to make special units their own tech discovery. For example, you discovered jumpjets, which may give you the ability to make Ghosts. But if you're wanting to make a Mad Cat with jumpjets, you'll have to commit the research time to it.

    Well, that's enough of my ramblings for now. I'll add more details later. I hope people like the ideas here, and would be willing to help me bring them to life. Thanks for reading. :)

    -- Jigs
     
  3. Mr. Will

    Mr. Will Mister

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    YIPPEE YIPPEE YIPPEE!

    I'm am DEFINITELY on board. I was really dissapointed that the Civ3 mod never finished.

    Right now I'm working on decoding AI variables in XML, so I'll throw all of my hopefully forthcoming AI support into this project.

    BTW, my brother(Spart) will hopefully be able to contribute graphically after SDK and a little practice.
     
  4. Mujadaddy

    Mujadaddy Geheim Grammar Polizei

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    clans....feh.... In *MY* day, we had Five Houses and we LIKED IT!!! /crochety
     
  5. Kissamies

    Kissamies Chieftain

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    Ah, Battletech. I haven't actively followed it -apart of reading novels- since mid nineties, but I always loved the universe. As I remember, the I.S. goverments should at least initially be sort of feudal systems. Constitutional monarchies with more or less democracy going on depending on the House. Clans have a very hierarchical caste system going on. The role of lower castes seems to be to keep the show running so that the warriors can fight their wars and have their trials. I guess that slavery wouldn't be far off considering how people are treated like property, but it's very "civilized" slavery IIRC. One civic that would really seems to fit the Clans is State Property.

    As for units, one could start with the classic light, medium, heavy, assault grouping for mechs spread out on tech levels like IS, Star League, Clans (and beyond?). As vehicles, there's the tracked, wheeled, hover, and VTOL units, some of which could be divided in lights and heavies. Then there's infantry: normal, motorized, jump, heavy, and elementals for Clans, though IS might be able to research theit own battlesuits later. Of course, there's also bunch of other stuff, like artillery (and artillery/long range mechs), fighters (conventional and aerospace), perhaps naval units and subs, and the space stuff, if that can be implemented. That's a lot of units to make.
     
  6. Zurai

    Zurai Chieftain

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    I'm very interested in the mod, but the only help I can offer is stuff that I'm already developing for my own (fantasy) mod. I can give you plenty of moral support and brainstorming though!
     
  7. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    It's not a bad idea, although I'm not really sure how well it'd work in practice. You pretty much never saw more than two factions on a planet at any given time, and wars on a given planet never lasted very long. So the "everyone on a pivotal planet" part just doesn't fit with the theme.

    What you COULD do is what the civ3 Star Trek-type mods did: use a space map, make each city be a key planet, and go from there. Effectively, it becomes sort of a MoO1-style strategic wargame. But that's probably not what you're looking for.
     
  8. Emperor Martyn

    Emperor Martyn Chieftain

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    I was hoping somebody would start a Battletech mod.:goodjob:

    There could be loads of different planet/maps with different factions fighting on them.

    I really like the space idea, but it is not suitable for a Battletech mod, most of it is based a ground warfare with loads of different types of tanks, 'mechs, aircarft, etc.
     
  9. Mr. Will

    Mr. Will Mister

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    I would hate to have a space type map for the ground warfare part of this game. Then we'd have to worry about jumpships, etc.

    It would be really cool, however, really hard, to make many maps. One main "strategic" space map, and when you land on planets it switches over to a small or medium sized planet map.

    If we could do that I'd love it, however, that's pretty intensive.
     
  10. joshjiggler

    joshjiggler Chieftain

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    Thanks for the support guys. I think this is a mod that could really develop into something quite interesting. I'll try and post a few more of my ideas for what I'd like to see later on today and see what you all think. But first, a few responses to your posts...:)


    Mujadaddy: Everyone loves the great houses, but the clans can definetly add a lot of flavor, especially if there is a major play difference between the two. (Not to mention, I've got to have my Ghost Bear so I can have Kodiak's wondering around tearing other mech's apart. :) )

    Kissames: You are correct in your assesment of the civics types. The civics types in cIV can work as they are, but since we'd be changing virtually everything else the civics are water in the bucket. What I wanted, was certain civics being open only to the I.S., and others only for the Clans. As for what those civics might be, can be worked out.
    As for units, I was planning to go into some loose unit planning in my post today. There is definetly a wealth of units that I'm sure a lot of people would like to see in the mod, and will take a little work balancing and getting set up. More on this later.

    Zurai: Brainstorming and moral support can be just as useful as the actual modding aspect. At this point in the development (I.E. Before the SDK) brainstorming is the most important aspect. I'm always open to new and fresh ideas.

    Spatzimaus: I know as far as cannon goes, you're right, there were hardly ever multi-faction wars for territory. However, what I was wanting to create was a mod that captured the true strategic battlefronts of Battletech, like Emperor Martyn suggested. Were we able to set it up more like MOO, where you could go into epic battles once you reached a planet that would be awesome. However, I don't know if that would even be possible. So while it may not fully fit the theme of Battletech, it may be the closest we can get. Of course a way around this, is to find a plot line that would have all the factions have a vested interest in this planet that none of them want to give up.

    Mr. Will: Welcome on board, man. Good to have someone willing to tackle AI. I'd also love any help I can get with grahpics, too, so be sure to send Spart this way. :) He, and anyone else interested in the graphics end, might want to check out this page. It has a lot of meshes already, but it's also got a great forum for Battletech 3D modellers. That's a little down the line, but if we can start making up some units now, we'll be better prepared when we go to start putting them in the mod.

    Again, thanks for the input and support guys. I'm really excited about this endeavor, but now I have to go and clean the house like I promised the missus. ;) I'll be back later today to go over some ideas I had unit wise and get your feedback on that front.

    -- Jigs
     
  11. Crossbowman

    Crossbowman Chieftain

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    That's a great idea becuse I still don't know if my mod should be in space or land. But that would be so difficult...
     
  12. Raize

    Raize Chieftain

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    Hey there. I'm actually planning one myself (I have been since the game came out). Right now I'm trying to work through the unit relationships (weaponry upgrades, promotion types, rock-scissors-paper relations). If you're curious, this was my approach:

    The game takes a naval perspective. The map is essentially the Inner Sphere, while cities = regional capitals and workable tiles = planets. I'd rather thake over the Inner Sphere than fight for a planet. :D

    All military units are encapsulated to the Battalion level (so each 'figure' on the unit could represent a company). Also, all the units are assumed to have their own built-in Dropships.

    Roads represent military Jumpship circuits. Otherwise, the units are assumed to take civilian jumpship routes (regular, non-roaded travel), or the player has to build a military Jumpship unit, which carries the units around.

    Factions I've Included (18):
    Draconis Combine
    Federated Suns
    Capellan Confederation
    Free Worlds League
    Lyran Alliance
    Free Rasalhague Republic
    Republic of the Sphere
    Comstar (1 Comstar leader, 1 WoB leader)

    Outworlds Alliance
    Marian Hedgemony
    Taurian Concordat
    Magistracy of Canopus

    Clan Wolf
    Clan Jade Falcon
    Clan Ghost Bear
    Clan Smoke Jaguar
    Clan Nova Cat
    Clan Steel Viper

    As for general unit types:
    Aerospace -> Warship, Jumpship, Fighter
    Mechs
    Armor
    Infantry -> Engineers, Foot, Mechanized, Jump, Battle Armor, Protomech
    Artillery
    VTOL
    Spec-Ops (aka Spy)

    After I get the relationships done I've gotta wait on the artwork. I'm sure someone will do a space tileset that I can... pirate... Anyway, we might consider working together?
     
  13. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Actually, that's not what I was thinking of. I was going with a more abstract system. Let's say the Lyran Commonwealth consists of 10 major planets, each of which controls the other planets within that region of their space (the 21-tile city footprint).
    A fight within the planet's radius represent a raid on the major planet; a light raider might pillage the non-planet "improvements", while an attack on the center tile is a full invasion to sieze control.

    Hesperus builds a Assault T4 Mech Regiment (12 strength, 3 move, +25% planet attack), joins it up with a Heavy T3 Tank Regiment (9 strength, 2 move, +25% planet defense), and moves them to attack Rasalhague, which is defended by a Medium T2 Militia Regiment (8 strength, 1 move, can't attack), a Light T3 Mech Regiment (6 strength, 3 move, +25% non-planet attack), and a Medium T3 Mech Regiment (8 strength, 3 move, +25% non-planet defense). After a few rounds (months) of combat, the attackers sieze control of the planet, although the residents won't be happy for a long time.

    Like I said, it's abstract; the movement ability isn't how fast the individual mechs are, it's how much effort it takes to transport them from planet to planet (1 for militia, 2 for tanks/infantry, 3 for Mechs or battlesuits). Icons represent full regiments or RCTs, not individual units. The "T" designations are tech levels; you've got pre-Mech, "classic" (early Star League, or Succession IS pre-3028), Star League (or IS from 3028-3050s), "modern" IS (SL + Omnis, MRMs, battlesuits, etc.), and Clantech. (You could differentiate it even further; Clantech might have a couple levels once you add ProtoMechs, and both IS and Clan could be modified once you get warships, which'd probably be like taking a civ Transport and adding big guns) And for modifiers, I just went assumed Lights were raiders, Mediums were anti-raiders, Heavies were anti-invaders, and Assaults were invaders. You could probably put more variety into it, of course, but I was just making an example.

    ---------

    The problem with the one-planet ground war concept is that while in the BT universe there WERE planets where more than two factions were fighting, it never took more than a couple years for one side to win, and the technology both sides were using never changed during the fight itself. Likewise, you never saw the attackers settle down and produce more Mechs on-site. There simply wasn't the sort of slow tech and infrastructure development that the Civ series requires. So that's why I was thinking on the more strategic level.
     
  14. Raize

    Raize Chieftain

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    Spatz your abstraction is 95% similar to the one I decided on. :goodjob:

    Though right now I'm trying to tackle the idea of tech levels. I want to be able to research individual techs, like Endosteel 1 (IS), Endosteel 2 (Clan), Advanced Heatsinks, etc... but is how do I translate this to the new unit itself.

    I was toying with the idea that EXP = Unit Experience + Loot/Tech so that players could "buy" EXP and use those in the form of tech upgrades (in the same manner as experience upgrades), it strikes me that having 15 icons next to a unit is kind of unfeasible.
     
  15. joshjiggler

    joshjiggler Chieftain

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    So the point we're at now, is the overall question of how to implement a Battletech mod. We have the camp of galactic conquest, and the camp of a planetary conflict. Both of which, IMHO, have their merits and are valid playstyles.

    Here's my suggestion. We all work in unison to make both, and we could publish it as a pack. That way, we can have standardization of units and buildings between the two games. I suggest this because, say one session I'm wanting to go all out galactic conquest, and the next I'm wanting planetary conquest. Between the two games, an Atlas is still an Atlas; Creches have the same effect in both games. It's a way to have both playstyles, and still have a common thread between the two. (Of course there would be diffrences unit wise, such as Raize & Spatzimaus's would need dropships, and movement rates would be different than on a planetary scale...)

    Given the option between the two, I would probably play both types at different occasions. Packaging the two mods together would allow this. Overall it would be the BattleTech mod, which would include BattleTech: Battle for Northwind (or some planet), and BattleTech: Reaches of the Sphere. (Titles just pulled out of my arse for example...)

    Again, though, for the cannonical argument, there's always the Dark Age reasoning. A new planet has been found rich in resources and Lost Tech. All the major factions send crews out to stake a claim, but then the breakup of the Hyperpulse Generator communications system leaves this planet isolated. Or perhaps there is something special about this planet that keeps the factions stuck on it, unable to leave and left to their own resources. No way in hell are they going to share the planet.

    What do you guys think?

    -- Jigs
     
  16. Raize

    Raize Chieftain

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    I like it. Even though the actual map focus & units will end up different, they'd have the same relationship and the leaders/civ traits and civics should be mostly the same.

    There's so much potential synergy there.
     
  17. Zurai

    Zurai Chieftain

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    I think that's an excellent idea. The only things that should really need to change are unit move values and the space units.
     
  18. Emperor Martyn

    Emperor Martyn Chieftain

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    I think we should forget the tech tree/civ building elements and concerate on fighting.

    I had some ideas about weapons and promotions.

    'Mechs:
    Light- have a large bonus in cities and hills
    Very weak
    large chance of withdrawing
    movement bonus in hills
    Medium- have a small bonus in cities and hills
    have a chance of withdrawing, but small than light
    movement bonus in hill, less than light
    Heavy- have a small disadvantage in cities and hills
    has a small chance of withdrawing
    Assault- Large disadvantage in cities and hills
    moves slower in hills

    Weapons:
    LRM- adds 1st strike
    collateral damage, depends on number of LRMS
    Long range weapons (ER Large Laser, UltraAC2, etc)- adds 1st strike
    Small short ranage weapons (machines guns, SRMs, etc)- bonus vs vehicles
    Laser weapons- Disadvantage in desert, more lasers more disadvantage

    Equipment:
    ECM- ignores 1st strikes
    adds to withdrawing chance
    BAP- +1 LOS
    Jump jets- extra movement in hills
    increase withdrawing chance

    Promotions:
    Experience- regular, veteren, elite, each one opens up more options.
    Piloting- increases withdraw chance, higher levels ignore 1st strike
    gunnery- increases strength, higher levels increases 1st strikes for 'mechs with long range weapons.

    The list is far from complete.

    Also I think the mod should be based on MW4, mainly because I have that game and it is great.:goodjob:
     
  19. joshjiggler

    joshjiggler Chieftain

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    Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, but I'm putting in a LOT of extra hours at work this week. As such, I probably wont be able to jump on the boards much at all for the rest of the week. I have been working on some ideas, and will share them as soon as I'm back. But before I log off, just a note...

    This can be handled in a scenario with a duel map, and cities maxed out with the tech and the goodies. No need to nix the tech and civ building. *shrug* That's just my opinion, though.
     
  20. zinj

    zinj Chieftain

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    I was thinking of this in my head...so when i did a yahoo search i was glad i found this =)

    i have no experience what so ever with modding buttt i can offer ideas and point of views along with a playtester!

    my view on the map style is one huge island map where each city is a major planet and industrial planets would have ore/iron/copper and planets known for trading would have silk and such within their city tiles. Or it maybe it can be a circle divded up by lakes/oceans to divide up the houses in their original format and to invade you would need transports (jumpships) and these jumpships can actually move on land since they were used to drop off mechs and such but only "spaceships" can travel on "ocean [space] tiles"

    Since each house has its own identity and mech technology they can be done thru civics and such. and maybe certain planets can build specific mechs? ie Northwind Highlanders can build their specific mech only on their planet and is not able to be researched?
     

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