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Scenario building in Civ 3-6. Possible?

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario League' started by techumseh, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. techumseh

    techumseh Chieftain

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    I am an ostrich. My head has been in the sand for many years when it comes to new versions of Civilization. I bought Civ 3 and didn't like it for various reasons, not the least of which is I couldn't figure out how to make a real scenario. By that I mean a custom map with custom civilizations with custom units and custom tech trees. Events that create specific units at specific locations at specific times, and move them according to plan and attack specific nations according to plan. Ability to give or take technologies, change terrain or make aggression according to plan. And all the other stuff ToT events (with Patch Project) can do.

    My question is this: has any version of Civilization after Civ2 ToT been able to do all that? Are there post-ToT version historical scenarios like Red Front, Operation Market Garden, Lord of the Rings, or Napoleon? I don't mean just mods, but realistic scenarios on accurate maps with accurate orders of battle and realistic results. I'd like to hear from folks that have delved into more recent versions of the game, if they care to respond. Thank you.
     
  2. Patine

    Patine Warlord

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    Civ 4, 5, and 6 are heavily built around colourful historic Civ leaders, with bonuses, special units, special improvements, special techs, special abilities, a Wonder maybe, and AI behaviour (kind of like SMAC, but even moreso). Editing graphics, tech trees, improvments, terrain, units, etc., practically requires a programming diploma from a technical college. Scenarios are VERY difficult to do - most custom projects are just mods. Scripted events do not appear in 3-6 - apparently, Sid Meier and Brian Reynalds, who left MPS to found Firaxis, didn't like them and it was two other guys at MPS who had added them to Civ2 "over Sid's protests." There you go, Tech. The ugly report.
     
  3. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi Tech,

    If you go to the CivFanatics download section here, I believe you will find, in diminishing numbers based on the Civ version, a whole series of scenarios based on different historical periods. I've purchased and played all Civilization platforms up to V. Versions IV and V certainly have scenarios but as Patine indicated the more interesting projects, for me personally, where the different mods created by the community members.

    Furthermore, as he indicated , when it comes to scenario designing, the complexity and difficulty rises exponentially the more recent the platform. The graphics alone require some advanced level of graphics software programming skills (it's extremely unlikely one would be able to tweak or modify icons like one can in Civ 2 without this knowledge base).
     
  4. CurtSibling

    CurtSibling ENEMY ACE™ SLeague Staff

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    I think the later versions of CIV lost the genius elegance and simplicity of CIV2.
    In these other editions, even gettting a scenario loaded was like a manhattan project.

    I'll stick with 1990s static graphical goodness.
     
  5. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

    Joined:
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    techumseh, I think there will not be many answers in this thread from modders, that have done mods/scenarios outside Civ 2, as most of the newer modders - and it seems Firaxis, too - have forgotten to be aware of the advantages of versions of the civ series coming before Civ 4. Many posts show, that their civ horizone starts with Civ 4, where my Civ world ends, as I really don´t like those 3D graphics and the table top presentation, that in my eyes is not the best solution for a strategy game.

    The 'post-ToT historical' C3C scenario SOE (Storm over Europe) until now in my eyes is the best scenario about WW2 in Europe of the complete civ series, especially when considering OOBs. The scenario holds more than 1,000 different unit types, 512 cities and here you can read more about the OOB.
    It also holds some Civ 2 graphics for minor cities. :) SOE at CFC only has about 70,000 views as we had a special site for it (the SOC site) and with the closing of the SOC site some years ago this scenario is not available to the public since a longer time.
    Spoiler :















    Civ 2 was pure genius and introduced the - in my eyes - most important feature of the civ series: Modding :clap:

    When Civ 3 came up, I had a long fight with myself, if I should continue only modding Civ 2 ToT, or if I should mod Civ 3 - at the end I decided to do both, but the focus was on Civ 3, as I really like these nice animated units coming with Civ 3. The other side of the medal - and a heavy setback for me - was the missing of the Civ 2 events and I also didn´t like the cartoonish style, that was getting more and more worse with every following version of the Civ series, changing the serious historical direction of the game in Civ 2 to a kind of a 'Mickey Mouse' game. Here you can read, what I have posted about that topic more than 10 years ago: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/alarming-silence-of-firaxis.246561/page-12#post-6082150

    This said, until now I´m missing the events coming with Civ 2, that make creating historical scenarios so much easier. Per example in the C3C SOE scenario I had to transform the techtree into a calendar and to set 'immobile base units' at some special locations, where they were able to upgrade to the units that are needed later in the scenario, when they in reality did appear. Another workaround for missing events in Civ 3 was the option introduced with C3C, that buildings can produce units in adjustable intervalls with adjustable perequisites. On the other hand even some smaller features of Civ 2, like Civ 2 helicopters, a bonus for units attacking citywalls, barbarians that can hold cities, caravans and units for spies and diplomats, are unfortunately missing in Civ 3.

    I´m really exited about the cornucopia of possibilities coming by the TheNamelessOne and TOTPP. On the other hand I would really appreciate, if there would be the possibility for animated units showing a defense animation and an 'enmovement' function for different soundfiles when these units are moving.
    As a version of Civ 3 with events will never come, I hope there will come a time for completly animated units (even defense animations !) with Civ 2 ToT. I have not forgotten Prof. Garfield´s great thread '[TOTPP] Get Started With Lua Events' :hatsoff: and will come back to it, when RL allows me to do so.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  6. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    I have experience modding Civ2–4, so here's a comparison at-a-glance:

    Civ3 is a mixed bag. It does not feature scriptable events like 2 or 4+, and as Civinator mentions, does not have equivalencies for several Civ2 mechanics. Its barbarian faction is also extremely limited in what it can do: beyond pre-placed forces it can only spawn three rules-defined units (2 land, 1 ship) and can't control cities. It is, however, what I consider the last 'noob-friendly' game in terms of modding, as it has a companion GUI editor that handles the main rules definitions. Civ-specific units (and customized upgrade paths) are easy to implement, and some clever modders have figured out tricks to craft faction-specific tech trees using a better method than Firaxis' own designers. Sort of like Civ2, the best scenarios involve elaborate workarounds to engine limitations to emulate a scripted design (perhaps most outstandingly, the Escape from Zombie Island project). There are parameters for permanent alliances and/or permanent war, although these are limited to a maximum of four blocs and last for the whole game. There's nothing that lets you actively micromanage a game-in-progress—you set up the start and hope for the best.

    Civ4's engine is much more robust and theoretically capable of anything LUA can do, the difference being you're scripting in Python. The Road to War included in the official expansion features elements like ranged artillery, automatic counterstrikes, and can even lock diplomacy to the historical WWII timeline. Modding itself isn't quite as daunting as Patine makes it out, but it requires knowledge of XML formatting, which is scattered across multiple rules documents and text-definition files that cross-reference each other, meaning half the adventure is figuring out everything you need to change. Some of the mechanics are less intuitive than Civ3 (namely, how civ-unique features are swapped in for the generics), though I've seen some scenarios with fully-divergent customized unit lines. There's certainly a lot more customizability to AI behaviour. Particularly ambitious modders can even introduce new rules through DLL modding, though that's way beyond my expertise.

    Then there's Freeciv, which manages to simultaneously be as simple as Civ2 and as mind-numbingly obtuse as Civ4. I still can't properly port ToT-style graphics without breaking the UI.
     
  7. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    I can't speak for Civ3, as I've learned about modding only with Civ4 and really started with Civ5, so I'll answer for Civ5 and Civ6.

    civ5 and civ6 use Lua for scripting, with events and exposed methods so you can make scenario with both if you know a bit about coding.

    I'll start with civ5:

    Its DLL source code was also released, which give it almost the same capabilities as Civ4 for gameplay modding (minus multiplayer, that was a real pain to implement for civ5, and the reason I've stopped modding it)

    For a concrete example, here are some of the major features of my WWII total conversion mod (R.E.D. WWII):
    • Frontline: units can capture tiles (or liberate your allied/friends tiles)
    • Supply lines: units that are not connected to a city over friendly territory won't get reinforcements and get a malus in combat.
    • Reinforcements: personnel and materiel are needed to "heal" your units.
    • Retreat: units will retreat under heavy casualties or from captured cities.
    • 1000+ new 3d models for units, with many different classes
    • Counterfire, Defensive Fire
    • Custom diplomacy with historical dates for DoW
    Spoiler :


    1/ Reinforcements

    To heal 1 hit point, any unit need "reinforcements", a combination of "personnel" and "materiel". Some unit will use more personnel (Infantry), some more materiel (Tanks), some a bit of both (Light Tanks)

    Personnel are generated from your total empire food production, from specific buildings in cities (see tooltips in construction list), from "We Need You" process in cities, and you receive a portion of what your friendly and allied city-states are producing for themselves.

    Materiel are generated from your total empireproduction, from specific buildings in cities (see tooltips in construction list), from "Buy War Bond" process in cities, and you also receive a portion of what your friendly and allied city-states are producing for themselves.

    "We Need You" is proportional to the city food production, "Buy War Bond" is proportional to the cityand production. Those two process are important, and quite useful with a bit of micromanagement.

    On some maps there are "convoy" units that move automatically on maritime routes under specific conditions and bring you personnel, materiel, gold or new units.


    2/ Retreat

    When it take enough damage (defending in melee combat) to make it think that 3-4 attacks of this level will kill it, an unit will try to retreat from it's position.

    Examples : Infantry at full health (75hp) can take 10 damage from a tank and won't retreat, but at half health (37hp) it will. Introducing morale is planned, but still not done.

    Unit will retreat to one of the 3 plots opposing the attack direction, if none are free, the unit will get half more damage (5 in above example), but will always keep at least 1hp.

    Retreating from city is more specific, a unit is not killed in a captured city, it will try to escape before it happens, and will loss hp in the process. If there's a free valid plot just around the city, it will go there, else it will be transferred to a nearby city, with a bigger hp penalty.

    All routed units will lost 2 moves for the next turn.


    3/ Frontline

    Units capture enemy territory when moving on his tiles. The territory map is memorized at game start, and you can liberate old territory from friend/allied civs.

    Some units don't capture tiles, like special force and artillery.


    4/ Buildings

    Some buildings require another to be available (ex: Land Factory require a Factory), and some will block the construction of other (ex: a city with a Land Factory can't construct any Air Factory). Units will require specific buildings. Use the mouse over help text in the production screen to know which buildings or units will be made available by the one you're about to build.


    5/ Projects

    Projects can be produced in cities with special buildings. New models (example: T-34) projects require a Military Academy, which require Barracks to be constructed. Models evolution (ex: T-34 to T-34/76) require either a Military Academy OR the building needed to construct the unit (a Land Factory in that example)

    Projects are unlocked around specific dates, or after units from a specific type have gained enough experience from combat.

    There is another kind of project called "Military Operation". Those are in beta testing and only two of them are available ATM, for Germany on the Europe 1939 map. Those projects allow fast deploiement of units in a theatre of operation (example : "Operation Weserübung" will deploy 3 paratroops division (the AI get more) in Norway for Germany. A Military Base is needed to work on such projects.


    And for civ6:

    Its DLL source code has not been released (yet ?), and it has less gameplay related methods in Lua than civ5, which make it the worst of the last 3 versions when it comes to scenario modding.

    Yet we have enough event and method to control units spawning and healing, and even if we don't have direct control over units, methods allow to group them and give them a city as target so potentially you could make a civ6 scenario that use at least supply line & reinforcement for units and OOB including spawning reinforcement with starting objectives. But unlike 4 and 5 you can't dynamically control diplomacy, you'll have to lock war/peace for the entire scenario.


    So based of the other posts and my own experience with civ5 and 6, I'd say that your best choice to make scenarios are civ2, civ4 and civ5.

    civ6 is still too young (miss some of the events/methods of civ4-5, not sure how it compares to civ2 on that side, and no access to the DLL source code as civ4 and 5), but IMO it has a lot of potential, even enough to be the best choice in the future, IF Firaxis decide to release the source code and update the current tools to be more user friendly (creating even a simple mod is a big step for new modders)
     
    Tanelorn likes this.
  8. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi Gedemon,

    I just wanted to say how I was a big fan of your work. I can't say how often I used your YnAEMP map pack or R.E.D mod in conjunction with this or that other mod in Civ 5. They have provided me countless hours of playing enjoyment.

    So thank you for your work!
     
    Gedemon likes this.
  9. Fairline

    Fairline Chieftain

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    Yep, me too with RED. Thanks and good job :thumbsup:
     

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