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[BtS] New XML Modular Loading Standard

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Creation & Customization' started by TAfirehawk, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. TAfirehawk

    TAfirehawk WoC Team Manager

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    The World of Civilization Team (formerly ViSa Modpack Team) has developed a new and truly modular XML loading system that ANY Modder can use to be more compatible with other modules. Below is an update of our progress, please look at the info and the two XML files attached and let us know what you think.

    The WoC project is not so much a mod or module as a new extension of the idea of Modular XML Loading introduced in Warlords by Impaler and released in BtS by Firaxis. The WoC Team is not looking to add every modder on CFC, but we feel this new system can and should be adopted by all modders to make a better playing experience of BtS.


    Dear Friends,

    A lot has changed recently with the World of Civilization project and some truly amazing things for players and modders both are available now. The WoC is not about just a mod for BtS, it is a standard for modding that makes it much easier on the modder and the player to customize.

    Please read an update email from Mrgenie below and post questions/comments on the WoC Forum, http://worldofciv4.proboards57.com/index.cgi


    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    As you all know, we got busy quite a lot in our private lives, which accounts to the fact we didn't have a good start the first 2 months of WoC. We got a lot of interest from people, but lost their interests as they didn't see how things could work out with the total collaboration of modules/modifications.

    This was due to the fact that Firaxis didn't really make a true modular feature included. In fact, it was more a
    If the type( i.e. a UNIT_SEA_FOXTROT) is new, then we append it to the unit list.
    If the type (i.e. UNIT_SETTLER) we delete all original Firaxis XML information of this, and we load the UNIT_SETTLER settings from the new XML file in the mod.

    The APPEND of course works. but what happens when a unit, resource, building, civilization already exists? Exactly, it would mean any mod always has to know everything from all other modules/modifications ( XML files) which also leads to the conclusion, if you later add a new leader head to a civilization, ALL civilization XML's in ALL the Modules have to be updated...or else they get overwritten and only the last loaded module is active.

    The current Firaxis system in BtS isn't a Modular loading system, it's an APPEND else OVERWRITE system.

    A lot of people lost interests in the WoC project because of this fact(which indeed would have lead to problems sooner or later, rather sooner). We actually thought of closing the WoC down and doing a 'regular' mod but now things have changed.

    THE SOLUTION IS NOW HERE!!!!


    Impaler unfortunately got halted on development since he will be a working at Firaxis. We wish him good luck and hope he'll lead them to more success, especially to any future Civ5! Since I now know Impaler will be offline a lot, I've taken the task to develop a true modular loading mechanism, and I'll finish the control loading mechanism Impaler has started on as well. So, the WoC is now finally coming to the stage of TRUE MODULAR and MODULAR LOADING CONTROL!

    What we now need, is people to actually join either WoC or at least take care of Modules to include in WoC. Either SDK/Python/XML/Artists..

    I know many people lose interest in a project if nothing happens, which was the case for almost 2 months. It’s bad to start a thing and then don’t do anything, but now we have something functional to work with.
    Therefore we need someone to lead the whole team(will be TAFirehawk, he has good experience with that, taking care of the bug tracker, roadmap, etc) , someone to lead SDK development(which will be me I guess now Firaxis stole Impaler from us) and someone to lead Python development (hope to find someone who can do so)

    What I ask from all of you, if you are still interested, and I sincerely hope you are, to register(if you haven’t done so already) at: http://jabber.worldofcivilization.net:9090/plugins/registration/sign-up.jsp

    And use Jabber to communicate with us, ask what you can do, tell us what Modules/Modifications(or anything else) you have done already or plan to do in the WoC context.
    To login to the Jabber server is very simple, download Spark or PSI(Spark is preferable) point it at the servers address: jabber.worldofcivilization.net and use your login data(after you have registered at the link mentioned previously of course)

    Yours,
    Mrgenie (head SDK development, for now)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    You can find an example of the Ice Breaker module's unitinfos.xml posted in the WoC Forum. I think it really takes looking at the xml to understand how easy modding can become using the WoC format/standard.

    While the Jabber chat isn't required, it is an immediate way to reach us nearly 24 hours a day (since the WoC team covers countries all around the world). If chat isn't your thing, I still read every post on the WoC Forum, http://worldofciv4.proboards57.com/index.cgi , so each and every person can communicate with us.

    TAfirehawk (Manager)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. TAfirehawk

    TAfirehawk WoC Team Manager

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    Main World of Civilization Website

    http://www.worldofcivilization.com/


    Assets folder for viewing and downloading from the SourceForge.net SVN

    http://worldofciv.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/worldofciv/Assets/


    The Library on the SVN, where the directory structure that we propose to be standardized as well

    http://worldofciv.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/worldofciv/Library/


    The SDK on the SVN, where the New XML Modular code is...and you need the new schema files in Assets\Modules\EmptyModuleExample

    http://worldofciv.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/worldofciv/SDK/


    The World of Civilization Forum on CFC

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=276


    The World of Civilization Issue Tracker for bugs and suggestions

    http://woc.dreamhosters.com/bugtracker/bugtracker.htm
     
  3. CyberTyrant

    CyberTyrant Chieftain

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    Cool. Nice to see this project breathing new life again. Unfortunately, I won't be able to help much being a novice XML modder, but I'm definately looking forward to seeing how far you guys can take this. ;)
     
  4. TAfirehawk

    TAfirehawk WoC Team Manager

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    Well we need help of course, but mostly we need input from other modders and them to start using it.....then things are really Plug and Play :D

    In fact we are teaching XML as we go to new people so anybody and everybody can help.....even if it is just testing things.
     
  5. helpless_writer

    helpless_writer Chieftain

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    Well i have no experience with XML but i can still test... if that helps... I have already registered for the world of civilization site and have all the time in the world
     
  6. strategyonly

    strategyonly C2C Supreme Commander

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    You know definitely, i am in, "WORD."
     
  7. TAfirehawk

    TAfirehawk WoC Team Manager

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    Glad to hear the support....and I haven't even explained the details, although the two XML files show the 'nuts and bolts' of it.
     
  8. TAfirehawk

    TAfirehawk WoC Team Manager

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  9. Impaler[WrG]

    Impaler[WrG] Civ4:Col UI programmer

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    Its great to see file loading being taken up to a whole new level, I can see this becoming the preferred way to make alterations to existing contents, it also looks to save vast amounts of file space and processing time due to the tiny files. Keep up the good work guys.
     
  10. TAfirehawk

    TAfirehawk WoC Team Manager

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    And the THANKS goes to you :goodjob: , the original creator of this in Warlords :D
     
  11. TAfirehawk

    TAfirehawk WoC Team Manager

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    Fellow modders....I see people looking at those two XML files....lets hear your feedback :)
     
  12. TAfirehawk

    TAfirehawk WoC Team Manager

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    We have worked our way through a number of bugs and have one more major SDK feature to finish off and v1.00 will be ready. The SourceForge.net SVN is ready to play test before we officially release v1.00

    We use TortoiseSVN to access the repository, http://tortoisesvn.net/downloads

    The 'officially' working files are in http://worldofciv.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/worldofciv/Assets/

    That folder can be placed in your BtS/Mods folder (call the Mod WoC or World of Civilization, doesn't matter the name). You can pick and choose the modules you wish to play by moving files back and forth from the Modules folder and Unloaded Modules folder.
     
  13. NikNaks

    NikNaks Chieftain

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    I can see this being very useful for what I'm doing. Does the dll on the SVN have this code in? I'd really like to use it.
     
  14. TAfirehawk

    TAfirehawk WoC Team Manager

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    Yes it does....the Assets folder is fully playable....

    We want to add a couple more things and release this to the modders next week....it will be playable but v1.00 won't have the Player Chooser yet.
     
  15. ruffriders23

    ruffriders23 Chieftain

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    Is there a projection for full release?
     
  16. NikNaks

    NikNaks Chieftain

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    Cool! I'll add it in right away. Just wondering. Does this work with Civilizations (more specifically assigning leaders to civs)?
     
  17. TAfirehawk

    TAfirehawk WoC Team Manager

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    I am hoping another couple days or so to add things and then test....so next weekend or close.


    Well it looks like everything works, including new civs (we have 5 LH's, 1 UB, 2 UU's for Canada 100% modular). Although new items in BtS won't benefit as much as modifying old items with our new loading....but new items that you want to give players more choices, that is the main benefit :)
     
  18. ruffriders23

    ruffriders23 Chieftain

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    My main question is... will there be a pirate or barbarian civ? Pirates would be nice where they rule the seas. Black Beard or One Eyed Willie!
     
  19. TAfirehawk

    TAfirehawk WoC Team Manager

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    That depends on your fellow CFC folks.....this isn't a mod as much as it is a platform for all other mods to use to standardize to make things easier. And it will allow full control of the pieces and parts each individual player wants in a particular game.

    V1.00 is the foundation and all the goodies will come later as modders make their stuff following the WoC standard.
     
  20. bmarnz

    bmarnz Chieftain

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    There is a Pirate Civ module. Pirates
     

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