Help me pick a base mod

PPQ_Purple

Purple Cube
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Oct 11, 2008
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To cut a long story short I've decided to try and make a mod for my self. Now, this thing is going to be for my own use only. I am not going to publish it or anything. So don't even ask. It's just something I want to use to learn the basics of making a mod for CIV4 and a base for my own DLL experiments. It's not intended to be something that's balanced or really even playable.

This said, I need help picking a base to start from. And yes, I could start from vanilla BTS but I figure why do that when someone else probably did half the work for me. So in light of this I need you guys to recommend me a mod that would best as a base.

My ideal requirements are:
  1. Integrates BUG.
    I don't really care about the expanded universe stuff like buffy either way and I vehemently dislike revolutions. But I do need base BUG integration.

  2. Has super large map sizes and super slow game speeds.
    I don't know what these are called but every mod I like has map sizes much larger and game speeds much slower than those found vanilla. And I exclusively enjoy playing on these to the extent that vanilla sizes and speeds feel tiny and uncomfortable to me.

  3. As close to vanilla CIV as possible otherwise.
    I am going to be literally ripping everything out in terms of units, techs etc. anyway. So the less extra things I have to worry about the better.
 
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Joined
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Edit: just noticed you're looking for something to mess around the DLL in and my suggestion doesn't have its source code included.

I've been quite happy with what GEM has to offer, it basically covers all three of your points. Gameplay-wise the only issues I've seen so far are that some random events don't work correctly and it occasionally crashes in the WB if you're using the minimap to navigate. Features like DCM and Revolutions can be toggled in game or at least in the custom game options afaik.

Modding-wise it doesn't go crazy with new XML tags except the DCM ones which are optional and the revolution ones that only matter if revolutions are on. The only problems I've seen are python (it's kinda hard to merge with modcomps made for vanilla BTS) and DLL (source code isn't provided).
 
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f1rpo

plastics
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Additional world size and game speed settings are mainly implemented in XML (Civ4WorldInfo.xml, Civ4GameSpeedInfo.xml). Some map scripts (e.g. Pangaea) and some random events (CvRandomEventInterface.py) refer to specific world sizes; those should ideally also be updated when adding a world size. It should be easy to merge the XML parts from e.g. GEM or AND (Rise of Mankind: A New Dawn). The DLL just needs to allow a sufficient number of civs, which is a one-line change in CvDefines.h.

The canonical mod combining BULL (i.e. BUG including its DLL changes) with VD is BAT. To my knowledge BAT uses the same DLL as BULL, so that's where the DLL source could be obtained. [Upon re-reading your post, it seems that you've changed your mind on Varietas Delectat. Or I'm just confused.]

BAT isn't going to help much with achieving acceptable performance on those enormous maps. When it comes to memory allocation failures, AND is probably the most "vanilla" mod that has options for graphical paging and viewports. The DLL changes for graphical paging also seem to be cleanly tagged with comments in Realism Invictus and Dawn of Civilization, so it might be feasible for you to merge them into BULL. Apart from map size, the variety of the artwork also affects memory consumption (you probably understand more about that than I do), so I'm not sure if there really would be a problem with just the VD graphics.

As for AI turn times, K-Mod should cut those in half or so, and it makes the AI a lot more effective, especially at low-level decisions, and also fixes some non-AI BtS bugs. K-Mod also adds game-speed scaling in some sensible places – mostly in AI code, but also e.g. for passive religion spread and the Barbarian tech rate. MMod combines K-Mod with VD. However, the K-Mod AI is considerably more bellicose than the BtS AI and K-Mod makes a number of subtle gameplay changes in the DLL (in addition to balance changes in XML). Moreover, K-Mod doesn't include some of the BUG DLL changes. My own mod, AdvCiv, adds or replaces most of those missing UI conveniences (and improves performance and AI further), but also moves farther away from the original gameplay – and from the original coding conventions in the DLL. And no mod integrating AdvCiv with VD exists. I've added game-speed scaling in a few more places, e.g. Barbarian unit creation rate, revolt chance, AI contact delays, AI diplo memory decay. But, then, such DLL changes are pretty quick to make once one is aware that something doesn't scale properly.

For low-level AI improvements only, Better BAT AI would be an option (BAT + Better BtS AI). I don't think the performance will be much better than with just BAT, but it should at least be no worse. [There's also Better BUG AI, which combines BULL with Better BtS AI, i.e. no artwork changes.]

When compiling a DLL for BUG/BAT or K-Mod, it might be a good idea to throw out the old project files and use Nightinggale's files instead.

Not sure what you mean here:
I don't really care about the expanded universe stuff like buffy [...].
If you're already opposed to the minuscule gameplay changes in BULL or BUFFY, then K-Mod is probably out of the question.
 

PPQ_Purple

Purple Cube
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Oct 11, 2008
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Quick reply.
  1. Yea, I changed my mind on VD. I revised my plan upon reviewing my goals and realizing that I only really need like a couple units and like one civ anyway for my testing.

  2. I just tried Chronicles of Mankind. That's supposed to be like an AND successor mod. But it crashes for me. :( I'll try AND it self, maybe I'll have more luck with that one.

  3. I am not so much opposed to stuff like BULL I just don't care about it either way. As in the BUG stuff is essential but anything beyond that is a nice to have but not critical.

So overall it seems that my best bet now is AND and than maybe K-Mod, depending on what I can get to run. I am just sad I couldn't get COM to run as it looks cool as something I'd want to play.

Thank you.
 
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PPQ_Purple

Purple Cube
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
5,013
Update. I have chosen to start from K-Mod simply because having compared the two I like it more. Better to start from the one I'd enjoy playing more. :)
Wish me luck.
 

f1rpo

plastics
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The AND DLL hasn't been well maintained for some years. Chronicles is a bit better in that regard (its DLL is here on GitHub btw; I've made some contributions too), but, as you've noticed, there are still lots of annoying failed assertions, and I think many of those aren't even false positive. Mostly cached data not (quite) being kept up to date, it seems. The K-Mod DLL is in a much better shape. I'm maintaining a fork of K-Mod with a few bugfixes and tweaks from my own mod here. (Technically, it exists as a branch of my mod; because GitHub wouldn't allow me to fork a second project from K-Mod iirc.) I expect that karadoc would approve of most of that – if he'd ever put out another release.

Forgot to mention the AI Auto Play mod component; that's pretty important to me as a developer. Included in BBAI (and thus in Better BUG/BAT AI, K-Mod and AND), but not in plain BUG/BULL/BAT.
 
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