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Smaller unit figures for the regular map view and/or schematic unit symbols for the zoomed out view?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Creation & Customization' started by Yury T., Feb 15, 2020.

  1. Yury T.

    Yury T. Chieftain

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    Hello guys,

    Is there a modification doing either (or both) of the following:

    1) Relatively smaller unit figures when viewing the map in regular zoom factors (all but the last zoom value, producing flat map view). Currently, those figures look oversized to me, and if I 'move my POV away' (zoom out), I can't tell apart the flags' colours.
    Possibly, more distinctive (bright or whatever) coloration for the unit figures, too? In well-zoomed-out view I might even not notice the enemy's units.
    Something like in Civ3, really, with colour discs, too.

    2) Units symbols for the flat map view, like in chess demo boards or something like that. I do not much care for all those 3D goodies, anyway.

    Would be good for such a mod to not change anything else, just the presentation part.
     
  2. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Deity

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    2) Have you tried "Show All Military Units?"
     
  3. Yury T.

    Yury T. Chieftain

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    I don't see anything named quite liked that.
    Do you mean the "Display of unit position and density information" toggle, with "All Military" suboption 'greened'/checked?
    What it does here (in zoomed-out view) is show me the painted square 'under' the unit with the 'blurb'. Painted square may actually get 'torn' off the corresponding 'blurb' for a turn. Somewhat confusing.
    Cities are just callouts UNDER the squares (and the city squares don't actually look different).
    I guess I'd prefer something like Civ1 or 2 had, for this kind of view mode.
     
  4. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Deity

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    This is what I meant: upload_2020-2-15_21-16-13.png
    I don't think you can get anything better that this.
     
  5. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    When "Show Friendly/Enemy Moves" is enabled? The positions of the indicator bubbles don't get updated during rival turns. (That minor annoyance can be fixed in the DLL.)

    You're probably aware of the "Single Unit Graphics" option ("Graphics" tab of the player options menu).

    Unit graphics can be shrunk through the fScale parameters in Assets\XML\Art\CIV4ArtDefines_Unit.xml. I don't remember if there's a global setting somewhere that scales all units. I do remember that I've made units 20% smaller once and found them too difficult to tell apart that way. As you say, they'd have to look more distinct. I don't think there's a mod for that. The unit graphics mods mainly aim at greater (cultural) diversity.

    Flag sizes can be increased in CIV4ArtDefines_Misc.xml. But when the camera angle is top-down, flags aren't really visible regardless of their size.

    I'd also prefer an interface with icons, like the strategic view in Civ 5 and 6, but done nicely (Civ 5 strategic view doesn't even have any terrain textures), like in a boardgame.
     
  6. Yury T.

    Yury T. Chieftain

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    Yes, that setting. Looks like you are playing a modded version, though. I can already see the UI improvements (and ergonomics of the UI in Civ4 is my second peeve).
     
  7. Yury T.

    Yury T. Chieftain

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    In my case it's when those options are NOT enabled... all "Quick moves" are on, though. And yes, I'm using the 'single figure' units view.
    Anyway, I've ended zooming in two 'clicks' from the last flat view. Of course, now I can't easily tell any units apart. Maybe your tip on flags sizes changing might help here, same for figures sizes. (Just looked in those XMLs... Those are not sizes, those are literally scales, and not uniform, too... I might end needing to program that change. Argh.)

    I can see that already. Tried to browse through the collection, gave up early. )) Such amounts of great work, really, but rather for admiring, not for playing the Civilization. Seems to me the whole concept of 3D-everything rather backfired in Civ4's case?
     
  8. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    Oh, right, without those options, one can still glimpse foreign moves -- and the bubbles aren't updated.
    I suppose one gets used to it. Civ 5 I find outright unplayable because of its UI (despite mods), but plenty of people have played it and enjoyed it and many still do, so I'd probably just have to give it more time. I'm OK with the Civ 4 UI. The enormous resource bubbles are my biggest peeve; that's just the result of poor scaling on high resolutions. (Text size also doesn't scale properly, but that can be modded.) As for units, the "density information" provided by the unit layer (more opaque color when a stack is large in comparison with its owner's total unit count) isn't really helpful. The game would have to show the stack sizes as numbers somewhere ...

    Having the player look down upon the Earth like from a satellite is a nice idea but doesn't work for units and resources. The giant units look very silly and 3D graphics with (permanently) overlayed icons is imo an awkward mix. But then, I'm not sure if Civ, as a game for a mass audience, could've realistically taken a different path. Also, representing all the stuff that can coexist in a single tile would arguably be a challenge with any kind of UI: terrain, elevation (hill/flat), bonus resource, route – plus any number of units, possibly of different owners with hitpoints, movement points, promotions, current orders.

    UI mods that don't change the game rules: You'll probably want to use either BULL or BAT, possibly with BlueMarble for terrain textures. I think the BlueMarble textures are rather a bit less functional, but they're easier on the eyes. Apart from a few extra UI enhancements, BAT contains "Varietas Delectat," which in turn contains "Cultural Citystyles" and "Ethnically Diverse Units."
     
  9. Yury T.

    Yury T. Chieftain

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    And no bubbles means you may overlook a resource tile (like, agricultural) or even miss an enemy unit... I've tried 'playing' with flags scale and glow parameters in the XML. I was able to produce something bearable (for the two-clicks-in-from-flat view), but that's old ducktape, all the same.

    In fact, it's even defeating the very idea of Civ experience -- the involvement. Top-down map view is good for (old) wargames.
    I think I've put my finger on what's bugging me in Civ4 -- the lack of involvement. It might be it's only that I didn't play Civ4 in its glory years (bought it only recently, on GOG discount), so I 'have no good memories to relieve now'. OTOH, have played Civ 1, 2, 3 in their heytimes, enjoyed a session of Civ3 yesterday.

    Come to think of it, Civ4 is lacking in involvement for me anyway. It doesn't feel 'serious' somehow (Civs 1 and 2 did, and Civ3 does, but then again, maybe it's because I've played those before). Tech tree is just something you have to click through to get this or that (although that's my grief against Civ3, too). How could one realistically get Construction of Engineering (I don't remember what exactly, but high-ish in the tech tree) without even Alphabet? The concept of multiple ways leading to a tech is nice and realistic-ish, but there MUST be required steps.

    In fact, my everlasting peeve with Civs as they were and are is 'one tech at a time' concept. There ought to be something like Master of Orion 1 tech tree, with rated categories into which you may sub-divide your 'lightbulbs/beakers' output. In Civ's case those would/should be, I don't know, agriculture, transportation, healthcare, engineering, war engineering (separate?), warfare, society and world outlook, communications. The categories could/would appear as the tech tree grows. Well, just a thought/idea.

    And -- I didn't forget!))) --
    Thank you very much for your suggestions on modes to try.
     
  10. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Deity

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    Looks like you need mods. Try AND2 or my modmod of it.
     
  11. Yury T.

    Yury T. Chieftain

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    That would be the middle link in your sig, right? Thank you, I'll give it a try, looks like a massive one.
    Only... is there no description of what the mod does? Am I missing something?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020 at 4:52 AM
  12. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Deity

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    The 1st one is my modmod (you'll find some description in the 4th post and you will find much more in the Civilopedia under Concepts).
    The 2nd and 3rd links are add-ons, that work with CoM or AND2. MegaPack adds a 100+ civs to the game, while More music adds extra hours of music to the eras so it won't repeat the same tracks over and over again.
    And yes... it is massive :D
     
  13. Yury T.

    Yury T. Chieftain

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    "You are in a maze of Civ4 mods, all named alike"
    There are no less than three "A New Dawns" out there. )) Happily, your modmod does not require the original, but it would be nice to know on top of which one did you build yours, I suppose.

    Those three I've found:
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/forums/rise-of-mankind-a-new-dawn.369/
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/a-new-dawn.444233/
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/rise-of-mankind-a-new-dawn.372884/
    Without knowing the community lore it'd be hard to know which one's actually needed ))


    Again, thank you.
     
  14. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Deity

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    A little history of the modmodmodmod :D
    • Rise of Mankind, by Zappara
      • Rise of Mankind - A New Dawn, by Afforres
        • Rise of Mankind - A New Dawn 2, by 45 and Vokarya
          • Chronicles of Mankind, by me
     
  15. Dancing Hoskuld

    Dancing Hoskuld Deity

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    It is possible to scale a unit on the UI but you will have to do it for each unit. In the art XML for the unit there are two scale values. One is for the displaying the unit in the pedia and the other is for displaying the unit on the map

    From the Modiki for the file assets\art\CIV4ArtDefines_Unit
    • fScale The unit's model is scaled (multiplied) by this number for its size on the map.

    • fInterfaceScale The unit's model is scaled first by fScale, then by this number for its size in the 'Pedia and the bottom-right window.
    Colours are beyond me. Map nation colours are done via XML in the definition of the Civilization and I think it defines the flag/unit owner colour there also. The other colours making up of the flag and units are done on the art for them.

    And RoM comes from two Civ III mods. Double our Pleasure and another (my memory is going :( )
     
  16. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    I do think that, at a rather close camera distance (flat angle), there is a bit of atmosphere in the early game with the ambient sounds, birds scattering from forests and tribal music. At least that's how I remember my earliest Civ 4 games. (Nowadays I keep sound and animations disabled and the camera almost top-down.)
    Well, most techs have only one incoming arrow and there are additional requirements shown as small buttons instead of arrows, e.g. Alphabet being required for Printing Press.
    The "blind research" option in Alpha Centauri comes to mind:
    Still only one tech at a time though. Civ 6 does two at a time, essentially, by moving "civic" (sociocultural) advances into a separate tree.
    Sure. Thanks for sharing your impressions. Interesting to hear from a dedicated Civ player who hasn't played any of the 3D Civ titles much.
     
  17. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Deity

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    I still do that in the early game, so yes.
     
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