There are lots of tutorials here about the nuts and bolts of modding: how to make/add units, how to do improvements, and so on and so forth. But there aren’t many on how to design mods. I thought I’d offer a few thoughts on this subject in case they help those wondering where to start. This is by no means a definitive guide, just some ideas that I’ve picked up along the way. And I’m not pretending to be an expert. Most of this stuff is really just common sense, but it may help to have it set out like this. I’ll say a bit about the actual mechanics of it, but only a bit. Part of the idea of this tutorial is to give links to other tutorials that tell you how to add units, create LHs etc. Some are given at the start of each section. But browse the Tutorials forum itself, as there’s lots more useful advice there. This is for Conquests only. If you are interested in modding and you don’t have Conquests, get it, because modding is so much easier with it. In particular, Conquests was specifically designed for scenario-making (hence the name). Preliminaries Broadly, a mod is any modification to Civ, so it’s anything that someone has made with the Editor that changes the rules in some way. More narrowly, though, the word “mod” refers to a mod that changes the rules but leaves the map alone. It might alter the tech tree, add lots of units and governments, or whatever, but the basic idea of epic Civ III remains the same. A scenario, by contrast, is a mod with a map and, probably, a more limited scope. A typical scenario will focus on a small area of history (or fantasy), with a relatively small number of civs on a relatively small map; it may leave the basic rules of the game unchanged. A good example of a mod is R8XFT’s Anno Domini. A good example of scenarios are all the Conquests that come with – well – Conquests (and see the list in the next section). Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re dealing with a mod or a scenario. Ryhe’s of Civilization is billed as a mod, but it has a set map (a map of the whole world), which might seem to make it a scenario. But the game follows the whole of history, like standard epic Civ III, so it seems too wide in focus to be a scenario. Again, Pinktilapia’s Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire is billed as a mod, but not only does it have a set map but it focuses on one limited part of history. I’m going to look mostly at scenarios. This is because (a) I’ve only done them, not wider mods, and (b) I think they offer interesting challenges to the modder that other projects lack. But some of this may be useful if you’re making a random map mod too. Scenarios to study These are some of the scenarios that I think are the best. I haven’t seen every scenario by any means (and I generally don’t like modern age ones, which is why there aren’t many here) so don’t assume this is some kind of definitive list of the best scenarios available. But I’ll refer to some of these in what follows. The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire by Pinktilapia – a tour de force of both scope and detail, with many innovative techniques to ensure that the player really does follow the course of the real Roman Empire throughout its history. The Rise and Fall of the Mughals by Rambuchan and Luddi VII – a very well balanced scenario with detailed pedia and masses of historical info. The Cold War Deluxe by El Justo – El Justo’s biggie, probably the best “modern-day world politics simulation” scenario (and there are a lot…. Escape From Zombie Island II by KingArthur – one of the most imaginative scenarios, showing how the Civ III engine can be used to make a game that looks and plays quite differently. Do not play this with the lights off. Going Viking by KingArthur – another KingArthur classic with some clever use of game features, though much more in the “traditional” vein. The Great Armada by Loulong – one of the best by one of the classier scenario makers. LOTR: War of the Ring by Quasidemo – an absolute stormer of a scenario, showing what you can do with imagination and good writing. This must be the only fantasy scenario that features no custom graphics whatsoever but which really works. The Middle East in the Reign of Heraclius by Calgacus – this was the first custom scenario I played, so I like it. A good example of choosing a fairly narrow but interesting period of history and “scenarioising” it. In addition to these, there are my two scenarios, The Rood and the Dragon and The Desert and the Mountain. I wouldn’t necessarily say they are the best around, or indeed that I followed all the advice I’m giving here (which is of course partly inspired by failure as well as success). But I’ll mention them a lot, simply to illustrate what I will pretentiously call “the creative process”.