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The Silent Majority speaks

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by scottfreitas, May 16, 2020.

  1. scottfreitas

    scottfreitas Chieftain

    Mar 30, 2008
    And who ARE the silent majority?

    The huge amount of players--thousands, I would wager--who love Civ 4: Colonization, and particularly love the trio of majorly monumental mods (TAC, R&R, WTP) which have kept it alive and well for 12 solid years now!

    All of you wonderful, amazing modders who have created (and continue to create) this gigantic version of Civ 4: Colonization don't hear from us much. But we're always out here. Many of us (myself included) even play further customized versions of what is currently known as We The People. Mostly customized just by us making our own changes to various XML files, but still doubtlessly quite a few who take it a few steps further.

    I hope now that this thread will become a "Check in, say Hi" place for people who have silently, gratefully played We The People without actually contributing anything to it ourselves.

    I still can't fathom why Firaxis is so blind as to not, at minimum, re-release a "Definitive" version of Civ 4: Colonization, shamelessly (for it is after all their legal right to do so) using We The People in its entirety as a starting ground, and then perhaps adding just a bit of spit and polish to the game which their ample staff of coders could easily do in very short time.

    Their loss is our gain, though!


    You are the wind beneath our RTS gaming wings. You keep the dream alive. You allow us to continue to play one of the greatest historical simulators ever adopted onto a computerized format. And while we may, for 12 long years now, mostly be just a Silent Majority, rest assured your efforts are daily admired, respected, and appreciated by thousands!

    Mod on, guys. Never stop asking, "What if--?"...

    Cruiser76, AbsintheRed, Nenos and 5 others like this.
  2. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

    Jan 24, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Thanks a lot for this nice post! :)
    I really appreciate the loyalty of our hardcore fans that have been playing and hopefully enjoying our mods for so long.

    A few personal comments:
    (And to be clear, it is just my personal view. I do not speak for the complete WTP team or any other modders.)
    Spoiler :

    To be honest, I simply do not believe that there are still "thousands" playing RaR / WTP. :dunno:
    I feel that - except maybe 30 hardcore players and 5 modders - nobody really cares anymore.

    I played the new version 2.8 we created for WTP myself for about 30 hours and really liked what we did.
    (In comparison, I invested at least 60 hours - twice as much time - modding for the last release.)

    It was a great feeling of nostalgia.
    But I also became really sad ... :sad:

    Both, modding and playing again, was generally fun although at times also frustrating.
    It was really nice to come back to this community and have some contact with the old modders, new modders and players again.

    I remembered the time 10 to 12 years ago, when all of us modders were exited, full of new ideas and really motivated.
    There were of course also tough and demotivationg times during TAC and RaR sometimes but more people still kept the fire going.

    This time (after my absence from Civ4Col modding for several years) it was simply not the same.
    (Which might also have been related to Covid 19 though.)

    Yes, we created some new features, implemented a few further nice improvements and fixed a few small bugs.
    But it felt like warming up a meal that might have been delicious originally but now lost its taste due to just being warmed up again.

    Some of the old modders I talked to said: "Ok yes, I will help a little here and there. We owe it to community and RaR deserves to get further improvements."
    But none of the old modders said: "I would really love a to do further modding, brainstorming and crazy new features. I still feel the desire to create my personal perfect game."

    See, there is a big difference between a feeling of "obligation" and a felling of "enjoyment" when you do modding. :undecide:
    "Obligation" is enough to do small stuff from time to time. But without "enjoyment" you will not create big revolutionary new features - not to speak of complete new mods.

    What makes modding fun:

    1) Working in a skilled and motivated team with crazy brainstorming and deep internal technical discussion.
    Our team was highly skilled but somehow not really motivated.
    • Maybe our "vision" for the mod was too different. It often seemed that we did not care for the same features / ideas.
    • Maybe we just had a bad situation because of personal situation or Covid 19.
    • Maybe I was "soloing" too much with the features (because I mostly had the technical concepts already set up).
    2) Being part of a active, growing and interested community of players and modders, to get positive feedback, appreciation and support.
    Yes, we have a small community that is still a bit interested, but it is further shrinking and thus there is hardly any support (e.g. from other modders).
    • We completely failed to motivate new people for Civ4Col modding. We (WTP team) are really the last modders standing.
    • We are losing the battle to keep the community alive. The numbers of forum post and downloads was shockingly low.
    • This game is simply old. Hardcore players still love it but new players just take a look and say "The graphics and UI of Civ6 are so much better!!!".

    I feel that it is still possible that some more fixes and small improvements might be implemented if one of us feels the "obligation" to do so again.
    But the time of big motivated modding teams that create impressive new features - not to speak of completely new mods - is over.

    Thousand thanks to all the modders that made this game great. It was really fun working with you. We can be proud of what we achieved. :thumbsup:
    Thousand thanks to all the people from community that kept us going by playing, posting and discussing with us and bringing in new ideas. :grouphug:

    Personally I believe that only one thing can still save Civ4Col:
    A remake or enhanced edition on a modern engine with really good modding capabilities (in terms of source code access for modders).

    In fact I would personally be willing to pay up to 100$ for such a remake, would most likely start learning to mod it and maybe try to rebuild WTP on it.
    (Of course that would need a big and motivated team again.)

    But at the same time I am almost certain that it will not happen. :sad:
    1) Firaxis considers Civ4Col a sales flop. (Which is in fact their own fault to my opinion.)
    2) Firaxis has abandoned their old modding friendly policy. (By not giving source code access anymore.)

    But well, never give up hope! :)
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
    1SDAN and Schmiddie like this.
  3. scottfreitas

    scottfreitas Chieftain

    Mar 30, 2008
    Ray, I guarantee you a lot more than 30 people are still playing Civ 4: Colonization today. ;D

    I just returned from the Steam discussions page for Civ 4 : Colonization. I made a new thread plugging this mod, and providing people with links to both this forum and the github page where the WTP 2.8 download exists.

    Hundreds of thousands of people have bought this game over the years, and it still continues to sell copies today.

    The We The People mod makes Coloniztion a game truly worth PLAYING. And I know plenty of peopel still are, however silent they might be about it... ;)
  4. Wombats of War

    Wombats of War Chieftain

    May 21, 2013
    <--- Still playing your awesome mods. I mention them in my steam review, to try and get more traffic here. :)
    raystuttgart and Hecur like this.
  5. Nenos

    Nenos Chieftain

    Feb 15, 2006
    raystuttgart and Schmiddie like this.
  6. Pityulator

    Pityulator Chieftain

    May 24, 2020
    Hi! I am also part of the silent majority. Still playing the game from time to time, and Civ IV as well, with mods. Sometimes we play multiplayer with my brother. I have tried a bunch of 4X games, but Civ IV Colonization with the We the People mod is still one of my favourites. :thumbsup:
    raystuttgart likes this.
  7. mrjepson

    mrjepson Warlord

    Oct 27, 2005
    I often play with 2 or three others in multi-player games. We The People has proven to be the most captivating out of all available Civ games for multi-player.
    raystuttgart likes this.
  8. 8BitArchitect

    8BitArchitect Chieftain

    Sep 12, 2013
    I bought Civ 4 Complete when it came out...15 years ago (?) and purchased the Steam version a while back to have an easier time playing with a couple friends who owned that version (and gave the original disc copy I had to my dad.) I recently discovered that even with the "original release beta" on steam, you can have issues playing MP games, so I bought another copy on GoG.

    All that to say I know of a few people that don't play the steam version, and I'd imagine that non-steam players at least match the numbers of steam players.
  9. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

    Jan 24, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany

    First of all, thanks for the nice info. :)
    It gives a good impression of the player community.

    But our own statistics and impressions are usually even more reliable considering WTP ifself.
    - overall downloads of the mod
    - modder activity in team chat
    - community posts in the forum

    I must admit though that I do not know exact download statistics currently.
    (It has been a while since I was told by @Nightinggale)

    Spoiler :

    Just to clarify again:
    I only give my personal opinion and do not speak for any other modders or WTP team members.

    The last WTP statistics I had were showing a trend to achive about a couple of hundred downloads in total.
    (The last RaR statistics I had - while I was still a team member - were trending to a couple of thousand downloads in total.)

    So when looking at the pure numbers:

    The interest in Civ4Col from 2012 (best times of RaR) to 2020 (now with WTP) has shrunken by 90%. :cry:
    It is fully understandable - since the game is so old - but really demotivating for us modders or at least for me.

    So, well yes, maybe we have a couple of hundred players that still play Civ4Col (with or without mods).
    That is better than nothing. :dunno:


    However, a modding community needs interested community to participate and modders to create mods.
    Both groups heavily influence each others.

    more modders --> more new development --> more interested community --> more modders --> more new development --> ...

    The active (and skilled modders) from 2012 (counting all mod projects) to 2020 (now with only WTP left) has also shrunken by 80%.
    (I am not counting the people that just tried for a couple of weeks and then gave up.)

    Surprisingly however at first the WTP team was bigger than in the last days of RaR. :eek:
    (However - also understandable - it was also much smaller than at the heights of TAC or RaR.)

    Other teams simply did not exist this time.
    In the early days we had several mod projects publishing regularly with very different visions.
    TAC, RaR, DoaNE, Medieval Conquest, Col 2071 ...

    So the modders that still remain in 2020:

    1. Are really hard core Civ4Col fanatics and mostly highly experienced.
    2. All share the opinion that RaR / WTP is the currently best base for future modding.

    That would be something that could be worked with ...
    But it will not suffice for ever if no new modders step in to take over.


    There are some really simple observations:
    (Which was predictable, since it was the same for TAC and RaR.)

    1) Once some old experienced modders returned and joined forces some other old modders and supporters joined
    2) Once we started developing / discussing new features the chat activities and forum posts jumped up again
    3) Once we published a new mod release activity really spiked again (at least for a few weeks)

    (Things that were different in the golden age of Civ4Col modding.)

    1) It is always the same few old modders that return and even those are getting fewer every time. We need new blood!
    2) It is always the same mod that is revived even if it is sometimes called different (RaR / RaR Extended / WTP ...). We need completely new mods!
    3) About a month after a new release was published, the interest of modders and community suddenly heavily drops again.

    It is really easy for me to see the pattern how modders can spike interest in Civ4Col - or at least WTP - for a short period again.
    ("All" it needs is some old experienced modders taking the effort of creating a new release with new features.)

    But I completely lack any idea how to keep up long term interest of community and to interest new modders to start their own projects.
    With every release that passes the remaining active modders and remaing community members get fewer and fewer.



    If one day a couple modders are motivated enough to invest the effort and join forces again, then "one last" new release could be made.
    But even if we published one further release, 1 month later we would be back in the same situation of lack of modders and community interest ...
    For me it basically feels like beating an almost dead horse to walk another mile in pain.:deadhorse:
    But well, myself and other "hard core" modders have still often returned to do so. :cooool:

    So, let us simply see ...
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  10. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

    Feb 2, 2009
    Luckily I do know the download statistics :)
    • We.The.People.2.8.rar (588.82 MiB) - downloaded 600 times. Last updated on 2020-04-23
    • We.The.People.2.8.zip (639.64 MiB) - downloaded 640 times. Last updated on 2020-04-23
    Update refers to upload date, not date of stats.
    raystuttgart and AbsintheRed like this.
  11. nci

    nci Warlord

    Apr 7, 2016
    Thanks for this wonderful mod!

    I use non-Steam version of Sid Meier's Colonization.
    raystuttgart likes this.
  12. Gladi

    Gladi The ignored thread killer

    Dec 24, 2003
    EU- Czechia, City of Hundred Spires
    At least 641 .zip downloads now.

    I apologize for not saying thanks enough for your continuing excellent work. It is only due to effort of modders like you that I return to CivCol regularly.
    raystuttgart likes this.
  13. JohnDay

    JohnDay Chieftain

    Dec 1, 2010
    Thanks for this wonderful mod!

    I use non-Steam version of Sid Meier's Colonization.
    raystuttgart likes this.
  14. HobyMorgan

    HobyMorgan Chieftain

    Aug 9, 2020
    Go WTP-team! I've been playing this game (exclusively with mods like DoaNE and TAC-RaR-WTP; the vanilla version is just shambles) for quite some years now, and I think your mod is the best that ever happened to Civ4Col!

    Keep up the good work!

    raystuttgart likes this.
  15. Your_ardent_admirer

    Your_ardent_admirer Chieftain

    Aug 22, 2020
    Hey We the People/RaR team!
    Seeing that Ray has cast doubts that there’s enough following for the mod, I just decided to sign up to say that there’s at least one person in the world who sincerely thinks that yours is the best mod in history!
    There are a few really great mods, however WtP/RaR is the only one I know which turns a ****-tier base game into something incredible.

    I’ve been playing RaR years ago and, even though I don’t play any games at all anymore, I regularly check RaR subforum for any progress/activity. I felt really sad when you discontinued your work previously, and equally joyous when I learned (today) that the project got resurrected! I understand your anxiety that your work doesn’t get the attention it deserves, in terms of number of followers, but I believe WtP/RaR became such a cult object it doesn’t need too many) It is so brilliant that it hardly needs too much affirmation from outside, I think))

    Tl;dr Kisses&hugs, you are awesome, you’ve created something very good! Sorry for long text, just sensed the call for support here.

    Also it might be helpful to post a reminder in old RaR subforum that the project has been revived under a new name. Now I’m going to play it!
    raystuttgart likes this.
  16. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

    Jan 24, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    I just did to make clear that WTP continues RaR. :thumbsup:
    Thanks for the nice feedback as well. :)

    It is not really about "getting attention" or "affirmation" - in its core - even though that is always nice of course. :)
    It is mainly about active participation in terms of discussions and mod progress (fixes, improvements and new features) - which indirectly also results from "getting attention".

    A small modding community leads to very few modders and then things get difficult. :undecide:
    If WTP was more popular and there were more interesting discussions with community we might again attract more skilled modders ...

    It is wonderful though - almost a miracle - that we still have at least a handful of modders that invest their time and effort from time to time. :grouphug:
    Currently it is sometimes however really difficult to keep the mod alive with the few active team members we still have.

    See, a mod team depends on its modding community. (And the modding community also depends on the mod team - it is a symbiotic relationship.)
    • strong popularity of the mod -> growing community -> growing mod team -> increasing progress -> increasing poularity of the mod
    • low popularity of the mod -> shrinking community -> shrinking mod team -> mod eventually dying -> shrinking popularity of the mod
    Currently both, our community and our mod team are dangerously small ... :c5unhappy:
    But hey, I should not be complaining. After all this game is 12 years old and there are still players and modders. :c5happy:
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
    RayCorps and Your_ardent_admirer like this.

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