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Civ4Tools - My stab at a Civ4 editor

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Utility Programs' started by austin316hockey, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    No, there isnt even one present in my mod I want to edit, but it might be 1.52 which causes trouble, as it adds a new gameplay-speed called Marathon.

    At least I am happy you have responded! ;) :goodjob:
     
  2. austin316hockey

    austin316hockey Chieftain

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    Aaaahhhh, now I know what the trouble might be. That's one of the new language updates, right? Since, as far as I know, there are no benefits for me to install that patch, I didn't. Maybe I better. Ok, thanks for the info.
     
  3. fw190a8

    fw190a8 Chieftain

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    Does anybody know if austin316hockey is still working on this project, and if so, what stage it is at now?
     
  4. Killamike718

    Killamike718 Proud Maya User

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    PLEASE CONTINUE THIS PROJECT!!! I BEG YOU!!! im no coder and have EXTREMELY little experience with any language but have like .001% knowledge in C and c++ from freinds and this program makes it easy for me to understand XML which I have never seen or used in my life. I BEG YOU PLEASE CONTINUE THIS PROJECT!!! austin316hockey YOU ARE MY HERO!
     
  5. J_Period

    J_Period gone :(

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    considering he hasn't been on civfanatics since Jan 7th....:(
     
  6. Ploeperpengel

    Ploeperpengel academic precarity

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    Funny to read this from you JP:(
     
  7. ir8

    ir8 Chieftain

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    OMFG when are we going to get a working xml editor???

    I hear about how moddable this game is, and see all these interesting mods for download, but there isn't even a tutorial that doesn't assume you know EVERYTHING already.

    All I want to do is:
    1. Download a custom unit.
    2. Choose the unit's stats.
    3. Make the unit usable by only one civ.
    4. Make the unit creatable in the game.

    After about 3 hours of searching, I have found 2 tutorials that are either misleading or extremely difficult to understand (for example, one calls the Assets0.xml file "Art0.xml" which had me searching in vain for about 20 minutes).

    This game is NOT as easily moddable as everyone claims. Only people who know everything about the game files (and who have experience programming) can accomplish anything with it, and the same can be said for hundreds of games before it.

    Before you call a game "easily moddable" you should get Neverwinter Nights and crack open the toolset. It has several wizards for editing, placing, and programming in-game objects. Entire worlds can be constructed and scripted by novices. If someone has created a custom graphic, all you have to do is unpack one resource file, stick the thing in it, and save. Voila, you have modded the game without having to rewrite a half dozen files by hand.
     
  8. Kael

    Kael Deity

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    There is no Art0.xml file as far as I know. Those sound like fpk file names, and Assets0.fpk would be correct name if that was the case.

    You are correct. I don't think anyone is claiming that Civ4 is easily moddable. What is amazing about Civ4 is how moddable it is, not how easily moddable.

    Yeah I have modded NWN too and you are right that it is much easier than Civ4. But I can't do nearly the same amount of things with NWN that I can with Civ4 (not to take anything away from the NWN guys, they did an incredible job and built an amazing game engine).

    An editor is a tool, like all tools it allows you to accomplish a specific task with less time/effort but it assumes certain requirements. A shovel, though better than your hands at digging holes, isnt very handy for opening a jar of pickles. So instead of giving an editor that could do specific tasks Firaxis spent their time making a game that was open for modding. A huge amount of xml settings, scriptable python hooks, and public release of source code for the community to read and modify to do what they want.

    The end result is I can do a lot more modding Civ4 than I can NWN, but it is harder to do. If you want an easy way to mod, this probably isn't the game engine for you. If you have an ambicious idea for a game and you want to do things that havent been done before then this is what you want.

    I have never programmed before starting to make a mod for Civ4 so I dont think its required (though it certainly helps).
     
  9. Kael

    Kael Deity

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    Seeing that ir8 spammed his request in several forums Im sad that I wasted the time to respond to it seriously. Someday I'll learn.
     
  10. Thorburne

    Thorburne Centurion

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    I'd say that I could easily open a jar of pickles with a shovel. Of course, the end result may not be what is expected, but the task would be complete, nonetheless? ;)

    Anyway, whether ir8 was spamming or not, I'd have to say that I'd agree with the fact that this is not an easy game to mod unless you have a masters in Computer Science and can translate Binary into English on the fly. While I understand that Firaxis has made the game mod friendly, expanding the possibilities of mods, they have left those of us who have trouble with the "hello world" programming lesson sitting on our thumbs either waiting for others to create an editor that we can work with, or play other people's mods while stuffing our ideas in a closet. And those that do have the capability are often undergoing the project on their own, leading to a long development time (at this rate, we may get a decent Civ 4 editor by the time Civilization 6 is released... 5 if we're lucky), or spend their time developing their own mods, which I do not blame them.

    Now, before anybody says that I should take the time and learn how to do it myself, (and stop being so lazy), allow me to retort. A long time ago, games were made by a small group of people, often one person. They handled everything from programming to level and character design to sound and music. Even then, they didn't really need much skill in anything but programming. However, as technologies advanced, so too did the skill levels in the various elements of the game become increasingly more demanding. Before long, teams would be needed to make a single game. Only the rare prodigies in everything were able to embark on making games by themselves. But, alas, few people are masters-of-all-trades!

    It was during the early years of games that I began to develop an interest in game creation. At the time, I thought that programming was the main avenue to game creation. (I later learned that programming is just the binding that holds all of the elements together, vital, but not the core of game creation.) I began to find books that would help me learn what I needed for my passion. Books like Game Design in 21 days and C++ Programming for Dummies became my bibles. Armed with a compiler and these books, I set out to begin my journey to success and the ultimate form of idea sharing through electronic entertainment. I progressed through these books by the chapter. However, it wasn't long before I hit a stumbling block that would cripple my dreams. The programs copied word for word and function for function from the book to the text editor in the game were not working. I would check and recheck and find that they were entered perfectly and all instructions were followed exactly. If I could not get these pre-written programs from a book to work, how could I ever get my own programs to work. My dreams were beginning to shatter!

    Then, the revolution I mentioned earlier hit me. Programming is not the core of a game, it is the binding. It is what holds all of the elements together so that they function the way that they are intended. This was not the avenue that I wanted to take. I am much more creative than technical. My path lead elsewhere.

    It was at this time that I discovered game editors. Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Civilization 3, even RPG Maker, had editors which allowed me to focus more on the creative side and worry less about the technical aspect, after all, that part was already dealt with by the developers. I could focus more on the story or the scenario than on the "if-than"s and "printf"s. I was able to explore my imagination without having to worry about technical migraines. I often found myself spending more time with the editors than actually playing the games. When I did play the games, it was more often testing what I have been working on. The only thing that would hold me back is my own short attention span and limited time. With these editors, I was able to make mods that, though nothing worth releasing, were appeasing to me.

    Now as the years pass by, I find myself with greater ambition. With the desire to create something that I can unleash onto the world. To my dismay, my dreams are becoming shattered once again. The editors are relying more on programming and scripts. While this is fine in that it widens the range of possibilities for user mods, it also cripples those with limited or no technical skills. The only possibility, is for the creative minds and the technical wizards to join together.

    However, I find that a difficult possibility myself. I can't prove myself with a release with the current mod without the technical side, which hinders my creative side. Now that I am free of the bind that has crippled my ability to create and network (The Navy), that possibility opens a little. However, I am perhaps a bit too old fashioned for this world. I realize that many basement developers communicate and coordinate with each other on projects through the same means that I record this... the Internet. Modern technologies have made this possible, often without the parties involved ever meeting each other face-to-face. But that is where I am old fashioned. I find that communication is better face-to-face. After all, that is the only true communication. Anyway, it's a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo, and I have already gone on long enough.

    In closing, I would like to say, first, that I have the deepest regards for Firaxis and this rant, essay, or whatever you would like to call it, is not intended as a slander or flame. I am not angry with Firaxis for forgetting those of us who need a little hand, I am merely frustrated! Too those of you (like austin316hockey) who are working vigorously on the tools that will aid us, I thank you and hold out hope that they will be delivered soon. Yes, I know that there several out there now for Civ 4, which are decent, but even the developers of these tools will admit that they are not complete (even if they are after version 1.x). Those utilities being made that are more complete are often focused on one thing, requiring several different ones to be used to get a working map. (I often found myself using one to layout the map, another to fine tune it, another to place units and such, and finally dig through the XML to find the elements that I need to edit for my own preferences. And the last step is for a very minor gameplay mod.) To those of you who are working on your own mods, Keep at it! Maybe you'll match my visions of the ultimate Civ experience one day and I will look forward to giving it a try. And lastly, to Firaxis, thank you for making Civilization and I pray, that if it's too late for you to make a working, user-friendly, editor for the rest of us "technically challenged" yet creative individuals, I pray that you will take us into consideration when preparing to release Civ 5. Think about adding a 5th component to the modding scheme that will allow us to make, at the very least, simple mods... steps to something bigger... to our ultimate civilizations!!!
     
  11. Ploeperpengel

    Ploeperpengel academic precarity

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  12. Thorburne

    Thorburne Centurion

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    Ploeperpengel - thanks for the link. I am definately going to read up on this and what I have seen so far looks promising. I am currently reading through the thread and it is starting to reinvigarate my Civ-craving.

    However, as I mentioned earlier, this is still in development and looks like a ways to go before even a strong beta will be available. I still have to finish reading through the thread in order to see how it is developing, but at only v0.1 after three months of development, it foretells of a long time before a fully functional version is released. That's not a knock on TheLopez, I think it looks great so far and he is doing a phenomenal job from what I've seen. I understand the commitments and sacrifices he is making for this project and I look forward to giving it a run.

    And not to take away from austin316hockey's efforts either. I truly do appreciate those of you out there who are doing your best to give a tool that the "rest of us" can use, especially when it takes time away from your own mods. Keep up the good work and I am sure that soon we will have what we need to get us going.
     
  13. Kaell

    Kaell Chieftain

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    you must have a hankering for Spore to be released to unleash that creative energy :)
     
  14. Thorburne

    Thorburne Centurion

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    Yes, I am definately interested in, and looking forward to, Spore!

    :)
     
  15. Lord Meire

    Lord Meire Chieftain

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    and here i was thinking it was original (look down, no not the floor!!), is this tool of yours going to be like the civ 3 editor, i got so good at that nearly gave me heart attack when they sacrificed it for the world builder?
     

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