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European Middle Ages 500-1500 AD

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Modpacks' started by hr_oskar, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. hr_oskar

    hr_oskar Deity

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    European Middle Ages 500-1500 AD


    For v1.61 only, not compatible with Warlords

    I proudly present my mod in-process about the European Middle Ages, AD 500-1500. What I am focussing on now is only the mod, with all-new medieval features; scenarios can be made once the mod is finalized.

    Most aspects of the game have been changed or redone, including a new tech tree, a new civic system, new units, new promotions, new traits, new buildings and wonders, new resources.

    This is meant to be a kind of "umbrella" mod serving as the base for a whole range of historical scenarios. Currently included with the mod is a kind of "standard" scenario with a map of Europe and the Near East, through the whole medieval period, 500-1500 AD. In the mod I will try to eventually make available enough flags, unique units, buildings, leaders, and text, to make it possible for scenario makers to feature a variety nations, tribes, and empires relevant to medieval Europe.

    All help is greatly appreciated. At the moment I am particularly longing for someone with graphics skills to help out and also a bit of advanced programming (SDK and Python) work needs to be done.

    News


    Version 0.33 is now available through the attachment below. The most notable improvement is that of new religious icons. Gone are the days of Hindu Constantinople! ;)

    Check the Readme file for installation help and version history.

    Please note that while the new icons are a big improvement, they're not necessarily finalized. You may find them a bit transparent-looking compared to the normal icons and that's something I need to work on later.

    ---

    Version 0.3 is up! We're back in business! :king:

    The most notable changes are a complete new soundtrack for the mod (hence the immense size of the zip), new decals, a new map... in fact so many changes that I can barely remember what v0.1 was like :crazyeye:

    DOWNLOAD


    Version 0.3

    Use the Medieval Europe 54x45 map which is included in the mod's root directory.


    Enjoy! and please comment on the forum, thank you :)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. hr_oskar

    hr_oskar Deity

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    Reserved...
     
  3. hr_oskar

    hr_oskar Deity

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    Project Plan



    Here I'm going to start posting what I'm working on and hopefully organize teamwork and requests.

    An approximate forecast for the next few versions planned:

    v0.3
    For this version I will primarily concentrate on updating the AI in the XML files
    • New and smaller map (approx 55 x 45)
    • New flags
    • Custom soundtrack
    • Elaborate the tech tree of the late era
    • Review the tech costs
    • Correct flavors for buildings and techs
    • Start developing the personalities of the leaders
    • Correct the unit AIs
    • Correct the AI's evaluation of resources (currently trades Iron for Fish without a blink)
    • Elaborate the resource system, in particular make Salt, Copper and Stone more important
    • Fix the forest chop problem

    What you can do to help


    Here I list what I'm currently not working on and would appreciate help with.


    Index
    1. Graphics
    2. Text
    3. Sound
    4. Design
    5. Development
    6. Python
    7. SDK
    8. Maps


    1. Graphics
    Currently I'm not working on any graphics so pretty much anything featured in the mod is fair game.

    As a general rule, the art style I'm seeking is historical, not fantasy. Try to model units on historical images. Avoid images and descriptions based on post-medieval prejudices towards the time period (in particular, 19th c. Romanticism) as well as false stereotypes (think Vikings with horned helmets).

    If you don't make graphics yourself, you can still help! - Search the forums for user-made graphics and, in general, the internet for image resources.

    Since so few graphics have been acquired so far, I will only list, in each section, what I already have.

    1.1 Units

    1.2 Buildings

    Resources
    http://www.byzantium1200.com

    1.3 Flags

    Poland
    Germany
    Kievan Rus
    Byzantium
    France
    England
    Denmark
    Norway
    Ireland
    Castile
    Aragon
    Hungary
    Arabs


    1.4 Buttons

    1.5 Resources

    2. Text

    2.1 Translations
    I definitely want this mod available in all five languages supported by Civ4 - after all, this mod is about Europe so it really should be available in the major European languages!

    Although I'm not working on it yet, I'll eventually be doing the Spanish version myself since I'm fluent in Spanish.

    2.2 City lists

    As a guideline, in making a city list please research which cities were important in the time period, rather than which cities are important today. Also, try to find out if the city has alternate names in French, German, Italian or Spanish. If so, it will need a text key (TXT_KEY_CITY_NAME_*) allowing for the alternate names.

    A few city lists I could use:

    Turks (Seljuks)
    Turks (Rum)
    Georgia
    Teutonic Knights
    Switzerland
    Franconia
    Bavaria
    Bohemia
    Croatia
    Serbia
    Bulgaria
    Wallachia
    Cordova (Caliphate)
    Morocco
    Algeria
    Egypt

    2.3 Diplomacy text

    It's still a bit early to work on this because it's uncertain which leaders will be in and which not. However, it's worth mentioning some off the top of my head which are certain to be in and certainly merit some phrases of their own:

    Pope Innocent III (or just some general pope phrases)
    Frederick II Hohenstaufen ('Stupor Mundi')
    Richard I Lionheart
    Saladin
    Justinian I

    In general, if you think a specific medieval leader was important and colorful enough to merit some unique phrases, just go ahead and write the text, I can probably be convinced to feature the leader if he/she's not already in. Also keep in mind the possibility of writing text specific to dynasties or cultures, which will then be used for whichever leaders get picked to represent them.

    2.4 Strategy advice

    One thing I'm not asking for at the moment - the mod needs to settle down a bit more before appropriate strategy advice can be written.

    2.5 Civilopedia

    Any contributions here are most welcome. Wikipedia is obviously the easiest, and sometimes best, source of free information.

    3. Sound

    3.1 Music

    Eventually I'd love to have culture-specific playlists, so I welcome all contributions of medieval music, no matter which culture it originates from.

    3.2 Sound FX

    4. Design

    Keep the discussion going! Commenting on the forum is the best way you can help with this.

    5. Development

    Discuss on the forum, send me your savefiles or post screenshots of interesting situations.

    6. Python

    6.1 Events

    When a civ builds the Palatine Chapel wonder, that civ establishes the Holy Roman Empire and its name should change accordingly.
    There needs to be some code therefore (in the EventManager?) to change the civ's name and possibly art_def (new flag and color), when the wonder is completed. The event should be reported in game as

    "<leader> has been proclaimed Holy Roman Emperor!"
    "<civ> has founded the Holy Roman Empire!"

    7. SDK

    7.1 Scheme changes

    Currently buildings can only have one specific prerequisite religion. I need this field to be changed to allow for more than one religion to be listed there, e.g. "Catholicism or Orthodoxy allows this building".

    Spoiler how I think this could be done :

    Currently the tag goes:

    <PrereqReligionType>RELIGION_CATHOLICISM</PrereqReligionType>

    I imagine something like this instead:

    <PrereqReligions>
    <PrereqReligion>
    <PrereqReligionType>RELIGION_CATHOLICISM</PrereqReligionType>
    <bPrereqReligion>1</bPrereqReligion>
    </PrereqReligion>
    <PrereqReligion>
    <PrereqReligionType>RELIGION_ORTHODOXY</PrereqReligionType>
    <bPrereqReligion>1</bPrereqReligion>
    </PrereqReligion>
    </PrereqReligions>


    Another change to the buildings I need is to allow for a bonus resource to affect commerce production. Currently bonuses can only affect yields, as per Iron Works wonder. I would simply want an additional tag to do the same for commerce.

    Also I need the ability to define which kind of commerce a shrine produces. Thus while in Vanilla we only have gold-producing shrines, I would like the possibility of beaker- and culture-producing shrines. The tag in BuildingInfo does not allow for this currently, it just lets you say which religion it bases on.

    8. Maps
     
  4. hr_oskar

    hr_oskar Deity

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    Some basic documentation



    I'll be expanding this when I have more time...

    General Game Concepts and Themes
    Spoiler :

    Authority and legitimacy are important themes in the mod, just as in medieval history itself. The main religions primarily represent sources of religious and political power. The following religions are featured:
    • Catholicism
    • Orthodoxy
    • Sunni Islam
    • Shi'a Islam
    • Judaism
    • Paganism
    Judaism is a kind of odd-man out, mostly representing the presence of Jewish diaspora communities and of course the location of the Holy Land itself. The Jewish holy city (Jerusalem, of course) interacts with both the Christian and Islamic religions and allow special shrines to be built, such as The Dome of the Rock and The Holy Sepulchre.

    Paganism is included mainly to provide a kind of counterweight to Christian or Muslim missionary efforts. Some medieval states or peoples clung on to their pagan traditions for longer so this can help to make a distinction between them and those who converted more easily to the major religions.

    Another aspect of the politics is the struggle for influence by four principal classes of medieval society:
    • Nobility
    • Clergy
    • State (kings)
    • Burghers & merchants
    These classes do not appear directly in the game but rather shape the civic system and which paths of strategy are supported in the mod. Each class "plays its own game", so to speak:
    - Civics and techs related to the nobility are particularly strong in the early game and favor an expansionist empire pumping units for early landgrabbing. Long-term development of cities is not its strongest side and it has the weakest commerce yield.
    - The church is mostly balanced but obviously makes the most use of "religion matters" civics and also has some useful civics for a specialist economy.
    - The monarchy (or state) gains strength later on with some mid- and late-game civics. It's strategy is especially good for building up a "super city" in the capital. It's also the top producer of Influence (= Culture in vanilla, see below).
    - The burghers are our cottage spam and late-game industrial power. Their civics shine later in the game.

    In this context of authority, the concept of "culture" has been slightly re-examined. Culture is called Influence because it rather represents the spread of authority, particularly royal authority, than the spread of a culture through the millennia. Influence will have a crown as an icon for this reason, instead of the purple musical notes.


    Resources
    Spoiler :

    • Amber
    • Salt
    • Grain
    • Cow
    • Pig
    • Sheep
    • Horse
    • Camel
    • Deer
    • Furs
    • Iron
    • Copper
    • Gold
    • Silver
    • Stone
    • Marble
    • Beeswax
    • Wine
    • Olives
    • Dye
    • Spices
    • Saffron
    • Incense
    • Ivory
    • Gems
    • Silk
    • Sugar
    • Cotton
    • Cloth
    • Christian Relics

    I decided not to bother with different types of grain (wheat, oats, rye, barley), since it's not particularly interesting and there wasn't much difference between regions in terms of what was cultivated where. For trade it was all just "grain" anyway.


    Improvements
    Spoiler :

    • Farm (Grain, Beeswax)
    • Cottage-Hamlet-Village-Town
    • Plantation (Olives, Dye, Saffron, Cotton, Sugar)
    • Caravan Route (Spices, Incense, Silk, Gems, Ivory, Gold)
    • Mine (Iron, Copper, Gold, Silver)
    • Quarry (Marble, Stone)
    • Saltworks (Salt)
    • Pasture (Cow, Sheep, Pig, Horse, Camel)
    • Camp (Furs, Deer)

    Caravan Routes are used to get certain resources which historically came from faraway lands such as India, China, and Mali. These improvements are exclusively built by the Caravan unit, which is "spent" just like a Workboat.


    World Wonders
     
  5. Shqype

    Shqype Shqyptar

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    Congrats on getting this out. And I was hoping to beat you to it :p

    Oh well, mine is still in the works, but hopefully soon I'll be putting up my thread. Good luck with this mod!
     
  6. hr_oskar

    hr_oskar Deity

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    Thanks :) I know I haven't posted much about it lately but that's only because I've been working so hard to get it done ;)
     
  7. Shqype

    Shqype Shqyptar

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    How about posting the mod ;)
     
  8. Craig_Sutter

    Craig_Sutter Chieftain

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    Anxious to start testing... I have my eye on a couple of scenarios to make, also.
     
  9. Arkaeyn

    Arkaeyn Chieftain

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    As a side for historical research - the book Catastrophe focuses on what the author describes as a huge environmental disaster which took place in the year 535 A.D., causing massive plague, migrations, famine, and war to go along with it. The theory put out by the book - an explosion where Krakatoa is now - seems to be not entirely accepted, but the sheer amount of evidence indicates that SOMETHING certainly happened. That in mind, 550 AD seems a better start date.

    A few historical nitpicks on your choice of Civs:

    "Germany" simply won't work. The mess of warring ethnic groups which slowly became kingdoms which became the Holy Roman Empire which really didn't work as a single nation anyway...to call that "Germany" is a huge hit against history.

    The Sassanid Persians were the other superpower and Byzantium's chief rival in the Middle East at the start of your mod, so they should be included. Likewise, the Middle Ages without the Mongols who invaded eastern Europe and the Middle East is lacking.

    The Avars, who were the Byzantine's rival in the Balkans, are also important and missing. The Vandals, the Lombards, the Goths...these were powers in the early Middle Ages.

    But basically, you have a huge problem which I see no way around: the history of Europe through the middle ages is a history of various ethnic groups and empires coagulating and fragmenting in order to become nation-states. Civ can't model this - at all, and that makes the early Middle Ages virtually impossible to do.

    In fact, most games don't even bother trying to model the early Middle Ages, for this reason. Midieval Total War, Civ3's expansion scenario, even SSI's ancient Medieval Lords of Europe (a fine little strategy game!) all started significantly later: the earliest after the death of Charlemagne.
     
  10. Craig_Sutter

    Craig_Sutter Chieftain

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    If we were to restrict ourselves to a time when nationstates existed, then we wouldn't be playing Civ IV at all... your comments about a middle ages mod are equally valid when applied to the whole game, as well. After all, we begin playing "France" or "Germany" at 4,000 AD when such entities have little relevance. We need to calm our doubts with the fiction that we are playing a culture rather than a particular nation state. The game mechanisms of particular governments and nation based diplomacy, armies and such don't mesh well with this idea...

    In such case, Germany isn't a country, Germany, but German culture, and the Holy Roman Empire is one manifestation of that culture. And prior germanic proto-states, in their many varieties, are all part of germanic culture.

    We just have to live with the inadequacies of the game system to portray these conflicting ideas. The Empire of Charlemagne was a German Empire (Franks and conquered germanic peoples such as the Saxons, or conquered Gauls(non-germans)), which later became eastern and western parts later becoming Germany and France. One half took on a gualish character and the other, germanic, owing to the differing cultures of the subject people. How does a game system portray this.

    It can't... therefore, mod-makers make do with the tools at hand, and if there is a Germany too early in the medieval mod, so be it... it's what we're faced with. And if the Holy Roman Empire was a later entity of the period, and is impossible to truly represent, we do the best we can within the limits of the game mechanics.

    I, for one, am very interested in scenario creation using an established medieval mod. Scenarios get rid of many of the problems I've stated above as civilizations change far less in a more restricted timeframe. A scenario, for instance, set in 1066 or somewhat later during the Conquest, using his mod, (I hope he includes a Norman civ eventually), has fixed political actors and entities, and the culture aspect is less worriesome. I'll just call the Normans, the English (though they weren't truly yet), and not worry that the kingdom was culturally Anglo-Saxon, though the conquerers were French/Norse. It doesnt' matter in a scenario. In a mod, though, I'd have to wonder if William the Conquerer is an English leader, or not, for instance... and having Alfred and William as alternate English leaders gives me a headache... but both could be argued as such.

    All goes to show the difficulties of modding and balancing. I, for one, am curious to see how the author does it, and looking forward to seeing what mechanisms he uses and how he gets around the various limitations of the game. How inventive he is is part of what interests me.

    In summary, then, I'll await the final production. However, we really can't dismiss a medieval mod as undoable, no more than we can dismiss Civ IV as undoable. Maybe the modder has some pleasant surprises for us, as well.

    In any case, I love the time period, and playing a good mod of it will be an enjoyable experience, no matter if it is an exact simulation or not.
     
  11. Arkaeyn

    Arkaeyn Chieftain

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    You're certainly right that Civ4 in itself isn't going to have historical realism, but I'm not really sure what the mod is intended to achieve - or how it's supposed to play - if it completely ignores things like the fragmentation of "Germany" before the rise of Prussia.

    Now, it might be possible to model a form of the Holy Roman Empire with a variety of different minor kingdoms - the Lombards, the Saxons, Austria (why no Austria?!?) and Warlords' Vassal system.

    But consider this simple question: who Charlemagne the leaderhead for? Franks or Germans?

    Also, another problem: Vikings.
     
  12. darkedone02

    darkedone02 The Suggestor

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    Good, just make sure you add the following things
    -Custom Music
    -Custom animated leader heads or pictures.
    -no long technology research like "thoughtout the ages"
     
  13. Craig_Sutter

    Craig_Sutter Chieftain

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    I actually like long tech researches... I like to build units and buildings before they are obsolete. Others, of course, have different preferences... I'm assuming, though, that different game speeds will be selectable.
     
  14. Craig_Sutter

    Craig_Sutter Chieftain

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    A vassal system may solve some of these problems... hopefully Warlords will do this... although the 18/24 or whatever civilization limit causes problems... It would be nice if non-player civs and barbarians were outside of that numerical limit.
     
  15. Craig_Sutter

    Craig_Sutter Chieftain

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    I've thought of the Charlemagne problem too... Those problems arise... as I mentioned with William the Conqueror, too. And probably others. I don't know, France? Most of the German portion of the empire was largely Saxon, at least the Ottonians were... France maintained their "Frankishness" so I suppose they could maintain the Carolingian mantle best. We'll see.

    Looks like the author divided the vikings up amongst Norway, Danes and Swedes. Seems fair. Depends how far you want to go... Norway was really not a kingdom until 1000 or so, I believe. In a scenario I'm working on, I divided between Trondelag and the south, two civs. Could have been more, even, there were so many petty kings. Also seperate subkingdoms like the hebrides, normandy, shetlands, etc. Again, our limit is the playable civ numbers.

    Most civs have this problem... Burgundians, pictish Scotland, Dalriada, Irish subkingdoms, Spanish kingdoms... are they seperate civs, or components of greater cultures. The mod has to make these decisions. I haven't yet looked over his proposal... I suppose including many optional civs, as he does, is the best way to address those who have their own particular take on things. I like that he's included Sweden and Norway as options, as I need them for a scenario... I'm going to argue for the NOrmans later, for similar selfish purposes... I'll make them myself, later, lacking that :)

    Anxious to test, as always... await the early version.
     
  16. Craig_Sutter

    Craig_Sutter Chieftain

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    Of course, if you play random maps, I wouldn't worry about the historiocity of the thing, anyhow..:)
     
  17. hr_oskar

    hr_oskar Deity

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    @Arkaeyn:

    Germany is quite the headache, believe me. If I wanted to recognize Germany's divisions, I guess I could split it up into:

    • Saxony
    • Swabia
    • Franconia
    • Bavaria
    • Austria
    • Switzerland
    • Teutonic Knights?

    Switzerland was meant to be on the list I posted, I just forgot it. The rest, however, are all under 'Germany'. I'm not at all 100% certain I will keep Germany united but if I do split it up, you understand that on the full map of Europe + the Near East I can't spend more than 2 player slots on the Germans so at most Germany would be represented by any two of the nations listed above.

    But ok, all this said, I've decided to make this change and split up the Germans. I was about to do it anyway ;) The reason is also that I decided just yesterday to split up the "Italians" (Northern Italy); since the "Spanish", "British", and "Scandinavians" are all divided into their different ethnicities, the same should apply to Germans and Italians.

    So I'll update the nations list, also adding Wallachia (yes, rise up now my little Moldavians and protest my lumping you together with your neighbours...).

    For now I don't intend to add Avars, Pechenegs or Cumans, since those were nomadic peoples which never really settled down to form an urban society relevant to the rest of Europe. I'd be delighted to bring them in though once we get Warlords with those new mechanics for nomadic empires (settler camp and all that).

    Vandals, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Franks, etc... I don't want to feature the early kingdoms under those names because those were not the identities that persisted. They were a kind of transition stage, we might say. I don't feel it's wrong to start the mod's standard map at 500 AD without them, the standard map will have you start with no cities founded which isn't even historical per se. The first centuries by themselves won't be historical, but a little into the game the player will perceive the setting as historically "correct", which is really what it's about.

    Note that this won't stop anyone (least of all me) from making a scenario using this mod, to accurately reflect the situation at any given time, Vandals and Avars and all ;) Charlemagne will be playable one way or another...

    The objective of this mod is to create a standard dedicated to the medieval period, 500-1500 AD, in Europe and the Near East; any period or region could then have a scenario dedicated to it so history-buffs (such as me) are very likely to be satisfied here.
     
  18. Shqype

    Shqype Shqyptar

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    Well said hr_oskar! Do we have any Moldavians here (or Wallachians for that matter)?
     
  19. hr_oskar

    hr_oskar Deity

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    Custom music you shall get :)

    In fact, even my current test version has a catchy medieval song to replace Baba Yetu in the opening :eek: Just to get myself into the mood. That's about all I've implemented of music though so far...

    Ultimately, I envision a little SDK work to have different playlists based on state religion (and era, or possibly just ignoring the era).

    Animated leader heads... nice, maybe someone interested will make them. You? ;)

    As for "long" research, don't worry I really hate that. Research is very important for Civ gameplay so mods and scenarios really shouldn't just "cut it out". No, this mod already has its own tech tree adjusted to the length of the game, so it should play reasonably similar to vanilla.
     
  20. Craig_Sutter

    Craig_Sutter Chieftain

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    Have you thought about which, if any, other mods you might be including. I really like Lopez's Cultural Influence mod for one... I think it may reflect the state of things prior to development of the nationstate in that land tended to change hands quite often. I also like the mercenaries mod... it reflects diverse things such as the Varangian Guard for Byzantium, and William the Conqueror's hiring of many mercenaries for the Conquest. I'm certain that there are many others that would be suitable to this mod.

    On the other hand, I don't like the inquisitor or assassin mods... spies weren't that powerful... and the inquisition, I feel, could better be reflected by a civic or wonder.
     

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