LeeS' Civilization 6 Modding Guide


Jul 23, 2013
Illinois, USA
LeeS' Civilization 6 Modding Guide

I've decided to finally "come out" as it were with the major project I've been working on for some months. The document is available as a pdf from dropbox here:

LeeS' Civilization 6 Modding Guide (441 page / 12,730KB pdf file)

You will want to save the pdf file to your computer, I would think.

Hopefully dropbox don't have a meltdown and turn off my privileges for too much traffic :D

The document is currently still quite a bit work-in-progress. Further plans for additional chapters are:

  1. Adding a new leader to the game (with the required artwork coding in Modbuddy, etc.)
  2. Adding a new civilization to the game (with the required artwork coding in Modbuddy, etc.)
  3. Adding a new unit to the game (with the required artwork coding in Modbuddy, etc.)
  4. A more extended discussion on LoadOrder settings and how they can be used
  5. Various Modbuddy menu usages currently not shown
  6. Step by step on how to upload a mod to steam using the SDK tool
  7. (Possibly) some info on using WorldBuilder. WorldBuilder could be its own entire manual, however, and I am not sure I would want to take on another such large project.
  8. More advanced lua techniques
  9. Some discussion on UI lua modding from the code perspective
  10. Replacing UI files with custom versions
  11. Importing lua 'toolkit' files to the VFS, and using the lua "include" command
    • with some notes on how LoadOrder can also be used to help control which version of an lua file will actually be used by the game when multiple mods may be sending a different version of FileX.lua into the game's Virtual File System.
  12. Using the "Context Replace" system Gathering Storm uses to update various UI panels with only those bits needed for Gathering Storm
  13. Adding simple 2d Icons to the game for such things as buildings -- leader scenes are still a bit more complicated in Civ6
  14. Further advice on debugging methods and procedures.
  15. Anything else I haven't thought of at the moment

As of this release of the "beta" public version of the Guide, data for Rising Fall and Gathering Storm is not complete, especially in the chapter devoted to Database Structure. And nothing that may have been changed by the recent April patch and SDK hotfix patch will be relected in the document.

Also, please don't be offput by the copyright notice. I felt compelled to add that in order to head off anyone attempting to bunko the unwary by attempting to charge someone for the "service" of passing along what I have provided free of charge. Without speaking to anything specific there have been some trends developing on the "internet" (shall we say) lately regarding paywalling of "stuff" that has historically been available for free.
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Hoping to add another chapter sometime this weekend. But first I have to make sure I get through the annual
Player:GetTreasury():SetOpenWalletExportMoniesToIRS(SendAllYourMonies, true)
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Hello LeeS, I want to thank you for your Great Modding Guide, i´m learning a lot, since i´m a beginner i focus on xml and sql and try to understand the Database features, but one thing that would realy intress me, is how to work or change the UI of the Game, perhabs one day you can add a chapter regarding UI Modding,,, Thanks again
Nice work! Is the .modinfo template the latest version we should be using (compatible with GS)?
if you are referring to the chapter where I discuss how to create a simple mod without using modbuddy, then no, that would not be the "latest" version of a generic modinfo file written to be compatible to GS. You would need the "properties" part of such a modinfo file at the top of the file to look more like this:
    <Name>My Civ6 Changes</Name>
    <Description>Allows the inexperienced mod-maker to dump their xml or sql code into a prepackaged mod</Description>
    <Teaser>Allows the inexperienced mod-maker to dump their xml or sql code into a prepackaged mod</Teaser>
"1.2" signals compatible to Ruse and Fall, and "2.0" signals compatible to Gathering Storm. Neither of these settings cause your mod to behave any differently, they are only for signalling to the user in the Additional Content menu that you the modmaker believe you have everything updated properly to run under Risea and Fall and / or Gathering Storm.

ModBuddy now has two check-boxes to mark a mod as being compatible to RaF and/or GS, which are on by default as of the most recent updates to the SDK. I simply haven't been able to add anything on these and a few other quick subjects since I have been sick as a dying dog for the last week and did not have the energy. I'm planning on adding some updates to the guide on some of these simpler miscellaneous issues this weekend since I'm feeling better but not yet up to the task of an intense and complex subject-chapter.
Download pdf has been updated

  1. Chapter on making a simple "update" mod using modbuddy. More to show the procedures in Modbuddy are identical to those needed to add an entirely new item to the game than anything else, and to make it more-obvious what all an "UpdateDatabase" type of action does.
  2. Chapter on marking a mod as compatible to Rise and Fall and Gathering Storm, and where to find within Modbuddy the check-boxes that will automatically add these designations when the mod is built.
  3. Added/expanded chapter on Folder and File structuring and naming within a mod. This chapter may or may not be subject to redraft based on feedback as to whether it is clear and understandable to the novice mod-maker
  4. Added an Appendix A, which is a listing of other useful modding tutorial and references, organized primarily by subject matters. This listing will be expanded as time and opportunity permits.
  5. Other small additions and "expansions" of previously-included chapters, mostly in the form of very minor edits
Thanks LeeS, stickyed !

(and I've un-stickyed the "state of lua modding" thread as this is covered in the guide)
Thanks LeeS, stickyed !
(and I've un-stickyed the "state of lua modding" thread as this is covered in the guide)
The "state of lua modding" thread had gotten rather stale anyway. I was thinking of asking you or Rob to let it die gracefully by un-sticking it and letting it drop slowly out of sight since it isn't super relevant anymore.
I've read a little on this tutorial and it's so complete... and recently updated! Thank you so much!
Status Update​

I've been working on updates to various portions of the Modding Guide but I am going to have to put completing and publishing the new update(s) on a "hold" status because of Real Life Issues.
  1. My computer gave me a near dead computer behavior this morning which took me a couple of hours to work through.
    • It's getting to the end of its usable life apparently, as it's about five years old now
    • The problem seems to be related to Display Driver wanting to crap out randomly
  2. So I'm in the process of making back-ups of my data off my hard drive whilst trolling internet sites like Amazon for what I can get as a replacement that will both do what I need and not cost me more than I can reasonably afford
  3. I'm also in the midst of a search for a house/apartment closer to where I work so I can cut down on my daily commute. This may eat quite a bit of my free time for the next month or so while doing the looking and after the looking doing the moving and what-not
The project is most emphatically not being abandonded ! It is just going to take me some time to work through these Real life "fun" issues before I can get back to reliably being able to make additions from the points of view of having the free time after work to do them (for example) and to be able to post an update without having Mister Computer take a dump mid-stream of the update design / writing / posting process.
Shouldn't this be under "Modding Tutorials & Reference"?
LeeS, I just got to see this guide in civfanatics. Just downloaded the .pdf file. I am still a beginner who had created a simple mod for myself. Your guide will be very useful for beginner like me. Thank you for your 'Guide Book".
Just a quick note to let you all know I am back to work on the Guide. I'm currently in process of making large additions and edit/reviews.

Not sure when I will have the next update available.

One thing to note however is that the section on how to download the SDK is no longer all that valid because Steam entirely reworked the Steam Interface with the result that all the images and instructions related to finding and starting the download on Steam are now bogus and pretty much useless.
Gee thanks Steam! We all enjoy the endless Steam Client Updates because they don't at all bork anything ever.
LeeS, your modding guide helps new-comer like me. Your guide has provided great knowledge on the modding process, including on the error/log file analysis. I thought of creating my own unique unit/s for each era but unfortunately the Assets Editor program does not seems to run and quits with error message. I am looking forward to your additions. Thank you for the guide
I just wanted to start to get into modding found your guide and I really like it as it it simple and explains everything well so thank you very much for it
@LeeS , FYI while the direct links for NycholusV's wordpress site in your PDF are safe (page 150 & 492), you can reach the homepage of that site from there, which links back to the previous domain, which contains compromised pages (redirects to unsafe sites).

So I've edited both original threads:

and copied the content of the tutorial there (let me know if I've missed something), can you edit your PDF too, please.

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