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Graphics tweaks for gameplay #1: Clouds

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by psparky, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. psparky

    psparky Chieftain

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    I find the clouds that appear when I zoom out to use the strategy layer and other tools very distracting. As well as the strategy layer, I also like to check the trade group screen and the resource overview screen which can be filtered by resource type.

    Searching the forums, I see references to solving this problem by using a flying camera view, or by using a utility called civscale. As far as I can tell, the former does not give access to the tools that I need, and the latter is discontinued, possibly as its use may have interfered with the mods needed to play GOTM games (which I want to play) and maybe other mods.

    I have implemented my own solution by changing one of the graphics files to remove the clouds. I would like to post this file as I'm pretty sure somebody out there would like to use it, but I have some questions:

    1. Is there already a better solution that I missed with my searches?
    2. Is it OK to attach the file to this post (it's a 342k DDS file, 82k zipped) or would that be bad forum protocol?
    3. Could somebody who understands these things please validate/correct the installation instructions below

    To install, unzip the file clouds01.dds and copy*** it to the following folders (depending on which game(s) you play):
    My Documents\My Games\Civ4\CustomAssets\art\terrain\sky
    My Documents\My Games\Warlords\CustomAssets\art\terrain\sky
    My Documents\My Games\Beyond the Sword\CustomAssets\art\terrain\sky

    *** You should rename any existing clouds01.dds files in these folders to facilitate uninstalling.

    Please be aware that this change has only been tested with the latest patched versions (1.74, 2.13, 3.19).

    To uninstall, delete the file and rename any saved files back to the original name.
     
  2. God-Emperor

    God-Emperor Chieftain

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    Or you probably could have just gone into the GlobalDefines.xml file and changed the RENDER_GLOBEVIEW_CLOUDS setting from 1 to 0. That sure sounds like it should turn off the clouds.
     
  3. psparky

    psparky Chieftain

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    Thanks, I'll try that. Just to be sure, can I definitly do that in conjunction with the HOF and BUFFY mods for GOTM?

    I guess the reason I didn't find it with my search is the reference says "RENDER_GLOBEVIEW_CLOUDS- If the game should display clods when zoomed out" :lol:

    Maybe I'll do better with #2 :blush:
     
  4. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Professional Killjoy Moderator

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    I think that BUFFY will check to make sure that your game is pristine, and fail if there are XML changes, but I don't know for sure as it's been a while since I've used it. That question is probably best for the HOF forum.
     
  5. God-Emperor

    God-Emperor Chieftain

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    I hadn't considered the change in relation to the GOTM games...

    For that you may need to actually change the graphics files, unless it checks the art folder too, in which case that may not work either.

    On yet another hand, does BUFFY allow the use of custom assets (like the install instructions in post 1 are using) at all or is it set to (and enforce) disallow Custom Assets? If custom assets must be turned off, then the original method won't work either - you'd have to have the changed art files in the BUFFY mod folder. Which might nor be allowed either.

    The mod is designed to make sure everybody is playing the same game. There is a good chance it checks everything in the mod, including art files, so it may disallow that. It is highly unlikely that it would let you use a modified GlobalDefines.xml as some of the settings in there can have a large impact on the game (like, for example, reducing or eliminating the unit upgrade cost, or allowing more then 2 national wonders per city, or increasing the duration of golden ages).

    So does changing the art files in the Custom Assets folder have an effect, or does it allow you to change the art files in the mod itself? Things the people in the more specific HOF forum would know.
     
  6. psparky

    psparky Chieftain

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    I have installed Blue Marble, which only modifies graphics files, and that works OK with HOF and BUFFY. I know that my hacked solution also works with these mods, and probably with any other mods as well.

    I've come round to thinking that the xml change won't be acceptable to HOF and BUFFY, but I don't want to try it at the moment as I'm in the middle of a GOTM and don't want to risk messing it up.

    Just to clarify, I am quite happy to use my graphics change and have no problems with doing so. My questions were about whether to and how to make it available to others. The answer to the first question, is there a better solution, is yes (unless you happen to be using HOF/BUFFY). It therefore appears I have misjudged the usefulness of my change to others, as I guess most people either don't care about the clouds or have already got rid of them using the xml change.

    Thanks to God-Emperor and Lemon Merchant for their help.
     
  7. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Professional Killjoy Moderator

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    I think it's a good idea to share it. After all, you did something that will benefit the rest of the Civ community, and it may be useful to other modders.

    The best place to share it would probably be in the download section of CFC. You can upload a small file (< 10 MB, I think) and create a thread for it. That way, everyone gets to see it. :)
     
  8. psparky

    psparky Chieftain

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