New Mesoamerica Mod Teaser

Virote_Considon

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It's been many years since I've posted anything substantial, but earlier this year something was really bugging me.

How many times have you thought to yourself "dang, that Mesoamerican scenario which came with Conquests was kinda cool, but could really do with an overhaul"? Furthermore, just how many times have you thought to yourself "you know, the biggest limitation to the Mesoamerican scenario (and indeed, pretty much any Mesoamerican scenario) is the map and scope. I would like it to be a full 4-era mod with 31 civs to be used on a random map, just like the Epic Game".

I know, I know; too many times to count. Well, the good news is that I gotchu, fam.

Presenting: the Mesoamerican Random Map scenario.

And here's a link to the project as a teaser, and here is its first patch. For a word of warning: this mod is woefully unfinished. There's missing and partially-implemented features, placeholder graphics all round, and it's heinously unbalanced. Furthermore, there is currently no Fourth Era.

So why am I posting it now? Because a) despite that it's unfinished and unbalanced, it is nonetheless both playable and fun, b) because I recently got a new computer, and wanted to transfer it across ASAP because I fear the old harddrive is close to being fried, and c), in light of the previous two points and knowing how short an attention span I have, I felt that if I ended up neglecting it then at least someone else will be able to pick up the mod to work on their own version; enough of the core base is there after all.

Features:

-31 civilizations from the region of Central/South America, split into 4 culture groups: Mesoamericans, Andeans, Oasisamericans, and Caribbeans/Amazonians, all with unique units.

-A 3 era tech tree (mostly done in the physical sense, needs a lot of rebalancing and polishing, and a few more civ-specific techs) focusing on the pre-Columbian Era. Unimplemented: The Fourth era focusing on Post-Columbian contact which plans to feature some tough choices with in allowing Spanish influence to dominate your affairs or not.

-Major terrain changes: Jungles are now rainforests. Forests are now jungles. Tundra is now Prairies. Cities can only be built on Grasslands, Plains, Flood Plains, Hills and Mountains. No cities on Prairies, Deserts, Jungles, Marshes, Volcanos, or Rainforests.

-I really liked the impassable rainforests in the original Conquests scenario, but felt it could be spruced up a little. The terrain is now impassable by wheeled units. No more barbarians getting stuck there - their units are not wheeled. For the civs, only workers by default will not be wheeled (the terrain is too dense even for scouts!). Rainforests won't be able to be cut down and will also have no bonus/luxury resources and only one strategic resource: Amazonian Tribes.

-Minor Tribes resources. There will be two of these: one for the Amazonians (found only in rainforests) and one for the Plains tribes (found only in prairies). The former will be required to get combat units who can traverse rainforest tiles. The latter will also have some auxiliary unit builds. Much of this is currently not implemented but there is a small wonder available in Era 2 if you have Amazonians which produces a non-wheeled unit.

-The martial importance of Eagles, Jaguars, and Coyotes: These are rare resources found on the map which can build (for some civs long) lines of elite units as well as providing other martial utilities.

-A resource system which encourages controlling resource trade routes, rather than where the resources themselves come from. This will be achieved as follows:
A) Cities with the resources Stone, Timber, Copper, Quality Ceramics in their radius will be able to build special improvements (Masonry/Craftsman's Workshop/Forge/Storehouse) required for further improvements. These stack.
B) These cities will then be able to build these further improvements if they have access to the requisite resource. E.g. if they have access to Obsidian and Jade then all of their masonries will be able to build an Artisan's Studio which has various effects including producing a flag unit to return to the capitol every x turns.
(up until this point, it is partly implemented. Past this point it is not)
C) There will be a further set of improvements requring the Palace giving various kinds of benefits should your resource pool have various combinations of resources, kind of like a mini-space race.

-A huge and varied list of bonus resources to really bring the map alive. I am very proud of how the map looks, if I say so myself.

-Priests and shamans who utilise magic combat! This is a repurposing of air units to fit a thematic niche. Available from the first era.

Known Issues

Obviously as an unfinished mod there're plenty of issues to iron out.

There are many graphics which are missing - no new leaderheads have yet been implemented, many techs and improvements are using placeholder graphics. Unit graphics may need to be tweaked and swapped around as well.

The Prairies terrain file just uses the Plains graphics. However, someone with a keen eye should be able to tell where they are based on the types of resources found there (prairies have many unique resources), and also by looking at the jungle graphics (prairies actually use plains tree graphics rather than jungle graphics!)

The fourth era is unimplemented in its entirety

Much of the flavouring (culture-specific techs, improvements, wonders, government-specific improvements and wonders) are as yet unimplemented. The four different base unit lines, however, are in place.

Sacbe (railroads): As you'll see as you play, these are available with a tech in era 2 which requires another tech which has a 0% relation to all flavours. The idea was that you the player can decide if you want sacbe in the game or not and could then trade the requisite techs to the AI in good faith. What actually happens is the 0% flavour relation physically stops you from giving them the tech in the first place. Back to the drawing board!

The tech tree is a huge cluttered overlapping mess without arrows, I know, I know. There are tech tree maps for your reference here: Era 1 - Preclassical. Era 2 - Classical. Era 3 - Postclassical.

Though I've gone to some effort to make sure the Civilopedia entries are functional accurate (i.e. they tell you what everything does), the pedia is nontheless incomplete: there are very few Description pages. There are many broken links. The pages for some of the concepts (i.e. Sacrifice, Trade Control) are not yet included. The tech effects pages are particularly screwed up and in many cases is shows the default vanilla options. It should however be playable as-is - I hate shooting round in the dark and I'm sure you do too.

Optional Files

By default, the game uses Ares Terrain 2. Also included are files to play using Sn00py's Terrain, Rick's Terrain, Rhye's Terrain, and Balthasar's excellent Old West Terrain, right out of the box. .biq files can be found in \MesoAmerica Random\Extra BIQs\ all ready to play, just move them out. I don't tend to update them as much but they are all updated as of 29/11/2020.

There are also two map files: One for the original Firaxis Conquest but with this mod's rules (still the same 6 civs though), and the other using the map Blue Monkey made for various past Mesoamerican projects (featuring all 31 civilizations). Neither are balanced but hey, someone may want them.

And now for a bunch of screenshots from various stages of development:



Hohokam.png


Invasion of Caral.png



Isla de Mesa Verde.png



Tupi Territory.png

Wari Pueblo Border.png
 

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Virote_Considon

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CIVILIZATIONS

The meat and veg of this mod, the civilizations are divided into four broad groups: Mesoamericans (11 Civs), Andeans (9 Civs), Oasisamericans (4 Civs), and Tribals (7 Civs).

MESOAMERICANS

Naturally, these are the bulk of the scenario. Criteria for selection was harsh - for most of them I required a leader and a decent-sized city list. These guys have plenty of flavour and extensive unit lines mostly based around the Obsidian resource.

1. Olmecs
Traits:
Scientific and Agricultural
Starting Techs: Tool Making and Agriculture
Culture Techs: Mesoamerican (gives access to the standard Mesoamerican flavour techs and improvements), Olmec Culture (gives the Carved Heads great wonder)
Unique Unit: the Were-Jaguar Era: 1.

The "original" Mesoamerican civilization, the Olmecs have a mostly peaceful focus. Their unique unit is a defensive shaman; but also one of the few magic units who can enslave. The resulting unit can be sacrificed like any other prisoner (tested, too!)

2. Maya
Traits: Industrious and Scientific
Starting Techs: Stone Working and Tool Making
Culture Techs: Mesoamerican (gives access to the standard Mesoamerican flavour techs and improvements), Maya Culture (gives access to specific Mayan techs and improvements).
Unique Unit: the Ah Kuy Era: 2.

An all-rounder, with more unique flavour than most.

3. Aztecs
Traits:
Militaristic and Religious
Starting Techs: Hunting and Ceremonial Burial
Culture Techs: Mesoamerican (gives access to the standard Mesoamerican flavour techs and improvements), Toltec Legacy (gives access to specific techs in the third era).
Unique Unit: the Jaguar Lord Era: 3.

The big bad-lads of Mesoamerica who everyone knows and loves!

4. Zapotecs
Traits:
Expansionist and Scientific
Starting Techs: Weaving and Tool Making
Culture Techs: Mesoamerican (gives access to the standard Mesoamerican flavour techs and improvements).
Unique Unit: the Monte Alban Brave Era: 1.

One of the longest-running civilizations, they're aggressive and pack an early punch.

5. Teotihuacan
Traits:
Militaristic and Scientific
Starting Techs: Hunting and Tool Making
Culture Techs: Mesoamerican (gives access to the standard Mesoamerican flavour techs and improvements), Teotihuacan's Foundation (gives access to a powerful wonder in Era 2) .
Unique Unit: the Sun and Moon Brave Era: 2.

The Big Bad Boss of Era 2, the regional precursor to the Aztecs.

6. Toltecs
Traits:
Militaristic and Industrious
Starting Techs: Stone Working and Hunting
Culture Techs: Mesoamerican (gives access to the standard Mesoamerican flavour techs and improvements), Toltec Legacy (gives access to specific techs in the third era).
Unique Unit: the Atlantes Era: 3.

The regional stepping-stone between Teothuacan and the Aztecs, they dominated the early postclassical Valley of Mexico and had wide influence.

7. Mixtecs
Traits:
Commercial and Scientific
Starting Techs: Trade and Tool Making
Culture Techs: Mesoamerican (gives access to the standard Mesoamerican flavour techs and improvements), Toltec Legacy (gives access to specific techs in the third era).
Unique Unit: the Jaguar Atlatlman Era: 2.

Largely overlapping with the Zapotecs, the Mixtecs offer a reasonably balanced game, perhaps more in favour of building than warfare.

8. Veracruz
Traits:
Religious and Commercial
Starting Techs: Trade and Ceremonial Burial
Culture Techs: Mesoamerican (gives access to the standard Mesoamerican flavour techs and improvements), Olmec Culture (gives the Carved Heads great wonder)
Unique Unit: the Huastec Bird Warrior Era: 2.

A wide scope is encompassed by this civilization - the successor to the Olmecs, Veracruz also has Huastec influence in this mod.

9. Tarasca
Traits:
Industrious and Commercial
Starting Techs: Stone Working and Trade
Culture Techs: Mesoamerican (gives access to the standard Mesoamerican flavour techs and improvements).
Unique Unit: the Valiant Man Era: 3.

One of the few civilizations capable of standing up to the Aztecs in real life.

10. Cuzcatlán
Traits:
Militaristic and Industrious
Starting Techs: Stone Working and Hunting
Culture Techs: Mesoamerican (gives access to the standard Mesoamerican flavour techs and improvements), Toltec Legacy (gives access to specific techs in the third era).
Unique Unit: the Highland Defender Era: 3.

A Toltec successor state formed when the followers of Quetzalcoatl, looking to end the practice of human sacrifice, disembarked from Central Mexico. These guys were situated roughly where the Toltecs themselves were placed in the original Firaxist Conquest; in the optional orignal Conquests map file I've put them in the game instead of the Toltecs.

11. Chichimeca
Traits:
Militaristic and Expansionist
Starting Techs: Hunting and Weaving
Culture Techs: Mesoamerican (gives access to the standard Mesoamerican flavour techs and improvements), Aridoamerican (currently nothing is implemented and design is strictly in my head only)
Unique Unit: the Guachichil Archer Era: 2.

Representing the vast expanse of hostile tribes located in Aridoamerica. Currently they function as a normal civ, but I have considered increasing all their ground unit speeds by +1, but not allowing them to build workers until era 2 or 3.

ANDEANS

The second biggest group of the scenario. A decent amount of flavour and more compact unit lines, but they aren't meant to be so dependant on Obsidian and plus they have Llamas.

1. Inca
Traits:
Industrious and Expansionist
Starting Techs: Stone Working and Weaving
Culture Techs: Andean (gives access to the standard Andean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: Inti Warrior Era: 3.

The Big Bad-Lads of South America, for everyone's enjoyment.

2. Moche
Traits:
Industrious and Religious
Starting Techs: Stone Working and Ceremonial Burial
Culture Techs: Andean (gives access to the standard Andean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Sipan's Guard Era: 2.

An important early civilization who play with an emphasis on building.

3. Mapuche
Traits:
Militaristic and Expansionist
Starting Techs: Hunting and Weaving.
Culture Techs: Andean (gives access to the standard Andean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Pikunmapu Slinger Era: 3.

Unconquered men of the southern plateaus. n.b. their city art style is the tribal style.

4. Norte Chico
Traits:
Commercial and Seafaring
Starting Techs: Trade and Tool Making
Culture Techs: Andean (gives access to the standard Andean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Foothillsman Era: 1.

South America's first civilization, they predated Pottery on the continent!

5. Chavín
Traits:
Religious and Agricultural
Starting Techs: Ceremonial Burial and Agriculture
Culture Techs: Andean (gives access to the standard Andean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Lanzón Shaman Era: 1.

Another early South American civilization, their unique unit is a defensive shaman with nice longetivity.

6. Nazca
Traits:
Industrious and Agricultural
Starting Techs: Stone Working and Agriculture
Culture Techs: Andean (gives access to the standard Andean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Andean Headhunter Era: 2.

Famed for their advanced agricultural engineering and their huge desert drawings, these guys could also put up a pretty savage punch!

7. Chimor
Traits:
Expansionist and Commercial
Starting Techs: Weaving and Trade
Culture Techs: Andean (gives access to the standard Andean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Chan-Chan Guard Era: 3.

These guys built a rich and powerful empire before the rise of the Inca!

8. Wari
Traits:
Militaristic and Commercial
Starting Techs: Stone Working and Tool Making
Culture Techs: Andean (gives access to the standard Andean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Huari Axeman Era: 2.

These guys add some much-needed aggression to the Andean playstyle!

9. Tiwanaku
Traits:
Religious and Scientific
Starting Techs: Ceremonial Burial and Tool Making
Culture Techs: Andean (gives access to the standard Andean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Puma Warrior Era: 2.

... And these guys are the builder's yin to the aggressive Wari's yang.

OASISAMERICANS

These guys, of the American Southwest, are going to have a lot of flavour owing to their relative isolation. A much more compact unit line, but with lower emphasis on Obsidian and some unique ways of looking at the resources around them for sure!

1. Pueblo
Traits:
Industrious and Agricultural
Starting Techs: Stone Working and Agriculture
Culture Techs: Oasisamerican (gives access to the standard Oasisamerican flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Mountain Man Era: 1.

The Puebloans make a great builder civ, and are something of an all-rounder for the Oasisamericans.

2. Mogollon
Traits:
Expansionist and Agricultural
Starting Techs: Weaving and Agriculture
Culture Techs: Oasisamerican (gives access to the standard Oasisamerican flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Pathfinder Era: 1.

The Mogollon's key benefits allow them to get off to a strong early start, setting them up for a powerful game.

3. Hohokam
Traits:
Commercial and Agricultural
Starting Techs: Trade and Agriculture
Culture Techs: Oasisamerican (gives access to the standard Oasisamerican flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Patayan Spearman Era: 1.

Much as the other Oasisamericans, their primary focus is as builders.

4. Fremont
Traits:
Militaristic and Expansionist
Starting Techs: Hunting and Weaving
Culture Techs: Oasisamerican (gives access to the standard Oasisamerican flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: the Prairie Hunter Era: 2.

And then there's these guys! The outlayers of the Oasisamerican gang for sure.

TRIBALS/CARIBBEAN BASIN/AMAZONIANS

These guys have simplified unit lines in many cases not requiring units at all. Not to say they're weak, however!

1. Arawak
Traits:
Religious and Seafaring
Starting Techs: Ceremonial Burial and Pottery
Culture Techs: Caribbean Culture (gives access to the standard Caribbean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: Eagle Klan Era: 3.

As with many of the Caribbean civilizations, they have a strong emphasis on the naval aspects of this mod. They represent the more "mainland" version of the Arawak people than the Taínos, who are related to them.

2. Carib
Traits:
Militaristic and Seafaring
Starting Techs: Hunting and Pottery
Culture Techs: Caribbean Culture (gives access to the standard Caribbean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: Kalipuna Era: 3.

For more aggressive naval-based gameplay.

3. Muísca
Traits:
Expansionist and Religious
Starting Techs: Weaving and Ceremonial Burial
Culture Techs: Caribbean Culture (gives access to the standard Caribbean flavour techs and improvements) and Andean Culture (gives access to the standard Andean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: Guecha Warrior Era: 3.

Yep, you read that right - they have their hands dipped in both their Caribbean and the Andean cultural flavours! Their unit line is, however, heavily tribal.

4. Tupi
Traits:
Militaristic and Agricultural
Starting Techs: Hunting and Agriculture
Culture Techs: Amazonian Culture (gives access to the standard Amazonian flavour techs and improvements not yet implemented and may be absorbed into the Caribbean)
Unique Unit: Tamoio Era: 2.

Their unique unit can enter rainforest tiles without needing access to the Amazonian Tribes resource - they are one for Pete's sake!

I may in the future give more of their units the option to enter rainforests, too.

5. Tairona
Traits:
Expansionist and Seafaring
Starting Techs: Weaving and Pottery
Culture Techs: Caribbean Culture (gives access to the standard Caribbean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: Chibcha Bowman Era: 2.

These guys basically represent all the disparte Chibchan tribes not covered by the Muísca and the Huetars.

6. Taíno
Traits:
Agricultural and Seafaring
Starting Techs: Agriculture and Pottery
Culture Techs: Caribbean Culture (gives access to the standard Caribbean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: Sturdy Piroga Era: 2.

These guys represent the more island-based Arawak. They have the only naval-based UU in the game!

7. Huetars
Traits:
Industrious and Seafaring
Starting Techs: Stone Working and Pottery
Culture Techs: Caribbean Culture (gives access to the standard Caribbean flavour techs and improvements)
Unique Unit: Ithsmian Defender Era: 2.

These Chibchans from Costa Rica have some Mesoamerican influence in their early unit lines.
 
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Civinator

Blue Lion
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It's been many years since I've posted anything substantial, but earlier this year something was really bugging me.

How many times have you thought to yourself "dang, that Mesoamerican scenario which came with Conquests was kinda cool, but could really do with an overhaul"? Furthermore, just how many times have you thought to yourself "you know, the biggest limitation to the Mesoamerican scenario (and indeed, pretty much any Mesoamerican scenario) is the map and scope. I would like it to be a full 4-era mod with 31 civs to be used on a random map, just like the Epic Game".

Virote_Considon, good luck with your new project. :) But there is one thing I have to contradict you: Even your posts in the last years in my eyes were very substantial and there are only a few civers who know such a lot about modding Civ 3 as you do. :)
 

Mopean

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Las Vegas, NV, USA.
Over recent years I have spent probably $1000+ on books and articles not to mention months traveling in Mexico and Guatemala, I had half a mind to do a Mesoamerica/Oasisamerica mod myself but it's cool to see someone else think to put it together. I figure though if you need anything... city lists, economic/social/cultural/military information etc I would happily lend an ear or pass on some resources if it's helpful. I also have some Andean stuff, though more intermittently.
 

Mopean

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It's slightly obscure as it is more commonly known by that name in Mexico, but over time it's been increasingly adopted in English-speaking anthropology too. Virote lists mostly those on the American side, though.
 

Gojira54

The folly of Man
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Sounds quite interesting! I DL'ed the file only to find the license on my WinRAR has expired. I have a new PC I need to transfer all my files to, and once I do that and purchase a new license, I will unzip and check it out.
 

Virote_Considon

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Very promising thematic mod. Will play again when you finish it for now is a bit annoying, I have to do pedia fixes myself otherwise I won't be able to play and finish because of game crash.

What's been crashing? Pediaicons have been fine on my end?

Sounds quite interesting! I DL'ed the file only to find the license on my WinRAR has expired. I have a new PC I need to transfer all my files to, and once I do that and purchase a new license, I will unzip and check it out.

WinRAR works without the license, bro.

Though kudos for being one of the few who pay for it, it's a decent bit of software.
 

Gojira54

The folly of Man
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What's been crashing? Pediaicons have been fine on my end?



WinRAR works without the license, bro.

Though kudos for being one of the few who pay for it, it's a decent bit of software.
It stopped working yesterday, saying I needed to pay for it. :dunno:
 

Virote_Considon

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Cheers for that.

Those unit icons are actually there, there is just a problem with the pallet for the white backgrounds (I think the Civ3 engine has a problem rendering pure white sometimes). I'll try to sort it out at some point but they're low priority because the game functions either way.

Here is a patch which should fix the issues with the Naualoztomeca HQ splash and the Late Maya Macana ini. Also fixed is the Pambamarca splash (was spelt wrong) which I found trying to scour for further problems and a unit 32 icon being wrong. I've ran a test after having pre-placed every unit in the game on the map so there should currently be no more ini errors at least.
 
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