Triumph of the Nomads Mod There have been some pretty interesting discussions here and here about nomadic civilizations. There have also been some threads asking specific questions related to designing a mod with nomadic civs, such as a way to simulate seasonal shifts in resources. The Design Issues I think Virote does a good job of laying out the key game specific issues in the thread he started (The quotes are not placed here in the order he wrote them): Problem: Sedentary vs. Nomadic cultures. Problem: How to handle settlements. Problem: Resources; especially with regards to building units. Problem: Incorporating nomads into a historical map. Problem: Ability of AI to handle a situation so different from the normal game. Here are the broad outlines of solutions to these problems. These become the working definition of the mod to be designed - what architects would call the client's program. The Design Solutions the first step is to translate the problems into an order that is more susceptible to solution Sedentary vs. Nomadic cultures - Simply create a scenario/mod with only nomadic civilizations. Some of the culture traits may end up being useless; but then isn't that the point. Incorporating nomads into a historical map - Make an ahistorical map representing the type of settings in which nomads flourish. Ability of AI to handle a situation so different from the normal game - This seems to be the key issue that creates most of the other problems, especially the two remaining. No AI, no problem: design a scenario/mod strictly intended for Multiplayer/PBEM use. Resources; especially with regards to building units & improvements - And How to handle settlements - If the mod uses the rapid resource appearance/disappearance solution I asked about and shifting resources are necessary to building units, etc. players are going to move their settlements, or lose the game. Skeleton of a Mod Some additional design suggestions based on the program above become clear: Wonders can be handled by placement of unique (or nearly so) resources, allowing one or two permanent settlements that represent the "homeland" of each tribe. Conquest of another tribe's homeland could thus become a strategic goal - gaining control of both wonders and scarce resources. A tech tree that emphasizes new units & upgrade paths, and deemphasizes civic improvements (nomads don't make many specialized buildings), may be a way to put oral transmission of culture into game terms. There ought to be a (still nomadic) settlement in which is built a chieftain's residence - a nomadic "palace" equivalent. Loss of productivity and increasing chance of cultural assimilation (corruption as lack of cultural participation) due to distance from the chieftain would well reflect the nomadic cultural experience. While such the chieftain's camp might be semipermanent there would still be pressure to move from time to time due to shifting resources and to keep it close to the center of the tribe as a whole's migratory path. Sending scouting parties, or making seasonal rendezvous, to trade technologies, resources, and knowledge of tribal locations (maps) with friendly tribes is a part of most nomadic cultures. Preplaced but unbuildable roads (Songlines) could connect homelands / chieftain's camps. If all civic improvements cause pollution, that could become another driving force for migration. Some suggestions for Culture Groups, with examples: Walking tribes - such as the indigenous people of Australia or the Sami. Horse domesticating tribes - such as the Lakota or the Hun. Oceanic tribes - Polynesians and indigenous "pirate" societies of the South China Sea. Desert tribes - Tuareg, for example. Either as a feature of developments in later eras, or as a fifth group we could have a vehicle group - chariots>wagons>flight (like those supposed Nazca balloons). The Getting The Actual Work Done: People with certain skill sets would be team coordinators, but I'd like to see a design team develop that makes decisions based on peer consensus and that consists of workers, not kibitzers. Points of coordinator responsibility (facilitators, not solitary workers): design of the map LM terrain & resource choices tech tree development culture choice & design unit lines & creation of needed additions. I think quite few units are already made that would be useful in such a mod. settlements, improvements & wonders instantiating all design decisions into the edited game rules of a biq. Ready, Steady, ... To kick things off here's an idea for a map: Since it's based on Antarctica (in another epoch), the basic geography is "Earth normal". Every type of terrain can be authentically represented on it - for example deserts as a consequence of rain shadows. This map also incorporates many migratory bottlenecks that can become of strategic improvements. Who's in for initial discussion and willing to put their hand to the wheel?