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Does anyone else want to make a fantasy mod

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Creation & Customization' started by Uty, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. Uty

    Uty I hate you, Milkman Dan

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    I always thought the Civilization fantasy mods were awesome and I'd like to throw together something similar for the new one. This will be a pretty big undertaking. (I think the dude who threw together the Warhammer mod said it took him two years.)

    The Modding Guide by Dave Kent notes that it's best to team up. And I've have to agree. A good fantasy mod would need good art, and my best stuff looks like it came out of a litter box. For what it's worth, here's what I can contribute: code. I've been a professional coder for going on five years. I have never touched python. Since I know perl I figure I can pick python up reasonably well. I've done a good deal of C++ coding so once the SDK is out I will be able to do interesting things with it. My writing is average. I could contribute some good conceptual ideas as well. (Unit/faction/event/technology/resource ideas.)

    Who else is interested? What are your ideas and how can you contribute to a project?
     
  2. Jürgen Hubert

    Jürgen Hubert Chieftain

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    Definitely - as I have pointed out in this thread, I hope to create a fantasy mod for the fantasy world I am developing for a role-playing game.

    At some point in the past it was a rather stereotypical fantasy world, but at the present time it has evolved beyond that into something more resembling the Victorian Age, complete with a magical industrial revolution. It has also the advantage that the "rules of magic" are pretty well known, since they correspond to the rules of the Dungeons & Dragons game - so it ought to be easy to extract ideas for tech, improvements, units, and even "wandering monsters" from the game...

    I might be of some help with the coding, though I could probably write much of the unit and tech descriptions and come up with an alternative tech tree. I still need to get the game first, though... ;)

    The biggest problem for a fantasy mod is probably going to be the unit and terrain graphics - these require special skills and lots of work.
     
  3. teccuk

    teccuk Lurker Extrordinaire

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    Hell yes :)

    But we're talking serious amounts of work, and as Jurgen points out the difficulty will be in the graphics and terrain, even i can learn XML and do the civilopedia entries and so on, but the graphics is a different matter :( .
     
  4. Uty

    Uty I hate you, Milkman Dan

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    Jurgen, your idea is interesting. I was thinking of something that starts out in primitive times with civilizations eventually researching magic. Although having Civs start with that and having them able to research Victorian era technology does sound interesting.

    And I agree, the hardest part will be the graphics. Although out there I bet there is someone who is thinking "I'd love to make a fantasy mod and I can do the gfx, the hardest part would be the code"

    There are some other important considerations as well. For example whether you want to offer different tech trees for different civs. In one scenario Elves and Dwarves and Goblins might have different types of units and different types of technologies with some "common" ones that can be traded. In theory it's possible to write code for that, I think it depends on the SDK.

    I also had a fun idea for a Wonder .. not sure what I will call it yet .. but to build it you will need to have some kind of magic technology advance .. horses .. and some other resource. Perhaps something like a "transmutation stone." Anyway, once you build it, the wonder will create Centaur Warriors every five turns similar to the Statue of Zues
     
  5. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    It cuts both ways. I'm sure many of the people who made units for Civ3 used 3D software in the first place, so re-creating some of them for Civ4 shouldn't be too difficult. On the other hand, many units got passed around so much that the original creator might not be in this community any more.

    As for coding, most of the "fantasy" Civ3 mods I've seen were just core gameplay mixed in different ways. The improvements and wonders were the same effects as the core game had, just in different buildings. You could do the same for most of it, which means very little coding would actually be needed.

    To me, then, the biggest problems would be:
    > Graphical issues that didn't exist in Civ3. For instance, if you want to add a new resource, it needs new animations for both the resource itself and any improvements that can be build on it.
    > Coding issues for Civ4's new features. For instance, if you add a new terrain type, you should re-assess the various Promotions; should Woodsman II give defense and movement bonuses to Ancient Forest tiles?
    > Coding issues for anything new you want to add. Teleporting units? Psychic combat? "Religions" that actually have bonuses? New civics?
    > Wonder movies and Leonard Nimoy's voiceovers. Do you toss them entirely, or try to make your own versions?
     
  6. Jürgen Hubert

    Jürgen Hubert Chieftain

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    The "iconic tech" of Urbis is the Nexus Tower - essentially, a city improvement that takes a small amount of life force from the inhabitants of a city and converts it into magical energies that can be harnessed to either create magic items or create large-scale magical effects centered on a city.

    In the former case, it allows you to mass-produce magic items - golems to draw your railways, fireball wands for your combat wizards, enchanted weapons to combat supernatural entities, and much, much more. In the latter case, it allows you to create some mighty defensive magics or other magical features (ultra-large plant growth spells are really popular, since they drastically increase agricultural output).

    What's more, you can regulate just how much life energy you want to draw from the inhabitants. In Civ terms, that means that if you build Nexus Towers in your cities, you have an additional controller depending on how much magical energy you want. If you want lots, you get high production bonuses - but large penalties to your Health score.

    And having a Nexus Tower means that you can produce all sorts of neat stuff - but what you can use precisely depends on the tech you have researched...
     
  7. Corvuz

    Corvuz Chieftain

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    Hell yeah, I expect I will start modding as when my first couple of regular games are over. I expect to do a modification based upon George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. I think Civilization 4 would be a good game for this compared to some of the other games I have modded (Age of Wonders: Shadow magic, Crusader Kings and Hearts of Iron 2). Unfortunately I cannot do C# nor advanced graphics so any help with these things would be appreciated if someone has the skills, interest and time for it. I am also willing to work on other fantasy mods.
     
  8. Feet

    Feet Warlord

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    I intend to create atleast a scenario, and if necessary I will go as far as modding some aspects, in a fantasy setting though their won't be much magic in it per sé.

    I intend to base it on a particular fantasy book series which has primarily a medieval feel to it rather than an all out LOTR style thing with different races and magic and what not.

    I've already written my brief of what I intend and now I'm just waiting for the game to come through my door (damned European realease date :(). I have the books to refer to for the map, units, location and so on, so from a creative perspective there will be very little to do as it's mostlyl there for me already.

    I will definately need help with artwork and coding at some point, but not for a few weeks as I think I can get the building blocks done myself which will take quite a bit of work.

    Once I work what I want I may contact you if that is ok, iof you're helping so one else then no probs but it's nice to know I can come in here and find people willing to contribute. I had a look at the python guide in the stickied thread and it completely blew my mind. :p

    :)

    EDIT: :eek: :D I see someone had the same idea as me. I'm PM'ing you Corvez
     
  9. butlerj1982

    butlerj1982 Chieftain

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    Hey,

    I was logging onto this forum to post that EXACT idea (a mod based on A Song of Ice and Fire). There are a million questions, and a million ways to do it, but this would lend itself SO nicely to a song of ice and fire.

    We could implement ASOIAF's religion model really well i think (the one religion, the seven, the old gods, etc.. you could spread them); city improvements (godswood, etc...); obviously each house would be a faction: Greyjoy (capital Pyke), Stark (capital Winterfell), Lannister (capital Casterly Rock), Baratheon (capital either Storm's End OR king's landing have to make some choices there), Arryn (the Value, Bloody Gate, in Mountains surrounded by barbarians), Targaryen (Danerys in the east).

    The big question would be first, when to start it? i think just before the Greyjoys take the North, but could be anytime.

    I have a computer science degree (currently in Law School) and, while ill be busy rebuilding (from new orleans), i have all of winter break off, and thenmysemesters are pretty light at the begining. Should we create a seperate website for people interested in this project?

    -John
     
  10. Feet

    Feet Warlord

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    I can see lots of people wanting to make a mod like that. ASOIAF is a really popular series and the War of the five Kings fits in beautifully with the Civ gameplay. I imagine we 3 people arn't the only ones to think of the idea but it is very funny that we all posted one after the other. :D

    As to creating a seperate website, I think it would be a good idea. Though I can't see myself banding together with you gents as I'm doing it for the fun opf making it as well as wanting it to be popular and what not.

    Since we're basically gonna be "competing" for the same audience I'd be happy to be involved in that. It'll give us all greater exposure too. So long as our mods arn't too similar of course, I mean in artwork and scale and so on. :)

    Though to be honest there's loads of scope for other ASOIAF themed mods. Off the top of my head,

    Nightswatch vs Wildlings (with King Stannis making an appearance after so many turns though the game and you could have Mance, the Giants and maybe other factions allied together to face them)
    The conquest of Slavers bay (Danayrs and her dragons against the slaver cities)
    The Greyjoy Rebellion (Ironborn vs King Robert and the realm)
    Suppress the outlaws (the one where Arthur Dayne slays the head outlaw dude, I forget what he and the outlaws were called)

    Maybe even extrapolate from the books to create our own wars. For example

    The fight for the Vale (The Aryns and then the different mountain clans fight for supremecy in the Vale)
    The Free City (all the free cities fight, though GRRM hasn't drawn maps or gone into detail about these places, so it would be harder to create)

    So yeah there's definately room for more than one ASOIAF mod. The War of the Five Kings is just the most obvious and epic one. :)
     
  11. Jürgen Hubert

    Jürgen Hubert Chieftain

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    Here is a rough concept how I would do Nexus Towers I mentioned above:

    Singular Nexus Towers in a city are a city improvemen that can be built with a tech advance in the equivalent of the Classical Age. In the equivalent of the Industrial Age, you can build a whole Nexus Tower Network in a city - it is more expensive, but you can do more with it.

    If you have built a Nexus Tower and have researched certain other techs, you can do several things:

    - You can build specialized units that require a lot of magic to function - units with boni against supernatural creatures, war golems, and so on.

    - You can get a bonus to production roughly proportional to the population of the city. You can choose to some degree just how high that production bonus should be, but the higher the bonus, the higher the Cost of this (more on this "Cost" later...).

    - You can choose to switch on certain "city enchantments" that affect various aspects of the city and its surroundings. Most are only useable once you have you have researched a certain tech, and some are only useable if you have a Nexus Tower Network. You can switch these enchantments on and off at any time when it is your turn. Possible city enchantments include:

    - Plant Growth 1: +1 food on every tile that already produces at least two food.
    - Plant Growth 2: +1 food on ever tile that already produces food.
    - Force Walls: Defensive bonus for the city.
    - Fireball barrage: Bombards the tile of any unit attempting to attack the city before the combat starts.
    - Magical Entertainment: Reduces unhappiness within a city.
    - Mind Control: Eliminates unhappiness in the city, possibly with some side effects to growth and productivity.
    - Raising the dead: Creates a zombie unit after a certain number of turns with this enchantment. The larger and the more unhealthy the city is, the sooner will the zombie unit appear. Zombie units will cause unhappiness in the city where they are stationed.

    Obviously, this only scratches the surface - there are many more possible city enchantments I haven't thought of.

    Each city enchantment also has an associated Cost - the more powerful it is, the higher the cost will be. Ordinarily, the Cost will directly translate into an Unhealthy penalty, since all this magic draws directly on the life force of the citizens. However, this can be mitigated - if a city has a layout that is in tune with the flow of magical energies, then less magical energies go to waste and the citizens won't suffer as much. This is represented by specialized city improvements:

    - City Planning: Halves the health penalty from city enchantments and Nexus Tower productivity costs, but doubles the cost for city maintenance (to represent the constant efforts to build the city according to a uniform layout). Initial cost to build is proportional to the square of the city size (to represent the fact that it is much easier to plan a city from the start than to rebuilt a large existing city).

    - Harmonic Layout: Divides the health penalty from city enchantments and Nexus Tower productivity costs by three, but quadruples the cost for city maintenance. City Planning is a prerequisite, and initial cost to build is twice that of City Planning.


    What are your thoughts?
     
  12. Feet

    Feet Warlord

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  13. la_dav

    la_dav King

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    Have seen that everybody is for the opinion of produce MOD with opinion me approval J ü rgen Hubert. It is what that I can not now help probably, but I want to know when can issue the modification tool about C4. To know these tools as finding a way is most the help of substance.
     
  14. drekmonger

    drekmonger Chieftain

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    Just some generic ideas for a fantasy mod:

    * There should be monsters, using the same system as animals and barbarians. Killing unque mega-monsters (or their spawn) points should drop some phat loot....perhaps special "techs" that aren't possible to research, gold, or even magical items.

    * Instead of producing Great People, fantasy cities should produce Great Heros. These units would esp. be useful for fighting monsters. For an RPGish experience, Heros could have unique upgrade pathes and perhaps (with heavy modification beyond what's possible via scripting) inventories for holding magical items. Examples:

    * Great Warrior Massive bonuses when fighting monsters
    * Great Magi Capable of casting spells (see below)
    * Great Priest Some spells, plus religion spreading
    * Great Assassin Like the Spy unit. Specializes in killing other Great People

    * Spells! I imagine spells could be abilities of Great Magi/Preists using a new Mana resource. (again a heavy modification that would require the SDK) Given the importance, maybe every Civ should start off with a Wizard-King unit?

    * Places of Importance/Power/Mystery. Kinda of like the special terrians in SMAC (the crashed Unity Ship, for instance). The "Well of Eternity" might provide extra mana resource in a square, and any civ that positions a Great Magi near it learns a special technology. Events could spoil the Well, turning it into a warped monster factory.

    * Times of Importance/Mystery. Events cued by either player action or just turns elasped. For example, in Turn 60, the a Demon Gate might open, spewing out monsters. Or the casting of an expensive spell might trigger a change in the game rules for X turns.

    * Religion should have more of an effect in game. Meaning, a civ that follows the "Sun God" should have a different set of bonuses than a city that follows the "Death God". Again, would probably require modification beyond what is possible with scripting alone.

    * Scientists are not a fantasy archetype. Instead of researching tech, maybe techs have to be discovered through adventure? Beakers could be removed from the game entirely. Meaning, you need a Hero to visit a place of power in order to discover a secret of the old gods...? In fact, maybe rename "Techs" --> "Secrets".

    Perhaps one or more of the spells a Magi can cast would discover a new Secret using Mana.

    Or maybe beakers aren't initially available until discovering a certain secret, such as Alchemy, MagiTech, or those Nexus Tower thingies.

    * There are Dark Ages in a fantasy setting, when old secrets are lost. Perhaps certain events could disable a list of Secrets (technologies)...forcing empires to either adapt or die.
     
  15. drekmonger

    drekmonger Chieftain

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    Regarding Nexus Towers and the associated setting:

    Perhaps Towers could be like Villages in Civ4...your workers plant a small one on a tile, and it gets bigger when it's worked by a city. Bigger towers produce more mana. Even if the rest of the setting concept isn't used, I dig the idea using Towers (or something simliar) in the fashion.

    Personally, I'm not interested in mod that features heavy influence from D&D/Tolkien. I don't want to see no stinking dwarves, elves, orks, etc. And everyone has their own ideas for what to include in a fantasy setting--wouldn't want to work on a mod where we are slavishly realizing someone's homebrew D&D campaign.
     
  16. drekmonger

    drekmonger Chieftain

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    double post, not sure how to delete.
     
  17. Jürgen Hubert

    Jürgen Hubert Chieftain

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    Of course, if you are explicitly using something that generates "mana", that means that you will have to keep track of a whole new type of resource in addition to gold, food, health, production and happiness. This would probably be doable, but a lot of work...

    Not that my idea is all that simple either, of course, since it adds another layer of complexity to city management. Both would require some major AI coding, let alone all the other details we are not likely to realize at the moment. It is too soon to tell which one would be easier...

    Of course, if you do away with those, the question is how you will create a setting that is universally recognizeable as "fantasy". Tolkienesque tropes are easily recognizeable by a large segment of the population, while other fantasy variants are less well known.

    Another thing that should not be overlooked is how to make a fantasy scenario that is coherent - one that has an internal logic even apart from the game mechanics. "Default Civ" is instantly recognizeable because it mirrors the evolution of human society. A made-up fantasy scenario mirrors... what?

    Of course, we could just make some random stuff up. But the scenario would be much more powerful with a connecting theme and overarching story. Using the commonly known Tolkien/D&D fantasy tropes would help here - players would have some inkling of what to expect.

    Urbis started out as an intellectual exercise how a typical D&D/Tolkienesque fantasy world would look like if the resident mages developed their craft further until they reached some sort of magical technological revolution. As a result, I put some fair amount of thought into how "magical technologies" might develop - and these ideas would probably translate fairly well into Civ tech advances, units, and city improvements.

    Well, since it is my homebrew D&D campaign, I am naturally interested in pursuing it. But I realize that others aren't as motivated on this subject as I am ;)


    But maybe I could make a suggestion: There is no reason why we ought to slavishly follow my setting - indeed, that would only limit the mod (though it should not be too difficult to make a specific scenario that fits my world precisely later on...).

    Instead, we could use the ideas for magical and technological development of Urbis to create an "alternate technology tree" with alternate units and city improvements - a sort of: "How would human civilization develop if magic was real?" We can leave all the nonhumans (elves, dwarves, orcs etc) out - trying to code race-specific civilization effects would just represent another layer of complexity we probably don't need at the start - and concentrate on purely human magic and technology. We should probably even leave Unique Units out for the time being until we have the basic technology tree worked out.

    How does this sound to you?

    I will try if I can work out some more conceptual stuff over the weekend...
     
  18. Elucidus

    Elucidus King

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    Any news on this?

    I would love something like age of wonders.
     
  19. Roman Legion

    Roman Legion Emperor

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    HELL NO, stop making these ******** mods about fantasy, and get back to historical.
     

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