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The Sumeria Project- Play as the Sumerians as Firaxis Intended!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - New Civilizations' started by monkspider, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. monkspider

    monkspider Warlord

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    Wichita, Kansas
    Welcome to the Sumeria Project. The aim of this mod is not just to provide a new civ to play as, but to try to re-create Firaxis' original vision for the game as close as possible. As I will discuss later, Sumeria was cut from the game for unknown reasons, most likely lack of time. Virtually all of the artwork featured in this mod was created by Firaxis, hardly anything is user-created. Before we get started, a little bit of history...

    Flashback to the early 2005: all the previews coming out for Civ IV were saying that the game boasted 19 civs. We all speculated on who these lucky 19 would be, but after E3, the number was changed to 18! A civ had been dropped! No one knew for sure who it was at the time, but the front-runner was Babylon based on these screenshots that were released before E3 which showed the ancient Mesopotamian city of Agade (sometimes called Akkad) and a flag that seemed to depict an Aurochs, the primary beast of burden in the fertile crescent. Everyone lamented the loss of Babylon, but we soldiered on, older and wiser.


    Now, when Civ IV was released, Soren Johnson held a chat at Apolyton.net. Still curious about the loss of the Babylonians,, the question I got to ask Soren was inquiring about what point in development were the Babylonians cut. Soren replied that the Babylonians were never in the game. Confused, I mentioned to Soren some of the early screenshots that seemed to show Babylonian cities, and specifically, the flag that seemed to depict an ancient Aurochs. Soren told me that the flag I saw was never for Babylon, but was for a different civ that we might see again in the future! The plot thickens!

    A couple weeks after release, I discovered an abundance of unused artwork in the Civilization IV files. To my pleasent surprise, I found the same flag that was seen in those early screenshots. However, the greatest surprise of all was discovering concept leaderhead artwork for Gilgamesh, and an additional little button for Sargon! So it wasn't the Babylonians after all, it was the Sumerians! I created a thread about this unused artwork and was kindly frontpaged by the CFC folks. http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=139720

    One other little curiosity I found was an unused button for a unit referred to only as "Vulture". I suspected this could have been for Sumeria, but I was completely confused as to what it could possibly be intended to depict. I got a strong clue when the very first google search result for "Sumerian Warfare" brings up what was called an ancient relief called the stele of vultures which was said to be "the first important pictorial of war in the Sumerian period".
    http://joseph_berrigan.tripod.com/id46.html

    So lets get to the mod, shall we?

    This mod will allow you to play as the Sumerians, with your leader as Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is Creative/Organized which is one of only two trait combos not used by any leader. The other, Industrious/Philosophical was determined to be too powerful by testers. I felt that Firaxis would certainly have wanted to use up all of the traits, and Gilgamesh is likely to have received these traits under such a scenario. Gilgamesh's leaderhead is the concept art created by Firaxis. You can see this style of placeholder artwork used as leaderheads in some previews, especially some of the video previews released by Gamespot.

    The Sumerians do have their own flag, as mentioned earlier, which is a near-perfect facsimile of the flag that appeared in early versions of the game.

    The Vulture, the Sumerians UU, replaces the spearman and drops the copper requirement of the normal spearman and adds one first strike.

    I hope that everyone enjoys this mod, and anyone is welcome to use any or all of it in their own mod. If Firaxis sees this mod, I hope they find it to be an adequate interpretation of their vision. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to post them. My only request for those who enjoy this mod is to send feedback to Firaxis and let them know that you want Sumeria in the next Civ IV XP!
    http://www.firaxis.com/company/gamefeedback.php



    There are two different versions of this mod. Basically, if you want Sumeria to be just treated as a normal mod, download the normal version. If you want Sumeria to be always available when you start up the game without having to go through the load mod process, choose the super version. Please note that neither version will alter your core game files.

    Normal Version Install Instructions
    1. Download the file, extract to C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 4\Mods
    2. Load Civ IV, click on advanced, click on load mod.
    3. Voila!

    Super Version Install Instructions
    (Note, this will allow you to use the Sumerians without having to always load the mod. They will be part of your main game, and you won't have to alter any of your original files!)
    1. Go to my documents, then my games, then Sid Meier's Civilization IV.
    2. Copy the custom assets folder, and paste it in the same directory, so you should have "copy of custom assets folder" now. (Note: This is purely for backup purposes.)
    3. Extract your zip file to the custom assets folder, and if prompted, tell it to replace any existing files/folders.
    4. You're done! You can now load up Civ IV, and the Sumerians will be selectable. No need to go through the load mod process. And your original gamefiles are untouched!
    5. If you ever want to uninstall, go back to the folder where you had the copy of custom assets. Delete your old customer assets folder, and rename copy of custom assets to simply custom assets.

    Updates
    Version 1.01: Corrects a few minor text errors.
    Version 1.10: Changes color of flag to match early screenshots.
    Version 1.15: Includes new, easy-to use install and instructions for super install. Includes correct city names, corrected a few other text errors,tweaked vulture's settings, and included unused dialogue that was intended for Menes or Augustus in early versions of the game.
    Version 1.20: Added Civlopedia information, added button created by Jecrell, tweaked city list, corrected Gilgamesh's favorite civic (hereditary rule).
    Version 2.0 Changed color to unused Dark Red, changed stats on Vulture, fixed bug where Vulture would appear as exclamation mark in city build preview area, changed Gilgamesh's character to be more aggressive, Vulture artwork changed to appear much more Sumerian (Thanks Rabbit, White).


    FAQ:
    =========================================================================
    Q: Why add Sumeria to the game out of all the other Civilizations that are misssing?
    A. My primary reason is to try bring attention to Firaxis' original vision for the game and show what might have been if they had more time. I approached this mod asking "What would Firaxis do?" regarding every design decision that I made. So this mod is just all about love and respect for Firaxis and trying to show off some of their work that most people have never seen.

    Q:Why Gilgamesh as the leader, and why did you choose the traits Creative/Organized?
    A: The reason for Gilgamesh is simple. There are several unused art files depicting him, so it is clear that Gilgamesh was in the game until fairly late. It is also clear that he would have been Firaxis' choice as the Sumerian leader. When assigning traits, I had tried to look at what Firaxis would have done. Since there are two trait combinations that were left unused, and the other one (industrious/philosophical) was determined to be too strong by testers for the ridiculous amount of great person points you would generate, there was luckily only one real choice. I think Firaxis would have surely wanted to use up all of the remaining trait combintions for sure. Plus, Gilgamesh is something of a blank slate since we know very little of the historical figure, so almost any traits could have applied to him.

    Q:Why Dark Red for the color?
    A: Rhye, a beta-tester, indicated that dark red was the one remaining unused color scheme and if Sumeria had remained in the game, they would have almost surely been assigned that color.

    Q:Is all of the artwork REALLY created by Firaxis?
    A: Yep, the flag, the leaderhead portrait, the Vulture icon, all are the work of the talented folks at Firaxis. The only thing that isn't is the unit animations for the Vulture which are created by talented modder Rabbit, White and the brilliant Aurochs button created by Jecrell.

    Q:How did you choose the stats for the Vulture?
    A: This is an excellent question. When trying to assign stats to the Vulture that would be close to what Firaxis had intended for it, I really had to rack my brain looking for clues elsewhere in the game that might create some kind of a precedent for what direction Firaxis woud likely have taken. I decided to approach the Vulture in the same way as the Jaguar and Camel Archer. It seemed to me that whenever a unique unit is actually based on more primitive technology than the standard unit that it replaces, Firaxis typically made that unit resource free.

    Also, the lack of a resource free UU until Iron Working in the standard version of the game created a gap of sorts that may have proved irresistable to Firaxis. So after deciding to go resource free, I also added a free first strike so that the unit would have a modest boost over the standard unit if copper is available.

    I honestly feel that the resource free unit available at that point in the game is very strategically interesting and makes the Vulture a more unique and distinct UU than most.

    Q: So what is next for Sumeria on Firaxis' end?
    A: It is difficult to say. Firaxis will almost surely release another XP after Warlords. Soren hinted that night that we would likely see the Sumerians again in an XP. Will they finish the same Sumeria they started for Vanilla Civ IV including the same flag and UU? I don't know, but I hope so. I would like to see how close my mod was to the real thing. :goodjob: If you would like to see Sumeria in the next XP, be sure to contact Firaxis!
    http://www.firaxis.com/company/gamefeedback.php
     

    Attached Files:

  2. monkspider

    monkspider Warlord

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    Just a note of thanks to Jecrell for the great button he contributed!
     
  3. higgins534

    higgins534 Chieftain

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    Very good idea resurrecting 'lost' files in the game. It's odd the amount of games that have these files that don't belong anywhere isn't it? (One such example would be The Sims 2). I don't have Civ 4 yet but when I do I will most definately download this wonderful civilization.
     
  4. Gilgamesh4043

    Gilgamesh4043 Chieftain

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    Hey the Sumerian resurection sounds great! They were obviously one of my favorite civilizations (if my name hadn't tipped you off) I don't mean to sound nitpicky, but based off the picture of the world map....Gilgamesh was actually the king of the city of Ur. Sumer was the region Ur was in. Ur, Kish, Lagash, Eridu etc. were all located in Sumer.
     
  5. LeninsTomb

    LeninsTomb Chieftain

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    This is a great mod thanks! You should include these guys in the Superciv pack too
     
  6. ozza000

    ozza000 Emperor

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    ah nice mod. Thanks, has anyone got a picture of what Gilgamesh looks like either?
     
  7. monkspider

    monkspider Warlord

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    Thanks for the kind words! Version 1.01 will be uploaded, this version fixes a few minor text errors. I hope to release a more substantive update soon.
     
  8. monkspider

    monkspider Warlord

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    Great news! Another update is available. Using a bit of trickery, I was able to get the Sumerians flag to look like a spitting image of the original! In version 1.1, the Sumerians original flag has been restored to a near-perfect recreation. Download the newest version above. Check out a comparison shot below:
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Cafegio

    Cafegio Warlord

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    Could you make a button for the civolpedia ? For some reason I cant pickup and edit the flag. It is invisible as far as my computer is concerned.
     
  10. monkspider

    monkspider Warlord

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    Hey Cafe,
    They actually do have a button for the civlopedia, it just looks the same as the Mongol button right now. I am working on correcting this in a future update.
     
  11. Cafegio

    Cafegio Warlord

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    Thanks I would appreciate that. What I did right now is erase the info for the mongol button and copied the sumerian flag info into that button. What I get is the sumerian flag transparent in the civolpedia entries. It doesnt look that bad except the cow is white. Im sort of a perfectionist.
     
  12. monkspider

    monkspider Warlord

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    Check out the original post for a new update. Version 1.15 includes the following:
    -Comes in new, easy to use .EXE file!
    -Correcting the City List for Ur to be the capitol instead of Sumer
    -Tweaked the settings of the Vulture to a strength 4 unit with 2 first strikes that doesn't require copper. I feel this makes the unit an interesting option for an early rush, or for early defense.
    -Included some of the unusued dialogue that was originally going to be included for Menes and Augustus where I could.

    Check out the initial post for instructions on how to make using the Sumerians even easier than ever!
     
  13. Robo Magic Man

    Robo Magic Man Prince

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    Great job bringing the Sumerians back from the lost files. You may know already, but the Hypaspist unit has actually already been used in the Lost Units Mod.
     
  14. Enkidu_Warrior

    Enkidu_Warrior Shaman

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    cool, i missed this first time around - i'm a big sumerian fan, if you cant tell!

    instead of the exe file, could you just have a zip with paths, that way I can choose whether to install it as a mod or permant custom asset, rather than having to go through both?

    thanks
    ew

    edit: only just got around to loading this up. the exe ran and appeared to work, but there is no C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 4\Mods\Sumeria directory created. just a sumeria ini. not sure where it installed the rest of the data... okay, found it, it created an "assets" directory under mods, not Sumeria... i created the Sumeria directory and moved assets into it and it worked fine. should i move the ini into the sumeria directory too? ...didnt have to, it created one in there for me. deleted the one in the root of mods. copied the contents of my new sumeria/assets folder into custom assets and it's now installed permanently. many thanks!
     
  15. Enkidu_Warrior

    Enkidu_Warrior Shaman

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    sorry to double-post, but the previous edits didnt bump this...

    is it just me, or does installing this mod into custom assets prevent you from loading old saved games? i'm trying to finish my last game before starting as sumeria but i'm getting a fatal error

    ew
     
  16. ozza000

    ozza000 Emperor

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    How is Gilgamesh playing for everyone, I mean in my games he is yet to declare war. Is he supposed to be aggressive or what?
     
  17. monkspider

    monkspider Warlord

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    I have seen him declare war, but he is not an overly aggressive AI.
     
  18. Jecrell

    Jecrell Ruled: Civ3 - Civ5

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    There's a button.

    I wish it could have been more amazing and monumental, but there it is.
     
  19. Cafegio

    Cafegio Warlord

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    Thank you !! :p
     
  20. monkspider

    monkspider Warlord

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    Thank you so much Jecrell! That is pretty amazing and monumental in my book. :D
     

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