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Civilization 5 Modding Dead.

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Creation & Customization' started by Afforess, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Afforess

    Afforess The White Wizard

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    Civilization 5 Modding is dead. In fact, it was stillborn - never alive to begin with, only a facsimile of life.

    Why It's Dead:

    1. No Multiplayer Mods.
    2. No Support for modders from Civ5 Dev Team (Each Patch has crippled modding more)
    3. No DLL Access (Civ4 had the DLL source code at this stage already. It's APRIL folks!)
    4. Extremely Limited LUA
      • No I/O (read/writing files) Access
        • I can not how emphasize how huge this is, without I/O mods can not use custom config files. I/O is like programming 101.
        • A couple modders suggested No I/O access was a good thing, for safety. If you can't trust modders, who can you trust?
      • No modifying SQL databases in game
      • Barely any useful events
      • No way to save data (It took 2 months before modders hacked together a solution)
      • Poor Lua support in Modbuddy
    5. Confusing XML littered with dead XML fields
    6. Hardcoded Leaders, Resources, Techs
    7. Impossible to make building graphics
    8. No Artwork support
    9. No Access to critical features, Like AI


    Anecdotal Evidence:
    • Despite Modbuddy giving my mods much more exposure for Civilization 5, and a massive install-base, my Civ4 RAND downloads/day far outpaces Civ5 mod downloads. I'm still getting 100 downloads a day.
    • The Civ4 C&C forums have 2-3x users browsing than the Civ5 C&C forums.


    But don't take my word for it, look at how bare the forums here are. In another 6 months, they are going to be pretty much empty. Civ4 modding, on the other hand, is still going strong.


    (Note: Before you flame me, I had the highest hopes for Civ5.)
     
  2. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    While I agree things aren't as good as they were at this point for Civ 4, it's far from dead. There's a ton of stuff we can do with the tools available. I've always got dozens of things on my todo list and never enough time to do it all! :crazyeye:

    Site traffic on the site has been going up over time:




    Update: Civ 5 modding is still going strong three months later. :)

     

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  3. rezaf

    rezaf Warlord

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    I really think the lack of access to graphics is the killer.
    I loathed Civ3 from early on, but still had it installed for a long time because I downloaded and played mods and scenarios with lots of new things to see, mainly new units and buildings.
    I kinda fear what you wrote in my poll thread from a few months back is right - everything graphics might remain closed. And by now, chances are the SDK release won't happen either. I'd not be surprised.

    And I really don't get the strategy. I mean, at least they could have hired/contracted a few dozen modders and thus release a new Civ every month, a new unit and/or building every week, new scenarios, total conversions etc.
    There still are a LOT of people playing Civ5 (just big parts of the previous core civ fanbase have been alienated) and they could be nickled and dimed without end - a dollar for a unit or building, $5 for a civ, $10 for a conversion, with some kinds of subscription/package deals ... $$$ folks.
    Instead they release like a civ quarter-yearly ...
    _____
    rezaf
     
  4. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    As if we needed ANOTHER thread like this. But a few things deserve special comment.

    When, exactly did the Civ4 DLL source code get released to the public? Are you sure it was within six months of release? I was under the impression that it was considerably later than that before the FULL toolkit was out.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy with the Civ5 post-release support. Two huge patches, each of which broke most pre-existing mods, with nothing in between. Many bugs (not unimplemented features, but actual "not working as intended" bugs) that still haven't been fixed. A game whose balance is still hopelessly out of whack without major rebalancing in mods. And DLC is a whole other discussion. Then there's documentation. When your only source for information on what various functions do is a horribly incomplete Wiki, and most questions about argument lists are resolved by asking other modders, then there's a major failure involved.

    The existing Civ5 setup might be FAR more capable than we're currently taking advantage of, but we'll never know if none of it is documented. For instance, it's now been a couple months since the GameEvents system was implemented, and most of us don't have a CLUE what it actually can be used for. The Events page lists a couple hundred different Lua events to trigger off of, and yet it seems like the only ones anyone ever uses are the StartTurn, EndTurn, and various Serial events. And the most complete explanation of how to mod is a PDF tutorial made when the game was released, many parts of which are now out of date.

    I'd hope that you were joking here, but obviously you're not based on your comments in the previous thread. Here, I'll rewrite it for you:
    "If you can't the future of your commercial product to people on the Internet you've never met, who can you trust?"
    Modders are not some inherently noble group. They're people trying to make some additional fun out of a game, and "fun" means different things to different people, sometimes malicious. Allowing unfettered access to a user's machine is a BAD idea, no matter how many disclaimers you stick on the Mods menu.

    Inputs are fine as long as they're HEAVILY sanitized. Basically, like the XML is now; the game parses a formatted text file into a more machine-usable language before doing anything with it. Given that, I'd love to see some sort of standardized data file format implemented by the devs, allowing us to save and load variables across a wider variety of situations. But that's NOT the same as open I/O access.

    (Incidentally, remember how SaveData and LoadData were removed in the December patch before being restored in a hotfix? The devs' stated logic at the time was that they were in the process of implementing a superior system and so didn't think it was necessary to keep those functions around anymore. So where's that superior system? If it's in place, already, then we probably don't NEED that kind of I/O.)

    I'd personally just be happy with being able to edit more of the things we DO have access to right now. Like gaining the ability to add new sound and art assets without jumping through a ton of hoops or replacing vanilla assets. Or a few simple utility Lua functions, like "redraw the map" or "play this movie file", that can be easily triggered in any existing function.

    Maybe so, but I think you've got a very unrealistic expectation of where the game should be by now, and I also think you (and many other Civ4 enthusiasts) remember the early days of Civ4 modding a bit... differently. I remember, at the time, how singularly unimpressed I was with most of what was being posted to the modding forums on this site, how it wasn't until at least a year after release that the truly good mods and components started appearing.

    So I'm not ready to write an obituary for Civ5 yet; in my view, the critical point is going to be whenever the first true (non-DLC) expansion is released. That's the point where a lot of people who played the game when it first released but then stopped out of boredom will come back and see what's been done in the interim. If the mods are complete enough at that point, then all will be well with the world, but if we're still hacking together minor XML tweaks and a few new civilizations here and there, then yes, I'd agree.
     
  5. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

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    From 1 to 9... i'm patient enough for a few more documented principles.
    If not, i'll figure it all out by myself eventually.
    I could whip up the skin and i'm on the edge of a standalone HOF_DB.
    As for modeling, RadTools owns the Granny file extensions and from i got through eMails - they'll tackle up the Licensee until they reveal the format.
    And, if GameSpy struck the ModBuddy applet right back where it was (and supposed to be all along) on my demand - i don't see why Firaxis Devs shouldn't provide us with the same courtesy.

    Unless you're speaking of popularity to which i can only say this; Civ2 is currently uninstalled from a decent Win7HP, dual core instead of a Pentium or less with gigs of Ram to spare.

    The only thing dead here is the past.
     
  6. dudeSDCA

    dudeSDCA Prince

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    I stopped playing Civ V -- despite the graphics, single-thread, ram issues, etc. with Civ IV, I always found myself coming back to play. The game is interesting and engaging.

    CIV V well, it's like dating someone really attractive but really dumb. You can have fun for a bit, but after a while, you end up wanting something more substantive...
     
  7. Psyringe

    Psyringe Scout

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    I stumbled across this thread by accident and noticed some false information that I'd like to correct. I wonder why this false information keeps cropping up since quick checks in Wikipedia or CFC forum search would yield the correct info within seconds, but well ...

    Civ4 was released in October/November 2005. The devkit was released mid-April 2006, i.e. 5.5 months later. Civ5 was released in the second half of September 2010. That's already close to 7 months and I highly doubt that we'll see the devkit in the next 12 days (at which point the 8th month will begin). Your impression that the toolkit was released "considerably later" is not supported by these dates.

    Also, note that Soren Johnson said in an Interview that the main reason for the delay of the Civ4 devkit was the fact that the publisher had never done such a thing before. One could expect that that delay would have been shorter for Civ5 since Soren/Civ4 had already broken ice. Why it's taking longer except is left to speculation, what's not debatable is that it _is_ taking longer.

    That's interesting. I haven't followed Civ5 modding (didn't buy the game), but I clearly remember the question of mod-breaking patches coming up during the discussions about Steam (and its mandatory patching process). When people predicted broken mods due to Steam's auto-patching, 2kGreg rejected these predictions as "jumping to conclusions" and called backwards-compatibility of patches a "priority". Humm. Well, I guess this has been discussed already when the patches turned out to indeed did break mods.

    I'm not sure what constitutes a "truly good mod" in your eyes, but 7 months after the release of Civ4, we had Total Realism going strong already, Sevo's popular aggregation mod was at v3.x (see this post for a list of features in Sevomod 2.3, or look for a 3.0 readme (I couldn't find one, but didn't search thoroughly), Amra's popular mod pack was at v1.80 (see this post for a list of features and included mods), Civ Gold was at version 2.0 IIRC and added 23 civs, etc. Are you certain that none of these mods or its components were truly good? Or is the memory of a the "Civ4 enthusiasts" perhaps closer to the truth than you thought?

    Please note: I can't tell whether "Civ5 modding is dead" because I don't follow it, I don't even have the game. But I _can_ tell the state that Civ4 modding was in half a year after the game's release, and I think we had some pretty good mods back then already, and not just a few.
     
  8. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

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    Sooooo Psyringe, what did you *really* expect from yet another measuring contest between Civ4 & Civ5 (which i played as well with Spatzimaus' Omega-Centauri)?
    A time machine that would somehow put both into the same bandwidth'ed (cough-hardware-cough) perspective?
    Hexes and Leader screens without Corporations, Espionage, Religions & Wonder movies or...
    a properly updated list of active Modders? Click LeoPaRd, have a quick look.

    Dawn here, Zenith will burn everyone (including Broken Mods as often as needed!) and - thanks to real-time rationality - Sun sets to the west. Daily.
     
  9. Lachlan

    Lachlan Great Builder of Civs !

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    The solution to this state of facts would be developing an integrated editor by Firaxis...

    Because i remember Civ 2 with Fantastic Worlds add-on, it was an editor integrated in game where you could do all you want in the limits of memory...

    Yes, today we have some tools in Civ 5 for create, but it would be really nice if an editor was included in game and not as separated tools...
     
  10. Psyringe

    Psyringe Scout

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    I have no idea what you mean, could you please elaborate? If you re-read my post, you'll notice that a measuring contest wasn't even my point - my point was to correct some false information about Civ4. Actually I didn't even make any comparisons between Civ4 and Civ5 except comparing the delay of the respective devkit release in the second paragraph of my post, and I did this only because the previous poster had made this comparison himself and assumed an incorrect result. Please explain what you mean and what you're asking me, otherwise I don't see how I could answer.

    For the rest of your post - Omega-Centauri? Time machine? Bandwidthed perspective? Click Leopard? I'm sorry, but even after re-reading your post several times I don't have the slightest idea what you could possibly mean. It's as if your post was in cypher. Unfortunately I don't have the key to decrypt it.
     
  11. rezaf

    rezaf Warlord

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    Don't feel bad Psyringe, it appears Zyxpsilon is some kind of spambot.
    His last two posts remind me of the semi-random texts that are added to spam mails trying to circumvent their filtering logic.

    For the record, I DO realize Zyxpsilon isn't actually a spambot, but I have great trouble figuring out the meaning of what he posts. Err ... Zyxpsilon, maybe you can post that again, but this time in english? :p
    _____
    rezaf

    Moderator Action: Please do not insult other members.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  12. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Super Moderator

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    auto-patching has it's drawback, yes, but on the other side I've noted that most of the bugs report for YnAEMP mod came from unpatched version of the game... So I guess patching is in fact not mandatory, and I now have to warn people to update their game before using my mod...

    btw the mod-breaking patchs is not civ5 specific, that was what has stopped me to release new versions of my mods for civ4 at the time, I decided to stick to a version that was stable enough for myself and made only private version from there, keeping myself from the trouble to rewrite some big portions of code...

    to my opinion, I don't see the point to release the c++ SDK now if each future patch rewrite too many parts of the dll.

    because, yes, it's late, that's a fact, but Civ5 was released in a much more unfinished state that was civ4, so that's not a surprise to see the SDK delayed.

    and if only the actually released SDK parts were working correctly, we'll have a lot more mods available right now, but even in it's current state there's a lot of things we can already do.
     
  13. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    The only reason you don't have any idea is because you're apparently new enough to this forum to not understand the context, or you're one of the many people who simply hasn't been active on these boards for months. It's really not that hard, since he's just referring to a couple of existing mods.

    His "Omega-Centauri" comment was a reference to my Alpha Centauri mod, which actually takes place on Earth and not on Alpha Centauri (so I'll eventually come up with a better name). So his statement basically translates as "yes, I DO play Civ5, often with that mod, so I'm not one of these people who'll criticize a game they've never bought/played".

    "Click LeoPaRd" means "Click on the link right there in the sig that says "LeoPaRd"". It's a mod he made that, among other things, keeps track of achievements and such in the more popular content mods (note that using any mods normally disables achievements). By that mod's nature, it has to keep fairly up-to-date on which mods are out there and actively being supported. So if you want a pretty good list about what major mods are out there currently, it's not a bad place to look. (Also a good place: go to the Modpacks forum.)
     
  14. Alzara

    Alzara Emperor

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    Well the game hasn't been out for a year even...

    I'm hoping more will be provided over time :)

    Al
     
  15. Hyronymus

    Hyronymus Troop leader

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    I don't consider the modding dead. I think people have been spoiled by the richess the Civ4 mods have brought us in the past.

    And though possibly there were very good mods in Civ4 earlier than in Civ5 I don't think that is a yardstick too. Civ4 had XML and python, Civ5 has XML and lua. While powerful I never thought lua to be a widespread coding language, can it be that this is part of the 'problem'?
     
  16. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

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    Why else do you (AND not anyone else in this thread) think i'm still in "Wait" mode for much of what i'm currently working on?
    To discover some extra functions or SDK components, maybe?
    Focused approach to modding leads to results.
    For everything else, there's trial & error. Me - silly isn't it? - don't code SQL/LUA/XML that way. Never did and never will.
     
  17. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

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    Thank you, just saved a whopping 4+ minutes of my precious "thinking & careful wording design" time. :lol:
     
  18. MouseyPounds

    MouseyPounds Prince

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    What you would put in a custom config file that you can't put into a ModUserData database? I understand that the lack of I/O access does limit mods in some ways, but configuration seems to me to be something that doesn't require I/O as there are other options available.
     
  19. Flay

    Flay Prince

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    Dead.
     
  20. Kruelgor

    Kruelgor Emperor

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    I have to admit, it does seem a bit dead, but if we try hard enough we can reinvigorate it. I know I'm trying with my Roman scenario, and hopefully I'll have version 1.0 out by Sunday night.
     

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