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SMAN's The Ancient World at War (AWAW)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Modpacks' started by sman1975, Nov 26, 2020.

  1. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Update: Posts #5 (Buildings) and #7 (Units) have been updated with the V1.0 (final BETA) versions of those items. I believe these will be the last updates for these, with the possible exception of adding some Hardwood resource requirements for certain wooden ships (all LATE and some MAIN versions), as well as a couple of the siege units (Trebuchet, Bombard, etc.). Can't add those requirements as the BETA version of the mod hasn't added the map-based resources yet. Probably the last thing I'll add back in, as they're about 30 MB of data that add a lot of time to building/testing the mod. I suspect, though, in the actual released BETA, you'll see those requirements for those units.

    OK, finally, I can start adding the models into the mod...
     
  2. arievillo

    arievillo Chieftain

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    I have to say. Your work on this project is at least impressive and i don't understand how there are no more people paying attention here.
    While old and good mods are not renewed, this project, like Iska's, adds very interesting ideas.
    Very good luck with the final part of the project.
     
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  3. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Thanks, @arievillo. The forum is a collaboration site, giving some interested players an opportunity to influence the final version of the product, but also to make sure I'm not getting too lost along the way. We started this project as a Punic Wars scenario, but as I started to develop that limited project, I began to see a solid potential to broaden the scope to the entire first half of the game, which would also perfectly bookend my other large project, SMAN's World at War, which gives the second half of the game the same treatment. It just made more sense to me to finish the larger project, then develop scenarios (like the 2nd Punic War) build on the foundation of this AWAW mod. Will greatly save time on the scenario, and most likely make it a more intelligent, cohesive design. We've already had good feedback on that earlier project, enough to make progress here.

    The main amount of help, I think, will be interested players who can help me make sure the BETA version of the mod works, is fairly balanced, and above all, fun to play. I'm not sure how long it will be until then, as I'm sure I've got another week left on the mod (maybe more), and probably several days putting together the STEAM packet together so players will have some idea how the mod works. Since the scope is so broad, they'll need all the help they can get to properly play and test the mod.
     
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  4. arievillo

    arievillo Chieftain

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    Count me ttly in to playtest your stuff i will look for you on steam.

    Cheers.
     
  5. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Quick update - sorry for the delay getting back. Out last week with a 4 day migraine... X^(

    At any rate, all of the units are added, minus icons and Civilopedia entries. None are tested yet (basically involves purchasing each unit in a city, attacking with it, then letting it be attacked.). Will take a bit of time, as there are ~90 new units in total. One of the larger problems was a lack of ship models. Had to do a lot of tweaking/reskinning, etc. to come up with the number I need. Hopefully, it's worth the effort.

    More info later. Thanks.
     
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  6. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Post #7 has been updated with the unit "parade" photos. These pix show all the models for all the unit types for each Era. Hopefully, you'll get a quick look at what the units look like and their relationships to other unit types.

    Still testing combat with the models, but should have that done tomorrow. After that, the "dreaded" Steam packet is next. Basically producing enough slides so that players can have an idea what the mod is all about and how to play it. Not difficult, but does take time.

    After that, the mod is more or less done. I'll run a few test games manually, then run a few automated games to stress test the mod. After that, I'll release a rough beta version here on civfanatics if anyone wants to help test it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  7. YINGCHENG

    YINGCHENG Warlord

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    Very impressive! Nicely done, Sman. I am looking forwarding to trying this out very soon. One question just comes up of my mind: will this mod be compatible with Ethnic Diversity? It looks like you have drawn some models from the mod And thus I doubt if it will cause compatibility issues when two mods work together in a game. Thanks in advance for your dedicated work!
     
  8. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Thanks, @YINGCHENG! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, but I don't like the "empty slots" in the parade pictures on Post #7. In those cases, there just wasn't a strong historical unit type correlation, so I left them blank. But now, having seen how this looks in the parade photos, the entire unit "system" seems a bit under-cooked.

    I'll probably add some units using things like "Light Cannon" and "Heavy Cannon" to the basic Cannon unit in the Renaissance photo - so there will be three versions of the unit in that Era. Maybe something like "Six Pounder" and "Twelve Pounder" for the early/late Bombard units of the Enlightenment, etc.

    This won't be possible for every unit, however. For example, the Mounted Crossbowman (also Renaissance) - at this time in history, bows simply weren't being used any longer - just ask the few English left after the Battle of Castillon. The unit almost wasn't added to the mod, but a mobile ranged unit opens up a lot of possibilities for game play, so I kept it in. Plus, it looks pretty cool!

    At any rate, it looks like there are about 9 gaps on the photos that need filling, so I'll get to that today.

    On your question about Ethnic Diversity - I'm not sure, but don't think there will be a conflict. It's almost always OK for 2 mods to use the same model. The models are loaded into virtual memory when the mods are loaded (before game start). If 2 mods load the same model (based on how it's named in the file system), the second mod simply overwrites the first model with its own. In game, both mods will refer to the same model.

    One potential problem is, if you have 2 very different unit types (say a melee and a mounted unit) that have the same model name, but use different unit animation files. It's a great way to CTD. It would be quite unusual for this to happen, but it's possible. In this mod, I didn't completely rename all the models like I usually do (which would prevent this error from ever happening), just took the lazy way out, as the error is so unlikely and the renaming does take a lot of time to do (mostly in editing the .gr2 files). Almost no modder renames these files, which is a good thing, because if they're using a certain model and my mod is using the same model, if we both don't rename it, then there won't be any errors. I may just rename all of them before releasing V1.0, just to prevent the possibility, no matter how remote it is. Just good practice.

    So, I don't believe it will be a problem. There will be a few unit models that look a bit like other unit models, but the 2 units will have completely different icons and flags, which should help them differentiate from the other.
     
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  9. YINGCHENG

    YINGCHENG Warlord

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    I know it might be late for me to ask this, but I am still curious if you would consider adding elements of prehistoric era reborn into this mod pack. It’d be great to play a civ game that covered the history from the beginning, let’s say from Learning how to make fire, to the future. I know many moders in the past had made efforts on this cause, but as far as I know, none of these genius moders has achieved this goal. I am wondering if you are interested. With that being said, I am excited to see the first beta version of this mod pack. It looks very promising! Thanks again for sharing this wonderful mod with us!
     
  10. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Back when I was working software development full time, we had a sign about the door to our cube farm that said, "Good Ideas Stop Here..." :lol:

    The point was that good ideas break deadlines. And it's largely true. But, since there's no deadline on this mod (or if there were one, I've broken it long ago)...

    I'm not sure how to proceed on adding a prehistory era. I've played a couple of the very popular mods, but they really didn't do much for me except delay the start of the more interesting parts of the game (Classical and beyond).

    I'll look into it, and see if there's a place for a truncated version of prehistory that could be added in the next version. If it makes it in, it will be a fairly small number of techs/unit/buildings and won't take a large number of turns. Due to compatibility issues (changing the number of Eras in a mod really breaks this with other mods), these things would probably be added to the existing Ancient Era, and not a new "Pre-History" Era.

    The better solution, however, is probably writing a compatibility script with Prehistoric Era Reborn. It basically redoes the Eras and Techs from this mod so they'll display properly on the Tech Tree. But, since PER replaces the tech tree UI it might be quite a challenge to get it stable. I'll already need to write a compatibility script with the main WAW mod, so that these two mods will play well together.

    I guess the final answer is I'll take a look at it, but am not sure when or if that content will make it into this mod or play well this mod.
     
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  11. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Post #7 has been updated again - adding in the "missing" units from the previous version. Now, all of the basic unit "types" (e.g. offensive melee, defensive melee, ranged, siege, mounted, naval melee, naval ranged, pirates, mercs, etc.) now have a representative unit for each phase of the Era (early-main-late). Just looks better and more complete - even if a few of the unit models are a bit of a stretch.

    One thing I haven't mentioned: while putting together the data to build the units, I noticed that the actual combat strengths of units didn't vary all the much from Era to Era, usually about 6 strength points. When adding a "late" unit for that main unit, and then adding an "early" version for the next Era, it usually means only a couple of strength points separate each unit.

    For slower games (Marathon/Epic) this is probably just fine, as there are so many turns between upgrades. However, on quicker games some players might be annoyed at having the opportunity to upgrade units every few turns.

    I tried to compensate for this narrow gap by adding more promotions to "late" unit versions - some of which transfer with the unit when it is upgraded, some of which do not. I'm Ok with this, as often in the course of combat evolution, many of the newer units weren't necessarily better than the existing versions initially. Compare early muskets with pikemen (especially when the Swiss taught almost everyone that you could actually use them in the offense), and it's easy to see that newer isn't always better, at least at first.


    Quick edit: I believe this is the unit design that will go into V1.0. I don't foresee any major changes, but I'm pretty sure early play testers will have comments about overall balance. I'm not 100% confident this version is yet optimized, but I do think it will be playable.

    Also, there are some resource requirements that I haven't fully decided on. At one point, I thought that all "late" units would require a resource of some kind (mostly hardwood timber for ships and early siege units), but I haven't added those in yet, as most of the resources are disabled so the mod doesn't take forever to rebuild. Once the units are combat tested, I'll add all of this in.

    If anyone has any suggestions on these let me know.
     
  12. YINGCHENG

    YINGCHENG Warlord

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    Speaking of the resource requirement mechanism, I remember that Horem created a mod about five years ago. It is called “Horem New Resources”. With this mod enabled, units like swordsman need metals to recruit. Basically the civ needs to have iron resources, and has to build forge for producing metals. I think this mod might give you some ideas.
    The link is here if you want to check it out.
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/wip-hnr-lite-for-cbp-beta-testers-wanted.541960/

    In addition, this mod has some very pretty models for resources, I think you might be interested to draw some of them for reference. Hopefully it helps you a bit.
     
  13. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Most of the resources in Post #10 came from Horem. The spreadsheet at the top of that post shows these with a white background (the map based resources). The resources with a green background are created by buildings. Most, if not all, of the map-based resources originated with Horem.

    The resources are a combination of strategic, luxury, and bonus types. Strategic are required to create units and buildings. Luxuries increase happiness. Bonus are just "extra."

    With the addition of new Luxury resources, I'll have to reduce the amount of happiness each one generates. Normal game gives 4 happiness per luxury. The current mod lowers this to 2. Once the mod is up and running, one of the questions I'll be most interested in from early players is happiness from luxuries set at the correct amount.

    The resources in Post #10 are all done and tested. I simply removed them from the working version of the mod, as they take up 30+ MB, which causes the mod to take a couple of extra minutes to build each time I want to test things. Without them included, the mod takes a few seconds to build. So, I removed the working versions of the resources until all other aspects of the mod are finished. At the last, I'll add them back in, and then adjust the units that require strategic resources.
     
  14. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Unit testing complete. I probably missed 20+ errors, but so far everything works as intended.

    I put screenshots of the unit icons in Post #11, as Post #10 already had 10 pictures attached (the website limit per post). Have also updated the promotion data in Post #11. I'm not sure there's a need for any more promotions, but we'll revisit that after testing.


    OK - now to add in a few terrain improvements (Roman Villa, Latifundium, etc.) - to give the mod some more "ancient" flavor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
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  15. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Hello, I've updated Post #11 - Terrain Improvements. I've researched around and found the ones I believe capture the flavor of what the mod is trying to add into the game. Took some time to locate good models, had to create some icons and clean up a lot of the ones that came in various mods - the coloring was quite off on most of the, so it took a lot of editing to get the colors to at least look a little like the ones that came with the game.

    Will add the TI models into the mod tomorrow. Am slowly running out of things to add... :lol:
     
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  16. arievillo

    arievillo Chieftain

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    The hypetrain has left the station...
     
  17. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Uh, thanks, I think... :lol:


    Now, a serious question: I'm thinking about adding a new kind of worker, called an "Military Engineer" (or perhaps simply "Engineer" ?) available at Mining. These new Workers would cost more, and perhaps have a bit of defense so they're harder attack, and impossible to capture. My intent is to isolate some of the new (and probably in-game) improvements, so that only Engineers can build them.

    For example, in the Civ5 improvements, only the Military Engineer could build the Fort, Chateau, Feitoria, and Kasbah.

    In the AWAW improvements, they would build the Stockade, Oppidium, Castrum, Mote and Bailey, and Desert Castle improvements.

    Military Engineers would also be able to build Roads/Railroads, possibly a bit quicker than Workers (~25%).

    My goal is to provide a bit of variety of play style, and to make the "actions" list for Worker units a bit smaller. If they can make 40 improvements, when you select a worker unit, it might be challenging to find the specific improvement you want them to build with so many possibilities.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Heck, I've even thought about making certain improvements only buildable by other special civilian units (note, building these improvements would not destroy the unit, but they would take a lot of turns):

    - Great Prophet: Abbey, Chantry. The Ziggurat is a special case - only the Great Prophet would be able to build it, but does the Ziggurat appear too early for this to make sense (available at Masonry, end of Ancient Era)? Creates and interesting dynamic: do you use your first Great Prophet to spend 20 turns building the Ziggurat or do you instantly found a religion and bypass the opportunity to build a Ziggurat? Possibly the bonuses of that improvement need buffing...

    - Missionary: Abbey, Chantry.

    - Great Artist: Monolith

    - Great Engineer: Monolith, Palatial Fortress, Estate

    - Great Merchant: Manor House, Hacienda (was thinking maybe either of both of these would destroy the GM, but probably not).


    These changes are simple/quick to make. So, if anyone has any ideas about this, please let me know.

    Thanks!


    EDIT: One of the reasons I'm concerned about the popup unit actions you see when you select a Worker unit, is that there's no good way for an improvement to "expire." It's a bit discouraging to see an Oppidium available for building in the Information Era, unfortunately...

    I'm trying to mitigate this with the only tools available:

    1. Let an improvement "upgrade" to a later Era similar improvement. After so many turns (about 100 per Era in Standard game speed, except for Ancient/Information Eras). The original improvement magically becomes the later one, but I'm not sure if that means the older improvement can no longer be built.

    2. Force other units to do some of the building chores. At least, only the valid build options will appear on the unit actions popup.


    EDIT2: Good progress today. Ten of the 19 improvements added/tested. A lot of time today was setting up files, so the last 9 should go by pretty quickly. Hoping to have them done tomorrow.

    After that, some time will be spent "cleaning up" the code, so it will behave properly when playing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
  18. YINGCHENG

    YINGCHENG Warlord

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    Will AIs be able to get their military engineer and build those AWAW improvements in the game? I am actually eager to see how they behave with this new mechanism. Looking forward to seeing it to be honest.
     
  19. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Yes, AI gets the unit. The difficulty is designing the improvements so the AI will actually build them. Generally speaking, this is determined by the yields the improvement offers. It’s by far the largest factor the AI considers. It’s the reason you’ll see even defensive structures similar to forts will have a yield of some kind, otherwise the AI simply can’t build it. This makes new improvements a massive human player advantage, something the AI really doesn’t need.

    I’ll test how well they’re used before release. If not well, I’ll probably add an LUA function that occasionally spawns the improvements throughout the game. Just to make things more fair.

    Am wrapping up improvements today. Tomorrow will be set aside for code clean up and researching Civilipedia entries. Then, I’ll review my design notes documents to see if there’s anything I left out.

    The mode is almost done, but it will definitely need lots of testing. It adds more content than the original game did. Lots of ways I’ve screwed thungs up...
     
  20. DauntlessGuy

    DauntlessGuy Chieftain

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    This project is looking great, Im definitley looking forward to trying it out! Will it be compatiable with the origanal, later era WAW mod?

    Also, I noticed you listed the castrum and some other improvements as providing +1 gold but also costing 1 maintainance,which unless im missing something seems odd. Does the AI take into account tile improvement maintainance when it chooses the improvement? If it doesnt, couldnt many of the defensive structures all give a +2 gold and cost -2 gold, in order to incentivise the AI to build them without changing their balance?

    Another idea (which may or may not be useless, I know little of modding) would be to change the yields based on proximity to other civs borders. If stockades, oppodiums, etc. give +2 extra gold or other yields while adjacent to other civs borders, it would incentivise the AI to build defensive in these more important areas, where the defensive bonus would actually make a difference. Dont know if that type of thing is possible to do though.
     
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