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Is Civ 5 dead? and other questions....

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Creation & Customization' started by CJKane, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. CJKane

    CJKane Chieftain

    Jan 27, 2021
    Hello Civ Fanatics!

    I am very late to the party when it comes to Civilization. I bought civ 5 and 6 a long time ago. I picked them up in sales but only recently started playing Civ 5.

    I absolutely fell in love and have been addicted ever since.

    I have not even bothered to try Civ 6 yet as i'm still enjoying 5 too much (also Civ 6 graphics style just puts me off)

    The next logical step in my love affair with Civilization 5 was to create and publish mods. Something I have done with other games in the past with relative success and enjoyment.

    I have spent the last couple of weeks learning about modding this game and creating new civs in particular.

    I found all the information I could about creating new civs. I did the research and then got to work on choosing interesting historical civilizations that have not been used before and spent a lot of time creating the artwork and coming up with unique abilities etc

    I have a lot of ideas and made some (imho) incredible art and have some really good civilizations ready to be made.

    The problem is that now I come to the actual work of using mod buddy to create civs I have found that the guides and information out there are either incomplete, unfinished or straight up not user friendly for beginners.

    It seems to me that to attempt to learn anything to do with modding Civ 5 you need to patch together information from various resources to even come close to getting a straight answer.

    Keniisu's infuriatingly incomplete You Tube videos for example are agonizingly close to giving the required information for a new modder but seem to be made for experts and skip a million steps. He consistently mentions what appear to be vital things and promises that it will be covered or answered later only to be skipped or never mentioned again. For example he mentions Diplomacy Responses and how we don't need that till later only to never mention it again... in not one but TWO videos!

    That being said it seems he is the only person to have made videos for this so kudos to him for trying!

    There is also the Modders Guide available on this site which is a great tool but seems to be missing a lot of contextual information and vital "how to" sections seem not to exist. It simply lists what has to be done without showing how to do most of it (at least from a newbie perspective). No disrespect to the author of the guide. It was clearly made by someone with a lot of wisdom and the level of dedication to produce something like that is amazing and I hope they got the respect and appreciation they deserved at the time.

    However both sources feel to me a little like Dominic Torretto giving someone a driving lesson and literally racing around for an hour doing donuts and drifting whilst mentioning cool driving phrases and one liners and then tossing them the keys and saying "now you do that" without actually realizing they never taught them how to turn the ignition key, change gears or how to use the pedals.

    I have five civilizations ready to go however I reached what seems to be a very common point of failure...
    the dreaded "Mod not showing up in selection screen" situation.

    The closest answer I can find for this problem is to check the XML code for errors or duplicates etc but like many other new civ modders I am "consciously incompetent" and can merely follow the steps given and scour the internet for the knowledge to effectively troubleshoot issues when they arise.

    Finding old posts and comments with similar issues and hoping to stumble upon the correct answer can only get you so far.

    I noticed that one way to solve the "Civ not showing in game" problem is to upload the file for the civ here on Civ Fanatics for an expert to take a look at it. They see what is wrong within the code and tell a budding modder what is wrong and help them fix it but I have noticed countless unanswered questions and cries for help here on the forums as well as in You Tube comments sections.....

    So...... instead of attempting to do that at this point I have chosen to write this post instead because I think if I was to post asking for help and receive no reply then my PC may have a violent exit through the window and its winter so windows are kinda useful right now...

    which leads me the point and the title of this post...

    Is Civ 5 dead?

    Has the Civilization community moved exclusively to Civ 6?

    Is there any point at all in a new player bothering to get into the mod scene for Civ 5 ?

    Did Disney/Pixar design Civ 6?

    Should I abandon all hope for my new Civs? Or save them for civ 6 or even 7?

    Is there room in this world for new civ fanatics or has the door firmly shut for newcomers?

    In closing I would just like to say that I feel very exited to join the Civ Community but perhaps I should just wait for Humankind !

    Moderator Action: moved, and edited the sentence that was not family friendly -Gedemon
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2021
  2. whoward69

    whoward69 DLL Minion

    May 30, 2011
    Near Portsmouth, UK
    Not dead, not as healthy as it used to be, but some of us are still here (or more accurately in Civ5 - Creation & Customization sub-forum)

    Without a lot of experience, there is no easy way to create a new civ from scratch. Kael's guide was written way back at the release of Vanilla and there have been many patches and two expansion packs that have not just muddied the waters since it was written but in some places completely silted them up (changes in the way culture works and spy names being two examples)

    IMHO the least "ripping my hair out" newbie approach to creating a new civ is to start with an existing one and slowly transform it to the new civ - icons and text (city names, spy names, etc), test, leader, test, unique 1, test, unique 2, test, etc

    And yes, if you upload a civ someone may take a look at it - no promises, we all have other things on our plates - but you're far more likely to get a response to "attached is my civ, it doesn't show in the loading screen, can someone take a look and tell me why" than "I've created a new civ and it won't load" (as the latter will, if we have the time, just get the response "we need the mod")

    Welcome to the fold

    PS - And please pull up your pants, we are after all family friendly :)

    PPS - I suggest the C&C sub-forum would be a better place for this, looks like the moderators agreed
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
  3. Proto_Noob

    Proto_Noob Chieftain

    Jan 11, 2016
    Couldn't agree more with you CJKane (and you said it better than I even have). Been here a while, and while I have cobbled together some basic understanding (can mod the XML, SQL, and very basic lua, as well as do very basic trouble shooting when a mod created by modbuddy won't work) I agree that there is a $#!t ton of tribal knowledge that is just not communicated clearly or succinctly or in an easy to find way. It seems like there was a metric crap ton of knowledge gleaned early on in the modding process that the community figured out collectively and became 'common knowledge'. Then, as some of the skilled modders moved on to other games, that tribal knowledge diminished with them. That knowledge is still out there buried in threads dozens (or hundreds) of pages long but is near impossible to find by a noob, and even when linked to by a skilled modder (looking at you whoward69 and Lee S), the post requires the context of about a half dozen other threads spread out all over the boards to understand. From the POV of these master civ 5 modders those 'helpful' links are as clear as day. From our POV they only raise a dozen more questions 90% of the time. I realize this is a fan/community driven forum and proper documentation is a bit of a bore to create and upkeep, but if this disconnect is not overcome, the death of this community is unavoidable.

    This is coming from a person that has worked professionally as a programmer, so i am no noob to working with code or coding tools in general. There have been professional projects that I have worked on that have had this exact problem. People that started a huge project and developed 'tribal knowledge' leave both the customer company and our software company (mostly due to mistreatment so there is no incentive or will to come back for a short period and explain things on occasion). There IS documentation, but the documentation only covers about 50% of the NEEDED information and the very few employees that are still there (that were there from the start) think the documentation is as clear as day because they have the other 50% context/info in their head and don't realize it is not common knowledge or easily understandable any more.

    There may also be many modding 'tricks of the trade' that some of the more competent modders (like whoward69) don't think to explain or illustrate (sufficiently) as they are like breathing to them. Civ 5 is the only game I have ever tried to mod, so this may also be part of MY problem. Some of us just don't have the underlying skill set for modding that is distinct from programming (in general) or DB management.

    These issues are ultimately what has caused me and people like me to just throw up our hands and take year long breaks (and get rusty all over again) or never come back. I am sure that there are people that just got bored, but in readying the forums here, I know that I am nowhere near alone in this position.

    Whoward69 and Lee S... You are gods among men and I appreciate all the work you have done to make Civ 5 a game that just keeps giving (picknmixmods & your part in the vox populi project come immediately to mind), BUT... CJKane is 100% correct and sometimes I feel you only perpetuate the problem. Yes, you are helpful when people have questions, but have been somewhat dismissive and are a perfect illustration of the issues I described above. You quite often link to documentation that is clear as mud, or worse, mention some solution that seems, at times, like a string of random words and give no links as explanation. Now, I know this is not your job and you may not even want it, but the people who were here early on (or those that were able to successfully to get the info from them) are the only people that CAN do it. Half of all the necessary knowledge is sitting in either your heads or on forums too long to parse through to distill the info we need.

    "Not dead, not as healthy as it used to be, but some of us are still here (or more accurately in Civ5 - Creation & Customization sub-forum)"

    Not dead yet, but if this problem is not fixed soon, that WILL change. If you are ready for this community to die, then you can ignore what I am saying. However, if you would like to breath new life into this modding community, I would strongly suggest taking my advice and working with some people to create this kind of documentation.

    I would love for this community to thrive once again and would be willing to put in time and effort to help create this documentation, but my knowledge base is so low, I just don't think I would be of much help. The only way I see that changing is if someone very knowledgeable is willing to sit down with me, be patient, and explain all the ins and outs of modding for this game (over Zoom with some screen sharing). I am also interested in maybe taking vox populi and making that a new game in unreal engine or something and taking all the lessons learned about this game (and how to make something even more moddable) and applying them there.

  4. Artisanix

    Artisanix Warlord

    Oct 6, 2013
    If we compare C5 modding community to the life of a star, then it's in its last but longest phase - being the white dwarf.
    Not dead yet, but it's light gets dimmer and dimmer with each passing day. So there should be no any hope for drastic change here :]
  5. TopHatPaladin

    TopHatPaladin Warlord

    Nov 5, 2017
    New England
    I think it also bears mention that much of the day-to-day activity has simply moved to other channels, particularly on Discord. (I'm not certain what CFC's policies are on linking to them, but you can find all of the most relevant ones linked on the sidebar of the /r/civmoddingcentral subreddit.)

    The audience for Civ 5 mods has certainly waned, but the modding community itself is still plenty vibrant and active— over 150 new civilizations were released throughout 2020, and more than a dozen modders have released civs in 2021 so far.
  6. LastSword

    LastSword Prince

    Feb 24, 2013
    I kind of agree that having one semi-active forum than tens of dead discords servers was better for newcomers.

    On the other hand, civ5 modding and especially custom civ making is very accessible and well-documented. Speaking from experience I had no issue learning it with monkey see, monkey do approach. Never read something like "Kael's guide"...

    Basic knowledge I would recommend:
    Using FireTuner for lua modding.
    Browsing existing files (usually in those locations):
    ...\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 5
    ...\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier's Civilization V

    For DLL modding: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/how-to-compile-the-dll.479374/

    If civ5modding is dead than civ6modding is stillborn. (comparing documentation, tribal knowledge, access, etc.)

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