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Dennis Shirk confirms DLL is on its way

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Creation & Customization' started by Camikaze, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. markusbeutel

    markusbeutel NiGHTS

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    http://wiki.2kgames.com/civ5/index.php/Known_Limitations

    The wiki says that a future patch will include .dll support later this year or early next year...
     
  2. Xen

    Xen Magister

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    and then, my friends -civ V will actually become the game it was always supposed to be.
     
  3. CivWarGamer

    CivWarGamer Chieftain

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    Hopefully CiV6 will be designed to give more power to the common user without the need to alter the .dll

    I'll lobby for it when the time comes.
     
  4. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    And I will be on the exact opposite side of that argument, for one simple reason:

    It is generally very difficult to both make a game simple to modify, and still allow the capability for large-scale changes to the way the game plays. If there must be a trade between one or the other, I would always go for the capability for true changes.
     
  5. CivWarGamer

    CivWarGamer Chieftain

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    I would much prefer to see what thousands of players can come up with if they are given bigger and better tools, as opposed to a small elitist group. They can still have their DLL thingy majig, I'm not against that.

    By the way, the ability to code well does not translate into the ability to design a great game as we've all seen with literally hundreds of titles over the years that just purely flopped. Great coders almost never create great games. Most of their games are horrible.

    Giving war gamers, those who actually dedicate themselves to playing massive hours upon hours of mastering war games but most likely don't know how to code, those are the ones I want to see what they can create. I'm 100% certain the results would far outshine anything that a coder can come up with as long as the tools are powerful enough to allow the common user to create what he wants.

    Ideally, what I would REALLY like to see is a full retail game designed by avid WAR GAMERS and coded by coders. Let war gamers contribute their expertise, and let the coders do what they do best.

    Basically, I have little to no confidence in coders since I've seen hundreds upon hundreds of terribly designed games over the years. They have let us down time and time again. Occasionally a rare creation will slip through but it's less than 1%.
     
  6. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    But that's exactly the issue; Making things simple to modify also makes it difficult to allow in-depth modifications.

    Take a GUI (Graphical User Interface) modding approach; It would make it VERY simple to tweak xml values, and do things such as change unit stats or add new promotions/civs/units/etc. On the other hand, it either precludes in-depth mods (If you add new capabilities to units, for example, it breaks the GUI as that new tag doesn't exist in it) or the GUI itself must ALSO be moddable... Meaning more development time, and more money. The standard choice there would be to simply allow for the creation of simple mods, and cut off the large ones.

    I would always prefer to see new MECHANICS, new game features to play with, than I would endless varieties of civs that differ in very minute ways from one another. Given that, if anything threatens the ability to add those new mechanics, I'm against it. It has nothing whatsoever to do with elitism; In fact, if you ask on the forums how to do something you almost always get a quick response. Hell, between experimenting on my own and asking questions on the forums I learned python and C++. :lol:


    Since this was posted after I replied, gonna edit my response in.

    Again, simple tools almost always preclude the addition of new mechanics, and new mechanics are NEVER simple (IE, easily done with no clue of what you are doing) to add.

    Scenarios in Civ5 are quite simple to do (take an hour or so to familiarize yourself with how it works, and then go to town), so if that's the kind of thing you are referring to it is already near as simple as they can make it. It can only become simpler at the expense of true modding (IE, anything that adds new mechanics, rather than new content, at least in my own personal definition), so that is extremely undesirable IMO.


    A healthy modding community needs both sides; Those who want to take what exists and make a fun game, and those who want to push the limits of what exists and make a fun mechanic. Without the first, mods are uninteresting. Without the second, the game has a short lifespan and never develops any truly interesting mods (such as Fall from Heaven, Dune Wars, etc).
     
  7. CivWarGamer

    CivWarGamer Chieftain

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    You speak from a coder's point of view, and I speak from a war gamer's point of view. We will agree to disagree. The only difference between the two of us is I want for you to have what you want, but interestingly enough you seek to deny the war gaming community what I would want. We have to wonder why.

    As far as I am concerned, coders have had their chance with 30 years of terrible atrocious creations. Stick with coding, let us design the freaking games.
     
  8. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    ....Did you read anything I wrote? :lol:

    Like I said, you need both sides of the community. My point is quite simply this: The capabilities need to be balanced between the deep code (DLL) and the surface code (xml modifications, scenarios, etc). The current setup is nearly as balanced as it can be; Mods are simple to make, doable in less than 10 minutes for truly simple additions like a new unit, but will (once DLL access comes) be capable of handling new mechanics galore. Any simpler, and you may have a lowered entry bar for scenarios and new civs, but you run a heavy risk of impeding, or even negating, deep code access.

    Take civ3 as an example; It actually had a GUI modding interface, and was simple to work with. It did not, however, have DLL access... Because such access would break the GUI.

    Developers must perform a balancing act, and the ease of access you want threatens to tip the balance too far to one side, eliminating the other. THIS is what I object to. In the same way, I would object to moving all game data into the DLL, completely cutting off the scenarios/content addition from non-coders.

    All that said, a good designer must not only know what is fun, but what is possible. IE, what can be done without horrendous lag... What can be taught to the AI... What can be done over a network for stable multiplayer. If you have no basis in this, you almost always end up with a buggy, unplayable game... No matter how incredible the ideas behind it may be. Again, it is a balancing act, and both sides are needed. ;)
     
  9. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    I didn't see this thread before. Interesting that it's been near to being released for a few months.

    As Solver pointed out in another thread, going by the age of that wiki (it was created in 2010), it was actually indicating the dll source would be available late 2010 or early 2011. That info is significantly more out of date than Shirk's post in this thread which appears to be the most recent info on the dll.
     
  10. Breez

    Breez Chieftain

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    I read this thread and got excited.... :(

    Is anyone on the beta team or with Firxas allowed to mention if it might still be this year?
     
  11. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    If it was possible for someone without programming experience to pick up tools and create a great game, there'd be a lot more top rate games out there. Until we have some really deep natural language processing, game programming will require technical knowledge... it's unavoidable due to the nature of software design.
     
  12. Solver

    Solver Civ4/5 beta tester

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    You won't ever be getting info from the playtest / beta team. Simply put, it's forbidden to say anything that isn't already public knowledge, without special express permission to do so.
     
  13. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    While I'd like to see the DLL released, it's actually interesting to see how much people can do without it. Later tonight, gods willing, I'll be posting v0.01 of my Mythology mod over in my Project forum. I'm continually surprised by how much we can do through the existing Lua functionality; it's one thing to add hundreds of buildings, units, etc. to the game, but you can use Lua to add all sorts of strange unit abilities: a Hydra or a Scyllae will grow heads (gain a free promotion) when they kill enemies; Rakshasas gain promotions from whatever units they fight; Valkyries heal the units around them whenever they attack, but the more units that get healed the weaker their attack is; when a Zombie kills another unit, there's a chance of the killed unit becoming a Zombie themselves (and Vampires get that ability as well, but the chance of spawning depends on the relative strengths, so Zombies have a higher chance); Dryads and Treants can plant forests and jungles. Or Building effects: temples to a god of Balance will raise Food, Production, Gold and Research depending on demand; whichever is lowest gets the largest boost, whichever is highest gets the least. Higher-level temples to a god of Healing will heal friendly units near your cities, temples to a god of Darkness will reduce the visibility and range of enemy units near your cities, temples to a god of Travel will make your units move faster when within your territory, and temples to a god of Storms damage enemy units near your cities (or near Tiamat, the high-level one-of-a-kind unit available to Storm gods).

    Okay, fine, this was an advertisement for my soon-to-be-released mod, as I'll need some folks to test its balance and give feedback; the Project forums don't get as much random traffic as the main Modpacks area, and these forums in general are getting a lot less traffic than they used to. But it's still a pretty good example of how much we can do without the DLL, hence my bringing it up.

    Yeah, that's the part that I think people are being unrealistic about. They hear "anything's possible with the DLL", then they're handed this massive block of C++ source code. How many months do you think it'll take before even the hardcore modders have any idea where to START making the changes they want? If Civilization was a small enough program for outsiders to easily dive into, we wouldn't be here.

    The way I see it, at first a few good programmers will go into it and figure out where certain obvious stubs can be placed, and will be able to create a community library mod that adds all the stubs they've figured out into a simple XML format anyone can use. That is, you see a Building table that gives boosts for the presence of certain local resources, and you think "hey, we should add a table that lets Buildings give boosts for the presence of certain local Improvements as well!". Or they'll spot the little bit of logic that keeps buildings from recognizing negative Happiness values, and remove that limit. Or they'll figure out a way to raise the current limit on number of Promotions. Simple things like that, which the rest of the community can use to improve our own mods without actually delving into the DLL ourselves. (Sort of like how the Building Resources and Custom Notification mods allowed us modders to do things with our own content mods that weren't possible in the original XML.)

    Then, in six months or so you'll start to see the first real "rule change" mods, ones that significantly change how the engine works (like FfH). I'm planning out a DLL-using mod overhauling diplomacy and espionage, for instance, but I'm not expecting it to be functionally complete for a long time.
     
  14. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Chieftain

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    @Spatzimaus,

    Your efforts certainly deserve the advertisement. Gods willing, lets all hope Age of Mythology gets out this week.
     
  15. PawelS

    PawelS Ancient Druid

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    Sounds intriguing, do you have models for all these units?
     
  16. Alzara

    Alzara Chieftain

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    Pretty awesome sounding :)

    Al
     
  17. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Yeah, Lua can already do a lot. Sadly, it can't do EVERYTHING (no adding civs on command... grr.), but quite a bit.

    If I were really motivated, I'd probably come out with a CulturalControl modcomp allowing forts to put out culture (and moving culture bomb to GG from GA, a territorial grab strikes me as military), but I have other priorities. :p
     
  18. human machine

    human machine Chieftain

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    yeah if it could do JUST A LITTLE bit more
    like if there was a way to add event triggers without the DLL
    it would be nice to have a combat trigger that isn't ignored in strategic view
     
  19. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Chieftain

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    Actually, you can add a civ (well, sort of). In my mod, Civs start nameless ("A tribe of Men", "A tribe of Orcs", etc.) and gain a name w/ associated trait after about 10-30 turns, depending on their actions, discoveries, surrounding geography, etc. Then they gain additional traits later on, again depending on actions, etc. Even leaders come and go. The trick to this is:

    1. You have a great DB system. It's not too hard to build your own "Civ" or "Trait" or "Leader" table (apart from the existing one) and tie these to hidden techs, policies, Lua scripts or whatever to have the effects you want.
    2. Unlike Civ4 modding, your non-dll scripting language can easily remember stuff (like "Who am I?" "What am I doing now?"; this is huge for adding AI function).
    3. You have almost total control of UI. You can show the player whatever you want. Who cares that the "engine" thinks there are only 3 civs or you have a particular leader. Change the text and show the player a new picture, and they will be quite sure that they are talking to a different civ or a new leader.

    Now, I admit that this is a bit kludgy. In particular, it doesn't tie in to the current flavor AI (I do a lot of Lua overriding to get the desired AI behavior). I'll be happy when someone (probably not me) does the dll programming to do leader changes so I can dump my kludge. However, my point is that some of the hard stuff can be done without dll if you have a particular need, and it isn't necessarily going to be easy with the dll.

    Also, don't expect ffh caliber mods to appear suddenly with the dll. That one started without dll and evolved over a heck of a long time after (and perhaps just as importantly, it was brewing in one form or another for many years before it was a Civ4 mod).

    [Edit: the last parts were sort of general comment. Certainly not directed at Valkrionn.]
     
  20. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Well, by "add a civ" I really meant "add a player on the fly", like would be required for Revolutions or for summonable civs.
     

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