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Orbital Cities

Discussion in 'CivBE - Requests and Ideas' started by Timotheos, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Timotheos

    Timotheos Chieftain

    Mar 23, 2015
    I've been a lurker here in the forums since CivIV and have always enjoyed the Civ series.

    Having said that, there is a mechanic that was introduced back in 1999 that no other Civ game has had the chance to replicate until now, orbital cities.

    I was wondering if anyone would like to join me in planning and possibly producing a mod that would incorporate such a feature. I realize that it wouldn't be a simple or easy task, but I believe it could be a lot of fun if others are interested in working on it.

    As for my own personal experience and skill in modding, all that I can really claim is that I've got some minor schooling in game design and have had a couple programming classes, but unfortunately nothing of true working value. I am willing to learn and willing to work towards something that can be fun and enjoyable for all.

  2. Delnar_Ersike

    Delnar_Ersike Chieftain

    Jan 1, 2007
    Due to the fact that cities are such an integral part of any civilization game, messing about with how they work pretty much requires access to the game's DLL. Even the Civ5 mod that enables ocean cities via Lua is quite patchy, as all of the code on the DLL side expects cities to always be located on land tiles (easiest workaround is to turn the settler's water tile into a land tile whenever an "ocean" city is founded). Cities that are located in the game's orbital layer are out of the question without DLL access.

    In case you aren't familiar with the way Civ games have been structured since at least Civ4, the game itself is stored in a .dll file whose name starts with "CvGameCore", while everything engine-related is stored in the executable and other DLL files. Settings used by the .dll are stored in a database of some sort (an actual SQL database in Civ5 and BE), while the .dll itself has certain, pre-defined parts where it loads and runs external scripts written in another programming language (Python in Civ4, Lua in Civ5 and BE). This means that if your intended changes cannot be implemented by fiddling with settings and cannot be implemented through one of the many places where the game fetches Lua scripts, you need access to the game's actual C++ source code.
    Firaxis have always released their games' source code for modders in the past, so modders could essentially change the game as much as their C++ skills allowed them to; the fact that Firaxis did this for Civ4 the day it was released was the reason that mods like Fall from Heaven could exist. However, Firaxis delayed quite a bit with Civ5's source code, releasing it only after their first expansion was released, and a lot of the C++ changes from Civ4 to Civ5 turned out to be implemented quite poorly. Firaxis has yet to release CivBE's source code, though judging by the tumbleweeds in CivBE's modding forum, I find it highly unlikely that it would do them any favors.
  3. thecrazyscot

    thecrazyscot Spiffy

    Dec 27, 2012
    To be fair, a lot of modders (including myself) may be hesitant to mod BE given Firaxis' statements about updating the game to a "2.0" version (which would probably break any mods) and without having the source code release.

    Which may put modding in a catch-22. Firaxis may not see the point of releasing the DLL with so little modding occurring, but so little modding may be occurring because there's no DLL.

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